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Apocalyptic Thinking in Early Judaism

Engaging with John Collins’ The Apocalyptic Imagination

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Edited by Cecilia Wassen and Sidnie White Crawford

It has been over 30 years since John Collins’ seminal study The Apocalyptic Imagination first came out. In this timely volume, Apocalyptic Thinking in Early Judaism: Engaging with John Collins’ The Apocalyptic Imagination, leading international experts of Jewish apocalyptic critically engage with Collins’ work and add to the ongoing debate with articles on current topics in the field of apocalyptic studies. The subjects include the genre and sub categories of apocalypses, demonology, the character of dream visions, the books of Enoch, the significance of Aramaic texts, and apocalyptic traditions in the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as in Paul’s writings. The volume ends with Collins’ response to the articles.
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Jewish Education from Antiquity to the Middle Ages

Studies in Honour of Philip S. Alexander

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Edited by George J. Brooke and Renate Smithuis

In Jewish Education from Antiquity to the Middle Ages fifteen scholars offer specialist studies on Jewish education from the areas of their expertise. This tightly themed volume in honour of Philip S. Alexander has some essays that look at individual manuscripts, some that consider larger literary corpora, and some that are more thematically organised.

Jewish education has been addressed largely as a matter of the study house, the bet midrash. Here a richer range of texts and themes discloses a wide variety of activity in several spheres of Jewish life. In addition, some notable non-Jewish sources provide a wider context for the discourse than is often the case.
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Ontological Aspects of Early Jewish Anthropology

The Malleable Self and the Presence of God

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Tyson L. Putthoff

In Ontological Aspects of Early Jewish Anthropology, Tyson L. Putthoff explores early Jewish beliefs about how the human self reacts ontologically in God’s presence. Combining contemporary theory with sound exegesis, Putthoff demonstrates that early Jews widely considered the self to be intrinsically malleable, such that it mimics the ontological state of the space it inhabits. In divine space, they believed, the self therefore shares in the ontological state of God himself. The book is critical for students and scholars alike. In putting forth a new framework for conceptualising early Jewish anthropology, it challenges scholars to rethink not only what early Jews believed about the self but how we approach the subject in the first place.
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Crossing Boundaries in Early Judaism and Christianity

Ambiguities, Complexities, and Half-Forgotten Adversaries. Essays in Honor of Alan F. Segal

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Edited by Kimberley Stratton and Andrea Lieber

This volume celebrates the scholarship of Alan Segal. During his prolific career, Alan published ground-breaking studies that shifted scholarly conversations about Christianity, rabbinic Judaism, Hellenism and Gnosticism. Like the subjects of his research, Alan crossed many boundaries. He understood that religions do not operate in academically defined silos, but in complex societies populated by complicated human beings. Alan’s work engaged with a variety of social-scientific theories that illuminated ancient sources and enabled him to reveal new angles on familiar material. This interdisciplinary approach enabled Alan to propose often controversial theories about Jewish and Christian origins. A new generation of scholars has been nurtured on this approach and the fields of early Judaism and Christianity emerge radically redefined as a result.
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Edited by J.T.A.G.M. van Ruiten and George van Kooten

Issues such as the immortality of the soul, the debate about matter versus life, and whether one was capable of knowing the outside world were all being extensively discussed in many religions and cultures in both East and West. The present volume addresses the concept of an immortal soul in a mortal body, and focuses on early Judaism and Christianity, where this issue is often related to the initial chapters of the book of Genesis. The papers are devoted to the interpretation of Gen 2:7 in relation to the broader issue of dualistic anthropology. They show that the dualism was questioned in different ways within the context of early Judaism and Christianity.
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Edited by Yair Furstenberg

Jews and Christians under the Roman Empire shared a unique sense of community. Set apart from their civic and cultic surroundings, both groups resisted complete assimilation into the dominant political and social structures. However, Jewish communities differed from their Christian counterparts in their overall patterns of response to the surrounding challenges. They exhibit diverse levels of integration into the civic fabric of the cities of the Empire and display contrary attitudes towards the creation of trans-local communal networks. The variety of local case studies examined in this volume offers an integrated image of the multiple factors, both internal and external, which determined the role of communal identity in creating a sense of belonging among Jews and Christians under Imperial constraints.
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Christus Militans

Studien zur politisch-militärischen Semantik im Markusevangelium vor dem Hintergrund des ersten jüdisch-römischen Krieges

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Gabriella Gelardini

In Christus Militans knüpft Gabriella Gelardini an Interpretationen an, die das Markusevangelium im Kontext des jüdisch-römischen Krieges und des Aufstiegs der Flavier interpretieren. Von Interesse sind darin aber nicht nur „ideologische Macht- oder Herrschaftsdiskurse“ und damit „politische Theologie,“ sondern insbesondere auch die militärischen Zusammenhänge und die Kriegssemantik im engeren Sinn. Dies erfolgt eingedenk der großen Bedeutung, die das Militär und der Krieg für die Herstellung und Aufrechterhaltung von Herrschaft in der Antike hatten, besonders bei Dynastiewechseln, etwa wie hier von der julisch-claudischen zur flavischen Dynastie.
Diesen Wechsel zur flavischen Dynastie zeichnet die Autorin zunächst in einer umfassenden kontextuellen Analyse nach, nicht allein auf der Basis des Werkes von Josephus und antiken Historikern, sondern erstmals auch unter Einbezug zeitnaher Militärhistoriker. Die Rekonstruktion dieses durch Militär und Krieg erzielten Aufstiegs, der seinen krönenden Abschluss in der Machtergreifung und einem den Krieg beendenden Triumph in Rom fand, trägt sie dann an den Evangelientext heran, und stellt in der Erzählung des Protagonisten Jesus Christus vergleichbare politisch-militärische Inkodierungen fest, nicht zuletzt auch in Form von „hidden transcripts,“ welche diesen Herrschaftsantritt ebenfalls als einen Dynastiewechsel darstellen, nämlich von der herodianischen zur davidisch-messianischen Dynastie.
Politisch-militärische Inkodierungen ließen sich in jeder Szene finden, so dass die Autorin das Repertoire von Anknüpfungsmöglichkeiten des markinischen Texts an den literarisch-historischen Kontext des ersten jüdisch-römischen Kriegs um viele, neue und oft auch plausiblere Deutungsangebote erweitert konnte. Inkodierungen stellte sie aber auch auf lexikalischer Ebene fest; denn nicht weniger als ein Drittel des markinischen Lexikons trägt im Blick auf seine Semantik auch oder ausschließlich militärische Bedeutung. Eine zentrale Rolle misst sie der sogenannten Passion Jesu zu. Denn zwar steht der Kreuzestod als Sinnbild für die militärische Niederlage, interpretiert man seinen Tod jedoch konsequent im Kontext des „Triumphzugs,“ dann wäre er auch als sühnendes und von Kriegsschuld reinigendes Opfer zu deuten. Und als solches – lässt sich schließen – hätte Jesus die religiös zwingende Voraussetzung für eine gottgewollte und siegreiche, durchaus auch militärisch zu verstehende Rückkehr geschaffen.

In Christus Militans, Gabriella Gelardini builds on interpretations that construe the Gospel of Mark in the context of the Jewish-Roman War and the rise of the Flavians. She explores not only “ideological discourses of power and domination,” but also military contexts and the semantics of war. This book thus acknowledges the great importance of the military and warfare for establishing and maintaining power in antiquity.
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Edited by Peter J. Tomson and Joshua J. Schwartz

The papers in this volume are organized around the ambition to reboot the writing of history about Jews and Christians in the first two centuries CE. Many are convinced of the need for a new perspective on this crucial period that saw both the birth of rabbinic Judaism and apostolic Christianity and their parting of ways. Yet the traditional paradigm of Judaism and Christianity as being two totally different systems of life and thought still predominates in thought, handbooks, and programs of research and teaching. As a result, the sources are still being read as reflecting two separate histories, one Jewish and the other Christian.
The contributors to the present work were invited to attempt to approach the ancient Jewish and Christian sources as belonging to one single history, precisely in order to get a better view of the process that separated both communities. In doing so, it is necessary to pay constant attention to the common factor affecting both communities: the Roman Empire. Roman history and Roman archaeology should provide the basis on which to study and write the shared history of Jews and Christians and the process of their separation.
A basic intuition is that the series of wars between Jews and Romans between 66 and 135 CE – a phenomenon unrivalled in antiquity – must have played a major role in this process. Thus the papers are arranged around three focal points: (1) the varieties of Jewish and Christian expression in late Second Temple times, (2) the socio-economic, military, and ideological processes during the period of the revolts, and (3) the post-revolt Jewish and Christian identities that emerged. As such, the volume is part of a larger project that is to result in a source book and a history of Jews and Christians in the first and second centuries.


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Edited by Reimund Bieringer, Emmanuel Nathan, Didier Pollefeyt and Peter J Tomson

In the framework of a larger research project into ‘New Perspectives on Paul and the Jews’, eight scholars from Europe, Israel, and North America join forces in querying Paul’s relationship to Jews and Judaism. The sample text selected for this inquiry is the Second Letter to the Corinthians, a document particularly suited for this purpose as it reflects violent clashes between Paul and rivalling Jews and Jewish Christians. While the first three articles address more general literary and historical questions, the following five present in-depth case studies of much-studied passages from the letter and the underlying issues. An introductory essay queries how in the case at hand we can gain an adequate understanding of Paul’s theology while fully respecting his particular place in Judaism.
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Ulrich Huttner

In Early Christianity in the Lycus Valley, Ulrich Huttner explores the way Christians established communities and defined their position within their surroundings from the first to the fifth centuries. He shows that since the time of Paul the apostle, the cities Colossae, Hierapolis and Laodicea allowed Christians to expand and develop in their own way.
Huttner uses a wide variety of sources, not only Christian texts - from Pauline letters to Byzantine hagiographies - but also inscriptions and archeological remains, to reconstruct the religious conflicts as well as cooperation between Christians, Jews and Pagans. The book reveals the importance of local conditions in the development of Early Christianity.