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In Urban Rituals in Sacred Landscapes in Hellenistic Asia Minor, Christina G. Williamson examines the phenomenon of monumental sanctuaries in the countryside of Asia Minor that accompanied the second rise of the Greek city-state in the Hellenistic period. Moving beyond monolithic categories, Williamson provides a transdisciplinary frame of analysis that takes into account the complex local histories, landscapes, material culture, and social and political dynamics of such shrines in their transition towards becoming prestigious civic sanctuaries.

This frame of analysis is applied to four case studies: the sanctuaries of Zeus Labraundos, Sinuri, Hekate at Lagina, and Zeus Panamaros. All in Karia, these well-documented shrines offer valuable insights for understanding religious strategies adopted by emerging cities as they sought to establish their position in the expanding world.
Les 203 dédicaces votives en araméen de Palmyre de la période entre IIe et IIIe siècle de n.è. intriguent par 3 dénominations divines : « Béni (soit) son nom pour l’éternité », « Maître de l’Univers » et « le Miséricordieux ». Des études précédentes ont postulé univoquement l’anonymat divin. En étant déçu par cette explication du phénomène des inscriptions palmyréniennes, le livre Des dédicaces sans théonyme de Palmyre : Béni (soit) son nom pour l’éternité a pris pour le point de départ les concepts de remerciement et de louange, en découvrant l’existence d’un hymne rituel comme origine de la formule « Béni (soit) son nom pour l’éternité ». Qui sont donc des dieux, des récepteurs des dédicaces de Palmyre ? Peut-on combiner un nom propre d’un dieu avec ces trois formules ? Ce livre répond à ces questions flagrantes.

203 Palmyrene-Aramaic votive inscriptions from the period between the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE contain three intriguing designations of the gods: “Blessed (be) his name forever”, “Master of the Universe” and “the Merciful”. Previous studies have claimed that the god to whom these inscriptions are addressed is anonymous. Not satisfied with this explanation, Des dédicaces sans théonyme de Palmyre: Béni (soit) son nom pour l’éternité addresses the phenomenon through the lens of thanksgiving and praise, revealing the existence of a contemporary ritual hymn, the origin of the Palmyrene formula “Blessed his name forever”. Who, then, were these gods, the recipients of the dedications? Can we find a match between the formulae and a proper name? This book provides answers to these fascinating questions.
Social Networks and Religious Identity in Late Antique Egypt
The Manichaean Church in Kellis presents an in-depth study of social organisation within the religious movement known as Manichaeism in Roman Egypt. In particular, it employs papyri from Kellis (Ismant el-Kharab), a village in the Dakhleh Oasis, to explore the socio-religious world of lay Manichaeans in the fourth century CE.
Manichaeism has often been perceived as an elitist, esoteric religion. Challenging this view, Teigen draws on social network theory and cultural sociology, and engages with the study of lived ancient religion, in order to apprehend how laypeople in Kellis appropriated Manichaean identity and practice in their everyday lives. This perspective, he argues, not only provides a better understanding of Manichaeism: it also has wider implications for how we understand late antique ‘religion’ as a social phenomenon
SENSORIVM: The Senses in Roman Polytheism explores how a range of cults and rituals were perceived and experienced by participants through one or more senses.

The present collection brings together papers from an international group of researchers all inspired by ‘the sensory turn’. Focusing on a wide range of ritual traditions from around the ancient Roman world, they explore the many ways in which smell and taste, sight and sound, separately and together, involved participants in religious performance. Music, incense, images and colors, contrasts of light and dark played as great a role as belief or observance in generating religious experience.

Together they contribute to an original understanding of the Roman sensory universe, and add an embodied perspective to the notion of Lived Ancient Religion.

Contributors are Martin Devecka; Visa Helenius; Yulia Ustinova; Attilio Mastrocinque; Maik Patzelt; Mark Bradley; Adeline Grand-Clément; Rocío Gordillo Hervás; Rebeca Rubio; Elena Muñiz Grijalvo; David Espinosa-Espinosa; A. César González-García, Marco V. García-Quintela; Jörg Rüpke; Rosa Sierra del Molino; Israel Campos Méndez; Valentino Gasparini; Nicole Belayche; Antón Alvar Nuño; Jaime Alvar Ezquerra; Clelia Martínez Maza.
Volume Editors: Jérôme Moreau and Olivier Munnich
Religion et rationalité. Philon d’Alexandrie et sa postérité propose un nouveau regard sur les travaux de Philon d’Alexandrie : prenant appui sur les mots de Moïse aussi bien que sur des concepts philosophiques, il les associe dans son commentaire de l’Écriture pour créer une nouvelle manière de penser. Les dix études rassemblées dans ce volume apportent un nouvel éclairage sur cette méthode et son originalité. Elles mettent également en évidence la pérennité de cette démarche aussi bien dans le néo-platonisme que chez les Pères de l’Église et ou dans l’exégèse médiévale.

Religion et rationalité. Philon d’Alexandrie et sa postérité offers a new insight into the works of Philo of Alexandria. Relying on the words of Moses as well as on philosophical concepts, Philo combines these in his commentary of Scripture to create a new way of thinking. The ten studies collected in this volume shed new light on the originality of this method. They also highlight the way it was echoed by Neo-Platonists, the Church Fathers and even medieval exegetes.
Zand ī Fragard ī Jud-Dēw-Dād (A Commentary on the Chapters of the Widēwdād)
Author: Mahnaz Moazami
Laws of Ritual Purity: Zand ī Fragard ī Jud-Dēw-Dād (A Commentary on the Chapters of the Widēwdād) describes the various ways in which Zoroastrian authorities in the fifth-sixth centuries CE reinterpreted the purity laws of their community. Its redactor(s), conversant with the notions and practices of purity and impurity as developed by their predecessors, attempt(s) to determine the parameters of the various categories of pollution, the minimum measures of polluted substances, and the effect of the interaction of pollution with other substances that are important to humans. It is therefore in essence a technical legal corpus designed to provide a comprehensive picture of a central aspect of Zoroastrian ritual life: the extent of one’s liability contracting pollution and how atonement/purification can be achieved.
Volume Editors: Nicole Belayche and Francesco Massa
Mystery Cults in Visual Representation in Graeco-Roman Antiquity aims to fill a gap in the study of mystery cults in Graeco-Roman Antiquity by focusing on images for investigating their ritual praxis. Nicole Belayche and Francesco Massa have gathered experts on visual language in order to illuminate cultic rituals renowned for both their “mysteries” and their images. This book tackles three interrelated questions. Focusing on the cult of Dionysus, it analyses whether, and how, images are used to depict mystery cults. The relationship between historiography and images of mystery cults is considered with a focus on the Mithraic and Isiac cults. Finally, turning to the cults of Dionysus and the Mother of the Gods, this work shows how depictions of specific cultic objects succeed in expressing mystery cults.
New Perspectives on Tradition and Transformation
Volume Editors: Albert Geljon and Nienke Vos
Based on the paradigmatic shift in both liturgical and ritual studies, this multidisciplinary volume presents a collection of case studies on rituals in the early Christian world. After a methodological discussion of the new paradigm, it shows how emblematic Christian rituals were influenced by their Greco-Roman and Jewish contexts, undergoing multiple transformations, while themselves affecting developments both within and outside Christianity. Notably, parallel traditions in Judaism and Islam are included in the discussion, highlighting the importance of ongoing reception history. Focusing on the dynamic character of rituals, the new perspectives on ritual traditions pursued here relate to the expanding source material, both textual and material, as well as the development of recent interdisciplinary approaches, including the cognitive science of religion.
In Pilgrimage and Economy in the Ancient Mediterranean, Anna Collar and Troels Myrup Kristensen bring together diverse scholarship to explore the socioeconomic dynamics of ancient Mediterranean pilgrimage from archaic Greece to Late Antiquity, the Greek mainland to Egypt and the Near East. This broad chronological and geographical canvas demonstrates how our modern concepts of religion and economy were entangled in the ancient world. By taking material culture as a starting point, the volume examines the ways that landscapes, architecture, and objects shaped the pilgrim’s experiences, and the manifold ways in which economy, belief and ritual behaviour intertwined, specifically through the processes and practices that were part of ancient Mediterranean pilgrimage over the course of more than 1,500 years.
Volume Editors: Christa Gray and James Corke-Webster
The Hagiographical Experiment: Developing Discourses of Sainthood throws fresh light on narratives about Christian holy men and women from Late Antiquity to Byzantium. Rather than focusing on the relationship between story and reality, it asks what literary choices authors made in depicting their heroes and heroines: how they positioned the narrator, how they responded to existing texts, how they utilised or transcended genre conventions for their own purposes, and how they sought to relate to their audiences. The literary focus of the chapters assembled here showcases the diversity of hagiographical texts written in Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Syriac, as well as pointing out the ongoing conversations that connect them. By asking these questions of this diverse group of texts, it illuminates the literary development of hagiography in the late antique, Byzantine, and medieval periods.