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This volume provides a review of recent research in Philippi related to archaeology, demography, religion, the New Testament and early Christianity. Careful reading of texts, inscriptions, coins and other archaeological materials allow the reader to examine how religious practice in Philippi changed as the city moved from being a Hellenistic polis to a Roman colony to a center for Christian worship and pilgrimage. The essays raise questions about traditional understandings of material culture in Philippi, and come to conclusions that reflect more complicated and diverse views of the city and its inhabitants.
Volume Editors: Ilkka Lindstedt, Nina Nikki, and Riikka Tuori
Religious Identities in Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages contains eight thought-provoking articles that discuss the formation of antique and early medieval religious identities and ideas in rabbinic Judaism, early Christianity, Islam, and Greco-Roman culture. The articles question the artificial disciplinary and conceptual boundaries between traditions. Instead, they stress their shared nature. The collection is a result of discussions at the international symposium “Ideas and Identities in Late Antiquity: Jews, Christians, and Muslims” at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies on March 12–13, 2018.
Une analyse comparée de la notion de “demon” dans la Septante et dans la Bible Hébraïque
Author: Anna Angelini
This book offers a thorough analysis of demons in the Hebrew Bible and Septuagint in the wider context of the ancient Near East and the Greek world. Taking a fresh and innovative angle of enquiry, Anna Angelini investigates continuities and changes in the representation of divine powers in Hellenistic Judaism, thereby revealing the role of the Greek translation of the Bible in shaping ancient demonology, angelology, and pneumatology. Combining philological and semantic analyses with a historical approach and anthropological insights, the author both develops a new method for analyzing religious categories within biblical traditions and sheds new light on the importance of the Septuagint for the history of ancient Judaism.

Le livre propose une analyse approfondie des démons dans la Bible Hébraïque et la Septante, à la lumière du Proche Orient Ancient et du contexte grec. Par un nouvel angle d’approche, Anna Angelini met en lumière dynamiques de continuité et de changement dans les représentations des puissances divines à l’époque hellénistique, en soulignant l’importance de la traduction grecque de la Bible pour la compréhension de la démonologie, de l’angélologie et de la pneumatologie antiques. En intégrant l’analyse philologique et sémantique avec une approche historique et des méthodes anthropologiques, l’autrice développe une nouvelle méthodologie pour analyser des catégories religieuses à l’intérieur des traditions bibliques et affirme la valeur de la Septante pour l’histoire du judaïsme antique.

Abstract

The contest over the resurrection of the body used the scientific authority of Aristotle as ammunition on both sides. Past scholars have read Methodius of Olympus as displaying an anti-Aristotelian bias. In contrast, through close reading of the entire text with attention to characterization and development of argument, I prove that Methodius of Olympus’ dialogue the De Resurrectione utilizes Aristotelian biology as a morally neutral tool. To put this into higher relief, I compare Methodius’ dialogue with the anonymous Dialogue of Adamantius, a text directly dependent upon the Methodius’ De Resurrectione, but which rejects arguments based on scientific reasoning. Reading Methodius’ De Resurrectione with greater attention to the whole and putting it in the context of its nearest parallel text retells the traditional story of early Christian resistance to Aristotle. Methodius of Olympus’ characters, although they view scientific knowledge as subordinate to philosophy, see it as neutral in and of itself.

In: Vigiliae Christianae
Author: Adam Ployd

Abstract

The book of Sirach plays a larger part within Augustine’s theology than has hitherto been appreciated. This article helps fill this lacuna by examining the role of Sir 34:30 – “What does the bath profit one who is baptized by a dead man?” – in Augustine’s conflict with the Donatists. In addition to showing the significance of this verse within the conflict, I further argue that it allows us to espy the forensic rhetoric that shapes much of Augustine’s anti-Donatist polemic. In particular, I point to techniques of inventio that provide not merely stylistic but also argumentative forms and approaches that Augustine deploys on several fronts.

In: Vigiliae Christianae

Abstract

As part of the deepening diversification of biblical studies, several lines of research are now undermining the print-cultural assumptions on which New Testament studies developed. The first section offers summaries of important inquiries into ancient communications media: the dominant oral communication and the uses of writing; revisionist text-criticism of manuscripts of texts later included in the Hebrew Bible; the oral-written cultivation of their cultural repertoire by Judean scribes; the parallel oral cultivation of Israelite popular tradition; revisionist criticism of Gospel texts; and the learning and oral performance of Gospel texts. These separate but related lines of research are undermining the standard print-cultural assumptions, concepts, and approaches of Jesus studies. The second section explores the implications of these researches that open toward an alternative view of what the sources are, a more comprehensive approach to the historical Jesus appropriate to ancient communications media, and a reconceptualization of Jesus studies.

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus

Abstract

In his authentic letters, Paul describes a historical, human Jesus, but is strangely silent about the events of Jesus’ life. At the same time, Paul describes the figure of Christ using participatory language, and provides no reason to think that this collective embodiment of Christ does not also apply to Jesus’ historical body. I propose that Paul’s historical Jesus was therefore a corporate figure, embodied by the Jewish, pre-Christian community to which Jesus the Nazarene belonged. I present the literary background for this proposal, and explain how the evidence in Paul for a historical Jesus should be interpreted in a corporate or collective sense. I also provide a typological derivation of the name ‘Jesus’ in Paul.

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus
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
In: The Manichaean Church in Kellis
In: The Manichaean Church in Kellis