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Edited by David Vincent Meconi S.J.

Twelve leading scholars have collaborated on this unique volume, bringing their biblical and patristic expertise together to show how the first followers of Jesus used their own canonical scriptures to address concerns central to life in the Roman Empire. Sacred Scripture and Secular Struggles offers an overview of how early Christians approached and appropriated biblical texts in addressing wider societal issues of imperial power, slavery, the use of wealth, suicide and other fundamental issues brought about by the convergence of empire and ecclesia.

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Ellen Scully

In Physicalist Soteriology in Hilary of Poitiers, Ellen Scully presents Hilary as a representative of the “mystical” or “physical” trajectory of patristic soteriology most often associated with the Greek fathers. Scully shows that Hilary’s physicalism is unique, both in its Latin non-Platonic provenance and its conceptual foundation, namely that the incarnation has salvific effects for all humanity because Christ’s body contains every human individual.

Hilary’s soteriological conviction that all humans are present in Christ’s body has theological ramifications that expand beyond soteriology to include christology, eschatology, ecclesiology, and Trinitarian theology. In detailing these ramifications, Scully illumines the pervasive centrality of physicalism in Hilary’s theology while correcting standard soteriological presentations of physicalism as an exclusively Greek phenomenon.

Pre-Nicene Christology in Paschal Contexts

The Case of the Divine Noetic Anthropos

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Dragoş Giulea

In Pre-Nicene Christology in Paschal Contexts Dragoş A. Giulea re-examines the earliest texts related to the festival of Easter in light of Second Temple traditions. Commonly portrayed as sacrificial lamb, the key actor of the paschal narrative is here designated as heavenly Kabod, Divine Image, King of the Powers, celestial Anthropos, Demiurge, Son of Man, each of these divine names implying a corresponding soteriological function.
Dragoş A. Giulea indicates as well that the Greek philosophical vocabulary and certain idioms of the mystery religions inspired new categories which reshaped the traditional way of describing the nature of celestial entities and the epistemological capacities able to access these realities. Thus, the King of the Powers, or the Son of Man, is several times described as a noetic Anthropos, while initiation and noetic perception become the appropriate methods of accessing the divine.