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Abstract

In Acta Carpi, a woman named Agathonice spontaneously takes off her clothes before being burned at the stake. The aim of the article is to show that her gesture has a symbolic meaning. Firstly, in light of the reference to Matth 22:1-14, Agathonice’s nakedness should be interpreted as a paradoxical “wedding robe”: the martyr’s nudity suggests that the author wanted the reader to see Christian martyrdom as the surest way to salvation. Secondly, the interpretation of Agathonice’s nakedness as a “wedding robe” attributes to her martyrdom a possible baptismal connotation. Thirdly, arguments are advanced that Agathonice’s nudity evokes Eve’s paradisiacal, shameless nudity.

In: Vigiliae Christianae

Abstract

The apocryphal scripture “Epistula Apostolorum” represents an important stage in the second century development of the concept regarding the resurrection of the flesh. For the first time, in this text, the Lord’s resurrected body appears with the closely related promise of resurrection for the faithful, which is placed at the center of the discussion in the post-apostolic age. Thus, the crucial question arises: How is the idea of the resurrection of the flesh represented in the Epistula Apostolorum? The epistle provides the following answer: The resurrected receive an everlasting garment that no longer participates in the material creation. Nevertheless, the personality of those living on earth is preserved through the resurrection of the flesh. They do not exchange their identity as a result of the eschatological event; rather they maintain their former earthly personhood, but will exist in a glorified state of the resurrected flesh.

In: Vigiliae Christianae

Abstract

This paper studies the links between exegesis and polemic in Origen, focussing on the exegetical and polemical use of ἀκολουθία in two contemporary works: Commentary on Matthew and Against Celsus. After a short survey of the different meanings of the word ἀκολουθία, we will see how the pagan polemicist uses this notion. Then we will study Origen’s answer in a more thorough fashion. We will show that, as in the Commentary on Matthew, Origen uses the notion of ἀκολουθία to re-establish the dignity of the Gospels; but he also criticizes the inability of Celsus to correctly understand a text – in other words, his “lack of ἀκολουθία”. In the end, it will be clear that in Origen, the notion of ἀκολουθία is crucial both in exegesis and in polemics, and that it helps us to better understand the unity of his thought and of his works.

In: Vigiliae Christianae
In: Vigiliae Christianae

Abstract

The present paper investigates the relationship between divine and human agency in teaching the Christian faith. While Christian education actually was conveyed by human beings (apostles, teachers, catechists, bishops), many authors claimed that the one and only teacher of Christianity is Jesus Christ, referring to Matt 23:8-9. By examining texts from the 2nd to the 5th century, different configurations of divine and human teaching are identified and discussed. The paper thereby highlights a crucial tension in Early and Late Antique Christianity relating to the possibilities and limitations of communicating the faith.

In: Vigiliae Christianae

Abstract

Recent years have seen a growing interest in Patristic “angelomorphic pneumatology”, a phrase used mostly to describe early pre-Nicene portrayals of the Holy Spirit. While not denying the existence of such pneumatologies or their shared theological character as observed by scholars of angelomorphic pneumatology, this article seeks to challenge the appropriateness of term “angelomorphic” in a pneumatological context, particularly against the backdrop of its original Christological usage. This study takes as an example Origen of Alexandria, whose pneumatology is not considered “angelomorphic” by the standards of current definitions, but contains certain undeniable features of this angelomorphic theological tradition.

In: Vigiliae Christianae
With Athena Itonia: Geography and Meaning of an Ancient Greek War Goddess Gerald V. Lalonde offers the first comprehensive history of the martial cult of Athena Itonia, from its origins in Greek prehistory to its demise in the Roman imperial age. The Itonian goddess appears first among the Thessalians and eventually as the patron deity of their famed cavalry. Archaic poets attest to "Athena, warrior goddess" and her festival games at the Itoneion near Boiotian Koroneia. The cult also came south to Athens, probably with the mounted Thessalian allies of Peisistratos. Hellenistic decrees from Amorgos tell of elaborate festival sacrifices to Athena Itonia, likely supplications for protection of the islanders and their maritime trade when piracy plagued the Cyclades after collapse of the Greek naval forces that policed the Aegean Sea. This will be an indispensable volume for all interested in the social, political, and military uses of ancient Greek religious cult and the geography, chronology, and circumstances of its propagation among Greek poleis and federations.