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Barbarian or Greek?

The Charge of Barbarism and Early Christian Apologetics

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Stamenka Antonova

In her book Barbarian or Greek?: The Charge of Barbarism and Early Christian Apologetics, Stamenka Antonova examines different aspects of the charge of barbarism in the Greek and Latin Christian apologetic texts (2-4th centuries) and the various responses to it by the early Christians. The author demonstrates that the charge of barbarism encompasses a broad range of meanings, such as low social class, inadequate education, immorality, criminal activity, political treason, as well as foreign ethnicity and language. In addition to contextualizing the charge of barbarism in ancient rhetorical practices, the author also applies literary criticism and post-colonial theory to shed light on the concept of the barbarian as an ideological-rhetorical tool for othering, marginalization and persecution in the Roman Empire.

Heirs of the Apostles

Studies on Arabic Christianity in Honor of Sidney H. Griffith

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Edited by David Bertaina, Sandra Toenies Keating, Mark N. Swanson and Alexander Treiger

Heirs of the Apostles offers a panoramic survey of Arabic-speaking Christians—descendants of the Christian communities established in the Middle East by the apostles—and their history, religion, and culture in the early Islamic and medieval periods. The subjects range from Arabic translations of the Bible, to the status of Christians in the Muslim-governed lands, Muslim-Christian polemic, and Christian-Muslim and Christian-Jewish relations. The volume is offered as a Festschrift to Sidney H. Griffith, the doyen of Christian Arabic Studies in North America, on his eightieth birthday.

Contributors are: David Bertaina, Elie Dannaoui, Stephen Davis, Nathan P. Gibson, Cornelia Horn, Sandra Toenies Keating, Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala, Johannes Pahlitzsch, Andrew Platt, Thomas W. Ricks, Barbara Roggema, Harald Suermann, Mark N. Swanson, Shawqi Talia, Jack Tannous, David Thomas, Jennifer Tobkin, Alexander Treiger, Ronny Vollandt, Clare Wilde, and Jason Zaborowski.

Les manuscrits arabes des lettres de Paul

État de la question et étude de cas (1 Corinthiens dans le Vat. Ar. 13)

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Sara Schulthess

Cet ouvrage ouvre une fenêtre sur la transmission des lettres de Paul en arabe. Il s’interroge sur le manque d’intérêt depuis le début du 20ème siècle pour les manuscrits arabes du Nouveau Testament et apporte une contribution à la récente reprise scientifique de ce champ, en étudiant le corpus largement inexploré des manuscrits arabes des lettres de Paul. Après un état des lieux établi à l’aide d’un répertoire de manuscrits, l’étude se concentre sur un manuscrit, le Vaticanus Arabicus 13. L’édition de la Première lettre aux Corinthiens de ce document du 9ème siècle est suivie d’une analyse linguistique et philologique pointue ; elle permet de dégager des éléments exégétiques qui mettent en lumière l’intérêt théologique du texte.

This work provides an insight into the transmission of the Letters of Paul into Arabic. It aims to understand the lack of interest since the beginning of the 20th century for the Arabic manuscripts of the New Testament and to contribute to the current scholarly rediscovery for this field by studying the largely unexplored corpus of the Arabic manuscripts of the Letters of Paul. After a broad overview with the help of a list of witnesses, the study focuses on a specific manuscript: Vaticanus Arabicus 13. The edition of First Corinthians of this 9th century document is followed by a close analysis of linguistic and philological aspects, while the underlining of interesting exegetical points reveals the theological interest of the text.

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Nathan Witkamp

In Tradition and Innovation, Nathan Witkamp convincingly argues that Narsai of Nisibis’ (d. ca. 503) baptismal rite and mystagogy, as portrayed in his Liturgical Homilies 21-22, are much less dependent on Theodore of Mopsuestia (ca. 350-ca. 428) than scholars have previously supposed. Narsai’s baptismal rite turns out to represent a particular East Syrian liturgical tradition, independent of Theodore. In his mystagogy, Narsai uses Theodore’s Baptismal Homilies 1-3 as just one source among others to create the artwork he desires. This detailed comparative study contributes to our understanding of rite and mystagogy in Theodore and Narsai within the broader early Syrian context, as well as to the reception of Theodore by Narsai and the East Syrian Church.

The Life of Saint Pankratios of Taormina

Greek text, English translation and commentary

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Cynthia Stallman-Pacitti

Edited by John Bernard Burke

The Life of St Pankratios of Taormina describes the mission and martyrdom of St Pankratios, a disciple of the Apostle Peter sent to evangelize Taormina as its first bishop, and purports to have been written by St Pankratios’ successor, Euagrios. The text was composed in the early eighth century and is of Sicilian provenance.
The Life contributes to our understanding of the Byzantine attitude to the past and of the novelistic approach to hagiography. It touches on the topography of Sicily and Calabria, ecclesiastical arrangements in Sicily, civil and military administration, the Sicilian language question, church decoration, liturgical rites, book production, and the attitude to religious images.

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Emma Loosley Leeming

In Architecture and Asceticism Loosley Leeming presents the first interdisciplinary exploration of Late Antique Syrian-Georgian relations available in English. The author takes an inter-disciplinary approach and examines the question from archaeological, art historical, historical, literary and theological viewpoints to try and explore the relationship as thoroughly as possible. Taking the Georgian belief that ‘Thirteen Syrian Fathers’ introduced monasticism to the country in the sixth century as a starting point, this volume explores the evidence for trade, cultural and religious relations between Syria and the Kingdom of Kartli (what is now eastern Georgia) between the fourth and seventh centuries CE. It considers whether there is any evidence to support the medieval texts and tries to place this posited relationship within a wider regional context.

Late Antique Images of the Virgin Annunciate Spinning

Allotting the Scarlet and the Purple

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Catherine Gines Taylor

In Late Antique Images of the Virgin Annunciate Spinning: allotting the scarlet and the purple, Catherine Gines Taylor traces the way early Christians assimilated the symbolism of spinning into images of the Annunciation. Taylor offers an art historical and interdisciplinary look at the earliest images of Mary spinning, underscoring the iconographic model of idealized matronage consistent with lay piety and the cult of Mary. The personal and domestic nature of this motif is evidence toward popular Mariological devotion that preceded the exclusive, semi-divine presentation of the Theotokos, and stands in contrast with traditional ascetic models for Mary.

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Edited by Mark Beaumont

Arab Christians and the Qurʾan from the Origins of Islam to the Medieval Period is a collection of essays on the use and interpretation of the Qur’an by Christians writing in Arabic in the period of Islamic rule in the Middle East up to the end of the thirteenth century. These essays originated in the seventh Woodbrooke-Mingana Symposium on Arab Christianity held in Birmingham, UK, in 2013, and are edited by Mark Beaumont.

Contributors are: David Bertaina, Sidney Griffith, Sandra Keating, Michael Kuhn, Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala, Gordon Nickel, Emilio Platti and David Thomas

John of Damascus and Islam

Christian Heresiology and the Intellectual Background to Earliest Christian-Muslim Relations

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Peter Schadler

How did Islam come to be considered a Christian heresy? In this book, Peter Schadler outlines the intellectual background of the Christian Near East that led John, a Christian serving in the court of the caliph in Damascus, to categorize Islam as a heresy. Schadler shows that different uses of the term heresy persisted among Christians, and then demonstrates that John’s assessment of the beliefs and practices of Muslims has been mistakenly dismissed on assumptions he was highly biased. The practices and beliefs John ascribes to Islam have analogues in the Islamic tradition, proving that John may well represent an accurate picture of Islam as he knew it in the seventh and eighth centuries in Syria and Palestine.

Senses of Scripture, Treasures of Tradition

The Bible in Arabic among Jews, Christians and Muslims

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Edited by Miriam Lindgren Hjälm

Senses of Scripture, Treasures of Tradition offers recent findings on the reception, translation and use of the Bible in Arabic among Jews, Samaritans, Christians and Muslims from the early Islamic era to the present day. In this volume, edited by Miriam L. Hjälm, scholars from different fields have joined forces to illuminate various aspects of the Bible in Arabic: it depicts the characteristics of this abundant and diverse textual heritage, describes how the biblical message was made relevant for communities in the Near East and makes hitherto unpublished Arabic texts available. It also shows how various communities interacted in their choice of shared terminology and topics, and how Arabic Bible translations moved from one religious community to another.

Contributors include: Amir Ashur, Mats Eskhult, Nathan Gibson, Dennis Halft, Miriam L. Hjälm, Cornelia Horn, Naḥem Ilan, Rana H. Issa, Geoffrey K. Martin, Roy Michael McCoy III, Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala, Meirav Nadler-Akirav, Sivan Nir, Meira Polliack, Arik Sadan, Ilana Sasson, David Sklare, Peter Tarras, Alexander Treiger, Frank Weigelt, Vevian Zaki, Marzena Zawanowska.