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Epistolary Literature, Circulation, and The Gospels for All Christians
Author: David Smith
In The Epistles for All Christians, David Smith argues that epistolary literature offers analogous evidence of circulation to the Gospels. Since Richard Bauckham’s edited volume The Gospels for All Christians was published in 1998, debate over the validity of the contributors’ claims that the Gospels were written for “all Christians” has revolved around interpretation. Smith brings circulation to bear on the conversation.
Studying ancient media practices of publication and circulation and using social network theory, Smith makes a compelling case that if the evangelists did not expect their texts to circulate they would be atypical.
In his commentary on Gregory of Nyssa’s Adversus Macedonianos, Piet Hein Hupsch highlights the carefully composed structure of this work and the important connection between its theological, rhetorical and stylistic elements. In his capacity of arbiter fidei, which was bestowed upon him by the Council of Constantinople in 381, Bishop Gregory wrote this circular letter in the form of a counteraccusation against the Pneumatomachi, developing his Trinitarian theology of adoration in which the Spirit occupies a central role.

In a systematic-theological synthesis of this work, Hupsch shows how the Spirit draws baptised human beings and human language into the relatio of the three divine persons, the dynamic circle of divine glory of which the Spirit is the personification.
New Perspectives on Tradition and Transformation
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 Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, Matthew V. Novenson brings together thirteen state-of-the-art essays by leading scholars on the various ways ancient Jewish, Christian, and classical writers conceive of God, Christ, Wisdom, the demiurge, angels, foreign gods, and other divine beings. In particular, the book revisits the “early high Christology” debates of the 1990s, identifying the lasting contributions thereof as well as the lingering difficulties and new, emerging questions from the last thirty years of research. The essays in this book probe the much-touted but under-theorized distinctions between monotheism and polytheism, Judaism and Hellenism, Christianity and paganism. They show how what we call monotheism and Christology fit within the Greco-Roman world of which they are part.
This volume, edited by René Brouwer and Emmanuele Vimercati, deals with the debate about fate, providence and free will in the early Imperial age. This debate is rekindled in the 1st century CE during emperor Augustus’ rule and ends in the 3rd century CE with Plotinus and Origen, when the different positions in the debate were more or less fully developed. The book aims to show how in this period the notions of fate, providence and freedom were developed and debated, not only within and between the main philosophical schools, that is Stoicism, Aristotelianism, and Platonism, but also in the interaction with other, “religious” movements, here understood in the general sense of groups of people sharing beliefs in and worship of (a) superhuman controlling power(s), such as Gnosticism, Hermetism as well as Judaism and Christianity.
In: The Glory of the Spirit in Gregory of Nyssa’s Adversus Macedonianos
In: The Glory of the Spirit in Gregory of Nyssa’s Adversus Macedonianos
Providence, Dualism, and Will in Later Greek and Early Christian Philosophy
Author: Dylan M. Burns
Is God involved? Why do bad things happen to good people? What is up to us? These questions were explored in Mediterranean antiquity with reference to ‘providence’ ( pronoia). In Did God Care? Dylan Burns offers the first comprehensive survey of providence in ancient philosophy that brings together the most important Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Syriac sources, from Plato to Plotinus and the Gnostics.

Burns demonstrates how the philosophical problems encompassed by providence transformed in the first centuries CE, yielding influential notions about divine care, evil, creation, omniscience, fate, and free will that remain with us today. These transformations were not independent developments of ‘Pagan philosophy’ and ‘Christian theology,’ but include fruits of mutually influential engagement between Hellenic and Christian philosophers.