Zand ī Fragard ī Jud-Dēw-Dād (A Commentary on the Chapters of the Widēwdād)
Author: Mahnaz Moazami
Laws of Ritual Purity: Zand ī Fragard ī Jud-Dēw-Dād (A Commentary on the Chapters of the Widēwdād) describes the various ways in which Zoroastrian authorities in the fifth-sixth centuries CE reinterpreted the purity laws of their community. Its redactor(s), conversant with the notions and practices of purity and impurity as developed by their predecessors, attempt(s) to determine the parameters of the various categories of pollution, the minimum measures of polluted substances, and the effect of the interaction of pollution with other substances that are important to humans. It is therefore in essence a technical legal corpus designed to provide a comprehensive picture of a central aspect of Zoroastrian ritual life: the extent of one’s liability contracting pollution and how atonement/purification can be achieved.
Mystery Cults in Visual Representation in Graeco-Roman Antiquity aims to fill a gap in the study of mystery cults in Graeco-Roman Antiquity by focusing on images for investigating their ritual praxis. Nicole Belayche and Francesco Massa have gathered experts on visual language in order to illuminate cultic rituals renowned for both their “mysteries” and their images. This book tackles three interrelated questions. Focusing on the cult of Dionysus, it analyses whether, and how, images are used to depict mystery cults. The relationship between historiography and images of mystery cults is considered with a focus on the Mithraic and Isiac cults. Finally, turning to the cults of Dionysus and the Mother of the Gods, this work shows how depictions of specific cultic objects succeed in expressing mystery cults.
Nonnus of Panopolis (5th c. AD), the most important Greek poet of Late Antiquity, is best known for his Dionysiaca, a grand epic that gathers together all myths associated with Dionysus, god of wine and mysteries. The poet also authored the Paraphrase of St. John’s Gospel which renders the Fourth Gospel into sophisticated hexameter verse. This volume, edited by Filip Doroszewski and Katarzyna Jażdżewska, brings together twenty-six essays by eminent scholars that discuss Nonnus’ cultural and literary background, the literary techniques and motifs used by the poet, as well as the composition of the Dionysiaca and the exegetical principles applied in the Paraphrase. As such, the book will significantly deepen our understanding of literary culture and religion in Late Antiquity.
Author: Zeke Mazur
In The Platonizing Sethian Background of Plotinus’s Mysticism, Zeke Mazur offers a radical reconceptualization of Plotinus with reference to Gnostic thought and praxis.
A crucial element in the thought of the third-century CE philosopher Plotinus—his conception of mystical union with the One—cannot be understood solely within the conventional history of philosophy, or as the product of a unique, sui generis psychological propensity. This monograph demonstrates that Plotinus tacitly patterned his mystical ascent to the One on a type of visionary ascent ritual that is first attested in Gnostic sources. These sources include the Platonizing Sethian tractates Zostrianos (NHC VIII,1) and Allogenes (NHC XI,3) of which we have Coptic translations from Nag Hammadi and whose Greek Vorlagen were known to have been read in Plotinus’s school.
Religion et rationalité. Philon d’Alexandrie et sa postérité propose un nouveau regard sur les travaux de Philon d’Alexandrie : prenant appui sur les mots de Moïse aussi bien que sur des concepts philosophiques, il les associe dans son commentaire de l’Écriture pour créer une nouvelle manière de penser. Les dix études rassemblées dans ce volume apportent un nouvel éclairage sur cette méthode et son originalité. Elles mettent également en évidence la pérennité de cette démarche aussi bien dans le néo-platonisme que chez les Pères de l’Église et ou dans l’exégèse médiévale.

Religion et rationalité. Philon d’Alexandrie et sa postérité offers a new insight into the works of Philo of Alexandria. Relying on the words of Moses as well as on philosophical concepts, Philo combines these in his commentary of Scripture to create a new way of thinking. The ten studies collected in this volume shed new light on the originality of this method. They also highlight the way it was echoed by Neo-Platonists, the Church Fathers and even medieval exegetes.
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.
In Pilgrimage and Economy in the Ancient Mediterranean, Anna Collar and Troels Myrup Kristensen bring together diverse scholarship to explore the socioeconomic dynamics of ancient Mediterranean pilgrimage from archaic Greece to Late Antiquity, the Greek mainland to Egypt and the Near East. This broad chronological and geographical canvas demonstrates how our modern concepts of religion and economy were entangled in the ancient world. By taking material culture as a starting point, the volume examines the ways that landscapes, architecture, and objects shaped the pilgrim’s experiences, and the manifold ways in which economy, belief and ritual behaviour intertwined, specifically through the processes and practices that were part of ancient Mediterranean pilgrimage over the course of more than 1,500 years.
In: Pilgrimage and Economy in the Ancient Mediterranean
In: Pilgrimage and Economy in the Ancient Mediterranean