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The Gouda Windows (1552-1572): Art and Catholic Renewal on the Eve of the Dutch Revolt offers the first complete analysis of the cycle of monumental Renaissance stained-glass windows donated to the Sint Janskerk in Gouda, after a fire gutted it in 1552. Central among the donors were king Philip II of Spain and bishop of Utrecht Joris van Egmond, who worked together to reform the Church. The inventor of the iconographic program, a close associate to the bishop as well as the king, strove to renew Catholic art by taking the words of Jesus as a starting point. Defining Catholic religion based on widely accepted biblical truths, the ensemble shows that the Mother Church can accommodate all true Christians.
In Violence in the Hebrew Bible scholars reflect on texts of violence in the Hebrew Bible, as well as their often problematic reception history. Authoritative texts and traditions can be rewritten and adapted to new circumstances and insights. Texts are subject to a process of change. The study of the ways in which these (authoritative) biblical texts are produced and/or received in various socio-historical circumstances discloses a range of theological and ideological perspectives. In reflecting on these issues, the central question is how to allow for a given text’s plurality of possible and realised meanings while also retaining the ability to form critical judgments regarding biblical exegesis. This volume highlight that violence in particular is a fruitful area to explore this tension.
Das lukanische Doppelwerk im Kontext paganer Bildungsdiskurse
The Function of the Book of the Twelve Prophets in Acts
The way Luke uses and interprets Scripture continues to captivate many. In his new work, The Prophets Agree, a title inspired by James’ words at the Jerusalem Council, Aaron W. White turns over one rock that has remained untouched. Interpretation of the four quotations of the Minor Prophets in Acts frequently isolates each citation from the other. However, this full-length study of the place of the Minor Prophets in Acts asks what difference it makes to regard these four quotations as a singular contribution to Acts from a unifi ed source.
By an in-depth study of each quotation, an innovative method of intertextuality, and an eye to the overall agenda of Acts, White proves the importance of reading the Twelve Prophets in unity when it is quoted in Acts, and the integral role it plays in the redemptive-historical plotline of Acts.
Mutual Recognition
In Early Christians Adapting to the Roman Empire: Mutual Recognition Niko Huttunen challenges the interpretation of early Christian texts as anti-imperial documents. He presents examples of the positive relationship between early Christians and the Roman society. With the concept of “recognition” Huttunen describes a situation in which the parties can come to terms with each other without full agreement. Huttunen provides examples of non-Christian philosophers recognizing early Christians. He claims that recognition was a response to Christians who presented themselves as philosophers. Huttunen reads Romans 13 as a part of the ancient tradition of the law of the stronger. His pioneering study on early Christian soldiers uncovers the practical dimension of recognizing the empire.

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