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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
This work gives a detailed survey of the rise and expansion of Christianity in ancient Lycaonia and adjacent areas, from Paul the apostle until the late 4th-century bishop of Iconium, Amphilochius. It is essentially based on hundreds of funerary inscriptions from Lycaonia, but takes into account all available literary evidence. It maps the expansion of Christianity in the region and describes the practice of name-giving among Christians, their household and family structures, occupations, and use of verse inscriptions. It gives special attention to forms of charity, the reception of biblical tradition, the authority and leadership of the clergy, popular theology and forms of ascetic Christianity in Lycaonia.
In Monachus et sacerdos untersucht Christian Hornung die Asketisierung des Klerus im antiken Christentum. Analysiert werden theologische Begründungen der Asketisierung, ihre Einforderung in der kirchlichen Disziplin sowie die konkrete Umsetzung in der Pastoral. Ein eigenes Kapitel ist den Widerständen gegen die Durchsetzung der Asketisierung gewidmet.
Hornung kann überzeugend aufzeigen, dass die Asketisierung als ein umfassender Prozess einer zunehmenden asketischen Konzeptualisierung des Klerus zu deuten ist, der sich an die Professionalisierung in vorkonstantinischer Zeit anschließt und zu einer Ausdifferenzierung unterschiedlicher christlicher Lebensformen führt.

In Monachus et sacerdos Christian Hornung examines the asceticism of the clergy in late antique Christianity. The theological justifications of asceticism, its demand in ecclesiastical discipline and its concrete implementation in pastoral care are analysed. A separate chapter is devoted to resistances against the enforcement of asceticism in the clergy.
Hornung convincingly demonstrates that the asceticism is a broad process of increasing ascetic conceptualization of the clergy, which follows the professionalization in pre-Constantine time and leads to a differentiation of Christian life forms.

Abstract

This essay examines a literary exchange between the Visigothic poet-king Sisebut (612-621 AD) and his scholar-bishop Isidore of Seville following an anomalous sequence of eclipses. After Sisebut commissioned a scientific treatise from Isidore on such natural phenomena, he responded to the bishop’s prose with a short poem on lunar eclipses (De eclipsi lunae). This study interprets the exchange of texts not as a literary game, but as high-stakes political correspondence. It situates the king’s verses in an ongoing process of cultural construction in Visigothic Spain, led prominently by Isidore himself, but also tied to a rising ascetic movement. It argues that Sisebut was attuned to Isidore’s designs to manage the discourses through which Christian power was proclaimed, and shows how the king attempted to versify in accord with scientific truth so as to fit within Isidore’s ascetic intellectual program.

In: Vigiliae Christianae
An End to Unity?
East and West in the Roman Empire of the Fourth Century examines the (dis)unity of the Roman Empire in the fourth century from different angles, in order to offer a broad perspective on the topic and avoid an overvaluation of the political division of the empire in 395.
After a methodological key-paper on the concepts of unity, the other contributors elaborate on these notions from various geo-political perspectives: the role of the army and taxation, geographical perspectives, the unity of the Church and the perception of the divisio regni of 364. Four case-studies follow, illuminating the role of concordia apostolorum, antique sports, eunuchs and the poet Prudentius on the late antique view of the Empire. Despite developments to the contrary, it appears that the Roman Empire remained (to be viewed as) a unity in all strata of society.

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: Monachus et sacerdos: Asketische Konzeptualisierungen des Klerus im antiken Christentum