The apostle Peter gradually became one of the most famous figures of the ancient world. His almost undisputed reputation made the disciple an exquisite anchor by which new practices within and outside the Church could be established, including innovations in fields as diverse as architecture, art, cult, epigraphy, liturgy, poetry and politics. This interdisciplinary volume inquires the way in which the figure of Peter functioned as an anchor for various people from different periods and geographical areas. The concept of Anchoring Innovation is used to investigate the history of the reception of the apostle Peter from the first century up to Charlemagne, revealing as much about Peter as about the context in which this reception took place.
In the last two decades, research on the Book of the Twelve has shown that this corpus is not just a collection of twelve prophetic books. It is rather a coherent work with a common history of formation and, based upon this, with an overall message and intention. The individual books of the Book of the Twelve are thus part of a larger whole in which they can be interpreted in a fruitful manner. The volume
The Book of the Twelve: Composition, Reception, and Interpretation features 30 articles, written by renowned scholars, that explore different aspects regarding the formation, interpretation, and reception of the Book of the Twelve as a literary unity.
The Hagiographical Experiment: Developing Discourses of Sainthood throws fresh light on narratives about Christian holy men and women from Late Antiquity to Byzantium. Rather than focusing on the relationship between story and reality, it asks what literary choices authors made in depicting their heroes and heroines: how they positioned the narrator, how they responded to existing texts, how they utilised or transcended genre conventions for their own purposes, and how they sought to relate to their audiences. The literary focus of the chapters assembled here showcases the diversity of hagiographical texts written in Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Syriac, as well as pointing out the ongoing conversations that connect them. By asking these questions of this diverse group of texts, it illuminates the literary development of hagiography in the late antique, Byzantine, and medieval periods.
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.
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.
Mani and Augustine: collected essays on Mani, Manichaeism and Augustine gathers in one volume contributions on Manichaean scholarship made by the internationally renowned scholar Johannes van Oort. The first part of the book focuses on the Babylonian prophet Mani (216-277) who styled himself an ‘apostle of Jesus Christ’, on Jewish elements in Manichaeism and on ‘human semen eucharist’, eschatology and imagery of Christ as ‘God’s Right Hand’. The second part of the book concentrates on the question to what extent the former ‘auditor’ Augustine became acquainted with Mani’s gnostic world religion and his canonical writings, and explores to what extent Manichaeism had a lasting impact on the most influential church father of the West.
The present article surveys the early stages of the Graeco-Syro-Arabic Melkite translation movement in Antioch, from the first known translation (the Graeco-Syriac version of the Life of St. Symeon the Stylite the Younger, BHG 1689) dating to 827/8 AD to the Antiochene translators Ibrāhīm the protospatharios, Gregory of Dafnūnā, Chariton of Aršāyā, and Yūḥannā ʿAbd al-Masīḥ (the compiler of the Antiochene Menologion), all of them disciples of the martyred patriarch of Antioch Christopher (d.967). It provides new evidence on each of these translators. Significantly, it re-dates Yūḥannā ʿAbd al-Masīḥ to the early eleventh century.
Being the most prominent philosopher and theologian of his epoch (late 11th-early 12th cent.), Eustratius of Nicaea provoked important theological discussions in the fields of both Christology and Triadology. He was eventually condemned (1117) for his Christological views, but his Triadology faced a strong opposition as well. His Byzantine opponents unfavourable to the Latins rejected his logically consistent approach to the Trinity and developed their own non-consistent (paraconsistent) approach, whereas his 13th-century latinophrone opponent Nicetas “of Maroneia” demonstrated that Eustratius’s logically consistent Triadology is more naturally compatible with the Filioque.
Ancient translations of late antique Christian literature serve to spread the body of knowledge to wider audiences in often radically new cultural contexts. For the texts which are translated, their versions are not only sometimes crucial textual witnesses, but also important testimonies of independent strands of reception, cast in the cultural context of the new language. This volume gathers ten contributions that deal with translations into Latin, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, Coptic, Old Nubian, Old Slavonic, Sogdian, Arabic and Ethiopic, set in dialog in order to highlight the range of problems and approaches involved in dealing with the reception of Christian literature across the various languages in which it was transmitted.
Jerome of Stridon and the Ethics of Literary Production in Late Antiquity Thomas E. Hunt argues that Jerome developed a consistent theology of language and the human body that inflected all of his writing projects. In doing so, the book challenges and recasts the way that this important figure in Late Antiquity has been understood. This study maps the first seven years of Jerome’s time in Bethlehem (386–393). Treating his commentaries on Paul, his hagiography, his controversy with Jovinian, his correspondence with Augustine, and his translation of Hebrew, the book shows Jerome to be immersed in the exciting and dangerous currents moving through late antique Christianity.
Le ministère sacerdotal dans la tradition syriaque primitive, Tanios Bou Mansour présente une analyse du sacerdoce chrétien chez quatre auteurs syriaques, Aphraate, Éphrem, Jacques et Narsaï, en l’éclairant par le sacerdoce du Christ et en le plaçant dans la continuité du sacerdoce de l’Ancien Testament. L’originalité et l’actualité de nos auteurs résident dans leur conception de l’élection, de la succession apostolique, de traits “sacerdotaux” attribués aux femmes dans la Bible, et surtout du prêtre qui, mandaté par l’Eglise, exécute l’action du Christ et de l’Esprit.
Le ministère sacerdotal dans la tradition syriaque primitive, Tanios Bou Mansour analyzes the Christian priesthood in four Syriac writers: Aphraate, Ephrem, Jacob of Sarug and Narsaï. Their conception of priesthood is illuminated by the Priesthood of Christ and contextualized within the continuity of the priesthood of the Old Testament. These authors’ originality and actuality lies in their conception of election, of apostolic succession, of “sacerdotal” traits attributed to women in the Bible, and especially of the priest who, commissioned by the Church, executes the action of the Christ and the Spirit.
The Jewish exegete and philosopher Philo of Alexandria has long been famous for his complex and spiritually rich allegorical treatises on the Greek Bible. The present volume presents first translation and commentary in English on his treatise
De plantatione (On planting), following on the volume devoted to
On cultivation published previously by the same two authors. Philo gives a virtuoso performance as allegorist, interpreting Noah’s planting of a vineyard in Genesis 9.20 first in theological and cosmological terms, then moving to the spiritual quest of both of advanced souls and those beginning their journey. The translation renders Philo’s baroque Greek into readable modern English. The commentary pays particular attention to the treatise’s structure, its biblical basis and its exegetical and philosophical contents.
Separating Abram and Lot: The Narrative Role and Early Reception of Genesis 13, Dan Rickett presents a fresh analysis of two of Genesis’ most important characters. Many have understood Lot as Abram’s potential heir and as an ethical contrast to him. Here, Rickett explores whether these readings best reflect the focus of the story. In particular, he considers the origin of these readings and how a study of the early Jewish and Christian reception of Genesis 13 might help identify that origin. In turn, due attention is given to the overall purpose of Genesis 13, as well as how Lot and his function in the text should be understood.
Life of Aaron is one of the most interesting and sophisticated hagiographical works surviving in Coptic. The work contains descriptions of the lives of ascetic monks, in particular Apa Aaron, on the southern Egyptian frontier in the fourth and early fifth centuries, and was probably written in the sixth century. Even though the first edition of this work was already published by E.A. Wallis Budge in 1915, a critical edition remained outstanding. In this book Jitse H.F. Dijkstra and Jacques van der Vliet present not only a critical text, for the most part based on the only completely preserved, tenth-century manuscript, but also a new translation and an exhaustive commentary addressing philological, literary and historical aspects of the text.
Quodvultdeus: a Bishop Forming Christians in Vandal Africa, David Vopřada presents the pre-baptismal catecheses of the fifth-century bishop of Carthage, delivered to the new believers in extremely difficult period of barbaric incursions. Quodvultdeus is generally not appraised as an original philosopher or theologian as his master Augustine was, in this book his qualities of a bishop who was entrusted with the care of his flock come forward. Making interdisciplinary use of the ancient and ecclesiastical history, philosophy, theology, archaeology, exegesis, liturgy science, homiletics, and rhetorics, the book offers a new and most innovative contribution to the life, work, and theology of Quodvultdeus.
Dionysius Bar Ṣalībī’s
Treatise against the Jews offers rare and illuminating insight into Christian-Jewish-Muslim relations during the Crusader era, not from the perspective of western Crusaders, but from the frequently neglected viewpoint of the oriental orthodox tradition. Bar Ṣalībī, a distinguished hierarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church, lived in a turbulent time of heightened tensions in the Levant. The
Treatise against the Jews, which forms part of the corpus of Syriac Polemical Works, investigates the prejudices of Christians and Jews towards each other during the 12 century AD.This edition and translation is based on all the available manuscripts of the text, accompanied by extensive introductions, notes and commentary as well as studies of its place in the field of Syriac Patristic Polemics.