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This volume offers a comprehensive account of a Manichaean community in fourth-century Roman Egypt. The study analyses papyrological material from Kellis, a village in Egypt’s Dakhleh Oasis, and their implications for Manichaeism as a socio-religious movement.

Drawing on social network theory and engaging with current trends in the study of lived ancient religion, Teigen explores how lay families at Kellis cohered as a religious community. Whereas recent scholarship has seen the laity here as largely detached from distinctively Manichaean traditions, he argues that the papyri in fac reveal a community immersed in Manichaean ideas and practices. The book thereby shows how new religious identities were deeply entangled in everyday social life in late antiquity.
In: Vigiliae Christianae
Author: Anton Pritula

Abstract

The Syriac poetry of the 11th–14th centuries (so-called Syriac Renaissance) was studied very purely until quite recently. One of the reasons for such indifference is a traditional approach of the scholars, who treated this poetry as a secondary one, because of a strong influence of the Islamic literature.

In this article, it is argued that the authors of this period were trying to connect their own poetical traditions with the achievements of the Persian and Arabic poetry. As the result, they created new original forms that need to be carefully examined.

One of the creators of this new style was probably Bar ʿEbrōyō (1226–1286), a famous West-Syrian philosopher and scientist. His esthetic approach was developed by his East-Syrian contemporary Khāmīs bar Qardaḥē of Arbela, who used sophisticated rhythmic and rhyme schemes to achieve a stronger expressive effect. The article discusses one of his poems that demonstrates his outstanding skills as a poet experimentalist in both rhythm and rhyming.

In: Scrinium

Abstract

This article discusses the image theologies of Theodore of Stoudios, Leo of Chalcedon and Eustratius of Nicaea. It focuses on two topics: the relation between archetype and image and the identity of hypostasis. It is argued that Theodore’s image theology was contradictory, and that Leo of Chalcedon and Eustratius of Nicaea each developed one aspect of Theodore’s argumentation while neglecting the other.

In: Scrinium
Author: Dmitry Biriukov

Abstract

I analyze the polemically charged exposition of classical cosmologies by Gregory of Nyssa in Against Eunomius II, 72–76, and identify probable sources for this passage and the targets of Gregory’s criticism of classical cosmologies, manifested in this passage. In Against Eunomius II, 73–75, Gregory presents the Aristotelian cosmology and polemicizes with it. My analysis shows three avenues of Gregory’s criticism of the Aristotelian cosmology, which are manifested in this passage. As my analysis of Against Eunomius II, 76 shows, in this passage, Gregory summarizes and criticizes the Stoic natural-philosophical and cosmological doctrine that there is the limitless void beyond the limits of the cosmos, in which cosmos moves (probably by expanding and contracting). I identify two points in Gregory’s criticism of this doctrine. Finally, I suggest that the immediate Gregory’s source regarding this Stoic doctrine was a treatise of Cleomedes.

In: Scrinium
Author: Tauri Tölpt

Abstract

John Damascene’s use of philosophical logic in his theological treatises has remained a somewhat unclear subject. We know that John compiled purely logical and philosophical works, such as the Institutio Elementaris and the Dialectica. But it is not clear how much, if at all, John’s purely philosophical projects contributed to his later theological work. In order to illuminate the issue, I shall take under investigation the Damascene’s implementation of the Aristotelian types of motion that are clearly found both in John’s philosophic and in his theological works. One of his theological works in which the Aristotelian types of motion are used in tandem with the intelligible motion is the De duabus in Christo voluntatibus. Taking this Christological work as a starting point, this article aims to shed light on the potential sources behind the Damascene’s use of the different types of motion and the significance thereof for his arguments against Monothelitism and Monoenergism.

In: Scrinium

Abstract

This paper examines through the lens of translation studies (TS) the pattern of sociocultural and linguistic evolution to which medieval vernaculars of the Christian East adhered. It aims to contribute to discussions in medieval studies and TS with regard to vernacular translations. The medieval Georgian tradition of translation is examined from the perspective of descriptivist translation theories, namely, in the light of Even-Zohar’s polysystem and Lefevere’s rewriting theories. The Georgian literary polysystem is viewed as part of a larger mega-polysystem of the Christian East, with Greek being at its centre. This explains parallels in the emancipation of vernacular languages. From the viewpoint of the rewriting theory, emphasis is given to the roles of professional circles, patronage and dominant poetics. The evolution of the Georgian translation tradition from free rendering to a higher concern for precision reflects the impact of different sociocultural factors, evidencing the validity of the mentioned descriptivist models.

In: Scrinium
Author: Peter Steiger

Abstract

As a successor and strong supporter of Origen, though not an uncritical one, Didymus the Blind has long been presented as advocating controversial theological views, notably the apokatastasis. Along with Origen and Evagrius, Didymus’ views on this were condemned by the Fifth Ecumenical Council in 553 CE. In order to better understand Didymus’ theology, it is important to consider his notion of spiritual conflict and its ramifications for the friends and enemies of God. The purpose of this paper is to examine Didymus’ theology of enmity with God, in particular his interpretation of key biblical passages that indicate certain characters as enemies of God, namely Satan, the demons, and Judas Iscariot. The paper will address such questions as should Christians have any sympathy for Satan and the demons? Was Judas’ betrayal merely the selling out of Jesus based on greed, or was there a deeper betrayal of the teacher-student relationship? How do God’s enemies contrast with Didymus’ understanding of the friends of God? In addition to considering Didymus’ exegesis of these characters, the paper will examine his treatment of the New Testament command to love one’s enemies. Didymus’ doctrinal and exegetical texts will both be considered to establish his theology of spiritual conflict. Finally, these considerations will be contextualized within Didymus’ own theological milieu, where the blind scholar seems to be aware of mounting criticism of his theology, perhaps by his own students, and even possibly the conflicts swirling around several of his prominent former students (Evagrius, Jerome and Rufinus).

In: Scrinium

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to analyze the use of Biblical Testimonia in the First Discourse of the Holy Martyrs of the Land of Orient (BHO 706). It will be argued that the main purpose of the author was not only to promote the cult of their relics but also to demonstrate that the persecution was part of God’s plan for the Church. As long as Christ, the Apostles and the Prophets were Models for those suffering persecution, the Biblical text was the testimony of the truth of Christian Martyrdom. Moreover, by stressing the continuity between the Heroes of both Testaments and the Martyrs, the author was engaged in a controversy against Marcionism.

In: Scrinium