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Jerusalem and Babylon

A Study of Augustine's City of God and the Sources of his Doctrine of the Two Cities

Johannes van Oort

Although many studies have been devoted to Augustine’s City of God and its most important theme, viz. the antithesis between the civitas Dei and the terrena civitas, until now no consensus has been reached concerning the sources of this doctrine. Was Augustine decisively influenced by Manichaeism, by (Neo)Platonism, the Stoa or Philo, by the Donatist Tyconius? Or should we look in another direction and refer to preceding Christian, Jewish, and especially to archaic Jewish-Christian traditions? This lucidly written books opens with a survey of the research carried out so far on the aim, structure and central theme of the City of God. Chapter 2 analyzes the essentials of Augustine's life, of his City of God, and of his doctrine of the two cities. While making use of one of the recently discovered letters of Augustine, in Chapter 3 the author describes the City of God as an apology and as a catechetical work. Chapter 4 provides an investigation into the possible sources of Augustine's doctrine of the two cities in Manichaeism, in (Neo)Platonism, the Stoa and Philo, and in the works of Tyconius. The idea of two antithetical cities proves to be present most clearly in writings in which, closely related to Jewish thinking, archaic Christian concepts
occupy an important place. In a final chapter some pertinent remarks are made on Jewish and Jewish-Christian influences on pre-Augustinian Christianity in Africa.

Theodore of Mopsuestia

Commentary on Psalms 1–81

Series:

Robert C. Hill

The Psalms, along with the Gospels, were the staple diet of early Christians eager to develop their spiritual life. From the school of Antioch we are fortunate to have at least partial commentaries on the Psalms from its four major figures, including Theodore, bishop of Mopsuestia in the early fifth century and later regarded as “The Interpreter” by the Syriac church. A work of his early career, this Psalms commentary shows Theodore under the influence of his master Diodore in adopting a historical interpretation, referring individual psalms to David’s life, later kings of Israel, Assyrians, and Babylonians, but rarely to Christ. This commentary illustrates the typical hermeneutical strengths and weaknesses of Antiochene interpretation. Biblical and patristic scholars in a range of disciplines will be pleased to have this significant work available from The Interpreter.

Paperback edition available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org).

Tertullian, De Pallio

A Commentary

Vincent Hunink

De Pallio is one of the strangest and perhaps most difficult texts ever written in Latin. In this speech, presented before a live audience in Carthage around 200 AD, Tertullian defends his radical choice to drop the Roman toga and take up the pallium of philosophers and christians. This theme may seem innocently simple, but it has been elaborated with impressive rhetorical pyrotechnics, couched in deliberately artificial language. And is this speech profoundly christian or shamefully pagan? A work of youth or of old age? Is it a serious apology or satire? Tertullian’s De Pallio has puzzled scholars for generations, yet it has often been neglected or left aside. In this new edition the text is presented with a new English translation and a full commentary, the first one in English. Much attention is paid to the interpretation of the speaker’s often obscure words. In addition, the book puts the speech into the context of Latin Second Sophistic. De Pallio emerges as a fascinating text that stands midway between non-christian and christian literature.

The Peshitta: Its Use in Literature and Liturgy

Papers Read at the Third Peshitta Symposium

Series:

Bas Ter Haar Romeny

For the first time, this volume brings together biblical scholars and specialists in Syriac liturgy and patristic literature. It contains introductory essays on the Syriac versions in the liturgy, the Syriac Old Testament commentary tradition, and the challenges posed to exegetes by the different Syriac versions of the New Testament, written by the leading scholars in the field. Twenty-one further contributions discuss the patristic and liturgical evidence for the development of the text of the Peshitta and other Syriac versions, as well as the reception and use of those versions in the exegesis and liturgy of the Syriac Churches. These studies are fully updated versions of the papers read at the Third Peshitta Symposium, held in Leiden, 12-15 August 2001.

Rachels Klage im antiken Judentum und frühen Christentum

Eine auslegungsgeschichtliche Studie

Series:

Christine Ritter

Study of the exegesis of the Old Testament tradition on the matriarch Rachel. The centre of the study is Rachel’s complaint in Jeremiah 31.15-17. After an analysis of the Old Testament texts, the reception of these traditions in ancient translations in the Pseudepigrapha, in Philo of Alexandria, in Flavius Josephus as well as in the New Testament is investigated. The main part of the study is represented by source material in the Rabbinic literature. The study is concluded by an overview of the interpretation of the Rachel figure in patristic literature. The sources containing the Rachel traditions are, in part, hard to access. The source material on Rachel is presented and analyzed, in order to make the plethora of interpretations accessible to a wider audience, especially the Rabbinic interpretations.

Pseudo-Basilius: Adversus Eunomium IV-V

Einleitung, Übersetzung und Kommentar

Series:

Edited by Franz Xaver Risch

This book treats a decisive phase in the theological history of the fourth century AD. When in 360 the 'Arians' Aetius and Eunomius maintained the difference in essences between the Father and the Son and the created nature of the Holy Spirit, the theologians of Nicaean orthodoxy were challenged to develop a theory of the Homousia of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost which paved the way to the Trinitarian doctrinal decisions of the Council of Constantinople in 381.
The two books Adversus Eunomium IV-V probably form the first literary reaction to the 'Neo-Arians' and set the tone for the further development of the debate. In the MSS in which they are transmitted they follow on from the three books by Basil of Caesarea against Eunomius, but have been seen since at least the 18th century as pseudepigraphical and were probably composed by Apolinarius of Laodicea. The introduction to the present work discusses questions of authorship, identifies opponents (not only Aetius and Eunomius but also Marcellus of Ankyra), demonstrates the hitherto often questioned integrity of the tract and establishes the date of composition of Book IV as 360 and of Book V as 362/3. It also makes particularly clear the influence of contemporary philosophy. The translation follows the improved Migne text of 1886, while the commentary elucidates the often difficult content and prepares the way for further research on the interweaving of the threads of theological debate in the second half of the fourth century.

Jerusalem and Babylon

A Study into Augustine's City of God and the Sources of his Doctrine of the Two Cities

Series:

Johannes van Oort

Although many studies have been devoted to Augustine's City of God and its most important theme, viz. the antithesis between the civitas Dei and the terrena civitas,until now no consensus has been reached concerning the sources of this doctrine. Was Augustine decisively influenced by Manichaeism, by (Neo)Platonism, the Stoa or Philo, by the Donatist Tyconius? Or should we look in another direction and refer to preceding Christian, Jewish, and especially to archaic Jewish-Christian traditions?
This lucidly written books opens with a survey of the research carried out so far on the aim, structure and central theme of the City of God. Chapter 2 analyzes the essentials of Augustine's life, of his City of God, and of his doctrine of the two cities. Making use of one of the recently discovered letters of Augustine in Chapter 3 the author describes the City of God as an apology and as a catechetical work. Chapter 4 provides an investigation into the possible sources of Augustine's doctrine of the two cities in Manichaeism, in (Neo)Platonism, the Stoa and Philo, and in the works of Tyconius.
The idea of two antithetical cities proves to be present most clearly in writings in which, closely related to Jewish thinking, archaic Christian concepts occupy an important place. In a final chapter some pertinent remarks are made on Jewish and Jewish-Christian influences on pre-Augustinian Christianity in Africa.

Living Water

Images, Symbols, and Settings of Early Christian Baptism

Series:

Robin Jensen

This general survey of early Christian baptismal iconography and architecture integrates visual depictions and physical settings of baptism with textual evidence for its practice and purpose. An opening overview of pictorial art (paintings, relief sculpture, mosaics, and ivories) prompts questions about components of the actual ritual which are treated in the literary sources. The study’s second half considers selected baptismal structures, examining the symbolism, purpose, and possible meaning of their spatial design and decorative programs. In most instances the synthesis of documentary and material evidence is enriching and complementary. However, even when physical and textual data diverge, their discontinuity demonstrates the variability of ritual performance and the perennial distinction between ideal and actual practice..

Violence in Ancient Christianity

Victims and Perpetrators

Series:

Edited by Albert Geljon and Riemer Roukema

Ancient Christianity had an ambivalent stance toward violence. Jesus had instructed his disciples to love their enemies, and in the first centuries Christians were proud of this lofty teaching and tried to apply it to their persecutors and to competing religious groups. Yet at the same time they testify to their virulent verbal criticism of Jews, heretics and pagans, who could not accept the Christian exclusiveness. After emperor Constantine had turned to Christianity, Christians acquired the opportunity to use violence toward competing groups and pagans, even though they were instructed to love them personally and Jewish-Christian relationships flourished at grass root level. General analyses and case studies demonstrate that the fashionable distinction between intolerant monotheism and tolerant polytheism must be qualified.

Marriage in the Western Church

The Christianization of Marriage During the Patristic and Early Medieval Periods

Series:

Philip Lyndon Reynolds

Marriage in the Western Church examines how marriage acquired a specifically Christian identity in the Western Church from the patristic through Carolingian periods. It shows how theologians came to regard marriage as an ecclesiastical institution and how they developed a Christian theology of marriage.
The first part of the book deals with marriage and divorce in Roman and Germanic law. Other parts deal with marriage and divorce in ecclesiastical law, with the Latin Fathers' distinction between the divine and human laws of marriage, and with the customary stages by which persons became married. Several chapters are devoted to Augustine's views on marriage and sexuality.
The author shows how the doctrine of indissolubility became the West's chief means of christianizing marriage, and how theologians found here their preferred arguments for affirming the holiness and the 'sacramentality' of marriage. The author argues that the Western regime of indissolubility was the product of a fourth century reform movement.

This publication has also been published in paperback, please click here for details.