Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 7 of 7 items for

  • Author or Editor: Carl Johan Berglund x
  • Search level: All x
Clear All

The reflections of Origen of Alexandria (ca. 185–254 CE) concerning the nature of the New Testament Gospels may be better understood if viewed in relation to a scheme of standard introductory questions used by ancient Greek philologists in their commentaries on classical Greek literature. While this scheme did not include questions about the form or genre of the writings to be analyzed, Origen repeatedly added such reflections when he adapted the scheme in his commentaries on biblical writings. These reflections inform us of his expectations of the Gospels. Using a modern concept of genre as a system of expectations shared between author and reader, and frequently intended to shape the worldview of the readers, Origen’s views of the nature of the Gospels can be expressed as their simultaneous participation in two genres: Christian teaching and ancient historiography.

Free access
In: Scrinium
In: Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity


When Origen of Alexandria presents numerous extensive quotations from Heracleon, whom he explicitly presents as a follower of Valentinus, one might expect a uniformly adversarial attitude toward this “Valentinian” sectarian. Instead, Origen’s stances are found to vacillate significantly from general renunciation and emphatic criticism, via considered disagreement and hypothetical approval, all the way to agreement and praise. The fascinating interplay between the stance taken and the dogmatic and philological matters in view implies that while dogmatic issues at stake are decisive for whether Origen agrees or disagrees with Heracleon, the full range of variance in Origen’s stances is determined by Heracleon’s philological methodology and presentation of evidence. Origen’s responses to Heracleon reveal that he viewed this predecessor not simply as a heterodox teacher, but also as a colleague in interpreting the New Testament using methods from Greco-Roman literary criticism.

In: Vigiliae Christianae


In a fourth- or fifth-century narrative known as the Acts of Thomas and his Wonderworking Skin, Jesus sells the apostle Thomas as a slave to the governor of India. When the governor’s wife converts to Christianity, dumps all her earthly riches outside her front door, and turns celibate, the governor has the apostle tortured and his skin flayed off, but Thomas survives, and uses his peeled-off skin to raise the dead. This paper uses Kathryn Tanner’s concept of culture to compare the ideals advocated by this story – servitude to Christ, voluntary poverty, sexual abstinence, readiness to suffer, and zeal for evangelization – to ideals expressed in first-century Christian literature. The subculture expressed by the narrative is found to consist entirely of ideals also expressed in the New Testament, which are updated, recontextualized, and radicalized in order to reach an audience of fourth- or fifth-century Christians.

In: Vigiliae Christianae
Open Access for this publication was made possible by a generous donation from Segelbergska stiftelsen för liturgivetenskaplig forskning (The Segelbergska Foundation for Research in Liturgical Studies).

In a seminal study, Cur cantatur?, Anders Ekenberg examined Carolingian sources for explanations of why the liturgy was sung, rather than spoken. This multidisciplinary volume takes up Ekenberg’s question anew, investigating the interplay of New Testament writings, sacred spaces, biblical interpretation, and reception history of liturgical practices and traditions. Analyses of Greek, Latin, Coptic, Arabic, and Gǝʿǝz sources, as well as of archaeological and epigraphic evidence, illuminate an array of topics, including recent trends in liturgical studies; manuscript variants and liturgical praxis; Ignatius of Antioch’s choral metaphor; baptism in ancient Christian apocrypha; and the significance of late ancient altar veils.