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Ulrich Volp

The development of Early Christian rituals in connection with death and burial has so far not sufficiently been explored. Volp’s study focuses on the surviving literary sources—both pagan and Christian—, together with inscriptions and other archaeological remains while taking into account recent results from science and humanities. A summary of death and ritual in the ancient Mediterranean religions is followed by detailed analyses of the Christian sources from the 2nd to the 5th century. Thus, basic developments are being discovered which led to and accompanied the forming of Christian rituals, such as ritual purity or the social structure of family and society. Being the first such interdisciplinary approach, it also represents the first monographic work on the topic since 1941.


David Frankfurter

or to focus on discourses of ambiguous/illegitimate ritual (without use of magic as a translation) as described in Part 2, or conversely to examine texts and artifacts with ritual or apotropaic implications as described in Part 3—again, independently of a category magic. Thus this Guide does not

Sanctifying Texts, Transforming Rituals

Encounters in Liturgical Studies


Edited by Paul van Geest, Marcel Poorthuis and Els Rose

Sanctifying Texts, Transforming Rituals: Encounters in Liturgical Studies explores the dynamics of Christian ritual practices in their relation to a broader cultural framework. The nineteen essays, written in honour of the liturgist Gerard A.M. Rouwhorst (Tilburg University), study liturgical developments in times of transition, in which religious and cultural changes set the development of worship practices in motion. The chapters in the first part (Texts) concentrate on the close connection between narrative texts and liturgical practice. In part two (Rituals), the focus shifts to the significance of liturgy as it expresses itself in rituals, and to the understanding of ritual acting. This section includes a variety of ritual aspects of liturgy, including the performance of the sacraments and the persons involved, as well as the relation between the liturgical ritual and material objects, such as images and relics. Section three (Encounters) crosses the borders of the discipline of liturgical studies. This final section of the book studies (ritual) relations between Christians and non-Christians through history, and includes contributions that study the dialogues between different liturgical languages and media.

Contributors are: Elizabeth Boddens Hosang, Paul Bradshaw, Harald Buchinger, Charles Caspers, Paul van Geest, Bert Groen, Martin Klöckener, Bart Koet, Clemens Leonhard, Ruben van Luijk, Gerard Lukken, Daniela Müller, Willemien Otten, Marcel Poorthuis, Paul Post, Ilia Rodov, Els Rose, Joshua Schwartz, Louis van Tongeren, and Nienke Vos.


Andrew T. Wilburn

interest and debate has raged over the object because of its similarity to a set of spell instructions preserved in the Great Magical Papyrus of Paris, ( P. Bib. Nat. Supp . gr. no. 574 = PGM IV 296–466), a text dated to the fourth or fifth century CE . 3 Ancient ritual texts often functioned like


Naomi Janowitz

(dependence on context and creation of context) of words and other signs offers new ways of conceptualizing and classifying rituals in general. 9 As with magic, in the case of mysticism it is hard to escape a certain circularity. 10 Jewish mystical rites, for example, such as those in the Hekhalot texts, are


Andrew T. Wilburn

, shorthand in Rome for illicit ritual activity. 3 The mechanics of directing hostile forces against Germanicus were twofold: (1) tablets were inscribed with the victim’s name and (2) these objects were placed in a space that he inhabited. The inclusion of Germanicus’ name ensured that the ritual effect of

Konstantinos Spanoudakis

Vigiliae Christianae 64 (2010) 31-53 Vigiliae Christianae © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2010 DOI: 10.1163/004260310X12584264873923 Eusebius C. Hier . 6.5 on Man and Fowl: An Instance of Christian-Pagan Dialogue on a Th eurgic Ritual * Konstantinos Spanoudakis University of Crete

Jonathan A. Draper

RITUAL PROCESS AND RITUAL SYMBOL IN DIDACHE 7-10 BY JONATHAN A. DRAPER ABSTRACT: Didache 7-10 provides an integrated block of ritual material intended for the aggregation phase of the initiation of Gentiles into a Jewish Christian community. The text is examined in terms of Victor Turner's the


Paul Post


This contribution explores some remarkable revivals of ritual secrecy that appeal explicitly to the early Christian disciplina arcani (DA). After a discussion of the concept of DA itself, the article explores, in succession: the appeal to DA by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the appeal to DA in a long-running debate on the public dimension of liturgy on TV with Karl Rahner and Johan Baptist Metz, and DA as a central element in the bestseller by Tjeu van den Berk on mystagogics. Finally, there is an exploration of the Network Society, new media, and online liturgy in which the appeal to DA seems completely absent.