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De Memphis à Rome

Actes du Ier Colloque international sur les études isiaques, Poitiers - Futuroscope, 8-10 avril 1999

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Edited by Laurent Bricault

The studies of the Isiac Cults are forty years old. Many of the scholars who have contributed to the development of this particular field of research, - the diffusion of the Egyptian cults in the Graeco-Roman world -, met in the Futuroscope of Poitiers for a three-day colloquium, to establish the progress of research, and the subjects which need more discussion. The synthesis of this colloquium is presented in this volume. The best specialists in the world give their assessment of the past forty years of research: which tools do students and scholars have? Which -provisional- conclusions can be drawn about, for example, the hellenization of Isis, the reality of the Roman soldier's devotion to Isis or Sarapis, the celebration of the Isiaca in Rome from Republican days well into the Empire? This volume is a very useful update on what we do and do not know in the study of the Isiac cults in the Graeco-Roman world.

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Henk Versnel

This is the second of a two-volume collection of studies on inconsistencies in Greek and Roman religion. Their common aim is to argue for the historical relevance of various types of ambiguity and dissonance. While the first volume focused on the central paradoxes in ancient henotheism, the present one discusses the ambiguities in myth and ritual of transition and reversal.
After an introduction to the history of the myth and ritual debate (with a focus on New Year festivals and initiation) in the first chapter, the second and third chapters discuss myth and ritual of reversal—Kronos and the Kronia, and Saturnus and the Saturnalia respectively; the fourth treats two women's festivals—that of Bona Dea and the Thesmophoria; the fifth investigates the initiatory aspects of Apollo and Mars. In the background is the basic conviction that the three approaches to religion known as 'substantivistic', functionalist and cultural-symbolic respectively, need not be mutually exclusive.

Romanising Oriental Gods

Myth, Salvation and Ethics in the Cults of Cybele, Isis and Mithras

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Jaime Alvar

The traditional grand narrative correlating the decline of Graeco-Roman religion with the rise of Christianity has been under pressure for three decades. This book argues that the alternative accounts now emerging significantly underestimate the role of three major cults, of Cybele and Attis, Isis and Serapis, and Mithras. Although their differences are plain, these cults present sufficient common features to justify their being taken typologically as a group. All were selective adaptations of much older cults of the Fertile Crescent. It was their relative sophistication, their combination of the imaginative power of unfamiliar myth with distinctive ritual performance and ethical seriousness, that enabled them both to focus and to articulate a sense of the autonomy of religion from the socio-political order, a sense they shared with Early Christianity. The notion of 'mystery' was central to their ability to navigate the Weberian shift from ritualist to ethical salvation.

Renaissance Encounters

Greek East and Latin West

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Edited by Marina S. Brownlee and Dimitri H. Gondicas

The present volume has grown out of the conference held at Princeton University on November 12-14, 2009. Its essays explore a coherent, interrelated nexus of topics that illuminate our understanding of the cultural transactions (social, political, economic, religious and artistic) of the Greek East and Latin West: unexpected cultural appropriations and forms of resistance, continuity and change, the construction and hybridization of traditions in a wide expanse of the eastern Mediterranean. Areas that the volume addresses include the benefits and liabilities of periodization, philosophical and political exchanges, monastic syncretism between the Orthodox and Catholic faiths, issues of romance composition, and economic currency and the currency of fashion as East and West interact.
Contributors are Roderick Beaton, Peter Brown, Marina S. Brownlee, Giles Constable, Maria Evangelatou, Dimitri Gondicas, Judith Herrin, Elizabeth Jeffreys, Marc D. Lauxtermann, Stuart M. McManus, John Monfasani, Maria G. Parani, Linda Safran, Teresa Shawcross and Alan M. Stahl.

Votives, Places and Rituals in Etruscan Religion

Studies in Honor of Jean MacIntosh Turfa

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Edited by Margarita Gleba and Hilary Becker

Etruscans were deemed “the most religious of men” by their Roman successors and it is hardly surprising that the topic of Etruscan religion has been explored for some time now. This volume offers a contribution to the continued study of Etruscan religion and daily life, by focusing on the less explored issue of ritual. Ritual is approached through fourteen case studies, considering mortuary customs, votive rituals and other religious and daily life practices. The book gathers new material, interpretations and approaches to the less emphasized areas of Etruscan religion, especially its votive aspects, based on archaeological and epigraphic sources.

Christian Origins and Hellenistic Judaism

Social and Literary Contexts for the New Testament

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Edited by Stanley E. Porter and Andrew Pitts

In Christian Origins and Hellenistic Judaism, Stanley E. Porter and Andrew W. Pitts assemble an international team of scholars whose work has focused on reconstructing the social matrix for earliest Christianity through reference to Hellenistic Judaism and its literary forms. Each essay moves forward the current understanding of how primitive Christianity situated itself in relation to evolving Greco-Roman Jewish culture. Some essays focus on configuring the social context for the origins of the Jesus movement and beyond, while others assess the literary relation between early Christian and Hellenistic Jewish texts.

Mani in Dublin

Selected Papers from the Seventh International Conference of the International Association of Manichaean Studies in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, 8–12 September 2009

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Edited by Siegfried G. Richter, Charles Horton and Klaus Ohlhafer

In 2009 the Seventh International Conference of Manichaean Studies was held at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin. The 22 selected papers of this volume offer a deep insight into the faith of Manichaean communities ranging from the very beginning of the 3rd century up to the last traces of worship today. Among others the authors deal with sources from Augustin, John the Grammarian, Ephrem the Syrian and further sources written in Coptic, Sogdian, Middle Persian, Parthian and Chinese. Several studies about Manichaean art and iconography offer a visual impression, which gives a new opportunity for understanding the religion of Light.

Gregory of Nyssa: Contra Eunomium II

An English Version with Supporting Studies - Proceedings of the 10th International Colloquium on Gregory of Nyssa (Olomouc, September 15-18, 2004)

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Edited by Lenka Karfíková, Scot Douglass and Johannes Zachhuber

The volume contains the contributions presented during the 10th International Colloquium on Gregory of Nyssa, Contra Eunomium II, held in Olomouc, the Czech Republic, on September 15-18, 2004. It is organized into four major sections: (I) Two papers (Th. Kobusch, B. Studer) that contextualize the main problematic of the Second Book Against Eunomius – the theory of language and the problem of naming God – from a broader philosophical and theological perspective; (II) a new English translation of the text (S. G. Hall); (III) a series of main papers providing commentary on its passages (Th. Böhm, M. Ludlow, Ch. Apostolopoulos, A. Meredith, J. Zachhuber, L. Karfíková, J. S. O’Leary, V. H. Drecoll); and (IV) numerous short essays discussing related philosophical (E. Moutsopoulos, G. Arabatzis, J. Demetracopoulos, L. Chvátal, Th. Alexopoulos, G. Lekkas, T. Tollefsen), as well as theological (T. Dolidze, S. Douglass, A. Ojell, A.-G. Keidel, T. Aptsiauri, J. Rexer) issues.

The Qurʾānic Pagans and Related Matters

Collected Studies in Three Volumes, Volume 1

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Patricia Crone

Edited by Hanna Siurua

Patricia Crone's Collected Studies in Three Volumes brings together a number of her published, unpublished, and revised writings on Near Eastern and Islamic history, arranged around three distinct but interconnected themes. Volume 1, The Qurʾānic Pagans and Related Matters, pursues the reconstruction of the religious environment in which Islam arose and develops an intertextual approach to studying the Qurʾānic religious milieu. Volume 2, The Iranian Reception of Islam: The Non-Traditionalist Strands, examines the reception of pre-Islamic legacies in Islam, above all that of the Iranians. Volume 3, Islam, the Ancient Near East and Varieties of Godlessness, places the rise of Islam in the context of the ancient Near East and investigates sceptical and subversive ideas in the Islamic world.

The Iranian Reception of Islam: The Non-Traditionalist Strands
Islam, the Ancient Near East and Varieties of Godlessness

The Space of Time

A Sensualist Interpretation of Time in Augustine, Confessions X to XII

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David van Dusen

From Robert Grosseteste to Jean-François Lyotard, Augustine’s suggestion that time is a “dilation of the soul” ( distentio animi) has been taken up as a seminal and controversial time-concept, yet in The Space of Time, David van Dusen argues that this ‘dilation’ has been fundamentally misinterpreted.
Time in Confessions XI is a dilation of the senses—in beasts, as in humans. And Augustine’s time-concept in Confessions XI is not Platonic—but in schematic terms, Epicurean.
Identifying new influences on the Confessions—from Aristoxenus to Lucretius—while keeping Augustine’s phenomenological interpreters in view, The Space of Time is a path-breaking work on Confessions X to XII and a ranging contribution to the history of the concept of time.