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Christian H. Bull

The study of rituals and religious experience in antiquity is complicated by the fact that many of our most important sources are literary, giving us a highly abbreviated or idealized picture of how the participants would have experienced the ritual proceedings. Alternately, our non

La voie d’Hermès

Pratiques rituelles et traités hermétiques


Anna Van den Kerchove

The Hermetic writings transmitted in Greek, Latin and Coptic ( Corpus hermeticum, Asclepius and the three Hermetic texts in Codex VI of Nag Hammadi) are evidences of different religious trends within the Hermetic tradition, between the 2nd and the 4th centuries. These currents belong to Egyptian wisdom, while mixing Egyptian and Greek traditions, and they propose a way to salvation, the way of Hermes. This volume is the first monograph which explores the ritual practices and their place on this way to salvation. Sacrifices, prayers, the baptism in the crater, regeneration and visions are successively analyzed in Greek, Latin and Coptic literature. A large place is reserved for didactic practice, which participates in the spiritual formation of the disciple, especially through spiritual exercises. This book studies also how at least some authors participate in philosophical and religious debates of their time. It will be of interest to both historians of the end of Antiquity and historians of religion and philosophy.

Les écrits hermétiques transmis en grec, latin et copte ( Corpus hermeticum, Asclepius et les trois textes hermétiques du Codex VI de Nag Hammadi) sont les témoins de différents courants religieux qui relèvent de la tradition hermétique, entre le IIe et le IVe siècle. Ces courants appartiennent à un milieu de sagesse égyptien, tout en mêlant tradition égyptienne et tradition grecque, et proposent une voie de salut, la voie d’Hermès. Ce volume est la première monographie qui étudie les pratiques rituelles et leur place dans la voie de salut. À partir de la documentation grecque, latine et copte, sont tour à tour analysées les sacrifices, les prières, le baptême dans le cratère, la régénération et les visions. Une place importante est accordée à la pratique didactique, qui participe à la formation spirituelle du disciple, notamment par le biais d’exercices spirituels. Ce livre étudie aussi la manière dont au moins certains auteurs s’intègrent dans les débats philosophico-religieux de leur époque. Il intéressera aussi bien les historiens de la fin de l’Antiquité, les historiens des religions que ceux de la philosophie.

Michael S. Domeracki

in paradise. 6 Irenaeus intends to undermine the Valentinian extrapolation of Paul’s ascent by showing its incongruity with their own anthropology and unembodied ritual practices. In a more basic rebuke, Tertullian undermines the Valentinian interpretation because it is predicated on Paul

Riemer Roukema

Introduction Several gnostic works typically labelled as “Sethian” introduce a baptism of those who strive for salvation. 1 The various descriptions of the ritual include references to numerous spiritual powers, among which the couple Micheus and Michar is found in five works. In my research

Heidi Marx-Wolf

What follows are some thoughts about the intersections between philosophical and ritual expertise in later antiquity (second through fourth centuries CE ) as a way of continuing to reflect on what I attempted to do in my monograph, Spiritual Taxonomies and Ritual Authority: Platonists, Priests

Images of Rebirth

Cognitive Poetics and Transformational Soteriology in the Gospel of Philip and the Exegesis on the Soul


Hugo Lundhaug

This book offers fresh readings of the Gospel of Philip (NHC II.3) and the Exegesis on the Soul (NHC II.6) from new theoretical and historical perspectives. Eschewing the category of “Gnosticism” and challenging common categorisations, the book analyses the preserved Coptic texts as coherent Christian compositions contemporary with the production and use of the Nag Hammadi Codices. A methodological framework based on Cognitive Poetics is outlined and applied to illuminate how the texts present a soteriology of transformation through religious rituals and practices using complex conceptual and intertextual blends with important polemical and paraenetic functions. The analysis highlights the use of metaphors and allusions in (re-)interpretations of authoritative Scripture, ritual and dogma. Complete Coptic texts and translations are included.

Frontiers of Faith

The Christian Encounter with Manichaeism in the Acts of Archelaus


Edited by Jason BeDuhn and Paul Mirecki

Taking as their common subject the key early Christian anti-Manichaean work, the Acts of Archelaus ( Acta Archelai), the contributors to this volume offer a systematic exploration of what the text has to tell us about inter-religious contact, conflict, and comprehension at a crucial moment in religious history: the encounter between Christianity and Manichaeism along the political and cultural frontier zone of West Asia in the early fourth century CE. The contributions examine the text's structure, apologetic and polemical strategies, and possible sources, and through these analyses challenge received notions of ‘orthodoxy’ and ‘heresy’ in the mutual construction of identity that took place between these two claimants to the Christian heritage.

The Light and the Darkness

Studies in Manichaeism and its World

Edited by Paul Mirecki and Jason BeDuhn

This is the second volume of scholarly studies in Manichaeism which were originally presented before the Manichaean Studies Group of the Society of Biblical Literature from 1997 through 1999. Like its predecessor, Emerging from Darkness: Studies in the Recovery of Manichaean Sources (Brill, 1997), this volume presents the latest international scholarship from leading researchers in the growing field of Manichaean studies. Here the researchers move from the continuing foundational work of recovering Manichaean sources to the necessary task of understanding the relationship of Manichaeans to the larger world in which they lived. That relationship took several distinct forms, and the contributions in this book analyze those forms, examining the relationship of Manichaeism with diverse cultural, social and religious traditions.

his bondage in this world, he asks how this evil world came into existence from the eternal, non-existing Spirit. Interpreting angels then lead Zostrianos through the heavenly world and reveal to him its secret gnosis. At each level of his ascent he undergoes a ritual baptism through which he is

. In despair over his bondage in this world, he asks how this evil world came into existence from the eternal, non-existing Spirit. Interpreting angels then lead Zostrianos through the heavenly world and reveal to him its secret gnosis. At each level of his ascent he undergoes a ritual baptism through