Intolerance, Polemics, and Debate in Antiquity scholars reflect on politico-cultural, philosophical, and religious forms of critical conversation in the ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, Graeco-Roman, and early-Islamic world. They enquire into the boundaries between debate, polemics, and intolerance, and address their manifestations in both philosophy and religion. This cross-cultural and inclusive approach shows that debate and polemics are not so different as often assumed, since polemics may also indicate that ultimate values are at stake. Polemics can also have a positive effect, stimulating further cultural development. Intolerance is more straightforwardly negative. Religious intolerance is often a justification for politics, but also elite rationalism can become totalitarian. The volume also highlights the importance of the fluency of minorities in the dominant discourses and of their ability to develop contrapuntal lines of thought within a common cultural discourse.
George van Kooten, Ph.D. (2001), Leiden University, is the Lady Margaret’s Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. His interests and expertise concern the contextualization of the New Testament writings in their Graeco-Roman context.
Jacques van Ruiten, Ph.D. (1990), Catholic University Amsterdam, is Professor of the Reception History of the Bible at the University of Groningen. He has published extensively on the reception history of biblical texts, especially in early Judaism. Recently, he was visiting fellow at the
Pontificio Instituto Biblico, Rome (2016-17). Contributors are: Robbert van den Berg, Stefan Beyerle, George Boys-Stones, Reuven Firestone, Pieter B. Hartog, Paul Heck, Paulin Ismard, George van Kooten, Marjo C. Korpel, Dominik Markl, Steve Mason, Peter Franz Mittag, James C. Oleson, James Carleton Paget, Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta, Jacques van Ruiten, Diego R. Sarrió Cucarella, Clare Wilde.
List of Illustrations List of Contributors
Intolerance, Polemics, and Debate in Antiquity: Politico-Cultural, Philosophical, and Religious Forms of Critical Conversation in the Ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, Graeco-Roman, and Early Islamic Worlds
part 1: Discourses within the Ancient Near East and Early Judaism
Religious Intolerance in the Ancient Near East Marjo C. A. Korpel
Polemics against Child Sacrifice in Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomistic History Dominik Markl
Jubilees 11–12 against the Background of the Polemics against Idols in the Hebrew Bible and Early Jewish Literature Jacques van Ruiten
Intolerance in Early Judaism: Emic and Etic Descriptions of Jewish Religions in the Second Temple Period Stefan Beyerle
part 2: Discourses with Greek and Roman Powers
Intolerance and Freedom of Thought in Classical Athens: the Trial of Socrates Paulin Ismard
Antiochus IV Epiphanes’s Policy towards the Jews Peter Franz Mittag
Contesting Oikoumenē: Resistance and Locality in Philo’s Legatio ad Gaium Pieter B. Hartog
Stranger Danger! Amixia among Judaeans and Others Steve Mason
part 3: Discourses between Greeks, Christians, and Jews
Difference, Opposition, and the Roots of Intolerance in Ancient Philosophical Polemic George Boys-Stones
John’s Counter-Symposium: “The Continuation of Dialogue” in Christianity—A Contrapuntal Reading of John’s Gospel and Plato’s Symposium George van Kooten
Valentinian Protology and the Philosophical Debate regarding the First Principles Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta
Celsus’s Jew and Jewish Anti-Christian Counter-Narrative: Evidence of an Important Form of Polemic in Jewish-Christian Disputation James Carleton Paget
The Emperor Julian, Against the Cynic Heraclius (Oration 7): A Polemic about Myths Robbert M. van den Berg
part 4: Discourses between Muslims, Jews, Christians and Greeks
Qurʾanic Anti-Jewish Polemics Reuven Firestone
Christian-Muslim (In)tolerance? Islam and Muslims according to Early Christian Arabic Texts Clare Wilde
The Intolerance of Rationalism: the Case of al-Jāḥiz in Ninth-Century Baghdad Paul L. Heck
The Law of Justice (šarīʿat al-ʿadl) and the Law of Grace (šarīʿat al-faḍl) in Medieval Muslim-Christian Polemics Diego R. Sarrió Cucarella
part 5: Modern Cinematic Reflection
Writing History with Lightning: D. W. Griffith’s Intolerance and the Imagined Past James C. Oleson
All interested in the phenomena of intolerance and polemics in Antiquity, both in the ancient Near East and in Graeco-Roman Antiquity, including early Judaism, early Christianity, and early Islam, both in philosophy and religion.