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This book provides a full, contextual study of St Irenaeus of Lyons, the first great theologian of the Christian tradition. John Behr sets Irenaeus both within his own context of the second century, a fundamental period for the formation of Christian identity, elaborating the distinction between orthodoxy and heresy and expounding a comprehensive theological vision, and also within our own contemporary context, in which these issues are very much alive again. Against the commonly-held position that 'orthodoxy' was established by excluding others, the 'heretics', Behr argues that it was the self-chosen separation of the heretics that provided the occasion for those who remained together to clarify the lineaments of their faith in a church that was catholic by virtue of embracing different voices in a symphony of many voices and whose chief architect was Irenaeus, who, as befits his name, urged peace and toleration. The first chapter explores Irenaeus' background in Asia Minor, as a disciple of Polycarp of Smyrna, his activity in Gaul, and his involvement with the Christian communities in Rome. The theological and institutional significance of his interventions is made clear by tracing the coalescence of the initially fractionated communities in Rome into a united body over the first two centuries. The second chapter provides a full examination of Irenaeus' surviving writings, concentrating especially on the literary and rhetorical structure of his five books Against the Heresies, his 'refutation and overthrowal' of his opponents in the first two books, and his establishing a framework for articulating orthodoxy. The final chapter explores the theological vision of Irenaeus itself, on its own terms rather than the categories of later dogmatic theology, grounded in an apostolic reading of Scripture and presenting a vibrant and vigorous account of the diachronic and synchronic economy or plan of God, seen through the work of Christ which reveals how the Hands of God have been at work from the beginning, fashioning the creature, made from mud and animated with a breath of life, into his own image and likeness, vivified by the Holy Spirit, to become a 'living human being, the glory of God'.
A preeminent father of the Church, Augustine's towering intellect molded the thought of Western Christianity for a thousand years after his death. He wrote profusely, and among his many works considered here are three spiritual classics; The Confessions, City of God, and The Trinity. Here the reader meets Augustine the convert, the philosopher and psychologist, the preacher and Scripture scholar, the historian and theologian. Benedict Groeschel distills Augustine's many writings and presents the essence of the ideas within. Further he places the man and his writings in historical perspective. Augustine's corpus of writings continues to be of major importance in theology and philosophy, and an indispensible aid in understanding the early development of Christianity.
Bede 'the Venerable, ' English theologian and historian, was born in 672 or 673 CE in the territory of the single monastery at Wearmouth and Jarrow. He was ordained deacon (691-2) and priest (702-3) of the monastery, where his whole life was spent in devotion, choral singing, study, teaching, discussion, and writing. Besides Latin he knew Greek and possibly Hebrew.
Bede's theological works were chiefly commentaries, mostly allegorical in method, based with acknowledgment on Jerome, Augustine, Ambrose, Gregory, and others, but bearing his own personality. In another class were works on grammar and one on natural phenomena; special interest in the vexed question of Easter led him to write about the calendar and chronology. But his most admired production is his "Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation," Here a clear and simple style united with descriptive powers to produce an elegant work, and the facts diligently collected from good sources make it a valuable account. Historical also are his "Lives of the Abbots" of his monastery, the less successful accounts (in verse and prose) of Cuthbert, and the "Letter" (November 734) "to Egbert" his pupil, so important for our knowledge about the Church in Northumbria.
The Loeb Classical Library edition of Bede's historical works is in two volumes.
Maximus the Confessor (c.580-662) has become one of the most discussed figures in contemporary patristic studies. This is partly due to the relatively recent discovery and critical edition of his works in various genres, including On the Ascetic Life, Four Centuries on Charity, Two Centuries on Theology and the Incarnation, On the 'Our Father', two separate Books of Difficulties, addressed to John and to Thomas, Questions and Doubts, Questions to Thalassius, Mystagogy and the Short Theological and Polemical Works. The impact of these works reached far beyond the Greek East, with his involvement in the western resistance to imperial heresy, notably at the Lateran Synod in 649. Together with Pope Martin I (649-53 CE), Maximus the Confessor and his circle were the most vocal opponents of Constantinople's introduction of the doctrine of monothelitism. This dispute over the number of wills in Christ became a contest between the imperial government and church of Constantinople on the one hand, and the bishop of Rome in concert with eastern monks such as Maximus, John Moschus, and Sophronius, on the other, over the right to define orthodoxy. An understanding of the difficult relations between church and state in this troubled period at the close of Late Antiquity is necessary for a full appreciation of Maximus' contribution to this controversy. The volume provides the political and historical background to Maximus' activities, as well as a summary of his achievements in the spheres of theology and philosophy, especially neo-Platonism and Aristotelianism.
Of all the Celtic countries, Scotland has lacked the kind of scholarly attention that has been lavished fruitfully on Wales, Ireland, Cornwall and Brittany. And yet of all of them, Scotland offers the widest range of interfaces with broader work on the cult of saints. The papers presented here cover this territory very effectively.... (the book) brings together excellent studies that successfully explore the wide ramifications of the topic. Anyone with an interest in saints' cults will want this book. DAUVIT BROUN, Professor of Scottish History, University of Glasgow. This volume examines the phenomena of the cult of saints and Marian devotion as they were manifested in Scotland, ranging from the early medieval period to the sixteenth century. It combines general surveys of the development of the study of saints in the early and later middle ages with more focused articles on particular subjects, including St Waltheof of Melrose, the obscure early medieval origins of the cult of St Munnu, the short-lived martyr cult of David, duke of Rothsay, and the Scottish saints included in the greatest liturgical compendium produced in late medieval Scotland, the Aberdeen breviary. The way in which Marian devotion permeated late medieval Scottish society is discussed in terms of the church dedications of the twelfth and thirteenth-century aristocracy, the ecclesiastical landscape of Perth, the depiction of Mary in Gaelic poetry, and the pervasive influence of the familial bond between holy mother and son in representations of the Scottish royal family. Dr Steve Boardman is Reader in History, University of Edinburgh; Eila Williamson gained her PhD from the University of Glasgow. Contributors: Helen Birkett, Steve Boardman, Rachel Butter, Thomas Owen Clancy, David Ditchburn, Audrey-Beth Fitch, Mark A. Hall, Matthew H. Hammond, Sim Innes, Alan Macquarrie
More exegetical literature survives from the hand of Cyril of Alexandria than nearly any other Greek patristic author, yet this sizable body of work has scarcely received the degree of attention it deserves. In this work, Matthew R. Crawford reconstructs the intellectual context that gave rise to this literary output and highlights Cyril's Trinitarian theology, received as an inheritance from the fourth century, as the most important defining factor. Cyril's appropriation of pro-Nicene Trinitarianism is evident in both of his theology of revelation and his theology of exegesis, the two foci that comprise his doctrine of Scripture. Revelation, in his understanding, proceeds from the Father, through the Son, and in the Spirit, following the order of Trinitarian relations. Moreover, this pattern applies to the inspiration of Scripture as well, insofar as inspiration occurs when the Son indwells human authors by the Spirit and speaks the words of the Father. Although Cyril's interpretation of revelation may consequently be called 'Trinitarian', it is also resolutely Christological, since the divine and incarnate Son functions as the central content and mediator of all divine unveiling. Corresponding to this divine movement towards humanity in revelation is humanity's appropriation of divine life according to the reverse pattern-in the Spirit, through the Son, unto the Father. Applied to exegesis, this Trinitarian pattern implies that the Spirit directs the reader of Scripture to a Christological interpretation of the text, through which the believer beholds the incarnate Son, the exemplar of virtue and the perfect image of the Father, and accordingly advances in both virtue and knowledge. This process continues until the final eschatological vision when the types and riddles of Scripture will be done away with in light of the overwhelming clarity of the Christologically-mediated Trinitarian vision.
This volume is a modern translation from Latin of three texts by Constantine, by reputation the earliest Christian Emperor of Rome, amking available important sources for the study of early fourth-century history and Christianity. The book includes extensive introductory discussion of the texts, but before approaching them the translator reflects on the usage of the word Christian and its application to such a man as Constantine. In the 26 chapters of Oration to the Saints, Constantine first puts the case for monotheism, then extols the voluntary abasement of the Son of God, and finally declares his personal adherence to the Saviour. The translator defends the Oration as a genuine work of Constantine, whereas the other two pieces are presented as forgeries, which are nevertheless of great interest and value for historians and classicists. The legend of the discovery (or invention in Latin) of the True Cross by the empress Helena, mother of Constantine, following her conversion to Christianity is presented in translations of two variant accounts.
The rise of early Christianity has been examined from a myriad of perspectives, but until recently ritual has been a neglected topic. Ritual and Christian Beginnings: A Socio-Cognitive Analysis argues that ritual theory is indispensable for the study of Christian beginnings. It also makes a strong case for the application of theories and insights from the Cognitive Science of Religion, a field that has established itself as a vigorous movement in Religious Studies over the past two decades. Risto Uro develops a 'socio-cognitive' approach to the study of early Christian rituals, seeking to integrate a social-level analysis with findings from the cognitive and evolutionary sciences. Ritual and Christian Beginnings provides an overview of how ritual has been approached in previous scholarship, including reasons for its neglect, and introduces the reader to the emerging fields of Ritual Studies and the Cognitive Science of Religion. In particular, it explores the ways in which cognitive theories of ritual can shed new light on issues discussed by early Christian scholars, and opens up new questions and avenues for further research. The socio-cognitive approach to ritual is applied to a number of test cases, including John the Baptist, the ritual healing practiced by Jesus and the early Christians, the social life of Pauline Christianity, and the development of early Christian baptismal practices. The analysis creates building blocks for a new account of Christian beginnings, highlighting the role of ritual innovation, cooperative signalling, and the importance of bodily actions for the generation and transmission of religious knowledge.
A report on survey work and salvage excavations, 1990-1997, undertaken at the Late Roman church of Maroni Petrera located in the Lower Maroni Valley in southern Cyprus and first established in the mid-5th century. Within the remit of the work of the Maroni Valley Archaeological Survey Project the remains of this semi-bulldozed site were recorded, the wider area surveyed and the finds studied. This report includes details on the survey work, the stratigraphic excavations and the finds including ceramics, tiles (many with embossed decoration), worked stone and building materials, metal and glass fragments, coins and other features such as burials and a cistern. A more general discussion of the development of the church, its role within the Maroni Valley and comparisons with contemporary sites elsewhere on the island, is also included.
For too long certain scholars have been content to portray Irenaeus of Lyons as a well-meaning churchman but incompetent theologian. By offering a careful reading of Irenaeus' polemical and constructive arguments, God and Christ in Irenaeus contradicts these claims by showing that he was highly educated, trained in the rhetorical arts, aware of general philosophical positions, and able to use both rhetorical and philosophical theories and methods in his argumentation. Moreover, the theological account laid down by his pen was original and sophisticated, supremely so for one of the second century. In contrast to readings that minimize the metaphysical dimension of Irenaeus' theology, Anthony Briggman establishes as pillars of Irenaeus' polemical argumentation and constructive theology his conception of the divine being as infinite and simple, the reciprocal immanence of the Word-Son and God the Father, divine generation, the union of the divine Word-Son and human nature in the person of Christ, and the revelatory activity of the infinite and incomprehensible Word-Son, amongst other features of his theology. Briggman offers a fundamentally new understanding of Irenaeus and his thought.
This commentary on Polycarp's Epistle to the Philippians and the Martyrdom of Polycarp includes extensive introductions, the Greek or Latin texts, facing English translations, and substantial comments on each passage. The preliminary material investigates Polycarpian traditions and reconstructs an outline of his life. The introductory studies for both Philippians and the Martyrdom discuss text and manuscript traditions, date and place of composition, historical setting, literary genre and style, unity and integrity, purpose and themes, theology, and post-composition influence. The volume also explores communal self-definition, moral formation, and the transmission of traditions, including the use of documents now found in the New Testament. The commentary proceeds passage by passage, but also includes lengthy discussions of critical issues and key interpretive questions. The investigations survey the current status of relevant scholarship and contain balanced discussions of controversial topics and scholarly debates.
A panoramic view of one of the largest, most controversial, spiritually profound and deeply suffering of all Christian churches. The author begins with the legalization of Christianity by Constantine the Great, and the subsequent chapters lead the reader to the calamities of the 20th century under communism. The book ends with a brief survey of the post-Communist era.
This volume brings together the earliest attempts by Greek theologians and preachers to interpret Mary's dormition, or "falling asleep" in the Lord, in the light of the whole Paschal Mystery. In addition to the sermon of Bishop John of Thessalonica, the earliest "official" retelling by an Orthodox bishop of the traditional narrative of Mary's entry into heavenly glory, the collection includes eleven other homiles from the seventh and eighth centuries, as well as a metrical translation of St. John of Damascus' canon for the feast. Some of the authors, like St. John of Damascus, St. Andrew of Crete and St. Germanus of Constantinople, are well known - others less so. All of the works gathered here represent profound and original efforts to integrate the celebration of Mary's death into the wider context of the Christian theology of redemption.
Sandra Johnson describes the life and death of her son Andrew: his childhood, his death, and his presence within his grief-stricken family until the time of her husband's ordination to the priesthood. Includes an appendix entitled "The Suffering and Death of Children" by Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh.
This is the first full-length study of Demetrius of Alexandria (189-232 ce), who generated a neglected, yet remarkable hagiographic program that secured him a positive legacy throughout the Middle Ages and the modern era. Drawing upon Patristic, Coptic, and Arabic sources spanning a millennium, the analysis contextualizes the Demetrian corpus at its various stages of composition and presents the totality of his hagiographic corpus in translation. This volume constitutes a definitive study of Demetrius, but more broadly, it provides a clearly delineated hagiographic program and charts its evolution against a backdrop of political developments and intercommunal interactions. This fascinating study is a useful resource for students of Demetrius and the Church in Egypt in this period, but also for anyone working on Early Christianity and hagiography more generally.
In this volume, four homilies have been chosen from the original Syriac texts. The poetry is typological and rooted in Scripture. The first homily considers the Mother of God in language full of wonder. The second homily concerns the Annunciation, including a long reflection on Joseph, the just one. In the third, the meaning of Mary with Elizabeth is recounted and the rejoicing of John the Baptist in the womb of his mother at the greeting of Mary. The concluding homily focuses on the death and burial of the Mother of God demonstrating Jacob's typological interpretation of Scripture.
Optatus, Bishop of Milevis in North Africa in the late fourth century, wrote a detailed refutation of Donatist claims to be the one true and righteous church, an ark of purity in a world which was still corrupt despite Constantine's support for Christianity. This new translation of Optatus's work is the first since 1917, and makes full use of modern scholarship in its annotation and Introduction.
With Jesus and the Logic of History, Paul W. Barnett offers a fresh defence, for a sceptical age, of the orthodox view of Jesus. Barnett''s other works include Behin d the Scenes of the New Testament and Is the New Testament H istory? '
These helpful guides in the Cover to Cover series are ideal for group and individual study. Experience the reality of Bible events like never before and live through the inspiring lives of key characters in Scripture. Learn how to apply God's Word to your life as you explore seven compelling sessions and gain a new depth in your Bible knowledge. Choose to be an encouragement in all situations A leader of the Early Church, Barnabas features only briefly in the New Testament - yet how much we can learn from his example. There is a tremendous need for encouragement in today's Church. All God's people will, at some stage, face difficulties in their lives and the strength that comes from active encouragement from others is essential. In these seven sessions be challenged to: Not give up on other people even when they make mistakes Delight in the successes of others Give generously to those in genuine need Icebreakers, Bible readings, eye openers, discussion starters, personal application make this a rich resource for group or individual study.
Two texts are presented in English translation here. The first is what remains of a historical work Hilary wrote against two distinguished contemporary bishops, Valens and Ursacius, whose intervention on behalf of the Emperor Constantius Hilary thought disastrous. They throw a flood of light upon scenes of disarray, violence and betrayal in the Church life of the fourth century.
The Chronicle of Pseudo-Dionysius (or the Zuqnin Chronicle) is an important historiographical work dating from the end of the eighth century. The third part of the Chronicle, translated here, is based on the otherwise lost part of the Ecclesiastical History of John of Ephesus (d. ca.588), which relates events in the reigns of Zeno, Anastasius, Justin I and Justinian. The work is written from the point of view of a religious dissident, a Monophysite, whose personal experience as a persecuted monk in his native Mesopotamia, as well as his later life in Constantinople, make the History a most interesting and unusual source.
The essays included in this volume present Larry W. Hurtado's steadfast analysis of the earliest Christian manuscripts. In these chapters, Hurtado considers not only standard text-critical issues which seek to uncover an earliest possible version of a text, but also the very manuscripts that are available to us. As one of the pre-eminent scholars of the field, Hurtado examines often overlooked 2nd and 3rd century artefacts, which are among the earliest manuscripts available, drawing fascinating conclusions about the features of early Christianity. Divided into two halves, the first part of the volume addresses text-critical and text-historical issues about the textual transmission of various New Testament writings. The second part looks at manuscripts as physical and visual artefacts themselves, exploring the metadata and sociology of their context and the nature of their first readers, for the light cast upon early Christianity. Whilst these essays are presented together here as a republished collection, Hurtado has made several updates across the collection to draw them together and to reflect on the developing nature of the issues that they address since they were first written.
Philoxenos of Mabbug (c. 440-523) was a prolific late-antique theologian and polemicist who produced the largest literary corpus to have survived in Syriac. He earned a reputation as the leading Syriac opponent of the Council of Chalcedon (451) and its two-nature Christology. In The Practical Christology of Philoxenos of Mabbug, David A. Michelson offers a new understanding of Philoxenos one-nature Christology by interpreting the post-Chalcedonian doctrinal disputes through a holistic analysis of Philoxenos life and works. Michelson's close reading of the entire Philoxenian corpus reveals a miaphysite perspective on the Christological controversies in which the intellectual clash was not primarily over defining doctrine. As a metropolitan bishop, sponsor of a revised New Testament, and monastic theologian, Philoxenos was principally concerned with matters of Christian praxis and the ascetic pursuit of divine knowledge. This book shows how he opposed Chalcedonian Christology because he was convinced its intellectual theological method was inimical to the mystical pursuit of divine knowledge through liturgical and ascetic practice. Philoxenos polemical engagement drew upon a theological epistemology that he had adapted from Pro-Nicene theologians including Ephrem, the Cappadocians, and Evagrius. Philoxenos argued that divine knowledge was not to be achieved through human understanding or doctrinal inquiry. Instead, true divine knowledge was attained through practice, specifically contemplation, reading of scripture, participation in the liturgical mysteries, and ascetic discipline. Michelson considers each of these practices in turn to show how Philoxenos thought of opposition to Chalcedon as part of a larger vision of ascetic and spiritual struggle. In short, for Philoxenos conflict over Christology was foremost a practical matter.
Based on a true story of an early Russian missionary bishop's trip to Eastern Siberia. During his journey he learns through example and suffering that in indigenous peoples of all cultures there is dignity that must be recognized and built upon as a foundation for Christian conversion. Includes appendix, 7 line drawings.
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