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For too long, the study of religious life in Late Antiquity has relied on the premise that Jews, pagans, and Christians were largely discrete groups divided by clear markers of belief, ritual, and social practice. More recently, however, a growing body of scholarship is revealing the degree to which identities in the late Roman world were fluid, blurred by ethnic, social, and gender differences. Christianness, for example, was only one of a plurality of identities available to Christians in this period.
In Christians and Their Many Identities in Late Antiquity, North Africa, 200 450 CE, Eric Rebillard explores how Christians in North Africa between the age of Tertullian and the age of Augustine were selective in identifying as Christian, giving salience to their religious identity only intermittently. By shifting the focus from groups to individuals, Rebillard more broadly questions the existence of bounded, stable, and homogeneous groups based on Christianness. In emphasizing that the intermittency of Christianness is structurally consistent in the everyday life of Christians from the end of the second to the middle of the fifth century, this book opens a whole range of new questions for the understanding of a crucial period in the history of Christianity."
This volume presents several treatises of St. Cyprian (200/10?-258) in translation. To Donatus (Ad Donatum) is a monologue written shortly after Cyprian's baptism in 246 in which he extols his spiritual rebirth in the sacrament of baptism. Literary criticism has come to view this treatise as a model for St. Augustine's Confessions. The Dress of Virgins (De habitu virginum) written in 249 is addressed to women ("flowers in the Church's garden") who have dedicated their lives to God's service. In this treatise on virginity Cyprian warns these women against seeking finery and the pitfalls of worldliness. The Fallen (De lapsis), written in 251, deals with the problems encountered in reconciling with the Church those who had defected during the time of persecution. These problems were acute especially after the Decian persecution. The Unity of the Catholic Church (De unitate ecclesiae), written very likely in 251, is directed in the first place against the Novatian schism. This treatise contains the famous words: "He cannot have God for his father who does not have the Church for his mother." The Lord's Prayer (De oratione dominica) is as the title indicates a commentary on the Our Father. Many of its words and phrases remind one of Tertullian whom Cyprian admired greatly. To Demetrian (As Demetrianum) is a vigorous defense of Christianity against pagan calumnies. Mortality (De mortalitate) written perhaps in 252 or later has often been described as being a pastoral letter of a bishop to comfort and console his flock during a time of trial and tribulation. Work and Alms (De opere et eleemosynis) is a treatise that may have been written in 252 or even later. It is a warm and heartfelt exhortation of a bishop to his flock encouraging them to do good works. The Blessing of Patience (De bono patientiae), written sometime during the year 256, has frequently been described as a sermon delivered during the controversy over the validity of heretical baptism in northern Africa. Jealousy and Envy (De zelo et livore) like the preceding treatise greatly resembles a sermon delivered on the topic in the title. It was probably written between 251 and 257. To Fortunatus (Ad Fortunatum), a work replete with quotations from Scripture to encourage a Christian in time of persecution, was probably written between 253 and 257. In its original Latin this treatise is an important witness to the text of the Bible before St. Jerome's revisions. That Idols are not Gods (Quod idola dii non sint) is a relatively unimportant work when judged on the basis of its content. Modern patristic scholars seriously doubt its authenticity.
There are few texts as central to the mythology of Jewish literature as the Garden of Eden and its attendant motifs, yet the direct citation of this text within the Hebrew Bible is surprisingly rare. Even more conspicuous is the infrequent reference to creation, or to the archetypal first humans Adam and Eve. There have also been few analyses of the impact of Genesis 2-3 beyond the biblical canon, though early Jewish and Christian interpretations of it are numerous, and often omitted is an analysis of the expulsion narrative in verses 22-24. In Remembering Eden, Peter Thacher Lanfer seeks to erase this gap in scholarship. He evaluates texts that expand and explicitly interpret the expulsion narrative, as well as translation texts such as the Septuagint, the Aramaic Targums, and the Syriac Peshitta. According to Lanfer, these textual additions, omissions, and translational choices are often a product of ideological and historically rooted decisions. His goal is to evaluate the genetic, literary, and ideological character of individual texts divorced from the burden of divisions between texts that are anachronistic ("biblical" vs. "non-biblical") or overly broad ("Pseudepigrapha"). This analytical choice, along with the insights of classic biblical criticism, yields a novel understanding of the communities receiving and reinterpreting the expulsion narrative. In addition, in tracing the impact of the polemic insertion of the expulsion narrative into the Eden myth, Lanfer shows that the multi-vocality of a text's interpretations serves to highlight the dialogical elements of the text in its present composite state.
Memory is the least studied dimension of Augustine's psychological trinity of memory-intellect-will. This book explores the theme of 'memory' in Augustine's works, tracing its philosophical and theological significance. The first part explores the philosophical history of memory in Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus. The second part shows how Augustine inherits this theme and treats it in his early writings. The third and final part seeks to show how Augustine's theological understanding of Christ draws on and resolves tensions in the theme of memory. The place of memory in the theological anthropology of Augustine has its roots in the Platonic epistemological tradition. Augustine actively engages with this tradition in his early writings in a manner that is both philosophically sophisticated and doctrinally consistent with his later, more overtly theological writings. From the Cassiacum dialogues through De musica, Augustine points to the central importance of memory: he examines the power of the soul as something that mediates sense perception and understanding, while explicitly deferring a more profound treatment of it until Confessions and De trinitate. In these two texts, memory is the foundation for the location of the Imago Dei in the mind. It becomes the basis for the spiritual experience of the embodied creature, and a source of the profound anxiety that results from the sensed opposition of human time and divine time (aeterna ratio). This tension is contained and resolved, to a limited extent, in Augustine's Christology, in the ability of a paradoxical incarnation to unify the temporal and the eternal (in Confessions 11 and 12), and the life of faith (scientia) with the promised contemplation of the divine (sapientia, in De trinitate 12-14).
The work of the Christian scholar Lactantius provides an ideal lens through which to study how Rome became a Christian empire. Elizabeth DePalma Digeser shows how Lactantius' Divine Institutes seditious in its time responded to the emperor Diocletian's persecution and then became an important influence on Constantine the Great, Rome's first Christian emperor.The Making of a Christian Empire is the first full-length book to interpret the Divine Institutes as a historical source. Exploring Lactantius' use of theology, philosophy, and rhetorical techniques, Digeser perceives the Divine Institutes as a sophisticated proposal for a monotheistic state that intimately connected the religious policies of Diocletian and Constantine, both of whom used religion to fortify and unite the Roman Empire. For Digeser, Lactantius' writings justify Constantine's own attitude of tolerance toward pagans and casts light upon other puzzling features of Constantine's religious policy. Her book contributes importantly to an understanding of the political and religious tensions of the early fourth century."
This volume completes the first English translation of Rufinus's Latin version of Origen of Alexandria's Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans and contains Origen's detailed exegesis of Romans 6:12-16:27. Origen's much neglected Commentary, which stands out in splendid isolation at the fountainhead of Greek and Latin exegesis, is now completely accessible to English readers. In Books 6-10 Origen carries through to completion his programme, begun in Books 1-5, of defending human freedom and of opposing the natural predestinarian doctrine of the sects founded by the Gnostic heretics Marcion, Valentinus, and Basilides. These schools relied heavily on texts from Paul, interpreted in isolation from the rest of Scripture, not only to deny free will but to support the doctrine that salvation is determined by the nature one receives at birth, whether good or evil. In contrast Origen clarifies passages in Romans by citations from Paul's other letters, from the Gospels, and from the Old Testament. He attempts to construct a coherent and unified ""biblical theology."" Origen views human beings as chosen or rejected by God deservedly; everyone has it within his own power whether he becomes a servant of God or of sin, a vessel of wrath or of mercy. Whether one sympathises with Origen's interpretations or finds them infuriating, it is difficult not to admire his concordance-like mind at work as he tackles the apostle Paul's greatest epistle. Readers will find interesting and thought-provoking discussions of all the important theological themes and terms of Romans: faith, hope, love, works, justification, election, law, Israel, Gentiles, Church, sin, death, flesh, body, glory, etc. The importance of these discussions is magnified by the fact that they stand alone in their detail and breadth and stem from the Church's most important theologian of the third century. Moreover, because Origen's work was productive in subsequent centuries in Rufinus's Latin translation, the Commentary is of outstanding importance for the history of New Testament exegesis.
Through groundbreaking analysis of early Christian texts, Candida Moss reveals that the words, actions, and deaths of martyrs are modeled on those of Christ. Moss traces this imitation through the literature of the Jesus movement and early church, then examines interpretations of the martyr's death and afterlife. Arguing against the dominant theory that the martyr's death was seen as a sacrifice, Moss finds that beyond death martyrs continue to be assimilated to Christ as intercessors, judges, enthroned monarchs, and banqueters. Though characterization of the martyr as "another Christ" ultimately conflicted with theological commitments to Christ's uniqueness, Moss shows that, for a brief period, the martyr's imitation was viewed as sharing in the status of the exalted Christ.
Originally published in 1931, The World of the New Testament by T. R. Glover was included in the Cambridge Miscellany series in 1933. It is the 'Miscellany' edition which is re-issued here. The purpose of the volume was to offer the student of the New Testament a description of the society in which the Early Church found itself, of the political conditions which had made the Roman Empire, and of the everyday life of the people.
Medieval theology, in all its diversity, was radically theo-centric, Trinitarian, Scriptural and sacramental. It also operated with a profound view of human understanding (in terms of intellectus rather than mere ratio). In a post-modern climate, in which the modern views on 'autonomous reason' are increasingly being questioned, it may prove fruitful to re-engage with pre-modern thinkers who, obviously, did not share our modern and post-modern presuppositions. Their different perspective does not antiquate their thought, as some of the 'cultured despisers' of medieval thought might imagine. On the contrary, rather than rendering their views obsolete it makes them profoundly challenging and enriching for theology today. This book is more than a survey of key medieval thinkers (from Augustine to the late-medieval period); it is an invitation to think along with major theologians and explore how their thought can deeply challenge some of today's modern and post-modern key assumptions.
In A Threat to Public Piety, Elizabeth DePalma Digeser reexamines the origins of the Great Persecution (AD 303 313), the last eruption of pagan violence against Christians before Constantine enforced the toleration of Christianity within the Empire. Challenging the widely accepted view that the persecution enacted by Emperor Diocletian was largely inevitable, she points out that in the forty years leading up to the Great Persecution Christians lived largely in peace with their fellow Roman citizens. Why, Digeser asks, did pagans and Christians, who had intermingled cordially and productively for decades, become so sharply divided by the turn of the century?Making use of evidence that has only recently been dated to this period, Digeser shows that a falling out between Neo-Platonist philosophers, specifically Iamblichus and Porphyry, lit the spark that fueled the Great Persecution. In the aftermath of this falling out, a group of influential pagan priests and philosophers began writing and speaking against Christians, urging them to forsake Jesus-worship and to rejoin traditional cults while Porphyry used his access to Diocletian to advocate persecution of Christians on the grounds that they were a source of impurity and impiety within the empire.
The first book to explore in depth the intellectual social milieu of the late third century, A Threat to Public Piety revises our understanding of the period by revealing the extent to which Platonist philosophers (Ammonius, Plotinus, Porphyry, and Iamblichus) and Christian theologians (Origen, Eusebius) came from a common educational tradition, often studying and teaching side by side in heterogeneous groups."
Rhetoric in the Monastic Tradition presents a series of "test cases" in rhetorical theory. John P. Bequette explores several important texts from the Western monastic tradition through the lens of ancient rhetoric, using the figures and topica of the Roman rhetorical tradition to exposit the texts in all their depth. This tradition, filtered through Augustine's De Doctrina Christiana, provides a useful hermeneutic to unlock the inexhaustible riches of the texts that comprise the monastic tradition from 500 to 1100 A.D. Each chapter focuses on a specific text to understand the relationship between human language and divine revelation as expressed by the monastic author in question. Texts include the Rule of St. Benedict, Bede's Advent Homily on Mark 1:4-8, Anselm's Letter to Lanzo, Peter Damian's The Book of "The Lord Be with You," and sermons thirty-five through thirty-eight of Bernard of Clairvaux's Sermons on the Song of Songs.
The First Edition of the New Testament is a groundbreaking book that argues that the New Testament is not the product of a centuries-long process of development. Its history, David Trobisch contends, is the history of a book--an all Greek Christian bible--published as early as the second century C.E. and intended by its editors to be read as a whole. Trobisch claims that this bible achieved wide circulation and formed the basis of all surviving manuscripts of the New Testament. Review: Dr. Trobisch has produced a thought-provoking and significant study that will surely challenge the traditional understanding of the formation of the canon....The First Edition of the New Testament could have relevance for years to come.--Faith & Mission
Athanasius of Alexandria (c.295-373) is one of the greatest and most controversial figures of early Christian history. His life spanned the period of fundamental change for the Roman Empire and the Christian Church that followed the conversion of Constantine the Great, the first Christian Roman emperor. A bishop and theologian, an ascetic and a pastoral father, Athanasius played a central role in shaping Christianity in these crucial formative years. As bishop of Alexandria (328-73) he fought to unite the divided Egyptian Church and inspired admiration and opposition alike from fellow bishops and the emperor Constantine and his successors. Athanasius attended the first ecumenical Council of Nicaea summoned by Constantine in 325 and as a theologian would be remembered as the defender of the original Nicene Creed against the 'Arian' heresy. He was also a champion of the ascetic movement that transformed Christianity, a patron of monks and virgins and the author of numerous ascetic works including the famous Life of Antony. All these elements played their part in Athanasius' vocation as a pastoral father, responsible for the physical and spiritual wellbeing of his congregations. This book offers the first study in English to draw together these diverse yet inseparable roles that defined Athanasius' life and the influence that he exerted on subsequent Christian tradition. The presentation is accessible to both specialists and non-specialists and is illuminated throughout by extensive quotation from Athanasius' many writings, for it is through his own words that we may best approach this remarkable man.
Activity and Participation in Late Antique and Early Christian Thought is an investigation into two basic concepts of ancient pagan and Christian thought. The study examines how activity in Christian thought is connected with the topic of participation: for the lower levels of being to participate in the higher means to receive the divine activity into their own ontological constitution. Torstein Theodor Tollefsen sets a detailed discussion of the work of church fathers Gregory of Nyssa, Dionysius the Areopagite, Maximus the Confessor, and Gregory Palamas in the context of earlier trends in Aristotelian and Neoplatonist philosophy. His concern is to highlight how the Church Fathers thought energeia (i.e. activity or energy) is manifested as divine activity in the eternal constitution of the Trinity, the creation of the cosmos, the Incarnation of Christ, and in salvation understood as deification.
Irenaeus' theology of the Holy Spirit is often highly regarded amongst theologians today, but that regard is not universal, nor has an adequate volume of literature supported it. This study provides a detailed examination of certain principal, often distinctive, aspects of Irenaeus' pneumatology. In contrast to those who have suggested Irenaeus held a weak conception of the person and work of the Holy Spirit, Anthony Briggman demonstrates that Irenaeus combined Second Temple Jewish traditions of the spirit with New Testament theology to produce the most complex Jewish-Christian pneumatology of the early church. In so doing, Irenaeus moved beyond his contemporaries by being the first author, following the New Testament writings, to construct a theological account in which binitarian logic did not diminish either the identity or activity of the Holy Spirit. That is to say, he was the first to support his Trinitarian convictions by means of Trinitarian logic. Briggman advances the narrative that locates early Christian pneumatologies in the context of Jewish traditions regarding the spirit. In particular, he argues that the appropriation and repudiation of Second Temple Jewish forms of thought explain three moments in the development of Christian theology. First, the existence of a rudimentary pneumatology correlating to the earliest stage of Trinitarian theology in which a Trinitarian confession is accompanied by binitarian orientation/logic, such as in the thought of Justin Martyr. Second, the development of a sophisticated pneumatology correlating to a mature second century Trinitarian theology in which a Trinitarian confession is accompanied by Trinitarian logic. This second moment is visible in Irenaeus' thought, which eschewed Jewish traditions that often hindered theological accounts of his near contemporaries, such as Justin, while adopting and adapting Jewish traditions that enabled him to strengthen and clarify his own understanding of the Holy Spirit. Third, the return to a rudimentary account of the Spirit at the turn of the third century when theologians such as Tertullian, Origen, and Novatian repudiated Jewish traditions integral to Irenaeus' account of the Holy Spirit.
Scriptural interpretation was an important form of scholarship for Christians in late antiquity. For no one does this claim ring more true than Origen of Alexandria (185-254), one of the most prolific scholars of Scripture in early Christianity. This book examines his approach to the Bible through a biographical lens: the focus is on his account of the scriptural interpreter, the animating centre of the exegetical enterprise. In pursuing this largely neglected line of inquiry, Peter W. Martens discloses the contours of Origen's sweeping vision of scriptural exegesis as a way of life. For Origen, ideal interpreters were far more than philologists steeped in the skills conveyed by Greco-Roman education. Their profile also included a commitment to Christianity from which they gathered a spectrum of loyalties, guidelines, dispositions, relationships and doctrines that tangibly shaped how they practiced and thought about their biblical scholarship. The study explores the many ways in which Origen thought ideal scriptural interpreters (himself included) embarked upon a way of life, indeed a way of salvation, culminating in the everlasting contemplation of God. This new and integrative thesis takes seriously how the discipline of scriptural interpretation was envisioned by one of its pioneering and most influential practitioners.
This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 International licence. It is free to read at Oxford Scholarship Online and offered as a free PDF download from OUP and selected open access locations. This book examines the writings of an early sixth-century Christian mystical theologian who wrote under the name of a convert of the apostle Paul, Dionysius the Areopagite. This 'Pseudo'-Dionysius is famous for articulating a mystical theology in two parts: a sacramental and liturgical mysticism embedded in the context of celestial and ecclesiastical hierarchies, and an austere, contemplative regimen in which one progressively negates the divine names in hopes of soliciting union with the 'unknown God' or 'God beyond being.' Charles M. Stang argues that the pseudonym and the influence of Paul together constitute the best interpretive lens for understanding the Corpus Dionysiacum [CD]. Stang demonstrates how Paul animates the entire corpus, and shows that the influence of Paul illuminates such central themes of the CD as hierarchy, theurgy, deification, Christology, affirmation (kataphasis) and negation (apophasis), dissimilar similarities, and unknowing. Most importantly, Paul serves as a fulcrum for the expression of a new theological anthropology, an 'apophatic anthropology.' Dionysius figures Paul as the premier apostolic witness to this apophatic anthropology, as the ecstatic lover of the divine who confesses to the rupture of his self and the indwelling of the divine in Gal 2:20: 'it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.' Building on this notion of apophatic anthropology, the book forwards an explanation for why this sixth-century author chose to write under an apostolic pseudonym. Stang argues that the very practice of pseudonymous writing itself serves as an ecstatic devotional exercise whereby the writer becomes split in two and thereby open to the indwelling of the divine. Pseudonymity is on this interpretation integral and internal to the aims of the wider mystical enterprise. Thus this book aims to question the distinction between 'theory' and 'practice' by demonstrating that negative theology-often figured as a speculative and rarefied theory regarding the transcendence of God-is in fact best understood as a kind of asceticism, a devotional practice aiming for the total transformation of the Christian subject.
This book brings together sixteen studies by internationally renowned scholars on the origins and early development of the Latin and Syriac biblical and philosophical commentary traditions. It casts light on the work of the founder of philosophical biblical commentary, Origen of Alexandria, and traces the developments of fourth- and fifth-century Latin commentary techniques in writers such as Marius Victorinus, Jerome and Boethius. The focus then moves east, to the beginnings of Syriac philosophical commentary and its relationship to theology in the works of Sergius of Reshaina, Probus and Paul the Persian, and the influence of this continuing tradition in the East up to the Arabic writings of al-Farabi. There are also chapters on the practice of teaching Aristotelian and Platonic philosophy in fifth-century Alexandria, on contemporaneous developments among Byzantine thinkers, and on the connections in Latin and Syriac traditions between translation (from Greek) and commentary. With its enormous breadth and the groundbreaking originality of its contributions, this volume is an indispensable resource not only for specialists, but also for all students and scholars interested in late-antique intellectual history, especially the practice of teaching and studying philosophy, the philosophical exegesis of the Bible, and the role of commentary in the post-Hellenistic world as far as the classical renaissance in Islam.
In Europe, the cross went north and east as the centuries unrolled: from the Dingle Peninsula to Estonia, and from the Alps to Lapland, ranging in time from Roman Britain and Gaul in the third and fourth centuries to the conversion of peoples in the Baltic area a thousand years later. These episodes of conversion form the basic narrative here. History encourages the belief that the adoption of Christianity was somehow irresistible, but specialists show the underside of the process by turning the spotlight from the missionaries, who recorded their triumphs, to the converted, exploring their local situations and motives. What were the reactions of the northern peoples to the Christian message? Why would they wish to adopt it for the sake of its alliances? In what way did they adapt the Christian ethos and infrastructure to suit their own community? How did conversion affect the status of farmers, of smiths, of princes and of women? Was society wholly changed, or only in marginal matters of devotion and superstition? These are the issues discussed here by thirty-eight experts from across northern Europe; some answers come from astute re-readings of the texts alone, but most are owed to a combination of history, art history and archaeology working together. MARTIN CARVER is Professor of Archaeology, University of York.
In his pathbreaking Israel in Egypt James K. Hoffmeier sought to refute the claims of scholars who doubt the historical accuracy of the biblical account of the Israelite sojourn in Egypt. Analyzing a wealth of textual, archaeological, and geographical evidence, he put forth a thorough defense of the biblical tradition. Hoffmeier now turns his attention to the Wilderness narratives of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. As director of the North Sinai Archaeological Project, Hoffmeier has led several excavations that have uncovered important new evidence supporting the Wilderness narratives, including a major New Kingdom fort at Tell el-Borg that was occupied during the Israelite exodus. Hoffmeier employs these archaeological findings to shed new light on the route of the exodus from Egypt. He also investigates the location of Mount Sinai, and offers a rebuttal to those who have sought to locate it in northern Arabia and not in the Sinai peninsula as traditionally thought. Hoffmeier addresses how and when the Israelites could have lived in Sinai, as well as whether it would have been possible for Moses to write down the law received at Mount Sinai. Building on the new evidence for the Israelite sojourn in Egypt, Hoffmeier explores the Egyptian influence on the Wilderness tradition. For example, he finds Egyptian elements in Israelite religious practices, including the use of the tabernacle, and points to a significant number of Egyptian personal names among the generation of the exodus. The origin of Israel is a subject of much debate and the wilderness tradition has been marginalized by those who challenge its credibility. In Ancient Israel in Sinai, Hoffmeier brings the Wilderness tradition to the forefront and makes a case for its authenticity based on solid evidence and intelligent analysis.
Part storybook, part textbook, part historical overview, Parade of Faith presents the history of Christianity in riveting fashion. Ruth Tucker adopts the metaphor of a parade, journey, or pilgrimage to explore the history of Christianity, which began as the Messiah marched out of the pages of the Old Testament and will end one day when the saints go marching in to the New Jerusalem. The book is divided into two chronological groupings: first, the advent of Christianity until the German and Swiss Reformations; second, the Anabaptist movement and Catholic Reformation until the present-day worldwide expansion of the church. Yet, ultimately the topic matter is not movements, dates, or a stream of facts, but instead people---people who still have stories to tell other Christians. And with a little help from clues to their own contexts, they can still speak clearly today. This book is laid out systematically to showcase the biographies of such prominent figures within their historical settings. The pages are peppered with sidebars, historical what if questions, explorations of relevant topics for today, personal reflections, illustrations, and lists for further reading. Parade of Faith is an excellent introduction for undergraduate students and interested lay readers."
St. Justin Martyr is known as the outstanding apologist of the second century. While the Apostolic Fathers like St. Clement of Rome, St. Ignatius of Antioch, and St. Polycarp had addressed members within the Christian fold, St. Justin is considered to be the first prominent defender of the Christian faith against non-Christians and the enemies of the Church. The chief sources for the uncertain and meager chronological data of Justin's life are his own writings, the two Apologies and the Dialogue with Trypho. The circumstances leading up to his conversion are recorded in the first eight chapters of the Dialogue, and the events surrounding his death are reported in the Acta SS. Justini et Sociorum, an authentic source of the latter part of the second century. Historians place his birth in the beginning of the second century (ca. 100-110 A.D.) at Flavia Neapolis (today Nablus) in Samaria. Although St. Epiphanius calls him a Samaritan, and he himself refers to his people as Samarians, Justin was not Jewish in either race or religion. His family was rather of pagan and Greco-Roman anscestry. They had come as colonists to Flavia Neapolis during the reign of Titus (79-81 A.D.), the son of Flavius Vespasian (69-79), who had built this city and had granted its inhabitants the privileges of Roman citizens. Obviously, the parents of Justin had considerable means and could afford to give their son an excellent education in the pagan culture of the day. Young Justin had a keen mind, was inquisitive by nature and endowed with a burning thirst for learning. He tried to broaden his knowledge further by extensive travels. Driven by an inner urge and a profound inclination for philosophy, he subsequently frequented the schools of the Stoics, the Peripatetics, the Pythagoreans, and the Platonists. He set out to reach the truth; to gain a perfect knowledge of God was his greatest and only ambition. Dissatisfied with the Stoics and Peripatetics, he tells us of finding temporary peace in the philosophy of the Platonists: 'the perception of incorporeal things quite overwhelmed me and the Platonic theory of ideas added wings to my mind, so that in a short time I imagined myself a wise man. So great was my folly that I fully expected immediately to gaze upon God.'
More than 400 distinguished scholars, including archaeologists, art historians, historians, epigraphers, and theologians, have worked together to create the 1,455 entries in this monumental encyclopedia - the first comprehensive reference work of its kind. From Aachen to Zurzach, Paul Corby Finney's three-volume masterwork draws on archaeological and epigraphic evidence to offer readers a basic orientation to early Christian architecture, sculpture, painting, mosaic, and portable artifacts created roughly between ad 200 and 600 in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Clear, comprehensive, and heavily illustrated, this work will be an essential resource for all those interested in late antique and early Christian art and history.
This book deals with Bible translation and its development from Antiquity to the Reformation. Helen Kraus compares and analyses those translated passages in Genesis 1-4 that deal with the male-female dynamic, tracing linguistic and ideological processes and seeking to determine the extent of interaction between contemporary culture and translation. In response to the challenge of late 20th-century 'second wave' feminist scholarship, Kraus considers the degree and development of androcentricity in these passages in both Hebrew and translated texts. The study is therefore something of a hybrid, comprising exegesis, literary criticism and reception history, and draws together a number of hitherto discrete approaches. After an introduction to the problems of translation, and exegesis of the Hebrew text, five translations are examined: The Septuagint (the first Greek translation, thought to date from the 3rd century BCE), Jerome's 4th-century CE Latin Vulgate version, Luther's pioneering German vernacular Bible of 1523, the English Authorized Version (1611), and the Dutch State Bible (1637). A brief study of contemporary culture precedes each exegetical section that compares translation with the Hebrew text. Results of the investigation point to the Hebrew text showing significant androcentricity, with the Septuagint, possibly influenced by Greek philosophy, emphasizing the patriarchal elements. This trend persists through the Vulgate and even Luther's Bible - though less so in the English and Dutch versions - and suggests that the translators are at least partly responsible for an androcentric text becoming the justification for the oppression of women.
This collection of papers, many of them either published here in English for the first time or previously available only in specialist libraries, deals with the religious history of the Roman Empire. Written by leading scholars, the essays have contributed to a revolutionary change in our understanding of the religious situation of the time, and illuminate both the world religions of Christianity and Judaism and the religious life of the pagan Empire in which these developed and which deeply influenced their characters. No knowledge of ancient languages is presupposed, so the book is accessible to all who are interested in the history of this crucial period.
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