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By linking together a series of brilliantly chosen texts from the early centuries of the Church, the author lays bare the roots of the deeply mystical spirituality that has flourished among Christians throughout the ages. This is a book that will appeal to anyone who is interested in the field of spirituality; it is a masterly contribution to Christian scholarship. Clement's scholarly exposition of the mysticism of the Fathers, already regarded as a modern classic, is now in its third edition.
In 1490/92 Marsilio Ficino, the Florentine scholar-philosopher-magus who was largely responsible for the Renaissance revival of Plato, made new translations of, with running commentaries on, two treatises he believed were the work of Dionysius the Areopagite, the disciple of St. Paul mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. His aim was to show how these two treatises (in fact the achievement of a sixth-century Christian follower of the Neoplatonist Proclus) had inspired pagan thinkers in the later Platonic tradition like Plotinus and Iamblichus. These major products of fifteenth-century Christian Platonism are here presented in new critical editions accompanied by English translations, the first into any modern language.
Described as an "invaluable reference work" ("Classical Philology")
and "a tool indispensable for the study of early Christian
literature" ("Religious Studies Review") in its previous edition,
this new updated American edition of Walter Bauer's "Worterbuch zu
den Schriften des Neuen Testaments" builds on its predecessor's
staggering deposit of extraordinary erudition relating to Greek
literature from all periods. Including entries for many more words,
the new edition also lists more than 25,000 additional references
to classical, intertestamental, Early Christian, and modern
T. H. Robinson's Paradigms and exercises in Syriac Grammar was first published in 1915 to meet the need for 'something of an elementary nature which should be of value to the student who takes up Syriac for the first time'. Since then, the book has met this need for generations of students. The fifth edition of 2002 remains the grammar of choice for many teachers of Syriac classes as well as for students learning by themselves. The present revision, drawing on ten more years of university teaching experience and students' comments, clarifies some of the grammatical explanations and exercises. Improvements to the fonts and a larger format make for easier reading. As before, the West Syriac script and grammatical tradition are followed in the body of the lessons, and appendices introduce reading in the other (estrangela and Eastern) scripts. The book remains a plain and friendly introduction to this important language.
In this fully revised and updated second edition of his accessible
account of systematic Christology, Gerald O'Collins continues to
challenge the contemporary publishing trend for sensationalist
books on Jesus that are supported neither by the New Testament
witness nor by mainline Christian beliefs.
How did Christianity become the dominant religion in the West?
In the early first century, a small group of peasants from the backwaters of the Roman Empire proclaimed that an executed enemy of the state was God’s messiah. Less than four hundred years later it had become the official religion of Rome with some thirty million followers.
It could so easily have been a forgotten sect of Judaism.
Through meticulous research, Bart Ehrman, an expert on Christian history, texts and traditions, explores the way we think about one of the most important cultural transformations the world has ever seen, one that has shaped the art, music, literature, philosophy, ethics and economics of modern Western civilisation.
The Church of Jerusalem, the 'mother of the churches of God', influenced all of Christendom before it underwent multiple captivities between the eighth and thirteenth centuries: first, political subjugation to Arab Islamic forces, then displacement of Greek-praying Christians by Crusaders, and finally ritual assimilation to fellow Orthodox Byzantines in Constantinople. All three contributed to the phenomenon of the Byzantinization of Jerusalem's liturgy, but only the last explains how it was completely lost and replaced by the liturgy of the imperial capital, Constantinople. The sources for this study are rediscovered manuscripts of Jerusalem's liturgical calendar and lectionary. When examined in context, they reveal that the devastating events of the Arab conquest in 638 and the destruction of the Holy Sepulchre in 1009 did not have as detrimental an effect on liturgy as previously held. Instead, they confirm that the process of Byzantinization was gradual and locally-effected, rather than an imposed element of Byzantine imperial policy or ideology of the Church of Constantinople. Originally, the city's worship consisted of reading scripture and singing hymns at places connected with the life of Christ, so that the link between holy sites and liturgy became a hallmark of Jerusalem's worship, but the changing sacred topography led to changes in the local liturgical tradition. Liturgy and Byzantinization in Jerusalem is the first study dedicated to the question of the Byzantinization of Jerusalem's liturgy, providing English translations of many liturgical texts and hymns here for the first time and offering a glimpse of Jerusalem's lost liturgical and theological tradition.
For the first time a noted historian of Christianity explores the full story of the emergence and development of the Marian cult in the early Christian centuries. The means by which Mary, mother of Jesus, came to prominence have long remained strangely overlooked despite, or perhaps because of, her centrality in Christian devotion. Gathering together fresh information from often neglected sources, including early liturgical texts and Dormition and Assumption apocrypha, Stephen Shoemaker reveals that Marian devotion played a far more vital role in the development of early Christian belief and practice than has been previously recognized, finding evidence that dates back to the latter half of the second century. Through extensive research, the author is able to provide a fascinating background to the hitherto inexplicable "explosion" of Marian devotion that historians and theologians have pondered for decades, offering a wide-ranging study that challenges many conventional beliefs surrounding the subject of Mary, Mother of God.
Justin Martyr's Dialogue with Trypho is the oldest preserved literary dialogue between a Jew and a Christian and a key text for understanding the development of early Judaism and Christianity. In Between Jews and Heretics, Matthijs den Dulk argues that whereas scholarship has routinely cast this important text in terms of "Christianity vs. Judaism," its rhetorical aims and discursive strategies are considerably more complex, because Justin is advocating his particular form of Christianity in constant negotiation with rival forms of Christianity. The striking new interpretation proposed in this study explains many of the Dialogue's puzzling features and sheds new light on key passages. Because the Dialogue is a critical document for the early history of Jews and Christians, this book contributes to a range of important questions, including the emergence of the notion of heresy and the "parting of the ways" between Jews and Christians.
Christianity and monasticism have long flourished in the northern part of Upper Egypt and in the Nile Delta, from Beni Suef to the Mediterranean coast. The contributors to this volume, international specialists in Coptology from around the world, examine various aspects of Coptic civilization in northern Egypt over the past two millennia. The studies explore Coptic art and archaeology, architecture, language, and literature. The artistic heritage of monastic sites in the region is highlighted, attesting to their important legacies.
In this historical and theological study, John G. Gager undermines the myth of the Apostle Paul's rejection of Judaism, conversion to Christianity, and founding of Christian anti-Judaism. He finds that the rise of Christianity occurred well after Paul's death and attributes the distortion of the Apostle's views to early and later Christians. Though Christian clerical elites ascribed a rejection-replacement theology to Paul's legend, Gager shows that the Apostle was considered a loyal Jew by many of his Jesus-believing contemporaries and that later Jewish and Muslim thinkers held the same view. He holds that one of the earliest misinterpretations of Paul was to name him the founder of Christianity, and in recent times numerous Jewish and Christian readers of Paul have moved beyond this understanding. Gager also finds that Judaism did not fade away after Paul's death but continued to appeal to both Christians and pagans for centuries. Jewish synagogues remained important religious and social institutions throughout the Mediterranean world. Making use of all possible literary and archaeological sources, including Muslim texts, Gager helps recover the long pre-history of a Jewish Paul, obscured by recent, negative portrayals of the Apostle, and recognizes the enduring bond between Jews and Christians that has influenced all aspects of Christianity.
This fascinating set of ten titles maps the beginnings of the Christian faith and the historical events that surround its foundation. Subjects covered include the deep-rooted influence of Jewish tradition on early Christianity, detailed analyses and critical commentaries of Biblical writings, and the impact of social convention on Christian beliefs. This set contains the following titles: The New Testament and Gnosis, Edited by Alastair Logan and Alexander J. M. Wedderburn Human Agents of Cosmic Power in Hellenistic Judaism and the Synoptic Tradition, Mary E. Mills Jude and the Relatives of Jesus in the Early Church, Richard Bauckham James and the "Q" Sayings of Jesus, Patrick Hartin Eschatology and the Covenant: A Comparison of 4 Ezra and Romans 1-11, Bruce Longenecker Power and Politics in Palestine: The Jews and the Governing of their Land, 100 BC-AD 70, James S. McLaren Paul, Antioch and Jerusalem: A Study in Relationships and Authority in Earliest Christianity, Nicholas Taylor Jesus, Paul and Torah: Collected Essays, Heikki Raisanen Paul and the Scriptures of Israel, Edited by Craig A. Evans and James A. Sanders Redemptive Almsgiving in Early Christianity, Roman Garrison
The Copts, adherents of the Egyptian Orthodox Church, today represent the largest Christian community in the Middle East, and their presiding bishops have been accorded the title of pope since the third century AD. This study analyzes the development of the Egyptian papacy from its origins to the rise of Islam. How did the papal office in Egypt evolve as a social and religious institution during the first six and a half centuries AD? How do the developments in the Alexandrian patriarchate reflect larger developments in the Egyptian church as a whole-in its structures of authority and lines of communication, as well as in its social and religious practices? In addressing such questions, Stephen J. Davis examines a wide range of evidence-letters, sermons, theological treatises, and church histories, as well as art, artifacts, and archaeological remains-to discover what the patriarchs did as leaders, how their leadership was represented in public discourses, and how those representations definitively shaped Egyptian Christian identity in late antiquity.The Early Coptic Papacy is Volume 1 of The Popes of Egypt: A History of the Coptic Church and Its Patriarchs. Also available: Volume 2, The Coptic Papacy in Islamic Egypt, 641-1517 (Mark N. Swanson) and Volume 3, The Emergence of the Modern Coptic Papacy (Magdi Girgis, Nelly van Doorn-Harder).
First published in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
First published in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
Part of a six-volume set that should provide an introduction to key areas of research and debate on the early history of Christianity, this book focuses on the affect early Christianity had on people's lives.
St Irenaeus is the most important theologian of the second century, laying the foundation for all future Christian thinkers. Here Irenaeus recounts all the various deeds of God culminating in the exaltation of His crucified Son, Jesus Christ, and the bestowal of His Holy Spirit and the gift of a new heart of flesh.
Today the Byzantine mystic, writer, and monastic leader Symeon the New Theologian (ca. 949 to 1022 ce) is considered a saint by the Orthodox Church and revered as one of its most influential spiritual thinkers. But in his own time a cloud of controversy surrounded him and the suspicion of heresy tainted his reputation long afterward. The Life was written more than thirty years after Symeon's death by his disciple and apologist the theologian Niketas Stethatos, who also edited all of Symeon's spiritual writings. An unusually valuable piece of Byzantine hagiography, it not only presents compelling descriptions of Symeon's visions, mystical inspiration, and role as a monastic founder, but also provides vivid glimpses into the often bitter and unpleasantly conflicted politics of monasticism and the construction of sanctity and orthodoxy at the zenith of the medieval Byzantine Empire. Although the many volumes of Symeon's spiritual writings are now readily available in English, the present translation makes the Life accessible to English readers for the first time. It is based on an authoritative edition of the Greek.
In this volume, Michael Flexsenhar III advances the argument that imperial slaves and freedpersons in the Roman Empire were essential to early Christians' self-conception as a distinct people in the Mediterranean and played a multifaceted role in the making of early Christianity. Scholarship in early Christianity has for centuries viewed Roman emperors' slaves and freedmen as responsible for ushering Christianity onto the world stage, traditionally using Paul's allusion to "the saints from Caesar's household" in Philippians 4:22 as a core literary lens. Merging textual and material evidence with diaspora and memory studies, Flexsenhar expands on this narrative to explore new and more nuanced representations of this group, showing how the long-accepted stories of Christian slaves and freepersons in Caesar's household should not be taken at face value but should instead be understood within the context of Christian myth- and meaning-making. Flexsenhar analyzes textual and material evidence from the first to the sixth century, spanning Roman Asia, the Aegean rim, Gaul, and the coast of North Africa as well as the imperial capital itself. As a result, this book shows how stories of the emperor's slaves were integral to key developments in the spread of Christianity, generating origin myths in Rome and establishing a shared history and geography there, differentiating and negotiating assimilation with other groups, and expressing commemorative language, ritual acts, and a material culture. With its thoughtful critical readings of literary and material sources and its fresh analysis of the lived experiences of imperial slaves and freedpersons, Christians in Caesar's Household is indispensable reading for scholars of early Christianity, the origins of religion, and the Roman Empire.
The first part of Nicaea and its Legacy offers a narrative of the fourth-century trinitarian controversy. It does not assume that the controversy begins with Arius, but with tensions among existing theological strategies. Lewis Ayres argues that, just as we cannot speak of one `Arian' theology, so we cannot speak of one `Nicene' theology either, in 325 or in 381. The second part of the book offers an account of the theological practices and assumptions within which pro-Nicene theologians assumed their short formulae and creeds were to be understood. Ayres also argues that there is no fundamental division between eastern and western trinitarian theologies at the end of the fourth century. The last section of the book challenges modern post-Hegelian trinitarian theology to engage with Nicaea more deeply.
A clear, readable translation of the ten books of Bishop Eusebius’s Ecclesiastical History—the only surviving record of the Church during its crucial first three hundred years—this edition recounts the martyrdoms, heresies, schisms, and proceedings that led to Nicaea and other great church councils.
The Bible took shape over the course of centuries, and today Christian groups continue to disagree over details of its contents. The differences among these groups typically involve the Old Testament, as they mostly accept the same 27-book New Testament. An essential avenue for understanding the development of the Bible are the many early lists of canonical books drawn up by Christians and, occasionally, Jews. Despite the importance of these early lists of books, they have remained relatively inaccessible. This comprehensive volume redresses this unfortunate situation by presenting the early Christian canon lists all together in a single volume. The canon lists, in most cases, unambiguously report what the compilers of the lists considered to belong to the biblical canon. For this reason they bear an undeniable importance in the history of the Bible. The Biblical Canon Lists from Early Christianity provides an accessible presentation of these early canon lists. With a focus on the first four centuries, the volume supplies the full text of the canon lists in English translation alongside the original text, usually Greek or Latin, occasionally Hebrew or Syriac. Edmon L. Gallagher and John D. Meade orient readers to each list with brief introductions and helpful notes, and they point readers to the most significant scholarly discussions. The book begins with a substantial overview of the history of the biblical canon, and an entire chapter is devoted to the evidence of biblical manuscripts from the first millennium. This authoritative work is an indispensable guide for students and scholars of biblical studies and church history.
First published in 2002, this book offers an authoritative and accessible introduction to the New Testament and early Christian literature for all students of the Bible and the origins of Christianity. Delbert Burkett focuses on the New Testament, but also looks at a wealth of non-biblical writing to examine the history, religion and literature of Christianity in the years from 30 CE to 150 CE. The book is organized systematically with questions for in-class discussion and written assignments, step-by-step reading guides on individual works, special box features, charts, maps and numerous illustrations designed to facilitate student use. An appendix containing translations of primary texts allows instant access to the writings outside the canon. For this new edition, Burkett has reorganized and rewritten many chapters, and has also incorporated revisions throughout the text, bringing it up to date with current scholarship. This volume is designed for use as the primary textbook for one and two-semester courses on the New Testament and Early Christianity.
In our Western, post-Christendom society, much of Christianity's cultural power, privilege, and influence has eroded. But all is not lost, says bestselling author Gerald Sittser. Although the church is concerned and sobered by this cultural shift, it is also curious and teachable.
Sittser shows how the early church offers wisdom for responding creatively to the West's increasing secularization. The early Christian movement was surprisingly influential and successful in the Roman world, and so different from its two main rivals--traditional religion and Judaism--that Rome identified it as a 'third way.' Early Christians immersed themselves in the empire without significant accommodation to or isolation from the culture. They confessed Jesus as Lord and formed disciples accordingly, which helped the church grow in numbers and influence.
Sittser explores how Christians today can learn from this third way and respond faithfully, creatively, and winsomely to a world that sees Christianity as largely obsolete. Each chapter introduces historical figures, ancient texts, practices, and institutions to explain and explore the third way of the Jesus movement, which, surprising everyone, changed the world.
This volume brings together a set of key studies on the history and culture of Christian Georgia, along with a substantial new introduction. The opening section sets the regional context, in relation to the Byzantine empire in particular, while subsequent parts deal with the conversion and christianization of the country, the making of a 'national' church and the development of a historical identity.
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