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Following the period of glasnost and perestroika, the Russian Orthodox Church rose from the ashes of the Soviet Union and its ideology, and started to reassert its rightful place and authority within and beyond its canonical territory. This authority was exercised and revealed on several levels in relation to the rest of Christendom, both East and West: first, in relation to the 'Mother' Church and the Patriarchate of Constantinople and, second, in relation to the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant churches. In this book, the author addresses the previously unexplored issue of authority within the Russian Church and considers how and what type of authority was developed within the Church during its turbulent and controversial history and how this affects its operation today. The work investigates the historical contexts and events which led to a particular concept of authority being formulated in the Russian Orthodox Church within the wider framework of time, geography, theology and philosophy.
A religious reformation occurred in the Roman Empire of the fourth and fifth centuries which scholars often call Christianization. Examining evidence relevant to Roman Africa of this period, this book sharpens understanding of this religious revolution. Focusing on the activities of Augustine and his colleagues from Augustine's ordination as a priest in 391, to the fall of the Emperor Honorius' master of soldiers, Stilicho, in 408, it proposes Catholicization as a term to more precisely characterize the process of change observed. Augustine and Catholic Christianization argues that at the end of the fourth and beginning of the fifth century Augustine emerged as the key manager in the campaign to Catholicize Roman Africa by virtue of a comprehensive strategy to persuade or suppress rivals, which notably included Donatists, Arians, Manichees, and various kinds of polytheism. Select sermons from 403 and 404 reveal that Augustine's rhetoric was multivalent. It addressed the populus and the elite, Christians and non-Christians, Catholics, and Donatists. Key sources examined are selected laws of the Theodosian Code, the Canons of the African Council of Catholic Bishops, Augustine's Dolbeau sermons (discovered in 1990), Contra Cresconium, as well as other sermons, letters, and treatises of Augustine. This book clarifies our perception of Augustine and Christianity in the socio-religious landscape of Late Roman Africa in at least three ways. First, it combines theological investigation of the sources and development of Augustine's ecclesiology with sociohistorical tracing of the process of Catholicization. Second, an account of the evolution of Augustine's self-understanding as a bishop is given along with the development of his strategy for Catholicization. Third, Augustine is identified as resembling modern political "spin-doctors" in that he was a brilliant spokesperson, but he did not work alone; he was a team player. In brief, Augustine influenced and was influenced by his fellow bishops within Catholic circles.
This comprehensive volume brings together a team of distinguished scholars to create a wide-ranging introduction to patristic authors and their contributions to not only theology and spirituality, but to philosophy, ecclesiology, linguistics, hagiography, liturgics, homiletics, iconology, and other fields. * Challenges accepted definitions of patristics and the patristic period in particular questioning the Western framework in which the field has traditionally been constructed * Includes the work of authors who wrote in languages other than Latin and Greek, including those within the Coptic, Armenian, Syriac, and Arabic Christian traditions * Examines the reception history of prominent as well as lesser-known figures, debating the role of each, and exploring why many have undergone periods of revived interest * Offers synthetic accounts of a number of topics central to patristic studies, including scripture, scholasticism, and the Reformation * Demonstrates the continuing role of these writings in enriching and inspiring our understanding of Christianity
In Tertullian's Use of the Pastoral Epistles, Hebrews, James, 1 and 2 Peter, and Jude, Mark A. Frisius establishes that Tertullian (a third-century theologian) only used the Pastoral Epistles, Hebrews, and 1 Peter, although he at least knew of Jude. It is further demonstrated that he had no knowledge of James or 2 Peter, which has a distinct bearing on the emergence of the New Testament canon. Tertullian interprets these five texts in various ways, but always with an eye toward confrontational discourse. The author assesses Tertullian's varying interpretive principles and also considers the effects of Montanism on his interpretive procedures. In conclusion, Frisius demonstrates that the Pastoral Epistles, Hebrews, and 1 Peter provided Tertullian with significant material for his theological controversies. This book, in addition to being a resource for scholars, is also useful in senior level and graduate courses on ancient biblical interpretation.
Paul the Apostle has traditionally been viewed as a thinker and theologian, and scholars have focused almost exclusively on his ideas rather than on his religious experience. In this book, a leading New Testament scholar challenges this view of Paul. John Ashton demonstrates how closely Paul's own career resembles that of a typical shaman, and he shows how every important aspect of Paul's life and ministry may be illuminated by focusing on his experience. Drawing not only on Paul's letters but also on contemporary writings in the Jewish and Hellenistic worlds, Ashton discusses a number of important issues relevant to the understanding of Paul and to the origins of Christianity: whether Paul is properly described as a convert, a mystic, an apostle, a prophet, or a charismatic; what his attitude was to the Jewish traditions he inherited; why he felt called upon to preach, not to his fellow Jews, but to the Gentiles; and how we can explain his language of spirit-possession. In addressing these issues, Ashton demonstrates that to regard Christianity simply as a religion of the word is to ignore a vital truth about its origins. John Ashton was Lecturer in New Testament Studies in the University of Oxford, and is now Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. He is the author of important books on St John's Gospel, and editor and introducer of the volume 'The Interpretation of John'.
A Psycho-Spiritual View on the Message of Jesus in the Gospels explores elements of mysticism in the words of Jesus. Four fields are analyzed with the help of two key concepts of mysticism: presence of the divine and transformation of the self. Analyses, semantic and otherwise, reveal alternative understandings on each of the four fields. Psuche appears as 'self' ('mind-and-heart') rather than as 'life,' for example, in the Good Shepherd passage (dedicating one's self), or in the saving and losing logia in Mark 8.35 par, calling for transformation. Pneuma in the Gospels appears both in a definite form and indefinitely: next to the Holy Spirit, there is holy spirit active and present, implying that baptism literally is immersing in holy spirit. Repentance (metanoia) is alternatively to be understood as transformation of the self, and is not necessarily connected to 'sin.' Finally, the Kingdom of God, in line with theologian Adolf von Harnack, is found to be present (it has approached,eggiken) and is a reality inside (entos) the human being, a musterion, apart from its references to the eschaton or to a paradisiacal new world. Parables teach about the Kingdom as a spiritual entity in and around the human being: presence of the divine, closely connected with transformation of the self. These findings open up to a psycho-spiritual understanding of the message (euaggelion) of Jesus.
Journey Back to God explores Origen of Alexandria's creative, complex, and controversial treatment of the problem of evil. It argues that his layered cosmology functions as a theodicy that deciphers deeper meaning beneath cosmic disparity. Origen asks: why does God create a world where some suffer more than others? On the surface, the unfair arrangement of the world defies theological coherence. In order to defend divine justice against the charge of cosmic mismanagement, Origen develops a theological cosmology that explains the ontological status and origin of evil as well as its cosmic implications. Origen's theodicy hinges on the journey of the soul back to God. Its themes correlate with the soul's creation, fall and descent into materiality, gradual purification, and eventual divinization. The world, for Origen, functions as a school and hospital for the soul where it undergoes the necessary education and purgation. Origen carefully calibrates his cosmology and theology. He portrays God as a compassionate and judicious teacher, physician, and father who employs suffering for our amelioration. Journey Back to God frames the systematic study of Origen's theodicy within a broader theory of theodicy as navigation, which signifies the dynamic process whereby we impute meaning to suffering. It unites the logical and spiritual facets of his theodicy, and situates it in its third-century historical, theological, and philosophical context, correcting the distortions that continue to plague Origen scholarship. Furthermore, the study clarifies his ambiguous position on universalism within the context of his eschatology. Finally, it assesses the cogency and contemporary relevance of Origen's theodicy, highlighting the problems and prospects of his bold, constructive, and optimistic vision.
Nathan G. Jennings's captivating study explores the ascetical logic of the various practices that Christians call theology. By establishing ascetic practice as coherent within the logic of Christian thought, Jennings argues that Christian theology itself, as an embodied Christian practice, is a type of and participant in Christian asceticism. Jennings establishes that the implications of such an understanding of Christian theology can be brought to bear on modern Christian scholarship in profound and transformative ways. With engagements and references that span a vast terrain from Patristic authors to modern systematic theologians, Theology as Ascetic Act: Disciplining Christian Discourse is a significant contribution to both modern Christian thought and the study of asceticism.
The work establishes the relative and absolute chronology of Paul's life. It demonstrates that Paul went to Jerusalem only two times after his conversion. The second visit, which was planned in Rom and described retrospectively in Gal, ended up with the Antiochene conflict. The following Eucharistic schism within early Christianity has lasted for at least a century after Paul's death in AD 49. The so-called Pastoral Letters, which are in fact ethopoeic, confirm this state of matters. The history of the Pauline mission, as it was described in the Acts of the Apostles, is a result of sixfold hypertextual reworking of Gal 1:17-2:14; Rom 15:25-32 with the use of other Pauline and post-Pauline texts. Luke irenically described the history of early Christianity as a history of the reunited Church.
The work analyses the current state of research on the problem of the relationship of the Fourth Gospel to the Synoptic Gospels. It proves that the Fourth Gospel, which was written c. AD 140-150, is a result of systematic, sequential, hypertextual reworking of the Acts of the Apostles with the use of the Synoptic Gospels, more than ten other early Christian writings, Jewish sacred Scriptures, and Josephus' works. The work also demonstrates that the character of the 'disciple whom Jesus loved' functions in the Fourth Gospel as a narrative embodiment of all generations of the Pauline, post-Pauline, and post-Lukan Gentile Christian Church. These features of the Fourth Gospel imply that it was intended to crown and at the same time close the canon of the New Testament writings.
In 1695, Louis Sebastien, Le Nain de Tillemont completed volume 13 of his Memoire ecclesiastique, entitled La vie de saint Augustin. Consisting of approximately 1,200 pages wherein Tillemont compiled all extant passages relevant to the biography of Augustine of Hippo, the biography was published posthumously in 1700. The work lies in the tradition of Jansenism from Port-Royal and the Leuven. Though an ascetic recluse on the family estate for the last twenty years of his life, Tillemont was in touch with important scholars and the ecclesiastical movements of his time. His work is the first modern biography of Augustine, and the most comprehensive of all Augustinian biographies; modern authors consult him and frequently adopt his theories without citation. His method exercises influence on Parisian scholarship on Augustine to this very day. This English translation has been divided into three volumes: 1: birth to Episcopal consecration (354-396); 2: the Donastist controversy (397-411); 3: the Pelagian controversy (412-430).
DJD XXXII presents the first full critical edition of the Great Isaiah Scroll (1QIsa]a) and the Hebrew University Isaiah Scroll (1QIsa]b), which constitute almost 30% of all the preserved biblical material, in the styles of the DJD series. That is, whereas the photographs and transcriptions have been available since the 1950s, this volume provides a fresh transcription of all the known fragments, notes clarifying problematic readings, and the first comprehensive catalogue of the textual variants. It is not, and cannot be, a comprehensive analysis of all these highly influential manuscripts, on which innumerable studies have been published over the past half century. Part 1 contains the photographic plates (1QIsa]a in colour) with the transcriptions on facing pages for easy comparison. Part 2 contains the introductions, notes, and catalogue of variants. The main introduction narrates the discovery and early history of these two manuscripts.
This study sets out to interpret the Marcan Temple incident (Mark 11, 15-19) as a distancing device, by which the Marcan faction differentiates itself from other Jews, especially the anti-Roman revolutionaries who had turned the temple in Jerusalem into 'a den of bandits' during the Jewish revolt between 66 and 74 CE. It concentrates on the interactions between the Marcan faction and other Jewish factions in the context of its Jewish symbolic universe. The study concludes that the Marcan faction is 'Jewish but differently'.
Hippolytus (c.160 235 AD) occupies a unique place in Christian history as a schismatic bishop who is now honoured by the Roman Catholic Church as a saint and martyr. Originally published in 1934, this book contains an English translation of Hippolytus' Apostolic Tradition, which was thought to have been composed around 215 AD, and which describes early Christian practice and liturgy in detail. Easton also includes notes on the text and a detailed introduction on the history of the text and other comparable liturgical records. This important text will be of great value to anyone with an interest in the early Church and early Christian liturgy."
The Early Text of the New Testament aims to examine and assess from our earliest extant sources the most primitive state of the New Testament text now known. What sort of changes did scribes make to the text? What is the quality of the text now at our disposal? What can we learn about the nature of textual transmission in the earliest centuries? In addition to exploring the textual and scribal culture of early Christianity, this volume explores the textual evidence for all the sections of the New Testament. It also examines the evidence from the earliest translations of New Testament writings and the citations or allusions to New Testament texts in other early Christian writers.
According to Hagenston, Jesus had such a hard edge when it came to Gentiles that he coined his own unflattering term for them-dogs. He limited what he was offering strictly to Jews. Yet the religion that began in his name quickly transformed into a predominantly Gentile movement centered on blood sacrifice to obtain God's forgiveness, a practice rejected by many Jews long before Jesus came on the scene. Furthermore the sacrifice was not just of an animal, but of Jesus himself. How did this happen? Hagenston exposes the roots of brutal justice underpinning traditional Christianity, but finds hope in a Jewish movement toward grace that preceded and influenced the historical Jesus.
The doctrine of purgatory - the state after death in which Christians undergo punishment by God for unforgiven sins - raises many questions. What is purgatory like? Who experiences it? Does purgatory purify souls, or punish them, or both? How painful is it? Heaven's Purge explores the first posing of these questions in Christianity's early history, from the first century to the eighth: an era in which the notion that sinful Christians might improve their lot after death was contentious, or even heretical. Isabel Moreira discusses a wide range of influences at play in purgatory's early formation, including ideas about punishment and correction in the Roman world, slavery, the value of medical purges at the shrines of saints, and the authority of visions of the afterlife for informing Christians of the hereafter. She also challenges the deeply ingrained supposition that belief in purgatory was a symptom of barbarized Christianity, and assesses the extent to which Irish and Germanic views of society, and the sources associated with them - penitentials and legal tariffs - played a role in purgatory's formation. Special attention is given to the writings of the last patristic author of antiquity, the Northumbrian monk Bede. Heaven's Purge is the first study to focus on purgatory's history in late antiquity, challenging the conclusions of recent scholarship through an examination of the texts, communities and cultural ideas that informed purgatory's early history.
Throughout its first three centuries of existence, the Christian community, while new to the Roman world's pluralistic religious scene, portrayed itself as an historic religion. The early church community claimed the Jewish Bible as their own and looked to it to defend their claims to historicity. While Jews looked to Moses and the Sinai covenant as the focus of their historical relationship with God, the early church fathers and apologists identified themselves as inheritors of the promise given to Abraham and saw their mission to the Gentiles as the fulfillment of God's declaration that Abraham would be "a father of many nations" (Gen 17:5).It is in light of this background that Demetrios Tonias undertakes the first, comprehensive examination of John Chrysostom's view of the patriarch Abraham.By analyzing the full range of references to Abraham in Chrysostom's work, Tonias reveals the ways in which Chrysostom used Abraham as a model of philosophical and Christian virtue, familial devotion, philanthropy, and obedient faith.
What does it mean for Jesus to be "deified" in early Christian literature? Although the divinity of Jesus was a topic of profound and contested discussion in Christianity's early centuries, believers did not simply assert that Jesus was divine; in their literature, they depicted Jesus with the specific and widely-recognized traits of Mediterranean deities. Relying on the methods of the history of religions school and ranging judiciously across Hellenistic literature, M. David Litwa shows that at each stage in their depiction of Jesus' life and ministry, early Christian writings from the beginning relied on categories drawn not from Judaism alone, but on a wide, pan-Mediterranean understanding of deity: how gods were born, how they acted to manifest power, even how they died-and, after death, how they were taken up into heaven and pronounced divine. Litwa's samples take us beyond the realm of abstract theology to dwell in the second- and third-century imagination of what it meant to be a god and shows that the Christian depiction of Christ was quite at home there.
One of the most lamentable aspects of Christendom's history has been the long-standing antipathy of some of its members toward persons of the Jewish faith. However, the writer of Mark's gospel did not intend to promulgate such antipathy. Parker's groundbreaking re-assessment of how the evangelist applies Jewish scriptures serves to establish the true nature of Mark's unfavourable depiction of Judaism's custodians as a theological construct. The overriding purpose behind Mark's caricature of Jesus' compatriots was to explain the presence of "faulty" belief, or even unbelief, among a Gentile readership. Subsequent generations have mistakenly given historical credence to Mark's account of Jesus's ministry. Regrettably, this has resulted in the erroneous theological legitimization of atrocities against the Jews.
As the first monk in the desert, Antony became an early Christian superstar, eclipsing his many ascetic predecessors. The introduction of asceticism into the wilderness also represented an encounter between Christian and Hellenistic ideas. For centuries Greeks had considered the uncultivated geography intrinsically primordial, a chaotic place where man struggled to remain human. The wilderness represented an eternal ordeal, where man always faced fierce beasts, disorder, and death, but also where simultaneously he could attain boundless wealth, wisdom, and even physical immortality. Through Athanasius of Alexandria's fourth-century biography of Antony, we learn how the Christian appropriation of Greek ideas on geography, bodies and immortality raised asceticism to an entirely new level. Placed in his uncultivated landscape, Antony became a true martyr, an athlete of God, and a holy man able to retrieve the bodily incorruptibility lost in the Fall, which all Christians could look forward to at the end of times. In this way Athanasius employed a traditional Greek worldview to demonstrate the superiority of Christianity over Paganism, which never promised ordinary people anything but an eternal existence as dead and disembodied souls.
Messiah Jesus: Christology in His Day and Ours argues that Jesus is a complex Messiah in a second Temple Jewish context. This book describes Jesus in his many roles: King, Healer, Teacher, superior Scribe of the Law, Discipler, Sage, Judge, Prophet, Martyr example, atoning Sacrifice, Priest, and mystical Leader in resurrection. Douglas W. Kennard examines how Jesus became realized as God revealing Himself and how it is this full realization of who Jesus is that became the Biblical gospel. The book is a critical realist Biblical and systematic theologic statement that deepens awareness of Jesus.
This book addresses change and continuity in late antique Eastern Christianity, as perceived through the lens of the categories of institutional religion and personal religion. The interaction between personal devotion and public identity reveals the creative aspects of a vibrant religious culture that altered the experience of Christians on both a spiritual and an institutional level. A close look at the interrelations between the personal and the institutional expressions of religion in this period attests to an ongoing revision of both the patristic literature and the monastic tradition. By approaching the period in terms of 'revision', the contributors discuss the mechanism of transformation in Eastern Christianity from a new perspective, discerning social and religious changes while navigating between the dynamics of personal and institutional religion. Recognizing the creative aspects inherent to the process of 'revision', this volume re-examines several aspects of personal and institutional religion, revealing dogmatic, ascetic, liturgical, and historiographical transformations. Attention is paid to the expression of the self, the role of history and memory in the construction of identity, and the modification of the theological discourse in late antique culture. The book also explores several avenues of Jewish-Christian interaction in the institutional and public sphere.
The volume deals with the writings and the theology of the great Greek apologists of the third and fourth centuries. Its aim is to identify the differences and similarities between them. It can be asserted that there is a Christian-apologetic line of tradition from Origen to Eusebius, and further to Athanasius, and that this has a particular theological and literary profile.
This is the first edition of the fourteenth-century Lumen anime C and of its German translation Das liecht der sel, completed in 1426 by Ulrich Putsch, Bishop of Brixen (Bressanone) in the South Tyrol. The two works are theological compendia for use in homiletic and catechetical contexts, and teach their intended readership much about basic Christian doctrine and morality, with a special emphasis on the Virgin Mary. Their didactic method makes particular use of nature exempla and of (frequently spurious) quotations from authorities. Both were highly influential in late-medieval Germany, especially in Austria and Bavaria, but their important role in conveying the insights of late-medieval Catholicism to an increasingly numerous lay audience has yet to be fully appreciated. The present edition should facilitate this and several other necessary re-assessments. Critical texts of the Latin and German versions are printed in parallel. They are preceded by an introduction which offers, for each text in turn, descriptions of its manuscripts, an account of its textual history, and an evaluation of previous research - and, in respect of Das liecht der sel, also covers the biography of Ulrich Putsch.
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