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Perpetua's Passions is a collection of studies about Perpetua, a young female Christian martyr who was executed in 203 AD. Like her spiritual guide, Saturus, Perpetua left a diary, and a few years after their deaths a fellow Christian collected these writings and supplied them with an introduction and epilogue: the so-called Passion of Perpetua. The result is one of the most fascinating and enigmatic works of antiquity, which the present volume examines from a wide range of perspectives: literary, narratological, historical, religious, psychological, and philosophical viewpoints follow upon a newly edited text and English translation (by Joseph Farrell and Craig Williams). This innovative treatment by a number of distinguished scholars not only complements its unique subject, but constitutes a kind of laboratory of new approaches to ancient texts.
Studies of medieval Biblical interpretation usually focus on the
printed literature, neglecting the vast majority of relevant works.
Timothy Bellamah offers a groundbreaking examination of the
exegesis of William of Alton, a thirteenth-century Dominican regent
master at Paris whose commentaries have never previously appeared
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.
The present study discusses the symbiotic relationship between Augustine's hermeneutical insights and Christology. It focuses on the first three books of De doctrina Christiana in their given sequence. Since Augustine's hermeneutics implies a Christological epistemology, the author approaches De doctrina Christiana through Augustine's early epistemological treatises Contra Academicos and De Magistro. The former defends the possibility of certain knowledge, and the latter explains how this knowledge is gained through the illuminative activity of the Inner Teacher. The work also integrates linguistic signification in ancient philosophy which prepares the ground for understanding Augustine's 'science of signs' and the fundamental Christological analogy in doc. Chr. 1.13. This study exemplifies that Augustine's whole semiotic system is constructed around the fundamental Sign, the humanity of Christ, which in its hypostatic union with the divine nature enables one to know God through Christ the human being. Contents: patristic exegesis--Christology and exegesis--Augustine on interpretation--History of biblical interpretation--Thought and language--Linguistic signification--Ancient philosophy and theology--Augustine and the ancient philosophical tradition--Literal and figurative interpretation--Regula fidei and biblical interpretation--Ancient epistemology and hermeneutics--Augustine on understanding the bible--The scriptural words and Christ the Word--The analogy between incarnation and the scripture
It is not a question of using either the palpable world or the intellect when trying to prove God's existence. Anselm apprehends being's very intelligibility as making it amenable to divine traces--that turn out to be God's « muted communication. Anselm practices in this sense « a blending of horizons--i.e. tradition (Plotinus, Augustine, Benedict). We human beings owe our own rationality to the same God who created the universe, us and our minds. The appreciation of a thus constituted reality unleashes a remarkable and refreshing fecundity (Mohler, Guardini, Barth, von Balthasar). Anselm seems to state: « Thinking--insofar as it is intelligible--is being. This makes Anselm's approach topical for our days. Increasingly the world consists of information and news. Truth claims are filtered from what is thought. Perhaps it is this Anselmic « reduction of reality to thought which opens a perspective for genuine emancipation and authentic humanization. The monastery afforded the proper ambience to live and apprehend this « reduction. Contents: Hermeneutics--Monastic Theology--Plotinus--Benedict--Faith and Reason--Soteriology--Faith and Thought--Johann Adam Mohler--Romano Guardini--Karl Barth--Hans Urs von Balthasar--Rationalism--Fideism.
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.
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.'
J. H. W. G. Liebeschuetz compares the personalities and the respective careers of two of the greatest of the early Christian Fathers, Ambrose and John Chrysostom. While the statesmanlike Ambrose ended his life as a pillar of the Western establishment, Chrysostom, the outspoken idealist, died in exile. However, their views and ideals were remarakably similar: both bishops were concerned with the social role of the Church, both were determined opponents of what they called the Arian heresy, and each attracted a dedicated following among his urban congregation. This similarity, Liebeschuetz argues, was due not to the influence of one on the other, but was a consequence of their participation in a Christian culture which spanned the divide between the Eastern (later Byzantine) and Western parts of the Roman Empire. The monastic movement figures throughout the book as an important influence on both men and as perhaps the most dynamic development in the Christian culture of the fourth century.
The fourth-century Cappadocian Fathers (Basil of Caesarea, his brother Gregory of Nyssa, and their friend Gregory of Nazianzus) are famous primarily for their contributions to Trinitarian theology. Scholars have also been interested in the Cappadocians' experiments in communal asceticism, which had a lasting impact on Christian theology and monastic vocation. Vasiliki Limberis has discovered a hitherto untold element in the history of these seminal figures. Simply stated, for the Cappadocians all aspects of Christian life were best communicated, understood, and indeed lived, through the prism of martyr piety. Limberis shows that the cult of the martyrs was absolutely central to the formation of Christian life for them and the laity. The local martyr cults were so powerful that the Cappadocians promoted their own kin as martyrs. This ensured that their families, soon after their deaths, would be imitated by the local people, and in future generations they would be honored as saints by all. Limberis documents the rich variety of ways the Cappodocians made use of the martyrs. Of particular interest are the complex rituals of the panegyris, a yearly celebration that honored the martyrs, creating social ties that spanned class barriers. Building projects also honored the martyrs, housed their loved ones, and created sacred space in their communities. Limberis calls attention to the pivotal roles played by the mothers and sisters of the Cappadocians in promoting martyr piety and examines the importance in their lives of material vehicles of sanctity such as eulogia breads and holy oil, and practices such as fasting, vigils, vows and prayers. The Cappadocians were of the generation that bridged the Church of the martyrs and the Church triumphant of the Roman state. This book shows how they reshaped martyr piety to suit the needs of this changing landscape, and made it the basis of a new understanding of Christian identity.
Was there a genuine theological consensus about Christ in the early Church? Donald Fairbairn's persuasive study uses the concept of grace to clarify this question. There were two sharply divergent understandings of grace and christology. One understanding, characteristic of Theodore and Nestorius, saw grace as God's gift of co-operation to Christians and Christ as the uniquely graced man. The other understanding, characteristic of Cyril of Alexandria and John Cassian, saw grace as God the Word's personal descent to the human sphere so as to give himself to humanity. Dealing with, among others, John Chrysostom, John of Antioch, and Leo the Great, Fairbairn suggests that these two understandings were by no means equally represented in the fifth century: Cyril's view was in fact the consensus of the early Church.
The poems of Aurelius Prudentius appear in two volumes of the present series, i.e., Volume 43 and this volume, 52. It cannot be said that poetry, in a literary sense, truly prospered in Christian surroundings. However, the greatest of the Latin Christian poets was the present author, who was born in any one of the three cities: Tarragona, Saragossa, and Calahorra. Modern scholarship favors Calahorra. Any estimate of Prudentius must include a recognition of certain defects in his works, notably the length and prolixity of his hymns, the crude realism in his descriptions of the torments of the martyrs, the long declamatory speeches, the unreality of his allegory, and his excessive use of alliteration and assonance. Though his writings as a whole cannot be ranked among those of the great poetry in many instances. Prudentius has a technical skill surpassing that of the other Christian Latin poets. He is the creator of the Christian ode and the Christian allegory. He has something of the epic power of Virgil and the lyric beauty and variety of Horace. Prudentius has still greater claims to greatness, however, in the Christian thought and inspiration of his poetry. A recent critic has declared with truth that Prudentius is 'first a Catholic and only in the second place a poet.' His faith is that of the Nicene Creed. In his poetry, Prudentius celebrates the triumph of Christianity over paganism. He saw the Church emerging from its three-hundred-year struggle against the forces if idolatry and heresy, triumphant through its saving doctrine and the blood of its martyrs. He saw the magnificent basilicas, both in Spain and in Rome, rising in the place of the pagan temples. As an historian of Christian thought and culture at the end of the fourth century, Prudentius cannot be overestimated.
Self-restraint or self-mastery may appear to be the opposite of erotic desire. But in this nuanced, literary analysis, Diane Lipsett traces the intriguing interplay of desire and self-restraint in three ancient tales of conversion: The Shepherd of Hermas, the Acts of Paul and Thecla, and Joseph and Aseneth. Lipsett treats "conversion"--marked change in a protagonist's piety and identity--as in part an effect of story, a function of narrative textures, coherence, and closure. Her approach is theoretically versatile, drawing on Foucault, psychoanalytic theorists, and the ancient literary critic Longinus. Well grounded in scholarship on Hermas, Thecla, and Aseneth, the closely paced readings sharpen attention to each story, while advancing discussions of ancient views of the self; of desire, masculinity, and virginity; of the cultural codes around marriage and continence; and of the textual energetics of conversion tales.
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt/M., Oxford, Wien. Studies in Biblical Literature. Vol. 23 General Editor: Hemchand Gossai. In Galatians 5:18 Paul declares that 'if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.' In this study William N. Wilder departs from conventional interpretations by arguing that the language of Galatians 5:18 represents Paul's new exodus understanding of the Christian experience. According to Wilder, Paul consistently uses the phrase 'under the law' to refer to a bondage he understood as particular to the Jews, with strong connotations of a specifically Egypt-like slavery attached to this phrase in Galatians. Wilder also argues that the typological association of the Spirit and the exodus cloud, found elsewhere in Paul in a comparison of 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 and 1 Corinthians 12:13, is likewise assumed in the phrase 'led by the Spirit' and may be traced back to the Old Testament prophetic literature and Psalms (Hag 2:4-5; Isa 63:11-14; Neh 9:19-20; Ps 143:10). The author gives special attention to the influence of Psalm 143 on Paul's theology, contending that it provides an Old Testament source both for the new exodus assumptions in Galatians 5:18 and for the apocalyptic flesh-Spirit antithesis that dominates the larger context of that verse.
This book is about the life and thought of Origen (c.185-254 A.D.),
the most important Greek-speaking Christian theologian and Biblical
scholar in antiquity. His writings included works on the text of
the Bible, commentaries and sermons on most of the books of the
Bible, a major defense of the Christian faith against a
philosophical skeptic, and the first attempt at writing systematic
theology ever made. Ronald E. Heine presents Origen's work in the
context of the two urban centers where he lived-Alexandria in
Egypt, and Caesarea in Palestine. Heine argues that these urban
contexts and their communities of faith had a discernable impact on
Origen's intellectual work.
In this exciting book, Paula Fredriksen explains the variety of New Testament images of Jesus by exploring the ways that the new Christian communities interpreted his mission and message in light of the delay of the Kingdom he had preached. A new introduction reviews the most recent scholarship on Jesus and its implications for both history and theology. "Brilliant and enjoyable. . . . Magisterial."-Geza Vermes, Times Literary Supplement "Brilliant and lucidly written, full of original and fascinating insights."-Reginald H. Fuller, Journal of the American Academy of Religion "This is a first-rate work of a first-rate historian."-James D. Tabor, Journal of Religion "Fredriksen confronts her documents-principally the writings of the New Testament-as an archaeologist would an especially rich complex site. With great care she distinguishes the literary images from historical fact. As she does so, she explains the images of Jesus in terms of the strategies and purposes of the writers Paul, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John."-Thomas D'Evelyn, Christian Science Monitor
The studies in this second collection by Professor Stead, which includes three pieces hitherto unpublished, investigate in detail the philosophical basis and legitimacy of important statements of early Christian doctrine, focusing on the writings of Arius, Athanasius and Augustine. Arius is shown as a theologian of merit, rather than the monster portrayed by conventional historians, with Athanasius' polemical attacks on him emerging as ill-founded - though Athanasius' own positive teaching is deservedly famous. Augustine appears as not only a masterly theologian, but an enterprising philosopher, albeit one capable of error. His cosmology, often neglected, forms the subject of one of the unpublished studies.
This bibliographic listing of works in English by and about members of the Order of Friars Preachers actually begins with a translation of the confirmation of the Dominican Order by Pope Honorius III on December 22, 1216. Works and lives of great Dominicans such as Saints Dominic, Catherine of Siena, Thomas Aquinas, Albert the Great, Pope Pius V, and Martin de Porres are listed. Prominent personages such as Fra Angelico, Savonarola, Bartolommeo de las Casas, Samuel Mazzuchelli, Dominic Pire (Nobel Prize recipient), and M. J. La Grange (founder of the Ecole Biblique) also appear in this work. The Dominicans founded colleges and universities around the globe, and their scholarly, historical, and artistic works have illumined the world for almost eight hundred years. This bibliography is an invaluable resource for scholars and researchers covering a wide range of topics.
The ascetic tracts of 7th century writer Isaac of Nineveh (Isaac
the Syrian) provide a wealth of material to better understand early
Christian asceticism. By focusing on the role of the body in
various ascetic techniques, such as fasting, vigils and prayer, as
well as on the way the ascetic relates to the society a picture of
asceticism as political activity emerges. For Isaac, the ascetic
was to function as something like an icon, an image that showed the
world the reality of God's Kingdom already in this life, by clearly
indicating the difference between God's ways and men's.
Mission is one of the key subjects for the church today. What does it mean to live the Christian faith in a world of many faiths and none? In this book, two leading scholars explore what mission and discipleship meant for some of the earliest Christian communities. Morna Hooker and Frances Young outline the nature of mission for the earliest Christian communities (in the New Testament and beyond) and relate this to the context of the mission and discipleship today, thereby engaging with and challenging some common assumptions made about mission today. Originally presented as the Hugh Price Hughes Lectures in the West London Mission, the book will be of interest not only to students of theology but to all interested in the life and ministry of the church today.
This work is an extensive twentieth-century examination of Third Corinthians, a pseudepigraphon attributed to the apostle Paul. It includes a comprehensive overview of the various manuscripts of Third Corinthians and the textual variations among them. This study carefully examines these variations, securely establishes the original text, and provides a new English translation. Referencing early manuscripts, canon lists, patristic commentaries, and lectionaries, the volume establishes the history of the use of Third Corinthians in the early Church. The study contains an in-depth exploration of the theological implications of early Church controversies, focusing on the resurrection of the dead. The work is a portrayal of the surprisingly diverse Christianity of the second century.
A straight-forward, readable introduction to worship in the first four centuries of the church's existence. How did early Christians see and understand their own worship? How did this interact with early Christian beliefs? The book has been brought up to date and revised, with some chapters rewritten and an updated bibliography.
Gnosticism is the name given to various religious schools that proliferated in the first centuries after Christ, nearly becoming the dominant form of Christianity, but was eventually branded as heretical by the emerging Christian church. The long and diverse history of Gnosticism is recounted here, as well as reasons for its continued relevance today. Although some Gnostic beliefs are close to mainstream Christianity, others examined here include that the world is imperfect because it was created by an evil god who was constantly at war with the true, good God; that Christ and Satan were brothers; that reincarnation exists; and that women are the equal of men. Also covered is the influence Gnostics had on the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, psychologist Carl Jung, the Existentialists, the New Age movement, and writers as diverse as William Blake, W. B. Yeats, Albert Camus, and Philip K. Dick.
Among the tools that Christians used to interpret the Book of Psalms, the collect was one that allowed for a compact interpretation within the context of liturgy. Of the three extant series of collects, those written in early-sixth-century North Africa are the most homogeneous. Reception theory allows for an investigation into the life of the community, their spiritual and temporal concerns, and their attitudes toward the Psalms. Ferguson's Visita nos delineates these aspects of liturgical reception as composed by an abbot, Fulgentius, who eventually became bishop of Ruspe.
Christianity is commonly held to have introduced an entirely new
and better morality into the ancient world, a new morality that was
decidedly universal, in contrast to the ethics of the philosophical
schools which were only concerned with the intellectual few. Runar
M. Thorsteinsson presents a challenge to this view by comparing
Christian morality in first-century Rome with contemporary Stoic
ethics in the city.
'Perpetua shouted out with joy as the sword pierced her, for she wanted to taste some of the pain and she even guided the hesitant hand of the trainee gladiator towards her own throat' Lives of Roman Christian Women is a unique collection of letters and documents from the third to the fifth centuries, celebrating Christian women from across the Roman Empire. During a crucial period in which Christianity transformed from a persecuted faith to the official religion of the Empire, these writings reveal the women who chose to dedicate their lives to Christ, by embracing martyrdom or by adopting a life of poverty and prayer, renouncing not only wealth but also their duties as wives and mothers.
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