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By the time Christianity became a political and cultural force in the Roman Empire, it had come to embody a new moral vision. This wise and eloquent book describes the formative years-from the crucifixion of Jesus to the end of the second century of the common era-when Christian beliefs and practices shaped their unique moral order. Wayne A. Meeks examines the surviving documents from Christianity's beginnings (some of which became the New Testament) and shows that they are largely concerned with the way converts to the movement should behave. Meeks finds that for these Christians, the formation of morals means the formation of community; the documents are addressed not to individuals but to groups, and they have among their primary aims the maintenance and growth of these groups. Meeks paints a picture of the process of socialization that produced the early forms of Christian morality, discussing many factors that made the Christians feel that they were a single and "chosen" people. He describes, for example, the impact of conversion; the rapid spread of Christian household cult-associations in the cities of the Roman Empire; the language of Christian moral discourse as revealed in letters, testaments, and "moral stories"; the rituals, meetings, and institutionalization of charity; the Christians' feelings about celibacy, sex, and gender roles; and their sense of the end-time and final judgment. In each of these areas Meeks seeks to determine what is distinctive about the Christian viewpoint and what is similar to the moral components of Greco-Roman or Jewish thought.
This volume contains comprehensive and scholarly editions of three important Anglo-Saxon saints' lives. Rosalind Love provides the Latin texts, based on all known manuscript versions, with a facing-page English translation, together with full annotation and a historical introduction which sets these works in the context of the development of hagiographical literature.
An introduction to the history of the Christian church from its inception to approximately 600 C.E., this volume seeks to balance the traditional presentation of notable figures, councils, and controversies with the telling of the story of the ordinary Christian during this era. An important feature of this work is its attendance to the stories of ordinary lay Christians--particularly women--and what Christian faith meant within the overall context of their lives. Other emphases include the church's changing role in society during this period (and the fateful consequences those changes have had for modern Christians) and the development of early Christian spirituality.
Employing a socio-institutional approach, Hinson divides his material into five major periods: (1) Beginnings to 70 C.E. (2) 70-180, during which Christianity broadcast itself throughout the Roman Empire and beyond (3) 175-313, wherein the church achieved new status and came under official scrutiny as a threat to the empire (4) 313-400, in which the church faced the major challenge of Christianizing the empire now embracing it (5) 400-600, when the Germanic "invasions" led to a rift between East and West and posed new challenges to the church's survival and growth.
One of the outstanding Christian thinkers of all time, Maximus the Confessor (ca. 580-662) exerted a powerful formative influence on the Church when it was still one and undivided. Maximus left his stamp on Christianity as it is now recognized by all three broad streams of Christian faith: Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant. Yet for centuries the detailed study of Maximus's writings was neglected. The first edition of Thunberg's Microcosm and Mediator (1965) helped to transform this situation of indifference into one of intense interest in Maximus and the subtleties of his thinking. This new edition has been revised and expanded, with updated references and bibliographies. The focus of Microcosm and Mediator is Maximus's anthropology, his highly developed general reflections on human nature. Maximus understands man as, not only a being - a microcosm - who reflects the constitution of the created universe, but also as a being - a mediator - created in the image of God, whose task it is, in Christ, to reconcile the spiritual and the sensible into one homogeneous unity.
The first comprehensive introduction to the Orthodox Church in the United States from 1794 to the present, this book includes a succinct picture of the distinctive history of Orthodoxy and its particular perspectives on the Christian faith. Attention is given to the contacts between the Orthodox Church and other Christian churches, as well as its contributions to the ecumenical movement. Over 80 biographies of major Orthodox leaders in America also are included along with an annotated bibliography of the writings of the major Orthodox theologians. The book begins with a review of the historical characteristics and distinctive faith affirmations of Orthodoxy, which has a history that is quite different from Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. Subsequent chapters examine the historical development of the Orthodox Church in this country, with special attention being paid to the early mission in Alaska, the effects of immigration, the organizational developments of parishes and dioceses, the effects of old world politics, the movement toward greater unity, and the distinctive features of American Orthodoxy today. The material is fresh and inclusive, covering all major branches and treating them with an irenic spirit. The biographies are thoughtful and informative, and there is a tremendous amount of bibliographic and reference material. Scholars, practitioners in every faith, and laypersons will find this volume indispensable.
With the growth of interest in later Greek philosophy, the importance of Plotinus (AD 205-270) as a seminal influence on later thinkers, both pagan and Christian, is being increasingly recognized. The Enneads have been readily available for some time, both in Greek and in English translation, and there is no shortage of scholarly writing on the Enneads in general, and on particular aspects of Plotinus' thought. However, apart from Michael Atkinson's translation and commentary on Ennead V.1 (Clarendon Press, 1985), there has been no major commentary in English on any single treatise. Plotinus' Greek is notoriously obscure, and mere translation often sheds little light. Barrie Fleet's translation and commentary on Ennead III.6 elucidates the text of a major treatise in which Plotinus uses the concept of impassivity to shed light on three questions of importance to Platonists: the nature of change in the human soul; its analogue in the Sensible World; and the nature of Matter. Dr Fleet shows how texts of Plato and Aristotle, and Hellenistic commentaries on them, were central to the seminars held in Rome under the leadership of Plotinus. This treatise is the outcome of one such seminar. All Greek quotations in the commentary are translated into English, and all Greek terms are either translated or transliterated, making this edition fully accessible to readers with or without Greek.
This is a study of the religious practices of lay people within a distinctive and relatively unexplored region that once formed the diocese of Salisbury. Andrew Brown explores lay piety in its contexts of landscape, society, and the church, and examines the many different issues and activities which were of contemporary importance, such as the religious guilds, charity, and heresy. He shows how the regional variations in social and economic structure affected parish life, and concludes with an important assessment of the reception of the Reformation in the diocese. This is the first scholarly study of the lay religion of this region, and its broad chronological range of and meticulously researched local focus offer illuminating insights into medieval piety over the centuries.
This addition to Sheffield's acclaimed Old Testament Guides series introduces students not only to Proverbs but also to the genre of 'wisdom literature' in general (dealing with such questions as the origin and location of 'wisdom' in ancient Israel). Martin discusses the structure of the book of Proverbs as a whole, provides a guided reading to the more or less sustained discourses in chapters 1-9 and to the collections of proverb-type sentences in the remaining chapters, and considers the relationship of Proverbs to other ancient Near Eastern literature. The Guide is completed by essays on 'The Feminine in the Book of Proverbs' and 'Wisdom and Theology'.>
This is the first work to combine an introduction to Augustine's Confessions with a larger outline of his mature theology. Mallard provides guidance for reading the narrative Confessions (Books I-IX) and at the same time, by certain extensions and comments, reveals the three major topical divisions within Augustine's thought: creation, salvation, and the City of God. Mallard is able to do this because Augustine's affirmation of the good of Creation, his view of the human will and God's grace (and the nature of evil), his sense of a religious people's identity and their hope, and his view of faith and reason were all essentially in place at the time of the Confessions.
Mallard argues that Augustine was not "in search of himself" in a modern sense but in search of a language of prayer, praise, and truth that would locate him within God's grace. That language turned out to be the language of Incarnation, which remains compelling and inviting today. As a classic work, the Confessions is a monument to its own time, but it has striking resonances for our own. Mallard's interpretation will challenge readers to begin working out their own.
The Confessions endures because it is a story that illumines the stories of many, even to the present day. To analyze how it is like, and unlike, modern experiences is to exercise both mind and heart. In that respect, Language and Love is a kind of theological meditation on the Confessions testing out a horizon of belief. Mallard views Augustine as a master of the spoken word in an age of broken and abused language and the Confessions as a historic masterpiece of rhetoric. He contends that Augustine is the ancestor of many today who offer social and political hope through fresh rhetorical vitality.
By applying perspectives from sociology and anthropology to a wide range of biblical data, The First Christians in their Social Worlds examines how the New Testament documents were influenced by the social realities of the early Christian communities for whom they were written, with the result that the texts reveal an intimate connection between society and Gospel. Overlaying this theoretical foundation, Philip Esler's book studies specific socio-political ideas in various texts of the New Testament, for example, charismatic phenomena, the admission of Gentiles into early Christian communities, sectarianism, and millenarianism and its relationship to political oppression.
Georges Florovsky was a major Russian intellectual and Orthodox churchman, a pioneer leader in the modern ecumenical movement who is now recognized as the most profound Orthodox theologian of the 20th century. This book offers: an account of his life, by Andrew Blane; essays and analyses of Florovsky's thought, by Marc Raeff and George Williams; a bibliography of Florovsky's work; and descriptions of the deposits of Father Florovsky's papers in the library collections of Princton University and St Vladimir's Seminary. It is intended as a research tool and also provides a comprehensive assessment of Florovsky, accessible to the general reader.
MacDonald argues that the apocryphal Acts of Andrew represent an attempt to transform Greco-Roman myth into Christian narrative categories by telling the story of Andrew in terms of Homeric epic, in particular The Odyssey.
While the book of Jonah is, in some ways, unique, it stands firmly in the Old Testament tradition. There have been various suggestions as to genre, the most likely being the (short) didactic story; but the aim of the author is not easy to discern. The authenticity of Jonah's message to the Ninevites is stressed, as is their repentance, and Yahweh's mercy. The purpose of the book must lie in a combination of these themes. Lamentations is a neglected book, perhaps because it was associated with the book of Jeremiah and considered almost as an appendix. On the question of genre it has the closest affinities with the psalms of lament; but, whereas it is very difficult to link a psalm with a specific historical event or period, the five chapters of Lamentations appear to have the Fall of Jerusalem as background. While gloom abounds, the careful reader discovers the faith of the author shining through. He is a "practical monotheist" who interprets the castastrophe of the fall of Jerusalem in the light of his faith.
This collection of essays, written to commemorate their centenary, celebrates the work of the Plainsong and Mediaeval Music Society. Founded in 1888, the Society quickly established two areas of activity: the propagation of information on medieval music and the revitalization of the Anglican liturgy with the riches of the plainchant of the Roman Rite.
Of the two sides of the Society's activities, the scholarly and the practical, this collection represents the former. The essays reflect the founders' interest in medieval music, both monophonic and polyphonic, and, particularly, their concern with chant. The contributors to this volume are among the most distinguished scholars of medieval music of recent years.
Contributors: David Hiley, Ritva Jacobsson, Michel Huglo, Susan Rankin, Wulf Arlt, Ruth Steiner, David Chadd, Andrew Hughes, John Caldwell, Frank Ll. Harrison, Nick Sandon.
Baptism for the early Christians was a subject of crucial importance, and its symbolism fired the imagination of writers throughout the Christian world. Arator, the Roman sub-deacon who wrote a verse-commentary on the Acts of the Apostles in A.D. 544, was no exception. The Historia Apostolica is a work of historical importance. Written at a time of crisis, politically and theologically, it is of interest as propaganda for a papacy under threat from Constantinople. But Arator's concentration on baptismal themes offers vital evidence of the transmission of exegetical ideas in late antiquity. This book is the first major work on Arator in English and the first ever to study the Historia Apostolica as biblical commentary. Passages of particular baptismal importance are presented both in the original Latin and in a new translation, and are considered in the context of the writings of earlier Christian commentators. Hillier's study is a wide-ranging study of the popularity and potency of baptismal symbolism in the first six centuries A.D.
The Pelagian controversy - whether man is saved through predestination or by his own free will - has proved one of the most enduring and fiercely contended issues of the Christian church, and has secured Pelagius a lasting place within its history. Few of Pelagius' writings, however, have been preserved, and until recently none was available in English translation. This volume presents Pelagius' commentary on Paul's Letter to the Romans for the first time in English. The commentary, one of thirteen on the Pauline Epistles, dates from the time when Pelagius was active in Rome, before he became embroiled in controversy. But already there are adumbrations of the later debate and signs of different currents of thought in Italy and beyond. In his introduction Theodore de Bruyn discusses the context in which Pelagius wrote the commentary and the issues which shaped his interpretation of Romans. He also takes up questions about the edition of the commentary. The translation is annotated with references to Pelagius' contemporaries. A new recension of Pelagius' text of Romans is presented in an appendix.
This book studies the life and thought of the Christian monks of 4th and 5th century lower Egypt, whose views have been influential at many points in the subsequent history of Christianity.
This book starts with a general introduction by Jurgen Becker, and continues with a study of the interaction of Jesus with the world around him by Christoph Burchard. Varieties of early Christianity are illuminated in an examination of the oldest Jewish-Christian community by Carsten Colpe; "The Circle of Stephen and Its Mission," by Karl Loning; and "Paul and His Churches," by Jurgen Becker. Starting from the gospels, John K. Riches explores "The Synoptic Evangelists and Their Communities." "Post-Pauline Christianity and Pagan society" are analyzed by Peter Lampe and Ulrich Luz. "Apocalyptic Currents" are reviewed by Ulrich B. Muller, and finally C. Kingsley Barrett delineates "Johannine Christianity."
Devoting the last years of his life to this book, Professor Wallace-Hadrill produced a new commentary, one of the finest and most mature fruits of his scholarship, more succinct, tauter, and more relevant than previous commentaries, above all drawing together and adding to the findings of a galaxy of modern scholars.
Pseudo-Dionysius is the name given to the author of an influential body of theological texts, dating from around 500 C.E. For centuries, the works were falsely attributed to "Dionysius the Areopagite", the biblical name chosen by the pseudonymous author - that of the Athenian who was converted to Christianity by St. Paul in Acts 17. Written some five hundred years later than the biblical account, The Celestial Hierarchy, The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, The Divine Names, and the Mystical Theology offer a synthesis of biblical interpretation, liturgical spirituality and Neoplatonic philosophy. Their central motif, which has made them the charter of Christian mysticism, is the upward progress of the soul toward God through the spiritual interpretation of the Bible and the liturgy. Dionysius continually reminds his readers, however, that all human concepts fall short of the transcendence of God. In this book, Rorem provides a commentary on all of the Dionysian writings, chapter by chapter, paying special attention to their complex inner coherence. The Dionysian influence on medieval theology is introduced in essays on specific topics: hierarchy, biblical symbolism, angels, Gothic architecture, liturgical allegory, the scholastic doctrine of God, and the mystical theology of the western Middle Ages. Rorem's book makes these important texts more accessible to both scholars and students and includes a comprehensive bibliography of secondary sources.
Commonly called the Gospel according to St. John. Are you ready for the esoteric message of the Gospel never before so clearly revealed? Contents: The Seen and the Unseen; The Four Evangels; The Drama of the Soul; Explanatory Note; The Magical Message according to Ioannes; The Prodigal Son; The Birth from Above; Index. St. John the mystic, calls to you. Listen to this inspiring message of faith, hope, love, and mystical achievement. Are you ready for it?
The Church and Social Reform studies the nature and extent of Athanasios' social reforms and political involvement during his two tenures on the patriarchal throne of Constantiople. The traditional influence, power, and authority that resided in the patriarchate of Constantinople made the involvement of an aggressive patriarch in the social affairs of the empire virtually inevitable.
Fr Pavel Florensky (1882-1937) was a talented figure of Russia's Silver Age, whose interests included mathematics and engineering, philosophy, theology and linguistics. Patriotic and religious, he laboured to serve his country, even under Communism, without, however, renouncing his priesthood. He was ultimately arrested, imprisoned and sentenced to death by firing squad.
Augustine's Love of Wisdom is an analytical and interpretive focus on the first thirty chapters of book ten of Augustine's Autobiographical Confessions. Bourke provides a rich synthesis of key tenets of Augustine's psychology in the context of his philosophical system and selects the most intensive writing of Augustine on the intricacies of the human psyche, providing the reader with insight on an Augustinian explanatory method, introspection. The first part of Augustine's Love of Wisdom establishes the context of Augustine's writings with a biographical sketch of Augustine from his early life and career and an exploration of his background and methodology. Part 2 provides the reader with the original Latin and an English translation of the first thirty chapters of book ten of the Confessions. Part 3 is Bourke's analysis and commentary of these chapters.
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