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Diese oeffentliche Vorlesung wird jahrlich veranstaltet im Andenken an den Kirchenhistoriker Hans Lietzmann (1875-1942), den Nachfolger Adolf von Harnacks als Leiter des Akademienunternehmens Die Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten Jahrhunderte (GCS). Es wird dazu jeweils ein international bedeutender Referent aus dem Bereich der Altertumswissenschaften eingeladen. Die Vortrage behandeln zentrale Themen der antiken Religionsgeschichte mit einer Bedeutung fur die Gegenwart.
The Cross was present at the Eucharist in early Christianity as an idea, a gesture, and an object. Over time, these different actualizations of the quintessential symbol of Christianity have generated important questions about their meaning and function, among them: is the Eucharist a meal and/or a sacrifice? Can the sign of the Cross illuminate the absence of a Roman epiclesis? Is it pertinent -historically and theologically - to use an altar Cross? In this study, Daniel Cardo explores the relation between the Cross and the Eucharist. Offering a thorough and fresh reading of patristic and Roman liturgical texts, he identifies their emphases and common themes on the Cross and the Eucharist, and demonstrates their significance for the liturgical debates of recent decades.
What was the relationship of ancient education to early Christianity? This volume provides an in-depth look at different approaches currently employed by scholars who draw upon educational settings in the ancient world to inform their historical research in Christian origins. The book is divided into two sections: one consisting of essays on education in the ancient world, and one consisting of exegetical studies dealing with various passages where motifs emerging from ancient educational culture provide illumination. The chapters summarize the state of the discussion on ancient education in classical and biblical studies, examine obstacles to arriving at a comprehensive theory of early Christianity's relationship to ancient education, compare different approaches, and compile the diverse methodologies into one comparative study. Several educational motifs are integrated in order to demonstrate the exegetical insights that they may yield when utilized in New Testament historical investigation and interpretation.
Winner of the Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise Matthew Thiessen offers a nuanced and wide-ranging study of the nature of Jewish thought on Jewishness, circumcision, and conversion. Examining texts from the Hebrew Bible, Second Temple Judaism, and early Christianity, he gives a compelling account of the various forms of Judaism from which the early Christian movement arose. Beginning with analysis of the Hebrew Bible, Thiessen argues that there is no evidence that circumcision was considered to be a rite of conversion to Israelite religion. In fact, circumcision, particularly the infant circumcision practiced within Israelite and early Jewish society, excluded from the covenant those not properly descended from Abraham. In the Second Temple period, many Jews began to subscribe to a definition of Jewishness that enabled Gentiles to become Jews. Other Jews, such as the author of Jubilees, found this definition problematic, reasserting a strictly genealogical conception of Jewish identity. As a result, some Gentiles who underwent conversion to Judaism in this period faced criticism because of their suspect genealogy. Thiessen's examination of the way in which Jews in the Second Temple period perceived circumcision and conversion allows a deeper understanding of early Christianity. Contesting Conversion shows that careful attention to a definition of Jewishness that was based on genealogical descent has crucial implications for understanding the variegated nature of early Christian mission to the Gentiles in the first century C.E.
John Chrysostom, or "Golden Mouth", was a famous ascetic and preacher of the fourth/fifth century, a controversial bishop of Constantinople, and a brilliant orator - hence the epithet. This is the first comprehensive study of him in the English language in over a century. In the early chapters John Kelly highlights Chrysostom's youthful experiments with asceticism at Antioch in Syria, his six years as a monk and then a recluse in the nearby mountains, and his influential role as Antioch's leading preacher. The central section of the book shows him as a fearlessly outspoken populist bishop of the capital. Kelly focuses on his authoritarian style, his interventions in political crises, and his clashes with the Empress Eudoxia, as well as his efforts to promote the primacy of the see of Constantinople in the east. The final chapters reconstruct the plots that led to Chrysostom's downfall, the drama of his trial, and his exile and death. Golden Mouth also provides fresh analyses of Chrysostom's principal treatises and public addresses, and discussions of his views on monasticism, sexuality and marriage, education, and suffering.
Christianity in the late antique world was not imposed but embraced, and the laity were not passive members of their religion but had a central role in its creation. This volume explores the role of the laity in Gaul, bringing together the fields of history, archaeology and theology. First, this book follows the ways in which clergy and monks tried to shape and manufacture lay religious experience. They had themselves constructed the category of 'the laity', which served as a negative counterpart to their self-definition. Lay religious experience was thus shaped in part by this need to create difference between categories. The book then focuses on how the laity experienced their religion, how they interpreted it and how their decisions shaped the nature of the Church and of their faith. This part of the study pays careful attention to the diversity of the laity in this period, their religious environments, ritual engagement, behaviours, knowledge and beliefs. The first volume to examine laity in this period in Gaul - a key region for thinking about the transition from Roman rule to post-Roman society - The Religious Worlds of the Laity in Late Antique Gaul fills an important gap in current literature.
Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Cap., has spent most of his Capuchin priestly life as a teacher. He has taught at various Catholic universities in the United States and for twelve years lectured in history and doctrine within the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oxford. Daniel A. Keating is professor of theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.
Scholars are divided on the number of gospels to which fragmentary Jewish-Christian gospel traditions should be attributed. In this book Gregory attributes them to two gospels: the Gospel according to the Hebrews and the Gospel of the Ebionites, with no need for any postulated Gospel of the Nazoraeans. As two distinct texts, each gospel is treated on its own terms, with its own introduction, followed by a text, translation and commentary on each fragment, and further discussion about what we may conclude about the overall character of the text on the basis of the fragments that survive. Yet they share certain common features that warrant them being treated together in one volume with an introduction that discusses certain critical issues that are relevant to them both. One common factor is the partial and indirect way in which these texts have been preserved. No independent manuscript tradition survives for either text, so they have been transmitted only to the extent that they were quoted or discussed by a number of early Christian authors, none of whom claims to be the author of the text from which he appears to quote or to which he appears to refer. This raises a number of questions of a literary nature about how excerpts from these texts may be interpreted. Another common factor is that these gospel traditions are usually referred to as Jewish-Christian, which may raise questions about their historical origins and theological outlook. Any judgment about the historical origins or theological nature of these gospels must rest upon prior examination of what may be reconstructed of their texts, and Gregory is careful to distinguish between what we may conclude from these gospels as texts and how they might contribute to our knowledge of early Christian history. The book also includes a number of appendices in which he discusses issues that have been prominent in the history of scholarship on these texts, but which he argues are not relevant to these two gospels as he presents them. These include claims about an original Hebrew gospel of Matthew, the postulated Gospel of the Nazoraeans and the so-called 'Jewish gospel', as well as what may be known about the Nazoraeans and the Ebionites.
Antioch was the fourth great city of the Roman world, and yet it is often written off as a lost ancient city. Founded in 300 BC by Seleucus I as part of his plan to colonize Syria with Greeks, the city had from its inception been home to Greeks, Macedonians, Syrians, Egyptians and many others. From the early 60s BC, when Syria was established as a Roman province, the physical appearance, culture and institutions of the city underwent a process of Romanization. Antioch became an important religious centre with both strong pagan traditions and a large Jewish community, and it was soon home to one of the oldest Christian communities and the seat of a patriarch. material on Antioch in the late Roman period (the 2nd to the 7th centuries AD), from the writings of the orator Libanius and the preacher John Chrysostom to the extensive mosaics found in the city and its suburbs. The authors consider the lively issues of identity and ethnicity in this truly multi-cultural and multi-religious city, the effects of Romanization and Christianization on the city and surrounding region, and the central place of the city in the Roman world.
This book examines literary analogies in Christian and Jewish sources, culminating in an in-depth analysis of striking parallels and connections between Christian monastic texts (the Apophthegmata Patrum or 'The Sayings of the Desert Fathers') and Babylonian Talmudic traditions. The importance of the monastic movement in the Persian Empire, during the time of the composition and redaction of the Babylonian Talmud, fostered a literary connection between the two religious populations. The shared literary elements in the literatures of these two elite religious communities sheds new light on the surprisingly inclusive nature of the Talmudic corpora and on the non-polemical nature of elite Jewish-Christian literary relations in late antique Persia.
This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence. It is free to read at Oxford Scholarship Online and offered as a free PDF download from OUP and selected open access locations. Latin is the language in which the New Testament was copied, read, and studied for over a millennium. The remains of the initial 'Old Latin' version preserve important testimony for early forms of text and the way in which the Bible was understood by the first translators. Successive revisions resulted in a standard version subsequently known as the Vulgate which, along with the creation of influential commentaries by scholars such as Jerome and Augustine, shaped theology and exegesis for many centuries. Latin gospel books and other New Testament manuscripts illustrate the continuous tradition of Christian book culture, from the late antique codices of Roman North Africa and Italy to the glorious creations of Northumbrian scriptoria, the pandects of the Carolingian era, eleventh-century Giant Bibles, and the Paris Bibles associated with the rise of the university. In The Latin New Testament, H.A.G. Houghton provides a comprehensive introduction to the history and development of the Latin New Testament. Drawing on major editions and recent advances in scholarship, he offers a new synthesis which brings together evidence from Christian authors and biblical manuscripts from earliest times to the late Middle Ages. All manuscripts identified as containing Old Latin evidence for the New Testament are described in a catalogue, along with those featured in the two principal modern editions of the Vulgate. A user's guide is provided for these editions and the other key scholarly tools for studying the Latin New Testament.
Paul and the Gentile Problem provides a new explanation for the apostle Paul's statements about the Jewish law in his letters to the Romans and Galatians. Paul's arguments against circumcision and the law in Romans 2 and his reading of Genesis 15-21 in Galatians 4:21-31 belong within a stream of Jewish thinking which rejected the possibility that gentiles could undergo circumcision and adopt the Jewish law, thereby becoming Jews. Paul opposes this solution to the gentile problem because he thinks it misunderstands how essentially hopeless the gentile situation remains outside of Christ. The second part of the book moves from Paul's arguments against a gospel that requires gentiles to undergo circumcision and adoption of the Jewish law to his own positive account, based on his reading of the Abraham Narrative, of the way in which Israel's God relates to gentiles. Having received the Spirit (pneuma) of Christ, gentiles are incorporated into Christ, who is the singular seed of Abraham, and, therefore, become materially related to Abraham. But this solution raises a question: Why is it so important for Paul that gentiles become seed of Abraham? The argument of this book is that Paul believes that God had made certain promises to Abraham that only those who are his seed could enjoy and that these promises can be summarized as being empowered to live a moral life, inheriting the cosmos, and having the hope of an indestructible life.
The question of what it means for Christ to be the "image of God," or imago dei, lies at the heart of the Christological debates of the fourth century. Is an image a derivation from its source? Are they two separate substances? Does an image serve to reveal its source? Is an image ontologically inferior to its source? In this book, Gerald P. Boersma examines three Western pro-Nicene theologies of the imago dei, which tackle the question of whether human beings and Christ can both be considered to be the "image of God." Boersma goes on to examine Augustine's early theology of the imago dei, prior to his ordination (386-391). According to Boersma, Augustine's early thought posits that Christ is an image of equal likeness to God, while a human being is an image of unequal likeness. He argues that although Augustine's early theology of image builds on that of Hilary of Poitiers, Marius Victorinus, and Ambrose of Milan, Augustine was able to affirm, in ways that his predecessors were not, how both Christ and the human person can be considered the imago dei.
Moving past earlier descriptions of first-century Christ groups that were based on examining the New Testament in isolation from extant sources produced by analogous cult groups throughout Mediterranean antiquity, this book engages with underexplored epigraphic and papyrological records and situates the behaviour of Paul's Corinthian ekklesia within broader patterns of behaviour practised by Greco-Roman associations. Richard Last's comparative analysis generates highly original contributions to our understanding of the social history of the Jesus movement: he shows that the Corinthians were a small group who had no fixed meeting place, who depended on financial contributions from all ten members in order to survive, and who attracted recruits by offering social benefits such as crowns and office-holding that made other ancient cult groups successful. This volume provides a much-needed robust alternative to the traditional portrayal of Pauline Christ groups as ecclesiastically egalitarian, devoid of normative honorific practices, and free for the poor.
As the vestiges of the Roman political machine began to collapse in the fifth century A.D., the towering figure of Pope St. Leo the Great came into relief amid the rubble. Sustained by an immutable doctrine transcending institutions and cultures, the Church alone emerged from the chaos. Eventually, the Roman heritage became assimilated into Christianity and ceased to have a life of its own. It would be practically impossible to understand this monumental transition from the Roman world to Christendom without taking into account the pivotal role played by Leo the Great. In this regard, his sermons provide invaluable data for the social historian. It was Leo-and not the emperor-who went out to confront Attila the Hun. It was Leo who once averted and on another occasion mitigated the ravages of barbarian incursions. As significant as his contribution was to history, Leo had an even greater impact on theology. When partisans of the monophysite heresy had through various machinations predetermined the outcome of a council held at Chalcedon in 450, Leo immediately denounced it as a latrocinium (robbery) rather than a concilium (council). A year later- with cries of ""Peter has spoken through Leo!""-the ecumenical Council of Chalcedon, a pillar of Catholic Christianity, adopted in its resounding condemnation of monophysitism the very language formulated by Leo. Pope Leo also developed the most explicit and detailed affirmations known up to that time of the prerogatives enjoyed by successors of St. Peter. Many theological principles find their clearest, and certainly their most eloquent, expression in his sermons. Leo spoke with all the refinement of a Roman orator, less the pagan trappings, and thus epitomized a Christian appropriation of the classical heritage. In the midst of it all, however, Pope St. Leo thought of himself simply as the humble servant of those entrusted to his care. This volume presents the first English translation of the complete Sermons.
At the end of the 1740s, the Moravians, a young and rapidly expanding radical-Pietist movement, experienced a crisis soon labeled the Sifting Time. As Moravian leaders attempted to lead the church away from the abuses of the crisis, they also tried to erase the memory of this controversial and embarrassing period. Archival records were systematically destroyed, and official histories of the church only dealt with this period in general terms. It is not surprising that the Sifting Time became both a taboo and an enigma in Moravian historiography. In A Time of Sifting, Paul Peucker provides the first book-length, in-depth look at the Sifting Time and argues that it did not consist of an extreme form of blood-and-wounds devotion, as is often assumed. Rather, the Sifting Time occurred when Moravians began to believe that the union with Christ could be experienced not only during marital intercourse but during extramarital sex as well. Peucker shows how these events were the logical consequence of Moravian teachings from previous years. As the nature of the crisis became evident, church leaders urged the members to revert to their earlier devotion of the blood and wounds of Christ. By returning to this earlier phase, the Moravians lost their dynamic character and became more conservative. It was at this moment that the radical-Pietist Moravians of the first half of the eighteenth century reinvented themselves as a noncontroversial evangelical denomination.
From John of Apamea to Mark's Gospel: Two Dialogues with Thomasios: A Hermeneutical Reading of Horao, Blepo, and Theoreo combines two theological fields of investigation. The first is related to the Patristic theology of Eastern Syrian Christianity and the second resides in the field of Biblical theology. The research articulates the two fields, which complement each other through a logic exposition in that the theological conceptions of John of Apamea serve as the hermeneutical reading of the verbs of visual perception in the Markan Gospel. The first part expounds the problem related to the quest of the historical John of Apamea, an overview of the problem of his identity based upon the most important critical works attributed to him, proposing a plausible solution. The notion of the spiritual perception of the soul is intrinsically connected with the notion of "spiritual exegesis" and "spiritual senses", essential thoughts in the theology of the dialogues with Thomasios. Applying this methodological approach to the Scripture, the second part expounds the topic of the spiritual seeing in Mark's Gospel. The section follows four expositive stages. The first consists of the semantic analysis of the Markan terminology and its psychological implications; the second analyzes the narrative portrait of the seeing of Jesus; the third examines briefly the seeing of the demons; the last stage considers the contemplative attitude of the women in the context of Christ's passion, death, and resurrection. From John of Apamea to Mark's Gospel is essential reading for scholars in Eastern Patristic theology, Biblical theology, and spiritual theology.
This major work draws on current archaeological and textual
research to trace the spread of Christianity in the first
millennium. William Tabbernee, an internationally renowned scholar
of the history of Christianity, has assembled a team of expert
historians to survey the diverse forms of early Christianity as it
spread across centuries, cultures, and continents.
The second volume of the Letters of Barsanuphius and John completes the collection of these monastic writings, which provided both spiritual and practical advice to a variety of sixth-century interlocutors from diverse walks of life. The two anchorites, having settled in an isolated location near Gaza, were in demand as trusted counselors, responding to questions on topics ranging from relationships within monasteries to problems of municipal taxation. Barsanuphius, the ""great old man,"" and John, the ""other old man,"" fulfilled their time-honored role as resident holy men in their locality, leaving behind a wealth of monastic wisdom as well as inspiration for all Christians. Distinctive to this volume are many colorful letters that will attract the interest of historians of this period. Some of these are responses to inquiries about specific problems of mundane life, such as veterinary treatment for a horse, the leprous disease of a household servant, and vandalism in a vineyard. Of broader applicability is the advice regarding such issues as the replacement of an unworthy bishop, the management of alms donated for the poor, and the quality of public entertainment in faraway Constantinople. The religious diversity of the Gaza region at this time, a century before the advent of Islam, generated questions about how Christians should interact with Jewish, pagan, and Manichaean fellow citizens. Abundant also are insights into the human heart. Barsanuphius and John offer timeless teachings on the inner warfare against resentful thoughts, temptations, doubts, anxieties, and reluctance to surrender oneself trustfully to God. They examine the human foibles arising from relationships among monks, and between monks and abbots, with a serene clarity resulting from these holy men's long experience with the introspective asceticism of the desert. Charity and humility, perpetual watchwords of the Christian life, are combined with prudence and discretion to create a literary corpus that both inspires and informs.
In Holy Misogyny, bible scholar April DeConick wants real answers to the questions that are rarely whispered from the pulpits of the contemporary Christian churches. Why is God male? Why are women associated with sin? Why can't women be priests? Drawing on her extensive knowledge of the early Christian literature, she seeks to understand the conflicts over sex and gender in the early church - what they were and what was at stake. She explains how these ancient conflicts have shaped contemporary Christianity and its promotion of male exclusivity and superiority in terms of God, church leadership, and the bed. DeConick's detective work uncovers old aspects of Christianity before later doctrines and dogmas were imposed upon the churches, and the earlier teachings about the female were distorted. Holy Misogyny shows how the female was systematically erased from the Christian tradition, and why. She concludes that the distortion and erasure of the female is the result of ancient misogyny made divine writ, a holy misogyny that remains with us today.
In our current pluralist and often secular context, there is no clearly designated means of valuing or defining the human person. Matthew Drever shows that in the writings of St. Augustine we find a concept of the human person as fluid, tenuous, prone to great good and great vice, and influenced deeply by language, history, and society. Through examination of his account of the human relation to God, Drever demonstrates how Augustine may be regarded as a crucial resource for a religious reorientation and revaluation of the person. Drever focuses particularly on the concepts of the imago dei and creatio ex nihilo, significant for their influence on Augustine's understanding of the human person and for their potential to bridge his and our own world. Though rooted in Augustine's early work, these concepts are developed fully in his later writings: his Genesis commentaries and On the Trinity in particular. Drever examines how in these later writings the origin (creatio ex nihilo) and identity (imago dei) of the human person intersect with Augustine's understanding of creation, Christ, and the Trinity. Image, Identity, and the Forming of the Augustinian Soul constructs an interpretation of Augustine's view of the person that acknowledges its classical context while also addressing contemporary theological and philosophical appropriations of Augustine and the issues that animate them.
The passing of Professor Graham Stanton, former Lady Margaret chair of divinity at Cambridge University, in 2009 marked the passing of an era in Matthean scholarship and studies of early Christianity. Stanton's fifteen books and dozens of articles span thirty-four years and centre largely on questions pertaining to the gospel of Matthew and early Christianity. The present volume pays tribute to Stanton by engaging with the principal areas of his research and contributions: the Gospel of Matthew and Early Christianity. Contributors to the volume each engage a research question which intersects the contribution of Stanton in his various spheres of scholarly influence and enquiry. The distinguished contributors include; Richard Burridge, David Catchpole, James D.G. Dunn, Craig A. Evans, Don Hagner, Peter Head, Anders Runesson and Christopher Tuckett.
This book demonstrates that the Gospels originated from a sequential hypertextual reworking of the contents of Paul's letters and, in the case of Matthew and John, of the Acts of the Apostles. Consequently, the new quest for the historical Jesus, which takes this discovery into serious consideration, results in a rather limited reconstruction of Jesus' life. However, since such a reconstruction includes, among others, Jesus' messiahship, behaving in a way which was later interpreted as pointing to him as the Son of God, instituting the Lord's Supper, being conscious of the religious significance of his imminent death, dying on the cross, and appearing as risen from the dead to Cephas and numerous other Jewish believers, it can be reconciled with the principles of the Christian faith.
The political and social changes that occurred with the transformation of the Roman Empire into a Roman Christian Empire and with the bishops' new social position as imperial bishops called for new literary representations of the ideal Christian leader. In this struggle, the figure of Moses turned up as a suitable figure intimately connected with questions of authority and power and, related to this, with the risk of dissension and discord. While the portrait of Moses as a political figure was hardly applicable in Christian discourses of the 2nd and 3rd centuries, it became the centre of interest during the 4th century. This new emphasis was, however, no more new than that it actually revived traditions of 1st-century Jewish biographical and autobiographical narratives.
Disciplining Christians reconsiders several of Augustine's most well-known letter exchanges, including his famously controversial correspondence with Jerome and his efforts to engage his Donatist rivals in a letter exchange. It reads these letters with close attention to conventional epistolary norms and practices, in an effort to identify innovative features of Augustine's epistolary practice. In particular, it notes and analyzes Augustine's adaptation of the traditionally friendly letter exchange to the correction of perceived error in the Christian community. In transforming the practice of letter exchange into a tool of correction, Augustine draws on both the classical philosophical tradition and also scripture. His particular innovation is his insistence that this process of correction can-and often must-be done in the potentially public form of a letter exchange rather than in the privacy of a face-to-face conversation. This is particularly true when the perceived error is one that has the potential to jeopardize the salvation of the entire Christian community. In offering epistolary correction, and requesting reciprocal correction from his correspondents, Augustine treats his practice of letter exchange as a performance of Christian caritas. Indeed, in his view, the friendliest correspondence was that which was concerned solely with preserving the salvation of the participants. In recognizing Augustine's commitment to the corrective correspondence and thus reading his letters with attention to their corrective function, we gain new insights into the complicated dynamics of Augustine's relationships with Jerome, Paulinus of Nola, the Donatists, and Pelagius.
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