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The papers collected in this volume shift the focus away from "heretics" and "heresy" to heresiological discourse, by contextualizing the late antique Jewish and Christian groups that produced our extant literature. The contributors to the volume draw from multiple literary corpora and genres, bringing a variety of late antique perspective to explore the discursive construction of the Other. They unravel ethnic identities, and re-create the multiple voices textured in the dialogue between the "orthodox" and "heretical" writers.
The emergence of formative Judaism has traditionally been examined in light of a theological preoccupation with the two competing religious movements, 'Christianity' and 'Judaism' in the first centuries of the Common Era. In this book Ariel Schremer attempts to shift the scholarly consensus away from this paradigm, instead privileging the rabbinic attitude toward Rome, the destroyer of the temple in 70 C.E., over their concern with the nascent Christian movement. The palpable rabbinic political enmity toward Rome, says Schremer, was determinative in the emerging construction of Jewish self-identity. He asserts that the category of heresy took on a new urgency in the wake of the trauma of the Temple's destruction, which demanded the construction of a new self-identity. Relying on the late 20th-century scholarly depiction of the slow and measured growth of Christianity in the empire up until and even after Constantine's conversion, Schremer minimizes the extent to which the rabbis paid attention to the Christian presence. He goes on, however, to pinpoint the parting of the ways between the rabbis and the Christians in the first third of the second century, when Christians were finally assigned to the category of heretics.
Religious Dissent in Late Antiquity reconsiders the religious history of the late Roman Empire, focusing on the shifting position of dissenting religious groups - conventionally called "pagans" and "heretics". The period from the mid-fourth century until the mid-fifth century CE witnessed asignificant transformation of late Roman society and a gradual shift from the world of polytheistic religions into the Christian Empire.This book challenges the many straightforward melodramatic narratives of the Christianisation of the Roman Empire, still prevalent both in academic research and in popular non-fiction works. Religious Dissent in Late Antiquity demonstrates that the narrative is much more nuanced than the simpleChristian triumph over the classical world. It looks at everyday life, economic aspects, day-to-day practices, and conflicts of interest in the relations of religious groups.Religious Dissent in Late Antiquity addresses two aspects: rhetoric and realities, and consequently, delves into the interplay between the manifest ideologies and daily life found in late antique sources. It is a detailed analysis of selected themes and a close reading of selected texts, tracing keyelements and developments in the treatment of dissident religious groups. The book focuses on specific themes, such as the limits of imperial legislation and ecclesiastical control, the end of sacrifices, and the label of magic. Religious Dissent in Late Antiquity examines the ways in whichdissident religious groups were construed as religious outsiders, but also explores local rituals and beliefs in late Roman society as creative applications and expressions of the infinite range of human inventiveness.
The topic of religious identity in late antiquity is highly contentious. How did individuals and groups come to ascribe identities based on what would now be known as 'religion', categorizing themselves and others with regard to Judaism, Manichaeism, traditional Greek and Roman practices, and numerous competing conceptions of Christianity? How and why did examples of self-identification become established, activated, or transformed in response to circumstances? To what extent do labels (whether ancient and modern) for religious categories reflect a sense of a unified and enduring social or group identity for those included within them? How does religious identity relate to other forms of ancient identity politics (for example, ethnic discourse concerning 'barbarians')? Rhetoric and Religious Identity in Late Antiquity responds to the recent upsurge of interest in this issue by developing interdisciplinary research between classics, ancient and medieval history, philosophy, religion, patristics, and Byzantine studies, expanding the range of evidence standardly used to explore these questions. In exploring the malleability and potential overlapping of religious identities in late antiquity, as well as their variable expressions in response to different public and private contexts, it challenges some prominent scholarly paradigms. In particular, rhetoric and religious identity are here brought together and simultaneously interrogated to provide mutual illumination: in what way does a better understanding of rhetoric (its rules, forms, practices) enrich our understanding of the expression of late-antique religious identity? How does an understanding of how religious identity was ascribed, constructed, and contested provide us with a new perspective on rhetoric at work in late antiquity?
Shifting Genres in Late Antiquity examines the transformations that took place in a wide range of genres, both literary and non-literary, in this dynamic period. The Christianisation of the Roman empire and the successor kingdoms had a profound impact on the evolution of Greek and Roman literature, and many aspects of this are discussed in this volume - the composition of church history, the collection of papal letters, heresiology, homiletics and apologetic. Contributors discuss authors such as John Chrysostom, Ambrose of Milan, Cassiodorus, Jerome, Liberatus of Carthage, Victor of Vita, and Epiphanius of Salamis as well as the Collectio Avellana. Secular literature too, however, underwent important changes, notably in Constantinople in the sixth century. Several chapters accordingly reassess the work of Procopius of Caesarea and literature of this period; attention is also given to the evolution of the chronicle genre. Technical writing, such as military manuals and legal texts, are the focus of other chapters; further genres considered include monody, epigraphy and epistolography. Changes in visual representation are also considered in chapters devoted to diptychs, monuments and coins. A common theme that emerges from the chapters is the flexibility and adaptability of genres in the period: late antique authors, whether orators or historians, were not slavish followers of their classical predecessors. They were capable of engaging with their models, adapting them to their own purposes, and producing work that deserves to be considered on its own merits. It is necessary to examine their texts and genres closely to grasp what they set out to do; on occasion, attention must also be paid to the transmission of these texts. The volume as a whole represents a significant contribution to the reassessment of late antique culture in general.
By engaging with recent developments in the study of empires, this book examines how inhabitants of Roman imperial Syria reinvented expressions and experiences of Greek, Roman and Syrian identification. It demonstrates how the organization of Greek communities and a peer polity network extending citizenship to ethnic Syrians generated new semiotic frameworks for the performance of Greekness and Syrianness. Within these, Syria's inhabitants reoriented and interwove idioms of diverse cultural origins, including those from the Near East, to express Greek, Roman and Syrian identifications in innovative and complex ways. While exploring a vast array of written and material sources, the book thus posits that Greekness and Syrianness were constantly shifting and transforming categories, and it critiques many assumptions that govern how scholars of antiquity often conceive of Roman imperial Greek identity, ethnicity and culture in the Roman Near East, and processes of 'hybridity' or similar concepts.
Explore the different aspects of religious identity as it evolved from the third century onward from multiple contributors and different methodological approaches.
This book is dealing with the relations between the Rabbinical Judaism and the Early Christianity. It studies the continuities and the mutations and clarifies the factors of influences and the polemics between these two traditions. Ce livre s'int resse aux relations entre le juda sme rabbinique et le christianisme primitif. Il tudie les continuit s et les ruptures et clarifie les facteurs d'influences et les pol miques entre les deux traditions.
In late antiquity, as Christianity emerged from Judaism, it was not only the new religion that was being influenced by the old. The rise and revolutionary challenge of Christianity also had a profound influence on rabbinic Judaism, which was itself just emerging and, like Christianity, trying to shape its own identity. In The Jewish Jesus, Peter Schäfer reveals the crucial ways in which various Jewish heresies, including Christianity, affected the development of rabbinic Judaism. He even shows that some of the ideas that the rabbis appropriated from Christianity were actually reappropriated Jewish ideas. The result is a demonstration of the deep mutual influence between the sister religions, one that calls into question hard and fast distinctions between orthodoxy and heresy, and even Judaism and Christianity, during the first centuries CE.
Jenny R. Labendz shows that despite the highly internal and self-referential nature of rabbinic Torah study, some ancient rabbis believed that the involvement of non-Jews in rabbinic intellectual culture was an enriching aspect of rabbinic learning and teaching.
New essays on a central dichotomy of history and theology, the need to reconcile the diversity of the Church with a unifying discipline.
Late antiquity is increasingly recognised as a period of important cultural transformation. One of its crucial aspects is the emergence of a new awareness of human individuality. In this book an interdisciplinary and international group of scholars documents and analyses this development. Authors assess the influence of seminal thinkers, including the Gnostics, Plotinus, and Augustine, but also of cultural and religious practices such as astrology and monasticism, as well as, more generally, the role played by intellectual disciplines such as grammar and Christian theology. Broad in both theme and scope, the volume serves as a comprehensive introduction to late antique understandings of human individuality.
The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity offers an innovative overview of a period (c. 300-700 CE) that has become increasingly central to scholarly debates over the history of western and Middle Eastern civilizations. This volume covers such pivotal events as the fall of Rome, the rise of Christianity, the origins of Islam, and the early formation of Byzantium and the European Middle Ages. These events are set in the context of widespread literary, artistic, cultural, and religious change during the period. The geographical scope of this Handbook is unparalleled among comparable surveys of Late Antiquity; Arabia, Egypt, Central Asia, and the Balkans all receive dedicated treatments, while the scope extends to the western kingdoms, and North Africa in the West. Furthermore, from economic theory and slavery to Greek and Latin poetry, Syriac and Coptic literature, sites of religious devotion, and many others, this Handbook covers a wide range of topics that will appeal to scholars from a diverse array of disciplines. The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity engages the perennially valuable questions about the end of the ancient world and the beginning of the medieval, while providing a much-needed touchstone for the study of Late Antiquity itself.
Sheds light on the concept of late antiquity and the events of its time, showing that this was in fact a period of great transformation
The contributions to this volume are concerned with the Roman law of antiquity in its broadest sense, covering both private and public law from the Roman Republic to the Byzantine era, including legal papyrology. They also examine the reception of Roman law in Western Europe and its colonies (specifically the Dutch East Indies) from the Middle Ages to the promulgation of the German Burgerliche Gesetzbuch in 1900. They reflect the wide interests of Professor Boudewijn Sirks, whom the volume honours on the occasion of his retirement and whose work and career have transcended frontiers and nations.
Many recent discoveries have confirmed the importance of Orphism for ancient Greek religion, philosophy, and literature. However, its nature and role are still very controversial. The key problem of its relationship to Christianity has been discussed by ancient and modern authors from many different viewpoints, albeit too often tainted with apologetic interests and unconscious projections. This free and thorough study of the ancient sources sheds light on these questions and illuminates the complexity of the encounter between Classical culture and Jewish-Christian tradition. New perspectives on the relationship between Classical and Jewish-Christian culture On the avowed subject of Orphism Author is specialist within the field
This volume in the ongoing Late Antique Archaeology series draws on material and textual evidence to explore the diverse religious world of Late Antiquity. Subjects include Jews and Samaritans, orthodoxy and heresy, pilgrimage, stylites, magic, the sacred and the secular.

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