The Power of Religion in Late Antiquity

Author: Andrew Cain
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317019539
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Late Antiquity witnessed a dramatic recalibration in the economy of power, and nowhere was this more pronounced than in the realm of religion. The transformations that occurred in this pivotal era moved the ancient world into the Middle Ages and forever changed the way that religion was practiced. The twenty eight studies in this volume explore this shift using evidence ranging from Latin poetic texts, to Syriac letter collections, to the iconography of Roman churches and Merowingian mortuary goods. They range in chronology from the late third through the early seventh centuries AD and apply varied theories and approaches. All converge around the notion that religion is fundamentally a discourse of power and that power in Late Antiquity was especially charged with the force of religion. The articles are divided into eight sections which examine the power of religion in literature, theurgical power over the divine, emperors and the deployment of religious power, limitations on the power of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, the use of the cross as a symbol of power, Rome and its transformation as a center of power, the power of religion in the barbarian west, and religious power in the communities of the east. This kaleidoscope of perspectives creates a richly illuminating volume that add a new social and political dimension to current debates about religion in Late Antiquity.

The Rhetoric of Power in Late Antiquity

Author: Elizabeth DePalma Digeser
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 085771919X
Format: PDF, ePub
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Late Antiquity, the period of transition from the crisis of Roman Empire in the third century to the Middle Ages, has traditionally been considered only in terms of the 'decline' from classical standards. Recent classical scholarship strives to consider this period on its own terms. Taking the reign of Constantine the Great as its starting point, this book examines the unique intersection of rhetoric, religion and politics in Late Antiquity. Expert scholars come together to examine ancient rhetorical texts to explore the ways in which late antique authors drew upon classical traditions, presenting Roman and post-Roman religious and political institutions in order to establish a desired image of a 'new era'. This book provides new insights into how the post-Roman Germanic West, Byzantine East and Muslim South appropriated and transformed the political, intellectual and cultural legacy inherited from the late Roman Empire and its borderlands.

Power and Persuasion in Late Antiquity

Author: Peter Brown
Publisher: Univ of Wisconsin Press
ISBN: 9780299133443
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Peter Brown, perhaps the greatest living authority on Mediterranean civilization in late antiquity, traces the growing power of Christian bishops as they wrested influence from philosophers, who had traditionally advised the rulers of Graeco-Roman society. In the new "Christian empire," the ancient bonds of citizen to citizen and of each city to its benefactors were replaced by a common Christianity and common loyalty to a distant, Christian autocrat. This transformation of the Roman empire from an ancient to a medieval society, he argues, is among the most far-reaching consequences of the rise of Christianity.

City of Demons

Author: Dayna S. Kalleres
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520956842
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Although it would appear in studies of late antique ecclesiastical authority and power that scholars have covered everything, an important aspect of the urban bishop has long been neglected: his role as demonologist and exorcist. When the emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the realm, bishops and priests everywhere struggled to "Christianize" the urban spaces still dominated by Greco-Roman monuments and festivals. During this period of upheaval, when congregants seemingly attended everything but their own "orthodox" church, many ecclesiastical leaders began simultaneously to promote aggressive and insidious depictions of the demonic. In City of Demons, Dayna S. Kalleres investigates this developing discourse and the church-sponsored rituals that went along with it, showing how shifting ecclesiastical demonologies and evolving practices of exorcism profoundly shaped Christian life in the fourth century.

Divine Powers in Late Antiquity

Author: Anna Marmodoro
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191079952
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Is power the essence of divinity, or are divine powers distinct from divine essence? Are they divine hypostases or are they divine attributes? Are powers such as omnipotence, omniscience, etc. modes of divine activity? How do they manifest? In which way can we apprehend them? Is there a multiplicity of gods whose powers fill the cosmos or is there only one God from whom all power(s) derive(s) and whose power(s) permeate(s) everything? These are questions that become central to philosophical and theological debates in Late Antiquity (roughly corresponding to the period 2nd to the 6th centuries). On the one hand, the Pagan Neoplatonic thinkers of this era postulate a complex hierarchy of gods, whose powers express the unlimited power of the ineffable One. On the other hand, Christians proclaim the existence of only one God, one divine power or one 'Lord of all powers'. Divided into two main sections, the first part of Divine Powers in Late Antiquity examines aspects of the notion of divine power as developed by the four major figures of Neoplatonism: Plotinus (c. 204-270), Porphyry (c. 234-305), Iamblichus (c.245-325), and Proclus (412-485). It focuses on an aspect of the notion of divine power that has been so far relatively neglected in the literature. Part two investigates the notion of divine power in early Christian authors, from the New Testament to the Alexandrian school (Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Athanasius the Great) and, further, to the Cappadocian Fathers (Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa), as well as in some of these authors' sources (the Septuagint, Philo of Alexandria). The traditional view tends to overlook the fact that the Bible, particularly the New Testament, was at least as important as Platonic philosophical texts in the shaping of the early Christian thinking about the Church's doctrines. Whilst challenging the received interpretation by redressing the balance between the Bible and Greek philosophical texts, the essays in the second section of this book nevertheless argue for the philosophical value of early Christian reflections on the notion of divine power. The two groups of thinkers that each of the sections deal with (the Platonic-Pagan and the Christian one) share largely the same intellectual and cultural heritage; they are concerned with the same fundamental questions; and they often engage in more or less public philosophical and theological dialogue, directly influencing one another.

Christianity Empire and the Making of Religion in Late Antiquity

Author: Jeremy M. Schott
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812203461
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In Christianity, Empire, and the Making of Religion in Late Antiquity, Jeremy M. Schott examines the ways in which conflicts between Christian and pagan intellectuals over religious, ethnic, and cultural identity contributed to the transformation of Roman imperial rhetoric and ideology in the early fourth century C.E. During this turbulent period, which began with Diocletian's persecution of the Christians and ended with Constantine's assumption of sole rule and the consolidation of a new Christian empire, Christian apologists and anti-Christian polemicists launched a number of literary salvos in a battle for the minds and souls of the empire. Schott focuses on the works of the Platonist philosopher and anti- Christian polemicist Porphyry of Tyre and his Christian respondents: the Latin rhetorician Lactantius, Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, and the emperor Constantine. Previous scholarship has tended to narrate the Christianization of the empire in terms of a new religion's penetration and conquest of classical culture and society. The present work, in contrast, seeks to suspend the static, essentializing conceptualizations of religious identity that lie behind many studies of social and political change in late antiquity in order to investigate the processes through which Christian and pagan identities were constructed. Drawing on the insights of postcolonial discourse analysis, Schott argues that the production of Christian identity and, in turn, the construction of a Christian imperial discourse were intimately and inseparably linked to the broader politics of Roman imperialism.

Power Ethics and Ecology in Jewish Late Antiquity

Author: Julia Watts Belser
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107113350
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This book analyzes rabbinic responses to drought and disaster, revealing how talmudic tales of charismatic holy men grapple with problems of power, ethics, and ecology in Jewish late antiquity. Aimed at scholars and students of rabbinic literature, it will also appeal to scholars of early Christianity and religion and the environment.

Education and Religion in Late Antique Christianity

Author: Peter Gemeinhardt
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317145895
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This book studies the complex attitude of late ancient Christians towards classical education. In recent years, the different theoretical positions that can be found among the Church Fathers have received particular attention: their statements ranged from enthusiastic assimilation to outright rejection, the latter sometimes masking implicit adoption. Shifting attention away from such explicit statements, this volume focuses on a series of lesser-known texts in order to study the impact of specific literary and social contexts on late ancient educational views and practices. By moving attention from statements to strategies this volume wishes to enrich our understanding of the creative engagement with classical ideals of education. The multi-faceted approach adopted here illuminates the close connection between specific educational purposes on the one hand, and the possibilities and limitations offered by specific genres and contexts on the other. Instead of seeing attitudes towards education in late antique texts as applications of theoretical positions, it reads them as complex negotiations between authorial intent, the limitations of genre, and the context of performance.