The World s Oldest Church

Author: Michael Peppard
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300213999
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Michael Peppard provides a historical and theological reassessment of the oldest Christian building ever discovered, the third-century house-church at Dura-Europos. Contrary to commonly held assumptions about Christian initiation, Peppard contends that rituals here did not primarily embody notions of death and resurrection. Rather, he portrays the motifs of the church s wall paintings as those of empowerment, healing, marriage, and incarnation, while boldly reidentifying the figure of a woman formerly believed to be a repentant sinner as the Virgin Mary. This richly illustrated volume is a breakthrough work that enhances our understanding of early Christianity at the nexus of Bible, art, and ritual."

Crispina and Her Sisters

Author: Christine Schenk
Publisher: Fortress Press
ISBN: 1506411894
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Cripina and Her Sisters explores visual imagery found on burial artifacts of prominent early Christian women. It carefully situates the tomb art within the cultural context of customary Roman commemorations of the dead and provides an in-depth review of women‘s history in the first four centuries of Christianity. From this, a fascinating picture emerges of women‘s authority in the early church--a picture either not readily available or recognized, or even sadly distorted in the written history.

Early Christian Books in Egypt

Author: Roger S. Bagnall
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 069114026X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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For the past hundred years, much has been written about the early editions of Christian texts discovered in the region that was once Roman Egypt. Scholars have cited these papyrus manuscripts--containing the Bible and other Christian works--as evidence of Christianity's presence in that historic area during the first three centuries AD. In Early Christian Books in Egypt, distinguished papyrologist Roger Bagnall shows that a great deal of this discussion and scholarship has been misdirected, biased, and at odds with the realities of the ancient world. Providing a detailed picture of the social, economic, and intellectual climate in which these manuscripts were written and circulated, he reveals that the number of Christian books from this period is likely fewer than previously believed. Bagnall explains why papyrus manuscripts have routinely been dated too early, how the role of Christians in the history of the codex has been misrepresented, and how the place of books in ancient society has been misunderstood. The author offers a realistic reappraisal of the number of Christians in Egypt during early Christianity, and provides a thorough picture of the economics of book production during the period in order to determine the number of Christian papyri likely to have existed. Supporting a more conservative approach to dating surviving papyri, Bagnall examines the dramatic consequences of these findings for the historical understanding of the Christian church in Egypt.

Edge of Empires

Author: Jennifer Chi
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691154688
Format: PDF
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Published by the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University on the occasion of the exhibition Edge of Empires, Sept. 23, 2011-Jan. 8, 2012.

Brother making in Late Antiquity and Byzantium

Author: Claudia Rapp
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195389336
Format: PDF, Kindle
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"Among medieval Christian societies, Byzantium is unique in preserving the text of a church ritual for 'brother-making' (adelphopoiesis), in which two adult men are pronounced by the prayers of a priest to be 'brothers.' They are expected to remain on friendly terms, and have access to one another's households as quasi-family members. Both the ritual and its application are well attested from the late eighth century to the 15th century and beyond. This phenomenon was at the center of John Boswell's highly controversial and publicized book Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe (1994). Although most critics dismissed Boswell's claims that these 'unions' represented church-sanctioned homosexual marriages, his book introduced readers to a poorly-understood Byzantine institution. Claudia Rapp's project will be the first ever book-length study of the ritual brotherhood in medieval Byzantium. Her main objective is to contextualize the tradition in other kinship relationships of Byzantine society and to trace its origins back to early Byzantine monasticism. Rapp will draw on new material on the structure of the ritual and its appearance in the manuscripts to show its proximity to rituals of Christian initiation, such as baptism and entry into the monastic life. She will also consider parallels to male-male relationships in pagan antiquity. Her book will make a timely contribution to an ongoing debate which has lost some of the heat since the aftermath of Boswell's book, but which remains of intrinsic interest to medieval studies, church history and the evolution of social institutions"--Provided by publisher.

When Brothers Dwell in Unity

Author: Stephen Morris
Publisher: McFarland
ISBN: 0786495170
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In the world of early Byzantine Christianity, monastic rules acknowledged but discouraged the homosexual impulses of adult males. The admission of adolescent males as novices was forbidden. John Chrysostom, the Archbishop of Constantinople (397-407), virulently denounced homosexuality but was virtually the only Byzantine cleric to do so. Canonical prohibitions of anal sex distinguish among eight possible sexual pairings, the most offensive being a husband-wife, the least offensive being two unrelated males. Other forms of male-male sex were considered little more than masturbation.

The Dawn of Christian Art in Panel Paintings and Icons

Author: Thomas F. Mathews
Publisher: Getty Publications
ISBN: 1606065092
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Staking out new territory in the history of art, this book presents a compelling argument for a lost link between the panel-painting tradition of Greek antiquity and Christian paintings of Byzantium and the Renaissance. While art historians place the origin of icons in the seventh century, Thomas F. Mathews finds strong evidence as early as the second century in the texts of Irenaeus and the Acts of John that describe private Christian worship. In closely studying an obscure set of sixty neglected panel paintings from Egypt in Roman times, the author explains how these paintings of the Egyptian gods offer the missing link in the long history of religious painting. Christian panel paintings and icons are for the first time placed in a continuum with the pagan paintings that preceded them, sharing elements of iconography, technology, and religious usages as votive offerings. Exciting discoveries punctuate the narrative: the technology of the triptych, enormously popular in Europe, traced by the authors to the construction of Egyptian portable shrines, such as the Isis and Serapis of the J. Paul Getty Museum; the discovery that the egg tempera painting medium, usually credited to Renaissance artist Cimabue, has been identified in Egyptian panels a millennium earlier; and the reconstruction of a ring of icons on the chancel of Saint Sophia in Istanbul. This book will be a vital addition to the fields of Egyptian, Graeco-Roman, and late-antique art history and, more generally, to the history of painting.

Raised on Christian Milk

Author: John David Penniman
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300228007
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A fascinating new study of the symbolic power of food and its role in forming kinship bonds and religious identity in early Christianity Scholar of religion John Penniman considers the symbolic importance of food in the early Roman world in an engaging and original new study that demonstrates how “eating well” was a pervasive idea that served diverse theories of growth, education, and religious identity. Penniman places early Christian discussion of food in its moral, medical, legal, and social contexts, revealing how nourishment, especially breast milk, was invested with the power to transfer characteristics, improve intellect, and strengthen kinship bonds.

The Son of God in the Roman World

Author: Michael Peppard
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199877041
Format: PDF, ePub
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Winner of the 2013 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise Michael Peppard examines the social and political meaning of divine sonship in the Roman Empire. He begins by analyzing the conceptual framework within which the term ''son of God'' has traditionally been considered in biblical scholarship. Then, through engagement with recent scholarship in Roman history - including studies of family relationships, imperial ideology, and emperor worship - he offers new ways of interpreting the Christian theological metaphors of ''begotten''and ''adoptive'' sonship. Peppard focuses on social practices and political ideology, revealing that scholarship on divine sonship has been especially hampered by mistaken assumptions about adopted sons. He invites fresh readings of several early Christian texts, from the first Gospel to writings of the fourth century. By re-interpreting several ancient phenomena - particularly divine status, adoption, and baptism - he offers an imaginative refiguring of the Son of God in the Roman world.

When You Were Gentiles

Author: Cavan W. Concannon
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300197934
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Cavan W. Concannon makes a significant contribution to Pauline studies by imagining the responses of the Corinthians to Paul’s letters. Based on surviving written materials and archaeological research, this book offers a textured portrait of the ancient Corinthians with whom Paul conversed, argued, debated, and partnered, focusing on issues of ethnicity, civic identity, politics, and empire. In doing so, the author provides readers a unique opportunity to assess anew, and imagine possibilities beyond, Paul’s complicated legacy in shaping Western notions of race, ethnicity, and religion.