Showing all 20 results
In the second century, Platonist and Judeo-Christian thought were sufficiently friendly that a Greek philosopher could declare, "What is Plato but Moses speaking Greek?" Four hundred years later, a Christian emperor had ended the public teaching of subversive Platonic thought. When and how did this philosophical rupture occur? Dylan M. Burns argues that the fundamental break occurred in Rome, ca. 263, in the circle of the great mystic Plotinus, author of the Enneads. Groups of controversial Christian metaphysicians called Gnostics ("knowers") frequented his seminars, disputed his views, and then disappeared from the history of philosophy—until the 1945 discovery, at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, of codices containing Gnostic literature, including versions of the books circulated by Plotinus’s Christian opponents.
The great Biblical flood so described in Genesis has long been a subject of fascination and speculation. In the 19th century the English archbishop James Ussher established it as having happened in the year 2348 B.C., calculating what was then taken as the age of the earth and working backward through the entire series of Biblical "begats." Proof of the flood, which is an element of so many creation myths, began in earnest when archaeology started connecting physical evidence with Biblical story.
Max Weber and The Protestant Ethic: Twin Histories presents an entirely new portrait of Max Weber, one of the most prestigious social theorists in recent history, using his most famous work, The Protestant Ethic and the "Spirit" of Capitalism, as its central point of reference. It offers an intellectual biography of Weber framed along historical lines – something which has never been done before. It re-evaluates The Protestant Ethic – a text surprisingly neglected by scholars – supplying a missing intellectual and chronological centre to Weber’s life and work.P
Alexander Murray has long had an intellectual interest in the history of religion – struggling between his inbuilt anti-clericism and his pronounced monastic leanings. The five essays in Conscience and Authority in the Medieval Church take on this dialectic, addressing the difficult relationship between private conscience and public authority in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. In any organization, political, military, commercial, or religious, the relationship of conscience and authority is always potentially fraught, and can create dilemmas both for those in authority and those without.
The concept of heresy is deeply rooted in Christian European culture. The palpable increase in incidences of heresy in the Middle Ages may be said to directly relate to the Christianity’s attempts to define orthodoxy and establish conformity at its centre, resulting in the sometimes forceful elimination of Christian sects. In the transition from medieval to early modern times, however, the perception of heresy underwent a profound transformation, ultimately leading to its decriminalization and the emergence of a pluralistic religious outlook.
This book traces Burton Mack’s intellectual evolution, from a creative analyst of ancient texts, to a scholar searching for the motives and interests of Jesus’s followers who composed those texts, and for the social logic of "the Christian myths" they created. Mack rejects depictions of Jesus that have emerged from the quest for the "historical Jesus"—peasant teacher, revolutionary leader, mystical visionary or miracle-working prophet—on the grounds that they are based on a priori assumptions about Jesus, and are therefore contradictory.
This is a study of the religious controversy that broke out with Martin Luther, from the vantage of church property. The controversy eventually produced a Holy Roman Empire of two churches. This is not an economic history. Rather, the book shows how "acceptance" of confiscation was won, and how theological advice was essential to the success of what is sometimes called a crucial if early stage of confessional state-building. It reviews the character of sacred property in the late Middle Ages, surveys confiscations in Reformation Germany on illustrative examples, summarizes the League of Schmalkalden s defense of confiscations, systematically studies theological memoranda that shaped a common policy in the League, and shows the role of that common position in religious politics.&
Religious Rivalries in the Early Roman Empire and the Rise of Christianity discusses the diverse cultural destinies of early Christianity, early Judaism, and other ancient religious groups as a question of social rivalry.The book is divided into three main sections. The first section debates the degree to which the category of rivalry adequately names the issue(s) that must be addressed when comparing and contrasting the social “success” of different religious groups in antiquity. The second is a critical assessment of the common modern category of “mission” to describe the inner dynamic of such a process; it discusses the early Christian apostle Paul, the early Jewish historian Josephus, and ancient Mithraism.
Based on a careful analysis of the earliest Christian documents and recent archaeological discoveries, The Jesus Dynasty offers a bold new interpretation of the life of Jesus and the origins of Christianity. The story is surprising, controversial, and exciting as only a long-lost history can be when it is at last recovered. In The Jesus Dynasty, biblical scholar James Tabor brings us closer than ever to the historical Jesus. Jesus, as we know, was the son of Mary, a young woman who became pregnant before her marriage to a man named Joseph.
On a September afternoon in 1853, three African American men from St. Philip’s Church walked into the Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of New York and took their seats among five hundred wealthy and powerful white church leaders. Ultimately, and with great reluctance, the Convention had acceded to the men’s request: official recognition for St. Philip’s, the first African American Episcopal church in New York City. In Faith in Their Own Color, Craig D. Townsend tells the remarkable story of St.
Writing History, Constructing Religion presents a much-needed interdisciplinary exploration of the significance of debates among historians, scholars of religion and cultural theorists over the ‘nature’ of history to the study of religion. The distinguished authors discuss issues related to definitions of history, postmodernism, critical theory, and the impact on the study and analysis of religious traditions;
“Wonderful…. A smart and accessible take on the ultimate question: What is Heaven? Lisa’s book is a good place to begin to find an answer.” — Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion “A rare combination of journalism, memoir, and historical research … this smart yet heartfelt book leads us into the center of one of the greatest conversations of all time. And Lisa Miller is the perfect conversation partner.” — Stephen Prothero, New York Times bestselling author of American Jesus and Religious Literacy A groundbreaking history of the hereafter, Heaven by Newsweek reporter and religion editor Lisa Miller draws from both history and popular culture to reveal how past and presage visions of heaven have evolved and how they inspire us to both good and evil.
This book provides an introduction to the Mediterranean world in which the early Christian apostles moved. Drawing on the geographic setting and available archaeological materials to create a sense of the contemporary environment, the book traces the 15,000 mile travels of Paul, whose world was also the world of Peter, John, and many other early Christians. The author presents a complete chronology for the major apostles based on his integration of existing histories, literary accounts, and archaeological information with new discoveries and new theories on dating New Testament events and documents.
During the four centuries of its existence (ca. 165–550), Montanism, an early-Christian prophetic movement, stirred up considerable controversy. Known to its adherents as the ‘New Prophecy,’ its opponents viewed it as a ‘fake prophecy’ with ‘polluted sacraments.’ Accused of introducing novelty and heresy into Christianity. Montanism, in the post-Constantinian era, was also persecuted by Christian emperors. This book identifies all known opponents of Montanism, analyzes and classifies the various charges leveled against Montanism, and describes the methods used to counteract and ultimately destroy the movement.
Water has long been associated with the magical, the mysterious and the divine.From sacred springs to holy wells, and from hydropathic cures and temperance reform to the modern spa, Ian Bradley explores how water’s creative, health-giving and restorative powers have been conceived, worshipped and marketed in an essentially spiritual way. In pre-Christian times, springs and rivers were seen as the dwelling places of deities with magical life-giving and curative powers, associated especially with the feminine and with ritual cleansing and rebirth.
The study of ‘Arianism’ has proved one of the abiding fascinations and the abiding problems of early Christian studies in recent years. In this book Richard Vaggione addresses the definition of the doctrine and why it generated such intense social turmoil by examining the standpoint of one of ‘Arianism’s’ principal supporters, Eunomius of Cyzicus. Eunomius’ life is used as a framework within which to discuss changes in the doctrine of the Trinity. His origins, personal history, education, theology, and works are discussed in detail, as well as his unique philosophy of language.
In the middle of the nineteenth century a group of political activists in New York City joined together to challenge a religious group they believed were hostile to the American values of liberty and freedom. Called the Know Nothings, they started riots during elections, tarred and feathered their political enemies, and barred men from employment based on their religion. The group that caused this uproar?: Irish and German Catholics―then known as the most villainous religious group in America, and widely believed to be loyal only to the Pope.
Illustrated, comprehensive, and illuminating, this thoroughly up-to-date work takes the country’s religious pulse, covering all of America’s most significant organizations and denominations. Readers will find an introduction to the basic tenets and structure of 30 faiths, reviewed by a respected authority on each religion, as well as maps, surveys, and other demographic breakdowns by religious figures and scholars with respect to contemporary American society, culture, and politics. Essays discuss broader, more overarching aspects of worship in the United States.
God’s War offers a sweeping new vision of one of history’s most astounding events: the Crusades.From 1096 to 1500, European Christians fought to recreate the Middle East, Muslim Spain, and the pagan Baltic in the image of their God. The Crusades are perhaps both the most familiar and most misunderstood phenomena of the medieval world, and here Christopher Tyerman seeks to recreate, from the ground up, the centuries of violence committed as an act of religious devotion.The result is a stunning reinterpretation of the Crusades, revealed as both bloody political acts and a manifestation of a growing Christian communal identity.
In the seventeenth-century English Atlantic, religious beliefs and practices played a central role in creating racial identity. English Protestantism provided a vocabulary and structure to describe and maintain boundaries between insider and outsider. In this path-breaking study, Heather Miyano Kopelson peels back the layers of conflicting definitions of bodies and competing practices of faith in the puritan Atlantic, demonstrating how the categories of “white,” “black,” and “Indian” developed alongside religious boundaries between “Christian” and “heathen” and between “Catholic” and “Protestant.”
Showing all 20 results