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Religions of Late Antiquity in Practice : Princeton Readings in Religions - Richard Valantasis

Religions of Late Antiquity in Practice

Princeton Readings in Religions

By: Richard Valantasis (Editor)

Paperback Published: 19th June 2000
ISBN: 9780691057514
Number Of Pages: 527

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This is an unprecedented collection of nearly seventy Late Antique primary religious texts. These texts--all in new English translation and many appearing in English for the first time--represent every major religious current from the late first century until the rise of Islam. Produced through the efforts of thirty-six leading scholars in the field, they constitute a comprehensive view of religious practice in Late Antiquity.

Religious life and performance during this period comprised diverse, often unusual practices. Philosophical ascent, magic, legal pronouncement, hymnography, dietary and sexual restriction, and rhetoric were all part of this deeply fascinating world. Religious and political identity often intertwined, as reflected in the Roman persecution of Christians. And a fluid boundary between religion and superstition was contested in daily life. Many practices, including ascetic training, crossed religious boundaries. Others, such as "incubation" at specific temples and certain divination rites, were distinctive practices of individual groups and orders.

Intrinsically interesting, the practice of religion in the Late Antique also edifies modern-day religious life. As this volume shows, the origins of the contemporary Western religious terrain can be gleaned in this period. Rabbinic Judaism flourished and spread. Christianity developed still-important theological categories and structures. And even movements that did not survive intact--such as Neoplatonism and the once-powerful Manichaean churches--continue to influence religion today.

This rich sourcebook includes discussions of asceticism, religious organization, ritual, martyrdom, religion's social implications, law, and theology. Its unique emphasis on practice and its inclusion of texts translated from lesser-known languages advance the study of religious history in several directions. A strong interdisciplinary orientation will reward scholars and students of religion, theology, gender studies, classical literatures, and history. Each text is accompanied by an introduction and a bibliography for further reading and research, making the book appropriate for use in any university or seminary classroom.

"The selection of texts is judicious and the translations are lively; those teaching late antique religions will find this anthology nearly indispensable."--Choice

Princeton Readings in Religionsp. vii
Conventionsp. ix
Contributorsp. xv
Introductionp. 3
Inventing the Individual: Biography
The First Sahidic Life of Pachomiusp. 19
Philostratus of Athens, Life of Apollonius of Tyanap. 34
Porphyry, On the Life of Plotinus and the Order of His Booksp. 50
Refashioning the Person: Asceticism
Evagrius Ponticus on Prayer and Angerp. 65
Pseudo-Athanasius, Discourse on Salvation to a Virginp. 82
Basil of Caesarea, The "Prooemium" of the Regulaefusius tractataep. 100
Sermons of Columbanusp. 109
Manichaean Asceticismp. 122
Founding Religious Movements: Organizations
Talmudic Texts and Jewish Social Lifep. 133
Julian "the Apostate," Against the Galileansp. 143
A Thriving Native Cult in the Fifth Century and Its Demise under Coptic Monksp. 156
The Cologne Mani Codexp. 161
Tales of Holy Foolsp. 177
Locating Religion in Society: Community
Vision for the City: Nisibis in Ephrem's Hymns on Nicomediap. 189
Acts of Thomas: Scene Onep. 207
An Anonymous Letter to a Woman Named Susannap. 218
A Plea to a Local God for a Husband's Attentionsp. 230
Bishop Avitus of Vienne to His Excellency Ansmundusp. 232
Chrysostom's Catecheses: A Hermeneutic of Social Institutionsp. 235
John Chrysostom, Sermons on City Lifep. 247
Regulating Religious Expression: Law
Laws on Religion from the Theodosian and Justinianic Codesp. 263
The Acts of the Council of Aquileia (381 C.E.)p. 275
Canons of the Council in Trullo (692 C.E.)p. 289
Creating Religious Ceremonial: Ritual
The Mithras Liturgy and Sepher Ha-Razimp. 303
Manichaean Ritualp. 316
The Seal of the Merkavahp. 322
Anonymous Spanish Correspondence; or the Letter of the "She-ass"p. 330
Amuletic Invocations of Christ for Health and Fortunep. 340
Singing Divine Praises: Hymnody
The Hymns of Ambrosep. 347
Hymns to Mary, the Mother of God, the Theotokosp. 357
Manichaean Hymnodyp. 364
An Isis Aretalogy from Kyme in Asia Minor, First Century B.C.E.p. 369
Sacrificing Self to God: Martyrology
The Passion of Saints Perpetua and Felicityp. 387
The Martyrs of Lyonsp. 398
The Martyrdom of Habbib the Deaconp. 413
4 Maccabeesp. 424
Enlivening Thought: Philosophy and Theology
Gregory Nazianzen, Homily on the Nativity of Christp. 443
Texts on Iconoclasm: John of Damascus and the Council of Hiereiap. 454
Asterius of Amasea Ekphrasis on the Holy Martyr Eupherniap. 464
Christian Oracle Shrinesp. 469
Popular Religious Practices in Fifth-Century Egyptp. 473
The Zenith and Destruction of a Native Egyptian Oracle in 359 C.E.p. 476
Manichaean Theologyp. 481
lamblichus, de Mysteriis, Book 1, The de Mysteriisp. 489
Indexp. 507
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691057514
ISBN-10: 0691057516
Series: Princeton Readings in Religions
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 527
Published: 19th June 2000
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.24  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.75