Books for Review

Books available for review for Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies will be presented here.

If you are interested, please contact the Executive Editor, F.L. Roig Lanzillotta, at f.l.roig.lanzillotta at rug.nl

In your e-mail request, please include the citation for the book you would like to review and your mailing address. Reviews must be in English.

Books posted here are subject to first request basis. Still, due to the time lag, some books may already be taken or be pending offers.

February 2017

6719-0 Seng.inddSeng, H., Giulia Sfameni Gasparro, eds. 2016. Theologische Orakel in der Spätantike. Bibliotheca Chaldaica 5.

Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter. 386 pp 64,00 € ISBN: 978-3-8253-7685-7

Zu den Charakteristika spätantiker Philosophie gehört das Interesse für inspirierte Texte, nicht zuletzt theologische Orakel, die sich mit dem Wesen Gottes oder der Götter und mit ihrem Wirken im Kosmos befassen. Zu den wichtigsten Sammlungen gehören die ‚Chaldaeischen Orakel‘, die ‚Philosophia ex oraculis haurienda‘ des Porphyrios, die ‚Tübinger Theosophie‘ und (zum Teil) die ‚Sibyllinischen Orakel‘; dazu kommen zahlreiche Bezugnahmen bei verschiedenen Autoren, die solche Orakel im Rahmen ihrer Argumentationsstrategien aufnehmen, zum Teil geradezu usurpieren, aber auch zurückweisen. Neben den Orakeltexten selbst bilden somit auch Phänomene ihrer Rezeption das Thema des vorliegenden Bandes, bis hin zur Literatur der Neuzeit. Dazu tritt die Einordnung in weiter gespannte Kontexte der spätantiken Religiosität und Philosophie.

January 2017

von-wahldeASSIGNED *** von Wahlde, Urban C. 2015 Gnosticism, Docetism, and the Judaisms of the First Century. The Search for the Wider Context of the Johannine Literature and Why It Matters. The Library of New Testament Studies 517.

London/New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark. 256 p. £85.00 ISBN 9780567656582

In this book von Wahlde provides an exploration of three distinct cultural and religious backgrounds against which scholars have frequently proposed that the Gospel and Letters of John are to be read and understood.

von Wahlde examines each of these three possibilities in turn, and shows how they may be regarded as plausible or implausible depending upon the evidence available. von Wahlde shows that there are features within the Gospel and/or Letters of John that do in fact suggest that they were influenced either by Gnosticism, Docetism or one of the variant forms of Judaism. However, in each case, while some of the evidence suggests a particular background, von Wahlde shows that it is equally evident that not all of the evidence can be seen to suggest the same background. Through an examination of the origins and purpose of the gospel, and drawing on the conclusions of his well-regarded commentary on the Johannine literature, von Wahlde presents a new way of understanding the Gospel in its wider contexts.

deconickASSIGNED *** DeConick, April D. 2016. The Gnostic New Age. How a Countercultural Spirituality Revolutionized Religion from Antiquity to Today.

New York: Columbia University Press. 392 pp. $35.00/£30.00 ISBN: 9780231170765

Gnosticism is a countercultural spirituality that forever changed the practice of Christianity. Before it emerged in the second century, passage to the afterlife required obedience to God and king. Gnosticism proposed that human beings were manifestations of the divine, unsettling the hierarchical foundations of the ancient world. Subversive and revolutionary, Gnostics taught that prayer and mediation could bring human beings into an ecstatic spiritual union with a transcendent deity. This mystical strain affected not just Christianity but many other religions, and it characterizes our understanding of the purpose and meaning of religion today.

In The Gnostic New Age, April D. DeConick recovers this vibrant underground history to prove that Gnosticism was not suppressed or defeated by the Catholic Church long ago, nor was the movement a fabrication to justify the violent repression of alternative forms of Christianity. Gnosticism alleviated human suffering, soothing feelings of existential brokenness and alienation through the promise of renewal as God. DeConick begins in ancient Egypt and follows with the rise of Gnosticism in the Middle Ages, the advent of theosophy and other occult movements in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and contemporary New Age spiritual philosophies. As these theories find expression in science-fiction and fantasy films, DeConick sees evidence of Gnosticism’s next incarnation. Her work emphasizes the universal, countercultural appeal of a movement that embodies much more than a simple challenge to religious authority.

litwa-2M. David Litwa. 2016. Desiring Divinity. Self-deification in Early Jewish and Christian Mythmaking.

New York: Oxford University Press USA. 256 pp. £64.00 ISBN: 9780190467166

Perhaps no declaration incites more theological and moral outrage than a human’s claim to be divine. Those who make this claim in ancient Jewish and Christian mythology are typically represented as the most hubristic and dangerous tyrants. Their horrible punishments are predictable and still serve as morality tales in religious communities today.

But not all self-deifiers are saddled with pride and fated to fall. Some who claimed divinity stated a simple and direct truth. Though reviled on earth, misunderstood, and even killed, they received vindication and rose to the stars.

This book tells the stories of six self-deifiers in their historical, social, and ideological contexts. In the history of interpretation, the initial three figures have been demonized as cosmic rebels: the first human Adam, Lucifer (later identified with Satan), and Yaldabaoth in gnostic mythology. By contrast, the final three have served as positive models for deification and divine favor: Jesus in the gospel of John, Simon of Samaria, and Allogenes in the Nag Hammadi library.

In the end, the line separating demonization from deification is dangerously thin, drawn as it is by the unsteady hand of human valuation.

gnoseASSIGNED * van den Kerchove, Anna et L. G. Soares Santoprete (eds.) 2017. Gnose et manichéisme. Entre les oasis d’Égypte et la Route de la Soie. Hommage à Jean-Daniel Dubois. Bibliothèque de l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes, Sciences Religieuses (BEHE 176).

Turnhout: Brepols. 970 pp. EUR 110,00 ISBN: 978-2-503-56763-1

À l’occasion du départ à la retraite de Jean-Daniel Dubois de la direction d’études « Gnose et Manichéisme » à l’École pratique des hautes études en 2015, plusieurs de ses collègues et amis ont tenu à lui rendre hommage. La diversité des thèmes, des écrits et des communautés culturelles et linguistiques étudiés dans les quarante-quatre contributions ici publiées, témoigne de la richesse du parcours intellectuel de Jean-Daniel Dubois, lequel s’étend des oasis d’Égypte jusqu’à la Route de la Soie.

Ce volume s’adresse aux spécialistes de la Méditerranée, du Proche-Orient et de l’Extrême-Orient anciens. Il intéressera les historiens des religions, particulièrement ceux des mouvements chrétiens – dont les courants gnostiques -, du manichéisme, des cultes polythéistes et de l’islam, les philologues ainsi que les historiens de la philosophie de l’Antiquité tardive.

bak-halvgaardBak Halvgaard, Tilde. 2016 Linguistic Manifestations in the Trimorphic Protennoia and the Thunder: Perfect Mind Analysed against the Background of Platonic and Stoic Dialectics. Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 91.

Leiden/Boston: Brill. x, 192 pp. €99,00/$128.00 ISBN13: 9789004308985 E-ISBN: 9789004309494

Both the Thunder: Perfect Mind (NHC VI,2) and the Trimorphic Protennoia (NHC XIII,1) present their readers with goddesses who descend in such auditive terms as sound, voice, and word. In Linguistic Manifestations in the Trimorphic Protennoia and the Thunder: Perfect Mind, Tilde Bak Halvgaard argues that these presentations reflect a philosophical discussion about the nature of words and names, utterances and language, as well as the relationship between language and reality, inspired especially by Platonic and Stoic dialectics.

Her analysis of these linguistic manifestations against the background of ancient philosophy of language offers many new insights into the structure of the two texts and the paradoxical sayings of the Thunder: Perfect Mind.

zwischenBergmeier, Roland. 2015 Zwischen Synoptikern und Gnosis – ein viertes Evangelium. Studien zum Johannesevangelium und zur Gnosis (Between Synoptics and Gnosis – A Fourth Gospel. Studies on the Gospel of John and on Gnosis). Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus/Studien zur Umwelt des Neuen Testaments (NTOA/StUNT) 108.

Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. 160 pp. 60,00 € ISBN 978-3-525-59366-0

Zwei grundlegende Fragen der johanneischen Forschung drängen sich dem Exegeten immer wieder auf: Wie ist das Verhältnis des vierten Evangeliums zu den Synoptikern, wie das zur spätantiken Gnosis zu bestimmen? Die These, die Roland Bergmeier entwickelt und zu verteidigen versucht, setzt beide Fragen- und Themenfelder zueinander in Beziehung. Von der Gnosis ist das Johannesevangelium, typologisch und inhaltlich betrachtet, noch nicht berührt. Das hat auch historische Gründe. Wohl war 1Tim 6,20 für den Bischof Irenäus von Lyon Anlass und Grundlage, die Häresien, die er beschrieb, Gnosis zu nennen und als gnostische Irrlehre zu brandmarken, aber weder die Stelle selbst noch die Pastoralbriefe insgesamt belegen schon einen gnostischen Zusammenhang oder Hintergrund. Literarisch betrachtet steht Johannes überdies, mehr als viele glauben wollten, in nachprüfbarem Kontakt mit den drei Synoptikern, die er auf ihm ganz eigene Weise weiterentwickelt zu einem vierten Evangelium. In diesem Sinn ist das Evangelium zwar kein synoptisches mehr, trägt aber auch noch keine gnostischen oder auch antignostischen Züge. Beispielhaft für das Verhältnis zu den Synoptikern stehen Untersuchungen wie die zur Rede vom Kommen zu Jesus oder zum johanneischen Zeugnisthema.

Die gnostischen Studien betreffen Fragen zu Dualismus und Eschatologie, zur epochalen Bedeutung valentinianischer Heilsauffassung, aber auch zur inhaltlichen Veränderung des Johanneischen, wenn es in den Strudel gnostischer Auslegung gerät. Im großen Streit um das Verständnis des Logospsalms von Joh 1,1–18 kommt der religionsgeschichtlichen Ortsbestimmung der frühjüdischen Weisheit grundlegende Bedeutung zu. Sie weist zwar Verbindung zu spätantiken mythischen Themen auf, gehört aber nicht einem zusammenhängenden Mythos an, zu dessen tragender Figur sie allererst in ihrer gnostischen Metamorphose umgestaltet wird.

jonesJones, F. S.  2014. The Syriac Pseudo-Clementines. An Early Version of the First Christian Novel.

Turnhout: Brepols. 352 p. EUR 55,00 ISBN: 978-2-503-55111-1

The Syriac Pseudo-Clementines available for the first time in any modern language. Of imperial family and eventually Peter’s heir as bishop of Rome, Clement relates here how he happened to become a Christian and how Peter instructed his companions as he refutes the arch-heretic Simon Magus in a series of debates. Clement also recounts the astonishing recovery of his long-lost family. All these events occur in the year of Christ’s death.

The Pseudo-Clementines were popular reading throughout the Middle Ages in a Latin translation and reemerged in early modern times via vernacular versions and especially the Faust-legend. Often considered the first and only ancient Christian novel, the Pseudo-Clementines originated in Syrian Jewish-Christianity in the early third century. Two ancient Syriac translations from the fourth century reflect Greek texts no longer preserved; they contain the essence of Clement’s biographical account and of Peter’s teachings and debates with Simon. Of particular interest is Peter’s detailed review of the origins of Christianity, which apparently seeks to rebut the canonical Acts of the Apostles and lays the blame for the unbelief of the Jews squarely at the feet of Paul.

This volume presents the first complete translation of the Syriac into any modern language and thereby opens the door for a new stage of historical research and literary appreciation.

vinelVinel, F.  (ed) 2014. Les visions de l’Apocalypse. Héritage d’un genre littéraire et interprétation dans la littérature chrétienne des premiers siècles.

Turnhout: Brepols. 261 pp. EUR 33,97 ISBN: 978-2-503-55277-4

L’Apocalypse de Jean a connu une destinée contrastée dans le christianisme antique. En grec, à côté de citations éparses, ne sont connus que quelques fragments qui ont circulé sous le nom d’Origène, puis un commentaire d’Œcuménius au VIe siècle (étudié par L. Vianès), mais les écrits coptes de Nag Hammadi, analysés par A. Pasquier, attestent que l’Apocalypse de Jean était connue et utilisée par les gnostiques. En contraste, D. Bertrand montre tout l’intérêt de la réception irénéenne de l’Apocalypse. Dans le christianisme latin, l’Apocalypse de Jean a été lue, commentée et réécrite. La version biblique elle-même est présentée par P. Bogaert; plusieurs contributions, abordant les œuvres d’Ambroise de Milan (M. Cutino), de l’Ambrosiaster (M.-P. Bussières) et d’Augustin (C. Mazzucco), dévoilent la diversité et l’importance des discussions théologiques nourries par les références à l’Apocalypse, tandis que la lecture des visions d’Ézéchiel selon l’interprétation de Jérôme (A. Canellis) et l’étude parallèle de l’Apocalypse apocryphe de Paul et du textes johanniques, proposée par C. Zamagni, permettent de revenir sur l’ancrage de cet écrit néo-testamentaire dans l’apocalyptique juive.

bidmeadBidmead, Julye and Gail J. Stearns (eds). 2016. Invest Your Humanity. Celebrating Marvin Meyer. Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications. An Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. 154 pp. $21.00 ISBN: 9781625641366

This volume is dedicated to Marvin C. Meyer, a person of passionate spirit and personality, known to many as the preeminent scholar who brought to life the Gnostic Gospels. Meyer made ancient discoveries relevant to our lives: from his work with National Geographic, informing thousands, to the time he spent with individual students, opening their eyes to the mystery and meaning of a Coptic text. Friends, students, and scholars here pay tribute to Meyer with reflections, new pedagogies, and explorations in biblical texts, ancient magic, and archaeological discoveries.

lesoterismeASSIGNED * Amir-Moezzi, M. A.,  M. De Cillis, D. De Smet, O. Mir-Kasimov (eds) 2016. L’Ésotérisme shi’ite, ses racines et ses prolongements. Shi’i Esotericism: Its Roots and Developments.

Turnhout: Brepols. V, 870 pp. EUR 95,00 ISBN: 978-2-503-56874-4

Le shi’isme comme trait d’union entre les traditions spirituelles  et ésotériques de l’Antiquité tardive et l’islam.

Together with the notion of secrecy, the core of Shi’i esotericism gravitates around the ẓāhir/bāṭin dualism. This dialectical relationship between the visible and the hidden, which has been inherited from Late Antiquity, buttresses the main doctrines of esoteric Shi’ism which include a dualistic worldview, doctrines of emanation, the contrast between the people of knowledge and of ignorance, the soterial nature of knowledge and of the Guide who possesses it, the two levels of the Scriptures, the need for hermeneutics, and initiatory knowledge and practices. It is true that the birthplace of Shi’ism was Iraq, which had been the central province of the Sassanid Persian Empire until the advent of Islam. This region and its main cities were home to the many intellectual and spiritual traditions of Late Antiquity, including various Jewish, Christian, Judeo-Christian, Mazdean, Manichean, Neoplatonic and Gnostic movements, with these traditions living on for several centuries after the advent of the religion of the Arabs. The articles in this collection, written by recognised scholars in the field, are divided into three sections covering a very wide period of time: the “prehistory” of these doctrines before Islam, early esoteric Shi’ism and its developments in both Shi’i and non-Shi’i Sufism, occult sciences and philosophy.

L’ésotérisme shi’ite a pour centre de gravité, à part la notion de secret, le couple  ẓāhir /bāṭin. Cette dialectique de l’apparent et du caché,  héritée de l’Antiquité tardive, se trouve à la base des principales doctrines du shi’isme ésotérique : vision dualiste du monde, doctrines émanationnistes, opposition entre les gens de la connaissance et ceux de l’ignorance, la nature salvatrice de la connaissance et du Guide qui la détient, le double niveau des Ecritures, la nécessité de l’herméneutique, savoirs et pratiques initiatiques…Il est vrai que la terre natale du shi’isme a été l’Irak, province centrale de l’empire perse des Sassanides avant l’islam. Cette région et ses principales villes ont été le siège de nombreuses traditions intellectuelles et spirituelles tardo-antiques : divers mouvements juifs, chrétiens, judéo-chrétiens, mazdéens, manichéens, néoplatoniciens, gnostiques… traditions qui continuèrent à vivre plusieurs siècles après l’avènement de la religion arabe. Les articles de ce recueil, écrits par des chercheurs confirmés, sont divisés en trois grandes parties recouvrant un très large arc chronologique : la « préhistoire » de ces doctrines avant l’islam, le shi’isme ésotérique proprement dit à l’époque ancienne, les prolongements de celui-ci dans le soufisme, les sciences occultes ou encore la philosophie, aussi bien shi’ites que non-shi’ites.

simsSims-Williams, N.  (ed) 2015. The Life of Serapion and other Christian Sogdian texts from the manuscripts E25 and E26.

Turnhout: Brepols. 298 p. EUR 80,00 ISBN: 978-2-503-55536-2

The Sogdian texts published in this volume are of interest and importance in various ways. The Life of Serapion is particularly significant from a linguistic point of view, being a close translation of a known Syriac text, so that its rare words and unusual grammatical forms can be interpreted with confidence. The Life of John of Dailam, on the other hand, differs substantially from the surviving Syriac versions and preserves details unrecorded elsewhere concerning the history of western Iran in the early Islamic period. A text on omens represents an extremely ancient, pre-Christian survival, with clear parallels not only in Syriac but even in Babylonian omen texts, while a refutation of Manichaeism sheds light on the attitude of the Christian community in the Turfan oasis towards their Manichaean neighbours. All these texts are provided with translation and detailed commentary, and the volume concludes with grammatical notes, complete glossary, bibliography, index of words discussed, and eleven plates. This work will be of interest to specialists in Iranian languages, mediaeval Iran and Central Asia, Syriac literature and the history of the “Church of the East”.

morettiMoretti, P. F., R. Ricci, C. Torre (eds) 2015. Culture and Literature in Latin Late Antiquity. Continuities and Discontinuities.

Turnhout: Brepols. 400 p. EUR 100,00 ISBN: 978-2-503-55735-9

In recent decades many valuable studies have been highlighting the cultural changes that deeply affected the Roman world between the fourth and sixth centuries AD. These changes, mostly due to Christianization as well as reactions to it, occurred in literary and cultural fields. In the past they have been explained through a well-defined pattern, namely a twofold process, adapting changing contents to unchanging formal structures. However, this pattern may not be effective today, given the new framework arising from the increasing amount of data and its close examination.

The papers herein collected deal with many specific texts or issues, all included in the so-called literary area of ‘secularity’ (according to the definition by R. A. Markus). The aim of this case-studies gallery, ranging from the fourth to seventh centuries AD, is precisely to offer a multi-layered approach to the complex, unclear-cut interweaving of continuity and discontinuity. Indeed, this is at the heart of the transformation process of intellectual horizons in Latin Late Antiquity.

This volume consists of three sections, devoted to investigating the transformation of cultural heritage in poetry and prose respectively, and the key role of school education in shaping late ancient ‘secular’ culture.

piovanelliASSIGNED *** Piovanelli, P.   2016.  Apocryphités. Études sur les textes et les traditions scripturaires du judaïsme et du christianisme anciens.

Turnhout: Brepols. 568 p. EUR 100,00 ISBN: 978-2-503-56883-6

Recueil de vingt-une études fondamentales sur les textes et les phénomènes scripturaires du judaïsme et du christianisme anciens.

Les vingt-une études ici réunies représentent le fruit de vingt-cinq ans de recherches consacrées aux phénomènes scripturaires du judaïsme et du christianisme anciens, qu’il s’agisse de la mise en chantier des différentes éditions du livre de Jérémie et de ses réécritures « apocryphes » (l’Histoire de la captivité babylonienne et les Paralipomènes de Jérémie), de l’évolution de la littérature « apocalyptique » judéenne et chrétienne (du 1er Hénoch à l’Apocalypse de Paul, en passant par le 4e Esdras et l’Apocalypse de Pierre), de la retranscription des traditions mémorielles au sujet de Jésus (dans l’Évangile selon Thomas et dans les dialogues de révélation de Nag Hammadi) et de leurs réécritures ultériures (dans le Livre du coq et autres évangiles tardo-antiques de la Passion), voire de leur réinvention moderne (comme dans le cas de certaines productions romanesques contemporaines ou dans celui beaucoup plus délicat de l’Évangile secret de Marc). Ces études démontrent qu’à l’instar de leurs collègues judéens, les narrateurs chrétiens n’ont eu de cesse de réactualiser les récits sur les origines du mouvement de Jésus, et que, contrairement aux idées reçues, la frontière entre canonicité et apocryphité a toujours été (et continue d’être) extrêmement poreuse et fluctuante.

hartogHartog, Paul. 2015. Orthodoxy and Heresy in Early Christian Contexts. Reconsidering the Bauer Thesis. Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications. An Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. 288 pp. $34.00 ISBN: 9781610975049

Eighty years ago, Walter Bauer promulgated a bold and provocative thesis about early Christianity. He argued that many forms of Christianity started the race, but one competitor pushed aside the others, until this powerful “orthodox” version won the day. The victors re-wrote history, marginalizing all other perspectives and silencing their voices, even though the alternatives possessed equal right to the title of normative Christianity. Bauer’s influence still casts a long shadow on early Christian scholarship. Were heretical movements the original forms of Christianity? Did the heretics outnumber the orthodox? Did orthodox heresiologists accurately portray their opponents? And more fundamentally, how can one make any objective distinction between “heresy” and “orthodoxy”? Is such labeling merely the product of socially situated power? Did numerous, valid forms of Christianity exist without any validating norms of Christianity? This collection of essays, each written by a relevant authority, tackles such questions with scholarly acumen and careful attention to historical, cultural-geographical, and socio-rhetorical detail. Although recognizing the importance of Bauer’s critical insights, innovative methodologies, and fruitful suggestions, the contributors expose numerous claims of the Bauer thesis (in both original and recent manifestations) that fall short of the historical evidence.

porterPorter, Stanley E.  and David I. Yoon (eds). 2016. Paul and Gnosis. Pauline Studies 9. Leiden/Boston: Brill. €99,00/$128.00 ISBN13: 9789004316683 E-ISBN: 9789004316690

This collection of essays—the ninth volume in Brill’s Pauline Studies series—features Paul and his relationship to knowledge. Gnosis, the Greek word generally translated as “knowledge,” is broadly interpreted, and the essays contained in this volume revolve around both a more general notion of knowledge in relation to Paul and more specific references to Gnosticism. Several of these essays discuss Paul’s use of “knowledge” words, Paul’s knowledge and understanding of key themes and ideas in his writings, Paul’s interpreters in light of gnostics like Valentinus and Marcion, and Gnosticism in light of Paul’s letters. This collection of essays exposes the reader to crucial topics regarding Paul and Gnosis that are not readily addressed elsewhere.

hoffmannHoffmann, R. Joseph. 2016. Marcion: On the Restitution of Christianity. An Essay on the Development of Radical Paulinist Theology in the Second Century.

Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock Publishers. 384 pp. $44.00 ISBN: 9781498293594

Hoffmann’s Marcion was the first work after Harnack (1924) to call into question the patristic testimony concerning the “arch-heretic.” In his work, Hoffmann challenged the conventional wisdom concerning the date, sources, and accuracy of reports on Marcion through careful and critical examination of patristic evidence. In Hoffmann’s view, Marcion was the creator of the two-part canon. Theologically, his attempts to elevate Paul above the gospels ensured the enduring role of Paul in the history of the early church. Contrary to early views that Marcion was a gnostic, Hoffmann argued that Marcion was a man from an “earlier time” who demonstrates in his theology the living controversies of the early period: whether the Old Testament should be accepted or rejected; whether the God of the Old Testament and the God of the gospel are the same deity; and finally, whether the revelation of God represented in the teaching and person of Jesus Christ is definitive for the church.

litwa*** ASSIGNED *** Refutation of All Heresies. 2016. Translated with introduction and Notes by M. David Litwa. Atlanta: SBL Press. 874 pp. $99.95 ISBN 9780884140856

A reliable, readable translation for scholars and students. The Refutation of All Heresies (ca. 225 CE) is a treasure-trove of ancient philosophy, astrology, medicine, magic, Gnostic thought, numerology, heresiography, ecclesial politics, and early Christian studies in general. Offered here for the first time in almost a century is a full English translation, along with a newly-edited Greek text, extensive notes, and a thorough introduction.

mimouniMimouni, S. et M. Scopello (eds) 2016. La mystique théorétique et théurgique dans l’Antiquité gréco-romaine Judaïsmes et christianismes.

Turnhout: Brepols. 601 p. EUR 120,00 ISBN: 978-2-503-56188-2

Dans ce volume sont publiés une partie des résultats d’un programme de recherche intitulé «Mystique théorétique et théurgique dans l’Antiquité gréco-romaine» et sous-titré «paganismes, judaïsmes, christianismes»: c’est dire sa diversité, son ouverture et sa portée dans un monde scientifique où le cloisonnement – sans doute rendu inévitable à cause de la variété des sources et concepts – des disciplines et des domaines devient de plus en plus préjudiciable à une perspective globalisante. Ainsi l’objet de ce projet a été de rendre compte non seulement des pratiques mystiques (rituelles ou cultuelles) mais aussi du versant spéculatif ou intellectuel de la mystique tel qu’on le trouve en œuvre, par exemple, dans la philosophie grecque.

van-ruitenvan Ruiten, Jacques T.A.G.M.  and George H. van Kooten (eds). 2016 Dust of the Ground and Breath of Life (Gen 2:7) – The Problem of a Dualistic Anthropology in Early Judaism and Christianity. Themes in Biblical Narrative 20.

Leiden/Boston: Brill. €108,00/$119.00 ISBN13: 9789004210851 E-ISBN: 9789004334762

Issues such as the immortality of the soul, the debate about matter versus life, and whether one was capable of knowing the outside world were all being extensively discussed in many religions and cultures in both East and West. The present volume addresses the concept of an immortal soul in a mortal body, and focuses on early Judaism and Christianity, where this issue is often related to the initial chapters of the book of Genesis. The papers are devoted to the interpretation of Gen 2:7 in relation to the broader issue of dualistic anthropology. They show that the dualism was questioned in different ways within the context of early Judaism and Christianity.

December 2016

ein-neues-geschlechtLang, Markus, ed. 2014

Ein neues Geschlecht? Entwicklung des frühchristlichen Selbstbewusstseins. Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus/Studien zur Umwelt des Neuen Testaments (NTOA/StUNT) 105.

Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. 332 p. €110,00 ISBN 9783525593646. EBOOK

After surviving the first century early Christianity faced new challenges. Spreading more and more throughout the ancient world new questions and problems arose. This new religious group had to find answers to questions that would change its self-understanding and self-consciousness. The answers to these questions should show the way to become a religious movement lasting till nowadays. Often neglected in the history of Christianity the second century was the time in which some important decisions were made and new ways of thinking were developed. This collection of essays presented by a team of international scholars focusses on this important period. Two crucial problems of second century early Christianity were: how to cope with groups of different social standing within itself, what are its Holy Scriptures and accordingly how to handle them. Additionally, some essays look into distinctive voices of this era which display a changing self-consciousness of early Christianity. The collected essays aim to show the importance of the short time marking the transition from the Biblical era to the so-called history of the Church.

a-story-of-the-souls-journeyTervahauta, Ulla. 2015

A Story of the Soul’s Journey in the Nag Hammadi Library. A Study of Authentikos Logos (NHC VI,3). Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus/Studien zur Umwelt des Neuen Testaments (NTOA/StUNT) 107.

Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. 276 p. €100,00 ISBN 9783525540367. EBOOK

Authentikos Logos (NHC VI,3), also known as Authoritative Teaching, is a little studied story of a soul’s descent and ascent in the Nag Hammadi library. With her book, Ulla Tervahauta fills a gap in the scholarship and provide the first monograph-length study that has this writingas its primary focus.  The aim is to find a place and context for Authentikos Logos within early Christianity, but Tervahauta also adds new insight into the scholarship of the Nag Hammadi Library and study of early Christianity. Contrary to the usual discussion of the Nag Hammadi writings from the viewpoint of Gnostic studies, she argues that Authentikos Logos is best approached from the context of Christian traditions of late ancient Egypt between the third and the fifth centuries.  Tervahauta discusses the story of the soul’s journey in light of various Christian and Platonic writings. Also, she analyses the relationship of Authentikos Logos with the Valentinian Wisdom myth and suggests that no firm evidence connects the writing closely with Valentinian traditions. And although a Platonic mind-set can be assumed, the writing combines motifs in a unique manner. For example, the four epithets used in the writing – the “invisible soul”, the “pneumatic soul”, the “material soul”, and the “rational soul” – are not found thus combined elsewhere. Discussion of matter (hyle) is connected with Christian scriptural allusions and the focus is on ethics and the evilness of matter. The body, on the other hand, is the soul’s place of contest and progress. The Pauline term “pneumatic body” (1 Cor 15:44) is used allusively and from a Platonic perspective.

if-christ-has-not-been-raisedVerheyden, Joseph,  Andreas Merkt, Tobias Nicklas, Joseph Verheyden, eds. 2016

“If Christ has not been raised …” Studies on the Reception of the Resurrection Stories and the Belief in the Resurrection in the Early Church. Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus/Studien zur Umwelt des Neuen Testaments (NTOA/StUNT) 115.

Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. 229 p. €110,00 ISBN 9783525593745. EBOOK

The present volume contains the proceedings of the fourth symposium of the Novum Testamentum Patristicum project (NTP), an international re-search project on the reception history of the New Testament in the early Church. The symposium was held in October 2012 at the University of Leuven. It was organized by Joseph Verheyden, Tobias Nicklas, and Andreas Merkt, the coordinators of NTP. The topic of the meeting was the reception of the resurrection and empty tomb stories and the development of the belief in resurrection in the early Church. The belief in the resurrection constitutes the core issue of Christianity and of Christian tradition. The earliest references to the resurrection and witnesses to such a belief are found in the canonical gospels and in the letters of Paul, but the topic obviously remained of the utmost importance all through the early Church. Contributions to this volume offer studies on reception of the resurrection and empty tomb stories and the development of the belief in resurrection in the early Church by examining the most important early references on this topic.

asceticism-and-exegesis-in-early-christianityWeidemann, Hans-Ulrich, ed. 2013

Asceticism and Exegesis in Early Christianity. The Reception of New Testament Texts in Ancient Ascetic Discourses. With an Introduction by Elizabeth A. Clark. Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus/Studien zur Umwelt des Neuen Testaments (NTOA/StUNT) 101.

Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. 464 p. €100,00 ISBN 9783525593585. EBOOK

From the beginning, many of the early Christian communities led an ascetic lifestyle, although a good number of New Testament texts do not seem suitable for justifying radical ascetic and encratite practice. The question thus arises how the different forms of asceticism could be justified on the basis of those scriptures. The articles of the volume focus on the interpretation and application of New Testament texts in various ascetic milieus and in the works of several early Christian authors and on the reception history of New Testament texts either supporting or resisting an ascetic rereading.

6696-4 Seng.inddSeng, Helmut,    Luciana Gabriela Soares Santoprete, Chiara O. Tommasi, eds. 2016

Formen und Nebenformen des Platonismus in der Spätantike. Bibliotheca Chaldaica / Band 6. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter.

424 pp. 55,00 € ISBN: 978-3-8253-6696-4

Bezeichnend für Philosophie und Religiosität der römischen Kaiserzeit und Spätantike ist ein hohes Maß an Interaktion zwischen unterschiedlichen Richtungen. Nicht zu unterschätzen ist dabei die Bedeutung eher randständiger und oft exotisch anmutender Strömungen und Texte wie Gnosis, Hermetismus, Chaldaeische Orakel etc., die in intensiver Wechselwirkung mit den konventionelleren Spielarten insbesondere des Platonismus stehen. Ausgehend davon nehmen die Beiträge des vorliegenden Sammelbandes in den Blick, inwiefern die religiösen Veränderungen in der ‚oikoumene‘ des Mittelmeerraums durch solche Formen der Philosophie beeinflusst wurden oder umgekehrt auf diese zurückgewirkt haben.

Besonderes Augenmerk gilt Formen der Spiritualität, der Kontroverse und der Identitätsbildung in der Diskussion um die kanonische Geltung von Lehrmeinungen und autoritativen oder heiligen Texten. Zu nennen sind insbesondere die Auseinandersetzung Plotins mit der Gnosis, die Bedeutung von Orakeltexten für die Entwicklung des spätantiken Platonismus oder der Richtungskampf zwischen Porphyrios und Iamblichos. Dabei wird deutlich, wie neben Formen offener Übernahme oder Ablehnung zum Teil auch unterschwellige Rezeption zum Tragen kommt.

 

November 2016

 

das-boseASSIGNED * Dochhorn, Jan,  Susanne Rudnig-Zelt and Benjamin Wold (eds). 2016

Das Böse, der Teufel und Dämonen – Evil, the Devil, and Demons. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe 412. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.

XIV, 297 pages. 84,00 € ISBN 978-3-16-152672-5.

This collection of essays focuses on the question of “evil” in religious traditions that may be described as “monotheistic” or for which at least the rule of one main god over all other deities and powers is a key concern. The emphasis of this volume moves from the Hebrew scriptures to nascent Judaism and Christianity, and concludes with attention to the reception of traditions in Targumic literature and medieval legends. The articles in this volume demonstrate the wide variety of ways in which “evil” manifested itself in the literature of ancient Judaism and Christianity. Authors address continuities, innovations, and divergences within these different but related traditions, with questions about the location of evil externally, as a demon or a devil, or internally, as the human capacity for evil. Additionally, when dualism is formative for constructions of evil in Jewish and Christian literature, care is taken to develop forms in which evil is ultimately subordinated to God and the good.

ancient-talesASSIGNED * Goff, Matthew,  Loren T. Stuckenbruck, and Enrico Morano (esd). 2016

Ancient Tales of Giants from Qumran and Turfan Contexts, Traditions, and Influences. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 360. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.

XII, 257 pages. 119,00 € ISBN 978-3-16-154531-3.

While there has been much scholarly attention devoted to the Enochic Book of the Watchers , much less has been paid to the Book of Giants from Qumran. This volume is the proceedings of a conference that convened in Munich, Germany, in June 2014, which was devoted to the giants of Enochic tradition and in particular the Qumran Book of Giants. It engages the topic of the giants in relation to various ancient contexts, including the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and ancient Mesopotamia. The authors of this volume give particular attention to Manichaeism, especially the Manichaean Book of Giants, fragments of which were found in Turfan (western China). They contribute to our understanding of the range of stories Jews told in antiquity about the sons of the watchers who descended to earth and their vibrant Nachleben in Manichaeism.

evil-in-secondKeith, Chris and Loren T. Stuckenbruck (eds). 2016

Evil in Second Temple Judaism and Early Christianity. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe 417. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.

VIII, 417 p. 94,00 € ISBN 978-3-16-153299-3.

This collection of essays originates from the 2014 Evil in Second Temple Judaism and Early Christianity conference hosted by the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. Featuring an international collection of senior and junior scholars, it represents the cutting edge of scholarship on portrayals of evil in the Second Temple period and the earliest centuries of Christianity. The individual essays consider the significance of “evil” as it relates to a diverse set of topics, including Qumran and its texts, images of disability in 2 Maccabees, dissociations of Jesus from evil in early Christian manuscripts, the “apocalyptic Paul,” Jesus’ exorcisms, Gospel cosmologies, the epistle of James, 4 Ezra, the Ascension of Isaiah, Marcion, John Chrysostom, and the Acts of the Martyrs.

the-monasticASSIGNED *  Lundhaug, Hugo und Lance Jenott. 2015

The Monastic Origins of the Nag Hammadi Codices. Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum / Studies and Texts in Antiquity and Christianity 97. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.

XVIII, 332 p. 89,00 € ISBN 978-3-16-154172-8.

Hugo Lundhaug and Lance Jenott offer a sustained argument for the monastic provenance of the Nag Hammadi Codices. They examine the arguments for and against a monastic Sitz im Leben and defend the view that the Codices were produced and read by Christian monks, most likely Pachomians, in the fourth- and fifth-century monasteries of Upper Egypt. Eschewing the modern classification of the Nag Hammadi texts as “Gnostic,” the authors approach the codices and their ancient owners from the perspective of the diverse monastic culture of late antique Egypt and situate them in the context of the ongoing controversies over extra-canonical literature and the theological legacy of Origen. Through a combination of sources, including idealized hagiographies, travelogues, monastic rules and exhortations, and the more quotidian details revealed in documentary papyri, manuscript collections, and archaeology, monasticism in the Thebaid is brought to life, and the Nag Hammadi codices situated within it. The cartonnage papyri from the leather covers of the codices, which bear witness to the monastic culture of the region, are closely examined, while scribal and codicological features of the codices are analyzed and compared with contemporary manuscripts from Egypt. Special attention is given to the codices’ scribal notes and colophons which offer direct evidence of their producers and users. The study ultimately reveals the Nag Hammadi Codices as a collection of books completely at home in the monastic manuscript culture of late antique Egypt.

the-panarionThe Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, Books II and III. De Fide. 2013

Second, revised edition. Translated by F. Williams. Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 79; Leiden/Boston: Brill.

xviii, 696 pp. €215,00/ $277.00 ISBN13: 9789004228412. E-ISBN: 9789004233126. ISSN: 0929-2470.

In 376 Epiphanius, chief bishop of Cyprus, published, in three Books, an historical encyclopedia of heretical sects, with the arguments, chiefly scriptural, needed to counter them, and called it the Panarion (Medicine Chest). This volume, Books II and III of the Panarion, is chiefly concerned with the sects contemporary with him, the Arian, Manichaean and others. It thus describes the thought of the fourth century church, and includes a number of source documents, many of them found only here. This is the only full translation of Epiphanius in a modern language.

erzahlungPoplutz, Uta und Jörg Frey (eds). 2016

Erzählung und Briefe im johanneischen Kreis [Narrative and Letters in the Johannine Circle]. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe 420. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.

VIII, 305 pages. 89,00 € ISBN 978-3-16-154292-3.

The relationship between John’s Gospel and the Johannine Epistles is still disputed. The present volume combines studies directly addressing this relationship with further detailed studies on the Fourth Gospel and the Epistles of John. Apart from the question about their direct relationship, the issues of ‘docetism’ and ‘antidocetism’, the problem of the community meals and further issues of Christology, sin and sinlessness, mimesis and ethics are discussed.

gnosis-und-judentumLahe, Jaan. 2012

Gnosis und Judentum. Alttestamentliche und jüdische Motive in der gnostischen Literatur und das Ursprungsproblem der Gnosis. Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 75; Leiden: Brill.

xxiv, 448 pp. €159,00/$196.00 ISBN13: 9789004206182. E-ISBN: 9789004209510. ISSN: 0929-2470.

This book addresses different theories related to the origin of Gnosticism. The author comes to the conclusion that, if we set aside the Christian substance, in Gnostic literature – besides Platonist philosophy – the most numerous influences come from Judaism. As they have, partially, reached Gnostic literature independent from Christianity, it could validate the theory according to which we should be searching for the origin of Gnosticism in certain Judaist circles. The author analyses the use of lore from the Old Testament and Judaism in Gnostic literature. Even though this does not prove that Gnosticism has evolved from Judaism, it still shows how extensively the Judaist world of thought influenced Gnosticism and how it gives us a reason to ask whether we should consider more thoroughly the theory according to which we should be searching for the founders of Gnostic lore within certain Judaist circles of antiquity.

paradise-reconsideredRasimus, Tuomas. 2009

Paradise Reconsidered in Gnostic Mythmaking. Rethinking Sethianism in Light of the Ophite Evidence. Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 68; Leiden: Brill.

xx, 356 pp. €140,00/ $172.00 ISBN13: 9789004173231. E-ISBN: 9789047426707. ISSN: 0929-2470.

This book offers a new understanding of Sethianism and the origins of Gnosticism by examining the mythology in and social reality behind a group of texts to which certain leaders of the early church occasionally attached the label ‘Ophite.’ In the unique Ophite mythology, which rewrites the Genesis paradise story and is attested, for example, in Irenaeus’ Adversus haereses 1.30, The Apocryphon of John and On the Origin of the World, the snake’s advice to eat of the tree of knowledge is considered positive, the creator and his angels are turned into demonic beasts and the true Godhead is presented as an androgynous heavenly projection of Adam and Eve. It is argued that Hans-Martin Schenke’s influential model of the ‘Sethian system’ only reveals part of a larger whole to which the Ophite material belongs as an important and organic component.

adversaireTilly, Michael, Matthias Morgenstern u. Volker Henning Drecoll unter Mitarb. v. Hendrik Stoppel (eds).  2016

L’adversaire de Dieu – Der Widersacher Gottes 6. Symposium Strasbourg, Tübingen, Uppsala. 27.-29. Juni 2013 in Tübingen. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 364. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.

XIV, 359 pages. 139,00 € ISBN 978-3-16-154236-7.

Der dreisprachige Sammelband enthält Untersuchungen zur Entstehung der literarischen Gestalt des Widersachers Gottes und zu ihrer Darstellung und Deutung in den jüdischen heiligen Schriften, in der christlichen Bibel, in Texten des antiken und rabbinischen Judentums und der Alten Kirche sowie in gnostischen Texten. Umfassend behandelt werden exegetisch-philologische, religionsgeschichtliche, judaistische sowie begriffs- und theologiegeschichtliche Aspekte des Themas. Die Beiträge von Forscherinnen und Forschern der evangelisch-theologischen Fakultäten der Universitäten Straßburg, Tübingen und Uppsala behandeln die Figur des Satans, des Diabolos, des Beelzebub, des Antichristen, des “bösen Triebs” und anderer gottfeindlicher Kräfte und Dämonen sowie das Böse im filmischen Werk des dänischen Regisseurs Lars von Trier.

 

la-voievan den Kerchove, Anna. 2012

La voie d’Hermès. Pratiques rituelles et traités hermétiques. Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 77. Leiden/Boston: Brill.

xxvi. 442 pp. €179,00/ $221.00 ISBN13: 9789004223455. E-ISBN: 9789004223653. ISSN: 0929-2470.

The Hermetic writings transmitted in Greek, Latin and Coptic (Corpus hermeticum, Asclepius and the three Hermetic texts in Codex VI of Nag Hammadi) are evidences of different religious trends within the Hermetic tradition, between the 2nd and the 4th centuries. These currents belong to Egyptian wisdom, while mixing Egyptian and Greek traditions, and they propose a way to salvation, the way of Hermes. This volume is the first monograph which explores the ritual practices and their place on this way to salvation. Sacrifices, prayers, the baptism in the crater, regeneration and visions are successively analyzed in Greek, Latin and Coptic literature. A large place is reserved for didactic practice, which participates in the spiritual formation of the disciple, especially through spiritual exercises. This book studies also how at least some authors participate in philosophical and religious debates of their time. It will be of interest to both historians of the end of Antiquity and historians of religion and philosophy.

October 2016

imageservletASSIGNED * DeConick, April D. (ed), Religion: Secret Religion. Macmillan Reference USA, 2016. 419 Pages | eBook  $ 179.00 ISBN-10: 0028663578; ISBN-13: 9780028663579.

Religion: Secret Religion is part of the Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks series dedicated to the study of religion. Composed of twenty-four thematic chapters, this volume looks at the margins of religion or religious texts and traditions that are not considered authoritative by orthodox communities. The volume is broken down into three sections that correspond with different classifications of religion in the margins: gnosticism, with its focuses on knowledge of a transcendent God who is the source of life and the human spirit; esotericism, with its focus on private religion kept from the public and critical of orthodoxy; and mysticism, with its focus on immediate contact with the ultimate reality. Each classification will be explored historically and comparatively to give the reader a more rounded understanding. The volume also includes bibliographies, filmographies, images, a glossary, and a comprehensive index, all of which aid the reader in exploring this rich, rewarding, and relevant field.

 

April 2016

CorriganRasimusCorrigan, Kevin and Rasimus, Tuomas (eds), Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World; Essays in Honour of John D. Turner. Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 82; Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2013. € 219,00/ $ 263.00 ISBN13 9789004223837; E-ISBN: 9789004254763; ISSN: 0929-2470.

This Festschrift honors the life and work of John D. Turner (Charles J. Mach University Professor of Classics and History at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln) on the occasion of his 75th birthday. Professor Turner’s work has been of profound importance for the study of the interaction between Greek philosophy and Gnosticism in late antiquity. This volume contains essays by international scholars on a broad range of topics that deal with Sethian, Valentinian and other early Christian thought, as well as with Platonism and Neoplatonism, and offer a variety of perspectives spanning intellectual history, Greek and Coptic philology, and the study of religions.

DenzeyLewisASSIGNED * Denzey Lewis, Nicola, Cosmology and Fate in Gnosticism and Graeco-Roman Antiquity: Under Pitiless Skies. Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 81; Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2013. € 109,00/ $ 140.00 ISBN13 9789004245488; E-ISBN: 9789004245761; ISSN: 0929-2470.

In Cosmology and Fate in Gnosticism and Graeco-Roman Antiquity, Nicola Denzey Lewis dismisses Hans Jonas’ mischaracterization of second-century Gnosticism as a philosophically-oriented religious movement built on the perception of the cosmos as negative or enslaving. A focused study on the concept of astrological fate in “Gnostic” writings including the Apocryphon of John, the recently-discovered Gospel of Judas, Trimorphic Protennoia, and the Pistis Sophia, this book reexamines their language of “enslavement to fate (Gk: heimarmene)” from its origins in Greek Stoicism, its deployment by the apostle Paul, to its later use by a variety of second-century intellectuals (both Christian and non-Christian). Denzey Lewis thus offers an informed and revisionist conceptual map of the ancient cosmos, its influence, and all those who claimed to be free of its potentially pernicious effects.

DeConickShawTurnerDeConick, April, Shaw, G. and Turner, J. D. (eds), Practicing Gnosis: Ritual, Magic, Theurgy, and Liturgy in Nag Hammadi, Manichaean and Other Ancient Literature. Essays in Honor of Birger A. Pearson. Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 85; Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2013. € 195,00/ $ 233.00 ISBN13 9789004256293; E-ISBN: 9789004248526; ISSN: 0929-2470.

Ritual, magic, liturgy, and theurgy were central features of Gnosticism, and yet Gnostic practices remain understudied. This anthology is meant to fill in this gap and address more fully what the ancient Gnostics were doing. While previously we have studied the Gnostics as intellectuals in pursuit of metaphysical knowledge, the essays in this book attempt to understand the Gnostics as ecstatics striving after religious experience, as prophets seeking revelation, as mystics questing after the ultimate God, as healers attempting to care for the sick and diseased. These essays demonstrate that the Gnostics were not necessarily trendy intellectuals seeking epistemological certainties. They were after religious experiences that relied on practices. The book is organized comparatively in a history-of-religions approach with sections devoted to Initiatory, Recurrent, Therapeutic, Ecstatic, and Philosophic Practices. This book celebrates the brilliant career of Birger A. Pearson.

EvansASSIGNED * Evans Erin, The Books of Jeu and the Pistis Sophia as Handbooks to Eternity. Exploring the Gnostic Mysteries of the Ineffable.  Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 89; Leiden/Boston: 2015. € 110,00/ $ 142.00 ISBN13 9789004284463; E-ISBN: 9789004301191; ISSN: 0929-2470.

Despite the surge of interest in Gnostic texts following the discovery of the Nag Hammadi library, the Coptic Books of Jeu and Pistis Sophia remain understudied. Often dismissed as convoluted, confused, and repetitious, Erin Evans convincingly shows that these texts represent the writings of a distinct religious group with a consistent system of theology, cosmology, and ritual practice. This book offers an in-depth examination of these texts, their relationship to other contemporary Gnostic ideas, and their use in the context of a practicing religious group. Three thematic sections demonstrate how the collection of texts functions as a whole, covering baptisms and mystical ascent procedures, guides to moral living, and introductory texts and myths.

GathercoleASSIGNED * Gathercole, Simon, The Gospel of Thomas: Introduction and Commentary.  Texts and Editions for New Testament Study 11; Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2014. € 205,00/ $ 250.00 ISBN13 9789004190412; E-ISBN: 9789004273252; ISSN: 1574-7085.

In this new commentary on the controversial Gospel of Thomas, Simon Gathercole provides the most extensive analysis yet published of both the work as a whole and of the individual sayings contained in it. This commentary offers a fresh analysis of Thomas not from the perspective of form criticism and source criticism but seeks to elucidate the meaning of the work and its constituent elements in its second-century context. With its lucid discussion of the various controversial aspects of Thomas, and treatment of the various different scholarly views, this is a foundational work of reference for scholars not just of apocryphal Gospels, but also for New Testament scholars, Classicists and Patrologists.

vanKootenBarthelASSIGNED * Kooten George H. and Peter Barthel, The Star of Bethlehem and the Magi. Interdisciplinary Perspectives from Experts on the Ancient Near East, the Greco-Roman World, and Modern Astronomy.  Themes in Biblical Narrative 19; Leiden/Boston: Brill; 2015. € 186,00/ $ 241.00 ISBN13 9789004307971; E-ISBN: 9789004308473; ISSN: 1388-3909.

This book is the fruit of the first ever interdisciplinary international scientific conference on Matthew’s story of the Star of Bethlehem and the Magi, held in 2014 at the University of Groningen, and attended by world-leading specialists in all relevant fields: modern astronomy, the ancient near-eastern and Greco-Roman worlds, the history of science, and religion. The scholarly discussions and the exchange of the interdisciplinary views proved to be immensely fruitful and resulted in the present book. Its twenty chapters describe the various aspects of The Star: the history of its interpretation, ancient near-eastern astronomy and astrology and the Magi, astrology in the Greco-Roman and the Jewish worlds, and the early Christian world – at a generally accessible level. An epilogue summarizes the fact-fiction balance of the most famous star which has ever shone.

vanOortOort, Johannes van (ed.), Augustine and Manichaean Christianity: Selected Papers from the First South African Conference on Augustine of Hippo, University of Pretoria, 24-26 April 2011.  Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 83; Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2013. € 111,00/ $ 133.00 ISBN13 9789004254770; E-ISBN: 9789004255067; ISSN: 0929-2470.

Based on several newly discovered texts, Augustine and Manichaean Christianity provides groundbreaking discussions of the relationship between the most influential church father of the West and the religion of his formative years. Augustine’s connection with Manichaean Christians was not only intense, but also enduring. This book unearths the essential background of writings such as Augustine’s Confessiones, De ordine and De vera religione, and discloses many a hidden Manichaean source of his powerful concepts of memory and the vision of God. Contributions by, among others, Iain Gardner, Therese Fuhrer, Jason BeDuhn, Majella Franzmann, Josef Lössl, Annemaré Kotzé and Nils Arne Pedersen.

PattersonPatterson, S. J., The Gospel of Thomas and Christian Origins. Essays on the Fifth Gospel.  Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 84; Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2013. € 142,00/ $ 182.00 ISBN13 9789004250840; E-ISBN: 9789004256217; ISSN: 0929-2470.

The essays collected in The Gospel of Thomas and Christian Origins offer a series new chapters in the history of Christianity’s first century. Stephen J. Patterson, whose work on the Gospel of Thomas has circulated widely for more than two decades, argues that taking this new source seriously will require rethinking a number of basic issues, including the assumed apocalyptic origins of early Christian faith, the supposed centrality of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and the role of Platonism in formulation of both orthodox and heterodox Christian theology.

PorterOngASSIGNED * Porter Stanley E. and Ong Hughson T. (eds), The Origins of John’s Gospel.

Johannine Studies 2; Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2016. € 110,00/ $ 142.00 ISBN13 9789004302495; E-ISBN: 9789004303164; ISSN: 2214-2800.

The essays in The Origins of John’s Gospel, gathered by Stanley E. Porter and Hughson T. Ong, either survey or discuss in detail various areas and topics in Johannine scholarship, especially in the study of John’s Gospel. These include the authorship and dating, sources, and traditions of John’s Gospel, its structure and composition, the Johannine community, and Johannine anti-Judaism and the Son of Man sayings. Collectively, these essays offer important contributions to various areas and topics of research relating to the origins of John’s Gospel.

SturdevantSturdevant Jason S., The Adaptable Jesus of the Fourth Gospel. Novum Testamentum, Supplements 162; Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2015. € 110,00/ $ 142.00 ISBN13 9789004302501; E-ISBN: 9789004304239; ISSN: 0167-9732.

In The Adaptable Jesus of the Fourth Gospel, Jason S. Sturdevant argues that the Gospel of John portrays Jesus as an adaptable teacher, who accommodates to different people in various ways to a singular end, to bring each to faith. In the same way, the Logos accommodates to humanity via the incarnation. Adaptability serves as both an interpersonal and universal category.

Early Christian interpretations of John, especially that of John Chrysostom, describe the Jesus of John by echoing characterizations of the ideal Greco-Roman pedagogue, adapting to his diverse students. By looking to such interpretations, as well as illumination from the milieu of the Fourth Evangelist, Jason S. Sturdevant provides a new lens through which to understand the characterization of the Johannine Jesus.

March 2016

AlbrechtASSIGNED * Albrecht, Felix; Feldmeier, R. (eds.), The Divine Father. Religious and Philosophical Concepts of Divine Parenthood in Antiquity. Themes in Biblical Narrative 18; Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2014. € 143/ $ 180 ISBN13 9789004256255; E-ISBN: 9789004264779; ISSN: 1388-3909.

The present volume is devoted to the theme of “Divine Father” in Second Temple Jewish and early Christian tradition and in its ancient pagan contexts. It brings together proceedings of a conference under the same title, held in Göttingen in September 2011. Selected articles by well-known scholars focus on religious and philosophical concepts of divine parenthood in antiquity, from the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism (the Dead Sea Scrolls, Targums, Philo and Josephus) to the field of the New Testament. In addition, the volume deals with the designation of deity as “father” or “mother” from the broad spectrum of ancient Egypt and classical antiquity (Homer, Hesiod, Plato, and its reception) to late antiquity (Plotinus and Porphyry).

GardnerBeDuhnASSIGNED * Gardner Iain, BeDuhn, Jason and Dilley, Paul (eds.), Mani at the Court of the Persian Kings. Studies on the Chester Beatty Kephalaia Codex. Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 87; Leiden/Boston: Brill 2014. €110/$142.00 ISBN13: 9789004234703; E-ISBN 9789004282629; ISSN: 0929-2470.

In Mani at the Court of the Persian Kings the authors explore evidence arising from their project to edit the Chester Beatty Kephalaia codex. This new text presents Mani at the heart of Sasanian Iran in dialogue with its sages and nobles, acting as a cultural mediator between East and West and interpreter of Christian, Iranian, and Indian traditions. Nine chapters study Mani’s appropriation of the ‘law of Zarades’ and of Iranian epic; suggest a new understanding of his last days; and analyze his formative role in the history of late antique religions. These interdisciplinary studies advance research in several fields and will be of interest to scholars of Manichaeism, Sasanian Iran, and the development of religions in Late Antiquity.

NagelRichterRichter, Siegfried; Nagel, Peter (eds.), Die Bibel bei den Manichäern und verwandte Studien von Alexander Böhlig. Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 80; Leiden: Brill, 2013. €98/$125; ISBN13 9789004233348; E-ISBN 9789004236271; ISSN: 0929-2470.

The Manichaen religion, which was founded by Mani in the 3rd century AD, adapted various elements from mainstream Christianity. For this reason the relationship between the texts of the two religions remains a lively topic of research today. This volume contains the until-now unpublished dissertation and three further articles of Alexander Böhlig (1912-1996), who was one of the leading scholars in Manichaean studies. In the introduction Peter Nagel offers a biography detailing Böhlig’s academic pursuits. The main part of the book reproduces the revised dissertation “Die Bibel bei den Manichäern,” originally completed in 1947. Written shortly after the discovery of the Medinet Madi Library, the pioneering study weighed the influence of the Bible on Manichaeism. At the end three related articles of Alexander Böhlig, which cannot be found in the collections of selected papers, are reprinted.

 

RobinsonASSIGNED * Robinson James M., The Nag Hammadi Story (2 vols.). Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 86; Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2014. €408/$499; ISBN13: 9789004262515; E-ISBN: 9789004264236; ISSN: 0929-2470.

The Nag Hammadi Story is not a history of research in the usual sense of a Forschungsbericht, which would report on the massive amount of scholarship that has been devoted to the content of the Nag Hammadi Codices for more than a half-century. Rather it is a socio-historical narration of just what went on during the thirty-two years from their discovery late in 1945, via their initial trafficking, and then the attempts to monopolize them, until finally, through the intervention of UNESCO, the whole collection of thirteen Codices was published in facsimiles and in English translation, both completed late in 1977.

 

RothASSIGNED * Roth Dieter T., The Text of Marcion’s Gospel. New Testament Tools, Studies and Documents 49; Leiden/Boston, 2015. €158/$220 ISBN13: 9789004245204; E-ISBN: 9789004282377; ISSN: 0077-8842.

In The Text of Marcion’s Gospel Dieter T. Roth offers a new, critical reconstruction of Marcion’s Gospel including various levels of certainty for readings in this Gospel text. An extensive history of research, overview of both attested and unattested verses in the various sources, and methodological considerations related, in particular, to understanding the citation customs of the sources set the stage for a comprehensive analysis of all relevant data concerning Marcion’s Gospel. On the basis of this new reconstruction significant issues in the study of early Christianity, including the relationship between Marcion’s Gospel and Luke and the place of Marcion in the history of the canon and the formation of the fourfold Gospel, can be considered anew.

 

RichterHortonRichter, Siegfried G.  Charles Horton and Klaus Ohlhafer (eds.), Mani in Dublin. Selected Papers from the Seventh International Conference of the International Association of Manichaean Studies in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, 8–12 September 2009. Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 88; Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2015. €150/$194 ISBN13: 9789004288362; E-ISBN: 9789004289123; ISSN: 0929-2470.

In 2009 the Seventh International Conference of Manichaean Studies was held at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin. The 22 selected papers of this volume offer a deep insight into the faith of Manichaean communities ranging from the very beginning of the 3rd century up to the last traces of worship today. Among others the authors deal with sources from Augustin, John the Grammarian, Ephrem the Syrian and further sources written in Coptic, Sogdian, Middle Persian, Parthian and Chinese. Several studies about Manichaean art and iconography offer a visual impression, which gives a new opportunity for understanding the religion of Light.

 

GrypeouASSIGNED to Carson Bay, Florida State University *** Spurling, Helen, Grypeou, Emmanouela (eds.), The Book of Genesis in Late Antiquity. Encounters between Jewish and Christian Exegesis. Jewish and Christian Perspectives Series 24; Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2013. €196/$252; ISBN13: 9789004245525; E-ISBN: 9789004245556; ISSN: 1388-2074.

The Book of Genesis in Late Antiquity: Encounters between Jewish and Christian Exegesis examines the relationship between rabbinic and Christian exegetical writings of Late Antiquity in the Eastern Roman Empire and Mesopotamia. The volume identifies and analyses evidence of potential ‘encounters’ between rabbinic and Christian interpretations of the book of Genesis. Each chapter investigates exegesis of a different episode of Genesis, including the Paradise Story, Cain and Abel, the Flood Story, Abraham and Melchizedek, Hagar and Ishmael, Jacob’s Ladder, Joseph and Potiphar and the Blessing on Judah. The book discusses a wide range of Jewish and Christian literature, including primarily rabbinic and patristic traditions, but also apocrypha, pseudepigrapha, Philo and Josephus.

The volume sheds light on the history of the relationship between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity, and brings together two scholars (of Rabbinics and of Eastern Christianity) in a truly collaborative work. The research was funded by an award from the Leverhulme Trust at the Centre for the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations, Cambridge, UK, and the Centre for Advanced Religious and Theological Studies of the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, UK.

 

February 2016

 

SanzoASSIGNED * Sanzo, Joseph E. (2014). Scriptural Incipits on Amulets from Late Antique Egypt. Text, Typology, and Theory. Studien und Texte zu Antike Christentum/ Studies and Texts in Antiquity and Christianity (STAC) 84; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck. XIV, 219 p. € 64,00

ISBN 978-3-16-152965-8; ISSN 1436-3003 (Studien und Texte zu Antike Christentum)

Joseph E. Sanzo’s book – a revised version of his doctoral thesis – provides us with a detailed study about the opening lines/titles, incipits, of the biblical books or texts found on amulets and related items specifically from Late antique Egypt. Scriptural Incipits is the first extensive and sustained treatment of the incipits of the biblical books (Gospels, Psalms) or texts found on amulets. The argumentation of the author revolves around the following points: (1) the need of a useful typology, (2) the necessity of collecting and editing a corpus of incipits, and finally, (3) to elaborate a convincing theory of the ritual use of the scriptural incipits. The whole book is organized and developed around these three objectives. Joseph E. Sanzo manages to emphasize how these scriptural incipits show the significant role played in the battles waged near the borders of the visible and invisible worlds.

BeyondASSIGNED * Beyond the Gnostic Gospels. Studies Building on the Work of Elaine Pagels. Edited by Eduard Iricinschi, Lance Jenott, Nicola Denzey-Lewis and Philippa Townsend. Studien und Texte zu Antike Christentum/ Studies and Texts in Antiquity and Christianity (STAC) 82; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013. X, 517 p. € 99,00 ISBN 978-3-16-152834-7; ISSN 1436-3003 (Studien und Texte zu Antike Christentum)

This volume brings together distinguished contributions signed by young and leading scholars in the field of Early Christianity. These studies have been developed in a constructive and fertile dialogue with Elaine Pagels’s work on Nag Hammadi Codices and ancient literature. The contributions of Elaine Pagels, one of the well-known scholars of Early Christianity, have profoundly shaped the internal debates within the field. Almost each of the studies presented here engages every stage of Pagels’ wide-ranging path, and provides us with critical evaluations of this sophisticated field which is Gnostic studies.

GathercoleASSIGNED * Gathercole, Simon (2012). The Composition of the Gospel of Thomas. Original Language and Influences. Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series 151; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. XIII, 322 p. £ 25,99 (US $ 39,99), First Paperback Edition 2014. ISBN 978-1-107-68616-8.

Simon Gathercole’s book on the Gospel of Thomas is an attempt to address two questions which have a long story in the scholarship on this famous and sophisticated text. Namely, which was in fact the original language and which were the Christian that influenced the Gospel of Thomas? The author dismantles previous theories, and restate the main trend of the scholarship: the language was Greek, and this goes hand in hand with the hypothesis that the Gospel of Thomas was influenced by the Synoptic Gospels.

van den BroekASSIGNED * van den Broek, Roelof (2013). Gnostic Religion in Antiquity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. IX, 255 p. £ 19,99 (US $ 32,99), First Paperback Edition 2015. ISBN 978-1-107-51479-9.

Roelof van den Broek, one of the foremost scholars in the field of Gnostic studies, manages to provide us a fresh attempt to the ‘Gnostic religion.’  For the author this ‘Gnostic religion’ is the expression of a religious worldview dominated by the concept of Gnosis, an esoteric knowledge of God and the human being which grants salvation to those who possess it. The book has the aim to provide information about this sophisticated movement. The approach of the Gnostic current of Late Antiquity used here is based on the voices of Gnostics, mainly from sources in Greek, Latin and Coptic, including discussions of the individual works of preserved Gnostic literature.

OBrienASSIGNED * O’Brien, Carl Séan (2015). The Demiurge in Ancient Thought. Secondary Gods and Divine Mediators. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. XV, 333 p. £ 65,00 (US $ 99,00), ISBN 978-1-107-07536-8 Hardback.

Following the path open in Plato’s Timaeus, with the introduction of the concept of Demiurge, Carl S. O’Brien enlarges here his PhD thesis in a complex and wide-ranging volume about this concept. The author explorations in search of the Demiurge through the various milieus in order to demonstrate its highly influential quality. Operational in the discussions of Middle Platonist, Gnostic, Hermetic and Christian traditions from Late Antiquity, this concept is found in multifarious problems as origin of the evil or relationship between matter and the First Principle, until its fading importance in Neoplatonism.

PevarelloASSIGNED * Pevarello, Daniele (2013). The Sentences of Sextus and the Origins of Christian Ascetiscism. Studien und Texte zu Antike Christentum/ Studies and Texts in Antiquity and Christianity (STAC) 78; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013. XII, 248 p. € 69,00 ISBN 978-3-16-152579-7; ISSN 1436-3003 (Studien und Texte zu Antike Christentum).

Daniele Pevarello, in his revised and enlarged doctoral dissertation, analyzes the Sentences of Sextus. He investigates the problem of continuity and discontinuity between the ascetic tendencies of the Christian compiler and aphorisms which promote self-control in the pagan sources used by. The author shows how some aspects of the Stoic, Cynic, Platonic and Pythagorean moral traditions, such as sexual restraint, voluntary poverty, the practice of silence and of a secluded life were creatively combined with Sextus’ ascetic agenda against the background of the biblical tradition. Daniele Pevarello shows skillfully how great a part the moral tradition of Greek paideia played in the shaping and development of self-restraint among early Christian ascetics.

ZelyckASSIGNED * Zelyck, Lorne R. (2013). John among the Other Gospels. The Reception of the Fourth Gospel in the Extra-Canonical Gospels. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 2. Reihe (WUNT) 347; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013. XV, 262 p. € 69,00 ISBN 978-3-16-152399-1; ISSN 0340-9570 (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 2. Reihe).

Lorne R. Zelyck, in his revised doctoral thesis, explores the influence of the Fourth Gospel on the extra-canonical gospels from the second and third centuries CE, and weighs how these other gospels used the Gospel of John. The author provides a succinct demarcation of the extra-canonical gospel corpus and introduces a critical methodology for measuring the influence of the Fourth Gospel. Then he measures its influence on the narrative, sayings, and dialogue/discourse gospels. The author concludes that the majority of extra-canonical gospels indicate a probable or plausible measure of influence from the Gospel of John.

AlexandriaASSIGNEDAlexandria. Herausgegeben von Tobias Georges, Felix Albrecht und Reinhardt Feldmeier. Unter Mitarbeit von Manuel Kaden und Christoph Martsch. Civitatum Orbis MEditerranei Studia (COMES) 1; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013. XIV, 574 p. € 139,00 ISBN 978-3-16-151673-3; ISSN 2196-9264 (Civitatum Orbis MEditerranei Studia).

Alexandria, the metropolis of the Hellenistic world, has become a classical subject for the various branches of Humanities. This volume covers the fields of archeology and history, ‘pagans’, Jews and Christians connected with Alexandria. One can benefit from the diverse articles gathered around the topoi as archeology or philosophy, the famous Library, Isis, Elephantine and its relation with Alexandria, or the famous Bible translation – Septuagint, authors like Philon, Clement, Apollos, and finally, the elusive Gnostics and their relation and networking with the famous city of Alexandria. The rich content of this volume provides the reader with valuable insights about the multiform and varied cultural life of Alexandria.

BumazhnovASSIGNED * Christliches Ägypten in der spätantiken Zeit. Akten der 2. Tübinger Tagung zum Christlichen Orient (7.-8. Dezember 2007). Herausgegeben von Dmitrij Bumazhnov. Studien und Texte zu Antike Christentum/ Studies and Texts in Antiquity and Christianity (STAC) 79; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013. XI, 355 p. € 79,00 ISBN 978-3-16-152777-7; ISSN 1436-3003 (Studien und Texte zu Antike Christentum).

This volume presents the papers offered at Der 2. Tübinger Tagung zum Christlichen Orient organized in 2007. The reader is introduced into the fascinating world of Apocrypha and related literature, iconography and iconology, and to a fresh translation of the Testament of Isaac from Coptic. As guides, into these various aspects of Early Christianity, the reader is eager to follow renown specialists as Frank Feder, Jan Dochhorn, Emmanuela Grypeou, Peter Nagel, Uwe-Karsten Plisch, Alexander Toepel, Pablo Argarate, Ioannis K. Grossmann, I. Männlein-Robert, H.-J. Cristea, B. Gleede, E. Schulz-Flügel and Bärbel Dümler.

PopkesWurstJudasevangelium und Codex Tchacos. Studien zur religiongeschichtlichen Verortung einer gnostischen Schriftensammlung. Herausgegeben von Enno Edzard Popkes und Gregor Wurst. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament (WUNT) 297; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012. VIII, 365 p. € 109,00 ISBN 978-3-16-150794-6; ISSN 0512-1604 (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament).

This volume edited by Enno E. Popkes and Gregory Wurst offers a broad variety of studies on the (in)famous Gospel of Judas presented at the symposium organized at the beginning of 2008 in Munich. The renown specialists on this ancient text as Gregor Wurst, J. Brankaer, J. Hartenstein, G. Constanze Dreßler, H. Schmid, Tobias Nicklas, Jean-Daniel Dubois, Enno E. Popkes, Philippa Townsend, Hans-Gebhard Bethge, S. Petersen, Claire Clivaz, D. A. Creech, A. Klostergaard Petersen, Simon Gathercole, Gerard P. Luttikhuizen and John D. Turner presented papers about wide range of aspects concerned this special text.

NagelNagel, Peter (2014). Codex apocryphus gnosticus Novi Testamenti. Band 1. Evangelien und Apostelgeschichten aus den Schriften von Nag Hammadi und verwandten Kodizes. Koptisch und deutsch. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament (WUNT) 326; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014. XVII, 397 p. € 124,00 ISBN 978-3-16-153343-3; ISSN 0512-1604 (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament).

Peter Nagel presents a rich and beautiful edition of the Coptic texts and the German translations of the Nag Hammadi Codices. Professor Peter Nagel is one of the most important members of the German scholarship on Gnostic thought. The general reader finds here the outcome of a lifetime work on this area of research. In this volume are presented the following texts: Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of Truth, the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, the Gospel of Judas and Acta Petri.

KelhofferASSIGNED * Kelhoffer, James A. (2014). Conceptions of ‘Gospel’ and Legitimacy in Early Christianity. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament (WUNT) 324; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck. XXIII, 400 p. € 139,00 ISBN 978-3-16-152636-7; ISSN 0512-1604 (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament).

James A. Kelhoffer gathers in this volume sixteen reviewed and restructured studies which offer new insights on particular themes such as method (chapters 1-3), gospel (chapters 4-7) and legitimacy (chapters 8-14), anger in Pauline tradition and the origin of asceticism (chapters 15-16). Through this enterprise the reader is introduced in the twofold world of scholarship on Gospels and Early Christianity and the inter-ecclesial struggles to establish the legitimacy of a view against another one. The author’s exegesis provides a new perspective on this peculiar issue.

JenottGribetzJewish and Christian Cosmogony in Late Antiquity. Edited by Lance Jenott and Sarit Kattan Gribetz. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism (TSAJ) 155; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013. X, 336 p. € 114 ISBN 978-3-16-151993-2; ISSN 0721-8753 (Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism).

This volume presents essays from a colloquium on the topic of cosmogony among ancient Jews and Christians held at Princeton University in May 2010. The themes presented here gravitates around four points: 1. Scripture and interpretation – taking in consideration the book of Jubilees, Ma’aseh Bereshit or the Gospel of Truth, 2. Theology and anthropology – with analyses concerning Hellenistic Judaism, the Ophite mythology, Palestinian midrashim and Corpus Hermeticum, 3. Pedagogy and ethics – questioned Moses as pedagogue, the ethical responsibility from the Tripartite Tractate, Nag Hammadi Codex II and its Egyptian monastic environment. And, finally, 4. Space and ritual – prehistoric rocks, darkness and the ritualization of creation in Jewish and Christian liturgical texts from Late Antiquity. This volume aims to explore the various ideas of the origins of the world and their role in modeling religious communities and practices until the rise of Christianity.

KnuppelCirilloGnostica et Manichaica. Festschrift für Aloïs van Tongerloo. Anläßlich des 60. Geburtstages überreicht von Kollegen, Freunden und Schülern. Herausgegeben von Michael Knüppel und Luigi Cirillo. Studies in Oriental Religions 65; Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz Verlag, 2012. 245 p. € 58 ISBN 978-3-447-06810-9; ISSN 0340-6792 (Studies in Oriental Religions).

This volume is offered to the historian of religion A. van Tongerloo by colleagues, friends and students. One can find here important and detailed studies centered on Gnosticism and Manicheism. These articles are focused on Mani, Titus de Bostra, Elchasai, or the important Manichean finding from China. This analyses are fresh and bring a very welcome update to this complex research field. And to mention only the names of L. Cirillo, J.-D. Dubois, P.-H. Poirier, S.N.C. Lieu, P. Mirecki, J. Ries, M. Tardieu or R. van Vliet, the reader can be assured by the volume’s quality.

AltEmingRenzWelsASSIGNED * Magia daemoniaca, magia naturalis, zouber. Schreibweisen von Magie und Alchemie in Mittelalter und Früher Neuzeit. Herausgegeben von Peter-André Alt, Jutta Eming, Tilo Renz und Volkhard Wels. Episteme in Bewegung. Beiträge zu einer transdisziplinären Wissensgeschichte 15; Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz Verlag, 2015. VI, 447 p. € 68 ISBN 978-3-447-10495-1; ISSN 2365-5666 (Episteme in Bewegung. Beiträge zu einer transdisziplinären Wissensgeschichte).

This volume brings together articles about magic presented within the program Episteme in Bewegung, in November 2013 at the Free University of Berlin. Topics ranges from different aspects around magic and alchemy as the Arabic alchemy and Pythagoras, transmutation in Tristan, magic texts from Middle Age libraries, various aspects of alchemy in the work of Johann Fischarts, Johann Rists and J. J. Bechers (1635-1682); interpretation of multiplicatio in work of Johannes de Monte Raphaim, and, finally, the virgula divinatrix – debates around magic and magnetism. The reader has here a wide spectrum of articles which enriches the scholarship on the fascinating world of magic and alchemy.

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