The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies responds to and celebrates the explosion of research in this inter-disciplinary field over recent decades. It is thematically arranged to encompass history, literature, thought, practices, and material culture. Whilst the burgeoning of scholarly work has made it impossible for any one scholar to maintain expertise in every aspect of the discipline, this handbook seeks to aid both the new researcher in the field andthe scholar entering an unfamiliar sub-specialty. Each chapter orients readers to the current 'state of the question' in a given area, reflecting on key research issues to date, highlighting primarysources and giving suggestions as to the likely direction of future work. The Handbook takes the period 100 to 600 CE as a chronological span and examines the vast geographical area impacted by the early church, in Western and Eastern late antiquity.
The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Apocrypha addresses issues and themes that arise in the study of early Christian apocryphal literature. It discusses key texts including the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of Peter, letters attributed to Paul, Peter, and Jesus, and acts and apocalypses written about or attributed to different apostles. Part One consists of authoritative surveys of the main branches of apocryphal literature (gospels, acts, epistles, apocalypses, and related literature) and Part Two considers key issues that they raise. These include their contribution to our understanding of developing theological understandings of Jesus, the apostles and other important figures such as Mary. It also addresses the value of these texts as potential sources for knowledge of the historical Jesus, and for debates about Jewish-Christian relations, the practice of Christian worship, and developing understandings of asceticism, gender and sexuality, etc. The volume also considers questions such as which ancient readers read early Christian apocrypha, their place in Christian spirituality, and their place in contemporary popular culture and contemporary theological discourse.
Scholars of religion have long assumed that ritual and belief constitute the fundamental building blocks of religious traditions and that these two components of religion are interrelated and interdependent in significant ways. Generations of New Testament and Early Christian scholars have produced detailed analyses of the belief systems of nascent Christian communities, including their ideological and political dimensions, but have by and large ignored ritual as an important element of early Christian religion and as a factor contributing to the rise and the organization of the movement. In recent years, however, scholars of early Christianity have begun to use ritual as an analytical tool for describing and explaining Christian origins and the early history of the movement. Such a development has created a momentum toward producing a more comprehensive volume on the ritual world of Early Christianity employing advances made in the field of ritual studies. The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Ritual gives a manifold account of the ritual world of early Christianity from the beginning of the movement up to the end of the fifth century. The volume introduces relevant theories and approaches; central topics of ritual life in the cultural world of early Christianity; and important Christian ritual themes and practices in emerging Christian groups and factions.
Presents a survey of research in this technical and diverse field that is useful for scholars and students who need to command linguistic, historical, literary, and philosophical skills. This title includes forty-five contributions that review and analyse thinking and work, and examines the progress and direction of the debates.
David K. Pettegrew,William R. Caraher,Thomas W. Davis
Author: David K. Pettegrew,William R. Caraher,Thomas W. Davis
Publisher: Oxford Handbooks
"This handbook brings together work by leading scholars of the archaeology of early Christianity in the Mediterranean and surrounding regions. The 34 essays to this volume ground the history, culture, and society of the first seven centuries of Christianity in the latest currents of archaeological method, theory, and research."--
Author: Ulrich L. Lehner,Richard A. Muller,A.G. Roeber
Publisher: Oxford University Press
The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theology, 1600-1800 will offer a comprehensive and reliable introduction to Christian theological literature originating in Western Europe from, roughly, the end of the French Wars of Religion (1598) to the Congress of Vienna (1815). Using a variety of approaches, the contributors examine theology spanning from Bossuet to Jonathan Edwards. They review the major forms of early modern theology, such as Cartesian scholasticism, Enlightenment, and early Romanticism; sketch the teachings of major theological concepts, along with important historical developments; introduce the principal practitioners of each kind of theology and delineate their particular theological contributions and stresses; and depict the engagement by early modern theologians with other religions or churches, such Judaism, Islam, and the eastern Church. Combining contributions from top scholars in the field, this will be an invaluable resource for understanding a complex and varied body of research.
Eschatology is the study of the last things: death, judgment, the afterlife, and the end of the world. Through centuries of Christian thoughtfrom the early Church fathers through the Middle Ages and the Reformationthese issues were of the utmost importance. In other religions, too, eschatological concerns were central. After the Enlightenment, though, many religious thinkers began to downplay the importance of eschatology which, in light of rationalism, came to be seen as something of an embarrassment. The twentieth century, however, saw the rise of phenomena that placed eschatology back at the forefront of religious thought. From the rapid expansion of fundamentalist forms of Christianity, with their focus on the end times; to the proliferation of apocalyptic new religious movements; to the recent (and very public) debates about suicide, martyrdom, and paradise in Islam, interest in eschatology is once again on the rise. In addition to its popular resurgence, in recent years some of the worlds most important theologians have returned eschatology to its former position of prominence. The Oxford Handbook of Eschatology will provide an important critical survey of this diverse body of thought and practice from a variety of perspectives: biblical, historical, theological, philosophical, and cultural. This volume will be the primary resource for students, scholars, and others interested in questions of our ultimate existence.
This handbook provides an in-depth survey of historical readings of Quakerism; a treatment of its key theological premises and its links with wider Christian thinking; an analysis of its distinctive ecclesiastical forms and practices; chapters on its social, economic, political, and ethical outcomes; as well as an extensive bibliography.
The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity offers an innovative overview of a period (c. 300-700 CE) that has become increasingly central to scholarly debates over the history of western and Middle Eastern civilizations. This volume covers such pivotal events as the fall of Rome, the rise of Christianity, the origins of Islam, and the early formation of Byzantium and the European Middle Ages. These events are set in the context of widespread literary, artistic, cultural, and religious change during the period. The geographical scope of this Handbook is unparalleled among comparable surveys of Late Antiquity; Arabia, Egypt, Central Asia, and the Balkans all receive dedicated treatments, while the scope extends to the western kingdoms, and North Africa in the West. Furthermore, from economic theory and slavery to Greek and Latin poetry, Syriac and Coptic literature, sites of religious devotion, and many others, this Handbook covers a wide range of topics that will appeal to scholars from a diverse array of disciplines. The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity engages the perennially valuable questions about the end of the ancient world and the beginning of the medieval, while providing a much-needed touchstone for the study of Late Antiquity itself.
This volume brings together the latest scholarship on the beliefs, practices, and institutions of the Christian Church between 400 and 1500 AD. The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Christianity is about the beliefs, practices, and institutions of the Roman Church between 400 and 1500AD, and brings together in one volume a host of cutting-edge analysis. The book does not primarily provide a chronological narrative, but rather seeks to demonstrate the variety, change, and complexity of religion across this long period, and the numerous different ways in which modern scholarship can approach it. It presents the work of thirty academic authors, from the US, the UK, and Europe, addressing topics that range from early medieval monasticism to late medieval mysticism, from the material wealth of the Church to the spiritual exercises through which certain believers might attempt to improve their souls. Each chapter tells a story, but seeks also to ask how and why "Christianity" took on a particular shape at a particular moment, paying attention to both the spiritual and otherwordly aspects of religion, and the very material and political contexts in which they were often embedded. The book aims to be an indispensable guide to future discussion in the field--Publisher description.
Maximus the Confessor (c.580-662) has become one of the most discussed figures in contemporary patristic studies. This is partly due to the relatively recent discovery and critical edition of his works in various genres, including On the Ascetic Life, Four Centuries on Charity, Two Centuries on Theology and the Incarnation, On the 'Our Father', two separate Books of Difficulties, addressed to John and to Thomas, Questions and Doubts, Questions to Thalassius, Mystagogy and the Short Theological and Polemical Works. The impact of these works reached far beyond the Greek East, with his involvement in the western resistance to imperial heresy, notably at the Lateran Synod in 649. Together with Pope Martin I (649-53 CE), Maximus the Confessor and his circle were the most vocal opponents of Constantinople's introduction of the doctrine of monothelitism. This dispute over the number of wills in Christ became a contest between the imperial government and church of Constantinople on the one hand, and the bishop of Rome in concert with eastern monks such as Maximus, John Moschus, and Sophronius, on the other, over the right to define orthodoxy. An understanding of the difficult relations between church and state in this troubled period at the close of Late Antiquity is necessary for a full appreciation of Maximus' contribution to this controversy. The editors of this volume provide the political and historical background to Maximus' activities, as well as a summary of his achievements in the spheres of theology and philosophy, especially neo-Platonism and Aristotelianism.
This Handbook is the only reference work of its kind providing surveys on a broad range of topics concerning Abrahamic Religions. Each of its essays studies a central topic across the three traditions, allowing for a unique and comprehensive understanding of the interactions and relationships between these religions. Such a volume is essential for students and academics in the field of comparative religion.
The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies reflects the current state of scholarship in the field as analyzed by an international team of experts in the different and varied areas represented within contemporary Jewish Studies. Unlike recent attempts to encapsulate the current state of Jewish Studies, the Oxford Handbook is more than a mere compendium of agreed facts; rather, it is an exhaustive survey of current interests and directions in the field.
The contribution of the Johannine literature to the development of Christian theology, and particularly to Christology, is uncontested, although careful distinction between the implications of its language, especially that of sonship, in a first century 'Jewish' context and in the subsequent theological controversies of the early Church has been particularly important if not always easily sustained. Recent study has shaken off the weight of subsequent Christian appropriation of Johannine language which has sometimes made readers immune to the ambiguities and challenging tensions in its thought. The Oxford Handbook of Johannine Studies begins with chapters concentrating on discussions of the background and context of the Johannine literature, leading to the different ways of reading the text, and thence to the primary theological themes within them, before concluding with some discussion of the reception of the Johannine literature in the early church. Inevitably, given their different genres and levels of complexity, some chapters pay most if not all attention to the Gospel, whereas others are more able to give a more substantial place to the letters. All the contributors have themselves made significant contributions to their topic. They have sought to give a balanced introduction to the relevant scholarship and debate, but they have also been able to present the issues from their own perspective. The Handbook will help those less familiar with the Johannine literature to get a sense of the major areas of debate and why the field continues to be one of vibrant and exciting study, and that those who are already part of the conversation will find new insights to enliven their own on-going engagement with these writings.
Marriage and Sexuality in Early Christianity is part of Ad Fontes: Early Christian Sources, a series designed to present ancient Christian texts essential to an understanding of Christian theology, ecclesiology, and practice. The books in the series make the wealth of early Christian thought available to new generations of students of theology and provide a valuable resource for the church. Developed in light of recent patristic scholarship, the volumes provide a representative sampling of theological contributions from both East and West. The series provides volumes that are relevant for a variety of courses: from introduction to theology to classes on doctrine and the development of Christian thought. The goal of each volume is not to be exhaustive but rather to be representative enough to denote for a nonspecialist audience the multivalent character of early Christian thought, allowing readers to see how and why early Christian doctrine and practice developed the way it did.