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.
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.
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.
The Bible was the lifeblood of virtually every aspect of the life of the early churches. This Handbook explores a wide array of themes related to the reception, canonization, interpretation, uses, and legacies of the Bible in early Christianity.
"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."--
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 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.
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.