Vernacular Translations and Adaptations of the Vita Adae et Evae
Author: Brian Murdoch
Publisher: OUP Oxford
What happened to Adam and Eve after their expulsion from paradise? Where the biblical narrative fell silent apocryphal writings took up this intriguing question, notably including the Early Christian Latin text, the Life of Adam and Eve. This account describes the (failed) attempt of the couple to return to paradise by fasting whilst immersed in a river, and explores how they coped with new experiences such as childbirth and death. Brian Murdoch guides the reader through the many variant versions of the Life, demonstrating how it was also adapted into most western and some eastern European languages in the Middle Ages and beyond, constantly developing and changing along the way. The study considers this development of the apocryphal texts whilst presenting a fascinating insight into the flourishing medieval tradition of Adam and Eve. A tradition that the Reformation would largely curtail, stories from the Life were celebrated in European prose, verse and drama in many different languages from Irish to Russian.
This anthology discusses different aspects of Protestantism, past and present. Professor Tarald Rasmussen has written both on medieval and modern theologians, but his primary interest has remained the reformation and 16th century church history. In stead of a traditional «Festschrift» honouring the different fields of research he has contributed to, this will be a focused anthology treating a specific theme related to Rasmussen’s research profile. One of Professor Rasmussen's most recent publications, a little popularized book in Norwegian titled «What is Protestantism?», reveals a central aspect research interest, namely the Weberian interest for Protestantism’s cultural significance. Despite difficulties, he finds the concept useful as a Weberian «Idealtypus» enabling research on a phenomenon combining theological, historical and sociological dimensions. Thus he employs the Protestantism as an integrative concept to trace the makeup of today’s secular societies. This profiled approach is a point of departure for this anthology discussing important aspects of historiography in reformation history: Continuity and breaks surrounding the reformation, contemporary significance of reformation history research, traces of the reformation in today’s society. The book relates to current discussions on Protestantism and is relevant to everyone who want to keep up to date with the latest research in the field.
Ambiguous Women in Medieval Art brings together the work of seven researchers who, coming from different perspectives, and in some cases different disciplines, approach the question of ambiguity in relation to different case-studies where the represented women do not follow the ever-present dichotomy exemplified by Eve and Mary. In doing so, they demonstrate the complexities of a topic that is as contemporary as it is ancient. Through them, we can get valuable insights on the understanding and experience of gender in the past and the ways in which these experiences have shaped our own understanding of this topic.
For the first time, a group of distinguished authors come together to provide an authoritative exploration of the cultural history of tragedy in the Middle Ages. Reports of the so-called death of medieval tragedy, they argue, have been greatly exaggerated; and, for the Middle Ages, the stakes couldn't be higher. Eight essays offer a blueprint for future study as they take up the extensive but much-neglected medieval engagement with tragic genres, modes, and performances from the vantage points of gender, politics, theology, history, social theory, anthropology, philosophy, economics, and media studies. The result? A recuperated medieval tragedy that is as much a branch of literature as it is of theology, politics, law, or ethics and which, at long last, rejoins the millennium-long conversation about one of the world's most enduring art forms. Each chapter takes a different theme as its focus: forms and media; sites of performance and circulation; communities of production and consumption; philosophy and social theory; religion, ritual and myth; politics of city and nation; society and family, and gender and sexuality.
The Thousand-Year Story of the Survival and Influence of the Lost Gospels
Author: Philip Jenkins
Publisher: Hachette UK
The standard account of early Christianity tells us that the first centuries after Jesus' death witnessed an efflorescence of Christian sects, each with its own gospel. We are taught that these alternative scriptures, which represented intoxicating, daring, and often bizarre ideas, were suppressed in the fourth and fifth centuries, when the Church canonized the gospels we know today: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The rest were lost, destroyed, or hidden. In The Many Faces of Christ, the renowned religious historian Philip Jenkins thoroughly refutes our most basic assumptions about the Lost Gospels. He reveals that dozens of alternative gospels not only survived the canonization process but in many cases remained influential texts within the official Church. Whole new gospels continued to be written and accepted. For a thousand years, these strange stories about the life and death of Jesus were freely admitted onto church premises, approved for liturgical reading, read by ordinary laypeople for instruction and pleasure, and cited as authoritative by scholars and theologians. The Lost Gospels spread far and wide, crossing geographic and religious borders. The ancient Gospel of Nicodemus penetrated into Southern and Central Asia, while both Muslims and Jews wrote and propagated gospels of their own. In Europe, meanwhile, it was not until the Reformation and Counter-Reformation that the Lost Gospels were effectively driven from churches. But still, many survived, and some continue to shape Christian practice and belief in our own day. Offering a revelatory new perspective on the formation of the biblical canon, the nature of the early Church, and the evolution of Christianity, The Many Faces of Christ restores these Lost Gospels to their central place in Christian history.
The Cistercian fresco cycle at Abbazia delle Tre Fontane
Author: KristinB. Aavitsland
The first monograph on the Vita Humana cycle at Tre Fontane, this book includes an overview of the medieval history of the Roman Cistercian abbey and its architecture, as well as a consideration of the political and cultural standing of the abbey both within Papal Rome and within the Cistercian order. Furthermore, it considers the commission of the fresco cycle, the circumstances of its making, and its position within the art historical context of the Roman Duecento. Examining the unusual blend of images in the Vita Humana cycle, this study offers a more nuanced picture of the iconographic repertoire of medieval art. Since the discovery of the frescoes in the 1960s, the iconographic programme of the cycle has remained mysterious, and an adequate analysis of the Vita Humana cycle as a whole has so far been lacking. Kristin B. Aavitsland covers this gap in the scholarship on Roman art circa 1300, and also presents the first interpretative discussion of the frescoes that is up-to-date with the architectural investigations undertaken in the monastery around 2000. Aavitsland proposes a rationale behind the conception of the fresco cycle, thereby providing a key for understanding its iconography and shedding new light on thirteenth-century Cistercian culture.
As the first woman, Eve was the pattern for all her daughters. The importance of readings of Eve for understanding how women were viewed at various times is a critical commonplace, but one which has been only narrowly investigated. This book systematically explores the different ways in which Eve was understood by Christians in antiquity and in the English Middle Ages, and it relates these understandings to female social roles. The result is an Eve more various than she is often depicted by scholars. Beginning with material from the bible, the Church Fathers and Jewish sources, the book goes on to look at a broad selection of medieval writing, including theological works and literary texts in Old and Middle English. In addition to dealing with famous authors such as Augustine, Aquinas, Dante and Chaucer, the writings of authors who are now less well-known, but who were influential in their time, are explored. The book allows readers to trace the continuities and discontinuities in the way Eve was portrayed over a millennium and a half, and as such it is of interest to those interested in women or the bible in the Middle Ages.
The Jewish culture of the Hellenistic and early Roman periods established a basis for all monotheistic religions, but its main sources have been preserved to a great degree through Christian transmission. This Guide is devoted to problems of preservation, reception, and transformation of Jewish texts and traditions of the Second Temple period in the many Christian milieus from the ancient world to the late medieval era. It approaches this corpus not as an artificial collection of reconstructed texts--a body of hypothetical originals--but rather from the perspective of the preserved materials, examined in their religious, social, and political contexts. It also considers the other, non-Christian, channels of the survival of early Jewish materials, including Rabbinic, Gnostic, Manichaean, and Islamic. This unique project brings together scholars from many different fields in order to map the trajectories of early Jewish texts and traditions among diverse later cultures. It also provides a comprehensive and comparative introduction to this new field of study while bridging the gap between scholars of early Judaism and of medieval Christianity.
The articles of this volume present instantiations of the Hebrew Bible’s deployment in textual and visual forms by Iberian Jewish, Christian and converso exegetes, translators, philosophers, artists, and literary authors between the anti-Jewish riots of 1391 and the Expulsion of 1492.
The story of the apocryphal pope and saint Gregorius was extremely popular throughout the middle ages and later in Europe and beyond.This book traces the story from its English or French origins through its many variations from Iceland to Egypt and from the twelfth to the twenty-first century.