Journal of Early Christian History - latest Issue
Volume 6, Issue 2, 2016
Of monsters and men : religious conflict, radicalism, and sexual exceptionalism in the works of John ChrysostomAuthor Chris L. de WetSource: Journal of Early Christian History 6, pp 1 –17 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2222582X.2016.1218951More Less
The purpose of this article is to investigate the dynamics between religious conflict and sexual exceptionalism, as a means to radicalise members of a religious group, in the works of John Chrysostom (347–407 AD). Using modern terms, Chrysostom aims to infiltrate and minimise the ‘grey zone’ of religious identity and participation by constructing the sexual identity of the group he represents as masculine, pure, and dominant, and that of his opponents as inferior, perverse, and diseased. Chrysostom affirms the sexual exceptionalism of his radical adherents by means of inclusion – it is no longer one’s ethnicity, gender, class, or social status that are markers of exceptionality, but rather the presence of self-mastery and chastity, or sōphrosynē. Chrysostom abnormalises his opponents by means of teratogenisation, that is by making monsters out of them, in highlighting their abnormal pathic excess, corporeal mutilation, demonisation, psychic disease, and puerility. The masculinity of the radicals is affirmed and the sexual inferiority of the opponents sketched in vivid detail. By means of this case study from Chrysostom, the article hopes to emphasise the importance of gender and sexuality in the study of religious conflict past and present.
‘Reaping where you did not sow’ : the parable of the entrusted money (Q 19:12–13, 15–24, 26) and the redaction of QAuthor Llewellyn HowesSource: Journal of Early Christian History 6, pp 18 –54 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2222582X.2016.1218982More Less
In The Formation of Q, Kloppenborg identifies three redactional layers in the Sayings Gospel Q: the ‘formative stratum’ (or Q¹), the ‘main redaction’ (or Q²), and the ‘final recension’ (or Q³). He ascribes the parable of the Entrusted Money in Q 19:12–13, 15–24, 26 to the main redaction. As an alternative, it will be argued that this parable appeared in the formative stratum before it was incorporated into the main redaction. In order to argue the latter, the article will engage in the interpretation of this parable.
Author Johannes van OortSource: Journal of Early Christian History 6, pp 55 –76 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2222582X.2016.1218998More Less
This paper draws attention to the possible role of Hermetic writings in the spiritual development of Augustine (354–430). It first places his knowledge of Hermetica within the context of both ‘orthodox’ African Christianity (Tertullian, Cyprian, Arnobius, Lactantius) and contemporary Manichaeism. It then focuses on his dealing with Hermetic writings, ideas and expressions in writings such as the Confessions, the (now lost) The Beautiful and the Harmonious, and Against Faustus. In Augustine’s later writing the City of God, one finds a twofold appreciation of Hermes, which had a particular influence in subsequent centuries.
Author Stephen L. YoungSource: Journal of Early Christian History 6, pp 77 –110 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2222582X.2016.1184883More Less
The Marcosian ‘redemption’ afterlife practice, described by Irenaeus (Haer. 1.21.5; see also, 1.13.6), exhibits striking similarities with the Bacchic Gold Tablets. This article exploits this largely neglected comparative opportunity to interrogate how the Marcosian redemption would have been recognisable to people in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, thus bypassing the common focus in our field on ‘origins’ or ‘influences’. The Christians who participated in the Marcosian redemption emerge as people engaged in a broader genre of Greco-Roman religiosity that is associated with independent experts who adapted known mythic resources and offered access to afterlife benefits. This article thus pursues a level of social analysis we often take for granted in Early Christian Studies by attending to the constituent practices of the Marcosian redemption as well as to the social conditions within which it could have been intelligible or compelling. It furthermore leverages this analysis to suggest the fruitfulness of similarly redescribing other, more familiar early Christian materials in terms of practices.
Author Toby TerrarSource: Journal of Early Christian History 6, pp 111 –151 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2222582X.2016.1219000More Less
This article is a survey of twentieth-century communist historical scholarship concerning early Christianity. It is inspired by the recent publication in English of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s (1922–1975) screenplay Saint Paul. The historiography will be of interest to those concerned with the rise and fall of proletarian government. It focuses on the resistance to Roman imperialism, slavery and emperor worship that helped overthrow the Empire. It summarises left historiography concerning Christian resistance among Judean Ebionites, Montanists in Asia Minor, Donatists in North Africa, bagaudae in Spain, Gaul and Germany, and Arians in Italy.
Author Pieter J.J. BothaSource: Journal of Early Christian History 6, pp 152 –154 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2222582X.2016.1219001More Less
In the Pastoral Epistles, there are a number of passages that mention both women and gossip. In 1 Timothy (5:13), the discussion of young widows refers to them as gossipers. Both Titus and 1 Timothy warn against gossip when they speak of requirements for women in the church (1 Tim. 3:11; Titus 2:3–5), and additional passages mention idle talk, profane chatter, and the like. Kartzow’s research deals with these passages, but with an interesting and properly contextualised perspective. The Pastoral Epistles share in the common cultural currency of their time, as has been shown often enough by many scholars. Kartzow develops this insight critically: the ‘Pastoral Paul’ (Kartzow follows Lone Fatum, ‘Christ Domesticated: The Household Theology of the Pastorals as Political Strategy’ in The Formation of the Early Church [ed. J Ådna, WUNT 183; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005], 175–210 to refer to the one or several authors or editors that completed these texts) extracts from his cultural ‘encyclopedia’ the conviction that gossip is feminine speech; he uses this stereotype to depict his opponents. Throughout the Pastoral Epistles, the author legitimises his own position, and a major strategy of his is to label alternative knowledge or interpretations with devaluating terms. The Pastoral Paul is othering his opponents by naming and blaming them, and gossip is one of their many vices. After all, gossip was (and still is) considered to be feminine speech, and women and ‘less-males’ are repeatedly associated with gossip.