Journal of Early Christian Studies

Journal of Early Christian Studies 10.2, Summer 2002

Contents

Articles

    Penn, Michael.
  • Performing Family: Ritual Kissing and the Construction of Early Christian Kinship
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    Subject Headings:
    • Kissing -- Religious aspects -- Christianity.
    • Family -- Religious aspects -- Christianity.
    Abstract:
      Early Christians described and performed the ritual kiss in ways that helped them create a cohesive, family-like community. The kiss could include certain people in the church, exclude others, and help distinguish Christian behavior. An investigation of the ritual kiss presents an opportunity to illustrate how performance theory's emphasis on embodied action can help us better appreciate how practice, as well as rhetoric, affected early Christian communities.
    Conybeare, Catherine.
  • The Ambiguous Laughter of Saint Laurence
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    Subject Headings:
    • Prudentius, b. 348. Peristephanon.
    • Laurence, Saint, of Rome, d. 258.
    • Martyrdom -- Christianity.
    • Masculinity -- Religious aspects -- Christianity.
    • Laughter -- Religious aspects -- Christianity.
    Abstract:
      This essay uses contemporary theories of masculinity to read Prudentius' narrative of the martyrdom of St. Laurence (Peristephanon 2). We find that, far from being the site of a conventional glorification of martyrdom and Rome, this narrative contains many subversive elements which derive from the presentation of Laurence as ambiguously-gendered. The subversion is epitomized in the famous jest of Laurence as he lies roasting on the gridiron; but we see here how Prudentius' poem, and other lesser accounts of the same martyrdom, place this jest in a wider context of shifting masculinities, social critique, and antihegemonic hilarity.
    Lössl, Josef.
  • Julian of Aeclanum on Pain
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    Subject Headings:
    • Julian, of Eclanum, Bishop, 380-ca. 455 -- Views on pain.
    • Pain -- Religious aspects -- Christianity.
    Abstract:
      Pain was one of the issues debated between Julian of Aeclanum and Augustine of Hippo. For Augustine pain was an evil caused by original sin. Julian argued that, in the context of creation as a whole, pain can be treated as a good, since its moderate forms are creational. Only in excess are they evil. This article aims at presenting Julian's position in detail, not only in the context of the debate with Augustine, but in the wider context of late ancient philosophy and early Christian doctrine. Julian is well acquainted with philosophical and medical texts and with the biblical and patristic tradition. He rejects Augustine's attempt to work all these into a universal theological theory of pain and thereby deny, in Julian's view, philosophy and medicine their relative autonomy. Julian's plea—as a theologian—for a rational and empirical approach to pain draws as much upon ancient sources as it anticipates an attitude towards natural science and philosophy usually associated with much later periods in history.
    Cross, Richard.
  • Individual Natures in the Christology of Leontius of Byzantium
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    Subject Headings:
    • Leontius, Presbyter of Constantinople, 5th/6th cent. Contra Eutychianos et Nestorianos.
    • Leontius, Presbyter of Constantinople, 5th/6th cent. Epilyseis.
    • Jesus Christ -- Natures.
    Abstract:
      According to the teaching of Leontius of Byzantium in Contra Eutychianos et Nestorianos, Christ's human nature is a universal. In his late work, the Epilyseis, however, Leontius affirms that Christ's human nature is an individual (a unique collection of universals), and argues that such a nature fails to be a subsistent on the grounds that it exists in the person of the Word. Thus, the interpretation of Leontius' teaching offered by Loofs is substantially correct, even though (as is well-known, and contrary to Loofs) Leontius does not use the term enhupostatos to talk about his theory of the nature's nonsubsistence.
    Constas, Nicholas.
  • An Apology for the Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity: Eustratius Presbyter of Constantinople, On the State of Souls after Death (CPG 7522)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Eustratios, Presbyter 6th cent. On the state of souls after death.
    • Saints -- Cult -- Turkey -- Istanbul.
    • Soul -- History of doctrines -- Early church, ca. 30-600.
    Abstract:
      Toward the end of the sixth century, Eustratius, a leading presbyter of Constantinople, refuted a series of arguments which threatened to undermine both the cult of saints and the church's ritual care for the souls of the dead. Based in part on more scientific and materialist models of causality, along with the concern to protect the sovereign activity of the divine, Eustratius' opponents denied the ability of dead souls to involve themselves in, or be affected by, the affairs of the living. However, rather than reject the then widespread phenomena of saintly apparitions, Eustratius' critics argued that they were in fact produced by a divine power simulating the forms of dead martyrs and saints. Eustratius' refutation of these arguments applies the language of contemporary christology to the cult of saints in order to develop a theological anthropology and eschatology commensurate with ritual practice. Eustratius' work, and the arguments of his opponents, which have never been the focus of a major study, are here considered in detail, and this paper suggests that the views of both parties anticipate respectively the iconophilic and iconoclastic theologies of later centuries.

Note

Book Reviews

    Gowans, Coleen Hoffman.
  • Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Behr, John. Asceticism and anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement.
    • Asceticism -- History -- Early church, ca. 30-600.
    Scalise, Charles J.
  • Teachers and Texts in the Ancient World: Philosophers, Jews, and Christians (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Snyder, H. Gregory, 1959- Teachers and texts in the ancient world: philosophers, Jews, and Christians.
    • Philosophy, Ancient.
    Blowers, Paul M., 1955-
  • Commentary on the Psalms (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrrhus. Commentary on the Psalms.
    • Hill, Robert C. (Robert Charles), 1931-, tr.
    • Bible. O.T. Psalms -- Commentaries -- Early works to 1800.
    Spoerl, Kelley McCarthy.
  • Eusebius of Caesarea against Paganism (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Kofsky, Arieh. Eusebius of Caesarea against paganism.
    • Eusebius, of Caesarea, Bishop of Caesarea, ca. 260-ca. 340.
    Pang-White, Ann A.
  • Augustine's Invention of the Inner Self: The Legacy of a Christian Platonist (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Cary, Phillip, 1958- Augustine's invention of the inner self: the legacy of a Christian Platonist.
    • Augustine, Saint, Bishop of Hippo -- Contributions in doctrine of soul.



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