Search results for: subversive-virtue

Subversive Virtue

Author : James A. Francis
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Much attention has been devoted in recent years to Christian asceticism in Late Antiquity. But Christianity did not introduce asceticism to the ancient world. An underlying theme of this fascinating study of pagan asceticism is that much of the work on Christian &"holy men&" has ignored earlier manifestations of asceticism in Antiquity and the way Roman society confronted it. Accordingly, James Francis turns to the second century, the &"balmy late afternoon of Rome's classical empire,&" when the conflict between asceticism and authority reached a turning point. Francis begins with the emperor Marcus Aurelius (121&–180), who warned in his Meditations against &"display[ing] oneself as a man keen to impress others with a reputation for asceticism or beneficence.&" The Stoic Aurelius saw ascetic self-discipline as a virtue, but one to be exercised in moderation. Like other Roman aristocrats of his day, he perceived practitioners of ostentatious physical asceticism as a threat to prevailing norms and the established order. Prophecy, sorcery, miracle working, charismatic leadership, expressions of social discontent, and advocacy of alternative values regarding wealth, property, marriage, and sexuality were the issues provoking the controversy. If Aurelius defined the acceptable limits of ascetical practice, then the poet Lucian depicted the threat ascetics were perceived to pose to the social status quo through his biting satire. In an eye-opening analysis of Philostratus's Life of Apollonius of Tyana, Francis shows how Roman society reined in its deviant ascetics by &"rehabilitating&" them into pillars of traditional values. Celsus's True Doctrine shows how the views pagans held of their own ascetics influenced their negative view of Christianity. Finally, Francis points out striking parallels between the conflict over pagan asceticism and its Christian counterpart. By treating pagan asceticism seriously in its own right, Francis establishes the context necessary for understanding the great flowering of asceticism in Late Antiquity

Unmanly Men

Author : Brittany E. Wilson
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New Testament scholars typically assume that the men who pervade the pages of Luke's two volumes are models of an implied "manliness." Scholars rarely question how Lukan men measure up to ancient masculine mores, even though masculinity is increasingly becoming a topic of inquiry in the field of New Testament and its related disciplines. Drawing especially from gender-critical work in classics, Brittany Wilson addresses this lacuna by examining key male characters in Luke-Acts in relation to constructions of masculinity in the Greco-Roman world. Of all Luke's male characters, Wilson maintains that four in particular problematize elite masculine norms: namely, Zechariah (the father of John the Baptist), the Ethiopian eunuch, Paul, and, above all, Jesus. She further explains that these men do not protect their bodily boundaries nor do they embody corporeal control, two interrelated male gender norms. Indeed, Zechariah loses his ability to speak, the Ethiopian eunuch is castrated, Paul loses his ability to see, and Jesus is put to death on the cross. With these bodily "violations," Wilson argues, Luke points to the all-powerful nature of God and in the process reconfigures--or refigures--men's own claims to power. Luke, however, not only refigures the so-called prerogative of male power, but he refigures the parameters of power itself. According to Luke, God provides an alternative construal of power in the figure of Jesus and thus redefines what it means to be masculine. Thus, for Luke, "real" men look manifestly unmanly. Wilson's findings in Unmanly Men will shatter long-held assumptions in scholarly circles and beyond about gendered interpretations of the New Testament, and how they can be used to understand the roles of the Bible's key characters.

A Most Reliable Witness

Author : Susan Ashbrook Harvey
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Celebrate a trailblazer in the areas of women and re Celebrate a trailblazer in the areas of women and religion, Jews and Judaism, and earliest Christianity in the ancient Mediterranean Ross Kraemer is Professor Emerita in the Department of Religious Studies at Brown University. This volume of essays, conceived and produced by students, colleagues, and friends bears witness to the breadth of her own scholarly interests. Contributors include Theodore A. Bergren, Debra Bucher, Lynn Cohick, Mary Rose D’Angelo, Nathaniel P. DesRosiers, Robert Doran, Jennifer Eyl, Paula Fredriksen, John G. Gager, Maxine Grossman, Kim Haines-Eitzen, Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Jordan Kraemer, Robert A. Kraft, Shira L. Lander, Amy-Jill Levine, Susan Marks, E. Ann Matter, Renee Levine Melammed, Susan Niditch, Elaine Pagels, Adele Reinhartz, Jordan Rosenblum, Sarah Schwarz, Karen B. Stern, Stanley K. Stowers, Daniel Ullucci, Arthur Urbano, Heidi Wendt, and Benjamin G. Wright. Features: Articles that examine both ancient and modern texts in cross-cultural and trans-historical perspective Twenty-eight original essays on ancient Judaism, Christianity, and women in the Greco-Roman world

Hope in the Age of Climate Change

Author : Chris Doran
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It is difficult to be hopeful in the midst of daily news about the effects of climate change on people and our planet. While the Christian basis for hope is the resurrection of Jesus, unfortunately far too many American Protestant Christians do not connect this belief with the daily witness of their faith. This book argues that the resurrection proclaims a notion of hope that should be the foundation of a theology of creation care that manifests itself explicitly in the daily lives of believers. Christian hope not only inspires us to do great and courageous things but also serves as a critique of current systems and powers that degrade humans, nonhumans, and the rest of creation and thus cause us to be hopeless. Belief in the resurrection hope should cause us to be a different sort of people. Christians should think, purchase, eat, and act in novel and courageous ways because they are motivated daily by the resurrection of Jesus. This is the only way to be hopeful in the age of climate change.

Christians Gnostics and Philosophers in Late Antiquity

Author : Mark Edwards
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Gnosticism, Christianity and late antique philosophy are often studied separately; when studied together they are too often conflated. These articles set out to show that we misunderstand all three phenomena if we take either approach. We cannot interpret, or even identify, Christian Gnosticism without Platonic evidence; we may even discover that Gnosticism throws unexpected light on the Platonic imagination. At the same time, if we read writers like Origen simply as Christian Platonists, or bring Christians and philosophers together under the porous umbrella of "monotheism", we ignore fundamental features of both traditions. To grasp what made Christianity distinctive, we must look at the questions asked in the studies here, not merely what Christians appropriated but how it was appropriated. What did the pagan gods mean to a Christian poet of the fifth century? What did Paul quote when he thought he was quoting Greek poetry? What did Socrates mean to the Christians, and can we trust their memories when they appeal to lost fragments of the Presocratics? When pagans accuse the Christians of moral turpitude, do they know more or less about them than we do? What divides Augustine, the disenchanted Platonist, from his Neoplatonic contemporaries? And what God or gods await the Neoplatonist when he dies?

Policing the Roman Empire

Author : Christopher J. Fuhrmann
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Drawing on a wide variety of source material from art archaeology, administrative documents, Egyptian papyri, laws Jewish and Christian religious texts and ancient narratives this book provides a comprehensive overview of Roman imperial policing practices.

Seneca in Performance

Author : George W. M. Harrison
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The plays of Seneca the Younger, minister and philosopher under Nero, are today increasingly studied, appreciated and performed. Here, in twelve new papers from a distinguished international cast, scholars explore established questions, such as whether the plays were written for the stage, and newer topics such as the playwright's subtleties of characterisation, his relation to contemporary Roman spectacle and art - and the problems arising in translating him to modern text or stage.

Quo Vadis Medical Healing

Author : S. Elm
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Medical healing implies knowledge of the assumptions that underlie our understanding of "health," and, concomitantly, how we define well being and its opposites, illness and disease. Today, health, health care (business, wellness, recreation), and medicine (especially research-driven scientific medicine) have become separate entities with different institutions, budgets, marketing philosophies and "corporate cultures". Furthermore, healing is individual and subjective, yet at the same time also culturally determined. The present volume brings together papers on these topics in an unique interdisciplinary approach. The book provides an ethical framework for healthcare from a political perspective. It discusses definitions of the terminology of healing and health and their ethical and medical implications including their historical contexts. A separate section expands the theme of the cultural constructedness of healing by the concepts of traditional Chinese medicine and homeopathy. Modern medicine has a strong focus on acute care, which urgently needs to place greater emphasis on preventive medicine including the crucial importance of social factors on health and on the emergence of "public health". The point of view of Business Concepts, their potential and limitations are by no means neglected and the legal ramifications of genetic research and innovative medical strategies with regard to some of our most foundational notions are discussed.

Forgiveness and Other Acts of Love Finding True Value in Your Life Large Print 16pt

Author : Stephanie Dowrick
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In this groundbreaking book Stephanie Dowrick reconsiders the six great humane virtues that can literally transform the way we see ourselves and others; the way we meet and move through difficulties or grief; the way that we can newly appreciate and treasure our own and others' gift of life. Starting with the essential quality of courage, Stephanie Dowrick also unpicks and makes newly relevant the timeless qualities of fidelity, restraint, generosity, tolerance and - finally - forgiveness. None of these transformative qualities, as she shows, are learned in the abstract. Until they are brought to life through daily existence they remain nothing but high ideals. But when lived, and especially when lived in the grit of difficult or challenging moments, they are profoundly life giving and supportive. Using a range of stories including her own, together with a rare breadth of psychological and spiritual experience and insight, Stephanie Dowrick offers a book that can illuminate some of life's toughest questions and restore your faith in what really matters.

Dirty Virtues

Author : Louke van Wensveen
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