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New, Recent, and Forthcoming Books in Patristics and Early Christianity

Updated: Jul 30, 2022


It can be difficult to keep track of the steady flow of new titles in patristics and related fields. Below are just a few of the new, recent, or forthcoming editions, translations, monographs, and collected studies that have come to our attention in the last few years. The list is not intended to be exhaustive, but we hope that it will prove useful to students and readers interested in early Christianity and patristics. Look for similar, supplementary reviews in the near future.


Editions



Among the works historically attributed to St John of Damascus is a florilegium known as the Sacra (Parallela). De Gruyter, in its monumental series of critical editions (Patristische Texte und Studien), brings us the second book of the Sacra parallela, namely the section On Man, in the eighth volume - in multiple fascicles - of the complete works (Die Schriften) of St John Damascene.



In 1929, a breakthrough discovery was made in Medinet Madi (Egypt) of the oldest original writings of the Manichean religion (hitherto unavailable) in Coptic translation. The Book of [Manichaean] “Psalms” in the Chester Beatty Library (Dublin), in papyrus, is one of seven codices found at that site. Following important restoration work, this is the first edition of Part I, 1: 122 pages of Coptic text accompanied by a German translation. The poetically demanding songs offer an original insight into the Manichaean religion. In addition to a group of psalms that preserved the oldest sun hymns of Manichaeism, some psalms in 22 stanzas reflect the content of the living gospel of the founder of the religion, Mani.



Translations



Late in his life, in the mid-third century, Origen wrote a Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, the first known commentary ever written on this Gospel. Eight of the original twenty-five books have been preserved in the original Greek language, supplemented by a Latin translation made in the sixth century and numerous fragments. This new translation is the first complete English translation of the entirety of the Greek and Latin source material.



The third installment of this broad anthology of early Christian texts from ca. 100 to ca. 650. This volume, concerned with early Christian reflection on Christ as God incarnate from the first century to ca. 450, includes not only Greek and Latin but also Syriac and Coptic texts.




The fourth installment of this broad anthology, focusing on early Christian reflection on Christ as God incarnate from ca. 450 to the eighth century.




Part of the DOML, a relatively recent series from Harvard UP that seeks to move beyond the literary period covered by the Loeb Classical Library, this volume presents the Greek text, with facing English translation, of seven sermons delivered by Sophronios of Jerusalem from 634–638, during his short tenure as Patriarch, at the end of his life and as the Holy City was conquered by Islamic forces.



In this hagiographical work, Michael the Monk describes a golden age at Stoudios as well as the often antagonistic encounters between imperial rulers and the monastery’s influential abbot, St Theodore (759–826). This new English translation contains the Encyclical Letter of Naukratios, written in 826 by Theodore’s successor, as well as the Translation and Burial, which contains brief biographies of Theodore and his brother, along with an eyewitness account of their reburial at Stoudios.



Gennadios Scholarios, the first Patriarch of Constantinople after the fall of the city in 1453, is known to scholars and historians primarily as a theological writer. But Scholarios was also a pastor who authored many works designed to edify and inspire the faithful. This new translation, with a Foreword by Director of the Pappas Patristic Institute, Fr Maximos Constas, constitutes the largest collection of works by Scholarios available in English, bringing together a number of texts on sin and repentance, faith, prayer, fasting, almsgiving, the sacraments, and the life of holiness and virtue.



This forthcoming volume presents English translations of four complete madrāšē cycles of St Ephrem: On the Fast, On the Unleavened Bread, On the Crucifixion, and On the Resurrection.



See, also, the newest translations from


Monographs


Councils



Examines the Acta of ancient church councils as the objects of textual practices, in their editorial shaping, and in their material conditions. It traces the processes of their production, starting from the recording of spoken interventions during a meeting, to the preparation of minutes of individual sessions, to their collection into larger units, their storage and the earliest attempts at their dissemination.



This critically-acclaimed study examines the role that invocations of and rival construals of Nicaea (both the council and its creed) played in the major councils of the mid-fifth century, especially given the problematic ‘sufficiency’ of Nicaea and its creed.



Patristics and Philosophy



The first ever attempt at an overarching analysis of “patristic philosophy,” beginning with what Zachhuber describes as the first distinctively Christian theory of being, followed by its radical modification in the Cappadocians, and following from there to the debates surrounding the Council of Chalcedon up to the eighth century. See a review of this book here.



This is the first book in English to give a synoptic account of the slow appropriation of Aristotelian thought in the Christian world from the second to the sixth century. Concentrating on the themes of creation, the soul, the Trinity, and Christology, it makes full use of modern scholarship on the Peripatetic tradition after Aristotle, explaining the significance of Neoplatonism as a mediator of Aristotelian logic. While stressing the fidelity of Christian thinkers to biblical presuppositions, it also describes their attempts to overcome the pagan objections to biblical teachings by a consistent use of Aristotelian principles. See a review here.



Treating a large number of Church Fathers and philosophical themes, this edited volume examines the various ways in which Christian intellectuals engaged with Platonism both as a pagan competitor and as a source of philosophical material useful to the Christian faith.



Origen



These thirty essays and studies offer fresh vistas on Origen’s theology as well as the ways in which his legacy was adopted, transformed, and transmitted from the fourth century through the Reformation and into modernity. Features some of the most prominent scholars in the study of Origen and related topics.



Origen / Exegesis



This book argues that Origen thought about prophecy using the same threefold structure that he applied to the exegesis of Scripture, seeing in it somatic (future-telling), psychic (moral), and pneumatic (mystical revelatory) senses. Hall explores Origen’s understanding of prophecy alongside Greek pagan, Jewish, and Christian thinking about prophecy, divination, time, human nature, autonomy and freedom, allegory and metaphor, and the role of the divine in the order and structure of the cosmos.



Origen / Divine Simplicity



For centuries, Christian theology affirmed God as simple (haplous) and tri-hypostatic. Through a detailed historical exploration of Irenaeus, sources from the Monarchian controversy, and especially Origen’s oeuvre, Ip examines the key contributions to this basic Christian question arising in ante-Nicene theology.



Origen / Augustine



How, and why, did ancient Christian authors elaborate a theology of the Holy Spirit? This study examines the theology of Origen and Augustine, in particular, in order to show how traditional problems such as subordinationism and essentialism can be re-framed through an examination of these authors’ exegesis of the Gospel of John.



Eusebius / Canon



Eusebius of Caesarea organized the textual relationships among the four Gospels in a system known as the Eusebian apparatus. This books examines how his famous canon tables, sectioning, and tables of contents helped transform the reading and interpretation of the Gospels in the late ancient world.



Tatian / Diatesseron



Covering the widest array of manuscript evidence to date, this book seeks to uncover the composition and reception history behind the lost text of the second-century Diatesseron (or Gospel Harmony). In it, Barker reconstructs the compositional and editorial practices by which Tatian wrote his Gospel, sorting every extant witness according to its narrative sequence and unveiling the macrostructure of Tatian's Gospel.



Clement



Clement’s Stromateis have been ignored in the study of Greco-Roman miscellanies. This book interrogates the notion of Clement's ‘Christian difference’ by comparing his work with the classic works of Plutarch, Pliny, Gellius, and Athenaeus. It argues that Clement shaped his miscellanies as an instrument for encountering the hidden God in a hidden way, while marvelling at the variegated beauty of divine work refracted through the variegated beauty of his own textuality.



Nemesios



The first English monograph on this seminal work of Christian anthropology, notable for its influence on St Maximos the Confessor.




Jerome / Exegesis



In the year 386, St Jerome commented on four Pauline epistles: Galatians, Ephesians, Titus, Philemon, after recently having relocated to Bethlehem from Rome. This monograph provides the first book-length treatment of Jerome’s opus Paulinum in any language. Cain analyzes the commentaries’ philological method, engagement with Greek exegetical sources, and theological use of the person and thought of Paul.



Augustine



Engaging the imposing topic of Augustine on the will, Komline argues that Augustine's view is “theologically differentiated,” comprising four distinct types of human will, corresponding to four different theological scenarios, in which Augustine’s innovation consists in distinguishing these types with a detail and clarity unseen in any thinker before him.



Augustine / Cassian / Gregory the Great / Medieval Reception



The idea of inwardness changes over time. So too does the idea of the self in relation to others. This books examines the thought of early Latin sources like Augustine, Cassian, Gregory the Great, and the Desert Fathers and its impact on medieval authors such as Hugh of Saint-Victor, Abelard, and Heloise.



Chrysostom



This book reassesses the idea that Chrysostom was at odds with the congregations to which he preached (and thus a source for understanding ‘popular Christianity’). He examines the popularity of Chrysostom as a homilist in a liturgical setting where his late-antique audience was willing to listen to and learn from his stern language.



Rhetoric / Cappadocians / Chrysostom



Ludlow here explore the metaphor, analogy, or guiding concept of art (painting and sculpture, but also medicine and music) in the context of the formation of the soul to explore ‘authorship as craft’ (techne). It focuses on Greek writers, especially the Cappadocians and Chrysostom, all of whom were trained in rhetoric. It offers a detailed examination of their use of two particular literary techniques – ekphrasis and prosōpopoeia – to make theological arguments and evoke a response from their readership.



Dionysios



Comprised of forty unique studies, including two by Director of the Pappas Patristic Institute, Fr Maximos Constas (on Dionysios and the New Testament and on Dionysios and Maximos the Confessor), this handbook covers nearly all aspects of the Dionysian corpus, from its antecedents in ancient Greek philosophy to its reception in the Byzantine period, the Latin West, and modernity.



Maximos the Confessor / Aquinas



Focusing on Maximos and Aquinas as representatives of East and West, this work describes the development of Greek and Latin conceptions of temptation and of the work of Christ to heal and restore humankind in the context of that temptation. demonstrates the centrality of Christ’s exemplarity in the Greek account and the centrality of Christ’s moral perfections in the Latin account. Heidgerken argues that the Greek tradition of Maximus places distinct limits on the ability of human emotionality (even that of Christ) to be perfected in this life, whereas Thomas’s approach allows Christ to completely embody a perfected form of human emotionality in his here below.



Maximos the Confessor



In this study, Luke Steven argues that throughout his oeuvre the Confessor positions the imitation of God as the key to knowledge, evincing a persistent epistemology that characterizes his earlier ascetic and spiritual works and prominently defines his later dogmatic christological method.



Latin Fathers / Pagan Religion



The late ancient world witnessed the political and social rise of Christianity in the empire and city of Rome. This book traces changing attitudes toward paganism from persecutions to the triumph of Christianity in the 380s. It demonstrates how Latin writers such as Lactantius, Firmicus Maternus, Ambrosiaster, and Ambrose offered substantive critiques of traditional religion shaped to their political circumstances and to the preoccupations of contemporary polytheism.



Aquinas / Medieval Reception



Aquinas’s reliance on the Church Fathers, as well as Byzantine theological sources more generally, has received significant attention in recent years. This collection of papers seeks to advance our understanding of this important field of study through historical and systematic analysis of Thomas’s use of (and relationship to) patristic authors like Jerome, Augustine, Isidore, John Damascene, Theophylact, and others.



Patristics, Systematic and Historical Theology



Loudovikos seeks in this study to offer an alternative, patristic anthropology (opposed to the nihilst and personalist ‘will to power’) that can serve as a source for the Western conception of ‘selfhood.’




A unique examination of the patristic roots of modern Russian Sophiology, this book offers a detailed exploration of the theme of wisdom in patristic, Byzantine, and medieval Latin theology. Identifying three principal levels of Christian wisdom discourse – (1) wisdom as human attainment, (2) wisdom as divine gift, and (3) wisdom as an attribute or quality of God – this book offers a constructive retrieval of Bulgakov’s Sophiology more in line with patristic sources.



This volume seeks to both define and illustrate the methodology of historical theology, especially as it relates to the study of early Christianity. Situating historical theology among other methodological approaches to early Christianity, including confessional apologetics, constructive theology, and socio-cultural history, this volume (with the participation of more than twenty leading scholars) honors the impact of Michel Barnes as a teacher and co-laborer in the field of patristics.



Question-and-Answer Literature



This volume discusses cosmological issues in Greek Patristic and Byzantine question-and-answer literature (erotapokriseis), especially as they relate to the problems and source-texts of ancient philosophy. Papers deal with the crucial corpora of Pseudo-Justin, Maximus the Confessor, John Philoponus, Pseudo-Caesarius, Michael Psellus, Severian of Gabala, and Nilus Doxopatres.



Anthropology



This monograph analyzes how ancient Christians constructed the Christian body in relation to those of their demonic adversaries. Through case studies of New Testament texts, Gnostic treatises, and early Church Fathers (e.g., Ignatius of Antioch, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian of Carthage), it examines how diverse portrayals of the demonic “body” functioned as personifications of “deviant” bodily practices such as magical rituals, immoral sexual acts, gluttony, and pagan religious practices.



Virginity


Early Christians developed diverse definitions of virginity, moving from non-anatomical paradigms to an understanding rooted in female physiology. This book charts the change and situates it in the larger landscape of ancient thought.




Light



The Jewish-Christian commentary tradition on hexaemeron(the six-day creation narrative) reflected deeply on the nature and physicality of light for the purposes of understanding the structure and purpose of material creation. Katsos argues that light was understood in this context as the explanatory principle of vision (rather than something subordinated thereto), in what he refers to as a hermeneutical luminocentrism.



Time


OPEN ACCESS


Aristotle once suggested that time could not exist without a soul to count it, a proposal that would cause significant debate among his later commentators. The present book offers an account of this debate, beginning with Aristotle and looking to the works of Boethus of Sidon, Alexander of Aphrodisias, Plotinus, Simplicius, Gregory of Nyssa, and Augustine. It demonstrates the fascinating variety and plurality of ideas about the intractable problem of time and the soul throughout antiquity.



Mind-Body



This volume, the first integrated history of this important topic, explores ideas about mind and body in late antique philosophy and theology, considering both pagan and Christian thought about issues such as resurrection, incarnation, and asceticism, it includes studies of Numenius, Dionysius, Damascius, and Augustine by recognized experts in the field.



Emotions / Byzantium



An interdisciplinary volume that brings together premier scholars in Classics, Byzantine Studies, and emotion history to explore the concept of “emotions” in ancient and Byzantine Greek cultures from a comparative perspective. With chapters on Homer, the Shepherd of Hermas, Chrysostom, Niketas Choniates, and a wide variety of themes and genres (taking account of visual and material culture, performance, and ritual), this volume sheds new light on the Byzantine emotional universe and its impact on medieval and early modern culture while also exploring the reception and influence of ancient emotion concepts in Byzantine sources.



Law / Sacred Space / Wealth


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What is the purpose of a church, and who is its owner? This book argues that three groups in late antiquity were concerned with these questions: (1) Christian leaders, (2) wealthy laypersons, and (3) lawmakers. Examining the legal issues facing well-known religious figures, Farang seeks to nuance scholarly conversations on sacred space, gift giving, wealth, and poverty in the late antique Mediterranean world, making use not only of Latin and Greek sources but also Coptic and Arabic evidence.



Social Structures



A collection of sixteen previously published studies, with a new introduction, by Richard Ascough, a scholar known for his application of the insights drawn from inscriptions and papyri to understanding early Christian texts. Arranged into three sections, on (1) associations as a model for Christ groups, (2) how associations and Christ groups interacted over recruitment, and (3) the third on two key elements of group life: meals and memorializing the dead.



Martyrology / Hagiography



There is no single, monolithic narrative of the martyrdom of the chief apostles. This book examines divergences in the hagiographical tradition and traces the variety of perspectives, motivations, and communities that shaped the story of the death of Saints Peter and Paul over time.



Time


OPEN ACCESS


This collection of articles is an important milestone in the history of the study of time conceptions in Greek and Roman Antiquity. It spans from Homer to Neoplatonism. Conceptions of time are considered from different points of view and sources. Reflections on time were both central and various throughout the history of ancient philosophy. Time was a topic, but also material for poets, historians and doctors. Importantly, the contributions also explore implicit conceptions and how language influences our thought categories.



Orthodox Tradition


Lectionary



Reviving the study of the Apostolos (or lectionaries containing the readings from Acts and the Pauline epistles), in its scribal, monastic, liturgical, and theological context, Gibson argues that there is no “Lectionary text” of Acts and Paul but rather an evolving Byzantine textual tradition.



Synodikon



A study of the Synodikon of Orthodoxy in two parts: (1) examining the relationship between its various textual traditions (and between text and ritual) in Greek, South Slavic, and Muscovite cultures, and (2) tracing the history of the only known Romanian version of the Synodikon (Triôdion, Buzău, 1700), introduced to support the anti-Catholic and anti-Calvinist policy of Wallachian prince Constantine Brâncoveanu (1688-1714) and Patriarch Dosithéos II of Jerusalem (1669-1707). The volume includes critical editions of the Romanian texts of the Synodikon of Orthodoxy and the Canon composed by the Ecumenical Patriarch Methodius I, a prosopographic dictionary, and the reproduction of the Slavic prototype of the Romanian Synodikon (Triôdion, Lviv, 1664).



Byzantine Studies


Constantinople



A joint publication of the Swedish Research Institute in İstanbul and Kitap Publishing House, In Search of Constantinople is an English translation of the original Russian В поисках Константинополя (2011). Ivanov has published more than 200 scholarly works on Byzantine culture and the relations between Byzantium and the Slavs. Among his monographs are Holy Fools in Byzantium and Beyond (Oxford, 2006), “Pearls Before Swine:” Missionary Work in Byzantium (Paris, 2015) and Византийская культура и агиография [Byzantine Culture and Hagiography] (Moscow, 2020).



Byzantine Art



English translations of more than one hundred and fifty medieval texts, from nine medieval languages, featuring commentary from over seventy leading scholars, on art theory, aesthetics, patronage, and many other topics. This volume reveals the cultural plurality and the interconnectedness of medieval Europe and the Mediterranean from the late eleventh to the early fourteenth centuries.



The first book that looks at medieval diagrams in a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspective. Focusing on Byzantium, the Islamicate world, and the Latin West—each culturally diverse and each closely linked through complex processes of intellectual, artistic, diplomatic, and mercantile exchange, this volume unites case studies, often of little-known material, by an international set of specialists in philosophy, theology, mysticism, music, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, and cosmology, exploring the importance of diagrams in the fabric of premodern intellectual, scientific, religious, artistic, and artisanal life.



Byzantine Literature



This handbook is the first of its kind in English, introducing and surveying the immense body of Byzantine literature from 330 to 1453 in twenty-five chapters composed by leading specialists. It covers all aspects of Greek writing from the fourth through fifteen centuries, including language, manuscript book culture, theories of literature, systems of textual memory, oral discourse and ‘text’, storytelling, rhetoric, re-writing, verse and song, medieval translation, and modern printed editions. It includes a chapter by the Director of the Pappas Patristic Institute, on Byzantine biblical hermeneutics.



Byzantine Italy



In this book, Herrin outlines the rise of Ravenna as the new capital of the Western Roman Empire in late antiquity, showing how, thanks to Byzantine influence, it helped shape medieval Christendom. Challenging received notions of the medieval ‘Dark Ages,’ she follows the lives of the Empress Galla Placidia and the Gothic king Theoderic, showcasing the achievements of a cosmographer and doctor who revived Greek medical knowledge in Italy.



Biblical Studies


Old Testament / Septuagint / Prophets / Amos



Part of a series of handbooks on the Septuagint, this volume provides an analysis of the Greek text of the LXX version of Amos, explaining the form and syntax of the biblical text and engaging important text-critical debates.



Manuscripts



Originally founded in 1953, the International Committee on Latin Paleography held its most recent conference in Florence in 2020. This volume, the proceedings from its 2017 colloquium, has for its theme the complex role and heavy responsibility of scribes in the production of hand-written texts across antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. This volume explores many of the choices that a single scribe or groups of scribes would need to make when writing and presenting a text, whether in a monastic, cathedral or lay setting.



This book offers an anthology from the proceedings of the Second International Conference on Patristic Studies, “The Discoveries of Manuscripts from Late Antiquity: Their Impact on Patristic Studies and the Contemporary World” (San Juan, Argentina, in March 2017). The aim of this event was to analyze and assess new discoveries of manuscripts from Late Antiquity, including the remarkable discoveries such as the Nag Hammadi Gnostic library, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the homilies of Origen, and the sermons of Augustine’s sermons.


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This list is very much incomplete. Check back soon for more blog posts filling out the list of new, recent, and forthcoming books from the last few years.


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