Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum / Journal of Ancient Christianity, volume 20, no. 2 (Aug 2016).
Saying of the desert fathers, Sayings of the rabbinic fathers: Avot deRabbi Natan and the Apophthegmata Patrum
Michal Bar-Asher Siegal
In this article I wish to present a textual comparison between paragraphs in the rabbinic Avot deRabbi Natan and in the Apophthegmata Patrum, or Sayings of the Desert Fathers. I will argue that these passages in the two anthologies, rabbinic and Christian-monastic, share interesting features which will repay careful literary analysis. In this specific case, the comparison to the Christian monastic text helps underline the textual process that shaped the two versions of the rabbinic text, a process that without this comparison would be difficult to reconstruct.
Anfänge der julianistischen Hierarchien
The article sheds light on the expansion and development of the Julianist confession as a branch of the miaphysite creed opposed to Severian Miaphysistism in Syrian, Armenian and South Arabian regions starting with the sixth century. It focuses on the legitimacy of episcopal elections and consecrations. The consecration of Julianist bishops was often disputed and the Julianists tried different methods of creating legitimacy for their episcopal consecrations. One way was to circumvent the ecclesiastical canons and thus create new rules. Another way was to adhere strictly to the canons and search for patrons with undisputed legitimacy. In the Syriac-speaking East the Julianist movement, dominated by monastic circles, soon abandoned the canons and created new rules, while in the borderlands between Armenia and Syria the Julianists found support from the Armenian Church until 726 C. E. The article also follows the historical traces of Julianism in South Arabia and Iraq.
Maximos Homologetes († 662): Martyrium, Märtyrerbewusstsein, „Martyriumssucht“?
As soon as Maximos Confessor had died on August 13th 662 due to the effects of dismemberment—his punishment, following a charge of high treason against him and his students—he was seen and revered as a martyr and saint by his followers. During their seven-year banishment, after the first trial in the year 655, those punished interpreted their deliberately accepted punishment as martyrdom, which they documented in literary works, which were later called lawsuit protocols. They modeled the texts upon early Christian martyr trials, and used many elements of the theology of martyrdom for self-identification. By doing so, the group of Palestinian monks that followed Maximos tried to defend themselves against the charges brought against them, arguing that their ecclesiastical, political, and theological enemies were like the persecutors. Because the motives of the punished are very clear, unlike those of the early Christian martyrs, it remains to be seen, whether or not the death of Maximos Confessor really is a martyrdom, especially considering the political and ecclesiastical intrigues as well as the provocative theological stubbornness of Maximos himself.