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1. cover
Title: Holy women of the Syrian Orient
Author: Brock, Sebastian P
Published: University of California Press,  1987
Subjects: Religion | Classical Religions | Religion
Publisher's Description: The fifteen hagiographies about holy women of the Syrian Orient collected here include stories of martyrs' passions and saints' lives, pious romances and personal reminiscences. Dating from the fourth to seventh centuries A.D., they are translated from Syriac into accessible and vivid prose. Annotations and source notes by the translators help clarify elements that may be unfamiliar to some readers. This collection bears witness to the profound contributions women made to early Chistianity: their various roles, their leadership inside and outside the church structure, and their power to influence others. A new preface discusses recent developments in the field and updates the bibliography.   [brief]
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2. cover
Title: The memory of the eyes: pilgrims to living saints in Christian late antiquity
Author: Frank, Georgia 1963-
Published: University of California Press,  2000
Subjects: Religion | Christianity | Classical Religions | Classical History
Publisher's Description: Pilgrims in the deserts of Egypt and the holy land during the fourth and fifth centuries A.D. often reported visiting holy people as part of their tours of holy places. This is the first comprehensive study of pilgrimage to these famous ascetics of late antique Christianity. Through an original analysis of pilgrim writings of this period, Georgia Frank discovers a literary imagination at work, one that both recorded and shaped the experience of pilgrimage to living saints. Taking an important new approach to these texts, Frank finds in them a record of the writers' and readers' spiritual expectations and uses these fresh insights to add substantially to our understanding of the purposes and practices of pilgrimage. Frank focuses in particular on two important and well-known early texts - The History of the Monks in Egypt (ca. 400) and Palladius's The Lausiac History (ca. 420), situating these narratives in their literary, historical, and spiritual contexts. She compares these narratives to exotic travel writing and to tales of otherworldly journeys. Bringing in contemporary theory, she demonstrates the importance of sight as a means of spiritual progress and explores the relation between the function of sight in these narratives and in other expressions of visual piety in late antiquity Christianity, such as the veneration of relics and, eventually, icons. With its unique focus on the sensory dimensions of pilgrimage - especially visuality - this absorbing book widens our understanding of early Christian pilgrims and those who read their accounts. At the same time, it also sheds new light on the relation between religious experience and the senses, on literary representations of visual experience, and on the literature of pious travel.   [brief]
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3. cover
Title: Asceticism and society in crisis: John of Ephesus and the Lives of the Eastern saints online access is available to everyone
Author: Harvey, Susan Ashbrook
Published: University of California Press,  1990
Subjects: Classics | Classical Religions | Classical History
Publisher's Description: John of Ephesus traveled throughout the sixth-century Byzantine world in his role as monk, missionary, writer and church leader. In his major work, The Lives of the Eastern Saints , he recorded 58 portraits of monks and nuns he had known, using the literary conventions of hagiography in a strikingly personal way. War, bubonic plague, famine, collective hysteria, and religious persecution were a part of daily life and the background against which asceticism developed an acute meaning for a beleaguered populace. Taking the work of John of Ephesus as her guide, Harvey explores the relationship between asceticism and society in the sixth-century Byzantine East.Concerned above all with the responsibility of the ascetic to lay society, John's writing narrates his experiences in the villages of the Syrian Orient, the deserts of Egypt, and the imperial city of Constantinople. Harvey's work contributes to a new understanding of the social world of the late antique Byzantine East, skillfully examining the character of ascetic practices, the traumatic separation of "Monophysite" churches, the fluctuating roles of women in Syriac Christianity, and the general contribution of hagiography to the study of history.   [brief]
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4. cover
Title: St. Teresa of Avila: author of a heroic life online access is available to everyone
Author: Slade, Carole
Published: University of California Press,  1995
Subjects: Religion | Christianity | Women's Studies | Autobiographies and Biographies | Renaissance History
Publisher's Description: With few exceptions, representations of Renaissance women were created by men. The Spanish saint, Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), who chose to represent herself, was one of those exceptions. What prompted her to write Book of Her Life, Interior Castle , and other works? What does the self-portrait of this sixteenth-century nun, mystic, and founder of convents reveal about its author, the church, state, and role of women? St. Teresa of Avila , an innovative analysis of Teresa's autobiographical writings, explores these and many other questions. Bringing to bear a knowledge of Inquisition studies, theory of autobiography, scriptural hermeneutics, and hagiography, Carole Slade defines Teresa's writings as a project of self-interpretation undertaken mainly as the result of the perceived, later realized, threat of an accusation of heresy. Being female and of paternal Jewish ancestry, Teresa was vulnerable to such a charge.Teresa's writing project presented her with serious difficulties. Judicial confession, her prescribed genre, presumed the writer's guilt, while the subordinate female script precluded a defense against the suspicion that her mystical experiences came from the devil. Through careful textual analysis, Slade demonstrates that Teresa exploited the nuances of numerous genres - hagiography, New World chronicle, mystical theological treatise, and early novel - to create an innocent textual persona and depict herself in heroic terms.A signal contribution to our understanding of Teresa's rhetorical and literary talent and life circumstances, this book will engage readers across a broad range of disciplines.   [brief]
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5. cover
Title: Loyola's acts: the rhetoric of the self online access is available to everyone
Author: Boyle, Marjorie O'Rourke 1943-
Published: University of California Press,  1997
Subjects: Literature | Renaissance History | Christianity | Rhetoric | Art History | Medieval History
Publisher's Description: This revisionist view of Ignatius Loyola argues that his "autobiography" - until now taken to be a literal, documentary account - is in reality a work of rhetoric, a moral narrative that exploits the techniques of fiction. In radically reinterpreting this canonical text, our main source of information about the founder of the largest and most powerful religious order in Roman Catholicism, Boyle paints a vivid picture of Loyola's world. She surveys rhetorical and artistic theory, religious iconography, everyday custom, and an astonishing array of scenes and subjects: from curiosity, to codes of honor, to the holy places of Spain, to the significance of apparitions and flying serpents.Written in the tradition of Renaissance studies on individualism, Loyola's Acts engages current interest in autobiography and in the history of private life. The book also provides a powerful heuristic for interpreting a wide range of texts of the Christian tradition. Finally, this secular treatment of a canonized saint provides revealing insights into how a prestigious sixteenth-century figure like Loyola understood himself.   [brief]
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6. cover
Title: Early Gothic Saint-Denis: restorations and survivals online access is available to everyone
Author: Blum, Pamela Z
Published: University of California Press,  1992
Subjects: Art | Architectural History | Art History | Medieval Studies | Archaeology
Publisher's Description: quality. Indeed, the well-preserved sculptural passages provide a key to the Early Gothic style as well as revealing the distinct imprints of three artists and their influences on each other. Blum's penetrating analyses of the restorative techniques and materials are accompanied by telling photograph-diagrams that distinguish the original work from that done later.Pamela Blum's investigation has relevance not only for students and scholars of medieval art but for curators and collectors as well. Anyone concerned with survivals from the past will appreciate her scrupulous detection in studying one of France's greatest monuments.   [brief]
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7. cover
Title: Wondrous in his saints: counter-Reformation propaganda in Bavaria online access is available to everyone
Author: Soergel, Philip M
Published: University of California Press,  1993
Subjects: History | European History | Christianity | Medieval History
Publisher's Description: At the close of the sixteenth century, despite Protestant attempts to discourage popular devotion to saints and shrines, the Roman Church in Bavaria initiated a propagandistic campaign through the publishing of pilgrimage books and pamphlets. Philip Soergel's cogent exploration of this little-known pilgrimage literature yields a vivid portrait of religion before, during, and after the Reformation and Counter-Reformation.These "advertisements," combining testimonies of miracles with fantastic legends about shrines, fueled the conflict between Catholics and Protestants and helped shape a distinctive Catholic historical consciousness. Soergel stresses the power of the printed word as a defense of traditional authority, testing other historians' assertions about the neglect of printing and literacy in the Counter-Reformation.   [brief]
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8. cover
Title: Christianity and the rhetoric of empire: the development of Christian discourse
Author: Cameron, Averil
Published: University of California Press,  1991
Subjects: Classics | Classical Religions | Classical History | History | Christianity | Ancient History | Rhetoric
Publisher's Description: Many reasons can be given for the rise of Christianity in late antiquity and its flourishing in the medieval world. In asking how Christianity succeeded in becoming the dominant ideology in the unpromising circumstances of the Roman Empire, Averil Cameron turns to the development of Christian discourse over the first to sixth centuries A.D., investigating the discourse's essential characteristics, its effects on existing forms of communication, and its eventual preeminence. Scholars of late antiquity and general readers interested in this crucial historical period will be intrigued by her exploration of these influential changes in modes of communication.The emphasis that Christians placed on language - writing, talking, and preaching - made possible the formation of a powerful and indeed a totalizing discourse, argues the author. Christian discourse was sufficiently flexible to be used as a public and political instrument, yet at the same time to be used to express private feelings and emotion. Embracing the two opposing poles of logic and mystery, it contributed powerfully to the gradual acceptance of Christianity and the faith's transformation from the enthusiasm of a small sect to an institutionalized world religion.   [brief]
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9. cover
Title: Basil of Caesarea
Author: Rousseau, Philip
Published: University of California Press,  1995
Subjects: History | Religion | Classics | Ancient History | Christianity | Classical Religions
Publisher's Description: Basil of Caesarea is thought of most often as an opponent of heresy and a pioneer of monastic life in the eastern church. In this new biographical study, however, controversy is no longer seen as the central preoccupation of his life nor are his ascetic initiatives viewed as separable from his pastoral concern for all Christians. Basil's letters, sermons, and theological treatises, together with the testimonies of his relatives and friends, reveal a man beset by doubt. He demanded loyalty, but gave it also, and made it a central feature of his church. In Rousseau's portrait, Basil's understanding of human nature emerges as his major legacy.   [brief]
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10. cover
Title: Industrialization, family life, and class relations: Saint Chamond, 1815-1914 online access is available to everyone
Author: Accampo, Elinor Ann
Published: University of California Press,  1989
Subjects: History | European History | Women's Studies
Publisher's Description: In this provocative study, Elinor Accampo explores the interrelationship between the structure of work and strategies of family formation in Saint Chamond, a French city that underwent intensive industrialization during the nineteenth century. Through a detailed analysis of fertility, mortality, marriages, and migration, the author analyzes the ways in which the family responded to changes in the organization of work. In the first half of the nineteenth century work was in the home, and families tended to be large in order to meet the demand for workers. But by the 1860s the mechanization of labor had begun to separate family life and work life, fundamentally transforming the relationship between work and family and making the survival of the working-class family more difficult. Accampo argues that workers began to have smaller families much earlier than has previously been suggested, and she demonstrates that fertility declined for reasons unique to working-class conditions. This decline in family size, and the context in which it took place, provides fascinating new material for understanding the working class world and the dynamics of class relations.   [brief]
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11. cover
Title: Christian souls and Chinese spirits: a Hakka community in Hong Kong online access is available to everyone
Author: Constable, Nicole
Published: University of California Press,  1994
Subjects: Anthropology | Cultural Anthropology | Christianity | China
Publisher's Description: How do the people of a village that is both Chinese and Christian reconcile the contradictions between their religious and ethnic identities? This ethnographic study explores the construction and changing meanings of ethnic identity in Hong Kong. Established at the turn of the century by Hakka Christians who sought to escape hardships and discrimination in China, Shung Him Tong was constructed as an "ideal" Chinese and Christian village. The Hakka Christians translate "traditional" Chinese beliefs - such as ancestral worship and death rituals - that are incompatible with their Christian ideals into secular form, providing a crucial link with the past and with a Chinese identity. Despite accusations to the contrary, these villagers maintain that while they are Christian, they are still Chinese.   [brief]
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12. cover
Title: Christian figural reading and the fashioning of identity
Author: Dawson, David 1957-
Published: University of California Press,  2001
Subjects: Religion | Christianity | Judaism | Classical Religions
Publisher's Description: This book makes an illuminating contribution to one of Christianity's central problems: the understanding and interpretation of scripture, and more specifically, the relationship between the Old Testament and the New. John David Dawson analyzes the practice and theory of "figural" reading in the Christian tradition of Biblical interpretation by looking at writings of Jewish and Christian thinkers, both ancient and modern, who have reflected on that form of traditional Christian Biblical interpretation. Dawson argues Christian interpretation of Hebrew scripture originally was, and should be, aimed at not reducing the Jewish meaning or replacing it but rather at building on it or carrying on from it. Dawson closely examines the work of three prominent twentieth-century thinkers who have offered influential variants of figural reading: Biblical scholar Daniel Boyarin, philologist and literary historian Erich Auerbach, and Christian theologianHans Frei. Contrasting the interpretive programs of these modern thinkers to that of Origen of Alexandria, Dawson proposes that Origen exemplifies a kind of Christian reading that can respect Christianity's link to Judaism while also respecting the independent religious identity of Jews. Through a fresh study of Origen's allegorical interpretation, this book challenges the common charge that Christian non-literal reading of scripture necessarily undermines the literal meaning of the text. This highly interdisciplinary work will advance debates about different methods of interpretation and about different types of textual meaning that are relevant for many disciplines, including ancient Christianity, Jewish and Christian thought, literary theory, religious studies, and classical studies.   [brief]
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13. cover
Title: Christian America?: what evangelicals really want
Author: Smith, Christian (Christian Stephen) 1960-
Published: University of California Press,  2000
Subjects: Religion | American Studies | United States History | Sociology | Anthropology
Publisher's Description: In recent decades Protestant evangelicalism has become a conspicuous and--to many Americans, worrisome--part of this country's cultural and political landscape. But just how unified is the supposed constituency of the Christian Coalition? And who exactly are the people the Christian Right claims to represent? In the most extensive study of American evangelicals ever conducted, Christian Smith explores the beliefs, values, commitments, and goals of the ordinary men and women who make up this often misunderstood religious group. The result is a much-needed contribution to the discussion of issues surrounding fundamental American freedoms and the basic identity of the United States as a pluralistic nation. Based on data from a three-year national study, including more than 200 in-depth interviews of evangelicals around the country, Christian America? assesses the common stereotype of evangelicals as intolerant, right-wing, religious zealots seeking to impose a Christian moral order through political force. What Smith finds instead are people vastly more diverse and ambivalent than this stereotype suggests. On issues such as religion in education, "family values," Christian political activism, and tolerance of other religions and moralities, evangelicals are highly disparate and conflicted. As the voices of interviewees make clear, the labels "conservative" and "liberal" are too simplistic for understanding their approaches to public life and political action.   [brief]
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14. cover
Title: Ambrose of Milan: church and court in a Christian capital
Author: McLynn, Neil 1960-
Published: University of California Press,  1994
Subjects: Classics | History | Classical Religions | Christianity | Ancient History | Autobiographies and Biographies
Publisher's Description: In this new and illuminating interpretation of Ambrose, bishop of Milan from 374 to 397, Neil McLynn thoroughly sifts the evidence surrounding this very difficult personality. The result is a richly detailed interpretation of Ambrose's actions and writings that penetrates the bishop's painstaking presentation of self. McLynn succeeds in revealing Ambrose's manipulation of events without making him too Machiavellian. Having synthesized the vast complex of scholarship available on the late fourth century, McLynn also presents an impressive study of the politics and history of the Christian church and the Roman Empire in that period.Admirably and logically organized, the book traces the chronology of Ambrose's public activity and reconstructs important events in the fourth century. McLynn's zesty, lucid prose gives the reader a clear understanding of the complexities of Ambrose's life and career and of late Roman government.   [brief]
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15. cover
Title: Crusading peace: Christendom, the Muslim world, and Western political order
Author: Mastnak, Tomaž
Published: University of California Press,  2002
Subjects: History | Medieval History | Middle Eastern History | Christianity | Medieval Studies | Middle Eastern Studies | Social Science | Political Theory
Publisher's Description: Tomaz Mastnak's provocative analysis of the roots of peacemaking in the Western world elucidates struggles for peace that took place in the high and late Middle Ages. Mastnak traces the ways that eleventh-century peace movements, seeking to end violence among Christians, shaped not only power structures within Christendom but also the relationship of the Western Christian world to the world outside. The unification of Christian society under the banner of "holy peace" precipitated a fundamental division between the Christian and non-Christian worlds, and the postulated peace among Christians led to holy war against non-Christians.   [brief]
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16. cover
Title: Living letters of the law: ideas of the Jew in medieval Christianity
Author: Cohen, Jeremy 1953-
Published: University of California Press,  1999
Subjects: Jewish Studies | Religion | Medieval History
Publisher's Description: In Living Letters of the Law , Jeremy Cohen investigates the images of Jews and Judaism in the works of medieval Christian theologians from Augustine to Thomas Aquinas. He reveals how - and why - medieval Christianity fashioned a Jew on the basis of its reading of the Bible, and how this hermeneutically crafted Jew assumed distinctive character and power in Christian thought and culture.Augustine's doctrine of Jewish witness, which constructed the Jews so as to mandate their survival in a properly ordered Christian world, is the starting point for this illuminating study. Cohen demonstrates how adaptations of this doctrine reflected change in the self-consciousness of early medieval civilization. After exploring the effect of twelfth-century Europe's encounter with Islam on the value of Augustine's Jewish witnesses, he concludes with a new assessment of the reception of Augustine's ideas among thirteenth-century popes and friars.Consistently linking the medieval idea of the Jew with broader issues of textual criticism, anthropology, and the philosophy of history, this book demonstrates the complex significance of Christianity's "hermeneutical Jew" not only in the history of antisemitism but also in the broad scope of Western intellectual history.   [brief]
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17. cover
Title: Daggers of faith: thirteenth-century Christian missionizing and Jewish response online access is available to everyone
Author: Chazan, Robert
Published: University of California Press,  1989
Subjects: Religion
Publisher's Description: Our understanding of both Jewish history and the history of Western civilization is deepened by this finely balanced account of Christian missionizing among the Jews. Arguing that until the thirteenth century Western Christendom showed little serious commitment to converting the Jews, Robert Chazan proceeds to detail the special circumstances of that critical century in European history. The Roman Catholic Church, characterized at that time by a remarkable combination of vitality and confidence on the one hand and deep-seated insecurities on the other, embarked on its first vigorous campaign to convert the Jews in significant numbers.Chazan examines the new missionizing endeavor in its formative stages, roughly from 1240 to 1280, and analyzes Christian efforts to convince Jews of the truth of Christianity and, at the same time, of the nullity of the Jewish religious tradition. At least as interesting is his investigation of the Jewish lines of response. These ranged from the postures adopted in public debate to the reassurances penned by Jewish leaders for the eyes and ears of their followers only. Although few Jews were converted by the first wave of this new missionizing thrust, it ranked high among the developments that eventually sapped the strength of late medieval European Jewry.   [brief]
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18. cover
Title: Looking for God in Brazil: the progressive Catholic Church in urban Brazil's religious arena
Author: Burdick, John 1959-
Published: University of California Press,  1993
Subjects: Anthropology | Latin American Studies | Christianity
Publisher's Description: For a generation, the Catholic Church in Brazil has enjoyed international renown as one of the most progressive social forces in Latin America. The Church's creation of Christian Base Communities (CEBs), groups of Catholics who learn to read the Bible as a call for social justice, has been widely hailed. Still, in recent years it has become increasingly clear that the CEBs are lagging far behind the explosive growth of Brazil's two other major national religious movements - Pentacostalism and Afro-Brazilian Umbanda .On the basis of his extensive fieldwork in Rio di Janeiro, including detailed life histories of women, blacks, youths, and the marginal poor, John Burdick offers the first in-depth explanation of why the radical Catholic Church is losing, and Pentecostalism and Umbanda winning, the battle for souls in urban Brazil.   [brief]
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19. cover
Title: Leadership and community in late antique Gaul
Author: Van Dam, Raymond
Published: University of California Press,  1992
Subjects: Classics | Classical History | Classical Religions
Publisher's Description: The rise of Christianity to the dominant position it held in the Middle Ages remains a paradoxical achievement. Early Christian communities in Gaul had been so restrictive that they sometimes persecuted misfits with accusations of heresy. Yet by the fifth century Gallic aristocrats were becoming bishops to enhance their prestige; and by the sixth century Christian relic cults provided the most comprehensive idiom for articulating values and conventions. To strengthen its appeal, Christianity had absorbed the ideologies of secular authority already familiar in Gallic society.   [brief]
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20. cover
Title: The hyena people: Ethiopian Jews in Christian Ethiopia
Author: Salamon, Hagar
Published: University of California Press,  1999
Subjects: Jewish Studies | Anthropology | African Studies
Publisher's Description: The Jews (Falasha) of northwestern Ethiopia are a unique example of a Jewish group living within an ancient, non-Western, predominantly Christian society. Hagar Salamon presents the first in-depth study of this group, called the "Hyena people" by their non-Jewish neighbors. Based on more than 100 interviews with Ethiopian immigrants now living in Israel, Salamon's book explores the Ethiopia within as seen through the lens of individual memories and expressed through ongoing dialogues. It is an ethnography of the fantasies and fears that divide groups and, in particular, Jews and non-Jews.Recurring patterns can be seen in Salamon's interviews, which thematically touch on religious disputations, purity and impurity, the concept of blood, slavery and conversion, supernatural powers, and the metaphors of clay vessels, water, and fire. The Hyena People helps unravel the complex nature of religious coexistence in Ethiopia and also provides important new tools for analyzing and evaluating inter-religious, interethnic, and especially Jewish-Christian relations in a variety of cultural and historical contexts.   [brief]
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