A new translation for scholars and students of biblical interpretation and ancient Christianity
The ancient writer dubbed Ambrosiaster was a pioneer in the revival of interest in the Pauline Epistles in the later fourth century. He was read by Latin writers, including Pelagius and Augustine, and his writings, passed on pseudonymously, had a long afterlife in the biblical commentaries, theological treatises, and canonical literature of the medieval and the early modern periods. In addition to his importance as an interpreter of scripture, Ambrosiaster provides unique perspectives on many facets of Christian life in Rome, from the emergence of clerical celibacy to the development of liturgical practices to the subordination of women.
A Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2015
The first comprehensive history of modern American evangelicalism to appear in a generation, American Apocalypse shows how a group of radical Protestants, anticipating the end of the world, paradoxically transformed it.
“The history Sutton assembles is rich, and the connections are startling.”
“American Apocalypse relentlessly and impressively shows how evangelicals have interpreted almost every domestic or international crisis in relation to Christ’s return and his judgment upon the wicked…Sutton sees one of the most troubling aspects of evangelical influence in the spread of the apocalyptic outlook among Republican politicians with the rise of the Religious Right…American Apocalypse clearly shows just how popular evangelical apocalypticism has been and, during the Cold War, how the combination of odd belief and political power could produce a sleepless night or two.”
—D. G. Hart, Wall Street Journal
“American Apocalypse is the best history of American evangelicalism I’ve read in some time…If you want to understand why compromise has become a dirty word in the GOP today and how cultural politics is splitting the nation apart, American Apocalypse is an excellent place to start.”
—Stephen Prothero, Bookforum
During a career spanning sixty years, the Reverend Billy Graham’s resonant voice and chiseled profile entered the living rooms of millions of Americans with a message that called for personal transformation through God’s grace. How did a lanky farm kid from North Carolina become an evangelist hailed by the media as “America’s pastor”? Why did listeners young and old pour out their grief and loneliness in letters to a man they knew only through televised “Crusades” in faraway places like Madison Square Garden? More than a conventional biography, Grant Wacker’s interpretive study deepens our understanding of why Billy Graham has mattered so much to so many.
Beginning with tent revivals in the 1940s, Graham transformed his born-again theology into a moral vocabulary capturing the fears and aspirations of average Americans. He possessed an uncanny ability to appropriate trends in the wider culture and engaged boldly with the most significant developments of his time, from communism and nuclear threat to poverty and civil rights. The enduring meaning of his career, in Wacker’s analysis, lies at the intersection of Graham’s own creative agency and the forces shaping modern America.
Wacker paints a richly textured portrait: a self-deprecating servant of God and self-promoting media mogul, a simple family man and confidant of presidents, a plainspoken preacher and the “Protestant pope.” America’s Pastor reveals how this Southern fundamentalist grew, fitfully, into a capacious figure at the center of spiritual life for millions of Christians around the world.
New English translations based upon the most up-to-date critical editions
This book for the first time collects the various ancient accounts of the martydoms of Peter and Paul, which number more than a dozen, along with more than forty references to the martyrdoms from early Christian literature. At last a more complete picture of the traditions about the deaths of Peter and Paul is able to emerge.
American evangelicalism often appears as a politically monolithic, textbook red-state fundamentalism that elected George W. Bush, opposes gay marriage, abortion, and evolution, and promotes apathy about global warming. Prominent public figures hold forth on these topics, speaking with great authority for millions of followers. Authors Stephens and Giberson, with roots in the evangelical tradition, argue that this popular impression understates the diversity within evangelicalism—an often insular world where serious disagreements are invisible to secular and religiously liberal media consumers. Yet, in the face of this diversity, why do so many people follow leaders with dubious credentials when they have other options? Why do tens of millions of Americans prefer to get their science from Ken Ham, founder of the creationist Answers in Genesis, who has no scientific expertise, rather than from his fellow evangelical Francis Collins, current Director of the National Institutes of Health?
Exploring intellectual authority within evangelicalism, the authors reveal how America’s populist ideals, anti-intellectualism, and religious free market, along with the concept of anointing—being chosen by God to speak for him like the biblical prophets—established a conservative evangelical leadership isolated from the world of secular arts and sciences.
Today, charismatic and media-savvy creationists, historians, psychologists, and biblical exegetes continue to receive more funding and airtime than their more qualified counterparts. Though a growing minority of evangelicals engage with contemporary scholarship, the community’s authority structure still encourages the “anointed” to assume positions of leadership.
Explore how the vivid and creative Armenian spiritual tradition shaped biblical stories to serve new needs
Michael E. Stone’s latest book includes texts from Armenian manuscripts that are relevant to the development and growth of biblical themes and subjects. Most of these texts have not been published previously. Stone has collected a fascinating corpus of texts about biblical heroes, such as Joseph and Jonah, Nathan the Prophet, and Asaph the Psalmist. In addition, he has included documents illustrating particular points of the biblical story. This work reflects not just on how the Bible was interpreted in medieval times, but also how its stories and details were shaped by and served the needs of the vivid and creative Armenian spiritual tradition.
Explore richly embellished Armenian tales of biblical heroes
This fifth book of Michael E. Stone's English translations of stories from medieval Armenian manuscripts illustrates how authors transmitted and transformed accounts of biblical heroes. Texts focus on important figures such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Solomon, Daniel and Susanna, and more. This collection reflects not only the richness of Armenian creativity stimulated by piety and learning but also Michael E. Stone's career-long search for reworkings of biblical traditions, stories, and persons in the Armenian tradition.
The Avignon papacy (1309–1377) represented the zenith of papal power in Europe. The Roman curia’s move to southern France enlarged its bureaucracy, centralized its authority, and initiated closer contact with secular institutions. The pope’s presence also attracted leading minds to Avignon, transforming a modest city into a cosmopolitan center of learning. But a crisis of legitimacy was brewing among leading thinkers of the day. The Avignon Papacy Contested considers the work of six fourteenth-century writers who waged literary war against the Catholic Church’s increasing claims of supremacy over secular rulers—a conflict that engaged contemporary critics from every corner of Europe.
Unn Falkeid uncovers the dispute’s origins in Dante’s Paradiso and Monarchia, where she identifies a sophisticated argument for the separation of church and state. In Petrarch’s writings she traces growing concern about papal authority, precipitated by the curia’s exile from Rome. Marsilius of Padua’s theory of citizen agency indicates a resistance to the pope’s encroaching power, which finds richer expression in William of Ockham’s philosophy of individual liberty. Both men were branded as heretics. The mystical writings of Birgitta of Sweden and Catherine of Siena, in Falkeid’s reading, contain cloaked confrontations over papal ethics and church governance even though these women were later canonized.
While each of the six writers responded creatively to the implications of the Avignon papacy, they shared a concern for the breakdown of secular order implied by the expansion of papal power and a willingness to speak their minds.
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