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The Roman Army and the Expansion of the Gospel: The Role of the Centurion in Luke-Acts

In Alexander KYRYCHENKO, De Gruyter, Kai Akagi, Luke-Acts, Uncategorized on February 6, 2015 at 10:14 am

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2015.02.03 | Alexander Kyrychenko. The Roman Army and the Expansion of the Gospel: The Role of the Centurion in Luke-Acts. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 203. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2014. pp. xi + 228. ISBN: 9783110344028.

Reviewed by Kai Akagi, University of St Andrews.

Many thanks to De Gruyter for providing a review copy.

This volume is the published version of Alexander Kyrychenko’s PhD dissertation from 2013, supervised by Carl R. Holladay at Emory University. It considers the literary function of the Roman centurion in Luke-Acts in light of the presentation of the Roman military in contemporary Greco-Roman and Jewish literature. Kyrychenko offers his study as concerned with narrative in its attention to the literary and thematic significance of how Luke-Acts presents Roman centurions and contextual in its examination of portrayals of the Roman military across literatures. Read the rest of this entry »

Cosmology and Fate in Gnosticism and Graeco-Roman Antiquity: Under Pitiless Skies

In Brill, Nicola Denzey LEWIS, Sarah Parkhouse, Uncategorized on October 16, 2014 at 10:00 am

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2014.10.16 | Nicola Denzey Lewis. Cosmology and Fate in Gnosticism and Graeco-Roman Antiquity: Under Pitiless Skies. (Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 81). Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2013.

Reviewed by Sarah Parkhouse, Durham University.

Many thanks to Brill for providing a review copy.

Nicola Denzey Lewis’ Cosmology and Fate in Gnosticism and Graeco-Roman Antiquity reveals that in Gnostic and Graeco-Roman texts, the skies are not pitiless. The aims of the book are three-fold: firstly, a survey of how second-century authors understood astrological fate (heimarmene) as controlled by cosmic beings; secondly, the suggestion that these authors (almost) consistently offered their readers an escape from heimarmene; and, thirdly, further deconstruction of the orthodoxy-heresy dichotomy. The book demonstrates Denzey Lewis’ impressive knowledge of all things second century, explicitly shown by her ability to discuss fate in New Testament, Middle Platonic, Stoic, Gnostic, Manichean, Hermetic, pagan and proto-orthodox texts, despite stating that ‘language of “enslavement to Fate” in antiquity was rare’ (p.28). Read the rest of this entry »