The Journal of Late Antique Religion and CultureVolume 3, 2009
From Homoousion to Homohypostaton: Patriarch Methodius of Constantinople and Post-Patristic Trinitarian Theology
Abstract: This article attempts to demonstrate that the ninth-century patriarch Methodius of Constantinople undertook a radical deconstruction of the conceptual framework of traditional Trinitarian theology, which resulted in the subversion of all recognisable differences between the second and the third person of the Trinity. It consists of three parts: a detailed analysis of a Trinitarian excursus in Methodius’ Life of the Iconophile confessor Euthymius of Sardes, which pays close attention to terminological and syntactical ambiguities; a comparison of this excursus with similar discussions by other authors of the time; and the identification of developments in the Late Antique theological discourse that can explain Methodius’ particular understanding of the Trinity.
Aphrodite in Proclus' Theology
Abstract: The outlines of Proclus’ metaphysical system are fairly well known. However, the role of the particular deities in this structure is not thoroughly examined. This article deals with the place of Aphrodite within Proclus’ theology. Aphrodite has a prominent place in Proclus’ thought because devotion to her had long been under attack and Proclus carried out his defense in the context of Christian persecution. With Neoplatonic theories of the divine series and henadology Proclus can determine different modes of the Aphrodisiac presence at all levels of reality. The tales which speak about the goddess and the meaning of the rituals dedicated to her are properly interpreted according to Proclus as symbols revealing and adoring the immaculate holiness of life.
A Christian Qur’ān? A Study in the Syriac background to the language of the Qur’ān as presented in the work of Christoph Luxenberg
Abstract: The present paper constitutes a partial response to Christoph Luxenberg’s The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran (Berlin 2007), a book that has achieved a certain notoriety among both specialist Arabists and at a more popular level. Luxenberg suggests that the origins of the Holy Book of Islam lie in a misunderstood Christian lectionary, written in an otherwise unattested form of Arabic heavily influenced by what he calls ‘Syro-Aramaic’. He even speaks in this context of an ‘Aramaic-Arabic hybrid language ("Mischsprache")’. The paper is a series of notes and responses to the individual verses discussed in the book. It is of necessity somewhat unstructured, since this is very much the nature of the book itself, but I have attempted broadly to organise it into meaningful sections.
[To view or download a full text version of these articles click on the links on the right at the top of this page. In order to get a correct view of the files you should view them using a version of Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0 or later (available as a free download from Adobe).]