Heavenly Realms and Earthly Realities in Late Antique Religions

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Heavenly Realms and Earthly Realities in Late Antique Religions, Ed. Ra'anan S. Boustan and Annette Yoshiko Reed, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (August 16, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521831024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521831024

The idea of heaven held a special place in the late antique imagination, which was marked by a poignant sense of the relevance of otherworldly realities for earthly life. Such concerns can be found, not only in Judaism and Christianity, but also in the Greco-Roman religious, philosophical, scientific, and ‘magical’ traditions. Transcending social, regional and creedal boundaries, the preoccupation with heaven in Late Antiquity serves as a focus for an interdisciplinary approach to understanding this formative era in Western culture and history. Drawing upon the expertise of scholars of Classics, Ancient History, Jewish Studies, and Patristics, this volume explores the different functions of heavenly imagery in different texts and traditions in order to map the patterns of unity and diversity within the religious landscape of Late Antiquity.


Beginning of Introduction [PDF]


Introduction: "In Heaven as it is on Earth," Ra‘anan S. Boustan & Annette Yoshiko Reed
"The Bridge and the Ladder: Narrow Passages in Late Antique Visions," Fritz Graf
“Heavenly Steps: Manilius 4.119–121 and its Background," Katharina Volk
"Heavenly Ascent, Angelic Descent, and the Transmission of Knowledge in 1 Enoch 6–16," Annette Yoshiko Reed
“Connecting Heaven and Earth: The Function of the Hymns in Revelation 4–5," Gottfried Schimanowski
"Working Overtime in Afterlife; or, No Rest for the Virtuous," Sarah Iles Johnston
"Earthly Sacrifice and Heavenly Incense: The Law of the Priesthood in Aramaic Levi and Jubilees," Martha Himmelfarb
"Who’s on the Throne? Revelation in the Long Year," John W. Marshall
"The Earthly Monastery and the Transformation of the Heavenly City in Late Antique Egypt," Kirsti B. Copeland
"Contextualizing Heaven in Third-Century North Africa," Jan N. Bremmer
"Bringing the Heavenly Academy Down to Earth: Approaches to the Imagery of Divine Pedagogy in the East-Syrian Tradition," Adam H. Becker
"Angels in the Architecture: Temple Art and the Poetics of Praise in the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice," Ra‘anan S. Boustan
"The Collapse of Celestial and Chthonic Realms in a Late Antique “Apollonian Invocation” (PGM I 262–347)," Christopher A. Faraone
"In Heaven as it is in Hell: The Cosmology of Seder Rabbah di-Bereshit," Peter Schäfer
"The Faces of the Moon: Cosmology, Genesis, and the Mithras Liturgy," Radcliffe G. Edmonds III
“O Paradoxical Fusion!: Gregory of Nazianzus on Baptism and Cosmology (Orations 38–40)," Susanna Elm


Reviews - Available Online

  • Roger Beck in University of Toronto Quarterly 75 (2006) 230–32.
  • Pablo A. Torijano in Bryn Mawr Classical Review (2005.12.18) [HTML]
  • Eric Noffke in Review of Biblical Literature 10 (2005) [PDF]

Reviews - Print Only

  • C. Robert Philips in Aestimatio 2 (2005) 73–83
  • Georgia Frank in Church History 75 (2006) 172–74