Gnosticism and Christianity in Roman and Coptic Egypt (Studies in Antiquity & Christianity)

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9780567026101: Gnosticism and Christianity in Roman and Coptic Egypt (Studies in Antiquity & Christianity)
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An important addition to the Studies in Antiquity and Christianity series. This book, by one of the world's most renowned experts on Coptic Christianity and Gnosticism, contains the results of research that Pearson has conducted over the past several years. The first chapter alone is groundbreaking and contributes in significant ways to our understandings of the development of early Christianity in Egypt. In that chapter Pearson discusses current research on topics ranging from the growth of the Egyptian Christian hierarchy, the spread of Christianity from Alexandria into the Egyptian countryside, the origins of Egyptian monasticism, to Gnostic literature and Hermetic literature. In other chapters, Pearson nimbly ranges over a number of other topics from the Acts of Mark to Enoch in Egypt to Gnostic ritual and Gnostic iconography. This book is a classic of scholarship on early Christianity and adds immeasurably to our knowledge about these matters. Birger A. Pearson is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of The Emergence of the Christian Religion: Essays on Early Christianity and a co-editor of Nag Hammadi Codex VII.

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About the Author:

Birger A. Pearson is Professor of Religious Studies, Emeritus, at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Professor and Interim Director of the Religious Studies Program at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Gnosticism, Judaism, and Egyptian Christianity and editor, with James E. Goehring, of The Roots of Egyptian Christianity.

Review:

"Lucidly written, historically and textually meticulous, with acommanding scope and sense for broader religious patterns, Pearson'sessays are essential reading for the growth of Christianity in Egyptand early Christian diversity in general."—David Frankfurter, University of New Hampshire, author of Religion in Roman Egypt: Assimilation and Resistance (David Frankfurter)

"This welcome publication gathers in a single collection important essaysby an eminent scholar whose work on texts from ancient EgyptianChristianity and related religious and philosophical currents has beenpioneering. Pearson's studies provide samplings of the rich variety ofreligion in ancient Christian Egypt, with insightful analysis andinterpretation informed by a mastery of the sources and made accessibleeven to most non-specialists by an admirable clarity of style."—Michael A. Williams, Chair, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization,University of Washington. (Michael A. Williams)

"Few subjects in the history of Christianity are as strange and fascinatingas the emergence of the new religion in Egypt, with its curious blend oftraditionalist conservatism and speculative theology. Professor Pearson's newcollection of essays, written with well balanced judgment on the basis ofdecades of detailed research, offers both the general reader and thespecialist alike a series of carefully planned and expertly guided glimpsesinto the world of early Christianity in Roman and Coptic Egypt. This is aworld that every educated reader should visit at least once."—Stephen Emmel, Professor of Coptology, Münster University. (Stephen Emmel)

"A respected scholar brings together in one volume the achievements of a distinguished thirty year career in the study of Gnosticism and early Christianity. His first essay catalogues for the first time all second and third century sources for Christian and Gnostic origins in Egypt. The volume will remain for some time to come a valuable resource and the place where the study of Egyptian Christianity begins."—Charles W. Hedrick, Department of Religious Studies, Southwest Missouri State University. (Charles W. Hedrick)

"Gnosticism and Christianity in Roman and Coptic Egypt is an absolutedelight. Written in an engaging fashion by Birger Pearson, a scholarwell known for his scholarly forays into intriguing intellectual cornersof Egypt, this book is sure to spark interest in the fascinatingvarieties of religious expression in Egypt during antiquity and lateantiquity."—Marvin Meyer, Griset Professor of Bible and Christian Studies,Chapman University (Marvin Meyer)

"Prof. Pearson's new collection of essays, written with well-balanced judgment on the basis of decades of detailed research, offers both the general reader and the specialist alike a series of carefully planned and expertly guided glimpses into a world of early Christianity in Roman and Coptic Egypt. This is a world every educated reader should visit at least once." -Stephen Emmel, Universitat Munster

'Twelve papers contribute to the ongoing discussion whether or not ancient Judaism was monotheistic and whether or not early Christianity satisfies the category of monotheism...A most fascinating article comes from C. Fletcher-Louis...[and] J.F. McGrath and J. Truex have contributed a most helpful select bibliography on "Early Jewish and Christian Monothesiam."'

Review~ International Review of Biblical Studies, vol 51, 2004/05

"Readers interested in the details of the transmission of this tradition will be richly informed by Pearson's book."
Patrick Madigan, Arrupe College, Zimbabwe, Heythrop Journal

"Lucidly written, historically and textually meticulous, with acommanding scope and sense for broader religious patterns, Pearson'sessays are essential reading for the growth of Christianity in Egyptand early Christian diversity in general."—David Frankfurter, University of New Hampshire, author of Religion in Roman Egypt: Assimilation and Resistance (Sanford Lakoff)

"This welcome publication gathers in a single collection important essaysby an eminent scholar whose work on texts from ancient EgyptianChristianity and related religious and philosophical currents has beenpioneering. Pearson's studies provide samplings of the rich variety ofreligion in ancient Christian Egypt, with insightful analysis andinterpretation informed by a mastery of the sources and made accessibleeven to most non-specialists by an admirable clarity of style."—Michael A. Williams, Chair, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization,University of Washington. (Sanford Lakoff)

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