Category Archives: Podcast

The Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast (by Philip A. Harland, York University) explores social and religious life in the Greco-Roman world, especially early Christianity including the New Testament. Half-hour episodes are released monthly. These episodes are not scripted; they are edited versions of improvised lectures from point-form notes.

There are several series in the podcast:
Series 1: Paul and his communities (2007 – 2008).
Series 2: Early Christian portraits of Jesus (2008).
Series 3: Diversity in Early Christianity: “Heresies” and struggles (2009)
Series 4: Honouring the Gods in the Roman Empire (2009-2010)
Series 5: The Historical Jesus in Context (2011)
Series 6: Associations in the Greco-Roman World (2011)
Series 7: Visions of the End (2012)

Podcast 7.2: Origins part 1 – Ancient Near Eastern Combat Myths

Here I go back to the earliest Mesopotamian mythologies (starting about 3000 BCE) about the gods in order to trace a recurring pattern — labelled the “combat myth” by scholars —  that later came to play a role in Judean (Jewish) apocalypticism.  This is part of series 7 (Visions of the End 1: Origins of Judean Apocalypticism) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 7.2: Origins part 1 – Ancient Near Eastern Combat Myths (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 7.1: Visions of the End – What is Apocalypticism?

In this first episode I begin to define apocalypticism with reference to (1) a worldview or ideology focused on an imminent end of the world, (2) social groups that live out that worldview, and (3) a type of writing or genre of literature (e.g. the book of Daniel in the Hebrew Bible and John’s Revelation.in the New Testament).

This is the first of two series, with this one dealing with both the predecessors of apocalypticism and the period up to the writing of 1 Enoch and Daniel (ca. 160s BCE).  The second series will come later and deal with later Judean and Christian apocalypticism, beginning with the Dead Sea Scrolls.  This is part of series 7 (Visions of the End 1: Origins of Judean Apocalypticism) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 7.1: Visions of the End – What is Apocalypticism? (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 6.14: Cultural Minority Associations and Ethnic Stereotypes, part 2

This final episode in the series continues the discussion of how negative ethnic stereotypes (including accusations of human sacrifice, cannibalism, and incest) impacted immigrant associations and cultural minorities, including groups of Jesus followers.

Podcast 6.14: Cultural Minority Associations and Ethnic Stereotypes, part 2 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 6.13: Cultural Minority Associations and Ethnic Stereotypes, part 1

This and the following episode explore ethnic stereotypes as they impacted associations of Judeans and Jesus-followers, placing these groups within the context of ethnic rivalries. In this episode, I discuss common negative stereotypes about Judeans found within writings of the elites, particularly the Roman Tacitus and the Greek Egyptian Apion.

Podcast 6.13: Cultural Minority Associations and Ethnic Stereotypes, part 1 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 6.12: Jesus Groups as Associations and Cultural Minorities, part 2

Here I continue to discuss groups of Jesus followers in Asia Minor with case studies of 1 Peter and Revelation (John’s Apocalypse), focusing on both indications of identity construction or maintenance and signs of assimilation or acculturation.  This is part of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 6.12:  Jesus Groups as Associations and Cultural Minorities, part 2 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 6.11: Jesus Groups as Associations and Cultural Minorities, part 1

This episode introduces groups of Jesus-followers within the context of associations, Judeans, and cultural minority groups, setting the stage for case studies of Jesus groups in Asia Minor.    This is part of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 6.11: Jesus Groups as Associations and Cultural Minorities, part 1 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 6.10: Judean Immigrant Associations, part 2

This episode continues the discussion of Judean immigrant associations, turning to archeological evidence for assimilation and integration in the Roman era.    This is part of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 6.10: Judean Immigrant Associations, part 2 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 6.9: Judean Immigrant Associations, part 1

This episode introduces Judean (Jewish) associations or synagogues in the Greek cities of the Roman empire and begins to consider evidence in Josephus’ Judean Antiquities regarding the first century BCE.   This sets the stage for other episodes on the archeological and epigraphic evidence regarding Judean immigrant groups in the Roman era.  This is part of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 6.9: Judean Immigrant Associations, part 1 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 6.8: Phoenician Immigrant Associations, part 2

This episode continues the discussion of  Syrian or Phoenician ethnic groups or immigrant associations, moving into the Roman imperial period.  This includes a discussion of two inscriptions involving Israelites (or Samaritans) settled on Delos.  This is part of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 6.8: Phoenician Immigrant Associations, part 2 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 6.7: Phoenician Immigrant Associations, part 1

This episode involves a case study of Syrian or Phoenician ethnic associations in the ancient Mediterranean, preparing the way for a comparison with other immigrants from the eastern coast of the Mediterranean, especially Israelites and Judeans (Jews).  This episode deals primarily with the Hellenistic period in the second and first centuries BCE and the following episode continues on into the Roman imperial period.  This is part of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 6.7: Phoenician Immigrant Associations, part 1 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 6.6: Approaches to Studying Ethnic Associations and Identities

Here I discuss concepts of identity, assimilation, and other sociological and anthropological tools for studying immigrant groups or ethnic associations in the ancient context, preparing the way for an investigation of Phoenician, Judean, and other immigrant groups or cultural minorities. This is part of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 6.6: Approaches to Studying Ethnic Associations and Identities (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 6.5: Associations and the Roman Empire

Here I discuss the relation between associations and the Roman empire, including Roman authorities and the emperors. This is part of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 6.5: Associations and the Roman Empire (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 6.4: Associations and Greco-Roman Society – The City

Here I discuss the relation between associations and Greco-Roman society with a focus on the Greek polis or city.  This is part of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 6.4: Associations and Greco-Roman Society – The City (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 6.3: Judean and Christian Groups as Associations

Using Josephus and Philo as a starting point, here I discuss how Judeans (Jews), Christians, and others in the ancient world could express the identities of Judean synagogues and Christian congregations in terms of association-life. Although peculiar cultural minorities in some respects, Judean and Christian groups can be studied alongside other associations in the Greco-Roman world. This is part of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 6.3: Judean and Christian Groups as Associations (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 6.2: Social, Religious, and Burial Activities of Associations

Here I explore the internal activities of associations, pointing to intertwined social, religious, and burial purposes that these groups served for their members.  We take a close look at one particular association devoted to the god Zeus and the goddess Agdistis at Philadelphia in Asia Minor (LSAM 20). This is part of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 6.2: Social, Religious, and Burial Activities of Associations (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 6.1: Introduction to Associations in the Greco-Roman World

In this first episode of the series, I discuss our evidence for associations and guilds in the Greco-Roman world and outline the various types of these groups, including family-based, occupation-based, cultic-based, and ethnic-based groups.  This is part of series 6 (Associations in the Greco-Roman World) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 6.1: Introduction to Associations in the Greco-Roman World (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 5.15: Jesus as a Messianic King?

Here I discuss first-century Judean concepts relating to an anointed one, or messiah, particularly a kingly messiah, and discuss contemporary figures who were viewed as kings. This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 5.14: Jesus as a Messianic King? (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 5.14: Jesus as Prophet

Here I discuss first-century Judean concepts of the prophet and place Jesus within the context of other contemporary figures who were viewed as prophets. This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 5.14: Jesus as Prophet (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 5.13: Jesus as Healer and Exorcist

Here I investigate the historical Jesus within the context of contemporaries who were viewed as healers and exorcists in Galilee and Judea. This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 5.13: Jesus as Healer and Exorcist (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 5.12: Jesus as Teacher, part 2: Present or Future Kingdom?

This is the second of two episodes that consider the historical Jesus in the role of teacher. Here I discuss evidence regarding Jesus’ conception of the “kingdom of God” and the scholarly debates regarding Jesus’ present or (imminent) future focus. This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 5.12: Jesus as Teacher, part 2: Present or Future Kingdom? (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 5.11: Jesus as Teacher, part 1 – Method and Content

This and the following episode consider the historical Jesus in the role of teacher. Here I discuss the form or method of his instruction, and begin to introduce the centrality of the “Kingdom of God” to his teachings.  This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 5.11: Jesus as Teacher, part 1: Method and Content (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 7.9: Daniel’s Visions as Veiled History

Here I further explore the first-person visionary account in Daniel chapters 7-12, our earliest example of an historical apocalypse as veiled history.

Podcast 7.9: Daniel’s Visions as Veiled History (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 5.10: Jesus and his Mentor, John the Baptizer

Here I consider evidence from Josephus and the Gospels regarding John the Baptist and his importance for studying the historical Jesus. This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 5.10: Jesus and his Mentor, John the Baptizer (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 5.9: Jesus in the Context of Educated Groups and Leaders

In order to provide a context for Jesus in the role of a teacher, here I discuss contemporary educated Judean groups and leaders, including Sadducees, Pharisees, Essenes, and the Dead Sea sect. This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 5.9: Jesus in the Context of Educated Groups and Leaders (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 5.8: Jesus, the Galilean and Judean

Here I discuss Jesus as a Galilean and a Judean.  I do so by looking at cultural life associated with the Jerusalem temple in the first century and the relations between cultures in Judea and Galilee. This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 5.8: Jesus, the Galilean and Judean (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 5.7: Jesus, Galilee, and Israelite History, part 2 – To the Time of Jesus

Here I continue to place Jesus and Galilee within the broader context of Israelite history. This episode works through the Hellenistic and Roman periods, including the time of Jesus, and finishes with a discussion of social and economic life in first century Galilee and Judea. This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 5.7: Jesus, Galilee, and Israelite History, part 2 – To the Time of Jesus (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 5.6: Jesus, Galilee, and Israelite History, part 1 – Until the Second Temple

This and the following episode place Jesus and Galilee within the broader context of Israelite history. This episode begins with the Assyrian period (700s BCE) and concludes with the Persian period, with the construction of the second temple (ca. 500 BCE). This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 5.6: Jesus, Galilee, and Israelite History, part 1 – Until the Second Temple (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 5.5: Scholarly Portraits of the Historical Jesus, part 2 (Sanders)

This is the second of two episodes that explore two contrasting scholarly portraits of the historical Jesus, those of John Dominic Crossan (Jesus as egalitarian peasant) and E.P. Sanders (Jesus as apocalyptic prophet). This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 5.5: Scholarly Portraits of the Historical Jesus, part 2 (Sanders) (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 5.4: Scholarly Portraits of the Historical Jesus, part 1 (Crossan)

This and the following episode explore two contrasting scholarly portraits of the historical Jesus, those of John Dominic Crossan (Jesus as egalitarian peasant) and E.P. Sanders (Jesus as apocalyptic prophet). This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 5.4: Scholarly Portraits of the Historical Jesus, part 1 (Crossan) (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 5.3: Studying the Historical Jesus – Sources and Problems, part 3

This episode is the final of three that introduce key historical sources and problems in reconstructing the life of a peasant from Galilee, the historical Jesus. This is part of series 5 (The Historical Jesus in Context) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 5.3: Studying the Historical Jesus – Sources and Problems, part 3 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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