Podcast 7.7: 1 Enoch – Fallen Angels in Early Apocalypticism

Here I examine the importance of the story of the fallen angels in 1 Enoch 1-36 for Judean apocalypticism, dealing with the literary genre of the otherworldly or cosmic journey apocalypse.

Podcast 7.7: 1 Enoch – Fallen Angels in Early Apocalypticism (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 7.6: 1 Enoch – An Introduction to the Earliest Apocalypse

Here I begin to introduce our earliest example of the Judean apocalyptic worldview and our first example of an otherworldly journey apocalypse as a type of literature, 1 Enoch (which most likely dates to about 225-200 BCE).  The next episode examines the so called “Book of Watchers” in 1 Enoch chapters 1-36 in more detail.

Podcast 7.6: 1 Enoch – An Introduction to the Earliest Apocalypse (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 7.5: Origins part 3b – Israelite Prophets 2

Here I continue to discuss the importance of the prophets in the Hebrew Bible for the subsequent development of apocalypticism, dealing with Zechariah and Isaiah 24-27 (sometimes known as the “Apocalypse of Isaiah”).

Podcast 7.5: Origins part 3b – Israelite Prophets 2 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 7.4: Origins part 3a – Israelite Prophets 1

Here I discuss the importance of the prophets in the Hebrew Bible for the subsequent development of apocalypticism, beginning with a survey of important events in the history of Israel and discussion of a passage in Ezekiel (chs. 37-39).

Podcast 7.4: Origins part 3a – Israelite Prophecy 1 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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Podcast 7.3: Origins part 2 – Zoroastrian apocalypticism

Here I turn to Persia (Iran) in order to examine Zoroastrian apocalypticism and its relation to Judean apocalypticism.  This is part of series 6 (Visions of the End: Apocalypticism) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 7.3: Origins part 2 – Zoroastrian apocalypticism (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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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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Launch of Associations in the Greco-Roman World website

With the November release of Associations in the Greco-Roman World: A Sourcebook (book info), Ascough, Kloppenborg, and I have been busy preparing a companion website that I think you’ll find of some interest:

http://philipharland.com/greco-roman-associations/

Basically, users of the site can browse through hundreds of inscriptions (450 so far) involving guilds, immigrant groups, and other associations in the ancient Mediterranean. The user can browse by geography or by topics (including gods) using the right side bar. There is also a feature we called “selected exhibits” on (hopefully) interesting topics to a general reader (with about 10 inscriptions in each exhibit). There are many documents with English translations, and the user can choose to view just those (in selected exhibits). One of the selected exhibits is for Judeans (Jews) in the diaspora. The plan is to continue to expand the website with more inscriptions relating to these groups.  There are already 100 inscriptions that do not appear in the sourcebook (marked with an asterisk).

The AGRW sourcebook itself goes beyond the inscriptions to include literary excerpts on associations (from, e.g., Philo, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Tertullian), descriptions of meeting-place excavations, and an extensive annotated bibliography (table of contents here).  The book has been designed to be used as a text in courses as well.

Update: I should also add that I have previously released a podcast series on associations and you can access that all in one place here: Podcast series 6: Associations in the Greco-Roman World.

Richard sends the latest from the Society of Biblical Literature conference in Chicago:

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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A couple more reviews of Dynamics of Identity

There is a very well-written and thoughtful review of my book out in Journal of Religion by Joshua D. Garroway of Hebrew Union College and the Jewish Institute of Religion.  It was rewarding to hear my arguments accurately explained by someone else, and in this case the reviewer also offers very carefully expressed criticisms of my approach.  If your institution has a subscription to JSTOR, you can find the full review here:  http://www.jstor.org/pss/10.1086/661571.

Here are two excerpts:

“Harland does not deny the uniqueness of Christian or Judean groups, but to study them alongside  associations—indeed, as associations—requires him to lay stress on similarities rather than  differences. In his defense, this approach contrasts with much previous scholarship that emphasized—and, in light of Harland’s convincing studies, probably overemphasized—the uniqueness of Christians and Judeans.”

“Until recently, scholars of early Judaism and Christianity have generally pursued the differential quality. Harland’s effort to broaden that perspective by seeing what we might learn about Judeans and Christians by considering their similarities to other “cultural minority groups” in antiquity, even if it is overstated at times, therefore comes as a welcome alternative. The sharpness with which Harland presents that perspective makes it all the more rewarding.”

There is another somewhat less analytical review by Guy Stroumsa at the BMCR site:  http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2011/2011-08-42.html.

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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Another review of my Dynamics of Identity in Church History

Catherine M. Chin (University of California, Davis) has now published a review of my Dynamics of Identity book in the latest volume of Church History 80 (2011), 371-73. She has some interesting observations on the book, as well as insightful critique.  You can access the article through Cambridge journals online here if your university has a subscription.  I also notice that findarticles.com has the full text of the review available for free at this point.  I’ll be adding some excerpts from reviews to the companion site here.

For now, here is an excerpt:

“The primary contribution of the work to early Christian studies, and to the study of ancient religion more generally, lies in how few pages are actually spent on “early Christians,” and how many are spent on their world. Harland’s work is a social-historical analysis of ethnic, familial, and association identity markers in the Eastern Roman Empire, and his limited discussion of early Christian sources is firmly embedded in this context. Harland uses contemporary social-scientific models of identity theory, ethnic studies, and migration studies, and applies these models primarily to understudied inscriptional evidence, in order to explore the social and ideological contexts in which early Christian groups first came into being. This is important and enlightening work, and the focus on contemporaneous non-Christian identity markers and identity groupings is a welcome addition both to the literature on religion in the Roman world and, more indirectly, on the growth of the new Christian movement.”

 

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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