Hyvä osa


Lehtipuu Outi, Aspinen Mika, Hakola Raimo, Heimola Minna, Huttunen Niko. Hyvä osa – Kirkkokäsikirjan evankeliumitekstien kommentaari, 2. vuosikerta. Helsinki: Kirjapaja, ilmestyy marraskuussa 2016.


Kirja täydentää kotimaisen evankeliumikommentaarisarjan, jossa selitetään kaikki Suomen evankelis- luterilaisen kirkon Kirkkokäsikirjassa jokaiselle sunnuntaille ja kirkolliselle pyhälle määrätyt evankeliumitekstit. . Sarjan ensimmäinen osa, Raimo Hakola & Outi Lehtipuu Alussa oli Sana – Kirkkokäsikirjan evankeliumitekstien kommentaari, 1. vuosikerta, ilmestyi Kirjapajan kustantamana vuonna 2013 ja Raimo Hakola, Outi Lehtipuu & Niko Huttunen Maan suola –Kirkkokäsikirjan evankeliumitekstien kommentaari, 3. vuosikerta vuonna 2014.

The Label of Magic in the Fourth-century Disputes and Conflicts


Artis heu magicis – The Label of Magic in the Fourth-century Disputes and Conflicts’, Pagans and Christians in Late Antique Rome, eds. Michele R. Salzman, Marianne Sághy & Rita Lizzi Testa, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015, 162-177.


Artis heu magicis procerum dum quaeris honores, / sic, miserande, iaces parvo donate sepulcro  – ‘Alas, while seeking the honours of nobility by your magic arts / you are brought thus low, wretch, rewarded with a tiny tomb’ – this is how an unnamed ‘pagan’ Roman senator is accused of practising magic in the anonymous pamphlet poem often called Carmen contra paganos (Cod. Par. Lat. 8084, v. 110-111). And the same poem, a bit further (near the end of the poem) refers to the ‘magic incantations’ (carminibus magicis) of the widow of the wretched senator.

This is just one example of many labels of magic that were attached either religious rivals or political opponents in the fourth century. In this paper I aim to analyse and contextualize the category of magic tagged to ‘pagan’ cults and ‘heresies’ in the fourth-century. Now, magic has turned out to be a very useful and resourceful and versatile word, indeed – in inter-religious and intra-religious combats. The easiest way to produce a difference, create a boundary, was to label the practices and beliefs of the rival group as ‘magic’.

Reconsidering Johannine Christianity


Hakola, Raimo. Reconsidering Johannine Christianity: A Social Identity Approach. London: Routledge, 2015.


Reconsidering Johannine Christianity presents a full-scale application of social identity approach to the Johannine writings. This book reconsiders a widely held scholarly assumption that the writings commonly taken to represent Johannine Christianity – the Gospel of John and the First, Second and Third Epistles of John – reflect the situation of an introverted early Christian group. It claims that dualistic polarities appearing in these texts should be taken as attempts to construct a secure social identity, not as evidence of social isolation. While some scholars (most notably, Richard Bauckham) have argued that the New Testament gospels were not addressed to specific early Christian communities but to all Christians, this book proposes that we should take different branches of early Christianity, not as localized and closed groups, but as imagined communities that envision distinct early Christian identities. It also reassesses the scholarly consensus according to which the Johannine Epistles presuppose and build upon the finished version of the Fourth Gospel and argues that the Johannine tradition, already in its initial stages, was diverse.

People under Power: Early Jewish and Christian Responses to the Roman Empire


Michael Labahn & Outi Lehtipuu, eds. People under Power: Early Jewish and Christian Responses to the Roman Empire. Amsterdam University Press, 2015.


How did the dominant ideology of the Roman Empire affect the eve­ryday life of Jewish and Christian religious minority communities? The Christian proclamation about a “Son of God” who was the only true “ruler” and “savior” of the world served as an obvious challenge to the sovereignty of the emperor, but what were its practical consequences? Which word best describes the relations of ancient Judaism and early Christianity with the Roman Empire: antagonism, adaptation, or indifference? The essays of this volume study the impact of Roman power politics on Christians and Jews. They show that the topic is more complicated than often assumed and that relations between the empire and the Jews and Christians living within its limits cannot simply be described in terms of conflict, clash, and opposition.


Gnostic Morality Revisited


Gnostic Morality Revisited. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 347. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2015.

8422_00_detailThe early Christian texts discussed in this book are often treated as “gnostic” ones. The studies by Ismo Dunderberg collected here, however, approach them as witnesses to the views of educated second-century Christians engaged in dialogue with philosophical traditions. Following the idea that ancient philosophical schools first and foremost provided their adherents with a way of life, the author explores issues related to morality and lifestyle in non-canonical gospels and among groups that were gradually denounced as heretical in the church. Prominent themes he deals with in this book include the soul’s progress from material concerns to a life dominated by spirit, the control of emotions (such as desire, anger and grief), the avoidance of luxury, the ideal “perfect human” as a tool in moral instruction, classifications of humankind into distinct groups based upon their moral advancement, and Christian debates about the value of martyrdom. In addition Dunderberg offers a critical review of some recent trends and attitudes towards New Testament scholarship, especially those in which the non-canonical texts discussed in this book are either ignored or deemed as irrelevant, irrational, and sometimes even dangerous.

Social Memory and Social Identity in the Study of Early Judaism and Early Christianity


Social Memory and Social Identity in the Study of Early Judaism and Early Christianity, edited by Samuel Byrskog, Raimo Hakola and Jutta Jokiranta. Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus/Studien zur Umwelt des Neuen Testaments 116. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, forthcoming August 2016.


The concepts of social memory and social identity have been increasingly used in the study of ancient Jewish and Christian sources. In this collection of articles, international specialists apply interdisciplinary methodology related to these concepts to early Jewish and Christian sources. The volume offers an up-to-date presentation of how social memory studies and socio-psychological identity approach have been used in the study of Biblical and related literature. The articles examine how Jewish and Christian sources participate in the processes of collective recollection and in this way contribute to the construction of distinctive social identities. The writers demonstrate the benefits of the use of interdisciplinary methodologies in the study of early Judaism and Christianity but also discuss potential problems that have emerged when modern theories have been applied to ancient material.




I Social Memory

SAMUEL BYRSKOG Professor, Lund University
Philosophical Aspects on Memory: Aristotle, Augustine and Bultmann

ALAN KIRK, Professor, James Madison University, USA
The Formation of the Synoptic Tradition: Cognitive and Cultural Memory Approaches to an Old Problem

SANDRA HÜBENTHAL, Prof., Universität Passau
Reading the Gospel of Mark as Collective Memory

KARI SYREENI, Professor, Åbo Akademi University
Eyewitness Testimony, First-Person Narration and Authorial Presence as Means of Legitimation in Early Gospel Literature

DAN NÄSSELQVIST, Dr, Lund University
Dual Conventions: The Oral Delivery of New Testament Writings in Light of First-Century Delivery Practices


II Social Identity

CECILIA WASSÉN, Dr., Docent, Uppsala University
The Importance of Marriage in the Construction of a Sectarian Identity in the Dead Sea Scrolls

JUTTA JOKIRANTA, Dr., Docent , University of Helsinki
Black Sheep, Outsiders, and the Qumran Movement: Social-Psychological Perspectives on Norm-Deviant Behaviour

ELISA UUSIMÄKI, Dr., University of Helsinki
Wisdom, Scripture and Identity Formation in 4QBeatitudes

RIKARD ROITTO, Dr., Stockholm School of Theology,
Forgiveness, Rituals, and Social Identity in Matthew: Obliging Forgiveness

RAIMO HAKOLA, Dr., University of Helsinki,
The Johannine Community as a Constructed, Imagined Community

NINA NIKKI, Dr., University of Helsinki
Contesting the Past, Competing over the Future: Why is Paul Past-Oriented in Galatians and Romans, but Future-Oriented in Philippians?

MARTIN WESSBRANDT, Doctoral Student, Lund University
Covenant, Conflict & Collective Identity: The Relationship between Hebrews and 1 Clement


Emperors and the Divine – Rome and its Influence

Emperors and the Divine – Rome and its Influence, ed. Maijastina Kahlos, COLLeGIUM, Studies across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences 20, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies: Helsinki, 2016.

Contributions from the CoE members: Maijastina Kahlos and Outi Lehtipuu.


In the course of history, the divine sphere has often been harnessed to serve the needs of political leaders. Political power has frequently been legitimized as authorized by the divine forces. The articles of this volume analyse the relationship of the Roman emperors to the divine – their support of different divinities, their role as the mediators between the divine and humankind, and their religious policies. Emperors and the Divine brings together scholars from different disciplines, history, classics, comparative literature, archaeology, comparative religion, Biblical studies, church history and Roman law.

This is an open Access Publication, in the series COLLeGIUM, Studies across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences 20, and can be read here.


Maijastina Kahlos: Introduction: Roman Emperors and the Divine: Shifts and Downshifts

Emperors and Their Divine Honours
William van Andringa: Rhetoric and Divine Honours: On the “Imperial Cult” in the Reigns of Augustus and Constantine
Janneke de Jong: Emperor Meets Gods: Divine Discourse in Greek Papyri from Roman Egypt
Mika Kajava: Gods and Emperors at Aigeai in Cicilia 56

Emperors – Legitimation and Criticism
Jussi Rantala: Gods of Cultivation and Food Supply in the Imperial Iconography of Septimius Severus
Tobias Georges: Tertullian’s Criticism of the Emperors’ Cult in the Apologeticum

Emperors and Christians – Identity Formation
Outi Lehtipuu: “What Harm Is There for You to Say Caesar Is Lord?” Emperors and the Imperial Cult in Early Christian Stories of Martyrdom
Maijastina Kahlos: The Emperor’s New Images – How to Honour the Emperor in the Christian Empire?

Imperial Authority and Divine Knowledge
Alan Cameron: Pontifex Maximus: from Augustus to Gratian – and Beyond
Caroline Humfress: Ordering Divine Knowledge in Late Roman Legal Discourse

Emperors – Praise and Mockery
Chiara O. Tommasi Moreschini: Coping with Ancient Gods, Celebrating Christian Emperors, Proclaiming Roman Eternity: Rhetoric and Religion in Late Antique Latin Panegyrics
Sari Kivistö: Satirical Apotheosis in Seneca and Beyond

Why Do We Need Other People to Be Happy?


Miira Tuominen, ’Why Do We Need Other People to Be Happy? Happiness and Concern for Others in Aspasius and Porphyry’ in Øyvind Rabbås, Eyjólfur K. Emilsson, Hallvard Fossheim and Miira Tuominen (eds.), The Quest for the Good Life: Ancient Philosophers on Happiness. Oxford University Press 2015

9780198746980In her contribution to the collection, Quest for the Good Life: Ancient Philosophers on Happiness, Miira Tuominen explores rather understudied aspects of late ancient philosophy. First, she argues that in his commentary on the Nicomachean Ethics, Aspasius (early 2nd century CE) brings in other people to his brief explanation of the good life. While Aristotle stresses that only a complete life can be assessed in terms of happiness, Aspasius points out that it is only within a complete life that one can do good things to others as well as much as possible. This implies that good things done to others have a role in Aspasius’ analysis of the good life in a new way. However, an even more important role is given to concern for other living creatures in Porphyry’s sustained argument addressed to his friend Firmus Castricius. The main point of the argument is that justice requires one to abstain from injuring living creatures, animals and ultimately even plants that are such that they do not harm us. Tuominen suggests that Porphyry’s treatise manifests a rather exceptional, novel approach to ethics within ancient ethics.


The Quest for the Good Life


Øyvind Rabbås, Eyjólfur K. Emilsson, Hallvard Fossheim and Miira Tuominen (eds.), The Quest for the Good Life: Ancient Philosophers on Happiness. Oxford University Press 2015.

9780198746980What ought we do? How should we live? And what makes us happy? While the first question sounds clearly ethical or moral to most philosophers and even the second question contains a normative element, being a question about how life should be lived, the third question might seem somewhat disconnected from the ethical discourse. However, as is generally known, in Greco-Roman antiquity, the question of how we should live was inextricably linked to the question of what makes us happy on the one hand and to the virtues of character on the other. Many philosophical schools made a case for there being a link between what is objectively good and what in fact makes us happy in the end. Further, arguments were presented to the effect that the practice of philosophy is an organic component in the quest for the good life, so much so that the Stoics even argued that virtue understood as a stable condition of one’s character and a disposition not to accept any false appearances. Such a condition, they argued, was only to be achieved through practicing Stoic philosophy. Even though the Aristotelians did not accept this Stoic position, Aristotle had argued that even though not sufficient, virtue is necessary for happiness. Virtue, in its turn, was understood with respect to what really is good and what is true. Therefore, the quest for the truth combined with the quest for morality was, in ancient philosophical schools, generally taken to be vital in our quest for living well. Our edited volume covers a millennium of philosophical theorizing and offers the first comprehensive study on the role of happiness in ancient ethics from the Presocratics to late antiquity.

Call for Papers: XXIV Finnish Symposium on Late Antiquity

Slavery in Late Antiquity

Tvärminne, Finland 11–12 November, 2016

The multidisciplinary Finnish Symposium on Late Antiquity will be organized on 11–12 November 2016. The symposium brings together scholars and postgraduate students of Late Antiquity from a variety of universities and academic disciplines.

The theme of this year’s symposium is Slavery in Late Antiquity. Research on slavery in the late Roman Empire and in the post-Roman kingdoms has been expanding and evolving in the recent decades. The theme will be approached from a wide perspective, including social, economic, political, legal, ideological and religious levels. We welcome papers that discuss slavery from the point of view of landowning, local differences, changes in rural and urban settings, alterations in ideas and attitudes, and modifications in status and everyday life. Papers that analyse scholarly approaches to late antique slavery are also welcome.


The keynote speakers of the symposium are:

  • Chris De Wet: Emancipating the Spirit: Late Ancient Slavery in/and the Religious Thought of Eunomius and Basil of Caesarea. Prof. De Wet (New Testament and Early Christian Studies, University of South Africa), is specialist of slavery in early Christianity and early Christian Greek and Latin literature, especially John Chrystostom. His next book The Unbound God: Slavery and the Making of Early Christian Theology will be published this year.
  • Marianne Bjelland Kartzow: The Paradox of Slavery in Early Christian Discourse: An Intersectional Approach. Prof. Kartzow (New Testament Studies at the University of Oslo) has worked with theories of gossip and other types of oral communication in the ancient world, and written books and articles related to gender and slavery in early Christian texts.
  • Marja Vierros: Slaves in the Sixth Century Palestine in the Light of Papyrological Evidence. Dr Vierros (Classics, University of Helsinki) is specialist of Greek papyrology and linguistics. She is author of Bilingual Notaries in Hellenistic Egypt. A Study of Greek as a Second Language (2012) and has been involved in publishing the Byzantine papyrus dossier found in Petra, Jordan.

Please send a short abstract of 250–300 words along with your name, institution, e-mail and title by 2nd May 2016 to Dr. Ville Vuolanto: ville.vuolanto(at)uta.fi. Applicants will be informed by 1st June 2016 whether they have been accepted. 20 minutes is reserved for each presentation, plus 10 minutes for discussion.

The symposium is free, but the number of participants we can take is limited. It will be organized at the Tvärminne Zoological Station on the southern coast of Finland. We offer transportation from Helsinki to Tvärminne and the return journey, as well as accommodation (one night) and meals in Tvärminne. However, we are not able to cover any travel costs to or accommodation in Helsinki. Registration for the symposium starts on 1 October and closes on 26 October 2016.

The symposium is organised by Maijastina Kahlos, University of Helsinki, Ulla Tervahauta, University of Helsinki and Ville Vuolanto, University of Tampere / University of Oslo.

The Symposium is funded by the Centre of Excellence “Reason and Religious Recognition”, Faculty of Theology; Jaakko Frösen Fund; and Department of World Cultures, Faculty of Humanities, University of Helsinki.