Religious Studies

Self, Self-Fashioning and Individuality in Late Antiquity

New Perspectives
Ed. by Maren R. Niehoff and Joshua Levinson

[Das Selbst, Selbstinszenierung und Individualität in der Spätantike.]

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ISBN 978-3-16-158990-4
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Published in English.
This collection of articles places the frequently discussed question of the introvert Self into a new interdisciplinary context: it examines Pagan, Jewish and Christian voices on an equal basis and argues for significant overlaps between interior and exterior dimensions.
This collection of articles places the frequently discussed question of the introvert Self into a new interdisciplinary context: rather than tracing a linear development from social forms of life with an outward orientation to individual introspection, it argues for significant overlaps between interior and exterior dimensions, between the Self and society. A team of internationally renowned experts from different fields examines Pagan, Jewish and Christian voices on an equal basis and explores the complexity of their messages. Philosophical texts are analyzed next to letters, legal sources, Bible interpretation and material evidence. Not only is the experience of individuals examined, but also instructions from authoritative figures in a position to shape constructions of the Self. The book is divided into three parts; namely, »Constructing the Self«, a field usually treated by philosophers, »Self-Fashioning«, generally associated with literature, and »Self and Individual in Society«, commonly the domain of historians. This volume shows the complexity of each category and their overlaps by engaging unexpected sources in each section and interrogating internal as well as external dimensions.
Survey of contents
Maren R. Niehoff: Fashioning this Volume

Constructing the Self
David Lambert: »Desire« Enacted in the Wilderness: Problems in the History of the Self and Bible Translation – Matthew Roller: Selfhood, Exemplarity, and Cicero's Four Personae: On Constructing Your Self after Your Model and Your Model after Your Self – Margaret Graver: Interiority and Freedom in Seneca's De Beneficiis: Acts of Kindness and the Perfected Will – Gretchen Reydams-Schils: How to »Become Like God« and Remain Oneself – Karen King: Becoming Fully Human: Contours and Expressions of the Self according to The Gospel of Mary – Yair Furstenberg: Rabbinic Responses to Greco-Roman Ethics of Self-Formation in Tractate Avot – Charles Stang: The Doubled Self and the Worship of the Gods – Joshua Levinson: The Divided Subject: Representing Modes of Consciousness in Rabbinic Midrash – Laura Nasrallah: The Worshipping Self, the Self in Light – Edward Watts: The Senses, the Self, and the Christian Roman Imperial Subject: Hagia Sophia as a Space of Directed Interiority

Catharine Edwards: The Epistolographic Self: The Role of the Individual in Seneca's Letters – Eve-Marie Becker: Paul's Epistolary Self in and around Philippians – Ilaria Ramelli: Autobiographical Self-Fashioning in Origen – Maren R. Niehoff: A Hybrid Self: Rabbi Abbahu in Legal Debates in Caesarea – Irmgard Männlein-Robert: Move Your Self: Mobility and Migration of Greek Intellectuals to Rome – Reuven Kiperwasser: Narrating the Self: Stories about Rabbi Zeira's Encounters in the Land of Israel

Self and Individual in Society
Clifford Ando: Self, Society, Individual, and Person in Roman Law – Jörg Rüpke: Urban Selves: Individualisation in the Cities of the Roman Empire – Sarit Kattan Gribetz: Constructions of the Self through Time: Gender, Text, Embodiment, Experience – Mira Balberg: The Subject Supposed to Forget: Rabbinic Formations of the Legal Self – Ishay Rosen-Zvi: Two Midrashic Selves: Between Origen and the Mekhilta – Alfons Fürst: Individuality and Self-Agency: The Self in Origen's Metaphysics of Freedom – Tobias Nicklas: Constructing Individual Selves within Social Hierarchies: The Letters of Copres and Synesios

Maren R. Niehoff Geboren 1963; Ausbildung an der Hebräischen Universität Jerusalem, der Freien Universität in Berlin, Oxford University and Harvard University; seit 2014 Max Cooper Professor im Dept. für Jüdische Philosophie, Hebräische Universität Jerusalem.

Joshua Levinson is Professor of Hebrew Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


The following reviews are known:

In: Review of Biblical Literature — (1/2021) (Jonathan Schofer)