Browsing Doctoral Degrees (Ancient Studies) by browse.metadata.advisor "Cook, J."
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- ItemAphrahat's demonstrations : a conversation with the Jews of Mesopotamia(Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2009-12) Lizorkin, Ilya; Cook, J.; University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Ancient Studies.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Various opinions on the nature of Aphrahat‟s interactions with the Jews have essentially revolved around either accepting or rejecting the claim that the Persian Sage had contact with (Rabbinic) Jews and/or may have been influenced by them. While some significant research went into determining the precise nature of these relationships, the issue was never settled. This dissertation contributes to this ongoing discussion by posing and attempting to answer two primary research questions: 1) Did Aphrahat encounter actual Jews during his own lifetime or did he Simply project/imagine them into his Demonstrations from reading the New Testament collection? If the first question is answered in the affirmative, the focus of the dissertation becomes the following question: 2) Were the Jews whom Aphrahat encountered Rabbinic/Para-Rabbinic or not? To provide answers to these questions the author uses a textual comparative methodology, juxtaposing texts from both sources and then seeking to analyze them in relation to each other. Every section that deals with such comparison is organized into three sub-sections: 1) agreement, 2) disagreement by omission; and 3) disagreement by confrontation (this pattern is consistently followed throughout the study). The author concludes that the answer to both of these questions can be given in the affirmative. First, Aphrahat did not imagine nor project the Jews in his Demonstrations from his reading of the New Testament, but he (and his community) encountered the Jews on the streets of Ancient Northern Mesopotamia. Second, Aphrahat (and his community, sometimes only via his community) indeed had interactions with Rabbinic (or more accurately Para-Rabbinic) Jews.
- ItemThe development of Jewish ideas of angels : Egyptian and Hellenistic connections, ca. 600 BCE to ca. 200 CE(Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2007-03) Evans, Annette Henrietta Margaretha; Cook, J.; Thom, J. C.; University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Ancient Studies.This dissertation sets out to test the hypothesis that Egyptian and Hellenistic connections to Jewish beliefs about the functioning of angels facilitated the reception of Christianity. The method of investigation involved a close reading, combined with a History of Religions methodology, of certain texts with marked angelological content. The presence of certain motifs, especially “throne” and “sun/fire”, which were identified as characteristic of angelic functioning, were compared across the entire spectrum of texts. In this way the diachronic development of major angelological motifs became apparent, and the synchronic connections between the respective cultural contexts became noticeable. The course the research followed is reflected in the list of Contents. Ancient Egyptian myth and ritual associated with solar worship, together with Divine Council imagery, provides a pattern of mediation between heaven and earth via two crucial religious concepts which underly Jewish beliefs about the functioning of angels: 1) the concept of a supreme God as the king of the Gods as reflected in Divine Council imagery, and 2) the unique Egyptian institution of the king as the divine son of god (also related to the supremacy of the sun god). The blending of these two concepts can be seen in Ezekiel 1 and 10, where the throne of God is the source of angelic mediation between heaven and earth. An important stimulus to change was the vexed issue of theodicy, which in the traumatic history of the Israelites / Jews, forced new ways of thinking about angels, who in some contexts were implicated in evil and suffering on earth. In the hellenistic period, attainment to the throne of God in heaven becomes the goal of heavenly ascent, reflected in various ways in all three cultural contexts, and specifically by means of merkabah mysticism in the Jewish context; the basic concern is deification of human beings. It was this seminal cultural mixture which mediated Christianity as an outcome of Jewish angelology. The characteristic ambiguity of Jewish descriptions of angelic appearances, as reflected in the Hebrew Bible and in the Book of Revelation, functioned purposefully in this regard. Analysis of the distribution of angelological motifs amongst the Christian texts reflects Jewish angelological traditions, both in terms of merkabah mysticism in the Letter to the Hebrews, and in angelomorphic appearances of Jesus in the Book of Revelation.
- ItemDie logos-leer van Filo van Aleksandrie : 'n kultuur-historiese ondersoek(Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2004-12) Van Schalkwyk, C. H. J., 1971-; Cook, J.; University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Ancient Studies.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Philo is a writer who lived in Alexandria in 30 BC – 50 AD. Traditionally scholars classified Philo as philosopher, exegete and apologist. With these classifications in mind, Philo’s works is read and interpreted. In this study a methodology of postmodernism (which is inherently a cultural historical understanding of reality) will be used, and it will become clear that this classification of the scholars is not satisfactory. The question that arises, is: How must Philo be read and understood in the context of a postmodern methodology? By means of a study of the logos-concept it is suggested that Philo must be understood as a threshold person, who stands on the cutting edges of the cultures in Alexandria; he therefore creates a new universe of symbols. In this new universe of symbols it is possible for the different cultures to communicate effectively, because they now have a joint vocabulary. Philo is not a postmodernist, but he makes use of techniques which occurs in post modern philosophy to create this new universe of symbols. Through the use of these techniques it becomes possible for the reader to take into account the different philosophical dimensions that are part of Philo’s thoughts. This helps the reader to understand the contradiction in Philo’s thought in connection with the logos-concept. It also helps the reader to place the logos-concept of Philo in its proper cultural historical background.