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The apocalyptic number 616 is attested as a variant for the more common 666 in Revelation xiii.18 as early as Irenaeus as well as in several ancient Greek manuscripts. Surprisingly, however, all known exegetical interpretations of the number in late antiquity and the early medieval era can be traced back to just two sources derived from the Donatist Church in North Africa: Tyconius’ Expositio apocalypseos and the anonymous Liber genealogus. After reviewing these sources and the exegetical traditions predicated on them, this article will introduce a third witness to the 616 variant within the Donatist communion and comment on its implications.
An exploration of the complex relationship between Christian constructions of identity and the idea of sacrality derived from the ancient Greco-Roman world, this article argues that Christian identity developed uniquely in a specific context, often intertwined with theology and mythology. The complex relationship between the two was crucial in the construction of Christian identity in the lands recently converted, and influenced the authors of world maps from the eleventh century onward. This study investigates how the pagan past and Christian present were incorporated in some world maps, such as the twelfth-century English Sawley map. Thus it offers readers a coherent analysis of early history-writing in northern Europe in the first centuries after conversion.
Drawing upon unpublished financial accounts, this article sheds new light on how an ecclesiastical institution in southern Germany navigated the tense military and political environment of the Holy Roman Empire during the Hussite wars. The accounts of Ellwangen Abbey offer a compelling window into how its community dealt with a series of military, economic and diplomatic challenges – from raising extraordinary war taxes and hosting the visiting emperor-elect, to equipping its own military contingent – encouraging a reassessment of the burdens borne by ecclesiastical foundations during the Hussite era and offering new perspectives on how holy war impacted on daily life in smaller communities in Central Europe.
This article focuses on the work Politica e religione nella persona, parole ed azioni di Giesù Cristo (1706–7) by Giovanni Battista Comazzi, an emissary of the last duke of Mantua at the court of Vienna. Comazzi examined the actions and teachings of Christ described in the Gospel of John as a source for political guidance. The research reveals an attempt to establish an exegetical basis for challenging ecclesiastical interference, asserting the primacy of politics and advocating a poor and exemplary Church. Censored by the Holy Office, the work was ultimately framed within the clash between the papacy and the Empire.
The American evangelist Dwight L. Moody visited Ulster on three occasions – 1874, 1883 and 1892 – and his modern, respectable version of revivalism offered a welcome alternative to the ambiguous legacy of the 1859 Ulster revival. Moody stimulated an outpouring of interdenominational activism and may have contributed to a fundamentalist impulse amongst Evangelicals. His legacy in Ulster, as elsewhere, was to energise Evangelicals but at the expense of weakening the ability, perhaps even the desire, of church members to adhere to denominational principles. In that sense, both so-called ‘fundamentalists’ and ‘modernists’ in Northern Ireland in the 1920s were Moody's heirs.
Do historians look at Luther and the Lutheran Reformation differently in the aftermath of the Lutherjahr of 2017, and its frenzy of academic and public activity? As recent publications on Luther demonstrate – notably Lyndal Roper's 2016 biography Martin Luther: renegade and prophet – there is a still a great deal to say about Luther, and how his friendships, passions, prejudices and physical experiences shaped him. But while Luther was the monumental public figure of 2017, some of the most important work coinciding with the anniversary addressed instead Lutheranism as a movement, and the nature of religious identities in Luther's aftermath. It also demonstrated and furthered the impact of the visual and material turn in history and in Reformation studies. Building upon decades of scholarship on Lutheran visual images, recent Reformation scholarship has demonstrated in increasing depth how religious identity can and should be read through both material and visual culture. The three publications examined here – a monograph by Bridget Heal, a website by Brian Cummings, Ceri Law, Bronwyn Wallace and Alexandra Walsham, and the exhibition catalogue Luther! 95 treasures – 95 people – contribute to the material, sensory turn in Reformation and early modern scholarship, and in the latter two cases also reveal the impact of this upon public engagement with Reformation histories.