Recent Publications

Gottes Körper (God's body): Jüdische, christliche und pagane Gottesvorstellungen in der Antike

Markschies, Christoph: Gottes Körper. Jüdische, christliche und pagane Gottesvorstellungen in der Antike, München: C.H. Beck, 2016.

In his book Gottes Körper (God's Body) on ancient religions, Christoph Markschies acquaints us with an astonishingly strange Christianity deeply rooted in the pagan concept of God.

On the basis of the links between the ancient religions, he explains why the concept still common today of God as a disembodied being did not become firmly established until the Middle Ages, and how people imagined the body of God.

Markschies pursues philosophical and theological debates, visits the ancient temples, and reveals numerous references between the Christian and Jewish God and the pagan gods. In addition, it is also about the human being - the body, the soul, and the healing power of religion. Those who like to take a cold shower in the morning should delve into this new book with its disturbing fresh look at the Christian God.

A cooperation with C.H.Beck Publishers

Prokop von Gaza: Eclogarum in libros historicos Veteris Testamenti epitome, Teil 1: Der Genesiskommentar

Metzler, Karin (Ed.) and Prokop von Gaza. 2015. Eclogarum in libros historicos Veteris Testamenti epitome. Teil 1: Der Genesiskommentar. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter.

Procopius of Gaza wrote a major commentary on most of the historical books of the Old Testament (CPG 7430). This volume presents the first section, devoted to Genesis, for the first time in the complete Greek text. Amidst Procopius's continuous text we find a collection of excerpts that is of extraordinary value as a source in places where the original work was lost due to Council decisions or historical event. 



Heilige Texte

Heilige Texte: Religion und Rationalität, 1. Geisteswissenschaftliches Colloquium 10.-13. Dezember 2009 auf Schloss Genshagen. Hg. Andreas Kablitz und Christoph Markschies, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2013.

The complex relationship between religion and rationality is examined based on a diversity of holy texts, a medium that suggests an alignment of religion within rational contexts. In addition to writings of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, spells and myths as well as at times religiously glorified texts such as the Marxism, philosophical texts of the Enlightenment and other media such as the modern image of religious content are focus of this research. Despite the fallacy of rationality and religion being oppositions, rationality proves to play an essential role for the development of religion and its internal differentiations. Dealing with sacred texts shows the tense of this topic in a particular manner: Sacred texts always have the option of withdrawing from a rational access referring to their transcendental dimension.

At the same time the religion that is manifested in the sacred text proves its validity over and over by permanent interaction and coexisting with this access.

Hellenisierung des Christentums

Markschies, Christoph, Hellenisierung des Christentums: Sinn und Unsinn einer historischen Deutungskategorie. Theologische Literaturzeitung. Forum 25. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2012.

Seeing the "Hellenization of Christianity" as one of the major categories in describing the formation of ancient Christianity, Berlin's famous church historian and organizer of science Adolf von Harnack (1851-1930) was not the first. As the highly controversial Regensburg speech of Pope Benedict XVI. from 2006 shows, this category still plays a central role in theological and ancient historical concepts of Christianity. Usually, a transformation of Christianity through the Hellenistic-Roman culture in the "globalized" imperium romanum is referred to by this term.

Christoph Markschies analyzes the history of the concept and the associated, very different definitions and ideas. He informs about the partially completely forgotten historical receptions (for example, in the French Renaissance humanism) and ends up making a proposal on how the term still can be used today despite a somewhat problematic history.



Vademecum der Inspirationsmittel

Vademecum der Inspirationsmittel. Hg. Christoph Markschies und Ernst Osterkamp. Göttingen: Wallstein 2012.

Artists and scientist disclose their secret: They explain how to get inspired.

The idea for the book was born in a moment of doubt and even envy: Feeling stuck and uninspired, you start to question how colleagues manage to come up with ideas with seemingly effortless ease.

Many fellows of the Berliner Akademie der Künste and of the Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften offered to share their secret with the public by explaining what inspires them. The book contains 50 self-portraits, hence 50 ways how to get inspired.

With contribution from Horst Bredekamp, Gerd Gigerenzer, Inge Keller, Matthias Kleiner, Sibylle Lewitscharoff, Peter von Matt, Julian Nida-Rümelin, Hermann Parzinger, Klaus Staeck, Anton Zeilinger and others.


Antike christliche Apokryphen in deutscher Übersetzung (Ancient Christian Apocrypha in German translation)

Antike christliche Apokryphen in deutscher Übersetzung. 1. Bd. Evangelien und Verwandtes. Hg. Christoph Markschies und Jens Schröter in Verbindung mit Andreas Heiser. 7. Aufl. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012.

"Apocrypha" are texts that have the form of biblical writings that got canonical, or texts that are telling stories about characters that have become biblically canonical writings, or texts that pass on words of such characters. They are an expression of Christian piety and have influenced theology as well as arts deeply.
The best-known German collection of this material is the edition is a concise version at hand in 1904 published the "New Testament Apocrypha", which goes back to Edgar Hennecke (1865-1951) and then was published by William Schneemelcher (1914-2003). This is the completely revised seventh edition, supplemented by many texts and includes all non-canonical gospel literature, related ancient literature, and new texts from the Islamic tradition, the Gospel of Judas and the unknown Berlin Gospel.
As there are the writings that refer to the canonical New Testament, which are not easy to isolate from the Christian Apocrypha, this work includes all the Christian Apocrypha until the eighth century. Therefore, it is entitled "Ancient Christian Apocrypha in German translation" (AcA) and is published in three volumes.

With contributions from:
Hans-Gebhard Bethge, Wolfgang A. Bienert, Johanna Brankaer, Bogdan Burtea, Friedmann Eissler, Hans Förster, Jörg Frey, Wolf-Peter Funk, Peter Gemeinhardt, Judith Hartenstein, Otfried Hofius, Maria Josua, Ursula Ulrike Kaiser, Thomas J. Kraus, Christoph Markschies, Helmut Merkel, C. Detlef G. Müller (+), Peter Nagel, Tobias Nicklas, Silvia Pellegrini, Silke Petersen, Uwe-Karsten Plisch, Stanley E. Porter, Wendy J. Porter, Sigfried G. Richter, Monika Schärtl, Hans-Martin Schenke (+), Jens Schröter, Josef Tropper, Markus Vinzent, Jennifer Wasmuth, Ansgar Wucherpfennig, Gregor Wurst.


Heis Theos

Peterson, Erik, Christoph Markschies und Barbara Nichtweiß, Heis Theos: Epigraphische, formgeschichtliche und religionsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen zur antiken "Ein-Gott"-Akklamation. Ausgewählte Schriften Erik Peterson Bd. 8. Würzburg: Echter, 2012.

Erik Peterson’s approach to the one god formula, first published in 1926, is a benchmark when it comes to „acclamation“. Even today it has an impact on monotheism research and political theology.

86 years after being published, and being out of print for some time, „Heis Theos“ is now available again in its original version.

Christoph Markschies, Henrik Hildebrandt and others edited and amended it to make sure it is up to date, using Petersons inheritance as well. Thus it includes an excellent overview of current Heis-Theos research and current discourses in epigraphy, liturgy and literature as well.

Erik Peterson, whom Henry Chadwick once described as extraordinary sharp-witted and adept, lived from 1890 to1960.

Atlas der Weltbilder

Atlas der Weltbilder. Hg. Christoph Markschies, Ingeborg Reichle, Jochen Brüning und Peter Deuflhard unter Mitarbeit von Steffen Siegel und Achim Spelten. Forschungsberichte Interdisziplinäre Arbeitsgruppen, Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften Bd. 25. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 2011. (2. Auflage ebd. 2012).

Practises of visual reproduction of the world in the form of worldviews can be observed even in ancient times and have been proven to date as a means of constructing ideas of order. Since time immemorial, the conceptual order of the world is facing an exemplary illustrative order. However, the essential importance of clarity in our understanding of the world plays and has produced the most diverse worldviews is more than a mere repetition of seeing. The imagery of the world views not only give us a vivid picture of the world and the cosmos. They are also powerful tools for effective practical and theoretical activity in the world and form in many different ways our ideas of the world and our worldview. The basic questions to be asked here, have not really changed through the centuries. They concern the us surrounding order and our position within this order: Which shape has the world? What are the forces and ideas in it? What is it made of? How did it originate? What is its future? The earliest examples of worldviews clarify that the reality expressed by both image and story is always brought forth by the people and therefore always is interpreted reality and symbolic construction.
The samples collected at the same time represent different visual media as instruments of the visual construction of the world. Thus the "Atlasof the world views" is not only a history of changing ideas of the world, but also a history of changing methods of representation and different media used for this matter. The "Atlas of the world views" covers a wide range of artifacts and interconnects differnt points in history that begins with ancient Egyptian and Ancient Middle Eastern concepts of the world and ends with current simulations in astrophysics. "The Atlas of World Views" documents aspects of the cultural history of visual world constructions in the form of world views from the past two and a half millennia. Paradigmatic analysis of the principles and functions as well as the history and meaning of world views provide comprehensive information on this extensive subject for the first time.


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