“The Construction of Time in Antiquity”

Protestant theologian Lutz Doering edits interdisciplinary volume

© Cambridge University Press

Time has always held a fascination for human beings, who have attempted to relate to it and to make sense of it, constructing and deconstructing it through its various prisms, since time cannot be experienced in an unmediated way. This book, edited by the scholar of Jewish Studies and Protestant theologian Prof. Dr. Lutz Doering from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” and the Israeli bible scholar Prof. Dr. Jonathan Ben-Dov, University of Haifa, answers the needs of a growing community of scholars and readers who are interested in this interaction. It offers a series of innovative studies by both senior and younger experts on various aspects of the construction of time in antiquity.

Some articles in this book contain visual material published for the first time, while other studies update the field with new theories or apply new approaches to relevant sources. Within the study of antiquity, the book covers the disciplines of Classics and Ancient History, Assyriology, Egyptology, Ancient Judaism, and Early Christianity, with thematic contributions on rituals, festivals, astronomy, calendars, medicine, art, and narrative.

Literature: Ben-Dov, Jonathan/ Doering, Lutz (eds.): The Construction of Time in Antiquity: Ritual, Art, and Identity, New York: Cambridge University Press 2017, ISBN 9781107108967, 75 £.


1. Introduction
Lutz Doering and Jonathan Ben-Dov

2 Time and natural law in Jewish-Hellenistic writings
Jonathan Ben-Dov

3. Calendars, politics, and power relations in the Roman Empire
Sacha Stern

4. Doubling religion in the Augustan Age: shaping time for an empire
Jörg Rüpke

5. Real and constructed time in Babylonian astral medicine
John Steele

6. The intellectual background of the Antikythera mechanism
Robert Hannah

7. Divine figurations of time in Ancient Egypt
Alexandra von Lieven

8. The moon and the power of time reckoning in Ancient Mesopotamia
Lorenzo Verderame

9. Toward a phenomenology of time in ancient Greek art
SeungJung Kim

10. Women's bodies as metaphors for time in biblical, second temple, and rabbinic literature
Sarit Kattan Gribetz

11. The beginning of sabbath and festivals in ancient Jewish sources
Lutz Doering

12. Seasoning the bible and biblifying time through fixed liturgical reading systems (lectionaries)
Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra

13. The Roman ember days of September and the Jewish New Year
Robert Hayward

14. Celebrations and the abstention from celebrations of sacred time in Early Christianity
Clemens Leonhard