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Berglund, Carl Johan, Teologie doktorORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-2203-7977
Publications (10 of 79) Show all publications
Berglund, C. J. (2024). Jesus’s Puzzling Retort to the Royal Official (John 4:48) in Isodiegetic Perspective. Novum Testamentum, 66(2), 193-209
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Jesus’s Puzzling Retort to the Royal Official (John 4:48) in Isodiegetic Perspective
2024 (English)In: Novum Testamentum, ISSN 0048-1009, E-ISSN 1568-5365, Vol. 66, no 2, p. 193-209Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

When a “royal official” (βασιλικός) urges Jesus to help his dying son, Jesus surprisingly retorts (John 4:48): “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe!” Researchers find this outburst out of place in response to a desperate father, but this article argues that it can be explained by use of an isodiegetic perspective, where the Johannine storyworld is informed by a larger narrative tradition in which the tetrarch Herod Antipas (ca. 4 BCE–39 CE) is a known adversary of Jesus, whose adherents strive to entrap him and get him killed. In view of the official’s expected patronal loyalty to “king” (βασιλεύς) Herod, his healing request can reasonably be presumed to be a trap until his appeal “Sir, come down before my child dies!” (John 4:49) clarifies that the man is not acting as a client, but as a father.

Keywords
βασιλικός; Herod Antipas; Herodians; loyalty; shared storyworld; Gospel of John
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Biblical Studies, New testament
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ths:diva-2280 (URN)10.1163/15685365-bja10060 (DOI)
Available from: 2024-03-14 Created: 2024-03-14 Last updated: 2024-03-19Bibliographically approved
Berglund, C. J. (2024). Mimetic Mediators in Mark: How Graeco-Roman Biographies Use Secondary Characters to Offer Multiple Patterns of Imitation. Journal for the Study of the New Testament
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mimetic Mediators in Mark: How Graeco-Roman Biographies Use Secondary Characters to Offer Multiple Patterns of Imitation
2024 (English)In: Journal for the Study of the New Testament, ISSN 0142-064X, E-ISSN 1745-5294Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Can the Markan disciples still be viewed as potential role models for the Gospel audience if Mark’s writing is identified as a biography? This long-standing line of narrative interpretation has recently been rejected as anachronistic by Helen K. Bond, who maintains that in Graeco-Roman biographies, secondary characters are only included for what they bring to the portrait of the protagonist. In response, this paper demonstrates that ancient biographies regularly use followers of their main characters to provide multiple mimetic patterns that clarify, broaden, and mitigate what it means to imitate their heroes. In particular, Mark’s cast of secondary characters offers three alternative patterns of behaviour for potential followers of Jesus: apostles, who emulate his itinerant lifestyle of preaching, healing, and exorcism; hosts, who provide apostles with food and shelter in their homes; and supporters, who serve the movement in other ways in accordance with their abilities and social status.

Keywords
bioi, exempla, mimesis, narratology, paradeigmata, vitae
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Biblical Studies, New testament
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ths:diva-2291 (URN)10.1177/0142064X241235319 (DOI)
Available from: 2024-03-21 Created: 2024-03-21 Last updated: 2024-04-04Bibliographically approved
Berglund, C. J. (2024). Reimagining Gospel Stories with Apostolic Protagonists: The Apostle Philip vs. the People of Nikatera. In: : . Paper presented at Reimagining Gospel Literature, Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, 6th of March in Berkeley.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reimagining Gospel Stories with Apostolic Protagonists: The Apostle Philip vs. the People of Nikatera
2024 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Biblical Studies, New testament
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ths:diva-2254 (URN)
Conference
Reimagining Gospel Literature, Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, 6th of March in Berkeley
Available from: 2024-03-09 Created: 2024-03-09 Last updated: 2024-03-19Bibliographically approved
Berglund, C. J. (2024). The Ascetic Subculture of the Acts of Thomas and His Wonderworking Skin. Vigiliae christianae (Print), 78(1), 8-31
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Ascetic Subculture of the Acts of Thomas and His Wonderworking Skin
2024 (English)In: Vigiliae christianae (Print), ISSN 0042-6032, E-ISSN 1570-0720, Vol. 78, no 1, p. 8-31Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In a fourth- or fifth-century narrative known as the Acts of Thomas and his Wonderworking Skin, Jesus sells the apostle Thomas as a slave to the governor of India. When the governor’s wife converts to Christianity, dumps all her earthly riches outside her front door, and turns celibate, the governor has the apostle tortured and his skin flayed off, but Thomas survives, and uses his peeled-off skin to raise the dead. This paper uses Kathryn Tanner’s concept of culture to compare the ideals advocated by this story – servitude to Christ, voluntary poverty, sexual abstinence, readiness to suffer, and zeal for evangelization – to ideals expressed in first-century Christian literature. The subculture expressed by the narrative is found to consist entirely of ideals also expressed in the New Testament, which are updated, recontextualized, and radicalized in order to reach an audience of fourth- or fifth-century Christians.

Keywords
apocryphal acts; celibacy; encratism; mission; poverty; slavery
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Biblical Studies, New testament
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ths:diva-1944 (URN)10.1163/15700720-bja10073 (DOI)
Available from: 2023-07-26 Created: 2023-07-26 Last updated: 2024-01-26Bibliographically approved
Berglund, C. J. (2024). The Innovation of a Master Wonder-worker in the Character of Simon Peter. Approaching Religion, 14(1), 99-114
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Innovation of a Master Wonder-worker in the Character of Simon Peter
2024 (English)In: Approaching Religion, E-ISSN 1799-3121, Vol. 14, no 1, p. 99-114Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Simon Peter undergoes a considerable development from the character’s first introduction in the Gospel of Mark to later narratives, where he gains remarkable miraculous abilities. In Mark, he witnesses Jesus performing numerous miracles without himself being named as the performer of a single one, but in Matthew’s Gospel Peter walks on water (Matt 14:22–33), in Acts he heals two paralytics and raises a woman from the dead (Acts 3:1–10; 9:32–42), and in the fourth-century Latin Acts of Peter, also known as Actus Vercellenses, the character makes a dog speak (Acts Pet. 9.9–15), miraculously restores a shattered marble statue (11.8–23), and revives several people from the dead (27.1–11, 28.63–66). This article examines how Peter’s various miracles contribute to their respective stories, analyses how they respond to the needs of their respective authors, and discusses what they tell us about the use of genre in the narrative tradition about the apostle Peter and his miracles.

Keywords
gospels, apocryphal acts, miracles, genre, paradoxography, biography, early Christian apostle stories, narratology, characterization
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Biblical Studies, New testament
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ths:diva-2253 (URN)10.30664/ar.131490 (DOI)
Available from: 2024-02-28 Created: 2024-02-28 Last updated: 2024-03-21Bibliographically approved
Berglund, C. J. (2024). Thekla från Ikonion: Fornkyrkans bortglömda förebild. Hybrid, 2, 1-25
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Thekla från Ikonion: Fornkyrkans bortglömda förebild
2024 (Swedish)In: Hybrid, ISSN 2004-5425, Vol. 2, p. 1-25Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [sv]

Bakom några av de mest inflytelserika av den tidiga kyrkans fäder och mödrar döljer sig en förebildernas förebild, den idag närmast okända tonårsflickan Thekla från Ikonion (första århundradet e.Kr.), som enligt berättelsen lämnade en bekväm överklasstillvaro för att i Paulus efterföljd sprida evangeliet i Mindre Asien. Den här artikeln analyserar hur Thekla fungerar som förebild för senare generationers kristna, som Gregorios av Nyssa och hans storasyster Makrina (300-talet e.Kr.), och diskuterar hur Theklas berättelse kan fungera förebildligt i en nutida frikyrklig kontext.

Keywords
Thekla, Paulus, Förebild
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Biblical Studies, New testament; Church History
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ths:diva-2214 (URN)10.58412/hyb.v2i1.14815 (DOI)
Available from: 2024-01-31 Created: 2024-01-31 Last updated: 2024-02-28Bibliographically approved
Berglund, C. J. (2024). Three Reasons to Die in Origen’s Exhortation to Martyrdom. Patristica Nordica Annuaria, 38, 59-78
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Three Reasons to Die in Origen’s Exhortation to Martyrdom
2024 (English)In: Patristica Nordica Annuaria, ISSN 2001-2365, Vol. 38, p. 59-78Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In his Exhortation to Martyrdom, Origen writes to his friends Ambrose and Protoctetus, both of which seem to be in immediate danger of being executed for their Christian confession and failure to worship the Greco-Roman gods. Instead of advising them on how to avoid death, he encourages them to be happy with their fate, and even to jump for joy over being allowed to suffer for Christ. This paper identifies three important arguments behind the theologian’s stance that martyrdom is to be embraced rather than avoided: (1) passing from earthly life into death is a net gain for Christians; (2) the alternative, denying Christ and sacrificing to the pagan gods, is an act of evil; (3) martyrdom is the only truly worthy ἀντιμισθία (“payback” or “repayment”) that Christian believers can offer their divine patron.

Keywords
Origen of Alexandria, death, martyrs, souls, apostasy, cup of salvation, patronage, beneficia, officia.
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Biblical Studies, New testament
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ths:diva-2290 (URN)
Available from: 2024-03-19 Created: 2024-03-19 Last updated: 2024-03-21
Berglund, C. J. (2023). Att möta vilddjuren i egna kläder: Kultur, status och värdighet på arenan i Karthago. Svensk teologisk kvartalskrift, 99(3), 215-228
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Att möta vilddjuren i egna kläder: Kultur, status och värdighet på arenan i Karthago
2023 (Swedish)In: Svensk teologisk kvartalskrift, ISSN 0039-6761, Vol. 99, no 3, p. 215-228Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [sv]

Motsättningar inom ett samhälle blir sällan skarpare än när människor avrättas för att ha brutit mot samhällsgemenskapens grundläggande normer. En ideologisk text som tillkommit i en sådan situation kan därför förväntas skildra kontrasten mellan samhället och den egna gruppen i tydligast möjliga ordalag, även om skillnaderna i faktiska värderingar inte alltid är så stora. Ett gott exempel på detta är Perpetuas och Felicitas martyrium, där vi har goda skäl att tro oss möta en ung kvinnas egen berättelse om sina upplevelser, känslor och visioner inför mötet med vilddjuren på den romerska arenan i Karthago. Med hjälp av Kathryn Tanners kulturteori kan vi urskilja de beteendemönster som framstår som normer och ideal i martyriet, och inse att de visioner och den oberördhet inför döden som etablerar Perpetuas auktoritet är väletablerade ideal även inom den grekisk-romerska kulturen. De värderingar som skiljer martyriets ideologi från det omgivande samhället är två: normen att vägra offra till de grekisk-romerska gudarna och föreställningen att alla människor, oavsett samhällelig status, äger en inneboende värdighet.

National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Biblical Studies, New testament
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ths:diva-1982 (URN)
Available from: 2023-10-02 Created: 2023-10-02 Last updated: 2023-10-11Bibliographically approved
Berglund, C. J. (2023). Mimetic Mediators: How the Markan Disciples Facilitate Emulating Jesus. In: : . Paper presented at EABS Annual Meeting, 10-13 July in Syracuse, Italy.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mimetic Mediators: How the Markan Disciples Facilitate Emulating Jesus
2023 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Can the Markan disciples still be viewed as role models for the Gospel audience if secondary characters in Graeco-Roman biographies are only included for what they contribute to the portrait of the protagonist? This paper argues that ancient biographers used followers of their central characters also to provide multiple mimetic patters that clarify, broaden, and mitigate what it means to imitate their heroes. Mark’s cast of secondary characters offers three alternative patterns of behaviour for potential followers of Jesus: apostles, who emulate his itinerant lifestyle of preaching, healing, and exorcism; hosts, who provide apostles with food and shelter in their homes; and supporters, who serve the movement in other ways in accordance with their various abilities.

National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Biblical Studies, New testament
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ths:diva-1940 (URN)
Conference
EABS Annual Meeting, 10-13 July in Syracuse, Italy
Available from: 2023-07-13 Created: 2023-07-13 Last updated: 2024-01-11Bibliographically approved
Berglund, C. J. (2023). Perpetua's Dignity on the Arena of Carthage. In: : . Paper presented at Second International Conference on Early Christian Literature, Late Antique and Byzantine Hagiography: ”Imitationes Christi and Women Martyrs”, Universitat de València 5–7 September.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Perpetua's Dignity on the Arena of Carthage
2023 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Rarely are competing ideologies as sharply contrasted as in early Christian martyr stories, where the heroes are executed for rejecting what in Roman society is regarded as fundamental norms. A prominent example is the second-century Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity, which claims to document a young Christian woman’s own experiences, emotions, and mystical visions while awaiting her death among the beasts on the Carthaginian arena. This study makes use of Kathryn Tanner’s theory of cultures as overlapping sets of behavioral patterns, continuously renegotiated by consensus efforts within a social group, to discern the norms and ideals of the implied author of the Martyrdom, and compares those to well-established patterns within the larger Greco-Roman culture. It concludes that the contrast is considerably less sharp than depicted: while Perpetua’s refusal to sacrifice to the Roman gods and her insistence on human dignity even for prisoners awaiting execution are in conflict with Roman society, her visionary ability and calm bravery in face of death are patterns well in tune with Greco-Roman ideals, and serve to elevate Perpetua’s status in the eyes of her tormentors.

National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Biblical Studies, New testament
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ths:diva-1966 (URN)
Conference
Second International Conference on Early Christian Literature, Late Antique and Byzantine Hagiography: ”Imitationes Christi and Women Martyrs”, Universitat de València 5–7 September
Available from: 2023-09-05 Created: 2023-09-05 Last updated: 2024-01-11Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-2203-7977

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