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  • 1.
    Abrahamsson, Patrick
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    Det som tillhör Gud: Helgelsens betydelse för bibelteologisk ekonomisk reflektion2023Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this essay is to examine the significance of the concept of sanctification in biblical theological reflection on economics through a comparative textual study. The theologians analyzed are Albino Barrera, Wayne Grudem, and Kathryn Tanner.

    In what way are their biblical and systematic theologies of economics related to their understanding of the concept of sanctification? What is the relationship between sanctification and the Bible’s words on economics? In a broader perspective, the essay aims to reflect on how the concept of sanctification can be viewed and enunciated in the light of a capitalist economic system.

    The theologians used in the essay all have their origins in disparate theological discourses, Christian communities, and academic disciplines. Barrera is a biblical scholar, economist and a priest in the Catholic Church. In Biblical Economic Ethics, Barrera writes an economic theology with an emphasis on social justice. Grudem is a Calvinist Baptist biblical scholar and systematic theologian, active in conservative evangelical theological discourse. In Politics according to the Bible, Grudem presents his biblical theology on politics and society. Tanner is a systematic theologian in the Episcopal Church, active in the disciplines of feminist and constructive theology. In Christianity and the New Spirit of Capitalism, she critiques the economic paradigm she describes as the new spirit of capitalism.

    Barrera, Grudem, and Tanner all make different readings of what the Bible has to say about economic life. Grudem actively endorses the economic system of today, while Barrera and Tanner have a more critical voice. Barrera sees sanctification as a gift of divine friendship from God. Grudem views sanctification as what comes after conversion from sin and the blessings granted by God. Tanner means that sanctification takes place through the work of the Spirit and by Jesus’ gift of a life in holiness.

    Through the essay a connection has been established between a person’s view on sanctification and their biblical theology on economics. Barrera’s, Grudem’s, and Tanner’s biblical theology on economics is closely connected to their understanding of the concept of sanctification. There seems to be a connection between the biblical material that is being analyzed, how it is analyzed, and what is being left out. A central finding in the essay is the connection between the understanding of sanctification as either a gift or a reward.

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    Det som tillhör Gud: Helgelsens betydelse för bibelteologisk ekonomisk reflektion
  • 2.
    Ahlmark, Anton
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    Att predika gemenskap i en individualistisk kultur: Tre fallstudier om ecklesiologin som förkunnas för unga på Hönökonferensen2019Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This study is a hermeneutical analysis with the aim to theoretically and theologically understand what is preached about the church to youth today and how youth is motivated to join the church. The study contains three case studies from Hönökonferensen and through Taylor, Camnerin and the Theological Framework of the Uniting Church in Sweden a few understandings of the church emerge: the church is a warm, welcoming and transforming community, it can prevent individualism, heal, and make believers, but it can also be filled with demands. The study discusses authenticity as an important concept along with different understandings about community.

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  • 3.
    Almén, Lovisa
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    Mentorskap: - I vilken mening kan mentorskap förebygga ohälsa bland pastorer i Equmeniakyrkan?2018Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [sv]

    Jag har genom denna studie undersökt mentorskapets påverkan för pastorer i Equmeniakyrkan. Frågeställningarna arbetet utgår från handlar om ifall mentorskap kan bidra till en mer hälsosam arbetssituation för pastorer. Som metod har jag utgått från en kortare enkät samt strukturerade intervjuer av fem pastorer och två mentorer. Jag använder mig av två teorier, Töres Theorell och Robert Karaseks krav-, kontroll- och stödmodell samt Kathy E. Krams teori om karriärsrelaterat mentorskap och psykosocialt mentorskap. Uppsatsens slutsats lyder att forskning samt intervjuerna pekar på att mentorskap främjar pastorers hälsa.

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    Mentorskap - I vilken mening kan mentorskap förebygga ohälsa bland pastorer i Equmeniakyrkan?
  • 4.
    Andelius Sjöström, Karin
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    Gör oss levande igen: En undersökning om hur teologi kan göras genom att dansa2023Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    In this essay I explore how dance can be interpreted as a theological practice. I stage an encounter between the lived experience of the dancer’s body and word-based tradition of theological discourse. This encounter between the word and the image of dance reveals the limitations of theological discourse to account adequately for the full range of human and creaturely experience that have its sources in colonialism and imperialism. This paper argues that introducing the image of dance and the lived experience of the dancer into theological discourse then will serve to reduce the effects of these dangerous prejudices.

    This essay will use two of Simone Weil's most well-known concepts, attention and presence. They will serve as the interpretive bridge for a dialogue between dance and theology. I will focus on the experience of dancing and explain how this subjective, embodied practice of movement can enhance theology.

    At a time of great instability and uncertainty globally with ecological crises, racial injustice, and economic disparity on one hand and the rise of anxiety, depression, loneliness, and despair on the other hand, it is important that we find new ways to cultivate inner peace and encourage responsible action. And important way to do this is to welcome the creative opportunities of instability and uncertainty, of the unknown and the unexplored. 

    Dance and theology—in collaboration and conversation—can offer useful resources for cultivating these practices that allow us to meet these challenges with faith, hope, and love.

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    Gör oss levande igen
  • 5.
    Annehed, Christoph
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    Hur ord manar till handling: Ett organisationskulturellt perspektiv på Matteus grupp, liknelsetal och liknelser om himmelriket2018Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this Master’s thesis is to understand how theories of organizational culture canenrich our understanding of Matthew’s group, his parable speech and the parables of thekingdom of heaven. I argue that Matthew edited and constructed the parable speech to fit hisintentions so that he could call for righteous behavior from the members of his group. I thenargue that the parable speech can be viewed as a regulatory document that addresses externalproblems of adaption and internal problems of integration that Matthew’s group had to face.I also argue that the parables of the kingdom of heaven are related to externaland internal problems and that the parables can be understood as artifacts that express thepreferred behavior applied by the leaders of Matthew’s group.My conclusion is that the theories of organizational culture give us a betterunderstanding of the complex situation of Matthew’s group and that the parable speech isrelated to these issues and addresses the group. It can therefore be considered a regulatorydocument. The parables of the kingdom of heaven can be understood as stories that call forrighteous behavior and persuade the Jewish people to join Matthew’s group through followingthe law according to view held by Matthew’s group.

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  • 6.
    Arrebäck, Miriam
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    ”... de dödas uppståndelse och ett evigt liv”: Vad handlar det kristna hoppet om?2023Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Many Christians believe in a future with eternal life, some say it will be “in heaven”. What kind of existence do they imagine? Do they think that the risen Christian congregation will have physical bodies like we have here in our lives on Earth today? Or will it be a spiritualexistence?

    Bible scholar and former Anglican bishop NT Wright asserts that Christianity’s most distinctive idea is bodily resurrection and he also defense a literal resurrection of Jesus.1 He claims that most Christians don’t understand the meaning of the “Christian hope” – that of a bodily resurrection and a new creation.

    What is the theological statement on resurrection from bishops in the Swedish Lutheran Church? Which message about the Christian hope do they advise, especially when it comes to funerals? What kind of eschatological tracks are to be found in the main manual Kyrkohandbok för Svenska kyrkan? Is the afterlife to be seen as a spiritual existence or one with physical bodies? And does it really matter?

    The main purpose in this essay is to find out what kind of eschatological guidance there is for priests officiating funerals. With starting point in the theology of NT Wright, in comparison with the advice from Swedish bishops, the essay is studying which words and formulation could be used to talk truthfully about the Christian hope.

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  • 7.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi.
    Apocryphal Acts among Greek Biographies and Paradoxographies: A Question of Genre2022Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles are often viewed as Christian counterparts to the ancient novels – a genre that certainly reflects their fictional character, but neither their fascination with the foreign, strange, and miraculous, nor their focus on named historical figures such as the apostles. These interests are rather the defining features of the ancient genres of paradoxography and biography, where the latter includes mostly fictional works on historical or even mythological figures such as Heracles. This paper uses cognitive genre theory to analyze how the Apocryphal Acts participate in both of these two ancient genres.

  • 8.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi.
    Att möta vilddjuren i egna kläder: Mänsklig värdighet på arenan i Karthago2022Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi.
    Between Biography and Paradoxography: Unveiling the Genre of the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles2022Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles are often viewed as Christian counterparts to the ancient novels – a genre that certainly reflects their fictional character, but neither their fascination with the foreign, strange, and miraculous, nor their focus on named historical figures such as the apostles. These interests are rather the defining features of the ancient genres of paradoxography and biography, where the latter includes mostly fictional works on historical or even mythological figures such as Heracles. This paper uses cognitive genre theory to analyze how the Apocryphal Acts participate in both of these two ancient genres.

  • 10.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    Between Biography and Paradoxography: Unveiling the Genre of the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles2021Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The extra-canonical Acts of the apostles John, Paul, Peter, Andrew, and Thomas have traditionally been understood as heretical offshoots from the canonical Acts of the Apostles, complementing the canonical material in order to promulgate an alternative version of early Christianity. This view not only overemphasizes the dogmatic difference between their authors and other early Christians, but also obstructs the crucial discussion about their genre.

    This paper argues that in the context of Greco-Roman literature, the apocryphal acts exhibit considerable resemblances to two established ancient genres: biography and paradoxography. Greco-Roman biography included not only the historiographically oriented bioi of well-known rulers and politicians, but also – at least at an earlier stage of its development – fictional narratives about historical figures, such as Xenophon’s Anabasis and Cyropaedia. Ancient paradoxography is a surprisingly little known genre that flourished from early Hellenistic times well into the Byzantine era. It was aimed at collecting descriptions of wonders (θαῦματα), strange things (ἴδια), and phenomena that goes against our expectations (παράδοξα) – not from observations of nature but from previous literary works. With their claims to chronicle the famous apostles’ wondrous deeds throughout the known world, the apocryphal acts can be said to participate in both of these genres.

  • 11.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi.
    Biographical Mimesis in the Gospel of Mark2022Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 12.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    Den okända Pauluslärjungen Tekla – en förebild (inte bara) för kvinnor2021Conference paper (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 13.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    Den utblottade är den mäktige2017In: Sändaren, ISSN 1103-6206, no 4Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 14.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    Discipleship Ideals from Mark to the Acts of Thomas and His Wonderworking Skin2021Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Viewed as part of the reception history of the New Testament, the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles document a fascinating history of the development of the portrayal of the apostles, promoting various versions and accentuations of early Christian theology. This paper studies one aspect of this development, namely how the portrayal of an ideal Christian disciple is transformed from the Gospel of Mark to the Acts of Thomas and his Wonderworking Skin – a fourth- or fifth-century narrative in which Jesus sells Thomas as a slave in India. After displeasing his new master, Thomas is tortured and skinned alive, but manages to use his peeled-off skin to work miracles, and leads a large number of people to accept Christ. The discipleship ideals discernible from this story will be compared to similar ideals expressed in the Gospel of Mark, and the development between the two discussed.

  • 15.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    Discipleship Ideals in the Acts of Philip2019Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 16.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    Discipleship Ideals in the Acts of Philip2021In: The Apostles Peter, Paul, John, Thomas and Philip with their Companions in Late Antiquity / [ed] Tobias Nicklas, Janet Spittler, and Jan N. Bremmer, Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 2021, p. 314-332Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    How we categorize early Christian literature has an immense impact on what we expect to find in these ancient writings, and how we are prepared to interpret them. Grouped with apocryphal gospels and apocalypses, the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles have been viewed primarily as heretical writings, representing alternative Christianities that were effectually silenced by the processes of canonization. While they certainly contain evidence of such silenced theologies, the Acts themselves are more likely to be complementary writings, aiming to edify, educate and entertain early Christian readers without intention to replace or correct any canonical material. This chapter offers another angle on two early Christian stories, Acts of Philip 1 and Acts of Philip 8–Martyrdom of Philip. Regarded as parts of the reception history of the Synoptic Gospels, these stories will be found to interact with theological ideas expressed in the Gospels without necessarily setting out to either defend or correct them. More specifically, I study how ideals for early Christian discipleship – traits expected from an ideal Christian disciple – are transformed from the earlier Gospels to the later narratives about the apostle Philip. 

  • 17.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    Discipleship Ideals in the Apocryphal Acts: A Radical Departure from the Gospels?2019Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 18.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi.
    Elijah as an Archetype for the Apostles according to the Apocryphal Acts2022Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In Christian fiction from late antiquity, Christ’s apostles are given bread by angels, provide an inexhaustible food source, part the waters, and raise a widow’s son from the dead right before challenging their opponent to a duel of miracles. Even though Elijah’s name is never mentioned, the insightful reader may recognize the allusions to 1–2 Kings, and the miracles performed by the old Tishbite. Elijah was a well-known figure in early Christian literature – enough so that the authors of the Gospel of Mark, the Epistle of James, and the Life of Antony could trust their readers to recognize veiled allusions to the prophet even without the aid of his name. This paper argues that the Elijah cycle also functions as a subtext in the early Christian stories of Andrew and the cannibals (Acts Andr. Mth.) and Peter’s confrontation with the magician Simon (Acts Pet.), suggesting to the insightful reader that these two apostles are as powerful wonderworkers as the prophet Elijah.

  • 19.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    Ett samspelt lag spelar bäst2004In: Sändaren, ISSN 1103-6206, no 18, p. 29-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 20.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi .
    Flesh-Eaters, Cave-Dwellers, and Eagles: Paradoxography in Acts Phil. 32022Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    While it is well known that the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles have similarities to ancient novels, it is less well understood how these imaginative stories make use of strange and unusual phenomena from around the world to characterize their heroes, provide intriguing predicaments, and add flair to their narratives. This paper analyzes the use of such paradoxographical material in the third Act of Philip (in the manuscript Codex Xenophōntos 32) where the apostle Thomas is said to have faced the violent flesh-eaters (τοὺς παλαμναίους τοὺς σαρκοφάγους), Matthew is said to have confronted the unmerciful cave-dwellers (τοὺς τρωγ­λο­δύτας καὶ ἀνηλεεῖς), and Philip experiences a powerful theophany in the form of  a talking eagle. The origins of such materials in ancient natural history and paradoxography is discussed, and the effects to which they are used in this particular story analyzed

  • 21.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Uppsala universitet, Nya testamentets exegetik.
    Heracleon and the Seven Categories of Exegetical Opponents in Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of John2019In: Zeitschrift für antikes Christentum, ISSN 0949-9571, E-ISSN 1612-961X, Vol. 23, no 2, p. 228-251Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    While the adversaries of Origen of Alexandria traditionally have been described in general terms as either literalists or Gnostics, Peter Martens has recently argued convincingly that Origen repeatedly refers to more specific categories of literalist opponents, whom he criticizes for particular literal interpretations. This paper argues that a similar specificity applies to his supposedly Gnostic opponents. In his Commentary on the Gospel of John, Origen regularly uses designations such as "the heterodox" or "those who bring in the natures" to identify specific categories of exegetical opponents, which he defines by their particular interpretative practices or their adherence to particular teachings. When he responds to various scriptural interpretations, Origen takes care to specify which of at least seven identifiable categories of exegetical opponents he currently opposes. Throughout the commentary, Origen maintains the distinctions between these categories and Heracleon, the individual interpreter he names most frequently, and he never uses Heracleon's words as an example of an interpretation by any of the identifiable categories.

  • 22.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    How ’Valentinian’ Was Heracleon’s Reading of the Healing of the Son of a Royal Official?2019In: Healing and Exorcism in Second Temple Judaism and Early Christianity / [ed] Mikael Tellbe and Tommy Wasserman, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2019, p. 219-239Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The interpretation of a Johannine healing story by the second-century Christian teacher Heracleon has in previous scholarship been presumed to be determined by “Valentinian” sectarian doctrines; Heracleon has been said to identify the royal official in the story with the Maker (δημιουργός), an inferior divinity who has created the material world, and his son as one of three categories of human beings whose eternal fate are determined by their spiritual, animated, or material inherent nature. This paper attempts a novel reading of Heracleon’s interpretation, presuming neither that Heracleon subscribes to the ideas associated to “Valentinian” teachers by heresiological authors, nor that Origen of Alexandria always refers to Heracleon’s comments using verbatim quotations. The paper argues that the identification of the royal official with the Maker is inferred by Origen based on heresiological presumptions, and that Heracleon used Synoptic and Pauline parallels to read the story as a metaphor of humanity’s perilous state as afflicted with the disease of sin, and in dire need of salvation.

  • 23.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    Liturgies as Plot Devices in Apocryphal Acts2022In: Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity / [ed] Carl Johan Berglund & Barbara Crostini & James A. Kelhoffer, Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2022, p. 201-224Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper takes a novel approach to the liturgical material in the Apocryphal Acts of Andrew, John, Paul, Peter, and Thomas, by considering how the liturgical practices of anointing, baptism, Eucharist, and singing of psalms contribute to the plots of the narratives in which they are found. By this analysis, various combinations of anointing, baptism, and Eucharist are found to be used to confirm a character’s conversion to a Christian faith, the Eucharist is used to strengthen the sense of community within a group of Christians, and both the Eucharist and singing of psalms are used to give a character encouragement in a dangerous situation. Thereby, the narratives depict conversion, community, and courage as reasons to participate in Christian liturgical practices.

  • 24.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    Liturgies as Plot Devices in Apocryphal Acts2021Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper takes a novel approach to the liturgical material in the Apocryphal Acts of Andrew, John, Paul, Peter, and Thomas, by considering how the liturgical practices of anointing, baptism, Eucharist, and singing of psalms contribute to the plots of the narratives in which they are found. By this analysis, various combinations of anointing, baptism, and Eucharist are found to be used to confirm a character’s conversion to a Christian faith, the Eucharist is used to strengthen the sense of community within a group of Christians, and both the Eucharist and singing of psalms are used to give a character encouragement in a dangerous situation. Thereby, the narratives depict conversion, community, and courage as reasons to participate in Christian liturgical practices. 

  • 25.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi.
    Mimetic Mediators: How the Markan Disciples Facilitate Emulating Jesus2023Conference paper (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.

  • 26.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    Miracles, Determination, and Loyalty: The Concept of Conversion in the Acts of John2021In: Celebrating Arthur Darby Nock: Choice, Change, and Conversion / [ed] Robert Matthew Calhoun, James A. Kelhoffer & Clare K. Rothschild, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2021, p. 213-234Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Since the 1933 publication of Arthur D. Nock’s Conversion, numerous scholars have proposed a number of ameliorations to Nock’s model of ancient conversion, the better to accommodate certain aspects of the ancient world. Such models need to be calibrated against how conversions are depicted in ancient narratives, in order to help us understand not only actual historical transitions from one religious or philosophical tradition to another, but also how ancient authors thought about such transitions. To that means, this paper uses three theoretical insights – present in the scholarships of Nock, Zeba A. Crook, and Ramsay MacMullen – to demonstrate that the implied author of the conversion narratives in the apocryphal Acts of John (19–57; 63–86) conceptualizes conversion to early Christianity as a deliberate decision, stimulated by miracles or miracle stories, and expressed in terms of loyalty to a divine patron.

  • 27.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    Människovärdet avskaffar man inte hur som helst2018In: Svenska Dagbladet, ISSN 1101-2412, no 9/9, p. 18-19Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 28.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi.
    Nationssymbolerna bär vittne om vilka vi varit2022In: Svenska Dagbladet, ISSN 1101-2412, no 6 juni, p. 20-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Den svenska flaggan och skölden med tre kronor vittnar om de bruk som makten tidigare haft för kristendomen som nationell ideologi. Här löper två traditioner parallellt, varav en är värd att värna om medan den andra har en destruktiv kärna.

  • 29.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    Origen’s References to Heracleon: A Quotation-Analytical Study of the Earliest Known Commentary on the Gospel of John2020Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this monograph, Carl Johan Berglund reassesses Origen's references to the second-century philologist Heracleon, without presuming that Heracleon's exegesis is determined by views described in heresiological sources or that every reference is equivalent to a verbatim quotation. The author uses variations in Origen's attribution formulas to categorize almost two hundred references as either verbatim quotations, summaries, explanatory paraphrases, or mere assertions. Heracleon's views are assessed by considering the over fifty quotations and seventy summaries so identified in a context of literature to which Heracleon refers – John, a gospel similar to Matthew's, a collection of Pauline epistles, and the Preaching of Peter. The author concludes that Origen is likely to have inferred views he knew from his exegetical opponents (the heterodox and "those who bring in the natures") that were never expressed by Heracleon.

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  • 30.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi University, Finland.
    Paul’s Rhetorical Efforts to Establish Good Will in First Thessalonians2022In: Journal for the Study of the New Testament, ISSN 0142-064X, E-ISSN 1745-5294, Vol. 44, no 4, p. 539-560Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ancient oratory ordinarily begins with an effort of captatio benevolentiae – the rhetorical strategy of praising and lauding the audience to make them well-disposed toward the speaker, attentive and receptive to your message – especially before controversial claims or challenging demands. In First Thessalonians, such efforts are manifest not only in the introduction in ch. 1, but throughout the narration in chs. 2–3, which implies that the senders are preparing for a particularly sensitive topic. The first exhortation to appear after these efforts cease, the exhortation to sexual holiness in 1 Thess. 4.3-8, must therefore represent the primary purpose of the letter. The euphemistic language used in this request makes it difficult to understand what kind of πορνεία (‘sexual immorality’) Paul, Silvanus and Timothy are arguing against, but the most likely interpretation is that they want the Thessalonian Christians to stop using their slaves and former slaves for sexual purposes.

  • 31.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi.
    Peter’s Thaumaturgic Development from Observer to Performer2023Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although it is likely that the character of Simon Peter we encounter in the Gospel of Mark is based on the memory of a historical person, the character undergoes considerable innovation in later narratives such as the Gospel of Matthew, the canonical Acts of the Apostles, and the apocryphal Acts of Peter. While the Markan Peter witnesses Jesus performing a multitude of miracles without being named as the performer of a single one, later stories has him walking on water (Matt 14:22–33), healing paralytics (Acts 3:1–10, 9:32–35), making a dog speak (Acts Paul 9.9–15), miraculously repairing a shattered marble statue (Acts Pet. 11.8–23), and even raising several people from the dead (Acts 9:36–42; Acts Pet. 27.1–11, 28.63–66). This paper analyses how the miracles ascribed to Peter contribute to the narrative plot in view, develop the characterization of Peter, and respond to the putative needs of the author.

  • 32.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi.
    Recension av Ezra JaeKyung Cho, The Rhetorical Approach to 1 Thessalonians: In Light of Ancient Funeral Oration (Eugene: Pickwick, 2020)2022In: Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok, ISSN 1100-2298, Vol. 87, p. 352-356Article, book review (Refereed)
  • 33.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi.
    Recension av Helen K. Bond, The First Biography of Jesus: Genre and Meaning in Mark’s Gospel (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2020)2022In: Patristica Nordica Annuaria, ISSN 2001-2365, Vol. 37, p. 99-102Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 34.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi.
    Recension av Jeffrey M. Tripp, Direct Internal Quotation in the Gospel of John, WUNT II 493 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2019)2022In: Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok, ISSN 1100-2298, Vol. 87, p. 416-419Article, book review (Refereed)
  • 35.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    Recension av Review of David Satran, In the Image of Origen: Eros, Virtue, and Constraint in the Early Christian Academy, Transformation of the Classical Heritage 58 (Oakland: University of California Press, 2018)2021In: Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok, ISSN 1100-2298, p. 204-207Article, book review (Other academic)
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  • 36.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    References to Heracleon in Clement of Alexandria2021In: Early Christianity (EC), ISSN 1868-7032, Vol. 12, no 2, p. 228-247Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The earliest known commentary on the Gospel of John, the hypomnēmata by the allegedly Valentinian teacher Heracleon, is known almost exclusively from references made by Clement of Alexandria (ca. 150–215 CE) and Origen (ca. 185–254 CE). In a recent monograph, I question the common presumption that Origen – who has the vast majority if these references – generally quoted Heracleon verbatim, and develop a quotation-analytical methodology by which his references can be categorized as verbatim quotations, summaries, explanatory paraphrases, or mere assertions. This article adapts this methodology to Clement’s quotation practices, and applies it to the two passages where he refers to Heracleon. The analysis identifies one verbatim quotation, one summary, two explanatory paraphrases, and one mere assertion, and concludes that Heracleon makes no clear use of the Gospel of Luke.

  • 37.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi.
    Review of Alexander Kocar, Heavenly Stories: Tiered Salvation in the New Testament and Ancient Christianity (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021)2023In: Journal of early Christian studies (Print), ISSN 1067-6341, E-ISSN 1086-3184, no 1, p. 109-110Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 38.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    Review of Matthew D. C. Larsen, Gospels Before the Book (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018)2020In: Svensk Exegetisk Årsskrift (SEÅ), ISSN 1100-2298, Vol. 85, no 1, p. 259-262Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 39.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi.
    Review of Nathan L. Shedd, A Dangerous Parting: The Beheading of John the Baptist in Early Christian Memory (Baylor, 2021)2023In: The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, ISSN 0022-0469, E-ISSN 1469-7637, Vol. 74, no 2, p. 401-402Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 40.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi.
    The Ascetic Subculture of the Acts of Thomas and His Wonderworking Skin2022Conference paper (Refereed)
    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.

  • 41.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi.
    The Ascetic Subculture of the Acts of Thomas and His Wonderworking Skin2024In: Vigiliae christianae (Print), ISSN 0042-6032, E-ISSN 1570-0720, Vol. 78, no 1, p. 8-31Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 42.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi.
    The Deaths of the Apostles in the Apocryphal Acts2022Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although far less prominent than the death of Jesus, the passing away of his disciples can arguably be described as some of the most significant events in first-century Christianity, and the way in which they were depicted in ancient literature can tell us how early Christian authors imagined how a Christian should live and die. This paper studies how the apostles’ deaths are depicted in the collections of early Christian stories known as the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles – stories whose predominantly fictional nature give their authors freedom to depict their protagonist’s de- mise as an ideal Christian death. In comparison to how an ideal death is conceived in Greco-Roman culture in general, and in philosophical biographies in particular, these apocryphal death scenes are found to manifest many of the same ideals – calm, control, and consistency – while adding Christian values such as belief in immediate resurrection and the importance of teaching and evangelizing to your last breath.

  • 43.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    The Exegetical Methodology of Heracleon’s hypomnēmata2021In: Early Christian Commentators of the New Testament: Essays on Their Aims, Methods and Strategies / [ed] Joseph Verheyden & Tobias Nicklas, Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 2021, p. 1-29Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    For more than a century, there has been a clear scholarly consensus that the guiding principles of the earliest known New Testament commentary, Heracleon’s hypomnēmata on the Gospel of John, are a number of "Gnostic" or "Valentinian"  dogmatic points that Heracleon attempts to read into the Fourth Gospel. After Ansgar Wucherpfennig’s well-received argument that Heracleon is one of the first Christians to apply Greco-Roman literary criticism to a biblical writing , and my own successful attempt at distinguishing more trustworthy references, such as verbatim quotations and non-interpretive summaries, from explanatory paraphrases and mere assertions in Origen’s presentation of Heracleon , it is time to make a new overall assessment of Heracleon’s exegetical methodology.

    This paper argues that Heracleon performs his exegesis of the Johannine gospel in three distinct stages: First, he paraphrases the gospel passage to accentuate the features of the text he finds most relevant to discuss. Then, he analyzes the text in detail, using various methods of Greco-Roman literary criticism including word studies (γλωσσηματικόν), analysis of what is reported in the text (ἱστορικόν), and attention to narrative characters (πρόσωπα). Lastly, he applies the text to a theological theme of potential interest to his audience. Two such themes are apparent form the available material: the history of God’s salvific actions toward humanity, and the process of leading people toward conversion to a Christian faith.

  • 44.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    The Genre(s) of the Gospels: Expectations from the Second Century2020In: Modern and Ancient Literary Criticism of the Gospels: Continuing the Debate on Gospel Genre(s) / [ed] Robert Matthew Calhoun, David P. Moessner, and Tobias Nicklas, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2020, p. 113-144Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Analysis of how the New Testament Gospels interact with ancient genres should not be made solely on the basis of comparisons with other pieces of ancient literature, but also in view of their early reception. The way in which ancient authors reflected on and used materials found in the Gospels may inform us of how they viewed the genre participation of these four early Christian narra- tives. This paper considers the reception of Gospel material in three different second-century writings: §§18–86 of the apocryphal Acts of John, Exhortation to the Greeks by Clement of Alexandria, and Heracleon’s hypomnēmata on the Gospel of John. It argues that the author of the Acts of John expects the Gospels to contain discipleship patterns to be emulated by Christians, that Clement regards them as sources of divine truth, and that Heracleon expects them to be depictions of past events that not only contain Christian teachings of continuous relevance for the Christian movement, but also are symbolically significant in themselves. The variance of these apparent expectations from early readers can be accommodated by viewing the Gospels as participating in multiple genres, including ancient historiography, Christian proclamation, Judeo-Christian prophetic writings, and ancient biography.

  • 45.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi.
    The Innovation of a Master Wonderworker in the Character of Simon Peter2023Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 46.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi.
    The Philosopher’s Death in Origen’s Exhortation to Martyrdom2022Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Death by martyrdom constitutes not only the inclusio of Origen’s public life from the martyrdom of his father to his own post-imprisonment death in 254 CE, but also the theme of one of his shorter writings, Exhortation to Martyrdom, where he offers advice to his friends Ambrose and Protoctetus, both of which appear to be awaiting their martyrdom. This paper compares the ideal death envisioned by Origen to death ideals in Greco-Roman culture.

  • 47.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi.
    The Selection of Paradoxographical Material in Apocryphal Acts2022Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 48.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi .
    The Sinful Nation: Isa 1:2–17 in Anti-Jewish Early Christian Interpretation2023Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 49.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    The Sychar Story as a Standard Conversion Narrative in Heracleon’s Hypomnēmata2022In: Religious and Philosophical Conversion in the Ancient Mediterranean Traditions / [ed] Athanasios Despotis & Hermut Löhr, Leiden: Brill , 2022, p. 427-449Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The second-century literary critic Heracleon has long been thought to interpret the story of Jesus’s encounter with a Samaritan woman at the well of Sychar (John 4:1–42) as a paradigmatic conversion narrative for a particular group of people: those born with a spiritual nature, who therefore are predestined to be saved, and only need to be apprised of this fact. This common view is problematic, since such a deterministic soteriology is unattested in extant quotations from Heracleon’s hypomnēmata, and only appears when Origen of Alexandria (ca. 185–254 CE) brings it in to refute Heracleon’s views. This paper compares Heracleon’s comments, as they can be constructed from Origen’s references, to four modern conceptualizations of ancient religious and philosophical conversion: a recognition of one’s superior nature (Pagels 1973), a deliberate change of perspectives (Nock 1933; MacMullen 1984), a transition of rhetorically expressed loyalty (Crook 2004), and a prolonged social process (Rambo 1993; Brandt 2019; Brandt 2020). It concludes that Heracleon views Christian conversion as a deliberate rejection of Gentile and Jewish worship traditions in favor of a Christian one, preceded by a shorter or longer process of interaction with Christian believers, who act as witnesses and spiritual guides to the potential converts. Thereby, Heracleon’s concept of conversion comprises essential points from several modern conceptualizations of conversion.

  • 50.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Religious Studies and Theology.
    Thecla, the Ideal Christian: Discipleship Ideals from the Second Century to the Fourth2021Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the beginning of his hagiography of his beloved sister Macrina (the Younger, ca. 330–379), Gregory of Nyssa (ca. 330–395) puts great emphasis on the parallel between Macrina and the second-century literary figure of Thecla, known from the second-century Acts of Paul and Thecla. By doing so, he suggests that the personal qualities of Macrina that he intents to laud in his hagiography are paralleled by Thecla – but what are those? Divided by a gap of two centuries, during which time the Christian movement has developed from a fringe faction into an imperially supported religion, the historical circumstances of the literary figures of Thecla and Macrina are hardly comparable, and the traits demanded by Christians in such differing circumstances could be vastly different. This paper aims to discern the discipleship ideals – personal qualities of an ideal Christian – are presented throughout the narrative of both the Life of Macrina and the Acts of Paul and Thekla, and to discuss whether Gregory’s discipleship ideals are continuous with that of the previous author, or if Gregory distorts the image of Thecla to promote a different set of ideals. 

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