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  • 51.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    Åbo Akademi.
    Jesus’s Puzzling Retort to the Royal Official (John 4:48) in Isodiegetic Perspective2024In: Novum Testamentum, ISSN 0048-1009, E-ISSN 1568-5365, Vol. 66, no 2, p. 193-209Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 52.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    Uppsala universitet, Nya testamentets exegetik.
    Literary Criticism in Early Christianity: How Heracleon and Valentinus Use One Passage to Interpret Another2019In: Journal of early Christian studies (Print), ISSN 1067-6341, E-ISSN 1086-3184, Vol. 27, no 1, p. 27-53Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Following the lead of ancient heresiologists, modern scholars have all too often viewed Valentinus and Heracleon as representatives of a unified sectarian group whose interpretations of early Christian literature were determined by a shared set of "heretical" views. Arguing that the exegetical methodology of early Christians may be better understood if viewed within the larger context of Greco-Roman literary criticism, this article studies how Valentinus and Heracleon use one passage of early Christian literature to illuminate another, and compares this practice to the principle of Aristarchus, which states that Homer should be clarified from Homer.

  • 53.
    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.

  • 54.
    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. 

  • 55.
    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.

  • 56.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    Åbo Akademi.
    Mimetic Mediators in Mark: How Graeco-Roman Biographies Use Secondary Characters to Offer Multiple Patterns of Imitation2024In: Journal for the Study of the New Testament, ISSN 0142-064X, E-ISSN 1745-5294Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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  • 57.
    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.

  • 58.
    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.))
  • 59.
    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.

  • 60.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    Uppsala universitet, Nya testamentets exegetik.
    Origenes exegetiska metodik i Om bönen2015In: Ad fontes: Festskrift till Olof Andrén på 100-årsdagen / [ed] Carl Johan Berglund & Daniel Gustafsson, Skellefteå: Artos & Norma , 2015Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Trots att Origenes i första hand är känd för sitt allegoriska sätt att lägga ut bibeltexter – vilket var oerhört betydelsefullt för utvecklingen av medeltidens fyrfaldiga bibelutläggning – har senare tiders forskning visat att han också använde många andra litteraturanalytiska verktyg i sin exegetik. Framför allt är det Bernhard Neuschäfer och Peter W. Martens som klarlagt att Origenes hämtat ett ertal metoder från sin samtids grekiska lologi, och tillämpat dessa på bibeltexten. I det följande vill jag visa hur Origenes i Om bönen använder de metoder som Neuschäfer och Martens har beskrivit.

  • 61.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    Uppsala universitet, Nya testamentets exegetik.
    Origen’s References to Heracleon: A Quotation-Analytical Study of the Earliest Known Commentary on the Gospel of John2019Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This study of Origen’s references to the second-century author Heracleon addresses two problems in previous research: Scholars have regularly presumed that every statement Origen attributes to Heracleon is equivalent to a verbatim quotation, and that Heracleon’s beliefs conform to those described in heresiological sources. The study develops a method of quotation analysis that uses variations in Origen’s attribution formulas to categorize the almost two hundred references as “verbatim quotations,” “summaries,” “explanatory paraphrases,” or “mere assertions.” The more trustworthy references are used to reconstruct Heracleon’s interpretations within a context given by the literature to which he refers himself, including the Gospel of John, a Synoptic gospel tradition similar to the Gospel of Matthew, a collection of Pauline epistles, and the Preaching of Peter. The views exhibited in Heracleon’s comments are compared to those used by Origen to categorize his exegetical opponents. The study identifies over fifty quotations from Heracleon and seventy summaries of his interpretations, and concludes that the views of the heterodox and “those who bring in the natures” are more likely to be inferred by Origen than expressed by Heracleon.

  • 62.
    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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  • 63.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    Uppsala universitet, Nya testamentets exegetik.
    Origen’s Vacillating Stances Toward his "Valentinian" Colleague Heracleon2017In: Vigiliae christianae (Print), ISSN 0042-6032, E-ISSN 1570-0720, Vol. 71, no 5, p. 541-569Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    When Origen of Alexandria presents numerous extensive quotations from Heracleon, whom he explicitly presents as a follower of Valentinus, one might expect a uniformly adversarial attitude toward this “Valentinian” sectarian. Instead, Origen’s stances are found to vacillate significantly from general renunciation and emphatic criticism, via considered disagreement and hypothetical approval, all the way to agreement and praise. The fascinating interplay between the stance taken and the dogmatic and philological matters in view implies that while dogmatic issues at stake are decisive for whether Origen agrees or disagrees with Heracleon, the full range of variance in Origen’s stances is determined by Heracleon’s philological methodology and presentation of evidence. Origen’s responses to Heracleon reveal that he viewed this predecessor not simply as a heterodox teacher, but also as a colleague in interpreting the New Testament using methods from Greco-Roman literary criticism. 

  • 64.
    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.

  • 65.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    Åbo Akademi.
    Perpetua's Dignity on the Arena of Carthage2023Conference paper (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.

  • 66.
    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.

  • 67.
    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)
  • 68.
    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)
  • 69.
    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)
  • 70.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    Uppsala universitet, Nya testamentets exegetik.
    Recension av Patricia Walthers, The Assumed Authorial Unity of Luke and Acts: A Reassessment of the Evidence. SNTSMS 145. (Cambridge: Univ. 2010)2013In: Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok, ISSN 1100-2298, Vol. 78, p. 272-274Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 71.
    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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  • 72.
    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, 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.

  • 73.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    Åbo Akademi.
    Reimagining Gospel Stories with Apostolic Protagonists: The Apostle Philip vs. the People of Nikatera2024Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 74.
    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)
  • 75.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    Uppsala universitet, Nya testamentets exegetik.
    Review of John R. L. Moxon, Peter’s Halakhic Nightmare: The “Animal” Vision of Acts 10:9–16 in Jewish and Graeco-Roman Perspective. WUNT II/432. (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2017)2018In: Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok, ISSN 1100-2298, Vol. 83, p. 278-281Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 76.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    Uppsala universitet, Nya testamentets exegetik.
    Review of Ken Parry (ed.), The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Patristics. Wiley Blackwell Companions to Religion Series. (Chichester: Wiley 2015)2016In: Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok, ISSN 1100-2298, Vol. 81, p. 264-265Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 77.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    Uppsala universitet, Nya testamentets exegetik.
    Review of Lorne R. Zelyck, John among the Other Gospels: The Reception of the Fourth Gospel in the Extra-Canonical Gospels. WUNT II 347. (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2013)2015In: Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok, ISSN 1100-2298, Vol. 80, p. 269-271Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 78.
    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, Vol. 85, p. 259-262Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 79.
    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)
  • 80.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    Uppsala universitet, Nya testamentets exegetik.
    Review of Peter W. Martens, Origen and Scripture: The Contours of the Exegetical Life. Oxford Early Christian Studies. (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2012)2015In: Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok, ISSN 1100-2298, Vol. 80, p. 245-247Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 81.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    Uppsala universitet, Nya testamentets exegetik.
    Review of vanThanh Nguyen, Peter and Cornelius: A Story of Conversion and Mission. ASM Monograph Series 15. (Eugene: Pickwick 2012)2014In: Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok, ISSN 1100-2298, Vol. 79, p. 190-191Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 82.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    Uppsala universitet.
    Rhetorical Capital and the Primary Purpose of First Thessalonians2019Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 83. Berglund, Carl Johan
    Söndagen före domssöndagen, den 14 november2010In: Tro och liv, ISSN 0346-2803, no 4Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 84.
    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.

  • 85.
    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.

  • 86.
    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.

  • 87.
    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.

  • 88.
    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 pro- phetic writings, and ancient biography.

  • 89.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    Uppsala universitet.
    The Genre(s) of the Gospels: Three Views from the Second Century2019Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 90.
    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)
  • 91.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    Åbo Akademi.
    The Innovation of a Master Wonder-worker in the Character of Simon Peter2024In: Approaching Religion, E-ISSN 1799-3121, Vol. 14, no 1, p. 99-114Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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  • 92.
    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.

  • 93.
    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)
  • 94.
    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)
  • 95.
    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.

  • 96.
    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. 

  • 97.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    Åbo Akademi.
    Thekla från Ikonion: Fornkyrkans bortglömda förebild2024In: Hybrid, ISSN 2004-5425, Vol. 2, p. 1-25Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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  • 98.
    Berglund, Carl Johan
    University College Stockholm, Department of Religious Studies and Theology. Åbo Akademi.
    Three Reasons to Die in Origen’s Exhortation to Martyrdom2024In: Patristica Nordica Annuaria, ISSN 2001-2365, Vol. 38, p. 59-78Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 99. Berglund, Carl Johan
    Tre ledtrådar till Gamla testamentet2011In: Sändaren, ISSN 1103-6206Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 100. Berglund, Carl Johan
    Tredje söndagen i advent, den 12 december2010In: Tro och liv, ISSN 0346-2803, no 5Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
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