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  • Author: Christoph Markschies x
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Gesammelte Studien


The recent broadly debated discoveries, which apparently designate the graves of Jesus of Nazareth's family, force us to deal with an old problem in a new degree of poignancy: what can archaeological research really tell us about early Christianity? The essay shows that the traces of Jesus' family cannot be found in the graves of Jerusalem and that the ossuaries allow at best only onomastic observations. There are, furthermore, no definitive traces of sanctuaries from the pre-Constantine period. The same can be said for the most recent finds at the Megiddo-Junction. The area does, however, offer a great deal of versatile material from the post-Constantine period, for example the so-called “Camp of the Bedouine Bishops”, which allows us to draw interesting conclusions for the assimilation of Christianity into the Bedouine culture.


The contribution is presenting a new focus on the development of Christian theology in Antiquity: the idea of a polyphonic theology of the Fathers. This idea uses the term ›polyphony‹, well established in music theory and in certain forms of Literary criticism and Biblical theology, to describe a certain structured plurality in the concepts of certain individual ancient theologians and in the overall design of Christian theology in Antiquity. The first part gives certain details about the term ›polyphony‹ used to describe forms of thinking, like polyphony in music consists of two or more lines of melody of certain independence (opposed to homophony), the second part asks which new insights one can get using the new idea to analyze ancient Christian literature and the third part deals with certain problems of the approach.