NASSCAL Members Publication: Christoph Markschies and Reidar Aasgaard in The Other Side

Tobias Nicklas, Candida R. Moss, Christopher Tuckett, and Joseph Verheyden, eds. The Other Side: Apocryphal Perspectives on Ancient Christian “Orthodoxies.”  NTOA 117. Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 2017.

This collection of papers from a conference held in London on 3–5 July 2014 includes contributions by NASSCAL members Christoph Markschies and Reidar Aasgaard. For more information (including an excerpt), visit the V &R web site.

Abstract: Anyone who wishes to manage their sources adequately must work with categories that help to bring order to the transcribed material. In many cases, such categories simultaneously shape the way in which we evaluate our sources. Critical reflection of the chosen categories is therefore crucial for robust historical study. This rings especially true when certain categories are not viewed through neutral eyes, but through polemically judgemental eyes. One extreme case would be the category of “apocryphalness”. In some areas, associations like “fraudulent” versus and “secret” – interlinked to this term in Antiquity – are still shaping the way Christian apocrypha are considered to this day. Closely associated with this is the use of the adjectival categories like “(proto)-orthodox”, “majority church” versus those like “heretical” (again polemically pejorative). In their chapters, the contributors demonstrate not only how the set limits – as referred to the categories above – do indeed play a role, but more importantly, where these limits have been exceeded and where we must therefore work with new and different categories to understand the meaning of “apocryphal” writings and/or writings that have “become apocryphal” in terms of the history of an ancient Christianity perceived as multi-dimensional and dynamic. The following questions play a significant role in our understanding of this: In which contexts and by which groups are “newly apocryphal” writings used? Where do apocryphal writings or those “newly apocryphal” play a contextual role that would, nowadays, be perceived as “orthodox“? Which functions are assign thereto?


Christoph Markschies, “Models of the relation between ‘Apocrypha’ and ‘Orthodoxy’: From Antiquity to Modern Scholarship.”

Tobias Nicklas, “Beyond ‘Canon’: Christian Apocrypha and Pilgrimage.”

Ismo Dunderberg, “Recognizing the Valentinians–Now and Then.”

Petri Luomanen, “The Nazarenes: Orthodox Heretics with an Apocryphal Canonical Gospel?”

Reidar Aasgaard, “The Protevangelium of James and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas: Orthodoxy from Above or Heterodoxy from Below?”

Meghan Henning, “Lacerated Lips and Lush Landscapes: Constructing This-Worldly Theological identities in the Otherworld.”

Judith Hartenstein, “Wie ‘apocryph’ is das Evangelium nach Maria? Über die Schwierigkeiten einer Verortung.”

Jens Schöter, “The Figure of Seth in jewish and Early Christian Writings. Was There a ‘Sethian Gnosticism’?”

Christopher Tuckett, “What’s in a name? How ‘apocryphal’ are the ‘apocryphal gospels’?”

Candida R. Moss, “Notions of Orthodoxy in Early Christian Martyrdom Literature.”

Jacques van der Vliet, “The Embroidered Garment: Egyptian Perspectives on ‘apocryphicity’ and ‘orthodoxy’.”

Jan Dochhorn, “Menschenschöfung und urzeitlicher Teufelsfall in Überlieferungen der Falascha. Der erste Teil von Teezaza Sanbat in der von Halevy veröoofentlich Version.”

Basil Lourié, “Slavonic Pseudepigrapha, Nubia, and the Syrians.”

John Carey, “The reception of Apocryphal Texts in Medieval Ireland.”