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Title: The Antichrist tradition in Second Temple Judaism and early Christianity
Author: Kusio, Mateusz Kacper
ISNI:       0000 0004 8507 3136
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2020
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My thesis, entitled "The Antichrist Tradition in Second Temple Judaism and Early Christianity", answers the following research question: in ancient Jewish and early Christian thought, what is the function of antimessianism in relation to messianism? Bearing in mind the achievements as well as the shortcomings of the scholarship on the topic, I propose a new framework for the understanding of this phenomenon. Three core claims are advanced throughout the work. Firstly, the references to the Antimessiah/Antichrist should be understood to constitute a tradition within which certain texts and concepts were transmitted and re-engaged by successive reading communities. Secondly, there are non-Christian Second Temple Jewish sources which speak about antimessianic eschatological actors. Thirdly, antimessianic conflict is structured around two central motifs, namely violent conflict and mimetic rivalry. The thesis consists of eight chapters. CHAPTER I offers a history of scholarship on the Antichrist and positions my research within it. CHAPTER II deploys reception historical tools to the study of certain passages of the Hebrew Bible which were taken by later Jewish and Christian interpreters as referring to the Antichrist. Subsequent chapters trace the antimessianic/Antichristological expectation in different ancient corpora: the Dead Sea Scrolls (CHAPTER III), the New Testament (CHAPTER IV), the extracanonical Biblical literature (CHAPTER V), the Patristic writings (CHAPTER VI). The conclusions of the thesis are presented in CHAPTER VII. The major contribution of my work is to provide a viable methodology for the study of the Antichrist tradition along with its definition which allows to incorporate a wealth of previously disregarded sources. My study shows the presence of antimessianic speculation in Second Temple Jewish writings and the paramount importance of Biblical exegesis to its development.
Supervisor: Bockmuehl, Markus Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available