Thursday, 14 March 2019

Acceptances for the XVIII. Conference (2019)

Posted on 1st February 2019:

Proposal submission for the Eighteenth International Patristics Conference closed one month ago, and decisions have now been made by the Directors and communicated to individuals.

Those presenters who have given permission for their abstracts to be made available on a website should see them appearing here during the months of February and March 2019. All abstracts should be added by 31st March 2019. Abstracts are tagged with the date of the conference (2019) and the first letter of the presenter's surname.

If you are a presenter and have any changes to the information which is posted about your paper, please use the 'Comments' field to enter the correct information. Due to a formatting issue, text which should be in italics is appearing in normal font and missing a final space: please accept our apologies.

All information about registration for the conference is provided on the Oxford Patristics Conference Website, along with contact details for any queries.

The Early Bird registration rate is available until 31st March 2019, and registration for the conference closes on 31st July 2019.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Workshops at the XVIII. Conference

Posted on 2nd February 2019

The following workshop proposals have been retained by the Directors of the 18th International Patristic Conference. They are listed with the surname of their convenor in brackets.

Abstracts of the constituent papers will be uploaded to this website after those of the Short Communications.

Eriugena’s Christian Neoplatonism and its Sources in Patristic Philosophy and Ancient Philosophy (Ramelli)

Eckhart, Reader of the Church Fathers (Vannier)

Pseudo-Basiliana Graeca: a neglected corpus (Zaganas)

Evagrian Pedagogy (Young)

Chrysostomica and Pseudochrysostomica: From Textual History to a Reassessment of Traditions (Bady)

Exploring Nuances in Maximos the Confessor’s Thought (Mitralexis)

Bodily Resurrection vs Immortality: Philosophy, Medicine, Theology (Usacheva)

Nature and the Principles of Its Creation: Philosophy Recast in Theological Moulds (Podbielski)

Research on Psalter Catenae: Current Trends and Future Perspectives (Ceulemans)

Ordo Amoris in Augustine (Camacho)

From Elders to Priests: The Presbyters in the Late Antique West (Adamiak)

John of Damascus: More than a Compiler (Ables)

Clement of Alexandria: The New Testament text and non-canonical traditions (Husek)

Practice, Performance, Liturgy: Prayers before the Prayer Book (Rapp)

Theologizing Performance in the Byzantine Tradition (Olkinuora)

"Alexandrian" and "Antiochene" Exegesis of the Bible: Exemplary studies on Eusebius of Caesarea and Severian of Gabala (Von Stockhausen)

Female power and its propaganda: textual representation and visual display of imperial women in Late Antiquity and Byzantium (Chiriatti)

Migration: Rhetoric and Reality in Late Antiquity (Handl)

Early Christian 'magic': texts, objects, rituals, and contexts (Lunn-Rockliffe)

After Vööbus: New Approaches to Syriac Asceticism (Kitchen)

Ambrose of Milan's misericordia (Grant)

4th Century Christology in Context: A reconsideration (Brugarolas)

Cappadocians and Pseudo-Cappadocians (Juganaru)

Apostles as Martyrs. What Sense Did it Make to Remember Apostles as Martyrs? (Witetschek)

Following the Holy Fathers: Patristic Sources in the Palamite Controversy (Pino)

Pelagianism in the Christian Sources from 431 to the Carolingian Period (Villegas Marín)

Perspectives on Origen in the History of His Reception (Fürst)

Early Christians and the Books at the Edges of the Canon (Barone)

Emotions & Rhetoric in Augustine (Irizar)

Role Models for Human Freedom and Dignity in Origen (Pollmann)

Digital Patristics (Janssens)

Irenaeus in the Second Century (Springer)

Ordering Knowledge and Modes of Knowing in Ascetic Theory and Practice (Zecher)

Ordering Knowledge within Manuscripts (Forness)

Lactantius (Nicholson)

Origins of Early Christian Ministry (Khomych)

The Armenian Reception of Syriac Church Fathers (Hilkens)

Re-Medial Patristics: New Ways with (Our) Old Texts (Vessey)

Ordering Knowledge and Modes of Knowing: Tradition, Authority, and Communal Formation (Ployd)

Demonologies: Ontology and Exegesis (Lössl)

Ordering Knowledge and Modes of Knowing: Philosophical Inheritances (Champion)

Eunomius’ Apologia apologiae  (DelCogliano)

Shifting Paradigms in the Study of Jerome (Van t Westeinde)

Politics and Society: The Patristic Legacy in the Middle Ages (Slotemaker)

Re-thinking Origen and Fourth Century Theology (Pui Him Ip)

Augustine's use of exegesis in polemical contexts (Toczko)

Dionysius of Tel-Mahre, early Syriac historiography, and its Byzantine and Arab context (582-842) (Mazzola)

Julian and Cyril:  Texts, Themes, and Polemic (Johnson)

Disability Discourse, Embodiment, and Healing: Intersecting Christian Antiquity and Modern Health Care (Holman)

New/old approaches to late ancient religion: re-evaluating neglected and rejected models (Grig)

New Approaches to the Persecution of the Christians (Corke-Webster)

Reorienting, Reframing, and Reinventing Memory in the Early Christian World (Bhola)

The Exegesis of Theodore of Mopsuestia and the East-Syriac Tradition (Hoogerwerf)

Deacons and Diakonia: New Perspectives on the Function and Impact of Deacons in the Early Church (Smeets) (The Greek mythology in the Writings of Theophilus of Antioch  (Boshra)

New Critical editions of Augustin (Drecoll)

Behind and Beyond the Alexandria-Antioch Divide (Elliott)

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Rachel Teubner: From the Psalmic to the Lyric: Transformations of Genre in Augustine’s Confessiones 9

Does the embedding of the psalmic voice within a quasi-biographical account constitute a transformation from the psalmic to the lyric? In recent years, scholars have often reflected on the multivocal quality of Augustine’s homiletic corpus, particularly in his Enarrationes in Psalmos. Augustine’s Confessioneshave been implicated in these efforts (e.g., Williams, 2004; Cameron, 2012; Rigby, 2017). But does this assimilation of the voices of the Enarrationes and Confessiones obscure an important difference of genrebetween Augustine’s preaching and his sui generisautobiographical work? This short communication will probe this generic difference through a close reading of Augustine’s appeals to Psalm 4 in Confessiones9.4.8-11, as compared with his treatment of Psalm 4 in Enarrationes in Psalmos.Drawing on Erich Auerbach’s analyses of Augustine’s rhetorical style in Mimesisand “Sermo Humilis,” I shall argue that Augustine’s use of the Psalms in his Confessiones constitutes a departure from the homiletical to the lyric, understood as genre rather than as discourse. Whereas prosopological exegeses tend to emphasize the theological unity of persons in Augustine’s reflections on the psalms – the unity of the individual, the church and the person of Christ – Augustine’s appeals to the psalms in Confessiones dwell on what is quixotic and spontaneous in the drama of human life. This comparative analysis yields insights not only into the distinctive genre of Confessiones, but into the different functions of the psalms in capturing the experiences of shifting desire and adversity of circumstance on the way to salvation.

Bogdan Draghici: Theological Conservatorism in an Age of Irenicism: Dionysius Bar Salibi’s Anti-Chalcedonian Rhetoric.

The Crusader period (1098-1291), which partly coincides with that of the so-called Syriac Renaissance (c. 1025-1318), is characterized by intensive positive interactions between Christian factions as well as Christians and Muslims.One of the central and understudied figures of this period is Dionysius Bar Salibi (d. 1171), a polymath, prolific author and bishop of the Syrian Orthodox Church. His heresiological project was extensive and comprised disputations against the Jews, Arabs, Armenians, Nestorians, Chalcedonians and epistolary treatises against Rabban cYeshu, Catholicos George II and Nerses Shnorhali.This paper will focus on the differences between the treatise Against Rabban cYeshu, incorrectly identified by Mingana as Against the Melchites,and the unedited text of Against the Chalcedonians. Starting from these disputations I will critically analyse the theological contents and rhetorical techniques in order to provide a clearer image of intra-Christian relations during the Syriac Renaissance. Likewise, I intend to challenge the hypothesis that Latin-Jacobite relations were amicable, and investigate whether or not, and to what extent, Bar Salibi was aware of the theologically irenic developments within the Syriac theological world. More broadly, through this study of Bar Salibi’s rhetorical method, I hope to provide more insights into the way in which his polemical corpus was designed, functioned and circulated.

Christopher Mooney: Necessary and Sufficient? Irenaeus on the Rule of Faith, Scripture, and Apostolic Tradition

Disagreements between Irenaeus and his opponents’ theological cosmologies led him to a fundamental question: how can one adjudicate between competing claims of fidelity to a received tradition, especially if the original content of that tradition is disputed? In order to address this problem, Irenaeus employed a technical vocabulary drawn from the Greek philosophical tradition, namely the theme or meaning of a work (ὑπόθεσις,lit.hypothesis) and the rule of its interpretation (κανών, lit. straight-edge). I argue that for Irenaeus the rule (also called rule of faith or rule of truth) should be understood not as a proto-creed or a set of creedal propositions but as the apostolic theme insofar as it is employedregulativelyto adjudicate other claims, as one might derive a ruler from a known benchmark in order to test the straightness of other surfaces. This can result in a set of creedal propositions, and thus is a logical precursor to later creeds, but is not itself a creed. The apostolic hypothesis, in turn, is the meaning of the apostolic preaching, which has been delivered through oral teaching (oral tradition) and writing (Scripture). Because Irenaeus sees Scripture and tradition as modes of the single apostolic preaching, he does not privilege, prioritize, or subordinate one to the other, despite the claims of his modern interpreters. Rather, Irenaeus understands both of them as sufficient and necessary; both suffice for the knowledge of the full apostolic hypothesis, and both are necessary in practice to avoid the misinterpretation of the other.

Matthew Esquivel: Penance and Ecclesial Purity: The Divine Urgency Behind Cyprian’s Response to the Decian Persecution

After the outbreak of the Decian persecution, the Church faced the controversy of admitting back into communion Christians who had committed apostasy in various forms. Cyprian of Carthage challenges both the laxist position of Felicissimus that appealed to the authority of the martyrs to supply reconciliation for the lapsed without penance and the rigorist position of Novatian that provided no means of reconciliation to the Eucharistic fellowship. This study argues that Cyprian develops a penitential program based upon the authority of the bishop in order to mediate between the laxist and rigorist positions. Against the laxists, readmittance was to be administered through the penitential protocol and the imposition of hands of the bishops rather than the absolution of the martyrs which required no penance. Against the rigorists, penitents who followed the proper protocol of the bishops were not to be denied restoration to communion.By analyzing Cyprian’s treatises such as De Lapsis and De catholicae ecclesia unitate, as well as his related letters, this study argues that his insistence upon the mediation of the bishop for ecclesial reconciliation is based upon his views of 1) divine order of the Church located in the authority of the bishops, 2) divine command given through prophetic experiences within his community, and 3) divine judgment both now and in eternity. This study analyzes these convictions and the urgency they produced for Cyprian to establish a penitential order that would preserve the purity and unity of the Church.

Stephen Carlson: Rufinus's Origenization of Eusebius in his Translation of the Historia ecclesiastica

Relatively little attention has been given to the translation technique of Rufinus of Aquileia in his production of a Latin version of the Historia ecclesiastica of Eusebius of Caesarea. This paper contributes to a further understanding of Rufinus's approach to translation by studying his rendering of Book 3, chapter 39, of the Ecclesiastical History into Latin. At times, Rufinus will gloss obscurities in his source material. For example, scholars have long known of his identification of the "woman accused of many sin before the Lord" mentioned by Papias (HE 3.39.17) as the woman caught in adultery (John 7:53-8:12), but there are other cases in this chapter that have been overlooked. Particularly striking is Rufinus's identification of allusions to Origen's thought and exegesis underlying Eusebius's presentation of the material in this chapter and making them more explicit. This paper details two cases where Rufinus adds phraseology that Origenizes Eusebius's text and considers the role and importance of Origen's thought in Rufinus's works, including his translations.