Thursday, 30 June 2011

Ronald Heine - Origen on Matthew 19:12

Jesus’ saying about eunuchs in Matthew 19:12 is a text that interests scholars of Origen because of Eusebius’ statement that Origen had applied it literally to himself.  Origen discusses this text in a section of his Commentary on Matthew that has been preserved in Greek, as well as in a Latin translation.   This paper first examines what Origen said about this verse.  It then briefly surveys the more important modern scholarly positions that have been taken concerning the trustworthiness of Eusebius’ statement about Origen taking the verse literally.  It concludes by arguing from one of Origen’s statements in his interpretation of the verse that Origen had never understood the verse literally or applied it literally to himself.

David Eastman - Damasus of Rome and the Citizenship of Peter and Paul

In a hymn placed in the Catacombs in the late fourth century, Damasus of Rome laid claim to Peter and Paul as Rome’s “own citizens.” Interpretations of this inscription from the Appian Road have typically focused on the question of the apostolic relics and the possibility of a translation to the Catacombs in the third century. In this paper I will offer an alternative reading of these verses that more adequately takes into account the entirety of the poem. Damasus was not highlighting this particular site as a temporary relic repository; rather, he was seeking to elevate Rome as a whole within the context of a polemic of apostolic identity against the Greek East. This inscription places Rome above the cities of the East and reflects the ecclesiastical politics of Damasus’ time. The appeal to citizenship, therefore, functions as a claim for the full Roman identity of the apostles and, consequently, the full apostolic authority of Rome.

Michael Azar - Origen, the Jews, and the Fourth Gospel

In attempting to understand the sources of the long and lamentable tale of Christian anti-Judaism, contemporary scholars frequently look to the Fourth Gospel and its unsympathetic portrayal of the “Jews” (Ioudaioi) as a major cause.  It is often assumed that though the Evangelist himself may not have been invariably hostile towards Jews, the gospel still engendered the worst of patristic anti-Judaic trends.  This paper, by investigating the rhetorical function of the Jews in patristic readings of the Fourth Gospel—focussing particularly on Origen’s Commentary on John—fills a lacuna oddly present in modern studies of the status and identity of the Ioudaioi in John.  

Perhaps surprisingly, Origen did not read this gospel against his own Jewish contemporaries (with whom he had significant, and sometimes tense, interaction).  Rather, he read the gospel typologically, conceiving of the Ioudaioi in John not simply as “Jews” (Jesus’ contemporaries or his own) but primarily as those within the Christian community who opposed the teachings Origen himself was proclaiming—that is, those opposed to the higher, spiritual doctrines of the Logos Saviour that Origen sought to elucidate.  Through Origen’s exegesis, the Ioudaioi in John become literary representations of larger, spiritual realities and concerns, as Origen mimetically places himself in the position of Christ and reveals that his literalist opponents—those who remain at the fleshly level of the text—are the Ioudaioi of the gospel.  They too turn away when Origen reveals the deeper things of the Logos.  The significance of the Jews in the Fourth Gospel qua Jews appears considerably diminished as the context and referent of the text of the Fourth Gospel and the context and referent of the interpreter are completely collapsed. 

To assume that this gospel, as interpreted by patristic writers such as Origen, led to anti-Judaic tendencies anachronistically applies later medieval situations and sensibilities and overlooks the complexities of patristic hermeneutics as well as the ambiguity of the relationship between Jews and Christians in the earliest centuries of the Common Era.

Anthony Cirelli - Formed in the love of Christ: Augustine's Logocentric Anthropology

In any consideration of Augustine’s anthropology, it has been routine for many moderns to be critical or even dismissive of the influence wrought by his early encounter with the neoplatonic metaphysical tradition, which he became acquainted with through Victorinus’ translated works of Plotinus.  In this, critics seem to assume that Augustine’s mature, i.e., Pauline, understanding of Christian anthropology alone matters. Indeed, given Augustine’s own occasional invective against “the Platonists” one may be justified in thinking that there are two distinct phases to his anthropology, i.e., one, early and naive (neoplatonic) and one dogmatic and mature (Christian).  Yet, without maintaining and building upon (hence, never abandoning) this neoplatonic foundation, Augustine’s profound and original insights into the nature and meaning of man, insights that have been foundational for the West’s subsequent reading of the person, would never have been possible.  What Augustine accepted and built upon was the central and grounding platonic belief in the reality of form.  Where Augustine expressed his originality, and so was able to bridge the Christian and neolatonist traditions, was in his remarkable transformation and absorption of this belief into a Christological construct which brought a concrete personal tone to, and overall consummation of, neoplatonic metaphysics.

In this presentation, I hope--through a brief textual analysis of his Confessions--to reinvigorate the conversation (i.e., over the question of the importance of neoplatonism on Augustine’s overall anthropology) by conveying how Augustine did not depart from his platonic foundation in the construal of his anthropology so much as complete it with his Christological insights.  In order to do this in a timely fashion, I will have to articulate a) how Augustine was able to absorb the entire metaphysic of form into the pre-existent Word of god, and so render an identity between them in order to demonstrate that b.) form was in fact, for Augustine, an encounter with a concrete, historical person: namely, the incarnate Word Jesus Christ, and that only a love for the source of form, i.e., the concrete person of Jesus, is any meaningful anthropology possible. In short, my goal is to articulate Augustine’s unique transformation of platonic form and then to connect this insight with the necessity of a love for a distinct person—the person of the Logos of God—for any meaningful Christian anthropology. 

Donna Hawk-Reinhard - Cyril of Jersusalem's Sacramental Theosis

While secondary literature has stated that Cyril of Jerusalem’s theology contains evidence of theosis  (making divine), demonstration of this concept within his catechetical and mystagogical texts has not been explored in detail.  By examining Cyril’s use of words within the semantic range of koinonia  (communion, fellowship), his use of the verb theopoieo  (to make divine, deifying), and how the individual is incorporated into communion with both the divine Trinity and the church through the sacraments, I shall demonstrate that Cyril expressed a theology which is undergirded by a rich doctrine of theosis.  Furthermore, this implicit doctrine of theosis  is the hermeneutical key to understanding the different rhetorical strategies that Cyril employed in his teachings on baptism and the eucharist.

Luke Dysinger, O.S.B - An Exegetical Way of Seeing: Contemplation and Spiritual Guidance in Evagrius Ponticus

For Evagrius Ponticus spiritual guidance is an exercise in natural contemplation (theoria physiké) whereby biblical-exegetical methods are applied to the unique “salvation history” of the person seeking advice.  This workshop will explore the interrelationship between biblical exegesis and the monastic art of “reading the heart” in Evagrius’ writings, noting in particular the importance of Evagrius’ exegetical scholia for a correct interpretation of his letters.

Blandine Colot - Lactantius and the philosophy of Cicero: "Romideologie" and legitimization of Christianity

Given the pragmatic nature of apologetic discourse, I focus on the fact that the Divine Institutions was devised during the last persecution and on the eve of the legal recognition of Christianity in the Roman Empire. The question of justice is at heart of the religious debate that Lactantius leads with his contemporaries, and this is an opportunity for him to refer to and to enter into dialogue with Cicero and his thoughts on Rome and the Natural Law. Given that rhetoric betrays the positions of individuals in a social game which itself takes place in history, this fiction attests that the "philosophical-religious ideology" theorized by the Roman philosopher was a living part of the belief of the cultivated pagan with whom the apologist dialogued. It is in relation to this philosophical-religious ideology that he conceived the new legitimacy of Christianity in Rome.

Emily Cain - Knowledge Seeking Wisdom: A New Structure for Augustine's De Trinitate

Many scholars have proposed various structures for Augustine’s seminal work De Trinitate from Neil Ormerod’s structure based on Lonergan’s realms of meaning to Edmund Hill’s chiastic structure.  While each structure highlights a different aspect of the work, no proposed structure has yet situated the work within Augustine’s greater corpus, so the need remains for another structure to accomplish this goal. This paper proposes a new structure for Augustine’s great work De Trinitate that stems from the pattern of knowledge seeking wisdom.  Building on the experience of his own conversion, Augustine here presents the quest for the Trinity in terms of knowledge (scientia) seeking wisdom (sapientia).  In doing so, Augustine also designs the structure of the book around the same theme with three interjections of faith, hope, and love.  Not only does this clearly link to his own conversion as presented in Confessions, but it also mimics his theory of signs.  Like Edmund Hill’s chiastic model for the book, this proposed structure is parabolic, but also situates the work within Augustine’s life as well as his greater corpus.

Robin Orton - ‘Physical' soteriology in Gregory of Nyssa: a response to Reinhold Hübner

In Die Einheit des Leibes Christi bei Gregor von Nyssa (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1974) Reinhold M. Hübner argues that Gregory’s soteriology was not primarily ‘physical’. By this he means that is that it is not, as earlier scholars had argued, based on the fundamental identity between Christ’s human nature and the human nature of those who are to be saved (that is, with the Church as the Body of Christ or, more widely, with the whole human race conceived as an ontic unity.)  Rather, he claims, Gregory sees the Church primarily as a new creation in the Spirit, with its unity based not on any ‘physical’ identity with the body of Christ but solely on faith and virtue. He also argues that, for Gregory, the soteriological agent, the ρχή of the salvation of humankind,  is not Christ’s human nature, but rather what he calls the ‘Logos-Dynamis’, the divine principle, operating in our human bodies.
It will be argued that the evidence which Hübner adduces for challenging the ‘physicalist’ (or, perhaps better, ’solidarist’) interpretation of Gregory’s soteriology is not very convincing. Hübner concedes that there are passages in Gregory’s oratio catechetica which clearly suggest a ‘solidarist’ soteriology; it will be argued that his attempt to explain these away is unpersuasive. So far as the soteriological role of the Logos is concerned, it will be argued that Hübner’s attempt to defend this on the basis of a passage from chapter 32 of the oratio catechetica is based on a misinterpretation of the context and purpose of that passage. 

Finally, it will be tentatively suggested that from the theological point of view Hübner’s attempt to read Gregory in a way that excludes or at any rate downplays exclude one particular soteriological motif is unnecessarily negative and restrictive. 

Leszek Misiarczyk - "Should the rational part of soul (logistikon) be identified with nous in Evagrian anthropology?"

I would try to se if Evagrius in his anthropology identified the rational part of soul, so called logistikon with the nous. Since there is a lot of confusion among scholars, see f.or ex  in the texts of A, Gaullaumont and P. Gehin we have different explanations so I think it would be useful to precise this point of Evagrian doctrine.

Matyáš Havrda - Auxiliary Cause in Clement's Stromata

The paper is an analysis of the notion of the "auxiliary cause" (sunergon aition, henceforth AC) in Clement of Alexandria's Stromata. The starting point of the paper is the elaboration of AC in the so-called eighth book of Stromata (chapter 9), where AC is distinguished from preliminary (prokatarktika) and sustaining (sunektika) causes on the one hand, and joint causes (sunaitia) on the other, and where it is also described as a kind of prerequisits (hôn ouk aneu). A similar division of causes may be discerned in other parts of the Stromata (esp. books I, II, VI and VII), where the concept of AC is employed in the service of different apologetic and theological goals. We will explore these various contexts with the following questions in mind: 1. Does the "eighth book" present a coherent theory of AC? 2. Do other passages in which the concept is employed (Strom. I-VII) betray a coherent view of the same topic? 3. Are these explanations and applications of AC consistent with one another?

Matthew Briel - Gregory the Theologian, Logos and Literature.

In the last ten years Gregory Nazianzen’s two orations against Julian have begun to receive attention in the English speaking world.  Earlier European scholarship had largely taken the form of identifying Biblical and classical allusions. One of the main concerns of these orations is Julian’s edictum de professoribus. Susanna Elm’s work persuasively demonstrates that Gregory’s argument against Julian is secular. Julian claims that, because these authors (Homer, Demosthenes, Herodotus et alii) were religious men, in order to appropriately appreciate them one must worship the same gods. If Christians think that these ancients were fools, which they must be if they get the central question of God wrong, why would they study them? Kaldellis cogently argues that Gregory does not answer Julian’s claim and that this is a source of continuing anxiety for later Christian Byzantine literati.

However, in the same orations Gregory has some remarkable play with the word “logos.”  This fact is mentioned in scholarship but not much engaged. But it is in a theology of the Logos, if anywhere, that one might find the resources for a more adequete response to Julian’s argument for the integrity of religion and culture. As a result a consideration of the Logos in Gregory’s thought has the possibility of answering Julian’s criticism. The Logos, the One who gives form and rationality to all the kosmos, is known better by the Christians who know him intimately in his Incarnation than by the pagans who see the Logos, as it were, ex umbris et imaginibus. In this paper I will argue that the resources for a response to Julian’s argument in letter 36 can be found both in Gregory’s play with the word logos in Orations 4-5 and in his more fully developed theology of the Logos.

András Handl - How to be a martyr without dying for it: a new perspective on the martyrdom of Callixtus I. (217?-222?)

The biography of Callixtus I., Bishop of Rome (217?-222?) contains an unresolved puzzle concerning his death. For while both of the most relevant sources -- the Refutatio omnium haeresium and the Passio Callixti -- call Callixtus a martyr, but only one, the less historically reliable Passio, actually ascribes a violent death to him. My paper will examine this puzzle through a careful, contextualized re-reading of both sources. 
The only contemporary, but strong polemical source about Callixtus, the refutatio, reports on the sentenced Callixtus and his work as a slave in the
 mines of Sardinia. The Author of the refutatio, but also other coevals like
 Bishop Victor (189?-199?), see this clearly in conjunction with martyrdom.
 In this context, it is important to note that the terminology that was used
 at the beginning of the 3rd century wasn't distinctive: the expression
 martyr meant confessor as well as martyr in the classical sense. Finally, the refutatio, written after the death of Callixtus, doesn't mention a dreadful death at all. Furthermore, a factual violent death of Callixtus would not only unambiguously point out the upright character of his opponent but also his “first” martyrdom in the mines of Sardinia. At the same time, this would completely destroy the argumentation of the refutatio against Callixtus based on ruining his good reputation.
There is no need for the Passio Callixti to explain the martyrdom of
 Callixtus. The refutatio clearly states the criteria on the basis of which
 he was declared and later honoured as a martyr. That was obviously not a
 problem until the 5th century, when the refutatio was forgotten and a story
 of violated death was needed for the making of a martyr. And this was how
 the creation of a legend began.

Stephanie Kee - Re-examining martyrdom through the theology of deification in Maximus the Confessor

In this paper I will re-examine the concept of martyrdom by including the theology of deification into a study which focuses on what it means to be a martyr. Through Maximus the Confessor’s use of tropos hyparxeos we can construct a theology that brings the Christological dynamic of becoming, as a  concrete witness through a change in the outward mode of existence so that martyrdom ceases to be a static concept but becomes equated to an existential event in a significant act of ontological restoration. Thus martyrdom highlights the Divine purpose of the deifying operations manifested through the hypostatic-union which highlights how we come to exist in Christ. The martyrs become a significant expression of restoration through their witnessing to the Christ event and thus by understanding martyrdom through deification in the theology of Maximus the Confessor  we can utilise a proper Christology in the concept of martyr.

William Harmless - Indecipherability of Heart in the Theology of Augustine

Around 401, while visiting Carthage, Augustine was asked to defend the conversion of a banker named Faustinus who, locals suspected, had his eye on the job of mayor and who realized he would never get it unless he converted to Christianity.  Augustine argued to the wary Carthaginians that Faustinus be given the benefit of the doubt: “We cannot see into the human heart nor bring it out into the open ...” (s. 279.10).  This scene and this claim illustrates a pervasive but under-appreciated theme in Augustine’s theology: our mutual indecipherability, our fundamental inaccessibility to one another’s true thoughts and feelings.  This theme spans the length of his career and the breadth of his writings and undergirds many of his core theological concerns: his theories of language and of biblical interpretation (De doctrina christiana), his interior spirituality (Confessiones), his views on the Trinity (De fide et symbolo) and the resurrection (De civitate Dei).  This essay will explore the theme’s diverse theological uses and implications, as well as its grounding in the practical experience of Augustine the orator.

Piotr Ashwin-Siejkowski - Clement of Alexandria on the creation of Eve: exegesis in the service of a pedagogical project

During the second century of the Common Era the Scriptural motif of the creation of Eve (Gen 1.27 and 2:22-23) received particular attention among exegetes and theologians representing the whole spectrum of Christianity. It served various purposes such as the construction of the feminine as opposed to masculine; a basis for the acceptance or rejection of the possible androgyny of the first human being; the justification or challenging of male dominance in the emerging Christian social and ecclesiastical order. 

My paper offers insight into some aspects of Clement of Alexandria’s exegesis through which he participated vigorously in the early Christian debate on the creation of Eve and her original nature. The purpose of the paper is to highlight Clement’s creative reinterpretation of the motif. His interpretation served two main purposes: first it promoted Clement’s conviction about women’s potential to progress towards the highest degree of ethical and spiritual excellence. Secondly, Clement’s interpretation challenged the concepts of his direct opponents, such as for instance the Valentinians, who presented a different anthropology, ethics and theory of salvation. My reconstruction of Clement’s exegesis briefly points out limits of his dependence on earlier significant authors such as Plato, Philo of Alexandria and Paul the Apostle. In conclusion I estimate the value of Clement’s exegesis, as a part of his wider educational project of leading his female disciples to more advance faith and knowledge. 

Adrian Guiu - Eriugena's Reception of Maximus Confessor's Anthropology

This paper looks at the way John Scotus Eriugena  appropriates and constructively employs Maximus  Confessor’s anthropology.  It claimes that the fivefold division of being, appropriated from Maximus Confessor’s Ambiguum 37,  constitutes the framework of the Periphyseon: in my understanding,  Maximus Confessors’s understanding of the human being as the ‘workshop of creation,’ as the synthesis of all aspects of creation, as the agent of unification,  provides the anthropological premise for Eriugena’s own dialectical division of the genus of nature. It is within the framework of Maximus’s ontology centered on ‘man as the workshop of creation,’ that Eriugena has recourse to the tradition of the liberal arts. Therefore, the division of the genus of nature, as an exercise of dialectic, has to be understood within the framework of Eriugena’s appropriation of Maximus Confessor’s fivefold division of being and its corollary, the anthropology of the ‘officina omnium.’ The project of the Periphyseon is driven by the possibility that through dialectics humans could become the officina omnium and thus return all creation to the unity of the intelligible human being and ultimately to God. Thus, Maximus Confessor along with Gregory of Nyssa, are not just two Greek sources which Eriugena struggles to integrate with Augustine and Boethius; rather, Maximus Confessor’s anthropology and cosmology provide the framework for the entire work. 

Alberto Rigolio - From "Sacrifice to the Gods" to the "Fear of God": Can Syriac Translations of Greek Literature contribute to the Study of Early Christian Culture?

        Syriac translations of Greek texts have increasingly attracted scholarly interest over recent decades, but this interest has focused mainly on translations of the Bible, Aristotle and of a limited number of Church fathers. But there are a large number of works that have been almost entirely ignored by modern scholarship, including those which have been labeled as ‘popular philosophy,’ and neglected for this reason.
          This paper analyses a number of these texts. Products of a Christian environment, the translations of Ps.-Isocrates (Ad Demonicum), Plutarch (De capienda ex inimicis utilitate and De cohibenda ira), Lucian (De calumnia) and Themistius (De amicitia and De virtute) date to the fifth or early sixth century and are among the few surviving traces of Greek ‘pagan’ literature in Syriac. The works themselves offer rich evidence for the circumstances of their composition, and they are significant in a broader historical perspective, not least because they provide testimony of the often overlooked role of Greek pagan literature and rhetoric in the education of early Syriac writers.
          Because the process of translation gave the translators room to intervene on the texts, we can read changes and omissions of Greek passages as indicating both the aims of the translators and the expected audience of the works. Through some examples, this paper argues that these translations can shed light on the agency of their writers and on the cultural environment that produced them, and it emphasizes how this corpus can and should inform long standing broader debates about Late Antique cultural life.

Carles Buenacasa Perez - The letters "Ad Donatistas" of Augustine and its relevance in the anti-Donatist controversy

The correspondence of Augustine can be studied in order to obtain an accurate portrait of the social composition of the Donatist Church, especially in Hippo Regius where, at the time he arrived there, the Catholic community was poor and barely subsisting. From then, Augustine began his correspondence with the Donatists with some letters addressed to Donatist laymen in 395 and, at the same time, he wrote to the Donatist bishops proposing them a debate centred on theological matters only.
The purpose of this paper is to explain how, until the conference of Carthage in 411, Augustine granted great importance to the letters as a direct and quick manner to focus his communication and debate with Donatists. He wisely used the letter to address both the Donatist plebs and the aristocrats and the schismatic bishops. In his letters, Augustine displayed a very detailed sort of arguments (historical, scriptural, theological, etc.) to achieve that followers of Donatism apostate from their schismatic faith. In fact, Augustine anticipated in his letters the arguments that he will develop largely in his treaties.
After the Conference of Carthage in 411, a new shift in Augustinian epistolary strategy arose. Besides interrupting his correspondence with the Donatist bishopsnow legally heretics– he will address no further letter to the Donatists people with the only exception of the synodal letter 141 –read in 412 by Augustine on behalf of the Council of Zerta–. From then on, Augustine did not use the epistolar format for the debate anymore, and he only used it in order to announce the verdict of condemnation of Donatism by Flavius Marcellinus.

Michael Peppard - A Woman at a Well in the Dura-Europos Baptistery

The paintings preserved in the Dura-Europos baptistery have often been interpreted through supposed correspondences with biblical texts. However, the analysis of this art often fails to appreciate the instability of Christian textual forms in the third century, not to mention the popularity in Syria of the Diatessaron and (what would later be called) apocryphal texts. My paper argues that one painting from the baptistery can be fruitfully re-interpreted in connection with Christian apocrypha, east Syrian baptismal theology, and unheralded artistic comparanda. The woman bent over a well is not marked specifically as the Samaritan Woman from the Gospel of John. There are women at wells all over the biblical landscape, an intertextual play already enacted by the Gospel of John itself. But more importantly, Christian apocrypha narrate a tradition of the Annunciation to Mary at a well. This interpretation helps to explain a few anomalous features of the painting. It is also corroborated by later iconographic traditions and liturgical ideas that were prominent in Syrian Christianity. The paper concludes by describing the polysemic functions of this painting in the ritual space. 

Kristi Upson-Saia - The angry young Jesus of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas

Although scholars regularly note the unflattering depictions of the child Jesus in certain episodes of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, most attempt to explain them away.  Since the text was circulated among early Christians, they reason, these stories must not have been as shocking and offensive in the ancient context as they are to modern readers.  Given the contemporaneous discussions on anger, clemency, and “childish” behavior, I argue instead that an early Christian audience also would have been uncomfortable with stories of a short-tempered and vengeful young Jesus.  In fact, I submit that certain episodes were likely composed by opponents of Christianity in an effort to undermine Jesus’ character and authority by presenting a compromised portrait of his youth.  The redactor of Infancy Gospel of Thomas, I suggest, placed (edited versions of) these deprecating stories beside scenes of a beneficent and virtuous young Jesus as a way to domesticate their impact.

Matthieu Cassin - Basil in Gregory’s refutation of Eunomius

Shortly after 360, Eunomius published his Apology ; Basil of Caesarea answered it around 364-365. Some fifteen years later, Eunomius published his own answer to Basil, the Apology of Apology, but Basil died almost at the very time of this publication. So, it is Gregory of Nyssa, his brother, who takes the burden of refuting Eunomius’ books.
In the cover-letter (Ep. 29) he sends to his brother Peter with Contra Eunomium I, Gregory presents his writing as a defence of Basil’s memory against the slanders of Eunomius; in the three books of his Contra Eunomium, Gregory repeatedly appeals to the tutelary figure of Basil, calling him “our master”, “the Great”, etc. A cursory reading of Gregory’s books clearly shows that he is continuing with Basil’s positions, and defends not only his memory but also his theological positions against their common adversary.
Of course, the Nyssen does not only repeat his brothers’ arguments: he also expands and completes Basil’s refutation. For example, Basil has very shortly explained the controversial verse of Pr 8:22; in book I, Gregory resumes Basil’s interpretation but in book III, he develops a new, personal and rather long explanation. The Nyssen also reuses Basil’s exegetical interpretations, but takes them outside Contra Eunomium, especially in Basil’s homilies, for example on Jn 1 or on Pr 1.
However, we can also identify theological, exegetical or philosophical points where Gregory departs from Basil’s position. A well known example – but difficult to interpret – is the definition of substance in Basil, Contra Eunomium, II, 4, and the citation by Gregory in Contra Eunomium III.5.22, with the addition of a crucial negation (“by essential being, I am <not> here referring to the physical substance”). A cursory investigation through both Contra Eunomium will bring forth other discrepancies.
In this paper, I shall first present the construction of the holy figure of Basil and his function in the refutation of Eunomius; secondly, I will study how Gregory reuses Basil’s material, especially in the field of exegesis; lastly, I shall try to list the discrepancies and evolutions from Basil to Gregory as regards Trinitarian Theology.

D. H. Williams - The Gospel of Matthew in the Service of Early Latin Fathers

     Ten years ago I began my work as volume editor for the Gospel of Matthew in the series, the Church’s Bible (Eerdmans). In preparation for writing the introduction I have tried to identify generally shared themes or characteristics that might aid the reader in process of absorbing hundreds of exegetical texts that have been assembled. These texts show a greater riches of Matthean exegesis in the patristic era than any of the late ancient and medieval anthologies reveal, especially as it concerns the contributions of Latin writers. 
     I begin by identifying all known editions of commentaries, commentarioli, and sermons all of which constitute evidence for exposition on Matthew. Since most texts that offer commentary date from the fourth century or later, it is not surprising that we see a preoccupation with preserving Christ’s divinity within the reality of the incarnation.  Every ancient work contained commentary material pertinent to the cause; foremost are the Lord’s Prayer, the events of Jesus’ baptism, his temptation (Matt 4), and his passion in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt 26).
   Two of the inescapable conclusions is that the kinds of exegesis that we normally categorize into three or four has a much more “gray” character when it came to application; and the other is that the only way “spiritual” interpretation could be sensibly employed as an exegetical methods was within the content of the church.

Juan Antonio Jiménez Sánchez - The Monk Hypatius and the Olympic Games of Chalcedon

A passage of the Life of Hypatius, written by Callinicus of Rufinianae about 450, provides interesting information concerning the pagan cults and spectacles in the Bithynian countryside in the first half of the 5th century. According to Callinicus, Leontius, praefectus Vrbis of Constantinople in 434-435, decided to establish again the Olympic Games at the theatre of Chalcedon. This local festival might be composed by athletic, literary, and musical competitions. The pagan elements in these festivals did not exist in that time, because paganism had been banned by Theodose the Great in the previous century. However, the response of Hypatius, the founder and first abbot of the monastery of Rufinianae (near Chalcedon), was forceful. He affirmed that these games promoted idolatry and, having assembled twenty monks, marched on Chalcedon with the intention of entering into the theatre and killing the praefectus if it was necessary. Frightened, Leontius revoked his decision of offering games and Hypatius appeared as a champion of the faith. This conflict between Leontius and Hypatius represent a good example of the struggle between a victorious Christianity and a dying paganism in the Later Roman Empire.

Bart van Egmond - Christology and Salvation History in Augustine's anti-donatist polemic

In this paper it is argued that the roots of Augustine’s ecclesiological critique of the Donatists can be traced back to his view of the place of Christ in salvation history. In order to elaborate this thesis, his way of reading biblical history is explored. Augustine uses a scheme of promise and fulfillment: God the Word promises in the Old Testament, God the Word who became flesh, fulfils this promise in the New. By the priestly office of the Old Testament He promises reconciliation between God en his people, he fulfils this promise by assuming this office and sacrificing himself in the New. He promises universal blessing through the Davidic King and fulfils this promise by his ascension and the world-wide spread of the gospel. 
In relation to this salvation-historical scheme the holiness and catholicity of the Church are viewed by Augustine as dependent on Christ alone. The Church possesses them through faith in Him, expecting the definite revelation of her hope when Christ returns in glory. Her life between Christ’s ascension and his second coming is marked by patience. It is the patience of a farmer who sows and waters, but who expects the growth and harvest from the Lord: “Because the Lord knows who are his.”

Donatist ecclesiology neglects this place of Christ in relation to the Church. The holiness and catholicity of the Church are made into things originating from and dependent upon the human liberum arbitrium, not on Christ’s will to fulfill his promises. This human faculty is not a trustworthy foundation for the life of the Church, according to Augustine. By sketching Augustine’s view of Christ in salvation history in relation to the Church, this paper contributes to the understanding of the relationship between soteriology and ecclesiology in Augustine.

Tenny Thomas - The Mother of God: Perceptions of the Theotokos in the Hymns & Homilies of Severus of Antioch

The Theotokos plays an important role in the writings, particularly in understanding the Christology of Severus of Antioch, as she stands for the integrity and reality of the humanity of the incarnate Word. She is the subject of a sustained theological reflection on the part of a great many Fathers, even during the period of the Christological controversy. Severus’ writings clearly show her to be more than an incidental figure in the description of a truly Orthodox Christology. The hymns and homilies of Severus of Antioch are an interesting source of insight into the process of Christological reflection on the person of the Theotokos. The method employed by this study will be to consider each of those hymns and homilies, which refer to the Theotokos, and determine how Severus wishes to use each reference.

The hymns of Severus have been translated into English in volumes 6 and 7 of the Patrologia Orientalis by E.W. Brooks. I will be editing the translation for this paper.
There are six hymns in the collection, which are categorized by the ancient transcribers as Hymns on the Holy God-bearer, while there are also 15 hymns on the Nativity and Incarnation, which also have some reference to the Theotokos. Severus never seems to allow the poetic touches of his hymns to diminish the strict application of his Cyrilline theology to the task of composing hymns. In the first hymns in the collection the Theotokos is referred to only in rather general terms in relation to the Incarnation. Even in the later hymns in the collection she is always placed in a theological context rather than simply a poetic or hagiographic one. In the Cathedral Homilies, Severus addresses the Theotokos as prophetess, and as apostle, and as martyr. Severus goes on to detail the role of Mary in salvation history. Severus uses the incarnation through the Virgin to attack Apollinarianism and Nestorianism. The translations of the Cathedral Homilies XIV and LXVII on the Theotokos will be my own.

Cordula Bandt - Some remarks on Eusebius' Commentary on Psalms

As one of his latest works, Eusebius composed a commentary on the whole Psalter, according to Jeromes testimony. However, already before, he dedicated long passages of his Demonstratio Evangelica to the interpretation of certain psalms. In general, Eusebius shows consistency in his exegetical approach, but there are significant differences as well. Some of these shall be discussed in the paper.

Alexander Hwang - Prosper of Aquitaine and the Fall of Rome

This workshop paper will examine Prosper of Aquitaine’s views concerning the political and social turmoil of the fifth century.  Among Prosper’s later works, which are concerned with advancing papal claims to power and authority, is a chronicle that contained the significant events of Prosper’s time.  This chronicle and his other writings from this later period reflects Prosper’s new found allegiance to the Roman Church, and it is through this lens that Prosper views the events of his time.  

Pere Maymó Capdevila - A Bishop Faces War : Gregory the Great’s Attitude towards the Lombard Menace

From the Germanic invasions of 406-409 onwards, the Church and its bishops developed a major role in the civic organization against external enemies; and this is especially true at a time in which the Roman army could not face the many Barbaric hordes who wandered along the imperial West. The ecclesiastical authorities protected their cities, not only by means of their moral appeals but also by assuming the military defense itself. 
That was the case of Gregory the Great, bishop of Rome in a very difficult moment, menaced by different Lombard armies and abandoned by the scarce Byzantine troops, which were compelled to garrison Ravenna or Perugia instead of protecting the Vrbs. So, Gregory must manage to arrange the defense –supplying food for their fellow citizens, organizing the walls guard– and he even sets himself up as the main “strategist” of the imperial forces in the Roman Duchy as some letters of the Registrum prove. Aside from many quotations concerning civic defense, the epistle 2, 4 will be especially analysed in the light of new historical and archaeological evidences drawn from the recent studies by Zanini, Borri or Ravegnani. 

Christopher Bounds - The Understanding of Grace in Selected Apostolic Fathers

Scholars in their work on the concept of grace in early Christianity have focused primarily upon the New Testament's understanding of the term or the Post-Nicene period's use, particularly in Augustine of Hippo and more recently in Pelagius. As such, the Ante-Nicene Fathers' understanding and appropriation of grace has not received adequate attention. Furthermore, the little work done in the Ante-Nicene period is plagued by a view of grace arising from the Protestant Reformation, and not the Greco-Roman patron-client relationship foundational to the culture in which the early Church existed. 
The purpose of my paper is threefold. First, I will explore the concept of grace in the writings of Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, the Didache and The Epistle of Barnabas, working within the cultural framework of grace in the patron-client relationship dominant in this period. Second, I will attempt to articulate a theological understanding of grace operative among these Apostolic Fathers. Finally, I will try to show that their view of grace is not a departure from New Testament teaching, as some scholars have argued, rather, their understanding stands in clear continuity with it. 

Suzanne Abrams Rebillard - Gregory of Nazianzus' Anthropological Poetics

Much recent commentary on Gregory of Nazianzus’ poetic project is theoretical, based on programmatic statements in Carmen II.i.39, “On his own verses” (e.g. Lieggi 2009, Simelidis 2009, McGuckin 2006, Milovanovic-Barham 1997).  In my communication, I will approach Gregory’s poetics from a different direction, starting from an examination of this poetics in action to discover how it reflects his more abstract statements about poetic composition. 

I take as my case study Carmen II.i.50, “Against the burden of illness,” whose tangled imagery of communication and disease is interwoven with the goals of measure and healing set out for poetry in Carmen II.i.39. The metaphorical program of II.i.50 is essentially locative: references to places on the human body related to communication; repetitions of the question, “Where?”; and the nesting of the image of the speaker’s body within different spheres of the divine cosmos. In this complex web of imagery, poetic composition as a form of devotion to the Trinity cannot be understood apart from men’s role as physical communicators within the order of the divine economy –– a blending of Gregory’s anthropology and poetics, which I call his anthropological poetics. When viewed in light of this anthropology, poetry holds salvific power through its provision of a healing order for both mind and body –– evidenced in II.i.50 through the locative ordering –– thereby enabling worship. More explicitly, writing poetry for Gregory heals his notoriously diseased body and his lack of a place for speech after his departure from Constantinople, allowing him to fulfil his devotional vocation to preach. 

Through this reading of Gregory’s anthropological poetics and the identification of the poetic mechanics of II.i.50, informed by other poems in the corpus (e.g. Carmina moralia 11–15), I hope more generally to offer strategies for confronting some of the interpretive challenges presented by the poetic corpus.

Manuel Mira - Friendship in Maximus the Confessor

Some Maximus’ writings, like The four centuries on Charity, contain several thoughts about friendship. This field of Maximus’ thinking has not yet been studied. Maximus grounds his ideal of friendship on the goodness of human nature. But, conscious of the wounds that this nature has received from sin, encourage his readers to improve their spiritual life, to become better friends. According to Maximus’ thought, friendship must evolve to charity, in wich its natural characteristics will not disappear, but will be opened to the whole humanity, and will be enriched with a stronger stability and with the capacity to forgive. 

Christian Lange - Miaenergetism - A New Term for the History of Dogma?

The Christological discussions of the 6th and 7th centuries are often referred to as “Monenergetic” or “Monothelete” Controversies.
It is the aim of this paper to suggest a new term for the History of Dogma: “Miaenergetism”. It will argue that the formula of the “mia energeia” was understood as a “combined” operation of the perfect Godhead and Manhood in Christ –and that by both Neochalcedonian and Miaphysite authors.

Pauline Allen - Prolegomena to a Study of the Letter-Bearer in Christian Antiquity

One scholar has recently written of “an apparent explosion of epistolary practice” in late antiquity; another states that “our most substantial evidence for Greek and Latin letter-writing and collection practices is late antique”. Yet although in the last decade considerable attention has been paid to travel and information-transfer in late antiquity, there is no book on early Christian letter-writing in general, , and the role of the private letter-bearer has gone almost unnoticed.  

In this paper I begin to redress the imbalance between the avid scholarly attention paid to the cursus publicus and the role of the letter-bearer in Pauline literature and Christian papyrological letter-material on the one hand, and on the other the scant cognizance of the many hundreds of people, often named, who delivered bishops’ private letters in Christian antiquity. Although originally only certain ranks of the clergy were engaged as couriers for bishops, in fact we find a large range of private and lay individuals, female and male, Christian and non-Christian, slave and free, carrying letters and gifts to and from their bishops and performing other favours at their destinations.  Chiefly on the basis of edited Greek and Latin episcopal letters from the fifth and sixth centuries I examine the identity and nomenclature of the bearer, and the disparity between the variety of terms in Latin and the limited number of appellations in Greek.  

Khaled Anatolios - Athansasius's Orations Against the Arians: Between Asterius and Marcellus

The last several decades of Patristic scholarship have considerably enlarged our knowledge of the cast of characters involved in the fourth century Trinitarian debates. One of the results of this development has been the reading of Athanasius’s Orations against the Arians as a thoroughgoing engagement with Asterius, an approach most extensively presented by Charles Kannengiessers’s  Athanase d’Alexandrie, évêque et écrivain : une lecture des traités Contre les Ariens (1983). On the other hand, there is still some scholarly ambivalence about the nature and extent of Athansius’s theological engagement with Marcellus of Ancyra, given the complicated history of their ecclesiastical interaction and the lack of explicit literary interaction. However, I argue that in the Orations against the Arians, Athanasius is not only preoccupied with refuting Asterius but also with discreetly but unmistakeably distancing himself from Marcellus. In the Orations, Athanasius is interacting not only with Asterius’s doctrine but with Marcellus’s refutations of Asterius and Eusebius of Caesarea’s refutations of Marcellus. As a central example, Athanasius aligns himself with Asterius and Eusebius, rather than Marcellus, in identifying the Word and Son as “Image” of the Father in his divinity, even as he argues that this Image must be eternal and “from the ousia” of the Father. By arguing for the eternal and full divinity of the Son while qualifying Marcellus’s emphasis on the radical singularity of God, Athanasius is in effect making a bid in these Orations to supplant Marcellus as Asterius’s principal critic.   

Christopher Johnson - Between Madness and Holiness: St. Symeon of Emessa and "the pedagogics of liminality"

The relationship between holy foolishness and liminality has never been thoroughly explored. Using Symeon of Emessa as an example, this paper will argue that holy foolishness can be seen as the preeminent liminal lifestyle, often existing between and outside of defined social boundaries and enjoying certain privileges and powers as a result.

In The Ritual Process and other works, Victor Turner explores the liminal period that bridges the transition from one social state to another, typically by a rite of passage. This period is characterized by separation from society, ambiguity, danger, power, and communitas, a strong social bond between initiates that is later integrated into one's new position in society. Holy fools possess many of the characteristics of liminality as described by Turner. Turner briefly mentions the liminality of 'holy beggars' and 'simpletons' and the concept of permanent liminality in reference to monasticism but does not follow up on these ideas as I intend to in this paper. 

Not only is there a liminal aspect to the lives of holy fools, but these figures can be said to exist permanently in a liminal state, never reentering into a particular well-defined role in their society. This was at times complicated as holy foolishness became a recognized institution and holy fools were sought out as holy people, thus ruining their anonymity. Instead of being transformed by a liminal rite of passage from one stable state to another, holy fools maintain their liminality and bring it into the midst of a structured society. This accounts for the stark contrast between the holy fool and their worldly environment. Leontius of Neapolis's The Life of Symeon the Fool can be effectively read as a unique example of liminality, which, in turn, contributes to our understanding of liminality more generally. 

Cara Jean Polk - Literacy and Book Ownership in the Congregations of Chrysostom

      In his work Ancient Literacy, William Harris examines Late Antique social and material evidence with a view to establishing the literacy rates of the period. Since Harris does not think the period was characterized by the social structures, ideological commitments, and technological advances necessary for mass literacy, he estimates that no more than 10-15% of the population was literate in Late Antiquity. The sermons of John Chrysostom suggest a higher rate of literacy, however, at least among the members of Chrysostom’s congregation.  This is because Chrysostom offers frequent praise for the activities of reading and studying Scripture.  Likewise his comments, especially regarding education, show he assumes many people in his congregation can engage in these activities. Moreover the evidence for book production technology and educational practices in Late Antiquity does not contradict the picture of literacy offered in Chrysostom’s comments and exhortations. Therefore, placed within their material and social contexts, Chrysostom’s sermons indicate substantial levels of basic literacy and potential for book-ownership among the Christian populations of late fourth- and early fifth-century Antioch and Constantinople.  

Marek Starowieyski - La figure de St. Paul dans la litterature es aprpcryphe

     Les apocryphes qui parlent de St.Paul constituent un’ensemble assez hétérogène de point de vue littéraire et doctrinaire. Il existent trois groupes d’apocryphes liés avec l’Apôtre: les actes (de St.Paul et de ses compagnons – la groupe la plus riche), les lettres et les apocalypses (orthodoxes et gnostiques). Tous ces ouvrages présentent la figure de l’Apôtre d’une manière positive,même elogieuse. A côté de ces ouvrages nous trouvons aussi des apocryphes qui le présentent d’une manière négative, commençant par les Pseudoclémentines et ensuite Ps.Abdias, le Livre du cocq et d’autres.
     La présentation de ces différents opinions sur St.Paul dans les apocryphes constitue le sujet de cette communication.  

Noel Fitzpatrick - 'At One with the Bishop and the Presbyters and Deacons': the Letters of Ignatius Compared with those of Paul

The traditional date of the letters of Ignatius (c. 110 CE) is in doubt. Foster has suggested 125-149 CE (2006), Brent 130-139 (2007) and Barnes 140-149 (2008). However Barnes' argument is questionable, as it is based on the use of ψηλάφητος  by Ptolemaeus, which  is not proven.

A study of the frequency of unique nouns in the letters of  Ignatius and Paul was undertaken with significant results. Frequently used nouns (with frequencies in parentheses)  used by Ignatius, but not by Paul, are νότης (11),  νωσις (8), μόνοια (8) and μερισμός (6). These show the vital importance for Ignatius of concord and the lack of divisions in the church in Antioch, and  especially the constant  insistence on unity/union. Ignatius sees this unity as dependent on the loyalty of Christians to a church with a single bishop, supported by a presbytery and deacons. This proto-monarchical episcopacy is fundamental for Ignatius, as in all his letters, excluding  Romans, the importance of the bishop is clearly presented near the start of each (IEph 2:2, IMag 2:1, ITr 2:1, IPhld Salutation,  ISmyr 8:1, IPoly 6:1).      

The interests of Ignatius  were essentially organizational, while those of Paul were more theological, but both shared many theological views.  Paul wrote to churches he had founded and knew well, while the knowledge of Ignatius concerning the churches he wrote to was mainly dependent on brief meetings with delegates from these  churches. Paul had a deep understanding of Judaism, which Ignatius lacked. Both wrote to the Christians in Rome, where they were never previously, to ask for specific favours. 

Thus the most important feature  in Ignatius' letters, except to the Romans, was his  emphatic commitment  to a church based on  a single bishop with presbyters and deacons. Therefore these second century texts of Ignatius, the most significant figure of his time, are fundamentally different from the first century Pauline letters. 

Enrique Eguiarte - Exegetical Function of the Old Testament Names in Augustine's commentary on the Psalms

The paper presents the exegetical role that the Old Testament Names of Places and Persons have in Augustine’s exegesis of the Psalms within his commentary (Enarrationes in Psalmos), presenting some of his main exegetical sources, the vocabulary he uses and also the theological implications of his interpretation.

George Berthold - Dyothelite Language in Augustine's Christology

One intriguing question in the history of heresiology is how in the face of imperial pressure the Lateran Synod of 649 came up with substantially the same solution to the Monothelite crisis as would the Sixth Ecumenical Council of 680-1. How did the decisions of a western council anticipate so closely the doctrines of a universal council agreed to thirty years later by both eastern and western Churches?

Certainly, the influence of Maximus the Confessor was preponderant at the earlier synod. For some years previous he had led the fight against both Monenergism and Monothelitism as corruptive of Christological orthodoxy. He was present at the Lateran Synod, and though not a bishop he exerted a heavy influence over Pope Martin I and the assembled bishops.

But there may be another layer in this line of dependency. Were the western bishops so theologically unsophisticated that they could be convinced by a single eastern monk, generally unconversant in Latin, to oppose a determined emperor in Constantinople on the abstruse question of the wills in Christ?

The great standard of orthodoxy in the west was St. Augustine of Hippo. It is logical to presume that whatever the level of their theological sophistication, the western bishops would be familiar with Augustine’s Christological teaching. When we look at the master’s writings on the subject of Christology, in fact, we find clear and unambiguous language about the two wills in Christ, human and divine. In treating of the Agony in the Garden in his Commentary on Psalm 93, especially, does he see the dynamic of their functioning in tandem. At Lateran 649, the western bishops could recognize Augustine’s dyothelite Christology in the theology of Maximus and could confess it boldly. 

Anne Keidel - Nautical Imagery in the Writings of Basil of Caesarea

In all the various genres of Basil’s writings, nautical imagery can be found.  This talk will look at some of the most significant and representative examples, the context in which they were written, and discuss the message and teaching Basil is trying to convey through these visual associations.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Richard Vaggione - Cuius Regio, eius Religio in the Hellespont--Sanctity and Religious Change 381-415

In 381 the cities of the Hellespont, largely "Macedonian", awoke to find themselves Nicene, though most of their bishops had boycotted the Council of Constantinople. By 415 it had been determined that, religiously, the region was "always" been Nicene. This paper will use the lives of local saints (Agapetus of Synaus and Parthenius of Lampsacus) to illustrate the efforts of local Nicenes and Anomoeans to appropriate the religious heritage of the walkouts from Constantinople I.

Though the affinities of both Saints were politically with the party of Macedonius, they were claimed by the victorious Nicenes and (in the case of Agapetus) by the Anomoeans. This paper explores the various recensions of the lives of these saints and attempts to put these claims  in their local and imperial political contexts. Then, after reflecting on their respective roles in enabling local churches to adjust to a change in their “official” theological allegiance, there will be a brief discussion of reasons why these lives remained of interest to Symeon Metaphrastes and succeeding generations of Nicenes during a time of imperial recovery.

István M. Bugár - Can theological language be logical? The case of "Josipe" and Melito

I propose to reassess the controversy about monarchy and Trinity around 200 from a fresh vantage point. I assume that the parties of the controversy have been to rigidly defined without taking into account that the issue at steak was not only whether monarchianism is a legitimate interpretation of the faith of the Church but a question also of a methodological character was to be answered. What are the rules of the logos that is to speak about Theos? One characteristic answer was that of the work entitled "Refutatio omnium haeresium" whose anonymous author I shall name "Josipe" in tribute to P. Nautin.  He is following the path of the logic based on the principle of non-contradiction pioneered by Parmenides, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle -- and  trodden by Justin martyr also. An alternative way emerges, however, through the texts of Melito; a language of paradox, though not of uncontrolled paradox. This is a poetical, mystical, and liturgical language. The failure to distinguish between these two modes of speech led to the (false) assumption of a Noetian Melito. Notwithstanding, "Josipe" is not far off the mark when he connects Noetus' theology -- which, though different, is derivative of this paradoxical language -- with the logos of Heraclitus.  The main line of development of Christian theology in the fourth and fifth centuries up to Chalcedon was to reconcile these two modes of speech by assigning the appropriate scope for them and excluding the exclusive use of one at the expense of the other or the unreserved mingling of the two ways of speech that we find in Noetus.

Brooke Nelson - Fire and Water: Contextualizing Conflicting Images of the Virgin Mary in the Patristic Era

Despite the vast research on the iconography of the Virgin Mary, few comparative studies have been undertaken that attempt to contextualize conflicting images of the Virgin Mary between the apocryphal and canonized texts of the Patristic Era. The image of the Virgin Mary that consistently emerges from the literature is sympathetic: She is tractable, understanding, and intercessory. Often, she appears in instances associated with water, such as in the Marriage at Cana, where water serves as a symbolic representation of forgiveness, purity, and femininity. This study contextualizes the canonized iconography of the Virgin Mary within the larger scope of the Patristic Era, an era that was also responsible for the production of the much more fiery, literally and figuratively, Virgin Mary of the apocryphal texts. A comparative analysis of these two conflicting representations complicates the historiography of the Virgin Mary by viewing the creation of the canonized perspective as the result of intentional, political and socially responsive editorial control. This study is part of a growing body of research that looks at the production and perpetuation of orthodoxy through textual manipulation. In using a largely untapped source of contemporary social and political mores — the apocryphal representations of the Virgin Mary — this project will contribute to future research on similar topics.  

Mary B. Cunningham - The Theme of Intercession in Middle Byzantine Texts on the Virgin Mary

This paper will examine a number of texts, both liturgical and hagiographical, that celebrate Mary the Theotokos in the middle Byzantine period. Following the institution of Marian feasts between the sixth and eighth centuries, preachers and hymnographers produced a wealth of liturgical material, all of which elaborates her importance for theological and devotional reasons. It was also during this period that a separate hagiographical tradition began to be established; this uses similar exegetical techniques to those employed in the liturgical tradition, but it is less inhibited with regard to its use of both apocryphal sources and dramatic imagination. One interesting representative of this genre, a ninth-century Life of the Virgin Mary attributed to the monk Epiphanios of the Kallistratos Monastery in Constantinople, remains largely unstudied by scholars. Using a variety of sources, including this Life as well as sermons and hymns, my paper will examine the theme of intercession in this formative period. Whereas scholars have noticed a growth in Byzantine references to Mary’s intercessory power from the late sixth century onward, there has so far been no detailed study of the development of this preoccupation with regard to specific contexts or genres. The paper will attempt to trace how individual authors between the seventh and ninth centuries depict the Virgin’s role as intercessor and to determine whether trends in the use of this theme are discernable. On the basis of work carried out so far, it appears that certain liturgical writers, such as Germanos of Constantinople, and genres, such as hagiography and miracle stories, emphasise Mary’s protective and mediating qualities more than do others. It is even possible that controversy arose in the course of the eighth and ninth centuries concerning the extent to which apocryphal sources should be used and appeals to the Virgin’s intercessory powers should be invoked. 

Matthew Bell - The Heuristic Power of Truth -- Origen of Alexandria and a Reply to the Modern Biblical Critic

Across the hallway from historical theology in the religious studies academy lies biblical criticism.  Recent years have seen that field mired in controversy between advocates of reform and methodological conservatives.  Central to the debate is the role of perspective.  The new critics call for the reader not to suspend his or her existential, including any ecclesial, starting points, but to make use of them.  Methodological conservatives counter that this necessarily leads the interpreter into a vicious circle wherein she comes away from her reading only with whatever she brought.  This debate has not stayed across the hall.  The new critics see research into patristic hermeneutics as a source of inspiration for their own reforms.  Therefore, if early Christian reading escapes a vicious circle, proposals for reform based in it stand to do so likewise.  This paper will seek to show that the hermeneutical proposals of Origen of Alexandria in De Principiis are designed, in fact, such that they escape circularity through heuristic, dialectical application of the Rule of Faith.  The Rule presents, almost as a kind of hypothesis, that the scriptures possess layers of meaning; that hypothesis is then refined in encounter with the scriptural text.  Which layers actually are there and what sorts of meaning those layers possess are defined by the text itself.  This hermeneutic describes a spiral, not a circle, ergo vicious circularity has been evaded.

Aude Busine - Bishop Markellos and the destruction of the temple of Zeus at Apamea (Theodoretus, Hist. eccl. V 22)

This paper shall focus on Theodoretus’ account of the destruction of the temple of Zeus at Apamea by the local bishop Markellos (386 AD). Markellos’ attack would have constituted the earliest example of such violence on pagan monuments by Christian authorities. As far as today, scholars have only referred to the passage as a historical source of temple destruction. The details provided by the Church historian about the building and the implemented technique of destruction have also been used by archaeologists willing to reconstruct what happened to Apamea’s major temple. 
In this paper, I will firstly stress the limits of the use of this text for documentary purposes. In my opinion, the story of the destruction should rather be considered as a local aetiological myth aiming at explaining the presence of the ruins of Apamea’s gigantic temple.
Secondly, I will examine the function of this narrative in Theodoretus’ historical and apologetical work. It appears that the author reports the story in order to construct the character of the ideal bishop. Theodoretus’ account of the miraculous acts of Markellos is in line with other hagiographical material and therefore follows a literary topos of the holy man as demolisher of temples and idols. In this context, one understands that Theodoretus integrated in his work the local legend of the fall of Zeus temple since the description of the brutal defeat of the Apamean daemon perfectly fitted his own teleological vision of Church History.

Johan Leemans - John Chrysostom on Pentecost

In this paper I will discuss John Chrysostom’s sermon(s) on Pentecost, traditionally known as In pentecosten 1 and 2 (CPG 4343; ed. PG 50.453-470). After discussion of introductory issues (time and place of delivery) my analysis will address this text as a festal sermon: through a heortological analysis (compare J. Rexer on Gregory of Nyssa’s festal sermons) I will understand the proprium of the sermon as related to the mystagogical aspect of the feast of Pentecost. The use of Scriptural borrowings and of the rhetoric of the Second Sophistic will be helpful in this regard.  As contra-point Chrysostom’s exegesis of the pericope of Acts 2 in his Homilies 4-5 on the Book of Acts will be adduced. All in all, our paper should result in one of the first contributions focusing entirely on this rather neglected text. The paper is part of a larger project on Greek festal sermons between 350 and 450 AD.

Carly Daniel-Hughes - A Strange Sort of Monogamy?: Sexuality, Marriage, and Salvation in Tertullian

Tertullian’s final treatise on marriage, De monogamia, has long perplexed his modern readers, for in it he turns out not to applaud marital monogamy at all, but to suggest that sexual intercourse and childbearing are ungodly, potentially damning enterprises, permitted by God only as an “indulgence.” This conclusion is striking given his earlier pronouncement in his Ad uxorem that the marital bond of two Christian believers is to be cherished. Scholars have developed various explanations to address this seeming shift in perspectives on marriage often reading it as evidence of decline or “Montanist” heresy. As a result De monogamia has received little attention from scholars, who have not reflected upon the novelty of Tertullian’s argument in that work, which disparages carnal marriage, but upholds monogamy (and not, as we might expect, virginity). 

This paper examines Tertullian’s views on sexuality particularly as they are registered in De monogamia. I show how over his writings he repeatedly frames widowhood and chastity as corporal pedagogies that prepare and discipline the fleshly body for its salvation. More particularly, I suggest that rather indicating dramatic shifts in Tertullian’s sexual ethic, instead De monogamia reveals deep inconsistencies and tensions about sexuality and sexual difference that are by-products of his discourse on the resurrection of the flesh. Tertullian holds that sexual difference will obtain in the afterlife, but sexual desire will not, a view that emerges in order to ensure individual judgment and reflects Tertullian’s materialist convictions. This same negotiation around difference and desire, I will argue, emerges in and informs his construction of “monogamy.” Drawing out this point offers a richer understanding of his sexual ethics, and the gendered character of his soteriology.  

Pierre Augustin - La description des manuscrits chrysostomiens grecs de Paris pour le programme des Codices Chrysostomici Graeci : bilan et perspectives [Cataloguing the Chrysostom Greek Manuscripts in Paris for the CCG Project : Current Status and Future Prospects]

A quick overview of the results obtained and the evolution of this project, initiated in the 1970s, will emphasize in particular the contribution of volume VII, to be published in 2011, which is devoted to the first part of the “Fonds grec ancien”of the “Bibliothèque nationale de France” (MSS Paris, BNF, Gr. 4 to 730).

Nicholas Baker-Brian - 'Not Sacrament, but Sacrilege': Manichaean Women in Christian Heresiology

This paper will look at a central aspect of the theme of the proposed Workshop, ‘Women in Manichaeism’, by investigating references to female Manichaeans in Catholic heresiology with, inevitably, an especial focus on the anti-Manichaean writings of Augustine of Hippo. It intends to examine the central role which the polemical representation of female Manichaeans played in the wider Catholic defamation of Manichaeism, principally with regard to the way in which female affiliates of the religion were portrayed according to established literary models of indecency, sexualised passivity, and religious impurity - all aspects of Catholic invectio, the intention of which was to set up a false yet persuasive distinction between Manichaean immorality on the one hand, and the exemplary mores of Catholic Christianity on the other. This paper will argue that such accounts of nefarious Manichaean ritual practices as evidenced in heresiology offered, to quote David Frankfurter, ‘a case of smoke without the merest glint of fire’.  Nevertheless, issues relating to the formulation of gender distinctions within Manichaeism can arguably be glimpsed in the attempts of heresiologists to link the allegedly debased Manichaean rituals to the theogonic details of Mani’s myth, and this paper will attempt to unpick the strategies of Catholic invective with a view to refining Manichaean conceptions of the feminine and masculine in Manichaean theology. 

Lois Farag - Heroines not Penitents: Saints of Sex Slavery in Early Monastic Sources

This paper reexamines the stories of penitent women in early monastic sources and proposes that these are not stories of penitence but rather stories of women forced into the sex slave industry who overcame their devastating forced conditions and preserved their faith, which secured their rescue from bondage. They are heroines not penitents. 
Benedicta Ward’s Harlots of the Desert, A Study of Repentance in early Monastic Sources is an excellent example of a scholarly, as well church, view of stories of repentant women that needs to be reexamined. To prove the argument the paper will focus on the stories of three women rescued from brothels by three famous monastic figures: Thaïs (rescued by Paphnutius), Paësia (rescued by John the Dwarf), and Mary (rescued by her uncle, Abba Abraham). These stories primarily portray the heroism of the saintly male characters who come to rescue these fallen women.  I will argue that these women did not choose to be prostitutes but were rather forced into sex slavery to repay the debt of their families and that the rescue efforts followed the guidelines set by the Theodosian Code (4,6,3; 15,8; NTh 18; and laws of debt). The male characters either responded to requests from these women to come to their rescue or were obligated to act based on the ecclesial obligations set by Roman law. These women persevered in their faith and worked hard to save themselves from their forced enslavement and thus deserve to be portrayed as heroines rather than penitents.

Nathan Phillips - Translating Ousia in Augustine's De Trinitate

This paper is concerned with the theoretical significance of Augustine in the historical development of the concept of ousia. There are references to the translation of ousia by essentia found throughout Augustine’s corpus; Augustine describes essentia as a ‘new word’ [novo quidem nomine]; and he is explicit about his preference for essentia instead of substantia as a translation for ousia. Augustine’s defense of the word essentia is ultimately related to the development of his understanding of the Trinity; but the background for Augustine’s preference for essentia is also related to the Manichaean controversy, as well as to the Neo-Platonic and Plotinian horizons, specifically on the problem of evil as it relates to the existence of God. This paper proposes the following objectives: 1) to discuss the historical and theoretical background to the translation of the Greek oσία into the Latin substantia or essentia, respectively; 2) an examination of the reasons Augustine gives for his preference for the translation of ousia by essentia; 3) the role that essentia plays in Augustine’s understanding of the Trinity, most specifically on the relation between ousia and hypostasis; 4) and finally, an appraisal of the Augustinian position vis-a-vis contemporary issues in philosophical and theological discussions. The thesis of this paper is that the priority of essentia enables Augustine to avoid the Arian position on the substantial difference of the persons of the Trinity, as well as the Sabellian position which collapses the difference of the persons back into a unity, and that, in the end, the essentia takes on for Augustine the characteristics of a divine name.

Raúl Villegas Marín - The Background to the Augustinian Controversy: Circulation, Reception, and Copying of Books in Fifth-Century Gaul

Interest in the (now currently) so-called “Augustinian controversy,” has grown in the last few years. While many recent works have focused on the theological controversy, little attention has been paid to what I call the “material background” of the dispute. The purpose of this workshop paper is to highlight the circulation, reception, and copying of Augustine's works in Marseilles and Lerins, and how this may have influenced the debate. 

Virginia Burrus - The Virgin, Her Mother, and the Virgin Mother: Mariology in the Life of St. Helia

This communication will explore the distinctive role of the Virgin Mary in The Life of St. Helia, a little-studied hagiographical work preserved in a ninth-century manuscript and a tenth-century copy, of possible late fourth- or early fifth-century Spanish provenance.  The text presents a debate between the virgin Helia and her mother in three parts, the first a private exchange, the second (by appeal of the daughter) taking place in the presence of a bishop, and the third (by appeal of the mother) taking place before a judge.  The topic of their debate is the relative merits of virginity and marriage; its method is predominately exegetical.  Novelistic narrative elements frame the polemical dialogues, including the mother’s torture of her daughter and Helia’s secret escape dressed as a man, further dramatizing the strife between mother and daughter. In this charged context, an oppositional Eve/ Mary typology is elaborated to justify virginity as a superior form of both marriage and maternity, with emphasis on the virgin’s painless and joyful fertility.  The promotion of Mary as an exemplar of feminine fertility resonates intriguingly with two pseudo-Hieronymian letters possibly deriving from the same Spanish context and likely authored by women—“Nisi tanti seminis” and “Quamlibet sciam sacerdotali”—both of which emphasize not literal child-bearing but the fruits of women’s teaching, writing, and spiritual labour.