Saturday, 30 July 2011

User Statistics - over 10,000 views this month

Dear colleagues,

this is just a short insight into the backoffice of our blog. It is now live for slightly over 4 weeks, and see the statistics, we have got over 16,000 views with an average of around 300-400 views a day:

Friday, 29 July 2011

“Family and Children in the Patristic Tradition” conference, Final call for papers (deadline: 8/15/11)

The Stephen and Catherine Pappas Patristic Institute of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, has slots for a few additional short (20 min) papers at its October 13-15, 2011 conference on "Family and Children in the Patristic Tradition." 
Abstract deadline: no later than Monday, August 15, 2011.
Confirmed plenary speakers include: Véronique Dasen (Fribourg University, “Picturing child and family in the Roman period”), Cornelia B. Horn (St. Louis University, “Children and family in the patristic period: Past, present, and future perspectives”), David G. Hunter (University of  Kentucky, “Family and christianization in the early church”), John W. Martens (University of St. Thomas, “How Christians spoke against the sexual abuse of children in the patristic and late antique world"), Candida Moss (University of Notre Dame, “Abandonment of family/children in the New Testament and some early martyrological literature”), and Mark Tarpley (Southern Methodist University, “Child formation in the thought of Gregory of Nazianzus”).

Conference Announcement and Call For Papers:
Family and Children in the Patristic Tradition
October 13-15, 2011
Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology
Brookline, Massachusetts

Portion of Icon of the Entry into Jerusalem,
Stavronikita Monastery, circa 1546

The Stephen and Catherine Pappas Patristic Institute of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology is pleased to announce its annual thematic conference on Family and Children in the Patristic Tradition,” which will be held next Fall on the school’s campus in Brookline, Massachusetts beginning Thursday evening, October 13, and ending with dinner on Saturday, October 15, 2011.

The Conference Theme: Children play a surprising role in several of the narratives in the canonical gospels. They are even viewed by Jesus as paradigmatic of the Kingdom of God, -- “to such as these the Kingdom of Heaven belongs” (Mat 19:14).  In other writings of the New Testament, and in the later patristic corpus, the treatment of children is more varied and complex, including shared viewpoints with the Greco-Roman culture.  The purpose of our conference is to engage those patristic writings, Greek, Latin and Syriac, that treat the subjects of family and children; we will seek to examine both theological and socio-historical treatments of the family and children, attempting to deal with any gaps between the theoretical and the historical.  Paper proposals that examine the use of “family” and “children” as metaphors will also be welcomed, including those treating monasticism.

Confirmed Plenary Speakers:

  • Véronique Dasen (Fribourg University, “Picturing child and family in the Roman period”)
  • Cornelia B. Horn (St. Louis University, “Children and family in the patristic period: Past, present, and future perspectives”)
  • David G. Hunter (University of  Kentucky, “Family and christianization in the early church”)
  • John W. Martens (University of St. Thomas, “How Christians spoke against the sexual abuse of children in the patristic and late antique world)
  • Candida Moss (University of Notre Dame, “Abandonment of family/children in the New Testament and some early martyrological literature”)
  • Mark Tarpley (Southern Methodist University, “Child formation in the thought of Gregory of Nazianzus”)

Call for short papers:

For short (approximately 20 minute) papers, please submit a one-to-two paragraph abstract by no later than Monday, August 15, 2011.  Abstracts should:  1) present a clear thesis; 2) indicate knowledge of the sources; 3) show awareness of relevant methodological, historiographical, or philosophical issues; and 4) treat subject matter that falls within the parameters of Late Ancient and Patristic studies.  Please send your abstract, registration, or any inquiries, to Dr. Bruce Beck, Director, Pappas Patristic Institute (  All papers will be considered for publication in our series Holy Cross Studies in Patristic Theology and History (published jointly by BakerAcademic and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology).

Please register at your convenience by email to Dr. Bruce Beck at, with your name, institutional affiliation, address, and phone number.  There is a $125 registration fee, which also includes all the meals and breaks during the conference. This fee is payable upon check-in.  The registration fee for students is $40.00. The registration fee is waived for those presenting a paper.  The conference hotel is the Sheraton of Needham.  Shuttle service will be provided between the conference hotel and the campus.

Founded in 2003 by a generous grant from the late Stephen Pappas and his wife Catherine, the goal of the Pappas Patristic Institute is the advancement and promotion of primarily eastern patristic studies and education in the service of the academy and the Church.

Hagit Amirav - Paul and the Pauline Epistles as Hermeneutical Keys in John Chrysostom: Presentation of an Ongoing ERC Project

Chrysostom’s love of Paul is not a new observation in modern research, yet this observation needs to be further elaborated and explained against the background of Chrysostom’s particular embracement of the principles of the Antiochene School of exegesis. The purpose of this lecture is to establish Chrysostom’s emphasis on Paul and the Pauline epistles as unique hermeneutical keys to the Old Testament, developed by Chrysostom and his Antiochene peers in compensation for a conscious restricted use of allegory and other types of “spiritual” exegesis, and in enhancement of strong moral and pedagogical agendas, typical to this school. Taking Ephesians as a test case, we will focus not only on the application and embedding of Paul’s exegesis in Chrysostom’s expositions of this specific epistle, but also on Chrysostom’s treatment of Paul as a historical exemplum, worthy of imitation and celebration.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Laurence Vianès - L'interprétation des prophètes par Apollinaire de Laodicée a-t-elle influencé Théodore de Mopsueste?

Apollinaire de Laodicée semble pratiquer une exégèse tout opposée à celle de  Théodore de Mopsueste : notamment, il trouve dans le livre des Psaumes toutes sortes de significations christologiques ou eschatologiques. La première partie de cette communication montre que cependant Apollinaire applique peut-être déjà certains critères qui sont ceux de Diodore et de Théodore, et qu'en tout cas il partage avec Théodore une conviction :  la richesse des significations de l'Ancien Testament résulte simplement du fait qu'il est de la littérature, et comme tel, destiné à être repris, cité et pillé. La deuxième partie examine la répugnance de Théodore pour l'eschatologie, en prenant comme exemple l'invasion de Gog (Ez 38-39 etc.), et en la mettant en contraste avec l'eschatologie "philosémite" d'Apollinaire. Théodore a en commun avec Apollinaire de ne jamais allégoriser Jérusalem et les réalités juives. On propose l'hypothèse que s'il limite à l'histoire juive d'avant le Christ l'horizon des auteurs de l'Ancien Testament, c'est pour combattre les assertions d'Apollinaire qui envisageait, sur la base des prophéties, un triomphe final du judaïsme sur terre.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Sébastien Morlet - « Un nouveau fragment du traité de Porphyre contre les chrétiens ? (A new fragment of Porphyry’s Against the Christians ?) »

The paper discusses the possibility that an attack against Origen, transmitted by Marcellus of Ancyra and quoted by Eusebius of Caesarea, may derive from Porphyry’s Against the Christians. Though it is possible that Marcellus is the author of this criticism, there are also good reasons to assume that Porphyry may be behind the text quoted by Eusebius.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

PhD Position in either Patristic, Early Christian or Late Antique studies f/m

Joost Van Rossum - Creation-Theology in Gregory Palamas and Theophanes of Nicaea, Compatible or Incompatible?

The purpose of this communication is to challenge the thesis of I.D. Polemis according to which the theology of creation in Theophanes of Nicaea (14th century) is incompatible with that of Gregory Palamas (1296-1359). At the bottom of this discussion lies the problem of the relation between “humanist” and “palamite” (hesychast) theology.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Theodoros Alexopoulos - The Byzantine supporters of the Filioque in the thirteenth century. J. Beccos and K. Melitiniotes. An analysis of their major arguments. Touchpoints with the Latin West, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.

Focusing on the Byzantine writings  in support of the Filioque- addition to the creed, the present study tries to give us the flavour of the Trinitarian reflection in the age of the thirteenth century providing the reader with an analysis of the major arguments advanced by two important figures on the orthodox side, J. Beccos and K. Melitiniotes. In order to refute Photius position against the Filioque, J. B and K. M left to us a remarkable theological legacy, which must be in any case evaluated objectively. In this effort lies precisely the goal of this paper, namely to assess without confessional prejudices the validity and soundness of their arguments. In addition to that, the paper reveals striking similarities between J. Bs and K. Ms thought and the theological reasoning of the Latin West.

Michael F. Mach - WORKSHOP: Confronting Greco-RomanCulture: The Discursive Practices of Early Christian Texts.Apocalyptic Confrontation with Roman Authority

(Jewish) apocalyptic literature is mainly to be characterized as anti-institutional, in a way rebellious. Two works, however, direct that critique openly against Rome and Roman culture: The book of Revelation and the Third Book of the Sibylline Oracles. Thought the first is a Christian Composition, it rests heavily on Jewish traditions. The other belongs to the Jewish Hellenistic diaspora. Both works share a similar list of main sins attributed to Rome and its culture. This paper will seek to place the works in the wider field of Jewish Hellenistic and apocalyptic thought.

Allen Brent - Early “Christian” Epigraphy and Iconography: A new approach to Dölger's Classical Project.

The three participants in this proposal, Allen Brent, King’s College London and the Augustinianum, Rome, Emmanuele Castelli and Ulrich Volp have from their different perspectives on early Christian art that Dölger’s Classical project shares a common defect with its predecessors and successors.
We may succinctly exemplify some current and former approaches as:

  • Wilpert and Dölger’s ‘crypto Christian’ thesis
  • Finney’s thesis of the expurgation of pagan symbolism to allow a Christian meaning
  • A conventionalist thesis that pagan elements had no meaning for Christians but were simply accepted from a pagan workshop as funerary stereotypes.

Our common objection to all three that each in its own way denies a positive interaction between the Christian iconography and its pagan environment and past, a denial belied by a detailed examination of each item in question. 
Our objection to these three applies equally to all, namely in what takes place in any human conversation or interaction such as the hypothesized meeting of early Christians with the officinator and then the pictorius in a pagan workshop. Images are never accepted as simply static and conventional decoration but a discussion takes place in which, as in any human discussion that has a serious purpose, the concepts of both sides, forming and interlinked into two initially competing, overall constructions of reality, are subtly and generally semi-consciously changed as the discussion continues.
With the aid of a power point presentation, we will examine specific iconographical and epigraphical examples to make our different points.

Ann Usacheva - Workshop Proposal: “The Genres of the Late Antique and Christian Literature: Interaction and Transformation”

1. Dr. John Dillon (Trinity College Dublin Ireland). The ‘Philosophical letter’ in the Hellenic and Christian traditions
2. Dr. Yuri Shichalin (Moscow State University Russia). The Traditional View of Late Neoplatonism as a Self-contained System
3. Prof. Petr Mikhaylov (St. Tikhon's Orthodox University Russia) The principles of argumentation in theological polemics by the Great Cappadocians
4. Alexey Fokin (Institute of Philosophy of Russian Academy of Sciences Russia). Noetic Triade in Neo-Platonism and Patristics
5. Prof. Bernard Pouderon (Université François Rabelais de Tours France). The genre of the Apology and the genres of the works of apologists
6. Prof. Svetlana Mesyats (Institute of Philosophy of Russian Academy of Sciences Russia). The concept of Hypostasis in Platonic philosophy and Christian theology of the 4th – 6th cent. AD
7. Ann Usacheva (StTikhon's Orthodox University Russia). The term πανήγυρις in Old and New Testaments and Christian Literature of the IV cent. AD
8. Olga Alieva (StTikhon's Orthodox University Russia). St. Basil's Orations in Light of Paraenetic Tradition

Rubén Peretó Rivas - Workshop: Los estudios patrísticos en Latinoamérica I

Convener: Rubén Peretó Rivas (AIEP - Argentina)
Oscar VELASQUEZ (Chile), “La historia de la patrística en Chile: un largo proceso de maduración”
Dra. María Isabel LARRAURI- Pbro. Lic. Pedro FERNÁNDEZ- Pbro. Lic. Ángel HERNÁNDEZ (Argentina), “A diez años de la Iniciación de los Estudios Patrísticos en la Universidad Católica de Cuyo. San Juan-Argentina
Edinei DA ROSA CÂNDIDO (Brasil), “Proposta para publicações patrísticas no Brasil e América Latina: os 6 anos dos Cadernos Patrísticos”.
Ricardo DIEZ – Raquel FISCHER (Argentina), “Puesta al día de los estudios agustinianos en Argentina y Latinoamérica”

Rubén Peretó Rivas - Workshop: Los estudios patrísticos en Latinoamérica II

Convener: Rubén Peretó Rivas (AIEP - Argentina)
Viviana FÉLIX (Argentina), “La influencia de platonismo medio en Justino a la luz de los estudios recientes sobre el Didaskalikos”.
Rubén PERETO RIVAS (Argentina), “La acedia en Evagrio Póntico. Entre ángeles y demonios”.
Graciela RITACCO (Argentina), “El Bien, el Sol y el Rayo de Luz según Dionisio del Areópago”.
Hernán GIUDICE (ARGENTINA), Prisciliano de Ávila y el apóstol Pablo”.

David Hunter - WORKSHOP: International Panel Discussion of Elizabeth A. Clark, Founding the Fathers: Early Church History and Protestant Professsors in Nineteenth-Century America (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011)

In April of 2011 the University of Pennsylvania Press will release a substantial new study of the history of patristic scholarship in North America: Elizabeth A. Clark, Founding the Fathers: Early Church History and Professors in Nineteenth-Century America.  In view of Professor Clark’s many contributions to the field of Patristics, including a term as President of the North American Patristics Society and an even plenary address at the Oxford Conference, it seemed appropriate to give special attention to this important new study.  I have assembled an international panel of scholars who will each present a fifteen-minute response to the book from the perspective of his or her own national tradition of patristic scholarship.  The following have agreed to participate: Professor Pier Franco Beatrice (University of Padova, Italy), Professor Averil Cameron (Oxford, United Kingdom), Professor Wolfram Kinzig (University of Bonn, Germany), and Professor Mark Vessey (University of British Columbia, Canada).  After the four panellists have presented their responses to the book, Professor Elizabeth Clark will give her own response.  I anticipate that there will be at least thirty minutes remaining for the open discussion between Clark, the panellists, and the audience.  I will serve as moderator of the panel and discussion.

Cyril Hovorun - Workshop title: The Church Fathers vis-à-vis the Neo-Platonists (# 0141)

The Fathers vis-à-vis the Neo-Platonists in the 3rd - 7th centuries.
Cyril HOVORUN (Ukraine), Influence of Neo-Platonism on the formation of theological categories in the 4th-7th centuries
Gabor BUZASI (Hungary), Julian's solar theology and its relation to the Christianity of his age
Victor YUDIN (Belgium), The place of Platonism in Augustine’s Resurrection theory 
Levan GIGINEISHVILI (Georgia), Eros in the Theology of I.Petritsi and Sh.Rustaveli
The Fathers vis-à-vis the Neo-Platonists in the 3rd - 7th centuries.
Proposal for the workshop
at the Oxford Patristic Conference 2011
This workshop is the result of an international co-operation between various academic institutions: UCL, ELTE, the University of Tbilisi, Theological Academy of Kiev, and Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Kiev. It brings  scholars together from Belgium, Ukraine, Hungary and Georgia.
The workshop is dedicated to the creative rapprochement between the Neo-Platonic philosophy and the Christian theology from the 3th through the 7th centuries. We discuss whether the Neo-Platonists had a significant impact on the church fathers, or whether in some cases the impact was the other way around. We also examine to what extent debates at the time concerning discrepancies in ideas have been constructive on both sides. We shed light on these issues in the four following presentations.
The first paper by C.Hovorun is methodological in character. It deals with the formation of the theological vocabulary of the church fathers as rooted in classical Antiquity, and later in the Neo-Platonic school. The author compares the key terminology in Neo-Platonists and the Christian theologians, considering various aspects of the usage of their terms, such as οσία, φύσις, πόστασις, διότης, νέργεια. He also traces the significance of these notions with respect to the formation of theological ideas.
The following three papers present examples of such a terminology change, each of them in its own unique fashion. First, G.Buzasi explores the importance of Julian’s solar theology in the context of debates concerning theology at a time when the positions of the two parties were uncompromising. Next, V.Yudin focuses upon one of the key elements around which the debates took place. The issue under scrutiny is the resurrection of the body, as criticized by Porphyry and later defended by Augustine. Augustine based his position on Plato, and used Plato’s achievements in order to explore the Christian resurrection theory.  Finally, L.Giginieshvili analyzes the use of the notion of eros by the 12th c. Georgian theologian Ioane Petritsi as well as by the poet Sh.Rustaveli, who both seem to have been under an influence of Proclus. This may point out that the impact of the Neo-Platonic philosophy on Christianity persisted even later, after the closure of the Athenian Academy or the Arab conquest of Alexandria.

Influence of Neo-Platonism on the formation of theological categories in the 4th-7th centuries
Proposal for the workshop on Neo-Platonism and Christianity
at the Oxford Patristic Conference 2011
by Cyril Hovorun (Kiev)

The emergence of a wide variety of interpretations of the Trinity and Incarnation, and discussions and fights over these issues, resulted in the development of a commonly accepted framework of basic categories. Thus, theological controversies encouraged their participants to adopt a system of coordinates with the categories of οσία, φύσις, πόστασις, διότης, νέργεια constituting its axes. These categories were borrowed from the classical dialectics, with significant input from its contemporary Neo-Platonism. However, the use of  philosophical categories in the Christian theology was eclectic. Traditional categories were modified, re-interpreted, and re-labelled.
The paper explores how Neo-Platonism influenced the formation of the basic categories of the Christian theology, and how Neo-Platonic dialectics were reshaped when applied to theology. It cover the period from the 4th to the 7th centuries and engage names from Porphyry to Stephan of Alexandria.

Christ and the Sun in the solar theology of Julian the Apostate
Proposal for the workshop 
on Neo-Platonism and Christianity at the Oxford Patristic Conference by
by Gabor Buzasi (Hungary)

This paper  present the results of a research on the Emperor Julian’s Neoplatonic solar theology. After a reconstruction of the metaphysical and cosmological framework of the Emperor‘s Hymn to the Sun King, I argue that this work, together with other passages of the Emperor’s oeuvre, is not only the most important testimony of Iamblichus‘ cosmological and theological ideas concerning the Sun, but also that it was influenced to a great extent by the Christological debates of the fourth century.
Eros in Theology of I.Petritsi and Sh.Rustaveli
Proposal for the workshop on Neo-Platonism and Christianity
at the Oxford Patristic Conference 2011                                                                                         
 by Levan Gigineishvili (Tbilisi)

This paper discusses the notion of eros in the Neoplatonic philosophy of Ioane Petritsi and his influence on the thought of the epic poet Shota Rustaveli, who holds a similar vision. In both Petritsi and Rustaveli eros represents an anagogic power that leads souls from their self-centeredness towards higher realities and ultimately to God; in both, eros is intimately connected to the notion of conscience (logos/intellect/understanding). Comparisons and influences will be sought in the thought of the church fathers, but most importantly, in the thought of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite. Since eros in thought of Petritsi and Rustaveli is a universal power that permeates all and, thus, by implication, is not restricted to any single culture or religion, those thinkers ran a risk of falling under a censure of the official church, which would deny any salvific or even anagogic activity happening outside her bosom. I argue that this explains the hostility of the church officials towards both these authors in Medieval Georgia; especially in the case of Rustaveli, this hostility even has a theoretical/theological basis. 
The place of Platonism in Augustine’s Resurrection theory 
Proposal for the workshop on Neo-Platonism and Christianity at the Oxford Patristic Conference by Victor YUDIN (Louvain-la-Neuve, Brussels)
One might assume that the Platonists, or indeed any pagan thinkers, have no place in Christian  theology. However, the case of Augustine’s Resurrection theory proves the opposite. He uses the Timaeus 41ab, which is one of the most complex texts in Plato, in order to advance some of his major claims in a purely Christian context. However, the question remains whether he  adequately understood this passage. 
Augustine’s resurrection theory is a significant theological contribution. He presented it in the course of his sermons of the Easter cycle (sermons 240-242) as well as in the last  (xii) of The City of God.  In the latter source he analyzes various aspects of the scientific knowledge of his time concerning the state of the resurrected body, answering the critique of the resurrection theory  launched by the opposition. One of his achievements is his claim that God is accessible for contemplation for the saints, but this happens only in the state of resurrection, after death.
What is surprising, however, is that this theory had not been formed in a theological dispute against other theologians. It took shape in the debate with the intellectuals of the time: the Neo-Platonists. Augustine feels challenged by Porphyry’s critique of Christianity Christians, specifically their critique of the resurrection theory, making numerous references to the Philosophy from Oracles
This paper focuses on the evaluation of Augustine’s claim that Tim 41ab contains the resurrection theory. First, we will try to evaluate Cicero’s Latin translation of the Timaeus dialogue, as it was used by Augustine in his analysis. I argue that Augustine’s translation was poor, and that therefore it was hardly possible  for him to understand Plato’s original. Secondly, I will consider whether Augustine was familiar with the Neo-Platonist exegesis of the Tim 41ab (by Porphyry, Iamblichus as later related by Proclus), and if so, to what extent, as he tries to convince the Neo-Platonists of the truth of the Christian teaching. Curiously, he rebukes them for having a poor knowledge of Plato. Finally, we will turn to the traditional use of this text by the preceding theologians (Athenagoras, Justin Martyr, Hypollytus etc.), with the aim of getting to know how faithful Augustine’s interpretation was to the Patristic tradition.

Yoram Tsafrir - Workshop: Early Monasticism in the Holy Land: The role of Peter the Iberian and other Georgian MonksPresentation: Travelling in Jerusalem in the days of Peter the Iberian

Travelling in Jerusalem in the Days of Peter the Iberian

When Peter the Iberianarrived in Jerusalem in the mid fifth century, the city was in a process of expansion and demographical growth. The biographies of Peter and some of his contemporaries such as Bar Sauma, Melania the Elder and the Judean Desert fathers, as well as various pilgrim texts and archaeological finds, enable us to draw a profile of the growing city - the arena of Peter's activity - before it reached its prime a century later.

The presentation will concentrate on the archaeological-topographical  aspects with an emphasis on the location of the monastic institutions inside and outside the city-walls.

The other presenter is Prof. Tamila Mgaloblishvili (Tbilisi, Georgia): Peter the Iberian : Beginning of the Georgian monastic life in the holy Land

Caroline Mace - WORKSHOP: "Aspects of Question-and-Answer Literature in Late Antiquity: Ambrosiaster, Anastasius of Sinai and Ps. Athanasius" (convenor: Y. Papadogiannakis - n° of submission: 0435)Title of my paper: "Supernatural elements and false oracles in Pseudo-Athanasius' Quaestiones ad Antiochum

Quaestio 136 in pseudo-Athanasius' corpus of Quaestiones ad Antiochum (CPG 2257, PG vol. 28, coll. 597-700) is a quite intriguing text, which does not seem to fit in the rest of the corpus, in terms of language and of content. The question asked is how to convince Pagans that there is only one God, who is the God of the Christians. The answer to this question combines a survey of supernatural events, which are supposed to demonstrate the existence of God, with the statement that the birth of Christ was already announced by some of the "Wises" amongst the Pagans (in the tradition of the "Theosophy"). Quaestio 136 was probably used to fabricate the Περ το ναο attributed to Athanasius and edited by A. Delatte in 1923. In this paper I would like to determine the sources used in both parts of Quaestio 136, and to elucidate its context of composition. I would also like to face the question as whether Quaestio 136 belongs or not to the original collection of Quaestiones ad Antiochum and where it comes from.

Francisco Bastitta Harriet - WORKSHOP (Los estudios patrísticos en América Latina II): ¿Dios 'consecuente' a la decisión humana? Una interpretación de un pasaje del De vita Moysis de Gregorio de Nisa

En un pasaje de su tratado tardío ‘Sobre la vida de Moisés’ (II, 86) Gregorio de Nisa, refiriéndose a los males padecidos por los egipcios en el relato bíblico, sostiene la plena responsabilidad de la decisión (proaíresis) humana sobre ellos, al punto de afirmar que la Justicia divina misma ‘es consecuente’ u ‘obedece’ (epakolouthoûsa) a las decisiones humanas según su valía. El verbo epakolouthéo es usualmente predicado de las cosas creadas entre los Padres, ya que éstas ‘siguen’ los designios del Creador y el orden que él estableció en la naturaleza. Su atribución a Dios mismo en este contexto es muy llamativa. Es cierto que el Niseno sigue de cerca allí la exégesis origeniana del Éxodo, que intentaba refutar el determinismo de algunas corrientes gnósticas proponiendo el autogobierno real del alma, tanto para su perdición como para su salvación. Pero Gregorio va más allá de Orígenes y de sus influencias platónicas y estoicas en lo referente a la noción de persona, al protagonismo de la libertad humana y al nivel de correspondencia interpersonal del hombre con lo divino.

Han-luen Kantzer Komline - WORKSHOP Title: Via est qua imus: Perspectives on Augustine’s Christology PAPER Title: Augustine on the Two Wills of Christ

In a recent essay, Brian Daley has considered the evidence that Maximus the Confessor knew Augustine’s theology based on a number of foundational resonances between the thought of the two fathers (Daley, 2008).  These include the affirmation, by both Augustine and Maximus, of two distinct wills in Christ: a human will and a divine will.  Building on this observation, this paper considers Augustine’s insistence, in the early fifth century, on the idea that Christ had two distinct wills.  
Focusing on Augustine’s affirmation of this notion in his Enarratio of Psalm 93 and his treatise Contra sermonem Arianorum, the paper evaluates how Augustine articulates the idea of Christ’s two wills in each of these contexts and explores his possible motivations for developing the notion as he does in each case.  It considers, in other words, the role of Augustine’s affirmation of Christ’s two wills in the polemical contexts of the debates, late in his life, with Pelagianism and with the Homoian Arianism represented by Palladius of Ratiaria and the Arian bishop Maximinus.  
With respect to the latter case, this paper will show how Augustine posits two wills in Christ to secure a Christologically appropriate interpretation of a litany of scriptural quotations, cited by his “Arian” opponents, in which Jesus submits to the will of the Father.  Reading John 6:38 (“I came down from heaven, not to do my will, but to do the will of him who sent me”) through the lens of Romans 5:15-21, Augustine shows that the submission of Christ’s human will to the divine will signifies, not his lack of a fully divine nature, but rather his possession of a fully divine and human nature in one person.  In Augustine’s exegesis of John 6:39, the very possibility of Christ’s human will overcoming the natural human temptation to oppose God autonomously (his capacity to say “not my will) presupposes his possession of a fully divine nature and will.  Thus, in this exegetical-polemical context, Augustine’s affirmation of the two wills of Christ secures his affirmation of Christ’s possession of a divine substantia as well as a human substantia
The paper will conclude by contrasting how and why Augustine articulated the notion of Christ’s two wills in these two instances with the motivations and polemical concerns that led Maximus to strikingly similar conclusions in the seventh century.  

Rick Elgendy - “Practices of the Self, Reading Across Divides: What Michel Foucault Could Have Said about Gregory of Nyssa”

 As is increasingly well-known, Michel Foucault turned to the ancient world in his late work in order to excavate material for his notion of “practices of the self.” Foucault argues that, in many ways, the ethical imperative of the ancient schools was to “care for the self”, understood not as a form of self-aggrandizement but rather as a determined application of ascetical disciplines to oneself in order to effect self-transformation. In this light, it is striking that Foucault seems to dismiss Christian ascetics, especially Gregory of Nyssa, who (in his De Virginitate) uses the phrase “care for the self” as a normative center of Christian practice.
 In this paper, I argue for a connection between Foucault’s inattention to Gregory of Nyssa and Foucault’s summary judgments about Christian possibilities: specifically, that Christianity is not and has not been a properly “ascetical” tradition. That is, Foucault could have found a much deeper and more significant affinity between his work and Gregory’s account of practices of the self: while the narrative situation of the two authors differs (dramatically), both argue that unreflective participation in the forms of daily life on offer cannot condition one for access to truth and that certain exercises are required in order to become the kind of subject who has such access. In the first section of this paper, I will sketch this vision of “spirituality” that the two figures share.
 In the second section of this paper, I will return to the question of “narrative disparity” in order to raise and address some methodological issues with the resources discussed in the first. The common assumption that might also account for Foucault’s hasty dismissal of Patristic sources – that comparisons across narrative divides (such as “Christian” and “Nietzschean”) are treacherous, likely to fail due to equivocation or excluding implication – can be questioned precisely from the position(s) articulated in the first half of the paper: that the subject must perform certain exercises in order to shape her perception in ways that attain to truth.  I will conclude by showing how this works out in an academic practice – reading a work specifically as a text – in ways that demand the reader to attempt certain forms of imaginative and interpretive charity, which practices might permit us to see how counter-intuitive comparisons can indeed prove fruitful.


Workshop Abstract:

The Eucharist was incontestably a central institution in the lives of early Christian communities, but the process of describing and interpreting the evidence for its practice in the first few centuries is far from complete. Recent strands in scholarship include emphasis on continuity with Greco-Roman as well as Jewish meal practices, greater acknowledgement of diversity, and contextualization of prayer texts relative to evidence for ritual and realia. This workshop seeks to contribute to the continuing task of establishing the form and meaning of such early Christian ritual meals, including the question of sacrificial significance, participation and presidency, and local diversity.

Paper Abstract:

Although cultic imagery and ideas was present in Christian literature and liturgy from the earliest times, the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple and the persistence of Greco-Roman cultus provided complex opportunities and challenges. Both these traditions were simultaneously rejected and appropriated, if in distinct ways, by the emergent Church. Authors including Ignatius, Justin and Tertullian provide evidence for the ways Christianity not only borrowed but re-invented cultic ideas in the course of developing its liturgical life.

Morwenna Ludlow - WORKSHOP: 'The Image of God in "Nicene" Theology'

Cappadocian responses I
This paper will respond to the questions posed by Frances Young in her paper “God’s Image: the ‘Elephant in the Room’ in the fourth Century?”, by examining theories of ‘imaging’ as they apply to theology and the arts and, in particular, by focussing on the concept of ‘mimesis’.  This does not appear as an explicit theme in Young’s paper on which this workshop is based; however, mimesis is a prominent theme in her writing on early Christian exegesis, especially in her Biblical Exegesis and the Formation of Christian Culture.  This paper will argue that the Cappadocian fathers (especially the two Gregories) reflect explicitly on the ‘mimetic’ quality of their theological writing: they connect this to artistic mimesis in general (including visual mimesis in pictures and sculpture) and this allows them to make a distinction between mimesis as mere representation or repetition and mimesis which is productive in some other more positive way.  The paper will connect this move to art-historical analyses of ‘viewing’ in Late Antiquity (using the work of Jaś Elsner), arguing that the Cappadocians thought that Christian art did not attempt directly to represent the divine as pagan idols did.  Furthermore, they claimed (against Eunomius) that bad theological writing was ‘idolatrous’ because it tried directly to represent the divine.  The question is, then, whether/how the Cappadocians connected claims about visual and literary idolatry either to the exegesis of Ex 20:4 or to theological claims about Christ being the image of God (Col 1:15) and humans being created in God’s image (Gen 1:27)? 

Mirjam Kudella - WORKSHOP Title: Via est qua imus: Perspectives on Augustine's Christology PAPER Title: Augustine's Polemics against Manichaean Christology: A Question of Demarcation

In the wake of various investigations into Augustine’s Christology undertaken during the last centuries, and following the wide interest in Manichaean Christology (e.g. Rose; Richter; recently Franzmann; BeDuhn) and the questions occasionally raised as to the extent of Manichaeism's influence on Augustine’s theology in general (e.g. Drecoll/Kudella, forthcoming 2011), the task remains now to survey Augustine’s relation to and his polemics against Manichaean Christology in particular. In 1964, Julien Ries came to the conclusion that: “Augustine, a former disciple of Mani, knew the central role of Jesus in the doctrine he battled. If you read his treatises, however, you get the impression that his polemics are rather concentrated on the refutation of the two principles, on the destructive exegesis of the Holy Scriptures, on the false concepts of the soul, sin and the immutability of God […] This problem would be worth an investigation.” Is it true that Manichaean Christology provided Augustine with so few points of genuine conflict that he turned to other matters in his criticism of Manichaean theology? In this regard, I want to ask a twofold question: What are the differences between Manichaean theology and Augustine’s which are advantageous for Augustine’s critiques, and what are the similarities he brushes aside? In my contribution, I will deal with the Christological concepts of Western Manichaeism and compare these concepts with Augustine’s Christology. The differences might be, at least partly, the result of Augustine’s rejection of Manichaeism, both implicit and explicit, conscious and unconscious. On the other hand, certain similarities require examination from a very specific perspective: My question is not to what extent the Jesus-figure(s) of Western Manichaeism overlapped with the Christological concepts of the contemporary majority church in general (Feldmann has argued that young Augustine, who was raised a “Catholic”, did not fundamentally need to change his notion of Christ when he turned towards Manichaeism in search of the nomen Christi). Nor will my focus be on the question of whether the Jesus-figure(s) were actually significant for the function of the Manichaean myth (recently Coyle has called this assertion into question). I will rather concentrate on the specific way in which Augustine displays Manichaean Christology, as he emphasizes the irreconcilable differences and disregards the disturbing parallels.

Pedro Fernandez - WORKSHOP: Los estudios patrísticos en Latinoamérica I

A diez años de la Iniciación de los Estudios Patrísticos en la Universidad Católica de Cuyo
 San Juan-Argentina
Dra. María Isabel Larrauri- Pbro- Lic. Pedro Fernández- Pbro. Lic. Ángel Hernández

La Universidad Católica de Cuyo está ubicada en la provincia de San Juan  y en la actualidad se ha convertido en un polo de irradiación de los Estudios Patrísticos en la Argentina. Pero este fenómeno tiene una historia que quisiéramos brevemente describir. Entre los pioneros de este magno esfuerzo, es necesario mencionar a la Dra. María Isabel Larrauri, quien a partir de la docencia en las cátedras de Historia de la Filosofía Antigua, Medieval y Metafísica fue organizando un ámbito de estudio y reflexión referido a la época de la Patrística. Esta iniciativa fue evolucionando y dando frutos. En los últimos cinco años se han creado las siguientes instancias académicas, de investigación y de difusión: 1-Centro Interdisciplinario de Estudios Integrales (CIDEI). Este centro está  orientado especialmente al estudio y difusión de la obra de los Santos Padres; 2-Diplomatura en Estudios Patrísticos. El eje organizador de los diversos cursos de esta carrera fue el siguiente: “Los Santos Padres en diálogo con su época”. Cabe aclarar que esta diplomatura contó con la presencia de los más destacados especialistas de la región sur de América Latina, así como también de España; 3-Creación del Instituto de Estudios Patrísticos.  El programa de investigación que organiza las diversas actividades que se ejecutan en este Instituto, gira alrededor del siguiente tema: “La cuestión de la divinidad de Jesús Cristo en el período pre-niceno”. Este Instituto cuenta con un grupo de entusiastas investigadores, algunos de los cuales están realizando sus tesis doctorales en temas relacionados a los Santos Padres; 4- Revista “Ciencia y Espiritualidad”. Está publicación está orientada a la recepción de artículos especializados en temas patrísticos; 5-En la actualidad se está organizando un congreso que se realizará  en mayo del 2012 y cuyo tema central será el siguiente: “Unidad y diversidad. Representaciones en torno a la figura de Jesús en la literatura cristiana de la época patrística”; 6- Se está diseñando una carrera de postgrado que  vinculará a la red de universidades de la Argentina en temas vinculados a la Patrística.
Creemos que el gran mérito de la Universidad Católica de Cuyo consiste en un esfuerzo sostenido y entusiasta por afianzar los Estudios Patrísticos  en la Argentina

Marie-Pierre Bussières - WORKSHOP : Aspects of Question-and-Answer Literature in Late Antiquity: Ambrosiaster, Anastasius of Sinai and Ps. Athanasius

Title: “Magis ad laudem proficiat simplicitas eorum” (QVNT 100, 3): How sophisticated were Ambrosiaster’s students?

Ambrosiaster’s simple explication of Scriptures – when not sometimes downright fallacious – draws one to wonder what the level of sophistication of his pupils was: were they not able to tell when an argumentation is either circular or truncated? Using the Questions and Answers on the Old and New Testament as an example of Ambrosiaster’s teaching, and taking as a premise our previous work where we argued that Ambrosiaster’s audience for his teaching varied from one version of his work to another (i.e. cleric, non-cleric), we will try to dig deeper in Ambrosiaster’s conception of the relation between magister and pupil.

The connection to the workshop is self-explanatory.

Kate Cooper - WORKSHOP: Reading the Saeculum: A Roundtable Remembering Robert Markus

This roundtable will remember Robert Markus through a consideration of the legacy of four of his landmark contributions.  Each speaker will introduce the work briefly (15 minutes), offering a consideration of its original aims and context of publication and assessing the impact of the book his or her own thinking, and its legacies--including that of questions still open--for the fields which it traversed. Following a brief (5-10 minute) response we will devote the remainder of the time to open discussion. 

Chair: Neil McLynn, Corpus Christi College, Oxford

Saeculum: History and Society in the Theology of Saint Augustine (1970)
Discussant: Conrad Leyser, Worcester College, Oxford

The End of Ancient Christianity (1990)
Discussant: Kate Cooper, University of Manchester

Gregory the Great and His World (1997)
Discussant: Claire Sotinel, University of Paris-Est

Signs and Meanings: World and Text in Ancient Christianity (1996)
Discussant: Mark Vessey, University of British Columbia

Respondent: Henry Mayr-Harting, St Peter's College, Oxford

Bas ter Haar Romeny - WORKSHOP Biblical Quotations in Patristic TextsCONTRIBUTION: Biblical Quotations in Syriac Commentaries

This paper will first discuss the evidence for various versions of the Old Testament in Syriac exegetical works. In addition to quotations from the Peshitta, which is a second-century translation based on a Hebrew text, one finds references to the recentiores and to “the Greek” and “the Hebrew”. A complicating issue is the fact that references to “the Greek” may refer either to the Syro-Hexapla or to ad hoc renderings of the Greek biblical text of Greek commentaries that have been translated or excerpted.

Second, the significance of the material will be discussed. Quotations from the Fathers should play a role in the constitution of the critical text of the Peshitta, Syro-Hexapla, and Hexapla. This might seem to be self evident, but practical problems have often prevented editors from using the evidence. There are also more reasons why the quotations are important. For instance, they may help us to assign a place and date to a certain text form. In exegetical collections which do not state their sources, they may help to find out the provenance of the material. And last but not least, the role given to the quotations is a major aspect of the exegetical method that needs to be analysed.

The third issue that will be brought up has to do with the practical problems mentioned before: the Peshitta Institute will cooperate with the Biblindex Project and the Hexapla Institute in order to make at least a selection of the material available.

David Newheiser - WORKSHOP PROPOSAL: The Significance of Michel Foucault for Approaches to Patristics

This workshop aims to assess the implications of the work of Michel Foucault for the practice of Patristics. Each paper brings an aspect of Foucault's work into conversation with an early Christian author, and each aims to reflect in this light upon broad questions concerning the methodology of Patristic studies. In this way, we hope to open the space for a robust conversation with those in attendence about the way in which early Christian texts can and should be read.

The presenters and their topics are as follows:

Rick Elgendy (USA): "Practices of the Self, Reading Across Divides: What Michel Foucault Could Have Said about Gregory of Nyssa"

David Newheiser (USA): "Foucault and the Discontinuity of Tradition"

Marika Rose (UK): "A Response: Foucault and the Power of Patristics"

Devin Singh (USA): "Disciplining Eusebius: Discursive Power and Representation of the Court Theologian"

David Newheiser - Foucault and the Discontinuity of Tradition

"Foucault and the Discontinuity of Tradition"

This paper argues that, among the many ways in which the work of Michel Foucault may usefully contribute to the field of Patristics, his attention to the invention of concepts represents a valuable corrective to the tendency to read ancient texts through the lens of later settlements. The temptation to construe the history of doctrine as an harmonious process of development is frequently motivated by the conviction that tradition represents a sort of continuity; in response, Foucault's method helps to clarify the ruptures involved as new ways of thinking emerge. Taking the debate concerning the Nicene homoousion as an example, I aim to show that Athanasius's interpretation of Nicaea represents a genuine novelty despite his own claim to represent a univocal tradition.
      In his work on the history of sexuality, Foucault shows that, whereas concepts such as "sexuality" are often used to interpret the past,  these concepts take form in particular historical periods. Thus, whereas some historians discuss the forms of sexuality prevalent in ancient Greece, Foucault suggests that this approach is distorting insofar as "sexuality" itself is a modern invention, one that is foreign to the ancient Greek context. Instead, he suggests, the eccentricity of ancient texts and their distance from later formulations ought to be allowed to stand.
      Athanasius's appropriation of the council of Nicaea provides a prime example of the tendency to read later concepts onto the past. Writing more than thirty years after the fact, Athanasius claims that the bishops at Nicaea included the term homoousion in order to definitively exclude the Arian heresy; however, the council's immediate context suggests that the term actually had a more vague and problematic sense. Athanasius may thus be seen to have given the contested term a new meaning, but this fact is obscured by his own claim to represent a univocal tradition. In this way, then, Foucault's fine-grained sensitivity to the historical formation of concepts helps to clarify the vital heterogeneity of Patristic theology.

Elena Ene D-Vasilescu - How evolutionistic were the Cappadocian Fathers?

In the multitude of theories about the relationship between evolution and creation, those which assert that the two are not contradictory are, in fact, the smallest in number.

That is surprising given the fact that the primary sources of both movements do not suggest anything to sustain an incompatibility between these two views. On the one hand, Genesis (I, 11) says: “Let the earth bring forth grass!” (but not ‘God created grass’). It means that the earth, and matter in general, was endowed with creativity, and that can imply evolution. 

Along the same lines of thought as those in the book quoted above, the thinkers of the early Christian era continue: "The earth germinates. It does not, however, sprout that which it has, but transforms [...] as much as God gives to it the strength to act" (St Basil the Great).

Earth is unable to be fertile by itself, but the Word of God intervenes with its active power to make it so; yet the role of the earth is important in the equation. Even more so is that of humankind.

On the other hand, Charles Darwin himself writes at the end of his The Origins of Species

There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been 
originally breathed into [by the Creator] into a few forms or into one; and that, 
whilst this planet has gone on cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, 
from such so simple a beginning endless forms, most beautiful and most 
wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

My paper would be a call to rechecking these primary sources when any debate on the above topic takes place.

VANNIER Marie-Anne - Mystagogy in Augustine

Encore assez peu travaillée, la mystagogie tient une place importante dans l’oeuvre d’Augustin. Pour en préciser l’apport, nous étudierons, non seulement son De baptismo, mais aussi ses Sermons pour Pâques, en particulier.
Not much studied, mystagogogy has an important part in Augustine’s work. To bring out its contribution, we’ll study his De baptism and some preaching, in particular his Eastern Preaching.

Thomas Graumann - Workshop 0033: Die Synoden im trinitarischen Streit [Brennecke, Graumann, Heil, Müller, v. Stockhausen])

Theologische Diskussion auf Synoden: Erwartungen – Verfahren – Kritik

Beteiligte an Synoden des vierten Jahrhunderts, aber auch Berichterstatter und Geschichtsschreiber, die sich mit diesen Ereignissen befassen, geben verschiedentlich ihren Überzeugungen Ausdruck, wie auf einer Synode in angemessener Form mit Fragen von dogmatisch-theologischer Bedeutung umzugehen wäre. Umgekehrt kritisieren sie Abläufe und Verfahren, wo dies nach ihrer Meinung nicht sichergestellt war; nicht immer werden dabei die Kriterien ausdrücklich reflektiert. Vielmehr zeigen sich in derartigen Bewertungen nicht selten eher implizit bestimmte Haltungen und Einstellungen zum synodalen Geschehen, aber auch zu den Normen und Grenzen legitimer theologischer Diskussion. Das paper untersucht Spuren solcher Erwartungshaltungen und Kritikpunkte in den Dokumenten von Synoden des vierten Jahrhunderts, in der Regel befasst mit dem sogenannten Arianischen Streit, um derartige Erwartungshaltungen präziser zu konturieren, und beleuchtet die synodalen Verfahrensformen, soweit in den Dokumenten erkennbar, aus der so gewonnenen Perspektive.

Hanns Christof Brennecke - Synode als Institution zwischen Kaiser und Kirche im spätantiken Imperium Romanum

Eduard Schwartz hatte vor 100 Jahren Synoden in erster Linie als Instrument zur Unterwerfung der Kirche unter den Willen des Kaisers gedeutet und dringend kritische Editionen der großen Zahl der überlieferten Aktenstücke gefordert. Besonders aus dem sog. »arianischen Streit« ist eine große Zahl solcher Aktenstücke überliefert, die den neuen Charakter der Institution »Synode« als Institution zwischen Kaiser und Episkopat deutlich macht.
In diesem theologischen aber auch kirchenpolitischen Konflikt hat diese neue Institution zwischen Kaiser und Kirche ihre volle Ausprägung und Entfaltung gefunden. Auch bei dogmatischen Auseinandersetzungen wird der Kaiser je eingebunden. Aus der Zeit der Herrschaft Constantius’ II. ist die größte Anzahl von Synodaldokumenten des 4. Jh. überliefert. Die Herrschaft mehrerer Kaiser führt zu neuen Konflikten. Die Rückkehr des Athanasius auf Befehl Constantins II. (338) führt zu heftigen Protesten, weil Athanasius nicht durch eine Synode vorher rehabilitiert worden war. Der Kaiser ist verpflichtet, Synodalurteile zu exekutieren, darf aber ohne Synodalurteile nicht in die innerkirchlichen Angelegenheiten eingreifen. In den Auseinandersetzungen um die die Rückkehr des Athanasius aus dem Exil stellen östliche Synoden sogar das traditionelle Amnestierecht des Kaisers erfolgreich in Frage.
Die Geschichte des arianischen Streites macht deutlich, dass und wie Synoden nach Regeln ablaufen, die Kaiser und Kirche im Prinzip binden, so manipulierbar das im Einzelfall auch unter Umständen war.Nachdem Theodosius I. das Edikt cunctos populos aufgrund der Beschlüsse der Konstantinopler Synode von 381 korrigieren mußte, verstärken sich im Osten Tendenzen der Kaiser, ohne Synodalbeschluß direkt Glaubensdekrete zu erlassen. Im Westen bleibt auch in den neuen Germanenreichen die Synode als institutionelle Ebene nun zwischen König und Episkopat erhalten und setzt sich ins Mittelalter fort.

Annette von Stockhausen - Der Brief der Synode von Ankyra 358

Epiphanius von Salamis überliefert in seinem Panarion den Brief einer Synode, die im Jahr 358 in Ankyra stattgefunden hat. Dieser Brief gilt gemeinhin als »Gründungsurkunde« der theologischen Gruppe der »Homöusianer« und war daher schon häufig Gegenstand von Untersuchungen.

Im Vortrag möchte ich – basierend auch auf den Ergebnissen der textkritischen Arbeit im Zuge der Edition des Textes als Dok. 55 in Athanasius Werke III 4 – den Text vor allem daraufhin untersuchen, inwiefern er die Diskussion auf der Synode, über die wir sonst nur sehr spärlich aus den Kirchenhistorikern Informationen haben, widerspiegelt. Anhaltspunkt dafür ist unter anderem der dreigliedrige Aufbau des Synodalschreibens (Proömium, theologische Erklärung, Anathematismen mit ihren jeweiligen stilistischen und inhaltlichen Eigenheiten).

Ausgehend von einer Rekonstruktion der Entstehung dieses Briefes sollen (unter Heranziehung weiterer Beispiele) so auch weitergehende Überlegungen zur Abfassung von Synodalschreiben im Kontext des trinitarischen Streites angestellt werden.

Christian Müller - Die Synode von Mailand 355, Eusebius von Vercelli und die Folgen

Die Synode von Mailand 355 sollte nach dem Willen des Kaisers Constantius II. die endgültige Verurteilung des Athanasius und deren reichsweite Anerkennung besiegeln. Doch es kam anders: Manche Bischöfe verweigerten die Verurteilung und gingen ins Exil, das wiederum neue Kontakte zu Athanasius und Gleichgesinnten mit sich brachte.

Der Vortrag betrachtet die Rolle des Eusebius von Vercelli in diesen ungeplanten, aber folgenreichen Verwicklungen. Dazu werden zunächst die Ereignisse rund um die Synode von Mailand 355 in kritischer Auseinandersetzung mit bisherigen Versuchen (Brennecke, Williams, Simonetti u. a.) rekonstruiert, wodurch Bedeutung und Eigenständigkeit des Eusebius erkennbar werden. Anschließend wird Eusebius von Vercellis Situation im Exil skizziert, wobei für die Echtheit des in der Forschung umstrittenen Briefes an Gregor von Elvira argumentiert wird. In einem Ausblick wird seine Rolle auf der Synode von Alexandria 362 und in den weiteren Jahren umrissen, aus denen wir nur noch indirekte Informationen, aber keine Schriften des Eusebius besitzen. 

Insgesamt wird so die Bedeutung des Eusebius als Vermittler zwischen Ost und West und als »confessor« im arianischen Streit neu akzentuiert.

Despina Prassas - St. Maximus the Confessor's Quaestiones et dubia: Possible Rabbinic Sources

The interpretative style of Maximus the Confessor is something of a mixture of literal, allegorical, anagogical, tropological, and ascetical.  Yet, in the Quaestiones et dubia, to draw from Manlio Simonetti’s writing on biblical interpretation, the Confessor applies “scripture to the various circumstances of the community’s life . . . so as to adapt it to the needs and purposes with which it may not have had an immediate or obvious link.” In his interpretation of biblical and patristic texts, Maximus attempted to respond to questions that arose from the practical application of a text to the everyday life of the monastic community.  The ultimate goal was to educate his reader, where the word ‘educate’ could be understood in a variety of ways. Yet his scriptural interpretation was not entirely original.  Text studies have shown the similarities between Maximus’s interpretations and those of Origen, Evagrius and Didymus. Were there any other sources of his interpretations?   

During the first six hundred years of the Common Era, Jewish scholars used a variety of methods to comment on the understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures.  By 200 CE, these interpretations had been recorded into the Midrash, which is not only a collection of interpretations but a commentary on the process of the way in which the scholars at the time read scripture.   While the development of the middoh (primarily of Hillel and Eliezer) were highly influential in the way in which scripture would be interpreted, this paper will focus on the content of the interpretations, specifically those of Genesis and the similarities between the Genesis Rabbah and Maximus’s Quaestiones et dubia.  This paper will also address potential implications of this work  with regard to the question of the two vitae and the accessibility of rabbinic sources.  

Konstantinos Georgiadis - Eusebius of Caesarea, the father of the byzantine iconoclasm (according to the Records of the 7th Ecumenical Synod)

Following the philological, historical and theological argumentation of the Greek and Latin Fathers of the 7th Ecumenical Synod, which are vindicated today on the basis of modern scientific proves, my short announcement would include and explain the following positions:

The hierarchs of the 7th Ecumenical Synod call in question the value of Eusebius as a theologian, but not as an approved historian.
Eusebius couldn't propose the removal of the holy icons from the Christian churches. He knows that this ecclesiastical tradition is so ancient as the Old Testament. However, he doesn’ t believe that the icons are holy, part of the body of Christ. For him, the icons are only a kind of religious art.
The Arianizing Eusebius of Caesarea, introducing the notion of “φύσει μείζων Πατὴρ καὶ ἐλλάσσων Υἱὸς” reveals his faith that the described “θεῖον ἐνσημαινόμενον” of the holy icons, the Christ, is a created being, with the consequence that, in his mind, the veneration of the holy icons implies idolatry. Moreover, his Christological malevolence concerning the “ἐξόλων ὅλῃ μεταβολὴ” of the human nature of Christ and its ἀπόθεσις in the divinity after the Resurrection involves in principle the devaluation of the whole human nature of Christ and subsequently the devaluation of the his individual human elements, especially those περιγραπτόν. Therefore, the ἔνσαρκος Θεὸς Λόγος is deemed as indescribable, in which case also his holy icons are identified in an analogous way as a shadowy impression of him.
The reasoning of the iconoclasts of the synod of Hiereia (754) is encountered in the epistle of Eusebius of Caesaria “Πρὸς Κωνσταντίαν” and undertaken to be substantiated within the common use of the interrelated biblical passages 2 Cor 5:16 and Phil 3:21.  Therefore, the issue of Iconoclasm is concerned most especially with its idea about the πρωτότυπον of the holy icons.  For the Iconoclasts, nothing remains, after the Resurrection, of the created nature either of Christ or even of the saints, with the result that it is not possible for it to be described conjecturally.
The theory of Eusebius concerning the holy icons does not derive from the ancient Hellenic philosophy, the dualism of Plato or Plotinus, because none of them was against the material art. In a multi- cultural Byzantine Empire, ideological currents are encountered emanating as much from the Greco-Roman world as from the mysticism of the East. The inherent Gnosticism or Manicheanism in the subconscious of the Eusebius and iconoclasts is the main, perhaps even only, root cause of their heresy.

Ulrich Volp - Ritual Theory and the Sources of Early Christian Funerary Practice

The workshop paper reflects on the possible contribution of classical ritual theories to the interpretation of material remains of early Christian funerary practice - the context from which a considerable part of the surviving iconographical evidence originates. Looking beyond some of the limitations of traditional hermeneutic models, and instead taking the contextual syntax of the evidence seriously, the paper considers possible functions discussed by ritual theory (legal functions, functions of boundary-maintainance, individual-psychological functions etc.). Such an approach opens up the potential to shed new light on issues such as the conflict between pagan traditions and Christian beliefs, and to improve our understanding of the adaptation of pagan symbols and images. The workshop shall discuss examples for which an awareness of references to different transcendent systems of meaning and possible ritual functions such as social, individual psychologic, limitic, dramatising functions etc., prove to be profitable when analysing iconographical issues from the said contexts. 

Thomas Ferguson - Grace and kingship in De aetatibus mundi et hominis of Planciades Fulgentius

The authenticated works of P. Fulgentius (“Fulgentius the Mythographer”) includes a history of the world, based on biblical sources, as well as on Augustine and Orosius, entitled, De aetatibus mundi at hominis.  While some of the expected characters appear (Adam, Eve, Abraham and Moses), Fulgentius spends the greatest amount of time in the work dealing with the reigns of king and queens from early biblical history, extending into his own time period.
Fulgentius announces to his patron in the work’s prologue that, despite the fact that the work is in prose, there will be a “poetic device” working throughout in which each book of the history will omit one letter of the alphabet (Book 1 missing “A,” Book 2 missing “B,” etc.).  While this lipogrammatic construction leaves him with a cripplingly limited ability to properly communicate historical events, it also serves to open a door for Fulgentius to write a poetical work, albeit one in prose, which treats the theological aspects of kingship.
Whereas the pagan rulers receive the expected negative treatment, surprisingly, even David and Solomon receive severe censure.  The lurid detail with which Fulgentius treats these characters is almost tabloid in its approach, concentrating on prurient sexual details, whether provide by the narrative or not.  The works Augustine and Orosius appear dispassionate in comparison to his slant.
Having stated his poetic intentions, Fulgentius treats his subjects with poetic license, drawing out their negative aspects in order to illustrate, by employing an “Ages of Humanity” approach, life “under sin,” “under the Law,” and “under grace.”  Kingship only becomes viable and holy after the Advent of Christ.
The paper will trace Fulgentius’ historical narrative, highlighting his gradual approach to the age of grace, discussing his theology, and his thoughts on the state of kingship after the biblical period.