Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Holy Hero(in)es. Literary Constructions of Heroism in Late Antique and Early Medieval Hagiography

International conference at Ghent University (Belgium), Thursday 18th to Saturday 20th February 2016

Confirmed keynote speaker: Prof. dr. Stephanos Efthymiadis (Open University of Cyprus)

The ERC research group Novel Saints (Ghent University) builds on and contributes to a recent trend in scholarship of studying late antique and early medieval hagiography (4th-12th cent.) as literature. We welcome paper proposals for our first, international conference, which will deal with literary constructions of characters as hero(in)es in different types of late antique and early medieval hagiographical narrative (LivesMartyr Acts, hagiographical romances, etc.). We envisage contributions on hagiography from different linguistic traditions (Latin, Greek, Syriac, Georgian, Coptic, Armenian, Persian and Arabic).

The conference aims to explore definitions of and aspects/concepts relevant to heroism in Christian narrative. What does it mean to be a hero(ine) in these narratives? Are there different types of hero(in)es (and of heroism)? To what extent can narratological concepts provide useful tools for evaluating hagiographical constructions of heroism? The other central question is how saints (and/or, possibly, other characters) are characterized, shaped, imagined and/or constructed as hero(in)es. This last, broad question comprises a number of important sub-questions:
  • Which literary and/or rhetorical techniques underlie such constructions? To what extent and how do these narratives employ techniques rooted in ancient rhetoric (e.g.ecphrasissyncrisisethopoeia, etc.), and to what purpose?
  • Does the notion of heroism imply specific behavioural patterns and/or speech acts?
  • What is the relevance of other literary traditions, such as biblical narrative, Acts of the Apostles (both canonical and apocryphal), ancient biography, historiography and fiction (pagan and/or Jewish novels)? To what extent do these traditions offer models of heroism that are adopted/adapted in hagiographical narratives? To what extent and how, for example, do ancient fictional strands of heroism persist in hagiographical constructions of martyrs and saints, as they are well known to do, for example, in the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles (e.g. Paul & Thecla) and other early Christian narrative such as the Ps.-Clementines and a few pre-Nicean Martyr Acts?
  • How do hagiographical narratives adopt/rework authentication strategies common in biography or historiography in order to construct its hero(in)es?
  • To what extent and how do constructions of heroism in saints/martyrs in different cultures develop over time and cross-fertilize other such constructs throughout late antiquity and the middle ages?

In relation to this, the conference also aims to explore issues like the following:
  • heroism and definitions of sainthood and holiness;
  • heroism and explorations of moral/ethical dimensions of character;
  • heroism and development (is one a hero(ine) or does one become one?);
  • saints, self-presentation and performance: constructions of heroism and/or re-enactments of earlier models by saints themselves (rather than by the narrators of their narratives);
  • heroism and ego-narration;
  • heroic constructions in collective v. individual life-writing;
  • impact of depictions of hero(in)es/heroic behaviour on audiences;
  • heroism and meta-literary approaches: ?heroic? qualities of both saints and texts;
  • types of saints (e.g. desert saints, military saints, converted prostitutes, holy fools, etc.) v. character individuation.

Abstracts (in English or French) should contain 300-350 words and should be sent to before 20 September 2015. Notifications about acceptance (or not) will be sent out by 20 October 2015.  Not only senior scholars but also PhD students are welcome to submit abstracts.

For further queries, please contact or

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Jarred Mercer: Vox infantis, vox Dei: the spirituality of children and being Christian in late antiquity

The study of children and childhood in late antiquity is a bourgeoning field. Studies to this point have focused primarily on socio-cultural conditions surrounding children in early Christianity or Late Antiquity generally, such as the education of children, children in relation to violence, liturgical practice, play, the child-parent relationship, abortion, infanticide, etc. (e.g. Clark (1994); Leyerle (1997); Bakke (2005); Horn and Martens, (2009); Horn and Phenix (2009)). This paper seeks to contribute to this fascinating area of research by exploring the spirituality of children (an important contemporary issue in theology and religious studies, psychology and anthropology which has not yet taken root in late antiquity studies) and how it functions in early Latin Christian perspectives on conversion and spiritual life, in other words, on becoming and being Christian.
Early Christians relied often upon the words of Jesus in Matthew 18.3 (‘unless you are converted and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of God’) as a model for Christian conversion and holiness: Being Christian is about becoming like a little child, so that Leo could write: ‘Christ loves infancy, master of humility, rule of innocence, model of gentleness’ (Sermo 8.3). Predominantly, the metaphor of childhood is interpreted morally, to promote a return of the Christian to the child’s outward existence of ‘innocence’. The child’s lack of concern for status, wealth, and, perhaps most often, sexual lust (e.g. Tert. De mon. 8) is held up as an exemplum of Christian virtue. However, there are texts which imply that the image of the child went beyond a passive outward example of the virtuous life. For Hilary of Poitiers, this return to childhood involves a resemblance, image, or vision of the humility of Christ himself (speciem humilitatis dominicae), and this speciem is a return to the very nature of childhood (In Matth. 18.1: reuersos in naturam puerorom). There is a sense here in which the spirituality of children, the child’s natural relation to God, and not only moral innocence of humility, is the goal of the Christian life. This paper will explore this primarily through investigating the role of the vox infantis in Christian conversion and identity formation. There are critical points in the lives of some early Christians, such as Augustine’s conversion and the consecration of both Ambrose and Martin of Tours as bishops, in which the voice of a child is accepted as the voice of God itself. The authority given to the voice of the child over the Christian and how these Christians are seen to manifest the journey of return to childhood in obedience to it, teach us something about the role the childhood metaphor of Jesus played in early Latin Christianity. To follow the voice of the child is to follow God’s own voice and, particularly with the christological connection mentioned above (what François Bovon (1999) has called ‘christology of the child’), this perhaps demonstrates that, from the perspective of these texts, in order for one to be Christian she must ‘convert and become like a child’ because God himself is childlike.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Claudia Rapp: Euchologia as Sources for Daily Life and Social History: a New Approach

Byzantine prayer books (euchologia) contain—in addition to the eucharistic and sacramental liturgies— a vast number of ‘small prayers’ pronounced by the clergy that address the concerns of all levels of society, regardless of social and economic status, at various occasions in a human being’s lifetime. Yet, they have gone largely unexplored as a source for daily life and social history, in large part because of the challenges posed by their transmission.
Euchologia are extant in manuscripts beginning with the late eighth century and well into the post-Byzantine period. Their exact number is unknown. In the early 15th century, it was estimated to amount to about 2,000. There is considerable variation between the manuscripts in the number, sequence, content and concern of the small prayers, depending on the community where the euchologion was used. While scholars have studied individual prayer book manuscripts, a comprehensive study of the entire tradition of Byzantine euchologia has not yet been attempted.
Unlocking the potential of the small prayers in the euchologia as a source for daily life and social history requires a systematic, step-by-step effort of a research team over an extended period of time.
This paper will introduce the new project at the Division of Byzantine Research, IMAFO, Austrian Academy of Sciences: a systematic study of euchologia, through a combination of individual, thematically focused research projects and the creation of the first-ever database of prayer books in manuscript form, in a fully searcheable, open access format that unlocks the wealth of issues and concerns addressed in the small prayers. The database is designed to facilitate potential future research in other areas as well, such as liturgical studies.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Donna Rizk: The Different Armenian Versions of Aristides’ Apology

The Apology of Aristides of Athens was written by an Athenian philosopher, Aristides,
although the dating of it is problematic (either in the times of Hadrian or rather of Antoninus Pius). The Apology was originally written in Greek (of which just a few fragments are extant), and has been translated into Syriac, Armenian and Latin. I will discuss the different manuscripts found of the Armenian version of The Apology along with the variant versions of this text found and embedded in a medieval folklore entitled The Life of Baralam and Joasaphat. I will attempt to demonstrate the importance of the different Armenian versions that are extant and discuss how these manuscripts have impacted early (and later) Christian Armenia. I will also briefly discuss how the Armenian version of the Apology can be dated as early as the fifth century. As it is the only known apologetical text throughout early Christian Armenian literature, the Apology interestingly has parallel themes and style to a fifth century Armenian Christian philosopher and translater, Eznik, the author of De Deo, the only other Armenian literature that is considered to be apologetic by some scholars.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Anthony GELSTON: The Post-Sanctus in the East Syrian Anaphoras

The preservation of most of the Post-Sanctus in the fragmentary sixth-century anaphora, in relation to which some preliminary questions were addressed in my paper at the last Patristics Conference (published in SP 64, 2013, 105-9), makes possible a comparative study of this section in all four extant East Syrian anaphoras. This paper offers a comparison of the contents of each Post-Sanctus, and examines significant areas of agreement, as well as features which are unique to and distinctive of each anaphora. A few suggestive parallels in West Syrian anaphoras are also noted.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Jesper Blid Kullberg: New Finds from the Monastery of St. Antony

In this paper I examine various categories of finds from a recent archaeological investigation at the Monastery of St. Anthony in Egypt. These finds have yielded new insight into the life of the early monastic community, the spatial development of the Monastery, and the Monastery’s trade relations with the outside world. The paper treats issues such as chronology, self-sufficiency/local specialization, and fluctuations within the trade relations of the Monastery.

Ky Heinze: Origen's Ransom to the Devil and Porphyry's Sacrifices to Evil Daemons

In this paper, I argue that Origen's use of the Devil in his later commentaries (c.240s) was similar to Porphyry's use of evil daemons in De abstinentia (c.260s). Heidi Marx-Wolf's recent publications show that Porphyry sought to discredit traditional animal sacrifices and the ordinary priests who offered them by saying that they interacted with evil daemons rather than with the true gods. Marx-Wolf believes that Porphyry learned to use evil daemons polemically in this way from Origen and the Judeo-Christian tradition, which portrayed paganism as a religion of daemons. Marx-Wolf's claim has merit, but I argue that Porphyry's evil daemons were not simply polemical: they allowed him to reconcile traditional stories of successful propitiation and blood sacrifice with his philosophical belief that the gods never accepted such sacrifices. By saying that evil daemons desired these sacrifices, Porphyry simultaneously validated tradition and saved his philosophical gods. In light of this, Porphyry's strategy was not related to Origen's polemic against pagan religion but to his theory of Jesus' ransom to the Devil. In 1979, Frances Young observed that, because Origen believed in a philosophical God without change, anger, or vindictiveness, he could not understand why the Father would have required the death of his own Son as a sacrifice or ransom to forgive sins. According to Young, Origen solved the problem by saying that Jesus had offered himself, not to the Father, but to the Devil. Thus, both Origen and Porphyry used evil spirits to reconcile philosophy with their respective religious traditions.

Henrik Rydell Johnsén: Philosophy and Monastic Formation

Previous ideas about the early desert fathers as predominantly uneducated have to a great extent determined the scholarly discussion on the emergence of early monasticism and its relation to ancient philosophy. With a focus on crucial and typical monastic practices and virtues like anachōrēsis, hēsychía, repentance, obedience and repetitious prayer, this paper discusses the emergence of the early Egyptian and Palestinian monastic movement and its possible dependency on late antique philosophy.

Lillian Larsen: Re-reading the Material Record of Early Monastic Education

This paper examines the transition from a Graeco-Roman to Christian school curriculum in light of the material record of monastic education in Egypt. Through placing extant artifacts and inscriptional evidence in conversation with broader discussion of ancient/late-ancient pedagogical practice, it explores both the common and distinctive elements that characterize expressions of literate investment at discrete monastic sites.  Arguing that the conceptual boundaries that variously delimit, define and structure classroom environments are implicit to a broad cross-section of monastic source material, it considers the degree to which pedagogical elements can usefully inform readers’ understanding of monastic texts, and effectively elucidate the physical settings that link text and context.

Theo Kobusch: A New Way to God 'Christian Philosophy': Practical Reason

In "Christian Philosophy", which is the term by which the Christian author themselves describe their way of thinking from the 4th century onwards, we can discern a certain tendency which reached its final and massive breakthrough with the Cappadocian Fathers. This tendency consisted in circumscribing the divine essence, which according to Neoplatonism and negative theology is unknowable for theoretical reason, by increasingly making use of ethical categories. We find a first indication of this already in the circle of Gregory of Nyssa (Ps-Gregor, De creatione hominis) where the answer to the question what Christianity is has ethical implications: Homoiosis Theo. The clearest example of this tendency is then provided by Gregory of Nyssa himself who quite often calls God the aretē pantelēs. This, however, is possible only if the sense of the word aretē is uniform, i.e. the meaning of moral expressions is the same when applied to God and to man - an idea that was already formulated by Origen and Gregory Thaumatourgos in the wake of the Stoics. According to this notion, which is present in Origen and the Cappadocian Fathers, man is able to come closer to God by a practical knowledge of himself as it is mentioned in the commentaries to the Song of Songs. In this way for the Cappadocian Fathers subsequent to Origen, the way to God seems to be blocked for theoretical reason. Practical reason, however, does open a new way here.

Monica Tobon: The place of God: apophasis in Evagrius Ponticus

Evagrius' Chapters on Prayer famously characterise the highest form of prayer as beyond both images and concepts, thus situating their author within the rich tradition of Christian apophasis whose witnesses include Gregory of Nyssa's Life of Moses, Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, the Cloud of Unknowing, John of the Cross and Thomas Merton. Yet despite the vigour of this tradition the very notion of Christian apophasis remains controversial, suspected by its critics of failing properly to grasp the significance of the Incarnation. This paper aims accordingly to clarify the significance of apophasis in Evagrius. Taking his ‘Gnostic Trilogy' as paradigmatic of his spiritual system, it will note the likely Platonic/Neoplatonic/Cappadocian influences upon Evagrius' apophaticism, explore the role of apophasis in the spiritual life, how it relates to Evagrius' anthropology and eschatology, and how, far from betraying a deficient engagement with the reality of the Incarnation, it enables Evagrius' spirituality to be profoundly incarnational.

Britt Dahlman: Collecting the Apophthegmata Patrum

The richness of Greek manuscripts containing the Apophthegmata Patrum and the complexity of the collections, compilations and redactions is well known. Previous research has mainly focused on the large alphabetic-anonymous and systematic collections, where different stages in the process of incorporation of small dossiers of various origins and dates have been identified. "Non-standard" collections, such as the so-called derived alphabetic-anonymous and systematic ones and the Sabaitic, have received less attention. However, as they often display structural and textual parallels with early collections in other languages such as Latin and Syriac, they are important for the study of how apophthegmata were transmitted, formed and re-formed.

Robin Jensen: Representations of Teachers and Disciples on Third and Fourth-Century Roman SarcophagiRepresentations of Teachers and Disciples on Third and Fourth-Century Roman Sarcophagi

The depiction of a man reading from a scroll and accompanied by a “muse” or a teacher among his disciples was a familiar figure on third-century Roman sarcophagi. Commonly categorized under the general heading of “philosopher sarcophagi,” art historians often describe these as signifying a growing interest in representing the deceased as an idealized, cultured intellectual. The central figure – the learned man – was usually depicted wearing a tunic and pallium, as well as the beard, commonly associated with portraits of philosophers. A version of this figure appears regularly on later, Christian sarcophagi, sometimes transformed into a depiction of Christ among his apostles, but occasionally as part of compositions dominated by episodes from scripture or joined by the good shepherd or female orant. In addition, standing figures holding scrolls appear are incorporated into certain biblical narratives, including the scene of John baptizing Jesus. This paper will briefly review standard art historical interpretations of the “philosopher” type on non-Christian sarcophagi, and then explore the possible significance of its adaptation on Christian monuments from the late third through the mid fourth century, in particular proposing that the image no longer alludes primarily to the virtues of the secular, intellectual life, but rather that it presents Christianity as alternative paideia in which the evangelist is the teacher and knowledge is as much a matter of witness as it is of cultivated reading.

Bo Holmberg: The Early Syriac Reception of the Sayings tradition

The printed texts of the Syriac versions of the Apophthegmata Patrum (AP) made by Paul Bedjan (1897) and by A. W. Budge (1904) reflect later compilations of monastic texts collected by the monk Enanisho in the 8th century. Several Syriac manuscripts containing collections of AP and dated to the 6th century have come down to us. By studying these older manuscripts knew insights may be gained with regard to the early Syriac reception of the Sayings tradition. They are among the earliest preserved testimonies of the AP found in any language. At least two different recensions may be discerned and neither of them is strictly alphabetic or thematic. Like the later compilations of monastic texts, these manuscripts also juxtapose apophthegmatic and non-apophthegmatic materials. The order of sayings and the identity of the non-apophthegmatic texts may throw new light on one of the earliest attested receptions of the Sayings tradition.

Fernando Rivas Rebaque: Justin Martyr as a Christian organic intellectual in Rome (second century)

In this paper, we will study the figure of Justin Martyr from the concept of organic intellectual proposed by the Italian thinker Antonio Gramsci, as opposed to traditional intellectual. While the first one is organically linked to a class or social group, usually with a progressive and marginal character, the traditional intellectual, despite their close contacts with the dominant social groups, considers itself independent of these ties, maintaining a certain feeling of of caste solidarity and cohesion.

Robin Young: The Use of the Kephalaia in Evagrius of Pontus

Antoine Guillaumont’s 1962 monograph on the transmission of the KephalaiaGnostika eastwards among Syriac speakers established Evagrius of Pontus’ Gnostic Trilogy as the crux interpretationis of Evagrius’ entire literary corpus.  Guillaumont concluded that the substance and style of the three constituent books – Praktikos,Gnostikos and KephalaiaGnostika – reflected the thought of Origen and presented it in an esoteric way.  Evagrius created the kephalaiaon to hint at a teaching also – like Origen’s – rooted in the sapiential tradition and in certain philosophical insights.  Evagrius crafted the instrument of the kephalaiaon to train ascetics toward contemplation.

Based on a new translation of the entire KG made from its Greek and Syriac versions (with comparanda from the Armenian), the papers in this workshop address the purpose, structure and content of various kephalaia.  Together they argue for the coherence and for the centrality to Evagrius’ work of the Gnostic Trilogy, and explore how Evagrius linked the kephalaia of each book to connect all three in an elaborately-worked pedagogy.  The S2 KG not only reflects Evagrius’ intricate and coherent system of thought; its teachings are also anticipated and reinforced in the kephalaia of the Praktikos and the Gnostikos.

Aza Goudriaan: Nicaea: Origin of the Decline of Christianity? Early Modern anti-Trinitarian Historiography and the Protestant Response

Early modern anti-trinitarians, such as Michael Servet and Christian Francken, criticized the Council of Nicaea (325) for having introduced Trinitarian dogma and, therefore, initiated the decay of Christianity. In this perspective, pre-Nicene theology provided a cradle and confirmation for anti-trinitarian theology. This theological historiography and its rebuttal by Protestants such as Franciscus Junius and Amandus Polanus involved the construction of competing patristic arguments. Several of these arguments are analyzed in this paper.

Luke Dysinger, OSB: Deification in Benedict of Nursia and Gregory the Great

The relationship between the Rule of Benedict and the writings of Gregory the Great is complex and controversial. Each depicts contexts in which the Christian is able to recover and manifest to others aspects of primordial glory. The Rule of St. Benedict presumes an anticipation of eschatological renewal and transformation that occurs within the Christian community. With "eyes open to the deifying light" the innermost heart "expands in God" as members of the cenobium learn to honor and revere what they see each other becoming. In Gregory the Great the "uncircumscribed light of God" transforms the Christian ascetic into a contemplative who helps others to behold transcendent realities in ordinary circumstances.

Einar Thomassen: Were there Valentinian schools?

Gnostic groups have often been spoken of as ‘schools’. In particular, this has been common with regard to groups that appear to have been centred around a teacher, such as Valentinus and Basilides. But how pertinent is the comparison with philosophical schools? The paper will take a fresh look at the evidence for teaching activities in Valentinianism as far as the existence of such activities may be inferred from the sources themselves. Did classroom teaching exist as a separate activity in addition to religious services and rituals? Were the contents and methods of teaching comparable to those of the philosophical schools? It will be argued that teaching in the form of exegesis, theoretical exposition and diatribe was indeed practiced in Valentinian circles, but the Valentinian teachers did not see themselves as philosophers and important differences vis-à-vis philosophical teaching must be pointed out.

Jeremy Bergstrom: Augustine on the Judgment of Conscience and the Glory of Man

This paper seeks to explore the relationship between the conscience and discernment, or judgment. Augustine's own application of conscience seems to be primarily directed at the discernment of one's own motives, in accordance with the testimony of Christ the interior teacher, and the Holy Ghost shedding abroad within our hearts. This discernment recognizes the truthfulness of one's own life, that is, whether or not it is established and continuing in love, and also learns to discern, in a hesitant way, the truthfulness of the lives of others.
My discussion will analyze Augustine's use of Paul's Corinthian correspondence, especially 1 Corinthians 2.11 (For what person knows a man's thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God), and 2 Corinthians 1.12 (For our boast (gloria) is this, the testimony of our conscience that we have behaved in the world, and still more toward you, with holiness and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God). I will argue, through extensive use of Augustine's corpus, that he believes the peace of a good conscience enables not only discernment of the truth, according to the will of God, but the confidence and hope to realize the truth for oneself, a sentiment which in turn is based upon his reading of 1 Corinthians 2.15 (The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one).

Diana Stanciu: Conscientia, capax Dei and salvation in Augustine

I will consider conscientia in Augustine as related to his notion of capax Dei, the human capacity to ‘connect’ to God and be saved. I will concentrate on the Adnotationes in Iob, where Augustine mentions ‘the peace human beings enjoy in their conscience with the remission of sin due to grace’ and on In Iohannis Evangelium tractatus, where Augustine touches upon ‘the happiness of humans who have God in their conscience as others have gold in their coffers’, ‘the human conscience set in motion’ [by grace], love (caritas) that comes ‘from a pure heart, a good conscience and an unfeigned faith’ (I Tim. 1.5) (idea also brought up in De Trinitate), and ‘conscience in the presence of God’ (coram deo). I will not neglect the mainstream discussions of Augustine’s conscientia as related to the intellect and to knowledge as illumination (especially with referrence to De magistro, the Confessiones and the Enchiridion) and their relationship to similar discussions on capax Dei/ imago Dei, but I will refer primarily to the emotional/ volitional aspects. For instance, in his In Iohannis Evangelium tractatus, Augustine associates conscience with the heart (conscientia cordis) and so does he in De diversis quaestionibus octoginta tribus. These suggestions fit Augustine’s referrences (also in emotional/volitional terms) to the human ‘capacity for beatitude’ (beatitudinis capax), the ‘capacity for the supreme nature’ (summae naturae capax) [that is for God] (De Trinitate), or the ‘capacity for the divine realm’ (capax regni Dei) (Enarrationes in Psalmos).

Francesco Pieri: Tertullian's insights on Christian initiation

Baptism seems to have been understood during the first Christian generations more as a ritual of aggregation to the community, essentialy based on the imitation of Christ's humility and repentance pattern, rather than a ritual performing a man's ontological transformation. Being the first western treatise entirely devoted to a/this "sacrament", Tertullian's On Baptism allows us to better understand the shift in conciousness and meaning attributed to a ritual system that marked Christianity in the third century.

Carl Griffin: Vessel of Wrath: Judas Iscariot in Cyrillona

The character of Judas features in three Syriac poems by Cyrillona (fl. 399) on the Last Supper and Last Discourse of Jesus. This paper explores the role that Cyrillona creates for Judas as a shocking example of Christ-betrayal, as an antitype of Jesus and the faithful disciples, and as an agent of Jewish intrigue. Judas's dramatic and symbolic potential is cultivated to propel the narrative, but Cyrillona also reveals distinctive exegetical and theological interests in his consideration of the washing of the feet, the giving of the sop, and Judas's departure from the Cenacle. While tracing the lines of reception that connect Cyrillona with earlier Syriac tradition, I also consider ways in which Cyrillona prefigures later dramatizations of Judas.

Adrian Brandli: A question of belonging: Perpetua and the family of Christ (WS 0175)

The Passion of Perpetua is arguably one of the most imaginative Christian texts that have come down to us from antiquity. It tells the story of a group of Christians who were martyred at Carthage on the occasion of emperor Getha’s birthday in 203. Particularly prominent is the report about 22-year-old Vibia Perpetua, including some kind of a prison diary that seems to feature her own words. In this report, her path from a mere catechumen to a baptized Christian, who was about to undergo the torments of martyrdom, is depicted as the renunciation of her worldly kinship relations in favour of a new kind of family that features Christ as the worthy replacement for the actual father. Interestingly, this change of paradigm does not simply build on a revision of notions of filial obligation (such as pietas) to explain the dissociation with one and the affiliation with another father figure but intertwines Roman moral thought with biblical motifs, thereby producing a unique conflation of two distinct lines of tradition. Starting from these observations, it is the aim of the paper to elucidate Perpetua’s shift from one household model to the other against the backdrop of these traditions. Thus, the analysis of the text will focus on both the moral expectations that were associated with the Roman household and the biblical imagery, which allocated a place in the Christian family to Perpetua.

Michael Hollerich: Valesius and Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History: Scholarship and Politics in the Republic of Letters

As part of a project on the reception of Eusebius of Caesarea's Ecclesiastical History, I am submitting a proposal for a short communication on the critical edition of Eusebius' history published by Henri de Valois (Valesius) in 1659. I will set the edition in its contemporary context, indicate the primary purposes underlying it, and examine selected annotations in the edition that illustrate what features of Eusebius' history particularly drew his attention. I will argue that Valois pitched his project to his ecclesiastical and royal patrons in ways that balanced utility and scholarly impartiality, at a time in French ecclesiastical life when reliable access to tradition was especially important.

Marc Doucet: Grégoire le Grand : itinéraire personnel du croyant et profession de foi

On connaît la profession de foi de Grégoire le Grand, qu'il envoie aux patriarches, lors de son accession au siège de Pierre : fermeté, précision, clarté. Pourtant  contraste mais non opposition  au long de ses écrits, on peut découvrir un Grégoire qui cherche à approfondir l'intelligence de sa foi. Se poser des questions n'est pas forcément douter.

Marcello La Matina: The homiletic turn in Gregory of Nyssa’s work. A brief study on De Vita Moysis and In Canticum canticorum

According to the common opinion today, the works written and/or preserved under the name of Gregory of Nyssa might be divided in two main classes: treatises and homilies. The first ones are commonly censed as having a doctrinal clue: despite their occasional character has been the author (or may be by his editors) gave them a theoretical structure, so that they were subtracted to the circumstantial boundaries of their own composition, thus, becoming a well-definite corpus of theological works. The second group of works has perhaps the same origin of the first ones, but create a different story. Homilies were born in the activity of preaching, whereas the theoretical works have become treatises. Homilies are many-facetted texts ranging over multifarious topics.
Informed by Plutarch of Chaeronea, I read Gregory especially as a performer, a speaker, not only in his homiletic texts. His works were somehow two-step texts. For, first, they were held as lectures or conferences, and then fixed and revised in order to explicate — or to polish — the logical and rhetorical architecture. If it is so, then Gregory is to be considered a homilist, an oral philosopher, whose prevalent activity is talking before his audience rather than writing in the lonely frame of a monastic cell.

Franchi Roberta: Muliercularum socii (Hier., Ep. 133,4): Donne ed eresia nell'Epistolario di Gerolamo

L’epistolario di Gerolamo offre materiale interessante per analizzare il rapporto tra donne ed eresia nel IV secolo. Nel mondo cristiano è ben noto che tra i seguaci di sette eretiche vi era un gran numero di signore e giovani ragazze. Il concetto di donna come "naturalmente" incline all'eresia è il risultato sia del concetto di debolezza femminile sia la dimostrazione della presenza femminile tra sette eretiche, soprattutto nel periodo della "Grande Chiesa". Gerolamo presenta donne eretiche, compagne dei più famosi leaders eretici, o donne che svolgono un ruolo rilevante nell’eresia in varie lettere, usando in alcuni casi le parole della Seconda Lettera a Timoteo (3:6-7).  Se le donne eretiche seguono falsi monaci ed eretici, tanto che non possiamo considerarle vergini ma prostitute, d'altra parte quelle donne, che sono seguaci della retta dottrina ortodossa, sono profondamente radicate nella tradizione cristiana: per loro la Sacra Scrittura è il punto di partenza per venire alla conoscenza della verità, mentre l'insania delle donne eretiche può essere definita come l'incapacità di osservare le Sacre Scritture. Analizzando alcune lettere si cercherà di ricreare i ritratti di quelle donne, che prendono parte alle controversie religiose, diventando protagoniste attive.

Stefan Rebenich: History in Cyril

The paper discusses the use and abuse of history in Cyril of Alexandria's Against Julian.

Finbarr Clancy: The Church in St Ambrose's Homilies on the Hexameron

St Ambrose delivered nine homilies on the Hexameron on successive days, probably in Holy Week, in AD 387.  This Short Communication aims to gather together his reflections on the Church in the course of these homilies.  His chief comments on the Church occur in homilies 4-6, dealing with the third and fourth days of creation.  Isolated comments also occur in the other homilies.  The Church is variously associated with the Trinity, the waters of creation, the fluctuating phases of the moon, and the colourful seeds withing the pomegranate fruit.  Ambrose also links the Church with various characteristics of both trees and plants, and with bridal imagery.  The Church is discussed in relation to the Synagogue and the Gentiles.  He often draws moral lessons from the details of creation which are applicabel do the daily life of the Church's members.  The Hexameron homilies draw heavily on imagery form the Song of Songs.  Ambrose's possible indebtedness to Basil of Caesarea's homilies on the Hexameron, a text with which he was familiar, will also be briefly explored.

Isabela Stoian: Synonymy and Antonymy in St. Gregory the Great's Gospel Homilies

The numerous series of synonyms and antonyms in the Gospel Homilies render the teachings of Gregory the Great clear and properly received by the public. Synonymy has a specific intention and surpasses the simple need for variety. Such is the case of caro and corpus, which are used without a clear distinction. However, caro seems to be more connected to the idea of sin. On the other hand, corpus is seen as a whole, unitary, and as a symbol for what is earthly, not necessarily for sin. This is maybe one reason for which Christians do not eat caro Christi but corpus Christi.
Antonyms are usually used in pairs with a particular purpose, frequently that of emphasizing the differences between this world and the other world, between wicked and right persons, between humanity and divinity. The most interesting antonyms are those created by opposing terms that originally express non-opposing ideas. For instance, Gregory urges the congregation to know the Truth of God non per fidem, sed per amorem. [...] non ex credulitate, sed ex operatione - Hom. Ev. XIV, 5. When he opposes the terms fides and amor, credulitas and operatio, he points out the difference between the active and the passive forms of getting to know God and of serving Him.
Through synonyms and antonyms, not only did Gregory wrap his profound ideas in the coat of lexical variety, but he also emphasized theological concepts, making his speeches clear and complex.

Scott Johnson: Historiography in Verse Exegesis: The Syriac Tradition and Romanos the Melode on 1–2 Kings

Several Syriac poems dealing with episodes in 1–2 Kings survive from Late Antiquity. These poems cover various stories, but scenes from the life of Elijah are most prominent. In this paper I will consider poems by Ephrem, Narsai, Jacob of Serugh, and Romanos the Melode (in Greek) in an effort to investigate how Kings was treated as a historiographical model by late antique poets in the East. This investigation focuses on how authoritative biblical texts shaped the habits of talking about the past in the Syriac tradition. These poets shared a collective memory, not least through liturgical celebration, which served their poetry both by providing content but also by framing their discourse about past events. This paper is not intended as a survey of the exegetical tradition on Kings but, instead, explores how exegetical poetry set cultural habits for claiming the biblical past in the Syriac tradition. The regular recitation of liturgical hymns meant that patterns of thinking about the past permeated into other genres of Syriac literature, such as prose exegesis and commentary, prose homiletics, epistlography, and historiography. With regard to historiography, this paper will close with a meditation on how the emergent chronicle tradition in Syriac took inspiration from both Greek ecclesiastical historical writing, represented by very early translations of Eusebius, as well as from the indigenous Syriac poetical tradition. In this fusing of horizons between poetry and historiography, specific perspectives on history and the past will be put forward as characteristic of Syriac writing in Late Antiquity.

Camille Gerzaguet: Preaching in Northern Italy (360-450) : A Pedagogy of Faith

As far as Italy is concerned, several collections of sermons of the IVth and Vth centuries have been kept. Among them, the sermons of Zeno of Verona, Gaudentius of Brescia, Chromatius of Aquileia, Maximus of Turin, Peter Chrysologus (for Ambrose of Milan, Explanationes in XII palmos and De sacramentis are concerned) provide a consistent and coherent set of a geographically and culturally bounded area. The paper shall consider the role of sermons over the period from the 360s to the 450s in Northern Italy in a twofold perspective. It is actually about understanding the extent to which preaching, as a major driver of faith, served as a means of unifying and spreading the ecclesia. It is also about analyzing how preaching was also used to categorize individuals according to their degree of spiritual advancement by creating some boundaries inside the community. Becoming Christian in Late Antiquity implied to follow a spiritual progression which could be enlighted by the study of preaching. As rallying as splitting point, the sermon established the place of the faithful in Church. From a liturgical point of view, I will focus then on the lectures that were marked out for some of these status, especially catechumeni, competentes, neophyti (for example, the lifes of the Patriarchs were read to the competentes in Milan), and on the exegetical discourse, spiritual or moral, that was related to these lectures. Such an analysis on sermons must also include a sociological approach. Therefore, it will highlight the variety and composition of audiences: was it really a selection that came to worship (MacMullen 1989) ? Did that make a difference preaching in a small town or in an imperial capital ? Finally, the interactions between preachers and audiences (adresses, questions etc.) will be analyzed from a pastoral point view. The whole approach should help to understand how the process of becoming Christian was anchored in a pedagogy of faith.

Bella Image: Becoming Christian: the Roman Senate in the period up to Constantine

This paper addresses the question of ‘becoming Christian' not for an individual, but for a body: the senatorial class of Rome.
The people of Rome, and in particular the senatorial class, are often characterized in academic literature as the last bastion of traditional Roman religion. However, this may be skewed by interest in the so-called ‘pagan revival' of the late fourth century. Yet the case for senatorial disinterest in Christianity in the third century is in fact mere argument 'ex silentio' arising from the paucity of evidence. This paper therefore reviews the signs of Christianity for the period up to the reign of Constantine, and parallels this with evidence for a decline in traditional religion in the same period among the senatorial classes. It will be argued that, as an urban group, the senatorial class in Rome may have even led the way in Christianisation more than often thought.

Bronwen Neil: Reception of Late-Antique Popes in the Middle Ages and Beyond

Leo the Great (440-61) and Gregory the Great (590-604) earned their epithets in different ways, Leo by his intervention at the Council of Chalcedon via one momentous letter known as the Tome (Ep. 28), and Gregory by his spiritual direction, civic leadership, and his prolific publication of works in various genres, some of which were taken up by the Eastern church. This paper looks at how other late-antique popes were received in the Middle Ages, and used to promote particular agenda. It considers what kind of contribution to eastern-western Church relations was required for a pope to be remembered beyond the century in which he lived. It will be argued that successful mediation between the Roman and Byzantine churches was a prerequisite for a lasting impact on later ages. This impact can be measured by the continued popularity of their works, whether in Latin or in translations into Greek and other vernaculars. The proliferation of early and late medieval Lives of Roman bishops also testifies to their importance throughout Europe, both in Byzantium and the medieval West up to the Renaissance.

Christos Simelidis: Emotions in the poems of Gregory of Nazianzus

This paper studies the presence of emotions in the autobiographical and epigrammatic poetry of Gregory of Nazianzus. Gregory's poetic corpus includes emotional descriptions of personal events, poems on specific emotions (e.g. I.2.25 κατὰ θυμοῦ ‘against anger') or passions (e.g. I.2.28 κατὰ πλεονεξίας ‘against covetousness'), as well as fifty funerary epigrams on his mother and more than eighty against grave-robbers. The paper explores the function of emotions in the self-portrait and didactic argumentation of one of the most respected and imitated patristic authors.

Blake Leyerle: John Chrysostom’s Strategic Use of Fear

John Chrysostom spoke often about fear, not only in the wake of actual situations of terror, such as the Riot of the Statues, when the populace as a whole quaked in fear, but also in the course of his regular preaching, when he deliberately evoked dread in his listeners by conjuring imaginative scenarios of punishment. So useful was fear in his estimation that the preacher openly wished that he could “always and continually speak about Hell” (De Laz. 2.3, PG 48. 985). Such unalloyed enthusiasm suggests a strongly disciplinary agenda, and we know that Chrysostom was indeed focused on the moral reformation of his listeners.  Fear was a useful ally not only in restraining his listeners from immoral tendencies but also in spurring them to ethical actions. But fear, as Aristotle noted, is a complex emotion and Chrysostom was, among other things, a very astute observer of human nature.  This paper argues, accordingly, that Chrysostom’s appreciation of fear springs not only from its disciplinary utility but also from its capacity to enhance group solidarity and, perhaps most signally, to promote a deliberate state in which values are reassessed and temporal frames clarified.

Robert Kitchen: Three Young Men Redux: The Fiery Furnace in Jacob of Sarug and Narsai

The vast corpuses of the metrical homilies of Jacob of Sarug and Narsai utilize a genre rarely employed by other early Christian writers, and therefore, not easily analyzed and comparable.  Jacob (d. 521) and Narsai (d. 502) are roughly contemporaries, but separated significantly by geography (Syria, Persia) and confessional allegiance (Miaphysite, Church of the East).  Their relationship is unclear, although different sources claim important connections in themes, motifs and approaches, even a kind of rivalry, which appear to arise out of early schooling in Edessa, and therefore, sharing the heritage and methods of Ephrem.
The aim here will be to compare the homilies of both authors on the same Biblical narrative, the Three Young Men in the Fiery Furnace (Daniel 3), focusing on the Biblical exegeses and figurative typologies utilized by each author in contrast to and in complement of each other.
Narsai's mēmrā is entitled "On Ḥananyā and ‘Azaryā and Mīshā'ēl," of medium length, 474 lines.  Jacob entitles his mēmrā "On Daniel and the House of Ḥananyā," and is significantly longer, 872 lines.  Both authors call the Three Young Men by their Greek LXX names, instead of the traditional Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego of the Hebrew canon and Peshiṭta.

Margaret Lane: Naked is the abyss of human consciousness Nuda est abyssum humanae conscientiae

This is a quotation from Confessions 10:2:2 and denotes our transparency to God which contrasts with our obscurity to ourselves and other people. Augustine speaks frequently of our need to return to our conscientia and to inspect or interrogate it. This examination of conscience or state of consciousness looks back to the old Stoic practice of vigilance or attentiveness and forward to the Examen of St Ignatius.  With the practice of self examination, Augustine believes we can become more, though not completely, transparent to ourselves, coming to know ourselves as we are known by God. My paper will look at the method of self examination that Augustine recommends in order to arrive at naked self-awareness, from which I hope it will be clear that what Augustine is advocating is more in the nature of a practice of mindfulness than something akin to the Examen of St Ignatius.

Matthieu Pignot: The catechumenate in pseudo-epigraphic sermons from late antique Africa

In late Antiquity, individuals wanting to become Christian went through a progressive integration called the catechumenate by modern scholars. In ancient sources from the Latin West, this involved a two-stage membership: converts would first become members of the community as catechumeni (hearers), while full belonging was acquired by petitioning for the status of fidelis (faithful) and receiving baptism after intense preparation. This organisation still remains widely unknown because of the lack of sources providing clear accounts of how it was organised and lived. In Africa, Augustine of Hippo and Quodvultdeus of Carthage, and particularly their sermons, provide the most visible and studied evidence, in the form of occasional and dispersed references. After the 450s, sources become scarce with very few sermons preserved with an authorship.
The objective of this paper is to extend the study of the catechumenate in Africa in the fourth, fifth and sixth centuries by exploring the less-known and little studied pseudo-epigraphic sermons preserved from the period. The pseudo-Augustinus, pseudo-Chrysostomus, pseudo-Maximus and pseudo-Fulgentius collections have much to offer on rites of initiation and catechesis implemented during the catechumenate. While many of the texts found amongst these collections have been ascribed to new authors, a large amount still remains anonymous. Isolating, in this corpus, the texts ascribed to late antique Africa, I shall provide a brief account of their potential contribution to our understanding of the catechumenate in late Antiquity, and reflect on their impact on the broader history of initiation as told by better-known patristic sources.

Martin Hinterberger: The Fathers' Methodology of Treating Emotions

In this paper I intend to investigate the way Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nazianz approached emotions in their literary output. For this aim I shall undertake primarily a comparison of three texts which share the same author or the same topic: Basil wrote both a Homily on Anger and on Envy while among Gregory's numerous poems one of the most extensive ones is about Anger. Among other things, the comparison will show common structural characteristics of these texts as well as a similar treatment of sources. All three texts show how their authors incorporated Ancient/Late Antique philosophical learning into a Christian worldview. Furthermore, I shall demonstrate the lasting impact of these treatises on Byzantine thinking about emotions and the modification Basil's and Gregory's statements underwent during the subsequent centuries.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Christian Teachers in Second-Century Rome

Christian intellectuals such as Valentinus, Justin, and Marcion have received a good deal of attention when it comes to their role in the development of early Christianity. In recent years, a new appreciation for the different strands of belief they represent has come to be widely shared by a generation of scholars seeking to think beyond the boundaries of traditional theological and historical categories. The workshop we propose, dedicated to Christian teachers and their students in second-century Rome, situates itself in this open field of inquiry. We strive to understand these individuals not simply as placeholders in the history of doctrine but rather as teachers pursuing their livelihood in the marvelously complicated fabric of urban Rome: seeking spaces in which to live and teach, attracting students, cultivating patrons, interacting with texts, and engaging in polemics with other teachers. These teachers and their students participated simultaneously in other social, commercial, and ethnic networks, and these networks will have played important roles when it came to establishing and maintaining social contacts and connections. Christian “schools” also shared many features with other groups of philosophers, litterateurs, sophists, and physicians, and a great deal can be learned by careful comparison with such groups.      With this framework in mind, participants will offer papers on important second-century Christian teachers that worked in Rome:  Justin Martyr (Fernando Rivas Rebaque), Valentinus (Christoph Markschies), the question of Valentinian “schools” (Einar Thomassen), Tatian (Miguel Herrero de Jauregui), Theodotus and his followers (H. Gregory Snyder), and Hippolytus (Marek Raczkiewicz).  Other papers deal with comparative issues or broader themes: the artistic representation of teachers in Roman art (Robin Jensen), the social context for Marcion, making connections to Jewish groups (Judith Lieu), and an overview of Christian “schools” (Angelo de Berardino). Contributors to the workshop have latitude to pursue questions of particular interest to themselves in whatever ways they see fit, but the overarching goal of the workshop is a richer and more nuanced understanding of what it meant to be a Christian teacher in second-century Rome.

Ariane Bodin: Identifying the signs of Christianness in late antique Italy and Africa

The question at stake in this paper is how to identify a Christian in the Roman Society. It is now widely admitted that Christians cannot be recognized through their clothes in Late Antiquity, except for those converted to asceticism. Christians rarely revealed their identity in texts, but we can analyse some signs likely to reveal one’s christianness or religious conversion. First of all, there exists a number of other outward signs that allows one to tell who is Christian. All Romans – pagans, Jews or Christians – sought protection by wearing phylacteries around their neck. As for the Christians, their amulets or phylacteries are connected to the cult of the saints, since reliquary phylacteries could serve as suspension capsules or containers for holy relics. Christian phylacteries were by manifold aspects a threat against relics privatization led by clerics as it has been demonstrated by Peter Brown. But all christians cannot wear relics around their neck either because of their cost, or because the events prevent them from doing so. Secondly, Christian identity can be retrieved from texts and inscriptions through visual signs, such as Christian symbols (ie cross, Chi Rho, christogram). Onomastic change due to conversion to Christianity are attested in the post-Constantinian period. Some new Christians may use additional cognomen to show their faith in Christ, such as martyrial names, theophoric names, or names proving a process of religious change. Finally, studying the social network of Romans may also reveal religious changes such as Christianness.

Michael Simmons: Exegesis and Hermeneutics in Eusebius of Caesarea's Theophany (Book IV): The Contemporary Fulfillment of Jesus' Prophecies

The original Greek text of Eusebius' Theophany is lost, surviving only in 17 fragments. A Syriac translation of the work written in the early fifth century has preserved all five books. Samuel Lee published the first edition of the Syriac text in 1842 and an English translation with notes the following year. Hugo Gressmann's German translation (1904) published in Band III.2 of the Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller compared the Syriac translation of the Theoph. with parallel Greek texts of various Eusebian works, the Greek fragments of the Theophany, and biblical passages, concluding that, on the whole, the Syriac translation is faithful to the original Greek. A number of scholars (Lightfoot [1880]; Gressmann [1904]; Quasten [1975]; Frede [1999]); and Kofsky [2002]) proposed that Theoph.Bk.IV was based on an earlier work devoted to the prophecies of Christ mentioned by Eusebius in the PE I.3. By offering a comparative philological study of the parallel Greek and Syriac passages of Book IV (12 of the 17 fragments come from this book, or 70.58%), this paper analyzes Eusebius' exegetical and hermeneutical method in conjunction with the overarching soteriological argument developed around a number of sub-themes in which he attempts to prove the fulfillment of Christ's predictions in contemporary society, a hermeneutic unique to Eusebius' apologies. A thorough analysis of the exegetical method which Eusebius applies to the 166 scriptural citations found in Book IV may help the modern historian to better understand the venue and purpose of this last apology of the bishop of Caesarea.

Rafal Toczko: The Shipwrecks and Philosophers: The Rhetoric of Aristocratic Conversion in the Late 4th and Early 5th Centuries

In this study the literary aspects of the conversion to Christianity will be discussed. It has been based on the letters of Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Paulinus of Nola, and Uranus.  Letters were a very effective medium of the early Christian public relations and conversion of a member of aristocracy was always a phenomenon that ought to have been celebrated and communicated. The form and style of communication e.g. the metaphors used in trumpeting the new noble Christian can give us insight not only into the art of rhetoric but also into the epistemological ramifications, imaginary schemes that constituted thinking of the aristocracy in times when Christian life became an attractive choice.
The goal of this study is to present the detailed picture and systematization of the various modes in which conversion was treated as a literary theme in the correspondence of the studied period. The paper will focus on two different literary phenomena: 1. The rhetoric of persuading to conversion 2. The literary descriptions of famous aristocratic conversions. The first part will present the sophisticated rhetoric of Augustine persuading Volusianus and Licentius to become Christians.  The second part will offer discussion of the symbolic language used in letters celebrating the conversion of Paulinus, Paula, Fabiola et al. I will contextualize the roots of the early Christian rhetoric of conversion and conclude with some remarks corresponding with the modern theories of metaphor that could possibly be helpful in reconstructing the thought pattern of the Roman aristocracy in the studied period.

Pauline Nugent: Jerome and Augustine: the Human behind the Literary Façade

Although the lives of Sts. Jerome (ca.331-420) and Augustine (354-430), bridged the same two centuries, one would be hard pressed to claim that they held much else in common.  Both were early Church Fathers with remarkably disparate gifts: the elder a unique trilinguist, the younger a theological philosopher, both prolific writers who bequeathed priceless legacies to posterity.  But behind their literary façades one may also discover glimpses into the private, emotional, and inner lives of these two Christian giants.
Even a cursory reading of Augustine’s Confessions, readily yields multiple personal insights, for within its pages the saint bares his soul to God, always conscious of his future readers.  Speaking at the time of his mother’s death, he says:  “Legat ut volet et interpretetur ut volet et si peccatum invenerit … non rideat …(IX.12.33).
While Jerome’s inner life is not always so blatantly explicit in his writings as is that of his junior contemporary, it is nonetheless possible to draw back the veil of privacy and peer deeply into his emotional state.   I propose to do this by concentrating on his Prologues to the Prophetic Books of the Bible.  These Prologues contain insights of a very personal nature that allow one to define the natural dispositions and temperament of the author and compare and contrast them with those of Augustine.  This will produce a new and vibrant personal portrait of these early Church Fathers.

Makiko Sato: Confession of Human Being as Darkness in Augustine

Augustine is known well for describing human beings as darkness. Especially in his Confessiones, we find many such descriptions. Through these descriptions, Augustine points out the imperfection of our knowledge and the inevitable difficulty of controlling our will. According to him, we human beings, even Apostles, are dark deep (Conf. 13, 13, 14), and we cannot distinguish between us, between "sons of night" and "sons of light," which only God can do (Conf. 13, 14, 15). Such a view of human nature becomes the base of Augustine's idea in the Augustinian/Pelagian dispute later.
In contrast, Augustine says in his Retractationes that the book Confessiones praises the just and good God for both the bad and the good that he did (Retr. 2, 6, 2). The acts against God, such as stealing pears and the devotion to Manichaeism, actually seem to be regarded as bad, and the acts toward God, such as the conversion and mystical experiences, seem to be regarded as good. In general, the act of confession can always consist along with the person's recognition of the bad and the good.
However, from the view of "human being as darkness," we have to say that such recognition is always uncertain. Then, what can we "confess"? What can "I-darkness" say about "I-darkness"? In this paper, I will clarify the relationship between the act of confession as speech and the view of human beings as darkness in Augustine's thought.

Viviana Félix: Platonismo y reflexión trinitaria en Justino

En este trabajo intentaremos identificar los elementos filosóficos recogidos por Justino en su reflexión sobre Dios y, de modo particular, ver si es posible hablar de un paradigma que tomaría de sus contemporáneos filósofos platónicos, para esbozar una doctrina trinitaria. Para esto consideraremos algunas de las doctrinas hipostáticas vigentes en el siglo II de las que podría haberse servido. Por tratarse de una teología trinitaria  incipiente, previa a la controversia arriana y a las definiciones de Nicea y Constantinopla, carece de las precisiones terminológicas de los concilios nombrados, pero tampoco acusa recibo del "trauma arriano", siendo otros sus interlocutores y, consecuentemente, otras las soluciones que propone, acordes a ese horizonte de referencia en el que se insertaría su respuesta.
Habiendo establecido lo anterior, haremos una valoración crítica del uso que Justino hace de esas categorías filosóficas en su teología, tratando de señalar alcance, aportes y límites del mismo.

Johannes Börjesson: Roman Florilegia on the Holy Spirit: Codex Parisinus Graecus 1115, Hadrianum, and the Lost Florilegium of Theodore I

This paper considers Roman florilegia on the Spirit that date from the very start of the conflict between East and West regarding the Spirit’s procession. Codex Parisinus graecus 1115 is a copy of a codex that was created in the papal chancery in 774/5. The patristic quotations of the extant florilegium on the Spirit within this codex are of a broad order; while many of them affirm a procession through the Son, some of them speak of a procession from the Son, while others do not mention the procession at all. Alexander Alexakis has shown that this is a pro-Latin collection, albeit from a very early date in the conflict. Alexakis has also shown that there are textual overlaps between this collection and Adrian I’s Hadrianum (793). In Hadrianum, Adrian argues explicitly for the procession through the Son, and does so from a very mixed range of quotations, even using citations that affirm the procession from the Son. This paper uses these multifaceted collections to throw light on Pope Theodore’s I now lost florilegium (c. 643), which is attested by Maximus the Confessor in Opusculum 10. The textual links between the three collections are considered, and their theological character investigated. It is demonstrated that these florilegia shared similar purposes, which reflect Rome’s position at a time before it accepted the interpolated creed. It is finally suggested that the strategy of considering these collections together offers a more secure route to reconstructing Theodore’s florilegium than approaches based purely on theological conjecture.

Anna Zhyrkova: Maximus the Confessor’s Attempts at Creating a Logic of Hypostases

This paper examines various conceptual devices that Maximus the Confessor develops in order to construct an account of individual being. This account is built mainly for Christological purposes. However, some of its proposals also grow out of anthropological concerns. Maximus’ approach to the individual does not consist in advancing a consistent philosophical theory. Rather, he tries to adapt the view of the individual inherited from Porphyrian logic. This adaptation relies on him rephrasing Porphyry’s claims in the Patristic language of hypostasis. As he proceeds to draw conclusions from these rephrased claims within a broadly Patristic context, a number of conceptual devices are created, emerging as combinations of elements drawn from Stoicism, post-Chalcedonian theology, and Porphyrian logic.
Because Maximus views the ideas thus created as binding logical norms of one kind or another, these count as conceptual devices rather than concepts. These are the “mirror law of hypostasis and nature,” according to which things of the same nature do not share their hypostasis and things of the same hypostasis do not share their natures, the analogous inner structure of natures and individuals, which appear to be constructed as, and from, logoi, and the doubled ontological status of logoi, which seem to belong to both the world of linguistic utterances and that of natures. In particular, the paper will seek to analyze just how consistent the latter two devices are with the broad picture Maximus tries to offer.

Anna Zhyrkova: Leontius of Jerusalem: Underlying Structures in Individual Entity

This paper has a dual purpose. It aims to show the peculiarity of the ontology of the individual that Leontius of Jerusalem builds for his Christological doctrine. Then, on this basis and on the basis of a philological comparison with the writings of Leontius of Byzantium, it offers arguments to support a distinction between those two authors.
Leontius of Jerusalem’s conception of the individual is rooted in his attempt to justify orthodox Christological doctrine, opposed by numerous heterodox views. While himself a Neochalcedonian theologian, he was suspicious of embracing Aristotelian and Neoplatonic views in theology without any conceptual analysis and philosophical revision. In particular, he strongly opposed adopting the Porphyrian view of the individual as a collection of properties. He replaced this with his own original conception of the individual and of hypostasis, elucidated through the notion of stasis.
The absence of this conception from the works now attributed to Leontius of Byzantium makes it difficult to identify him with the author of the texts ascribed to Leontius of Jerusalem. Even more may be said about differences in how they write: in respect of word usage, the grammatical constructions employed, and their ways of building sentences. A comparison that takes into account the conclusions of both philosophical and philological analyses will furnish new insights into the issue of the chronological relation between the works those authors are credited with.

Anna Zhyrkova: From Christ to Human Individual—Shaping the Conception of Individual Existence in Neochalcedonian theology

In debates over the orthodox and adequate expression of the union of Divine and human natures, many theologians deemed it necessary to assimilate a great quantity of both philosophical conceptions and vocabulary. As a consequence, ontological discussions became an inherent part of theological discourse. Once Philoponus had put forward his Miaphysite stance as a logically correct conclusion from Cyril’s Christological statements, it became impossible for theologians to avoid strictly ontological considerations. The peculiarity of those discussions was that their main purpose was to explain just one single metaphysical case: that of Christ.
A “sui generis” case was not of much interest to pagan philosophy. Unique cases were eliminated by subjecting them to general rules. Christ’s uniqueness, however, not only had to be stressed, but also construed in humanly graspable, if imperfect, terms. This turned Christ into a paradigm for ontology, especially in the considerations of late Ancient and early Byzantine theologians. This paper examines the works of Neochalcedonian theologians, from John the Grammarian to Leontius of Byzantium, showing how their focus on Christ made ontology more concerned with particulars than with universals and turned attention from what things are like to the fact that they are. In their writings, the identity of particular beings was recognized and became a problem to explain, alongside the issues of what makes a single entity a unity—in spite of the multiplicity of its constitutive parts—and of what makes a human to be an individual unique being.

Stephen Lahey: The Divine Ideas in Prague: Philosophical Realism at Charles University at the Beginning of the Fifteenth Century

At the center of arguments between Wyclif supporters and their opponents was the doctrine of the divine ideas. Upon these arguments depended the realist ontology of universals ante rem that defined the Bohemian philosophical theology that would lead to Hussitism. The most important figure in these debates was Stanislaus of Znojmo, the master of Jerome, Jakoubek, and Hus. In this paper, I will describe the place of the doctrine of divine ideas in the philosophical theology Stanislaus outlines in his two major works, De Vero et Falso and De Universalibus Maior. I will devote a short portion to describing the historical background, and to the eventual retraction Stanislaus made, but the largest section of the paper will be a description of the relation of Wyclif’s thought to Stanislaus.

Sergey Trostyanskiy: Being, Structure, and Conflicting Sets of Properties in Cyril of Alexandria's Vision of Christ

Cyril's "science of Christ" is located at the very core of the Christian intellectual tradition, yet we apparently no longer understand its most basic philosophical premises. This presentation deals with the metaphysical tenets of Cyril's "science of Christ." It contextualizes Cyril's thought within the limits of the intellectual horizons of 5th century Alexandria, locating the basis of his theological speculations in the commentaries on Plato's Parmenides and focusing particularly on the creative input of Iamblichus and Syrianus. It then applies the schema of theological analysis offered by these to Cyril's metaphysics of the Incarnation, hypothesizing what will follow if we assume that it underlines his conceptions and functions as a paradigm for his "science of Christ." It will consequently conclude that Cyril's master agenda can be thought of as a brilliant synthesis of the exegesis of the Christological vision of the Fourth Gospel with the terms of the metaphysics of the Parmenides as mediated via the late Platonist commentators.
The presentation mainly focuses on Cyril's mereological thought. Special emphasis is given to the conflict of properties in Christ. The application of the correct "term" of understanding in each case is offered as the resolution of an apparent paradox, rescuing the affirmations from self-contradiction through the utility of the notions of pros heauto and pros ta alla. Finally, the presentation aims to show how this approach to the subject matter relates to the diverging patterns of understanding of Cyril's metaphysics: i.e. to the macro-argumentative strategy of ancient and modern interpreters.

Susan Griffith: Apostolic authority and the ‘incident at Antioch’: Chrysostom on Galatians 2:11-14

Paul’s confrontation of Peter in Antioch, as related in Galatians 2:11-14, caused much consternation for the exegetes of the early church. Controversy over how these two foundational apostles could clash produced multiple divergent theories, and even provided fodder for pagan critics. Chrysostom’s interpretation of the passage is often incorrectly lumped with that of other fathers. This paper looks closely at Chrysostom’s elaborate explanation in his occasional homily on the pericope (In illud: In faciem ei restiti), and compares this to the exegesis found in his better-known sermon series on Galatians (In epistulam ad Galatas commentarius). Chrysostom’s interpretations are placed in the context of other patristic and pagan understandings and deployments of the Pauline text, as well as the history of the development of concepts of authority in the early church.

Catherine Kavanagh: Eriugena's Trinity: A framework for interreligious dialogue

The Carolingian philosopher and theologian Johannes Scottus Eriugena is an important point of confluence of many streams of Trinitarian thought, as well as a significant and creative theologian in his own right. Because of his remarkable ability to work back through Patristic sources to the original Neoplatonic doctrine by means of sheer ratiocination, Eriugena also acts a valuable critic of the many streams of Trinitarianism that come through to him, both Eastern and Western. This issue has been well explored from the perspective of the Neoplatonic elements that went up to make it. However, a good deal of new work on the Liberal Arts tradition has appeared recently (including my own). The integration of this work with existing scholarship on the Neoplatonic elements in his Trinitarian theology is an important project, which also has implications for contemporary debates in theology, especially as regards inculturation. In this communication, the issue of Eriugena's methodology will be addressed, and the extent to which that reflects Patristic methodology as a whole, when confronted with an attractive and sophisticated system of thought.

Josef Loessl: How bad is Augustine's "bad conscience" (conscientia mala)? An enquiry

Augustine's concept of moral conscience follows an earlier Christian tradition which is based on an exegesis of Romans 2:14-16 and passages such as 1 Timothy 1:5: con-science as the manifestation of the law of nature "written into the hearts" of all human beings and enabling each to know and to do what s/he ought to do (the good) and not to do what s/he ought not to do (the bad). This "good conscience" (conscientia bona) is manifest in principles such as the Golden Rule or the commandment to love one's neighbour.
In the context of his teaching on Original Sin, however, Augustine transforms this concept of a positive (rational and volitional) faculty into one of a negative (guiltlike) emotion (conscientia mala) that "reminds" people of their inherent sinfulness. In this context he advises people to "use" this emotion to acknowledge their need of forgive-ness and to ask for God's grace, which would restore their good conscience, which in turn would cause them to do good works.
This account of moral conscience raises some questions, such as: Is conscience a rational faculty or an irrational emotion? If the latter, then what is it that provides the conscience with reason and volition? If the answer is "grace", then what is the role of the natural order and the law of nature? And how is for human beings trying to do the good thing and to live the good life related to salvation?

Marek Jankowiak: Reading between the lines: Diplomacy and Conflict at the Sixth Ecumenical Council (680-1)

The Acts of the Sixth Ecumenical Council—that put an end to the monothelete controversy in 680-1—have never attracted much attention of the church historians. Unjustly so, as they offer a surprisingly rich account of the most dramatic ecumenical council in church history. Below the carefully edited surface of orderly sessions, one can catch glimpses of intense diplomatic manoeuvring and of dramatic conflict that degenerated into a civil war, the dethronement of two emperors, the execution of several generals, and a momentous defeat with the Bulgars. I will attempt to show how these events are related to the condemnation of monotheletism and how the Acts have been redacted to mute conflict and emphasise consensus and the respect of procedures. On this basis, I will reflect on the mechanisms of theological diplomacy and unsuccessful conflict prevention during the monothelete controversy.

Manabu Akiyama: L’esegesi per mezzo dell’Unigenito Dio (Gv 1,18) secondo Clemente Alessandrino

Nel libro quinto di Stromati (Strom. V 81,3-4) Clemente Alssandrino, basandosi sul passo del Vangelo secondo Giovanni (Gv 1,18: “μονογενὴς θεὸς ὁ ὢν εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκεῖνος ἐξηγήσατο”), dice che la questione teologica più difficile da trattare è la dimostrazione del principio primo e più antico. D’altronde Clemente, quando interpreta tipologicamente un tralcio con un grappolo d’uva descritto nel libro dei Numeri (Nm 13,23-14,12) per esempio, basandosi sulla figura di Gesù crocifisso, sviluppa per la prima volta tra i padri ecclesiastici una spiegazione soteriologica e sacramentale su questo passo (Paed. II 19,3-4). Il modo d’interpretazione di Clemente corrisponde alla direzione fuoriuscente dello Spirito Santo dal fianco di Gesù crocifisso (Gv 19,34), perché il corpo stesso di Gesù sulla croce si unisce al Verbo eterno di Dio (Gv 19,30). Nonostante il passo del quarto Vangelo di cui sopra si traduce di solito che “l’Unigenito Dio, quegli che è nel seno del Padre, Egli lo rivelo”, mi sembra invece che Clemente non interpreti la frase “εἰς τὸν κόλπον” come qualificatrice del sostantivo “ὁ ὤν”, ma del verbo “ἐξηγήσατο”: cioè, l’Unigenito Dio-Verbo rivela (ἐξηγήσατο) il mistero del Padre eternamente, mentre noi siamo condotti per mezzo di questo Unigenito Dio nel seno (εἰς τὸν κόλπον) del Padre infinitamente. Diveniamo quindi incessantemente l’immagine di Dio (Gn 1,26), cioè il Verbo di Dio, specialmente unificandoci alla figura di Cristo sulla croce. Secondo Clemente così, lo gnostico vive sempre nella comunione trinitaria del Padre, del Figlio-Verbo, e dello Spirito Santo nel corpo di Cristo crocifisso.

Pauline Allen: Post-mortem polemics: the literary persecution of Severus of Antioch (512-518)

One of the most enduring religious conflicts of the late-antique period was that occasioned by the Council of Chalcedon (451 CE). The person who galvanised the anti-Chalcedonian side theologically and politically was Severus, patriarch of Antioch from 512-518. During his lifetime he engaged vigorously in debate with his theological rivals, being eventually exiled in 518 and condemned by imperial edict in 538. The odium that attached to his person and works continued after his death, as can be seen, for example, from the numerous references to him and his works in imperial documents and conciliar acta. However, two sustained post-mortem attacks on the patriarch of a non-theological nature stand out: a long letter by the otherwise unknown monk Eustathius from the mid-sixth century (CPG 6810), and the polemical poem by George of Pisidia (CPG 7836), which dates from between 619 and 634. This paper will investigate the rhetoric employed by these two authors and their hostile representation of the pre-eminent opponent of the council of 451 and his followers, in which negotiation and conflict-resolution did not play a part and damnatio memoriae was paramount.

Kristian Heal: Construal and Construction of Genesis in early Syriac Sermons

The literary critic Stanley Fish argued that, ‘Interpretation is not the art of construing but the art of constructing'. Thus meanings are to be found in (re)constructing texts and not simply in explaining them. We could argue whether Fish's observation is in fact correct, but I prefer to take it a prompt to reassess the interpretative value of the reconstructed narratives which we find in numerous late antique Syriac sermons on Genesis. We are entirely comfortable in attributing interpretative value to the commentary, which in essence is construing a text. My concern in this paper, however, is with the interpretative process and impact of the construction of a new scriptural story in Syriac sermons, or what we may call the hermeneutics of invention.

Allan Fitzgerald: Conscience and Jesus Christ

Building on philosophical insights in Manfred Svensson’s work,[1]this paper examines the relation of Augustine’s appreciation of knowledge/ wisdom to conscience from a theological point of view, thus connecting the article I wrote on Jesus Christ as the wisdom and knowledge of God (Col 2:3)[2]to his understanding of conscience.
After discussing Augustine’s contribution to an understanding of conscience, I will use Augustine’s sermons to explore and explain his everyday articulation of conscience to his ordinary listeners and to compare that experience to the way he explains conscience in the works studied by Svensson.
I will pay attention to the relationships Augustine establishes between humility [3] and conscience (1 Tim 1:5: conscientia bona) and hope (doc. chr. 1, 40, 44, etc.) so that it is possible to see how Augustine makes connections between Jesus Christ and the Christian when speaking about conscience.
[1]Manfred Svensson, “Augustine on Moral Conscience,” The Heythrop Journal 54 (2013) 42-54.
[2]Allan Fitzgerald, “Jesus Christ, the knowledge and wisdom of God,” in The Cambridge Companion to Augustine, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 108-122.
[3]Allan Fitzgerald, “Christ’s Humility and Christian Humility in the de civitate Dei,” unpublished paper presented at a conference on the City of God in Bogota, Colombia, August 2014.

Enrique Eguiarte: Conscientia (...) itineribus (...) in sapientiam

This paper deals with the use of the Term Conscientia in St. Augustine's Early Writings(391-393), namely in the Third Book of the Libero Arbitrio, the first 32 Enarrationes in Psalmos and De Sermone Domini in Monte to trace the development of the idea of Conscientia, and the Shift from an anthropological concept of Conscientia (conscientia mortalitatis/itineribus) to a Theological and Moral Dimension (Conscientia bona/mala), in St. Augustine's first works as a Priest at Hippo, namely in De Sermone Domini in Monte where the Moral aspects of Conscientia are underlined.

Manuel Mira: Priesthood in Maximus Confessor

Maximus Confessor speaks about priesthood in some places of his works Ambigua, Quaestiones ad Thalassium, not to mention other places. His teachings deal with the common priesthood of the christian, on the priest as representant of Christ on earth, on the different fruits that priesthood work produce in the souls of the believers. This paper analyze these passages, and tries to build a sistematic presentation, in which the different ideas find their place.

Richard Tomsick: Unholy reminiscences by Christians in Carthage: Tertullian’s Theology of Alienation

In his earliest disciplinary works, aimed at recent converts and catechumens alike, Tertullian faced the difficult, albeit self-appointed task of creating a rubric of behavior that virtually prohibited Christians from engaging in social and cultural activities of Carthage. In doing so, he announced a new theology of sin based on such activities, and, consequently on the association and participation by Christians in such activities.  If followed, such proscriptions would further isolate the Christian community at a time when alienation (and the identification qua Christian that would follow) was perilous, given recent persecutions.
The fact that Tertullian thought it necessary to create this disciplinary apparatus suggests the widespread ‘misbehavior’ of his audience. I will argue that the new converts, who until recently were adult pagans themselves, did little to modify their behaviors for a variety of reasons.

Questions of his authority aside, I will examine Tertullian’s method of instruction as well as his motivations in defining bright lines for Christian behavior, including his sincere belief in the importance of baptism, and his desire for the salvation of souls.  “Unholy Reminiscences” in the title of this short communication is a reference to a line from ad Martyras, when Tertullian reminded Christians in prison awaiting death that they were at last free from the distractions of society and the memory of sinful activities.

jan van pottelberge: The Letter to Theodore of Clement of Alexandria. A much debated document. How to come to a solution?

After the publication of this Letter with a commentary by Morton Smith in 1973 the debate  on the authenticity and the interpretation seemed not to come to an end. In 2011 all antagonists except one agreed to participate to a symposium.  The Proceedings were published in 2013. In a debate at the end of the sumposium Peter Jeffery, one of the heaviest antagonists did declare: "We do not have a robust discussion among  Clements experts as to how this (Letter) does or does not fit into the works of Clement."  My communication will propose some elements that point into the authenticity of this document as to the language used. As a classical philologist and a specialist of Clement I hope to demonstrate that the Letter is not a hoax.

David Riggs: Cyprian against the Nicaeans: Claiming the Saint for Homoean Christianity in Vandal Carthage

The Vandal period of African Christianity has long existed as a sort of Dark Ages in which the primary narratives of the Church are flush with persecution, exile, and destruction. Nevertheless, a notable surge of interest in the history of the Vandals in recent decades has prompted revisionist work that has broadened the purview of scholarship well beyond the paradigm Victor of Vita offers. Amid such work, the Homoean ecclesial fellowship of the Vandal kingdom has begun to emerge as something more than a one-dimensional body of heretical barbarian persecutors. Some recent studies have highlighted how the Homoean Church sought to establish itself as a genuinely "African" communion that appealed to a broad cross-section of the population.
Along these lines, this paper proposes that a little-known anonymous sermon, Contra Paganos, offers a first-hand glimpse of Homoean Church leaders leveraging the prestige and authority of Saint Cyprian to establish their ecclesial communion as the rightful heir of the African Christian tradition. After making a case for ascribing this sermon to the Homoean Church at Carthage and highlighting its rhetorical use of Saint Cyprian's authority, this study will situate the anonymous text alongside additional literary and archaeological glimpses of the Homoean Church's effective cultivation of the cult of Saint Cyprian in Vandal Carthage. Accordingly, I shall argue that conventional characterizations of the Vandal period as destructive and disruptive for African Christianity must yield to interpretations that are more attentive to Vandal contributions to the development and prosperity of the African Church.

Gavril Andreicut: A Key for Distinguishing Orthodoxy from Heresy

This paper addresses the topic of ‘orthodoxy’ and ‘heresy’ in early Christianity. This is a complex topic that raises many questions about the nature and character of early Christianity. It is unfortunate that the answers in this regard are, for several reasons, inconclusive. While some speak of an early ‘orthodoxy,’ some see it as a product of later controversies. And while some see ‘heresy’ as a deviation from ‘orthodoxy,’ others see it as old as ‘orthodoxy.’ Such views are rather confusing than edifying. My paper will address this delicate topic. Can we speak of ‘orthodoxy’ before the fourth century? If yes, what is ‘orthodoxy’? Conversely, can we speak of ‘heresy?’ If yes, what is ‘heresy?’ Is heresy as old as ‘orthodoxy?’ How we can distinguish ‘heresy’ from ‘orthodoxy?’ These are important questions. My paper, although a perspective, tries to bring light on this delicate topic. While ‘heresy’ is as old—or almost as old— as ‘orthodoxy,”  ‘orthodoxy’ can be distinguished from ‘heresy’ as early as we can speak of them. My paper will distinguish ‘orthodoxy’ from ‘heresy’ in a pertinent and helpful way, I believe. My perspective is based on some generally held assumptions, although I contend that in some regards faith and flexibility are more pertinent and helpful that inflexibility and rigid theologies. I hope that my paper offers a solid and coherent perspective on a very delicate and disputed topic.

Matyáš Havrda: The origin and purpose of Stromata VIII: The riddle revisited

The fragmentary text known as the eighth book of the Stromata has puzzled Clementine scholars for centuries. For the most part, it consists of purely philosophical material concerned with the theory of demonstration and the method of scientific inquiry. But it also includes elements unmistakably Christian. Since the 17th century several theories have been proposed about its origin and purpose. This paper will offer a critical overview of these theories, with a special focus on the Nautin hypothesis published in 1976. The results of the most recent inquiry, viewing the text as a collection of excerpts from a lost writing of Galen, will be presented as well.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Matteo Caruso: Hagiographic style of Vita Spyridonis between rhetoric and literary tradition: analogies between Joan Chrysostom's homilies and Theodore's, bishop of Paphos, work

The goal of my speech consists in analyzing rhetorical relationships and influences between the Vita Spyridonis, written by Theodore, bishop of Paphos, and the homilies of Joan Chrysostom.
The idea of studying this issue came to me observing that the final of Theodore's work is similar to the final used by Joan Chrysostom in many homilies. The same final appears in some homilies of Epiphanius of Salamis of Cyprus also. Then I noticed the Chrysostom's homilies thematic influence on Theodore's work especially appears in narrations of social miracles, that regard debts and credits. Theodore's view of poor people and debtors seems to be influenced by Chrysostom's homilies concerning poor and rich people. The contempt of vanity, gold, rich clothes seems to be in both authors. These mutual characteristics lead me to conclude that Theodore in the middle of 7th century knew Chrysostom's homilies and used them as a stylistic and thematic model to write his work on St Spyridon.
Starting from this relationship, I propose to analyze some homilies of Chrysostom comparing them with the Theodore's work and find others rhetorical characteristics which link the two authors. Finally the purpose of my speech is to underline the grammatical and thematic influence of Chrysostom's works on Vita Spyridonis and consequently on monastic writings and life of Cyprus.

Thomas Heyne: A Polemicist rather than a Patrologist: Calvin's Attitude to and Use of the Early Church Fathers

Some scholars have argued that John Calvin was a respectful and insightful student of the Church Fathers, and Calvin himself claimed that he read and understood the Fathers better than his Roman Catholic opponents. But a close analysis of Calvin's treatment of several early Christian writings (including those of Augustine, Chrysostom, Eusebius-Rufinus, and the Second Council of Nicaea), reveals that he was more of a polemicist than a patrologist. Calvin appreciated and used the Fathers' writings predominantly as a means to his disputatious ends. He cited the Fathers primarily when they supported his interpretation of Scripture; otherwise, he was willing to ignore them, obscure them, and even deceitfully distort them. Unlike Desiderius Erasmus and others, Calvin was no humanistic historian; he showed little desire to learn from the Fathers and make their teachings widely known.

Karla Pollmann: The Secular Reception of Augustine

A new tendency that has emerged in the second half of the 20th century and is still on-going is a form of reception that uses Augustine's rich and diverse body of thought as a quarry from which to adapt some of his ideas in a new context, without, however, taking over the metaphysical or theological dimensions which, of course, form an integral part of Augustine's thinking throughout. One could speak here tentatively of a secularisation of Augustine's legacy, that is, an activity of changing or transforming this legacy (or parts of it), so that it is no longer under the control or influence of religion or necessarily depends on the existence of a transcendent world and a (in Augustine's case Christian) God. Naturally, this is a phenomenon typical of recent decades in the Western world in general, where it can also be observed as operative in the spheres of art, education, morality, and society overall. In this contribution we will concentrate on examples pertaining to the reception of Augustine that demonstrate this pattern of reception in a world outside of church and Christianity, comprising political theory, literature, philosophy, psychotherapy, and semiotics.

Paul Blowers: Modern Recontextualizations of Maximus the Confessor

The renaissance in scholarly study of Maximus the Confessor that began in the 1940s and 50s (through the work of P. Sherwood, H. Urs von Balthasar, et al.), coupled with the growing culture of patristic "retrieval" in contemporary theology East and West, has nurtured a number of important theological recontextualizations of Maximus. Stimulated by the "neo-patristic synthesis" pioneered by Georges Florovsky, Vladimir Lossky, Dimitru Staniloae, and others, contemporary Orthodox theology has generated several recontextualized profiles of Maximus: as ecumenical christologian; as theological cosmologist (and ecologist); as Eucharistic ecclesiologian; etc. In the West, Hans Urs von Balthasar, who did much to reintroduce Maximus to contemporary Roman Catholic theology, developed his "theo-dramatic" paradigm of constructive theology very heavily (I will argue) on a Maximian foundation. More recently, Jean-Luc Marion's phenomenological interest in Dionysian apophaticism has had clear ramifications for reinterpretation of Maximus. Maximus has also become a crucial resource in contemporary virtue ethics, and in the work ecological theologians such as Celia Deane-Drummond, Christopher Southgate, and Willis Jenkins. He has even been engaged in the recent Evangelical retrieval of patristic sources. My paper will provide a comparative and critical analysis of this broad array of profiles.