Monday, 16 February 2015

2015 SBL/AAR Annual Meeting (November 21-24 in Atlanta, GA - Contextualizing North African Christianity program

The Contextualizing North African Christianity program unit invites paper proposals for the 2015 SBL/AAR Annual Meeting (November 21-24 in Atlanta, GA) for the following two sessions devoted to the North African bishop and martyr, Cyprian of Carthage:
1)       Contextualizing the Life of Cyprian. We seek paper proposals that help to situate Cyprian’s life and work within the social and cultural contexts of Roman North Africa.
2)       The Afterlife of Cyprian. Cyprian was an influential figure in his own day but loomed even larger after his death. We welcome proposals illustrating this enduring influence (e.g., hagiographical traditions, the pseudo-Cyprianic corpus, and as an authority in the Donatist controversy and among various authors of the fourth through seventh centuries).
Deadline for Paper Proposals: March 5, 2015
If you are a SBL member, you must login before you can propose a paper for this or any other session. Please login by entering your SBL member number on the left in the Login box.
For all other persons wanting to propose a paper, you must communicate directly with the chairs of the program unit: David Riggs (, David Wilhite (

Saturday, 7 February 2015

John Kenney: ‘Nondum me esse’: Augustine’s Early Ontology

While ontological discourse is unfashionable in contemporary theology, it was prominent in the works of Augustine of Hippo. This paper will concentrate on Augustine’s attribution of “esse” and related terms to God in his early works. Contrasting readings of Augustine’s ontological discourse will be reviewed, especially those of Émilie Zum Brunn and Jean-Luc Marion. Texts under consideration will be drawn from the Cassiciacum dialogues, the anti-Manichaean treatises, and Confessions. The paper will conclude by clarifying the larger implications of Augustine’s commitment to ontological theology in the context of his account of contemplation.

Edward Naumann: The damnation of baptized infants according to Augustine: Aliquid Novi?

Studies concerning Augustine’s teaching on infant baptism usually emphasize his insistence on the necessity of baptism for the salvation of infants, and/or the damnation of infants who die without baptism. Far less has been said about the damnation of infants who die with baptism. Nevertheless, Augustine categorically denies salvation to those who are baptized and remain outside the Church, even though he insists that they can have the true sacrament, and he makes no exception for infants. Furthermore, Augustine occasionally preaches that the benefit of the sacrament is jeopardized even for infants within the Catholic church, when their parents or baptismal sponsors do not believe rightly. By the end of 413, however, he begins to teach clearly that all baptized infants within the Church are saved. By examining in greater detail the sources of Augustine’s affirmation of the certainty of the salvation of baptized infants within the Church, it becomes clear that this teaching—which today is taken for granted—was not universally or even necessarily commonly accepted. Rather, it stood in opposition to a variety of doubts and denials, which came from all quarters. Indeed, Augustine seems to have been unique, in that he provided a well-developed rationale, and—subsequently—a previously unknown certainty for the salvation of baptized infants within the Church.

Vasilije Vranic: Communicatio idiomatum or theosis: The Human Nature of the Resurrected Christ in the Christology of Theodoret of Cyrrhus

Throughout the Eranistes, which arguably is the expression of the mature Christological thought of Theodoret of Cyrrhus, it is argued that the divine nature remains immutable and unchangeable. However, the human nature of Christ is said to have acquired extraordinary properties not proper to a human nature. Theodoret explicitly affirms that, despite this change, in the incarnation the human nature of Christ was not changed into the nature of the Godhead.
In my paper I argue that Christ’s resurrection is the turning point in the existence of the person of Christ, the moment which marks the beginning of the exchange of attributes (communication idiomatum). The reason for this chronological marker is simple: Theodoret’s concept of Incarnation is defined by its purpose — the salvation of the human race. The sole purpose of the Logos’s Incarnation is the repayment of the debt of the Protoplast and the human race which followed in his fall. The sacrifice of an equally perfect human being was required to restore the fallen human race. Thus, it was necessary that Christ be a complete and perfect human being in order to accomplish that mission. Once the mission was completed by the death on the cross and the resurrection, it was no longer necessary for the human nature to retain all of its attributes, and the time had come for it to receive its due glory: it began sharing in the attributes of the divine nature.

Jennifer Freeman: SC: A Productive Problem: Anthropomorphic Images of the Trinity in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages

Imaging the triune God has been a “productive problem” in the Christian Church since its very origins, generating a multitude of diverse visual “solutions” from the symbolic to the anthropomorphic. This paper examines Early Christian anthropomorphic depictions of the Trinity (as found, for example, in the Dogmatic Sarcophagus and the nave mosaics of Santa Maria Maggiore) in their iconographic and theological contexts, such as the conflicts posed by Arianism in the fourth century and the Three Chapters Controversy in the sixth century. This paper then considers the subsequent dearth of such images in Western Europe, which lasted up until the twelfth century. Scholarship on Trinitarian iconography tends to focus on either late antique or late medieval examples; this paper attempts to connect these two periods through its account of the interim lacuna and suggests theological motivations for the presence and subsequent absence of this iconographic theme.

Tikhon Pino: SC: Maximos the Confessor on the Body-Soul Relationship: Aristotelian Metaphysics as a Corrective to Origenist Anthropology

The Ambigua of Maximos the Confessor contains an important critique of the Origenist doctrine of the preexistence of souls condemned at the Fifth Ecumenical Council (553). Against the notion that soul is temporally, and therefore ontologically, prior to body, Maximos sets forth a theory of the human composite which relies on the Aristotelian conception of a "whole," of which body and soul are "parts." This language, which appears already in such early writers as Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, is infused by Maximos with philosophical overtones in order to provide a rigorous refutation of Origenism whereby belief in the preexistence of the soul becomes not only a factual error, but a logical impossibility. Building on the anthropology of Gregory of Nyssa, whom he invokes as his authority on this issue, Maximos's theory is also indebted to the writings of Nemesios of Emesa, Leontios of Byzantium, and Leontius of Jerusalem. Yet Maximos's theory is unique in its appropriation of Aristotelian categories to establish a distinctly Christian understanding of the psychosomatic synthesis. Conditioned by the Chalcedonian interpretation of the hypostatic union, Maximos develops a conception of the human being as single eidospossessed of two ousiai, each of which is reciprocally defined by the other on the basis of the Aristotelian category of the Relative.
This paper examines the way in which these Aristotelian concepts inform Maximos's Chalcedonian anthropology through an analysis of the Confessor's metaphysical arguments for the coexistence of body and soul. Implications for Byzantine theology after Maximos are also explored.

James Francis: Ancient Seeing/Christian Seeing: The Old and the New in John of Damascus

In recent years, much has been written on the topics of visuality in classical antiquity and early Christianity.  Investigation into the nature of representation, the dynamic interchange between viewer and viewed, and the interrelation between image and text have emerged as hallmarks in this regard both in classical studies, as in the work of Simon Goldhill, and late antique/early Christian studies, as in that of Jaś Elsner.  One obvious cardinal point regarding visuality and the “history of seeing” is the Iconoclast controversy and the definitive Christian articulations of acceptable representation and seeing that emerge from it.  This communication will apply key insights from studies of visuality to the theology of John of Damascus in his Apologies Against Those Who Attack Holy Images. It will outline the points at which John’s work reflects and builds upon classical understandings of representation and seeing, and where and how it departs from this inheritance.  Ultimately, this communication poses the question whether Iconoclasm produced a specifically Christian visuality.

Ken Parry: SC Providence, Resurrection and Restoration in Byzantine Thought, Eighth to Ninth Centuries

In her comprehensive and significant publication on the Christian teaching of the final restoration (apokatastasis) published in 2013, Ilaria Ramelli ends her study of the Greek and Latin traditions with Maximos the Confessor in the seventh century and with Eriugena in the ninth century. It is my intention in this paper to look at what was said on this topic and the related ones of providence (pronoia) and resurrection (anastasis) in Byzantium during the eighth and ninth centuries, a period largely consumed with the iconoclast controversy, and usually overlooked in relation to discussion of these topics. Yet there are a number of works which deal with these themes but whose textual history and attribution are in some cases obscure. Nevertheless, it is clear that interest in these topics continued to occupy theologians throughout this period, and that the iconoclast controversy may have provided the impetus for this continuing interest. Questions surrounding the post-resurrection status of Christ, and the impossibility of depicting his deified form, were raised by the iconoclasts and answered by John of Damascus, Theodore the Stoudite and Patriarch Nikephoros. Discussion relating to divine providence and the final restoration are also evident in their writings as well as in those of Patriarch Germanos and Patriarch Photios. This presentation will survey all three themes in the works of these authors in order to assess the contribution they made to understanding human destiny and divine judgement in the history of Byzantine Christianity.

Tim Denecker: Multilingual competence in Cassiodorus' Variae and Institutiones

Multilingual competence - an individual's mastery of various languages - is a recurring theme in the Variae and Institutiones[diuinarum et saecularium litterarum] of Cassiodorus (c.485-c.580). In my paper, I will discuss those passages where Cassiodorus mentions people's multilingual competence and evaluates it. I will focus on the appraisals (1) of Jerome's competence in Hebrew, Greek and Latin (cf. uir trilinguis and Hebraica ueritas); (2) of the bilingual competence (in Latin and Greek) of Boethius, of Cassiodorus' friend Dionysius Exiguus, and of Bellator, Mutianus and Epiphanius, Cassiodorus' specialized translators at the Vivarium; and (3) of the competence in Latin and Ostrogothic (and Greek) of the ambassador Cyprian, of his sons, and of Amalasuintha, daughter of Theodoric and mother of Athalaric.

I will investigate (1) how Cassiodorus' appraisal of people's multilingual competence relates to the contexts in which it is mentioned. Some of these contexts are biblical and scientific translation, theology and exegesis, and political affairs; sometimes, multilingual competence is mentioned merely as a form of cultural capital in laudatory contexts. I will also try to define (2) the religious and socio-cultural restrictions which could be set to a positive appraisal of multilingual competence. Interesting cases in point are the orthodoxy of religious writings being translated, and the multilingual competence of a woman (Amalasuintha). Lastly, I will investigate (3) whether it is possible to discern a different appraisal of multilingual competence in the Variae (537), dating to before Cassiodorus' monastic conversion (540), and the Institutiones, composed afterwards (c.551-562).

Ilaria L.E. Ramelli: Gregory Nyssen’s and Evagrius’s Biographical and Theological Relations: Origen's Heritage and Neoplatonism

I shall preliminarily revisit biographical links between Nyssen and Evagrius (suggesting a closer relationship than usually assumed) and then focus on some major theological and philosophical points that suggest a significant influence of Gregory’s thought on Evagrius.
For instance, Evagrius’s characteristic doctrine of the subsumption of body into soul and soul into intellect is traced by Eriugena (who, like Maximus the Confessor, followed it) back to Nyssen. I shall argue that Eriugena was right with respect to this and other cases of theological influence of Nyssen on Evagrius, including the apokatastasis doctrine that Nyssen and Evagrius supported in a radical form, although it was becoming more and more controversial in their time. Allusions to Gregory also lurk behind several of Evagrius’s references to his teachers. Evagrius’s Christology, misunderstood as subordinationistic, reveals itself as Nyssian and Origenian. Also Evagrius’s dynamic notion of the protological and eschatological unity are in line with Origen’s and Nyssen’s, and have nothing to do with pantheism and the views condemned under Justinian. Even Evagrius’s anthropology is consistent with Origen’s and Gregory’s: none of them maintained the preexistence of bare souls, often attached to Origen as well as to Evagrius (under the unwarranted assumption that Nyssen rejected Origen’s theory).
A painstaking reassessment of the relation of Evagrius’s true thought to Nyssen’s is showing that Evagrius was, like Nyssen, authentically Origenian, and not radically Origenistic, as he has often been depicted on the basis of the identification of the Origenistic tenets condemned under Justinian with Evagrius’s ideas.))

Naoki Kamimura: Christian and Pagan Identities and Their Relationship with the Spiritual Exercise in the Letters of Augustine Workshop: 'Out of Africa': The Quest for North African Theological Identity(/-ies) in the Patristic Era

In contributing to the debate on the changes of the late Roman world, some scholars have claimed that the boundaries between religious groups were fluid with external and internal factors. Christian identity was not characterised by clear indications of religious belief, observance, and practice. Some intriguing surveys have shown that the difference between Christians and pagans can be seen as part of a discursive binary. While the North African evidence of their identity allows us to consider the question of what it means to be a Christian, it is noteworthy that there is a comprehensive framework for the understanding of human behaviour and thought: the ‘spiritual exercises’ in the Greco-Roman tradition. In the fourth- and fifth centuries, Christian thinkers began to pursue the matter in a more detailed way. A crucial stage of the development seems to be prepared by Augustine. Provided with some illuminating studies which consider the ‘spiritual exercises’ as being linked with the context of Augustine’s concern for Christianness in late antique North Africa, the correlation still remains in question. In this paper, I shall focus on the evidence for his view of the ‘spiritual exercises’ in the letters of Augustine, thereby coming to some understanding of the horizons on which he made use of the dimension in speaking about the Christian code of behaviour.

Clayton Jefford: SC Defining Exceptions in the Didache

A prominent question with respect to the Didache relates to the issue of literary development and whether the work represents a single voice or, alternatively, the compilation of several editorial layers. Despite recent arguments in favor of the former (see Milavec 2003, Varner 2007, and O'Loughlin 2010), a majority of scholars remains in favor of the latter, though academic division of the work into separate editorial segments remains quite diverse (cf. Niederwimmer 1989, Garrow 2004, and Pardee 2013). Acknowledging the legitimacy of the latter view, this paper will examine a potentially unique editorial hand within the text that has inserted certain "exception clauses" throughout the Didache. Most easily recognized among these clauses are exceptions to standard practices in relationship to food ritual found at 6.2-3 and with respect to baptism at 7.2-3. But other evidence for this voice may be evident elsewhere within the text, most notably with respect to those who wish to settle within the community at 12.3 and concerning the absence of prophets at 13.4. The primary argument of the paper thus will be to identify the parameters of this unique voice within the text and provide motivation for its presence as witness to the progressive evolution of the Didache's literary development.

Eric Rebillard: Early African Martyr NarrativesWorkshop: 'Out of Africa': The Quest for North African Theological Identity(/-ies) in the Patristic Era

Candida Moss (2012) invited us to consider martyrdom ideologies in discrete geographically and sociohistorically units. In this paper I would like to consider whether such an approach is also valid from a literary point of view and explore in particular how looking at texts in their geographical and sociohistorical context could provide us with a better understanding of the generic development of early martyr narratives. African martyr narratives known to Augustine will be the object of this preliminary study.

Patout Burns: Divinization and Clerical Mediation in African Christianity Workshop: 'Out of Africa': The Quest for North African Theological Identity(/-ies) in the Patristic Era

This paper proposes a connection between an understanding of the church as the body of Christ, the divinization of individual Christians through incorporation into that body, and the limited role of the clergy in the church's sacramental ministry. Tertullian, Tyconius, and Augustine, in different but related ways, used the identification of Christ with the church in one voice, one body, and one person to explain the holiness of the church and its role as mediator of holiness to Christians. Augustine and Tertullian also used this identification to limit the status or role of the bishop as a mediator of sanctification through the sacramental and preaching ministries. In Augustine's case, incorporation into the Body of Christ was accomplished through the sharing of the gift of the Holy Spirit that divinized the Christian's willing and acting. It led not only to participation in Christ's bodily glory but to exercise of his priestly powers in baptism, eucharist, and reconciliation. Divinization by incorporation into Christ gave every Christian a share in the sanctifying power that Cyprian and his Donatist disciples reserved to the bishops.

Edwina Murphy: SC Widows, Welfare and the Wayward: Ad Quirinum and the Witness of 1 Timothy

Ad Quirinum has long been studied for what it reveals about the Latin text of the Scriptures in the third century. It has also attracted interest for its contribution to the testimonia tradition and for its value as a catechetical document. Less attention, however, has been given to what it can teach us about Cyprian's appropriation of Scripture. In this paper, I focus on a series of testimonies in Book 3 which are drawn primarily from 1 Timothy 5. I examine Cyprian's choice of headings and his selection and arrangement of verses (including what he omits) in order to gain an insight into how his pastoral and theological concerns interact with his interpretation of Scripture.

David Wilhite: Paper: Were the ‘Donatists’ a National or Social Movement in Disguise?Workship: 'Out of Africa': The Quest for North African Theological Identity(/-ies) in the Patristic Era

AHM Jones in his 1959 article, ‘Were the Ancient Heresies National or Social Movements in Disguise?’, framed the question in such a way that the answer was obviously negative, especially for the Donatists. More recent approaches, however, while still rightly dismissing any ‘nationalist’ notions, nevertheless have nuanced the false dichotomy of religious/sacred and political/secular motivations. Without resorting to a reductionistic explanation, and even without claiming Donatist univocality, scholars can return to the question of the social identity sometimes invoked by the pars Donati (cf. Modéran 2003). B. Shaw, who once insisted on the label “African” for this group, has more recently revised the category to speak of a ‘dissident’ church.  His revision, however, may be premature: it is Augustine’s party, not the so-called Donatists, who ceaselessly chant, Quomodo Roma! Sic et Kartago! (serm. 24). Instead, ‘the Africans’ (Arles 314, canon 9), that is, the Donatists, whom Augustine sometimes describes as ‘Punic’ (ep. 108), could explicitly claim an African identity. Whereas Frend’s  attempt to demonstrate a more indigenous identity through quantitative analysis of prosopographical records – an approach shown to have flaws, I propose a rhetorical analysis of the social identities (cf. Rebillard 2012) sometimes evident among the so-called Donatists. The broad array of said identities even include ‘Punic’ and ‘African.’ These regional/social identities can inform our understanding of ‘Donatist’ theology, especially in terms of ecclesiology: while the ‘Donatists’ were not social movements in disguise, they did articulate their doctrine of the church from within their regional identity as Africans.

Anthony Dupont: Paper: An African Theology of Grace and Original Sin?Workshop: 'Out of Africa': The Quest for North African Theological Identity(/-ies) in the Patristic Era

In what way was the theology of grace and original sin constitutive for the identity of North African Christianity in general, and how did Augustine of Hippo - one of the most important African theologians, especially because of his ideas in this regard - play a role in the development of this doctrine in Africa? Was there a tradition regarding original sin and grace that was typical of (only) North African Christianity, and which Augustine systematized? Favouring the postponement of baptism until a more ‘mature' age is reached, Tertullian accepts the existing practice of infant baptism in articulo mortis [De baptismo 18] and speaks of "uitium originis" in De anima 41, 1. Supported by an episcopal council, Cyprian argues that infants should be baptised since they are born from a guilty race/because of the Adamic sin in Epistula 64, 5.  Regarding grace, V. Buchheit [1989] has suggested, for instance, that Cyprian's auto-description of his conversion in Ad Donatum 3-4 contains elements of a doctrine of grace in the context of baptism (as liberation from sin which human beings are not able to effect), inspired, among other things, by African baptismal creeds and Tertullian. This description actually exhibits important similarities with Augustine's conversion account and ideas on grace. We will thus, in other words, by evaluating whether Augustine's appeal to Tertullian and Cyprian is legitimate, or an anachronistic manipulation, explore the possible specificity of the African theology of sin and grace.

Maureen Tilley: Pseudo-Cyprian and the rebaptism controversy in Africa

Much of the quarrel between Catholics and Donatists revolved around their respective theologies of the sacraments. As the fourth and early fifth centuries progressed each group diverged from the other, especially on the validity of the sacrament of Baptism.
This paper traces one of the roots of the schism between the two groups to a baptismal controversy that was evolving out of the pseudo-Cyprianic corpus. In De rebaptismate,  a little studied treatise, the author addresses the question of what actually constitutes Baptism: is it the water bath alone or is it the entire nexus of rituals. The pseudo-Cyprianic emphasis on anointing as integral to the baptismal rite may help explain how and why Catholics and Donatists evolved separated theologies of Baptism.

EMMANOUIL DOUNDOULAKIS: The terms "απάτωρ" (to be born without father) and "αμήτωρ" (to be born without mother) according to Works (Hymnography & Prose) of Fathers and Ecclesiastical Writers of the Eastern Church.

In this paper I am going to examine the terms "απάτωρ" (to be born without father) and "αμήτωρ" (to be born without mother) in the Writings (Prose & Hymnography) of main Fathers and Ecclesiastical Writers of the Eastern Church.

During my research I will try to find out the Fathers' sources, from the Ancient Greek thought, as far as the terms are concerned and I am going to focus on the meaning that they both  have in Christianity and in the Hymnography -  Liturgical life of the Eastern Church.

Joseph Mueller: The Trinitarian Doctrine of the Apostolic Constitutions

Short Communication

Brian Daley has argued that the late-fourth-century Apostolic Constitutions (AC) represent an effort, allied with Meletius of Antioch, to steer a middle course between, on one hand, a conception of the Son and the Spirit as foreign to God’s nature and, on the other hand, an erasure of the Son’s and Spirit’s distinction from the Father, seen by many in the fourth-century East as the vice of Nicaea and its defenders.  In the service of this project, the AC clung to biblical language and categories traceable to the influence of Origen and Eusebius of Caesarea.  Daley’s argument here largely follows Metzger’s introduction to theSources chrétiennes edition of the AC.  Daley also provides evidence that the other works of the redactor of the AC, the commentary on Job and the Pseudo-Ignatian letters, are in this same theological current (“The Enigma of Meletius of Antioch,” in Ronnie J. Rombs and Alexander Y. Hwang, Tradition and the Rule of Faith in the Early Church: Essays in Honor of Joseph T. Lienhard, S.J. [Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 2010], 128-50).  This present paper will submit that Daley’s arguments do not address sufficiently those made by Georg Wagner, Thomas Kopeček, and Dieter Hagedorn to link the AC, Pseudo-Ignatius, and his commentary on Job to currents closer to Eunomius.  Tracing the Trinitarian revisions made by the AC to its source documents also provides support for relating the AC to such currents.

Fabian Sieber: Home to the Homeless, not Aliens to the World: People of God in 1 Peter 2,4-10 and in Patristic Exegesis

The 1 Letter of Peter sometimes was said to be „an exegetical stepchild" in new testamental research. (Elliott, 1975) In recent years the situation changed remarkably, due to several monographic contributions. At the same moment however, the text itself is as enigmatic as ever. Some scholars even came to the conclusion to characterize 1 Peter as ambiguous on purpose. (Thurén) In my presentation I want to deal with one of those more obscure passages, namely with 1 Peter 2,4-10, of crucial importance for the doctrine of common priesthood of all believers. My approach will be threefold: In a first step I will give a brief account of the major exegetical questions connected to the passage. It is namely the λίθος-complex in it's inter-textual dimensions and the question if οἰκοδομεῖσθε (1 Pet 2,5) should be read as an indicative or an imperative form which has to be taken into account. Second, I want to contextualize the text, within the framework of patristic exegesis and patristic thought. At this point it is not only Philo, but Alexandrian theology as represented by Origen, Didymus and Cyril of Alexandria that is to be taken into account. At the same moment however classical allusions have to be taken into account as well, namely Ovid. Finally, I will provide a synthesizing conclusion. I will argue 1 Peter 2,4-10 should not be read as an example of mimesis (MacDonald), but it could be understood as an example of theologia mythica.

Paola Francesca Moretti: Cicero in Ambrose’s De officiis and letters

There can be no doubt that both Ambrose’s De officiis and his letters bear witness to their author’s deep knowledge of Cicero.
I will investigate some passages of both works, trying to explore a phenomenon I would define as ‘competing exemplarity’. I will deal with Ambrose’s reuse of some Ciceronian exemplawithin the new Christian context. In such context they have to compete with their biblical counterparts, which of course are intended to outdo the classical exempla.

In this respect, I will try to establish how, why and to which extent Ambrose, with different degrees of explicitness, can be proven to aim to integrate and somewhat ‘correct’ his model.

Marianne Djuth: The Cure of the Body in Augustine's Early Works

In this essay I defend the idea that Augustine's conversion to Christianity is compatible with the practice of the art of medicine, and that bodily health plays a more prominent role in his understanding of the fall and salvation than his critics have previously thought.  I address these concerns with reference to the different perspectives from which Augustine views the body in his early works: biblical, metaphysical, and empirical.  Both in his commentary on Genesis in the De Genesi ad Litteram Imperfectum and in treatises such as the De Libero Arbitrio Augustine integrates these three perspectives into his interpretation of the creation of the natural order and the human body's place in that order.  In doing so, he maintains a balance between faith and reason that enables him to reconcile the biblical view of the natural order wit the classical theory of the four elements on which the art of medicine depends.
To accomplish this task I inquire into three aspects of Augustine's early works that pertain to the care of the body.  First, I document the fact that Augustine was not immune to bodily illness, and that he was aware of the existence of doctors.  Second, I show how Augustine balances the creation of the natural order with the practice of the art of medicine.  And third, I examine the extent of the knowledge of the art of medicine that Augustine acquired from his acquaintance with doctors and from his own observations.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Wendy Mayer: Religious Conflict and Diplomacy

In response to global events of the past decade a flood of studies has emerged that focus on the most obvious aspect of religious conflict: violence. These studies range across time periods and religions and examine the phenomenon from a variety of angles. Embedded in many are a series of assumptions about the religious character of such violence, religious (in)tolerance, and historical periodization. Recent scholarship on the period from the third century to the rise of Islam now challenges a number of these. In addition to the need for further studies that break down persistent myths, these studies call for increased attention to other aspects of such conflicts. The role of ordinary discourse, the reconstruction of memory, the reinforcement of embodied metaphors, how communal stories both respond to and play a role in local conflicts, the rhetorical construction of local topography, ritual (communal and private), and exile and damnatio memoriae, are all aspects that invite study. At the other end of conflict, a recent spate of studies investigating the development of canon law alongside letter-writing between bishops, popes and patriarchs in the 4th-7th centuries allows us to explore at a deeper level the topic of religious diplomacy directed towards the resolution of such conflicts. This workshop brings together papers from scholars currently working on both angles with a view towards arriving at a more nuanced understanding of the factors behind religious conflict and its resolution (or not) in the Patristic era.

Zachary Yuzwa: Dialogues in the Late Ancient World

Christians do dialogue. In the shifting intellectual terrain of late antiquity, the genre remained a vital form for philosophical and religious expression, as shown in Averil Cameron’s recent work (Cameron 2014). From Origen to Augustine, from Gregory of Nyssa to Gregory the Great, many of the most influential early Christian authors chose to employ the literary genre of the dialogue in their writing. The late ancient world was crowded with new ideas and competing voices, and the dialogue was one venue in which those debates were regularly staged.
By attending to the diversity of dialogic texts, we will explore the limits of the form. We will proceed from close readings of individual examples of the genre, in an attempt to understand the interplay of literary structure and philosophical or religious content; the relationship between literary production and a text’s social logic; the persistence of ancient literary forms and the influence of novel religious ideas. Between Plato and the rise of the Christian dialogue stand the impressive and influential dialogue corpora of Cicero, Plutarch and Lucian. How does the dialogue tradition change over its long history?  In what ways are Christians participating in new developments within the genre? What do dialogue writers hope to accomplish?   
This workshop will bring together scholars working on dialogic texts that span a broad chronological and geographical range: Methodius in Asia Minor, Augustine in North Africa, Julian the Apostate in Constantinople and Sulpicius Severus in Gaul. Study of the dialogue in antiquity is currently undergoing a revival of interest, and we hope to further the conversation by offering a fresh set of readings of some of the many late ancient dialogues, across linguistic and geographical boundaries.

Paper Titles: 1. “What is the point of Methodius’ Symposium?” 2. “Unity in Augustine’s Dialogues.” 3. “Towards a New History of the Sympotic Genre. 4. “Why would emperors dialogue? Form and Content of Julian’s Caesars.” 5. “Conceptual Blending and the Use of Exempla in Sulpicius Severus’ Gallus.

Julia Lillis: Christianity and Medicine, Health, and Disability: Virginity's AnatomyWORKSHOP TITLE

Patristic authors and their contemporaries offer varied definitions of virginity. Their claims, injunctions, and characterizations raise a number of questions and (sometimes conflicting) answers. Is virginity a physical state? To the extent that it is located in the body, what features mark its presence or absence? In what ways does it function as a metaphor? Can virginity be verified medically? Should it be? How does sexual violence problematize the assessment of virginity? Such questions have gained new prominence in recent work on sexuality and bodies in antiquity, in fields ranging from classics and the history of medicine to historical theology and early Judaism and Christianity.
The papers for this workshop seek to elucidate patristic thought on virginity in relation to other discourses. Late ancient ideas about virginity are intimately linked with medical knowledge and practice, with exegetical and theological work, and with social expectations concerning women and men, virgins and non-virgins. Our topics include noteworthy shifts toward and away from physicalized notions of virginity in patristic writing, a patristic presentation of the relationship between defloration and virginity testing, and the complications coerced sex imposes upon the question of virginity's location within the body and soul. As we contribute projects from diverse fields, we plan to enrich our ongoing work through close engagement with shared questions and sources.

Kimberly Baker: Basil and Augustine: Preaching on Care for the Poor

This paper examines the theological roots of charity in the preaching of Basil of Caesarea and Augustine of Hippo.  Both Basil and Augustine took seriously their responsibility as bishops for care for the poor, coordinating charitable works and giving the works of mercy a central place in their preaching.  Where they could seem to differ is in their view of the poor themselves.  In preaching, Basil offers vivid descriptions of the poor that emphasize their humanity held in common with all people as bearers of the image of God.  Augustine, on the other hand, could seem to depersonalize the poor by putting his focus on the ones giving alms and the forgiveness they can receive as a result.  For Augustine, though, the goal is conversion of heart, thus care for the poor is love for the poor who cannot be reduced to a means to an end.  This love grows as Christians discover a common identity with the poor, that of Christ who identified with the poor in the Incarnation and who shares his life and identity with Christians in baptism.  Thus, while his imagery and focus differ from Basil’s, Augustine too shapes an awareness of the common bond between the giver and receiver of alms.  Both Basil’s focus on a common humanity and Augustine’s focus on a shared identity in Christ affirm the dignity of those who are poor and call for love expressed in charitable deeds from Christians.

Christoph Markschies: WS- Ancient Christianity and Medicine, Health, and Disability-The State of the Question and Frameworks for Future Research

In the last few years, a number of important initiatives have developed to focus on and rethink questions related to Health and Disability in Ancient Christianity. And a number of important conferences have also taken place, e.g. in France (published as "Les pères de l'Église face à la science médicale de leur temps", 2005). But many of these initiatives develop in relative isolation from each other. International Patristics offers a rare opportunity for scholars in these areas to meet and discuss. The aim of the proposed workshop is to bring together the different approaches represented by all of these groups and to host a discussion on methodology and theoretical frameworks. The panelists represent a variety of different national and disciplinary cultures. And discussion will focus on the current state of the question and future challenges. Some of the themes of the session will include: the juxtaposition and overlap between Greco-Roman/pagan and Christian healing techniques and theories, the problematic distinction between "rational" scientific medicine and "irrational" miraculous healing, the need to integrate research on material culture with textual approaches. A great deal of progress has been made in terms of elucidating various ancient concepts of health and disease as it maps onto certain sociological, educational, and religious groups. Furthermore, much has been done to edit and comment on ancient texts relevant to the study of these topics. But there are still important lacunae that need to be addressed. And it is also important to discuss common methodological standards and approaches.

Heidi Marx-Wolf: Christianity and Medicine, Health, and Disability - Doctors and Patients

Although on rare occasions, Christian writers demonized and vilified Greco-Roman medicine and its practitioners, recent scholarship has highlighted the ways in which Christians participated enthusiastically in medical education (it is difficult to identify a Patristic writer who does not use medical metaphors or employ basic principles undergirding classical medicine and biology). Christians also practiced as doctors, and a number of early Christian martyrs were doctors (Saint Panteleon was supposedly a physician at the court of one of the Tetrarchs, and two of the most important healing saints of late antiquity were the doctors Kosmas and Damian). As patients, Christians also availed themselves of a wide variety of healing options within the “medical marketplace.”

Using the lens of doctors and patients, this workshop explores the interrelationship between religious change in late antiquity and changes in medical knowledge, education, and practice. It will consider some of the ways in which Christians related to traditional Greco-Roman medicine and how Christianity in turn changed medicine.

Helen Rhee, "Patients in early Christianity"
Jared Secord, “Galen and the Theodotians: Embryology and Adoptionism in the Christian Schools of Rome”
Anna Rack-Teuteberg, “Saintly Doctors and Doctor Saints: the Latin Miracles of Kosmas and Damian”
Heidi Marx-Wolf, "Late Ancient Doctors: Mapping Social Location and Education in Inscriptions, Papyri, and Literary Texts"

This session belongs to the larger group of workshops on “Christianity and Medicine, Health, and Disability” and should not be scheduled to meet at the same time as other sessions for this series.

David Hunter: "The Reception of the Fathers"

This workshop is held in connection with the preparation of the Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, edited by David G. Hunter, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte, and Paul van Geest. The aim of the workshop is to provide an opportunity for preliminary discussion of a volume of essays on patristic reception.  All of the speakers below have confirmed their titles and willingness to participate, except for #7.  If Professor Faber does not confirm, we will find another speaker to address reception in the Reformation period.

Session I: Medieval and Byzantine Reception

1. Philip Lyndon Reynolds: "The Scholastic Augustine (12th-13th Centuries)"
2. Willemien Otten: "The fate of Augustine's Genesis exegesis in medieval hexaemeral commentaries."
3. Bronwen Neil: "Gregory the Great and Late Antique Popes in the Middle Ages and Beyond"
4. Augustine Casiday: "Evagrius of Pontus in Byzantine and Syriac Reception"

Session II: Late Medieval and Reformation

5. Stephen Cooper:
"Ambrosiaster in Reformation Zürich: Heinrich Bullinger's Use of 'Ambrose' in his Commentaries on Paul."
6. Aza Goudriaan: "Nicaea: Origin of the Decline of Christianity? Early Modern anti-Trinitarian Historiography and the Protestant Response"
7. Reimer Faber: Ambrosiaster and Erasmus [invited, but no response yet]
8. Ralph Keen: “Lactantius in Early-Modern Religious Controversies”

Session III: Modern and Post-Modern Reception

9. Ian Ker: "The Influence of the Greek Fathers on John Henry Newman"
10. Paul Blowers: "Modern Recontextualizations of Maximus the Confessor"
11. Elizabeth A. Clark: "Augustine Meets Protestant Liberalism: Teaching Augustine in Early Twentieth Century America"
12. Karla Pollmann: "The Secular Reception of Augustine"

Christof Müller: International WorkshopText - Subtext - Context:On the Way to a Comprehensive Commentary of the Augustinian Letters

 The corpus of Augustinian Letters contains about 300 pieces written by and addressed to him, which hold considerable appeal as a field of research and provide a unique source for the culture and history of late antiquity. Scholars working on the Letters come from disciplines as varied as classics, philosophy, theology and ancient history as well as cultural studies and theory of communication.
However, scholars have often deplored the fact that there is no thorough study of the corpus as a whole with a focus on content and historical background as well as language, style and literary function. An international and interdisciplinary group of scholars endeavors to fill this gap with a project coordinated by the Zentrum für Augustinus-Forschung an der Universität Würzburg. The goal of the project is a commentary, as exhaustive and extensive as possible, on Augustine's Letters. Several smaller conferences have already proven the viability of the research program and the methodology employed.
At the workshop we want to present further components and results of the ongoing Epistulae project. We will focus on the interaction of text, subtext and context and of content, form and function of the Letters by and to Augustine. Contrary to a more traditional approach, which focused on specific aspects of interpretation, we want to show that a comprehensive view of the Letters employing diverse aspects and methodologies is not only fruitful, but indispensable. We will demonstrate our integrative approach to the commentary with examples selected from different periods of Augustine's life.

Peter van Egmond: Pelagius Applauded and Defended. Exploring Two Specimens of the Earliest Reception of Pelagian Writing (CPL 775b and 778)[!] This paper is part of the workshop: "Pelagian' After-Lives: Transmission, Reception, and Inter-textuality in Latin Literature"

Two enigmatic texts of Pelagian character (CPL 775b and 778), each scantily surviving in a single North-Italian manuscript, present themselves to us as both revealing and enigmatic. They are revealing, if only for the fact that they are boldly modelled after Pelagius’ profession of faith and openly defend his cause - thereby becoming early specimens of the reception and application of his work (ca. 418-420 CE). They are also enigmatic, because their authors, addressees, and exact context remain obscure. CPL 775b, once attributed to Julian of Aeclanum, is today mostly connected to a group of Aquileian bishops unwilling to condemn Pelagius and Caelestius. But in the only manuscript (now lost) it seems to have been anonymous. As addressee, the text mentions a certain ‘brother and father Augustine’, but who is meant? CPL 778, a much briefer text, but very similar in genre and wording, defends the Pelagian cause as well, with the same confidence. The only extant manuscript, elegantly written but corrupt, attributes the text to a certain ‘Ambrose of Chalcedon’, of whom, however, no other record is found. There is no clear hint on the intended recipient(s). Moreover, the exact relation between the two creed-based texts remains obscure: which of the two is oldest, and which is influenced by the other? This paper, then, aims to explore the difficult terrain, using new, still unpublished critical editions of both texts and a fresh investigation of their sources and use of Scripture, attempting to untangle some of the traditional knots.

Alison Bonner: 'Pelagian' After-Lives: Transmission, Reception, and Inter-textuality

This workshop examines the after-life of Pelagius' writings, both their manuscript transmission and their influence on later authors. Several of Pelagius' letters and other compositions had a very extensive transmission in monastic book-collections across Europe. His words and ideas also had an even wider influence, recycled in anonymous letters and treatises, some of which became influential in their own right. 
The aim of this workshop will be to look closely at specific texts such as Admonitio ad Gregoriam in palatio, two Libelli fidei of uncertain authorship, Ad Demetriadem, and the Caspari Corpus, in the context of the wider transmission of Pelagius' writings. The manuscript evidence suggests that Pelagius' writings were not expelled from mainstream Christian literature, even if they travelled pseudonymously in manuscripts. On the basis of this analysis, we will explore such questions as the relationship between Pelagius' advice and other ascetic exhortation, whether Pelagius' teaching did have a significant differentiable after-life, and to what extent the Church rejected Pelagius' teachings in practice. In this workshop we will try to gauge both how influential Pelagius' writings were, and whether later generations recognised his ideas as ‘Pelagian' or whether they simply passed into the lingua franca of early medieval spirituality.

Christine Shepardson: [WS] Representing the Saints: John of Ephesus's Lives and the Polarization of the Chalcedonian Conflict

In the fifth century a theological controversy over the relation of the divine and human aspects of the second Person of the Christian Trinity became sharply politicized. The emperor called the Council of Chalcedon in 451, but many Christians in the eastern Mediterranean rejected its outcome, and political favor vacillated as subsequent emperors sought a compromise. By the late sixth century, the church was permanently divided in schism, fueled by decades of persecution, political rivalries, and hostile propaganda. Anti-Chalcedonian Christians have traditionally been marginalized in western scholarship, initially because westerners considered them "heretics" and later because few could read the languages in which their histories were preserved. Nevertheless, their texts offer valuable insights into the escalation of this conflict and the rhetorical means by which those who rejected the Council's outcome constructed an alternate narrative of recent events, including strong memories of persecution. My paper will examine the Syriac Lives of the Eastern Saints by the sixth-century anti-Chalcedonian leader John of Ephesus through the lens of memory studies. I will argue that John carefully shaped his stories of persecuted saints in ways that encouraged a coherent history and identity for the disparate anti-Chalcedonian community and facilitated religious radicalization and the move toward irreconcilable schism.

Jessica Wright: Christianity and Medicine, Health, and Disability: Christian Leaders and Public Health

The body was of principal concern to Christians and non-Christians alike in late antiquity. Care for the body was a core aspect of care for the soul, and spiritual discipline demanded the training of perilous appetites, habits, and desires. Scholarship has in recent years devoted much attention to the practices and processes involved in this self-care, observing in particular that early Christian concern for the body echoed ancient medical dietetics. As such, experts on the care of the Christian body followed in the footsteps of medical experts—in particular those of the Hippocratic tradition.
The shared goal of medical and Christian dietetics was the health of body and soul. How Christian leaders chose to use medical language, strategies, and techniques in their pastoral care for the health of their congregants reflects their understanding of the body-soul relationship and the role of bodily health in securing spiritual well-being.

This panel is concerned with the care of the body as articulated by early Christian leaders: Basil of Caesarea; John Chrysostom; Dorotheus of Gaza; and Sophronius of Jerusalem. Juxtaposing naturalistic and religious healing practices, we will examine the strategies employed by different spiritual doctors in addressing the condition of the body within their communities. Exploring their discussions about the body, its sicknesses, and its healing, our papers will point toward the intersections of spiritual and bodily health, as our subjects set out the terms and the stakes of spiritual intervention in the care of the body.

Elizabeth Hastings: SC.Augustine of Hippo on naming God as the Holy Trinity and naming God as Jesus' Father: Some ecumenical implications for the addressing of God as "Father".

This enquiry is framed by the Latin-Greek ecumenical problem of reconciling the naming of God as the Trinity with the naming of God as Jesus' Father.   The latter is reflected in the Eastern Orthodox emphasis on the monarchy of God the Father.   The former naming is reflected in Augustine's, and the Western Latin, emphasis on the one God as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each and together fully God.   Augustine does, however, invoke both namings of God.   The object of this enquiry is to identify apparent dislocations and reconciliations between these two namings of God in Augustine's own thought, and to examine some of their ecumenical implications for the believer's addressing of God as "Father".
The Gospel of John contains most of the New Testament references to God as Jesus' Father.   It also contains references to "your Father", "our Father", and "the Father", with which to counterpoise Jesus' naming of the Father as "my Father".   For the purposes of this paper, the investigation accordingly focuses upon Augustine's In Iohannis evangelium tractatusfor his insights regarding this naming of God.    The De Trinitate is additionally included as a touchstone of Augustine's mature thought on the one God as the Trinity.

Mary B. Cunningham: Patristic Theology and Apocryphal Narratives in Byzantine Devotion to Mary, the Mother of God (Sixth to Twelfth Centuries)

This workshop, to be held in three sessions, will explore the reception and reshaping of patristic themes concerning the Virgin Mary in the Byzantine theological and liturgical tradition between the sixth and twelfth centuries. The first session of the workshop will deal with hymnography between the sixth and ninth centuries, starting with the imaginative contribution of Romanos the Melodist and including later Byzantine kanons. The second session will examine the homilies associated with the Marian feasts that were being introduced into the liturgical calendar between the sixth and eighth centuries. In the third and final session, our attention will turn to a corpus of largely unstudied hagiographical and homiletic texts that were composed in honour of the Virgin Mary in the ninth through twelfth centuries. The narrative strategies, biblical exegesis, and theological preoccupations of these texts differ in significant ways from conventional liturgical treatment of the Virgin; however, these texts also reveal influence from earlier apocryphal, patristic, and historical sources to a degree not evident in the liturgical material. The development of doctrine and devotion concerning the Virgin Mary in the Late Antique period has been heavily studied in recent years, sometimes creating the impression that later contributors had little to offer, short of repeating traditional formulas. It is the aim of this workshop to prove that Byzantine writers, working creatively within a variety of literary and liturgical genres, continued from the sixth century onward to develop new theological, rhetorical and spiritual approaches to Mary, the Mother of God.

David Wilhite: WS ‘Out of Africa’: The Quest for North African Theological Identity(/-ies) in the Patristic Era

Geographical location and theological content were intrinsically related within Early Christianity. Historical-geographical research has confirmed that a broad spectrum of contextual circumstances and theological differences resulted in regionally coloured types of Christianity. Our workshop will address the question whether we can speak of an African theology in the Patristic era.
Scholars agree that their socio-economic/political-geographical specificity formed North Africans into a distinct regional group. This particular regional context resulted in a specific African expression of Christianity, distinct from that of other regions. This African identity consisted of a specific ethos of Christianity, which was a blend of local/particular (Africitas) and universal (Romanitas/Christianitas) elements. The contributions of our workshop will explore the possible theological implications of the said North African Christian identity, and will attempt to situate its theological regional specificity within Christianity as a whole.

Our proposal for this workshop already has one confirmed session with five presenters, representing universities in Japan, Belgium, and the USA (names, paper titles and paper abstracts available). Pending approval for this workshop will also invite someone to preside over the session. In addition to this confirmed session, we also propose additional sessions on this topic.  Pending approval from the conference directors, we will issue a call for papers through various scholarly networks, and submit a finalized proposal with up to twelve papers to the directors by December of 2014.

John Slotemaker: Augustine In Late Medieval Philosophy and Theology(A Workshop, organized by John T. Slotemaker and Jeffrey C. Witt)

The goal of the proposed workshop is to assemble a group of 12 papers (3 sessions of 4 papers each) that examine the reception of Augustine of Hippo's thought in the late medieval period (i.e., 13th-15th centuries). We are particularly interested in creating a forum that allows scholars to discuss the reception of Augustine in under-represented late scholastic thinkers. Given the recent literature on the reception of Augustine in the Medieval Latin West (e.g., K. Pollman (ed.), The Oxford Guide; E.L. Saak, Creating Augustine), the organizers think that the time is ripe for a workshop dedicated to the proposed topic. As scholarship continues in the late medieval period, it is important to continually reassess and reflect on the influence of Augustine and the various ways Augustine was received. We believe the proposed list of participants and papers will contribute to a fuller understanding of Augustine influence in late medieval thought. The list represents a diverse group of scholars who will be able to assess Augustine's legacy from different perspectives. Proposed papers include considerations of philosophical topics about the nature of sensation, volition, and cognition. Others will focus on more explicitly theological topics about the nature of theology, the doctrine of God, and the concept of faith. The list of proposed papers also provides a good sampling from the "long Middle Ages," including thinkers from the late thirteenth century (e.g., Peter John Olivi) until the early sixteenth (e.g., Martin Luther).

    Andreas Andreopoulos: Mystical and Apophatic, beyond Philosophical: a Defence of the Liturgical Reading of the Corpus Areopagiticum

    Despite the permanent relevant interest, and the fact that several researchers (mostly Andrew Louth and Alexander Golitzin) have touched on the liturgical aspect of the Corpus Areopagiticum, there is a general lack of modern appreciation for the liturgical dimension of the work of Dionysios, as many main researchers in the area of Dionysian studies either ignore it, or flatly deny it (David Newheiser).
    What this presentation will try to do it to propose a strongly liturgical conceptual foundation of the entire work of Dionysios.
    First, it will situate the ‘mystical' element within the context of the sixth century, and also of the first century, which is consistent with the persona of Dionysios, and demonstrate its primarily liturgical/sacramental/ritual meaning.
    Second, it will examine the conceptual relationship between the two Hierarchies, suggesting that the focus of (even) theCelestial Hierarchy is an exploration of the depth of ecclesiology and liturgy.
    Third, it will argue that Dionysian apophaticism is best understood as a doxological apophaticism (rather than as an expression of intellectual negations), and therefore it points towards a ritual/symbolic and liturgical act rather than towards a philosophical ‘pure contemplation'.
    Finally, it will propose that the Corpus Areopagiticum should be read in the aftermath of the liturgical and ecclesiological explosion the fourth century as an attempt to explore, explain and develop its intellectual depth, while at the same time it tried to keep a distance from argumentative doctrinal/philosophical theology.

    Sophie Lunn-Rockliffe: Demonic and Diabolical Bodies (Workshop proposal)

    The material turn in late antique studies (cf P. Cox Miller, The Corporeal Imagination (2009)), has stimulated considerable scholarly interest in early Christian ideas about the constitution and operation of the bodies of demons and the Devil. As Smith has shown in his seminal article, ‘How thin is a demon?’ (JECS 16.4 (2008), 479-512), demons were thought by many non-Christians and Christians alike to have bodies – insubstantial, wispy, aery bodies, but bodies nonetheless, which required sustenance, and behaved in characteristic ways. As Brakke has explored in his book,Demons and the Making of the Monk (2006), early Christian ascetics were formed in part responsively to the powerful workings of demons on the human body and mind, to be resisted in spiritual and physical fashion. This workshop will build on the work of scholars like Smith and Brakke to explore a broader set of ideas about demonic and diabolical bodies, from ideas of bodies of demons, where multiple creatures act in cohort as one organism; and the quasi-sacramental ideas of human participation in the devil's body that one finds in, for example, Tyconius and Augustine. Overarching topics of interest will include the boundaries and behaviours of demonic bodies; the relationships between human and demonic bodies; the issue of changes in and to demonic bodies. In two workshops, 3 speakers will offer 30-minute papers on diverse treatments of this topic, and the papers at each workshop will be followed by roundtable discussion.

    Yuehua CHEN: The Cross-Cultural Transmission of "Image" and "Similarity": Theological Interpretations from Plotinus to Ambrose and Augustine

    With the help of Bishop Ambrose and the "Milanese Circle", Augustine acquired a new understanding of how men are made according to the Image and Similarity of God (ad imaginem et similitudinem nostram)(Gen.1:26), and this enlightenment had become a key to his conversion to Christianity. He eventually broke away from Manichaeism's view of the body and understood that men are not similar to God in body but are bestowed with the Image of God in soul and spirit. (Conf. V.10.19, VI.3.4) However, he did not report the exact teaching of Ambrose in his Confessions. How did Ambrose interpret this problem in his own writings? Did Augustine fully accept Ambrose's interpretation? In fact, we should also reconsider the possible influences of the theories of "Form" and "Participation" of Neo-Platonism. Plotinus used the terms εἴδωλον and ὅμοιος to explain how lower beings participate in higher beings and try to imitate them, and especially, how the transcendent hypostases bestow on men and other beings Existence, Unity, and Form. Likewise, Ambrose used "Similarity" to signify different ontological degrees of man and other things and held that only Christ is the perfect and equal Image of God and has no dissimilarity to God. Augustine believed men could also be called image of God, but it is only similar and never equal. He also emphasized that men are made in the Image of the whole Holy Trinity. This article will also try to show that Ambrose had played a vital role in this transmission.

    Matyáš Havrda: WS The Other Clement of Alexandria: New Perspectives

    “The Other Clement of Alexandria” is a collective designation of texts preserved after Stromata VII in Codex Laurentianus (the so-called Stromata VIII, Excerpts from Theodotus, and Eclogae Propheticae) and material related to Clement’s lost Hypotyposes. Despite their differences, these texts have much in common: their origin is obscure, their state is fragmentary, and they are all witnesses to earlier traditions (philosophical, Valentinian, or the tradition of the “presbyters”).  Moreover, all of these texts are, in one way or another, concerned with biblical exegesis. The aim of this workshop is to explore these common elements both in individual texts and in their relation to one another, while reopening the debate about their origin, purpose, and relevance to Clement’s planned continuation of the Stromata. It will include the following contributions: (1) The origin and purpose of Stromata VIII: The riddle revisited. (2) “In order that we might follow him in all things”: Spiritual interpretation of Gospel texts in the Excerpts from Theodotus 66-86. (3) Clement’s Valentinian Sources in the Excerpts from Theodotus. (4) Clement's Prophetic Eclogues: Ascetic traditions received. (5) Eclogae 9-11 about the value of suffering. (6) How many fragments of the Hypotyposes do we have? (7) Cassiodorus' Adumbrationes: do they belong to Clement's Hypotyposes? The workshop will be concluded by a general discussion.

    robert grant: Natural Theology: How Ambrose of Milan converted natural law.

    This paper demonstrates how Ambrose of Milan begins to develop pagan natural philosophy into a Christian theology of creation that will be refined by Thomas Aquinas.
    There persists an intransigent ambiguity concerning the role of the human person within the rest of creation.  Are we part of a determined order or do we exercise free will?  Has nature any value beyond its usefulness?  This ambiguity is overcome by re-examining Ambrose’s judicious use of the natural law of neo-Platonism, Aristotelianism, and especially Stoicism.
    Ambrose was convinced that human reason and divine revelation cannot contradict one another.  Indeed, after his swift transition from non-baptized consularis of Liguria/Emilia to consecrated bishop of Milan, he infused natural philosophy with Christian faith.

    The resulting nascent natural theology countered pagan tradition’s rejection of a transcendent creator and subtly corrected any tendency toward ethical determinism.  Further, he responded elegantly to the suspicious anti-intellectualism enshrined in Tertullian’s infamous snub: “what has Jerusalem to do with Athens.”  Ambrose offers us a sublimely ordered world which, by virtue of its very creation by God, is intrinsically good, beautiful, and perfect.  He supplements the canonical ‘cardinal’ virtues with Paul’s theological virtues.  He sets the stage for the more careful and systematic natural theology of Aquinas.

    Ethan Gannaway: Cock on a Column: Art, Ambrose, and Audience

    Scholars have noted well the influence of the great Roman authors on Ambrose, citing especially and justly Vergil and Cicero.  Ambrose himself cites and references poets and philosophers, both specifically and generally.  Yet, research has tended to ignore art and its relationship with Ambrose.  In fact, when art appears in Ambrosian studies, scholars use it to show how Ambrose affected the art.  The best example of this practice is the late-fourth century Brescia casket.  The richly decorated ivory reliquary boasts a grand and complicated program of images, deciphered through the help of Ambrose’s works.

    This paper, however, examines a specific and nebulous image from the Brescia casket, the so-called cock on the column, and what it says about the cock as portrayed in Ambrose’s hymn, Aeterne rerum conditor, and in his exegetical work, Hexameron 5.24.  By looking at the image’s received tradition, directly from sarcophagi and catacombs and indirectly from sources such as mosaic comparanda, one finds a nuanced meaning for the cock’s appearance on the Brescia casket and for its meaning for the viewer.  The discoveries in turn lead to lesser-studied authors in Ambrosian research, such as Lucian or Avienus.  The result is a polyvalent meaning for this image and an argument to cite the artistic tradition like the literary.  The image of the cock on the column provides an unused but valuable source to decipher the fuller significance of the cock’s role for Ambrose and his audience.

    Geoffrey Dunn: Ecclesiastical Conflict between Rome and Constantinople in the Early Fifth Century: Diplomatic Efforts to Resolve the Dispute about Perigenes of Corinth

    for the workshop: Religious Conflict and Diplomacy organised by Wendy Mayer

    The letters in the Collectio Thessalonicensis reveal that Rome and Constantinople clashed over the question of which church had responsibility for overseeing the churches of Illyricum Orientale. Rome considered the area to remain part of its supervisory jurisdiction even though political control by then had been transferred from West to East. The letters in the collectio from Boniface I (418-422) concern the disputed election of Perigenes as bishop of Corinth, as some of the local bishops had appealed to Atticus of Constantinople to have Perigenes’ election declared null when Boniface had supported it. Both Atticus and Boniface appealed to imperial authority (as Cod. Theod. 16.2.45 of 421 and some of the letters in the Collectio Thessalonicensis demonstrate). This paper will examine Boniface’s Ep. 14 to the Greek bishops (Institutio uniuersalis = Coll. Thess. Ep. 10 = JK 364), in which he argued that his Petrine position gave him a superior authority, and that those to whom the dissident bishops had appealed lacked the authority they had asserted with which to intervene. The argument advanced here is that the ultimate success of Perigenes in remaining in Corinth was due more to diplomatic efforts involving the two emperors than any assertion of Rome’s apostolic primacy. Such a result, as further letters of the Collectio Thessalonicensis reveal, however, was only temporary.

    Veronica Roberts: Latreia and Idolatry: Augustine and the Quest for Right Relationship

    Our workshop brings together nine presentations in an interdisciplinary conversation about the place and meaning of latreia and idolatry in human relationships. It consists of two distinct but related “movements”: (1) an exploration of the anthropology underlying Augustine’s understanding of relationship; (2) an investigation into the political consequences that follow from Augustine’s account of right relationship (or failure thereof).
    In the first movement, M. Camacho will explore man’s "being-from" in light of God’s Trinitarian relationship and Van Versendaal will consider man as “divine signum” in light of Christ. Next, P. Camacho will present Augustinian freedom not simply as “free choice” but “co-activity”, made possible by right relationship to the Good while Fr. Seiler will focus on the role of the priest’s freedom in the relationship between Christ and his alter Christus. Finally, McFadden will analyze Augustine’s use of the soliloquy in order to overcome pride and to establish genuine friendship in Christ.
    In the second movement, Roberts will argue that the earthly city’s tripartite idolatry undermines genuine political community. Busch will then observe that Augustine’s political criticisms draw dialectically upon the very philosophers with whom Augustine disagrees, but that this dialectical relationship must be limited for Augustine the sojourner. Next, Lamb will consider how diverse citizens can foster civic friendships to pursue common objects even while casting their ultimate hopes on different horizons. Finally, Nunziato will argue that the divergence between the two cities’ conceptions of economic activity is rooted in different conceptions of sacrifice.
    An open discussion will follow.

    Lois Farag: The Use and Reception of the Term organon in Athanasius of Alexandria's Writings

    This paper will examine the theological use of the term organon in two of Athanasius' writings: Orationes contra Arianos and de Incanatione. Organon is mentioned in the de Incarnatione primarily within the discussion of the Platonic part-whole and consequently internal-external relationships Athanasius uses to convince the Greeks of the necessity of the Incarnation. The paper will demonstrate that the use of organon in de Incarnatione has no role either in the Platonic or Christian theological argument while its use in Orationes contra Arianos to assert the divinity of the Son was significant. The internal-external relationships will be assessed within the Alexandrian theological term idios. In addition, the paper will examine the reception of the theological understanding of the "body as instrument" in the writings of Cyril of Alexandria, a theologian who appropriated much of Athanasius' theological thought. Based on these findings, I would like to propose a reexamination of the variants of the sixth-century Syriac manuscript of de Incarnationethat omit the term organon and what Kannengiesser called "l'emploi christologiqued'organon".

    Viacheslav Lytvynenko: Preparing a Critical Edition of the Old Slavonic Text of Athanasius’ Orationes Contra Arianos

    When preparing a critical Greek text of Athanasius’ Orationes  Contra Arianos(published by Walter de Gruyter in 2000) the editors lamented: “Eine Burücksichtigung dieser C [die altslawische Übersetzung] nahe stehenden Version für die Textkonstitution war leider nicht möglich”. In contrast to the attention patristic scholars have given to the Coptic, Armenian, and Syriac translations of Athanasius’ texts, there has been scarcely any effort for reconstructing the Old Slavonic texts. This communication will seek to share a brief outline of the project intended to fill in the gap and create a critical edition of the Old Slavonic text of the Contra Arianos. More specifically, I will first present two earlier attempts of creating such an edition (in 1954 and 2007) and discuss their contribution and weaknesses. I will then give a brief description of the Old Slavonic manuscripts (the number of copies, dates, condition, and location) and explain the specificity of my work and its challenge (the diversity of the ancient scripts, the absence of punctuation and proper distinction between the words, etc.). Finally, I will explain the guiding principles on which I reconstruct the Old Slavonic text with its variants and provide the translation into English.

    Olga Alieva: Protreptic and Paraenesis in the Late Antique Literature"Second-Century Reception of Pauline Paraenesis"by James Starr, Uppsala, Sweden

    Paraenesis developed in early Christianity through the example of Paul's epistolary moral exhortation. Two social conditions that were vital to the rhetorical power of Pauline paraenesis were his personal acquaintance and friendship with the recipients, allowing him to write in a spirit of philophronēsis, and the particular theological worldview he shared with his churches. Post-apostolic church leaders continued to write moral exhortation to their congregations, but the tone and motivation of second-century paraenesis differs from that in the New Testament. This paper seeks to understand what has changed in second-century Christian paraenesis and why. It suggests that differences from first-century apostolic paraenesis might be explained in part by three observations: (1) second-century authors wrote more often from a position of formal authority than the philophronēsis typical of Paul; (2) a shift has occurred in theological emphasis, which affects how moral exhortation is motivated; and, closely related to the second point, (3) inroads made by a growing appreciation of Platonic thought influence both the shape and the goals of Christian moral exhortation. The paper takes into account paraenesis in second-century writings to Christian congregations: 1-2 Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, Barnabas, Martyrdom of Polycarp, and Clement of Alexandria.


    In the XI  and XI centuries, in the southeast France and northeast Spain there was a clear intention of providing to illiterate population –but not only this kind of public- a Christian moral system based on neoplatonic theories. These theories came from the lectures of Augustin from Hippo and Johannes Scotus Eirugena works inter alia. The moral system should guide medieval people behaviours and/or justify a status quo in a way that they should consider it as natural and without any alternative.
    The way to bring this practical philosophy (ethic or moral) to people couldn’t be done through direct reading of Augustinian texts or their comments, not even through canons or priests explanations, even if they were secular, so that they were the closest to popular preaching. People hadn’t the necessary cognitive instruments, the basic education to access the theoretical concepts of this morality. Furthermore, even most of intermediaries (these canons or priests) didn’t have the necessary instruction to get it.
    It was imposed, then, an aesthetic system close to people in order to assimilate the Augustinian theories based on the use of wall paintings, altar frontispieces, sculptures, set to religious musical theatre... as well as the incorporation of local pre-Christian elements in religious rituals.
    We try to focus on very concrete aspects of Augustinian and other neoplatonic  thoughts –for example, the theology of light- and their moral and aesthetic value; on why and on how in those centuries in the above mentioned places.

    Chris de Wet: Religious Conflict, Zealotism, and Masculinity in John Chrysostom

    This paper forms part of the proposed workshop entitled: "Religious Conflict and Diplomacy." The purpose of this paper is to investigate the dynamic between the discourse of masculinity and zealotism in the works of John Chrysostom, specifically in how it pertains to understanding religious conflict in late antiquity. It argues that formations of masculinity are crucial to understanding the underpinnings of religious conflict even before it transforms into physical violence. Rather than focusing simply on instances of effeminization of opposing religious identities, as is often the case in some studies, this paper rather approaches masculinization as a complex discursive formation in Chrysostom, one that utilizes a potent religious zealotism in its operation. Therefore, it is asked: how did Chrysostom spur on men (and women, for that matter) in his audience to be religious purists and perhaps even fanatics? Who were the models of religious zealotism for Chrysostom, and how did he use these models to construct a type of Christian subjectivity that, principally, does not allow for any heterodox or non-Christian influence? The paper is therefore an exploration into the rhetoric of religious conflict and its subsets of masculinization in the sermons of John Chrysostom, which contributed to some exhibiting an almost habitual intolerance for any opposing religious views; an intolerance some considered a crucial characteristic of being a Christian ‘man’ in the late ancient world.

    Francesco Braschi: Ambrose of Milan "reloaded": the Homilies by Cardinal Federico Borromeo (1564-1631) about his Blessed Predecessor. Intended to be part of the workshop: "The reception of Ambrose: Reconsidering the Archbishop of Milan in Context"

    During his Episcopacy (1595-1631) in Milan, not in a single occasion Cardinal Federico Borromeo showed deep respect toward St. Ambrose, whom he regarded to not only as a Patron and most illustrious antecessor of his, but also as an example in order to discover the most urgent cultural and pastoral needs of the Milanese people.
    Every year, on December 7th, Federico celebrated Ambrose's feast by preaching a homily devoted to enlighten one or more aspect(s) of his life, deeds and personality, according to the situation of the Church and the people, marked both by famine and plague and by the situation of religious struggle due to the consequences of Protestant and Catholic Reformation.
    The paper aims at showing both contents (especially with regard to the usage of Ambrosian works and related sources by Federico) and method of the representation of St. Ambrose proposed by Federico during 36 years of episcopacy, thus perpetuating the memory of the Saint as well as showing him as a reliable source of inspiration in order to overcome the present difficulties in politics, economy, social and religious life. St. Ambrose, indeed, did (and does!) keep on playing an actual and meaningful role in the self-representation and activity of the Catholic Church in Milano.
    Special attention will be drawn upon the Homily delivered on December 7th, 1609, the day before the opening of a Library to be named after St. Ambrose (Ambrosiana Library), which describes the "Ambrosian Spirit" by means of a comparison between Ambrose and Augustine.

    Han-luen Kantzer Komline: The Ambrosian Heart of the Augustinian Will? Augustine's Reception of Ambrose's Commentary on Luke in his Anti-Pelagian Writings (This is a proposal for a paper to presented as part of the workshop on "The Reception of Ambrose: Reconsidering the Archbishop of Milan in Context.")

    From his engagement with Pelagius to his late writings to the monks of Gaul, Augustine repeatedly invoked Ambrose’s Commentary on Luke to support his “anti-Pelagian” cause.  In his struggle against Pelagius, he calls attention to how Ambrose, using one of Augustine’s favorite “anti-Pelagian” proof texts, Proverbs 8:35 (“the will of human beings is prepared by God”), presents God’s grace as the basis for conversion (nat. et grat. 63.75).  In another work against the namesake of the Pelagian controversy, Augustine cites the same commentary to prove Ambrose’s support for the ideas that God cooperates with our wills, that God helps our wills in Christ, and that God calls and makes religious whomever he wills (grat. et pecc. or. 1.44.48-1.50.55).  A decade later, Augustine again alludes to Ambrose’s commentary to drive home the second and third of these points, this time in the context of his efforts to respond to monks in Gaul disturbed by his teaching on grace and to counter Julian of Eclanum (perseu. 19.49; c. Iul. imp. 1.93).  This paper will analyze these appeals to Ambrose’s Commentary on Luke, together with Augustine’s use of a key passage from Ambrose’s Flight from the World that may have played an important role in leading Augustine to the notion of a distinct human will in Christ, as potential indications of Ambrose’s role in shaping Augustine’s thinking on the human will more broadly speaking, an aspect of Augustinian thought often regarded as innovative both within and without the Christian tradition.