Saturday, 25 May 2019

Acceptances for the XVIII. Conference (2019)

[originally posted on 31st January 2019]

Proposal submission for the Eighteenth International Patristics Conference closed at the end of December 2018, and decisions have now been made by the Directors and communicated to individuals.

All 540 Short Communications and 368 Workshop Papers whose presenters who have given permission for their abstracts to be made available on a website are now included on this blog. Abstracts are tagged with the date of the conference (2019) and the first letter of the presenter's surname. A list of the accepted Workshops is available on this posting.

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

Abstracts and paper titles for the conference programme will be generated directly from the Oxford Abstracts system which was used for the initial paper proposal.

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

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

Dietmar Wyrwa: Presentation of the new Ueberweg, Grundriss der Geschichte der Philosophie. Antike V: Philosophie der Kaiserzeit und der Spätantike.

This short communication is meant to call attention to the recently published Ueberweg's History of Philosophy. Antiquity V. This major work in three volumes, which in 2600 pages covers the period of the Roman Empire and Late Antiquity up to about 700 CE, is written by more than 50 international highly esteemed experts and is edited by Christoph Riedweg (Zurich), Christoph Horn (Bonn) and Dietmar Wyrwa (Berlin). The presentation will outline the basic conception the editors applied to the realisation of the project. They thought it necessary to avoid a strict intellectual oposition beween greek philosophy and jewish-christian thinking, since one can realize mutual encounters and dependencies. So the exposition of the work follows a mixed principle taking into account the successions of schools, the religious traditions, the areas of language and the geographic relations, all this in a roughly chronological order. The communication will show, as the editors are convinced, that this work can be an important help for patristic studies. Finally a comparison may be drawn with the conception of Gerson's Cambridge History of Philosophy in Late Antiquity, which was published in 2010, when the work of the new Ueberweg was already in progress.

Patricia Ciner: The problem of Life after Death in Origen's Theology: Repercussions in Contemporary Neuroscience

Referring to the Commentary on the Gospel of John, the renowned French specialist Henri Crouzel has affirmed that it can be considered "Origen´s masterpiece". Of this great work, which according to Eusebius was written in thirty-two books, we have in Greek only nine books: I, V, VI, X, XIII, XIX, XX, XXVIII, XXXII and a few fragments of Books IV and V. A large number of fragments which Brooke and Preuschen included in the Greek text of the Commentary on the Gospel of John as perhaps penned by Origen were also preserved through the medieval exegetical technique of the catenae. Interest in the authenticity of these fragments is undoubtedly immense for scholars of Origen, since it offers the possibility of recovering some lost material of the Commentary. However, this authenticity has been severely questioned, as the differences between these fragments and the Alexandrian´s thought are obvious. It is R. Heine who has shown that only five of these more than one hundred fragments do not belong to the Alexandrian. With great clarity he has written: Origen's thought could be altered by rewriting in Greek, even while using some of his own words, as well as by translating his Greek into Latin. Following his criterion for not considering most of these fragments as authentic, our paper seeks to show to what extent these fragments have distorted Origen´s thought and, if possible, to point out the real authors of these fragments.

Friday, 24 May 2019

Deirdre Carabine: The Transcendence of God in Eriugena and his Patristic Sources

In this presentation, I will survey Eriugena's sources, both Greek and Latin, and attempt a critical presentation of the theme of transcendence, and the concomitant negative theology, showing how his Greek and Latin sources (notably Dionysius), together with his own unique way of thinking, culminate in a rich tapestry of thought that has relevance twelve centuries after his death. Through discussing the Greek and Latin influences on Eriugena's presentation of the transcendence and otherness of God, I hope to show how Eriugena's negative ontology ultimately forms the core of his understanding of, on the one hand, revelation and creation (God becoming not-God), and, on the other: the final calling of all manifestation and multiplicity into unity (not-God becoming God / not-God). This strong Patristic thematic in Eriugena deserves detailed attention since its inspiration in his theology was manifold. The end result should be a re-evaluation of the importance of Eriugena's use of his patristic sources in relation to the great thematic of divine transcendence.

Luc Jocqué, Bart Janssens: Multilingual databases of Patristic, Medieval and Byzantine texts: Sources Chrétiennes online & Répertoire des traductions des Pères de l'Église

Sources Chrétiennes is a bilingual collection of patristic and medieval texts founded in 1942 by the Jesuit Fathers Jean Daniélou, Claude Mondésert and Henri de Lubac. The collection is edited by the Institut des Sources Chrétiennes (current director: Guillaume Bady) and published in Paris by Les Éditions du Cerf. Brepols currently prepares the electronic publication of the complete collection (Latin, Greek, Syriac texts with French translation) in an online database (eSChr). The Répertoire des traductions françaises des Pères de l’Église (RTF) is an indispensable tool for identifying and finding the translations of the works of Church Fathers. The about 12,000 index cards dedicated to the French translations of Latin, Greek and Eastern Fathers are the work of Benedictine Father Jacques Marcotte of the Abbey of Saint-Wandrille in Normandy, France.The RTF is a unique source of information for the literature of Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. The database has a bilingual French and English search interface and offers for the first time a methodical census of translations, complete and partial, of works of Church Fathers. Because of its scale, the RTF has no equivalent either in the French-speaking world or in any other linguistic region.

Nicoleta Acatrinei: La nature humaine de l’homo oeconomicus: une enquête anthropologique dans le commentaire sur Matthieu de Jean Chrysostome.

Délivré à Antioche (390-398 A.D.), le commentaire chrysostomien sur l’Evangile de Matthieu est reconnu comme étant l’un de plus importants ouvrages de la littérature chrétienne. Traditionnellement on lui loue l’excellence en termes d’enseignement moral voir moralisateur en ce qui concerne les richesses et l’argent. Cette étude propose une relecture de ce texte à travers une enquête d’anthropologie économique. Ainsi, le portrait du riche tel qu’on le trouve décrit dans les homélies est interprété à travers les lois économiques qui régissent le comportement de l’homo oeconomicus exposées par John Stuart Mill dans son traité L’utilitarisme.Cette étude propose une analyse en parallèle de l’anthropologie théologique sous-jacente au discours de Chrysostome sur le riche et la richesse, et l’anthropologie économique sur laquelle est fondée la doctrine utilitariste sur le désir de la richesse. Pour Mill « l’amour de l’argent n’en est pas moins l’une des forces motrices de l’existence humaine et l’argent est même, dans de nombreux cas, désiré en lui-même et pour lui-même. » (L’utilitarisme. Essai sur Bentham, Paris, PUF, 1998, p. 90.)Chrysostome invite à une compréhension eschatologique du pouvoir performatif de l’argent sur le progrès spirituel du riche. L’enjeu final consiste non pas dans le conformisme à un catalogue des vertus à pratiquer et des vices à éviter, mais bien dans l’excellence intrinsèque de la nature humaine et les conditions économiques les plus favorables pour l’atteindre.

Marie-Anne VANNIER, Sivia BARA BANCEL, Markus VINZENT: Maître Eckhart, lecteur d'Augustin

Maître Eckhart, même s’il n’est pas nommé comme Bonaventure par exemple le second Augustin, n’en est pas moins l’un des meilleurs lecteurs d’Augustin, celui qui a pénétré les intuitions de l’évêque d’Hippone et en a dégagé l’enjeu non seulement pour son époque, mais de manière plus universelle encore, à tel point que son actualité en ressort encore.Pour le mettre en évidence, nous étudierons systématiquement les œuvres d’Eckhart au cours de ce workshop, pour préciser la réception qu’il a faite d’Augustin, comment il le réinterprète pour son époque. De manière croisée également, nous reprendrons les grandes thématiques : anthropologiques, trinitaires… pour y rechercher les convergences et les prolongements qu’Eckhart propose de la pensée d’Augustin.Jusqu’ici, le rapport entre Eckhart et Augustin n’a été envisagé que de manière partielle, nous souhaitons mettre en évidence la source augustinienne (qui occupe plus de cent trente pages des occurrences de l’index patristique de l’œuvre d’Eckhart) et en dégager les enjeux, ce qui renouvellera la lecture d’Eckhart, qui n’est pas tant un disciple de Denys l’Aréopagite (qui occupe à peine quelques pages des occurrences de l’Index) que d’Augustin.Pour en rendre compte, nous prendrons l'exemple du Commentaire du Livre de la Sagesse d'Eckhart.

Teng He : Grace and free will in Augustine's Ad Simplicanum II 

This paper aims to deal with the relationship between grace and free will in Augustine's Ad Simplicanum II (396/397). The development of Augustine confronts its interpreters a crucial difficulty, whether Augustine changes his mind on the will, as what he comments in Retractationes.In regard of Ad Simplicanum II,there are basically two interpretative options available: separate reading (Peter Brown;Kurt Flasch) and continuous reading(Carol Harrison;Brachtendorf). Following the first option, there are two distinctive Augustine. After the year of 395/396, Augustine loses his confidence on human's intellect and is lost in the future. According to the second reading, there is no difference between young and old Augustine. In this article, a third interpretation is defended that tries to combine the advantages of the previous two. Firstly, I would like to show Augustine indeed changed his mind on grace through the contrast between his commentaries on Roman.Besides, I will present his comments on early work in Retractationes, to show that he changes his position on human's ability.Secondly, I will show the difference between free choice(liberum arbitrium)and will (voluntas),which goes through Augustine's works.Based on this distinction, he also explains the sin of human inAd SimplicanumII. Lastly, I would like to show the inability of will (voluntas) and work (opera) to achieve grace (gratia).God is beyond of human knowledge, but he effects on human's reason/will in its time (in suo tempore).

Dragoljub Garic: “Πολυβλέποντες - a Pseudonym in Homily 8 on the Song of Songs of Gregory of Nyssa

Gregory of Nyssa’s Homilies on the Song of Songs have traditionally been taken as a work of mystical reflection, in contrast to his earlier dogmatic writings. This view has changed in the past two decades and nowadays most scholars agree that this work abounds with doctrinal and polemical elements. In other words, researchers of his writings acknowledge the anti-Eunomian character of them. This character is now appreciated without jeopardizing the mystical aspects of Gregory’s oeuvre.What is striking, however, is the fact that Gregory almost never speaks about his theological adversaries in person and does not name them. More precisely, he only names his opponents in a passage of Homily 8 on the Song of Songs. Moreover, he also uses a rather unusual term – πολυβλέποντες. The word, which is a euphemistic expression of blindness, and therefore of the perversity of Gregory’s adversaries, strange as it is rare, provides us with deeper insights into Gregory’s understanding of heresy. In the present paper, I intend to demonstrate that this term, indeed, refers to thinkers of Neo-Arian provenance and reflect on further implications of the pseudonym.

István Perczel: Is Pseudo-Dionysius also a Pseudo-Cappadocian Father?

Earlier I suggested that De trinitate, found in a unique manuscript and published by Mingarelli in 1759, was the Theological Expositions, referred to by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite in the Dionysian Corpus. This raises the possibility that the unknown theologian who produced one of the most breath-taking Late Antique literary fictions did not author a single work, but rather hid behind diverse literary personae, and, that, before trying his pen as a quasi-Apostolic authority, he presented himself as a Pseudo-Cappadocian Father.Scholars demonstrated the appurtenance of the pseudo-Basilian Treatise on the Syllogisms about the Spirit, known as the spurious Fourth and Fifth Books of Basil’s Adversus Eunomium, to the pseudo-Didymian De trinitate(now identified with Pseudo-Dionysius’ lost Theological Expositions). I will present more arguments which will permit us to ascribe this work to the same author.Once the Treatise on the Syllogisms about the Spiritis restored to “Pseudo-Dionysius,” the authorship of another Pseudo-Basilian work, On the Spirit, comes into question. This is a close paraphrase of EnneadV [11]. 1, the composing method of which is paralleled by the Treatise on Evil, a paraphrase of Proclus’ De malorum subsistentia, which Dionysius inserted in the fourth chapter of the Divine Names.All these odd procedures of literary composition testify to an extremely playful, one might say, Joycean, mind who gleefully tricked his audience, somebody blessed with a good sense of humour. All in all, Pseudo-Dionysius/Pseudo-Basil/Pseudo-Didymus is an extremely modern figure, one who deservedly inspired Hugo Ball in his Dadaist enterprise.

György Geréby: The theology of the „Hymn to god” and counter-Eunomian Arguments in the Cappadocians

The authorship of the hymn attributed to Gregory Nazianzen or to the Corpus Dionysiacum in the manuscript tradition is still unclear, as scholarship found a third candidate for the authorship in Proclus (Cousin, Jahn, Rosán). Modern scholarship agrees that it is misattributed to Gregory (although there are dissenting voices, recently Bernardi, Frangeskou), and there is a growing consensus to attribute it the Corpus Dionysiacum' s author (Sicherl, Saffrey, van den Berg). Sicherl concluded his important article that „everything speaks for ps-Dionysius as the author and nothing against it.” I argue that ps-Dionysius cannot be the author (a fortiori not Gregory), since 1) the argument from the mss. tradition is not compelling, and 2) the terminological similarities can be given a different interpretation, since 3) the hymn's doctrine contravenes both Gregory’s and the CD’s positions. However, since Cappadocian epistemology (especially that of Nazianzen) is generally associated with an elaboration of „negative theology” within the Eunomian debates and „apophatic theology” was brought to culmination by the Corpus Dionysiacum, the general thrust of the hymn got associated with either of them. However, neither in the Eunomian debates nor in the CD is the argument for a purely negative approach, which is, however the case with the standard „Neoplatonic,” or rather Hellenising theology of the period. The Christian approach is presented in both authors (albeit in different ways) as a theology in which the divine names and predicates require a systematically more complex interpretation than as it is shown in the Hymn.

Monnica Kloeckener: The Samaritan Woman at Jacob’s Well (Jn 4) as an Example for Gaining Knowledge

In his 13th book of the Commentary on John, Origen deals with the encounter of Jesus and the Samaritan woman
at Jacob’s well (Jn 4). Origen was requested by Ambrose to rebut Heracleon’s commentary
on John. Heracleon argued that people remain for their lifetime on the same
level of knowledge and areincapable of gaining further knowledge.Origen interprets the Samaritan woman as an image for the
thoughts of the heretics studying Scripture, and the water from the well as Scripture.
The living water that Jesus is able to give represents Jesus’ teaching, which
leads to a higher and eternal life.The Samaritan woman first misunderstands the biblical texts. After asking Jesus for the living water, she receives some, which in Origen’s interpretation is salutary teaching. Thus, the woman no longer needs to come to the fountain. In fact, she now contemplates the truth as the angels do. The Samaritan woman leaves her vessel, which in Origen’ interpretation represents wrong teaching, at the fountain, and goes into the town in order to tell the people about Jesus. By doing this, she gives them the opportunity to leave the town (i.e. wrong teachings) and receive salvific teaching.

Gert Partoens, Bram Roosen: Clavis clavium: an integrated reference database and collaborative update platform to open up Patristic, Medieval and Byzantine texts

In this session we will present the results of the Clavis Clavium project: the development of an integrated online database of four different Claves (the Clavis Patrum Latinorum + Graecorum and the Bibliotheca Hagiographica Latina + Graeca). After a short introduction about the history and development of the project, the main focus of the session will be on how the Clavis Clavium will be able to help you in your research and on the presentation of the online platform that allows for continuous, peer-reviewed updates:What are the research advantages of this integrated online database?How does it work? – a look at the update platform of the database in actionHow will the quality of the entries be guaranteed? – a look at the peer review module that is part of the update platformWho will be able to contribute updates? – invitation vs. spontaneous submissionsWhat about bibliometrics? – a look at how contributors will be able to prove their work on the database (bibliometry) and claim authorshipWhat about the future? – what extra claves and functionalities we plan to add in the future? how Brepols Publishers guarantees that the database will keep working in the long run?[Clavis Clavium is the result of a three-year project between the KULeuven, Brepols Publishers and the Bollandists, cofinanced by the Herculesfoundation of the Government of Flanders.]

Ilaria Scarponi: The Liber de Induratione on Freedom of Choice

Attributed by recent studies to an anonymous author active after 411, the Liber de
Induratione is a Pelagian work. The Pelagians believe all human beings to be able through their free choices to achieve holiness in this life, and salvation in the afterlife. Some biblical verses, however, suggest that salvation is precluded to some and foreordained for others, according to the irresistible will of God. In line with Pelagian principles, De Induratione rejects any deterministic interpretations of the Bible, and comments on it by stressing the role played by freedom of choice in view of salvation. In this context De Induratione pays special attention to the interpretation of Romans 9. Scholars have touched upon the relationship between the Pauline exegesis in the De Induratione and in preceding and contemporary authors. Recent studies suggest that the De Induratione is especially indebted to Origen’s commentary on Romans in its Latin translation by Rufinus from 405/406. This paper will analyse some of the exegetical solutions in the De Induratione, on the one hand investigating the degree of their
originality, on the other exploring the relationship between them and the older
exegetical tradition.

Andra Jugănaru: The Early Cult of Saint Gregory of Nyssa in Byzantium

Unlike Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa did not enjoy such quick and widespread a recognition of his sainthood as his contemporary Cappadocian Fathers. The earliest surviving evidence for his commemoration is a seventh-century Georgian Version of the Lectionary of Jerusalem, which ascribes his feast day on 23 August, together with the celebrations of Basil and Gregory of Nazianzus. One of the earliest recognitions of Gregory of Nyssa as “champion of the Church” and “father of the fathers” was in 787, at the seventh Ecumenical Council of Nicaea. He is celebrated in the Greek cult on 10 January and in the calendar of Jerusalem on 9 January, but without special services consecrated to him.In spite of him not being especially venerated as a saint, his hagiographical works dedicated to Macrina, his elder sister, Basil, the forty martyrs of Sebasteia, and the protomartyr Stephen were widely spread, by the eighth century having reached the Middle-Egypt.Why did Gregory remain in the shadow of Macrina and Basil, whom he promoted as saints? Why was his memory left in the background of the Greek-speaking Christianity in the first centuries after his death, while the legacy of his contemporary Cappadocian Fathers became prominent? In this paper I explore the evolution of Gregory of Nyssa’s cult in Byzantium, by investigating the political and ecclesiastical context. I argue that the condemnation of ideas labeled as “Origenist” in 553 played a key-role in the trajectory of Gregory of Nyssa’s cult.

Nathalie Rambault: Le culte des martyrs à Constantinople à la fin du IVe siècle (et au Ve siècle) après J. C 

Que pouvons-nous apprendre sur le culte des martyrs à Constantinople, à travers les homélies nouvelles de Jean Chrysostome ? Nous élargirons la recherche aux textes de Sévérien de Gabala et éventuellement de Proclus.

Sara Contini: Judging the Judges: Exaltation and Humiliation in Origen’s Homilies on Judges

Origen’s nine Homilies
on the Book of Judges were delivered in Caesarea of Palestine most likely during the peaceful reign of Philip the Arab (245-249) and were translated into Latin by Rufinus of Aquileia between 401 and 403. Origen deals with the biblical narrative of the cyclical abandonment and renewal of the covenant between God and his people: the Israelites neglect their pact with the God who led them out of Egypt and start to worship idols. God hands them over to their enemies; this punishment serves an educational purpose, as it prompts them to pray to God to raise a new leader amongst them. The wars, kings, and heroes of the Book of Judges are interpreted by Origen in the context of his notion of the journey of the human soul from the slavery of sin back to the triumph in Christ. The paper intends to investigate passages from the homilies where Origen, in Rufinus’ translation, reflects on the relationship between God and his children and on the role of the mediators who facilitate this connection, by employing an effective communication style based on powerful oppositions, such as high versus low or light versus dark

Mircea Dulus: The Doctrine of Perpetual Spiritual Progress in the Byzantine Homiletic Tradition

This paper addresses the Byzantine tradition of thought that defines perfection and eschatological beatitude as an ever-increasing participation in divine virtue. Going back to Gregory of Nyssa, the definition of virtue as limitless and the doctrine of the soul’s perpetual progress (ἐπέκτασις) and insatiable desire for the Goodhas been documented with various emphases in the works ofPseudo-Makarios, Maximus the Confessor, John the Ladder, Symeon the New Theologian, Gregory of Sinai, Gregory Palamas and Kallistos Angelikoudes. The present analysis documents the reception of Gregory of Nyssa’s doctrine of the soul’s perpetual progress in the works of St. Andrew of Crete, Jakovos the Monk and Philagathos of Cerami. The investigation will map out the exegetic contexts that employed ideas related to perpetual progress and explore the textual evidence that certifies the influence of Gregory of Nyssa’s mystical writings (e.g. De Vita Moysis and In Canticum Canticorum) on the homilies of Andrew of Crete, Jakovos the Monk and Philagathos of Cerami.

Ysabel de Andia: L'image et la ressemblance chez Irénée de Lyon

"Man in the image and likeness of God according to Irenaeus of Lyon".From whom does man hold his image? What makes man stand stand in the image and likeness of God?  What is the difference between image and likeness?Ireneaus' answer is inseparable from his criticism of the Gnostics, particularly their conception of nature and freedom. This communication on a central point of Ireneaus' anthropology also wants to highlight the contribution of Antonio Orbe's studies on this subject.

Hauna Ondrey: Reframing Greek Patristic Interpretation: Minor Prophets Commentaries as a Case Study

The wealth of extant 4–5 c. commentaries on the Minor Prophets allows direct and sustained comparison of patristic interpreters from Antioch (Theodore of Mopsuestia and Theodoret of Cyrrhus), Alexandria (Didymus, Cyril), and the Latin West (Jerome, Julian of Eclanum). Such comparison yields support for the abandonment of the critiqued-but-enduring Alexandria/Antioch paradigm as well as cautions against alternate reductions evident in the rhetorical explanations of Young et al. My session offers a more dynamic model for mapping early Christian interpretive traditions and innovations by using the commitment to historicity as a test case across this nexus of late antique commentators.

T.J. Lang: Paul the Allegorist and Early Christian Exegesis

When early Christian interpreters searched Israel’s sacred writings for allegorical meanings, they usually justified such an endeavour by appeal to Paul: “These things are an allegory” (ἅτινά ἐστιν ἀλληγορούμενα) (Gal 4:24), so says Paul of his revisionary reading of Sarah and Hagar as a story of two covenants corresponding to two Jerusalems (and a few other binaries, as well). Impressed by Paul’s allegoresis, subsequent Christian interpreters took Paul’s exegetical offerings as orders to go and do likewise. Simply put: these interpreters thought Paul had taught them how to scrutinize newly revealed meanings in received Judean writings, an exegetical pedagogy with apostolic authorisation. From the Pauline perspective, this essay explores how near or far this is from true. And, whatever the verdict, why? The aim is to reconnect Paul with his afterlife in order to re-theorize the idea of a “Pauline hermeneutics” and its relation to the idea that biblical texts mean in multiple, non-literal ways—an idea eventually codified in the medieval quadriga, which resembles Pauline reasoning in ways not often appreciated.

Junxiao Bai: The Beauty of God in the Numerical Order: St. Augustine's Musical Cosmology

This research explains how, based on a musical cosmology, Augustine theorizes his concept of beauty regarding the transcendent and immanent attributes of God by examining the numerical-harmonic order. It argues that for Augustine, the beauty of God is manifested by the numerical/harmonic Modus which determines the unchangeable laws in both the physical and metaphysical realms. It deals with the term “Beauty” as an attribute of God rather than an aesthetical object and addresses music as a scientific study relating to cosmology in a historical context. This research is an interdisciplinary study combining theology, philosophy, science, and musicology for a systematic theological argument. It addresses the topics of numerical order, unchangeable elements, time, movement, measurement, and theodicy in the scope of musical cosmology. Based on the Pythagorean quadrivium, Augustine claims that the world was created according to the harmonic/numerical order and music as the science of numbers serves as the essential means of understanding the unchangeable, invisible attributes of God. As the counterpart of celestial order and the movement of well-ordered numbers, music best illustrates the unchangeable, harmonic order in both temporality and the spiritual realm. The marriage of the physical, logical, and ethical principles in musical motion not only presents a universal harmonic paradigm, but also convinces humans to reason the relationship between measurement and movement in the cosmic order: the universe cannot be in a constant, harmonious motion unless God, the Ratio, has measured it according to the harmonic order.

Anna Rebecca Solevåg: Medical Metaphors in Ignatius’ Letters

In the letters of Ignatius a number of metaphors draw on the source domain of health and medicine. Christ is referred to as the true physician (Ign. Eph. 7) and the eucharist is called “the medicine of immortality” (Ign. Eph. 20). However, it is not necessarily the healthy body that is good in Ignatius’ metaphors. He advises the readers to “be deaf” when they hear docetic heresy (Ign. Trall. 9), and refers to his own body as an abnormality (ektrōma, Ign. Rom. 9). The paper explores Ignatius’ metaphors in light of early Christian discourses on disability and illness. Conceptual metaphor theory will be used as a theoretical framework.

Carson Bay: Pseudo-Hegesippus and the Beginnings of Christian Historiography in Late Antiquity

Scholarship routinely dates the formal establishment of Christian history-writing as a distinct literary genre to the formative fourth century. It was that century that witnessed the authorial output of Eusebius, often credited with inventing Christian historiography, and that century that experienced the scribal productivity of Jerome, might patron of that other genre often cast of representative of Christian historiography, the world chronicle. This study adds critical texture to this scholarly framework by situating within fourth-century Christianity another type of history: Christian historiography modeled on the classical type established by Thucydides, wherein a historian in practice narrates a single battle, following standard narrative conventions and employing expected literary tropes. This history is known by the title De Excidio Hierosolymitano (On the Destruction of Jerusalem); colloquially, it is referred to as 'Pseudo-Hegesippus.'De Excidio is a Latin Christian history written around 370 CE, based largely upon Josephus' Jewish War but drawing upon a number of other sources besides. It rewrites the seven-book Jewish War into five books, turning Josephus' narrative into a Christian-classical history that effectively writes the Jews out of history with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 CE. This text has received markedly little scholarly attention, the only substantive interpretive accounts being an unpublished 1977 dissertation (by Albert Bell), an unpublished 1987 French dissertation (by Dominique Esteve), and a 2009 Italian book (by Chiara Somenzi). This paper frames De Excidio within nascent Christian historiography and prompts scholars of that period to reimagine the progression of that cultural-literary moment.

Marina Giani: Augustine as a source for early medieval glossography. Some remarks about the De civitate Dei extracts quoted in the Liberglossarum

The Liber Glossarum is an extensive encyclopedic glossary that was composed in the 7th-8th century, presumably by a team of compilers. It consists of approximately 55,000 entries, which are arranged in alphabetical order, and it is conceived as a gathering of human knowledge: its entries cover a broad diversity of fields, including artes liberales (especially grammatica), medicine, natural sciences etc. The sources include several Augustine’s works, among which the De civitate Dei is the most quoted. The paper aims to analyze the use of this treatise as a source for the glossary, by identifying the topics that arouse its compilers’ interest and describing the working method adopted for its exploitation. Moreover, it aims to investigate the relation between the Liber glossarum and the medieval tradition of De civitate Dei, by pinpointing the manuscripts which are (textually) the closest to the one(s) used by the Libe rglossarum compilers, in order to bring additional understanding on the origin of this glossary and to evaluate how reliable it is as an indirect witness, through which to restore the original text of Augustine.

Jenny R. Rallens: Benevolentia: Love and Rhetoric in Augustine of Hippo

This paper investigates what the role of benevolentia (usually: goodwill, kindness, love)in Augustine's depictions of friendship and love can reveal about benevolentia's role as an emotion in Augustine's conception of rhetoric.This duplex office of benevolentia in both rhetoric and friendship is consonant with classical treatments of the emotion (c.f. ad Herennium, Cicero’s rhetorical works and de Amicitia, Seneca’s de Beneficiis), but unlike his classical predecessors, Augustine reserves benevolentia for rare and unusually specific use. Augustine seems to invoke benevolentia particularly to describe how to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ (e.g. Io. eu. tr. 51,13; ep. Io. tr. 8, 5; Io. eu. tr. 32, 4). Benevolentia even becomes for Augustine an ‘emotion’ of God (linked in particular to God's miserecordia), no longer for use only in human rhetoric and relationships, but that to which we appeal when making requests of God (s. Dolbeau 4, 7; en. Ps. 5,17).To understand better why Augustine in doc chr.IVlists benevolentia as one of the central emotions by which rhetoric ought to movea listener, and why he elsewhere (e.g. c. Acad.II.2.3) portrays benevolentia as what causes a hearer to change his mind and agree with the speaker, this paper will examine what benevolentia looks like, feels like, says, and does in the context of human-human and human-divine friendships in Augustine’s theoretical (e.g. doc chr., de mag., de ord.) and applied (e.g. s.and en. Ps.) treatments of rhetoric.

Dominika Kurek-Chomycz: “For it is not a blemish of the body that can defile him” (CA 8.47): Disability and Early Christian Ministry

The role of healing in early Christian ministry and a more positive attitude towards the bodily impaired attested in Jewish and Christian sources, as opposed to other ancient attitudes, have been subject of much scholarly attention. Yet also in Christian sources agency is predominantly presumed among the able-bodied, with disabled characters more likely to be instrumentalised. In this contribution I analyse select early Christian documents, focusing on the aspect which tends to be overlooked, namely what implications the above would have for the criteria and expectations regarding ecclesiastical office holders in the early church, and how those with bodily impairments in leadership positions would have been perceived by others. Just as in the case of illness and disability more generally, early Christian writings display a variety of approaches, and more explicit prescripts come mainly from later, composite documents. According to the “apostolic” canons (CA8.47), certain types of bodily impairments, such as being maimed in an eye, or lame, do not constitute an impediment to episcopal ordination, but blindness and deafness do. Yet this is not because they defile a person, but because they hinder “ecclesiastical affairs.” Both this text, and other passages where Lev 21:17-21 is alluded to or quoted explicitly, show a complex relationship between Christian ministry and the Hebrew Bible priesthood. Applying the lens of disability studies to the question of early Christian ministry not only sheds light on our understanding of the developments in early Christianity, but also complicates the different models used by contemporary disability theorists.

Pablo Irizar: Feeling with Christ: The Social Structure of Affective Rhetoric in Augustine’s Enarrationes in Psalmos

Augustine scholar Rowan Williams has convincingly illustrated how Augustine weaves prayer and reflection on the Psalms into a personal identity narrative in the Confessions. However, Williams neglects the crucial role of the Psalms in forming social identity. To address this lack, this paper charts the process whereby Augustine 'feels' the Psalms to narrate and, through the evocation of emotion, constitute social identity in the often-neglected Expositions of the Psalms. Social identity is defined narrowly in terms of C. Taylor’s notion of ‘social imaginary’ in order to bridge the gap between theological discourse and experiential background of the speaker-hearer dialectic inherent to homiletic practice. What, then, is the structure of the social imaginary in theExpositions of the Psalms? To address the question, the paper sketches how the divine image topos (Gen 1.26), which is central to early Christian anthropology, is weaved into theExpositions of the Psalms. It is argued that the structure of social imaginary as a triad of God’s image (humanity-Christ-Church), consisting of the unified voice of humanity and of the Church, directed to God the Father in and through the agony of Christ. All feel as one through Christ. To conclude, the triad of God’s image is identified with the totus Christus as the backbone of an 'emotive' social imaginary in Augustine’s Expositions of the Psalms.

John-Paul Lotz: ΑΝΘΡΟΠΟΣ ΕΙΣ ΕΝΩΣΙΝ ΚΑΤΗΡΤΙΣΜΕΝΟΣ: Ignatius of Antioch and the origins of orthodoxy

This paper will attempt to lay out some reasons why Ignatius may be a useful source to revisit when reflecting on renewed interest in Marcion, Gnosticism and ‘early Christianities’.  It will also take into account briefly Gregory Vall’s re-assessment of Ignatius’ theology which makes it more likely that the middle recension be viewed as authentic. Can it be that Ignatius, of whom so little is conveyed to us in the writings of his near contemporaries Justin, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement, Origen or Hippolytus, was none the less the first to lay down the defending arguments for the key theological and ecclesiological issues that the church would encounter in Marcion’s docetism, Montanus’ libertinism and the growing question of the role of persecution and martyrdom that Irenaeus and Tertullian contended with? Perhaps he was, in his own words, “speaking with a loud voice, God’s voice” as he was doing his part as “a man set on unity” (Phld. 7-8). This paper may be a useful addition to the conference because it will seek to test some larger ideas and movements that appeared in the middle to late second century and which led to an unprecedented level of unity in the great Church up to that time in the confined context of the middle recension. Essentially, did Ignatius anticipate danger in little ways that would one day threaten the church in great ways, and not just generally, but specifically (episcopal authority, schism, Docetism, the role of prophecy, and the gospel oracles).

Oliver Nicholson: The Anger of God and the Deaths of the Persecutors

Lactantius wrote De Mortibus Persecutorum soon after the Great Persecution ended in 313 and dedicated it to a Christian comrade called Donatus who had endured six years in a Nicomedia gaol. It contains much factual information about recent events, interpreted in a distinctive manner which contrasts with contemporary political propaganda, especially that emerging from the court of Constantine.  It owes various literary debts, to the Maccabees, to the Sallustian monograph and to classical invective. More difficult to locate is the author's mentalité; one would expect something more subtle than naïve triumphalism from a writer who articulated the sophisticated ethical thoughts expressed in the Divine Institutes, thoughts whose long roots have been explored by B. Colot, S. Freund and G. Kendeffy.    The present paper will juxtapose the magna et mirabilia exempla of God's anger manifested in De Mortibus with Lactantius's explanation of the nature of divine anger in his De Ira Dei, written around the same time as De Mortibus and also dedicated to a comrade called Donatus. It will consider the distinctions which Lactantius makes between Divine Anger and Human Anger, and his attitude to the adfectus which is the corollary of Anger, namely Fear, a dominant sensation for Christians undergoing persecution.  What should emerge is a sense of the spirituality which sustained a survivor of the Great Persecution, a spirituality more thoughtful and complex than that which later generations of hagiographers were to ascribe to Christians who had suffered the terrors of the Great Persecution

Samuel Cohen: The Rhetoric and Reality of “foreignness” in Late Antique Roman Polemical Texts

The Roman church had no official policy towards migrants and other outsiders in Late Antiquity. This should not be surprising. “Foreigner,” “migrant,” and “refugee” are concepts rooted in modern assumptions such as the nation-state and have no direct analogues in the ancient Mediterranean where borders – both internal and between political units – were permeable and mobility was the norm. That discrimination based on place of origin was not habitual is not to say that outsiders were always welcomed in late antique Rome, where social structures were grounded in a complex system of reciprocal patronage networks that were not easily accessible. This ambivalence towards outsiders is reflected in the representation of Greeks, North Africans, and Jews in late fifth- and early sixth-century papal letters and polemical works suchas the Liber Pontificalis, theDocumenta Symmachianaand Laurentiana, and the Romanpassiones martyrum. In these texts, Greeks could be described as wise theologians and sophistic dissemblers; North Africans were preeminent defenders of Christian orthodoxy and Manichean heretics. Roman Jews, who belonged to a community, which had existed for centuries by the fifth century, could be described as ‘insiders’ and as the consummate non-Christian ‘outsider.’ This paper will suggest that these radically different portrayals were shaped by Roman ethnographic discourse, Christian universalism, and heresiological rhetoric, mediated through changing social and political circumstances, and the proclivities of individual authors.

Mary Hansbury: Shem ‘on the Graceful and the Solitary Life

the Graceful, called the Graceful possibly because of his insistence on the
role of divine grace in salvation history. He was a medical doctor before
becoming a monk who lived in eastern Syria, and died ca 680. He saw humans as
the ‘bond of creation’ in a mediatory position between God and the universe,
influenced by Theodore of Mopsuestia. In my translation of Shem‘on’s Consecration
of the Cell, I quote from
others of ‘the golden age of Syriac
Christian literature’ who also lived periods of solitary life. Shem’on speaks of entering into the cell and
persevering inside oneself. The Solitary alerts others to a dimension of life
which can only be perceived in solitude but which is the ‘new creation’ in the
inner world of all Christians.

Vittorio Berti: Holy monks and Dead Bodies in East Syriac literature of Northern Iraq

In Late Antique Syriac Christianity two major teachings competed for explain the fundamental structure of the human nature. The more common doctrine, meanly spread among scholastic circles, consisted in a dichotomist model stating the entelechial relation of soul and body, according to a mixture between the Aristotelian leanings of the Antiochian tradition and the theoretical speculations on the syriac belief about the sleep of the soul after death. An alternative perspective, notably prevalent in the monastic milieu, sustained a tripartite model: the man as a composed of body, soul and intellect, as taught by the ascetic spirituality of Evagrius of Pontus, and its platonizing penchant. The two systems were often dialoguing in the tradition, shaping original synthesis on the representation of the death, speculation on the location of the souls, their relation with God, their memory of the past and their knowledge of the present. According to this perspective, it is revealing the way East Syrian writers treated some hagiographic episodes concerning the interaction between monastic holiness and the death’s sphere. This paper would present and analyse in particular a story concerning the necromantic power of Rabban Hormizd, preserved in his Life, and an episode of the disappearance of the corpse of a holy monk-bishop preserved in the Book of Governors by Thomas of Marga. Whereas in the first episode, theology and hagiography seem to find a shared discourse, the second shows the prevalence of a miraculous solution defending monastic autonomy face the official worship of mortal remains.

Awet Andemicael: Freedom, Transformation, and the Powers That Be: Irenaeus on Politics

  Irenaeus’ most concentrated and cited discussion of politics appears in Adversus Haereses 5.24.1-3. His apparently positive view of the Roman Empire, motivated by his biblical defense of the divine origin of secular political authority (Rom 13:1-7), elicits scholarly justifications in light of the historical reality of Roman imperial persecution of Irenaeus’ own Gallic Christian community.  In this paper, I argue that we must read Irenaeus’ exegesis of Rom 13 not only in the context of his obvious theological project of defending the unity and sovereignty of God, but also of his robust assertions of human freedom. Irenaeus reconciles the two theological commitments by distinguishing between divine authority establishing political offices and human responsibility for executing political offices. Moreover, while he recognizes the reality of tyrannical leaders, Irenaeus holds the populace primarily responsible for the state of a society, and envisions positive socio-political change primarily as a result of Christ transforming individuals and, through them, influencing the broader ethos of a society.  Such profound transformation is beyond the reach of civil authority, since the state functions essentially as a policing force, curbing bad behavior, and a facilitator, promoting civic prosperity through infrastructure and security services. In fact, while Irenaeus is theologically obligated to defend the divinely-ordained legitimacy of governmental authority in the face of problematic alternative theories, his theological use of political metaphors and terminology points to a political ecclesiology that subtly critiques the limitations of human empire in general and the Roman Empire in particular.

Andrej Jeftić: Systematic and Historical Reading of the Fathers: Case of Thomas F. Torrance

It has been noted that Thomas F. Torrance read and interpreted the Holy Fathers not as a patristic scholar, but as a systematic theologian. Furthermore, the point is made that we ought not to blame him for making occasional interpretations of the patristic texts that cannot be supported by strict textual evidence because his goal was never to engage in the historical endeavor but the systematic one. I argue that ‘systematic reading’ cannot be an excuse for arbitrary interpretations of the patristic texts and that every systematic reading must be firmly grounded in the historical explorations of the texts. I examine three cases in which Torrance’s reading of the patristic texts cannot be supported by patristic scholarship: natural theology of St Athanasius, St Clement’s ‘kataphysic method’ and the concept of contingency in the Alexandrian theology. I conclude by suggesting what might constitute the difference between the two approaches to patristic theology and the way the relation between the two might be developed.

Elisabeth Schwab: The Suffering Body. Christian Martyrdom and the Conventionality of Death in the 3rd Century AD

In the 3rd century AD faith was a matter of following Christ not just in heart and mind, but also with one’s physical body and at the possible expense of one’s life. Christians were persecuted and faced humiliating executions of many sorts.Many Christians were famously steadfast in confronting the dangers. Several are still known to us and venerated as martyrs or even saints of the church. They stand out against the tumultuous backdrop of early Christianity as names, stories and physical remains of body parts that endured formidable tortures. But Saint Barbara and her fellow martyrs were not the only people who died in the third century.This change of perspective is my starting point: in my paper I explore what is said about the miseries of non-Christians by early Christian writers from Northern Africa. How and why are their suffering bodies staged in the writings by Tertullian (150-220), Cyprian (200-258), and Lactantius (250-320)? These authors witnessed the persecutions, and thus are known for shaping our view of the period and of early martyrdom. But we must realize that when they address the violence against Christians they do so in the light of the fact that death is a conventional conditio humana. By examining the full variety of descriptions surrounding bodily suffering and death we cultivate a finer understanding of what was conceived as “holy” and “un-holy”.

  • In this workshop, speakers will only give brief summaries of their papers. The draft papers will be circulated in advance to all participants. Please contact the organiser to have the PDFs sent to you by late July/early August.

Richard Rene: "Where's my cookie?": A correctional chaplain's pastoral reflections on mimetic desire and violence in Rene Girard and Maximos the Confessor

This paper explores, through the pastoral lens of a correctional chaplain, René Girard's hypothesis of mimetic desire (and its resulting violence) in conversation with Maximos the Confessor's, Four Centuries on Love and Dialogue on the Ascetic Life.René Girard posited the idea that desire is not self-generated, but stems from the imitation of the another's desire for a given object. In Girard's view, rivalry over the desired object inevitably leads to ever-escalating violence that only ends (at least temporarily) with the scapegoating of a random victim. Drawing on experiences with incarcerated men in a maximum security institution, the author identifies Girard's hypothesis at work in an environment where deprivation sharpens desires and violent rivalries over the smallest of objects. The author then traces parallels to Girard's hypothesis in Maximos the Confessor's Four Centuries on Love and Dialogue on the Ascetic Life, identifying human passions for created objects as the source of mimetic rivalry and violence.The paper concludes by suggesting that Maximos' understanding of contemplation offers a way to orient inevitably mimetic human desires in such a way that they do not necessarily end in violence. Through the ascetic imitation of the saints, God becomes the sole object of one's desires, rather than created objects (other people, money, possessions, and so on). Possessed by this "blessed passion of holy eros," a person can transcend the mimetic rivalry and violence that is latent, not just in a prison context, but in society as a whole.

Silke-Petra Bergjan: Questions for Identies in the Exegesis of the Parable of the Good Samaritan

The challenge of the exegesis of the Parable of the Good Samaritan is that on the one hand readers and exegetes can't ignore the prevailing negative image of the Samaritans, yet on the other hand are urged in the parable to identity with the good Samaritan. The parable was read by those who wanted to apply the paraple's criticism of dignitaris to their own church hierarchy of bishops and presbyters. The starting point will be Ps. Chrysostomus, De non anathematizandis vivis vel defunctis,an interestingwriting that must be assigned to the Antiochene context. Beyond this further references of Samaritans in the New Testament and their exegesis will be consulted. Resulting from this, one can see that the Antiochene and the Alexandrian exegesis cannot be separated on a fundamental level.

Cedric Büchner: The Martyrdom of Saint Andrew

Saint Andrew appears in the canonical gospels (both Synoptics and John) as one of Jesus’ first two disciples. While Andrew is not particularly prominent in the canonical Book of Acts, the Apocryphal Acts of Andrew provide a narrative of his journeys and ministry and especially of his testimony until death.Once unexpectedly appointed as disciple while fishing on the sea, Andrew’s way of witness ends on a cross, erected by the sea. The Apocryphal Acts of Andrew portray him as a righteous person filled by God, whom a godless ruler has unjustly sentenced to death on a cross. According to the Acta Andreae Apostoli, Andrew has already foreseen this death and accepts it without fear; in fact, he greets the cross and even preaches tirelessly while attached to it.As in the case of other Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles, the narration of Andrew’s martyrdom soon developed its independent momentum: different versions of the text, further legends, and works of art made the story of Andrew’s death and even the Acts of Andrew popular. The question remains, however: H​​​​​ow do the Acts and their editing commemorate the apostle Andrew and his violent death? Do they use his blood-testimony to validate his proclamation? These questions on the martyrdom of Andrew shall be examined in this paper.

  • In this workshop, speakers will only give brief summaries of their papers. The draft papers will be circulated in advance to all participants. Please contact the organiser to have the PDFs sent to you by late July/early August.

Shawn Wilhite: “In so far as he has manifested himself as human”: An Exploration of Cyril of Alexandria’s Partitive Reading Strategy

In this paper, I will explore the partitive exegesis in Cyril of Alexandria’s trinitarian exegesis. According to Boulnois, Crawford, Keon, and Beeley, Cyril will often turn to an Athanasian exegetical strategy (Beeley limits this practice to 433 when Cyril engages the Orientals). Yet, Crawford does suggest Cyril’s appeal to his exegetical strategy in earlier works, including Cyril’s Dialogue on the Trinity(V, 547b–c). An interpretive strategy has been fittingly titled “partitive exegesis,” developed in the fourth century to explain the two consecutive states of Christ. Athanasius (C.Ar.1.54.1) highlights that Christological texts must be considered according to its καιρός (“time”), to the πρόσωπον (“person”), and to the πρᾶγμα (“subject”). Cyril similarly suggests likewise but only highlights the καιρός (“time”) and the πρᾶγμα (“subject”) of Christological explanations. My research will build upon these Cyrilline works with a focused question about the partitive reading strategy of Cyril of Alexandria and explore two test cases. I will argue that Cyril’s partitive readings focus on the time of the assumption of humanity more so than an explicit two-nature division to remain pro-Nicene and non-Nestorian. This argument will progress in three different stages. First, I will offer a tentative paradigm for Cyril’s partitive reading practices. Second, I will explore Cyril’s partitive readings in his Commentary on Hebrews (Heb 1). And, third, I will explore Cyril’s partitive readings in Dialogue on the TrinityV, where he explicitly identifies his partitive reading strategy.

Peter-Ben Smit, Hagit Amirav: The Naked Demon: Alternative Interpretations of the Alexamenos Graffito

One of the oddities of the history of Christianity is the lack of early depictions—save tau-signs in manuscripts—of the crucifixion. Frequently, an appeal is made to the so-called Alexamenos Graffito, discovered in 1856 in a building, the Paedagogium (a kind of boarding school for imperial pages, dating to the reign of Domitian), on the Palatine Hill in Rome, as one of the earliest, if not the earliest example of such a depiction (the dating is debated with a dates being prosed between the third and fifth centuries, most popular is a date in the mid-third century CE). This graffito, scratched into a wall, shows a humanoid figure with a donkey’s head and fully human figure who raises one of his arms. As the humanoid figure with an donkey’s head can be seen as being attached to a cruciform structure and the text that goes with the depiction can be read as a mocking one—it would be well in line with the coarse nature of many graffiti, past and present—, the dominant interpretation is that it is a pagan inscription, made by someone who is ridiculing a man called Alexamenos, who is engaged in worshiping a crucified demon-God. In this short communication, we would like to challenge a few traditional concepts regarding this tantalizingly-minimalistic, yet thought-provoking, drawing, while offering an alternative interpretation, according to which Jewish ridicule of both pagan and Christian beliefs may be the key to resolving the enigma behind this unique graffito.

Ben Kolbeck: Living in the castra tenebrarum: Were Christian soldiers persecuted?

A celebrated figure appears in third-century Christian literature: the virtuous Christian soldier executed by the military hierarchy. This is often presented as persecution, culminating in the statements by Eusebius and Lactantius that Diocletian’s persecution began in the army. However, even in these Christian texts, the soldiers are always prosecuted individually, on the basis of some transgression of military discipline occasioned by their Christianity – rather than their faith itself. As these transgressions normally concern religious matters, the key to understanding the nature of ‘persecution’ in the army lies in the religious life of the military, the nature of ritual observance expected of soldiers, and the manner of enforcement. This paper will present a sketch of the religious life of the third-century Roman army, and examine the ways that Christians navigated it, taking account of varied levels of commitment to the faith. A firm picture is difficult to glean, since much of our evidence for the religious life of the army comes from these same Christian narratives, but I will argue that for the majority of Christians, the army was an inhospitable, though not an impossible religious environment. As military discipline and religion were intertwined, elements of religious policing necessarily pervaded camp life; at the same time, most of our examples of military martyrs concern officers and provocative dissenters, suggesting that agency was a complicated issue. Establishing a proper historical context allows us to peer behind the literary elements of the martyr narratives, and qualify their descriptions of ‘persecution’.

Emilio Bonfiglio: Pseudo-Chrysostomica in the Medieval Oriental Traditions: A Preliminary Assessment

The ensemble of writings which the medieval Greek manuscript tradition ascribes to John Chrysostom represents one of the largest ancient corpora of literary Greek texts. Since the first great editions of John Chrysostom’s Opera omnia prepared by Henry Savile, Fronton du Duc, and Bernard de Montfaucon, editors and scholars have undertaken a considerable amount of research to assess the paternity of the homilies, commentaries, treatises, and letters that are traditionally attributed to John Chrysostom. Of the three broad categories of texts that are customarily identified – authentic, dubious, and spurious –, the Pseudo-Chrysostomica are by far the least edited and studied, in spite of their high number and well-documented manuscript tradition. In addition to an already complex Greek tradition of the Corpus Chrysostomicum, medieval translators rendered extensive parts of it into many ancient oriental linguistic areas. This resulted in parallel, but not identical, Chrysostomian corpora also in Arabic, Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopic, Georgian, and Syriac.This paper deals with the medieval oriental traditions of the Corpus Chrysostomicum. After presenting a brief overview of the status quaestionis, I shall focus on the significance of the presence of the Pseudo-Chrysostomica in non-Greek, medieval traditions, paying particular attention to clusters of texts, parallels, chronological distribution, and hypothetical criteria of texts selection in the making of these corpora in the various oriental traditions. The findings presented in this paper will result in a preliminary assessment of the Pseudo-Chrysostomica in the medieval oriental traditions and pave the way for further future research on the oriental Chrysostom.

Hildegund Müller: The early excerpt tradition of Augustine’s Enarrationes in Psalmos

Augustine’s major exegetical works were especially prone to excerption, both because of their length and their complexity. The paper endeavors to explain and chart this process in its earliest stages, from the well-known excerpt collections of the 5th/6th century (Eugippius) to the Carolingian age (Florus, Walahfrid) and will give a survey and an evaluation of the earliest manuscripts, such as the excerpt commentary of Lyon, Bibl. Mun. 426 (and its largely unexplored relative, Einsiedeln 18). There are three questions to be asked: 1) Why, under which circumstances, and by whom were these excerpt commentaries produced?, 2) What is the textual value of these texts for the editor of Augustine?, 3) What is the work/authorial character of collections that are largey dependent on, but not identical with, Augustine’s commentary?

Mary Jett: The Interpretation of Leviticus through the Fourth Century and Origen's Homilies on Leviticus.

Within the Early Church and Patristic writings, Leviticus plays at best, a minor role. However, in Rufinus’ conclusion to Origen’s Commentary on Romans, he notes a demand to see Leviticus translated for a Roman audience. In turn, he translates Origen’s interpretation of Leviticus at the same time that Rabbinic interpretations were flourishing. Throughout Latin Church Fathers, authors from Tertullian onward drew on and struggled with the priestly commands and legal demands of Leviticus, but Rufinus’ translations on Origen bring forth the first significant interpretations of the text ascribed to a Greek author. In the Latin First Principles (4.1.24), Moses receives Leviticus, and the people receive Deuteronomy. This second law brings the first to an end. The Homilies on Leviticus, however, draw together how that first law to Moses endures, applies, and reveals a message to those who demanded to know how Origen applied the text to the past and present as well as the priest and peasant. This paper will consider the Homilies on Leviticus in comparison to Origen's other Levitical references, the growing Jewish body of textual interpretation, and the broader role of the Levitical law in the midst of early Christian thought.

Robert Kitchen: Teaching Perfection Monastic Education in Dadisho‘ Qatraya’s Commentary on the Paradise of the Fathers

An unmined source for Syriac asceticism is found in the Commentary on the
Paradise of the Fathers by Dadisho‘ Qatraya (Church of the East; late 7th c.), organized into 399 questions and answers from the brothers or monks to an elder, in most cases Dadisho‘, centering around the stories and sayings of the Egyptian Desert Fathers (translated into Syriac), which were compiled by an older contemporary ‘Enanisho‘, and used for the monastic education of Syriac and later Ethiopian monks.Two aspects of this educational document will be examined. First, this Commentary is a rare witness to the continued existence of the ascetical level of Perfection (gmīrūtā) and its
practitioners, the Perfect (gmīrē), along with the lower consecrated
level of Uprightness/Upright (kēnūtā/kēnē), generally limited to The
Book of Steps and The Discourses of Philoxenos of Mabbug. Second, while the questions and answers roughly follow the order of Enanisho‘’s Paradise,
a pattern becomes discernible through the answers of a gradual progression for
the monks towards the status of Perfection, a spiritual and physical way of
life that is the result of the grace of education.

Florian Rösch: “Let us also go, that we may die with him” – The Memory of the Martyrdom of Thomas the Twin

The Thomasine utterance in Jn 11:16 seems to already predict the violent death of Thomas who encourages the disciples to join Jesus’ death. The martyrdom of Thomas himself is later narratively illustrated in the apocryphal Acts of Thomas (ATh). Early on ATh 6, when the apostle is beaten by a vintner, the text alludes to the Passion of Christ and hints at Thomasʼ final death.The martyrdom of Thomas as narrated in the ATh is significant in two ways. Firstly, Thomas as the earthly twin of Jesus suffers a highly similar passion to that of his master. This notion is evoked by parallels like the execution on a mountain, the transfixion of his body, the burial in a noble’s tomb as well as the killed apostleʼs post-mortem appearance. Secondly, ATh 170 – probably a secondary expansion to the martyrdomstory– serves as pourquoi story for the cult of the relicts of the apostle and their translation to Edessa where Thomas was particularly memorised.Based on these observations this paper aims to examine the function of the equation of Thomas’ death to that of Christ. Why did Syrian Christians remember the martyrdom of Thomas the Twin in such close connection to the Passion of Christ? Is it possible to draw any conclusions with the aid of ATh 170 and the mention of the holy relics on the memory communities behind the tradition of Thomas?

  • In this workshop, speakers will only give brief summaries of their papers. The draft papers will be circulated in advance to all participants. Please contact the organiser to have the PDFs sent to you by late July/early August.

Francesco Pieri, Andrew Brian McGowan: Presentation and discussion of «Il culto cristiano dei primi secoli. Uno sguardo sociale, storico e teologico», EDB Bologna 2019

This is the bright new Italian edition of Andrew McGowan's «Ancient Christian Worship. Early Church practices in social, historical, historical and theological perspective», Baker Academic, Grand Rapids (MI) 2014.Translation and adaptation to the Italian public was made by Francesco Pieri. Without altering the original exposition, this edition has consistently enlarged the alleged texts from jewish patristic, and apocryphal sources. Bibliography has been upgraded to include some more recent studies, especially those available in Italian. This edition also includes a set of pictures concerning some early christian archaeological evidences.

Makiko Sato: Women and Emotion in the Rhetoric of Augustine

often move us deeply and we regularly attempt to manage them by using reason to
gain peace of mind. This experience causes us to easily assume that there is a
dominant relationship in our soul where reason is superior to emotion. The
superiority of reason and inferiority of emotion is often connected with gender
where masculinity is rational and emotion is feminine such that women lack
sufficient reason. This creates the myth that women are more emotional and less
rational than men. Augustine, who criticized Stoicism, also emphasized an
ordered status of mind dominated by reason. He also linked our inner state of
mind with the notion of gender. However, his nuanced theory of this internal relationship
does not advocate a simple domination by reason or the masculine part of the mind
toward emotion or the feminine part of the mind. This paper will focus on the
idea of “marriage in oneself” that was influenced by Augustine’s interpretation
of Pauline texts and clarify Augustine’s rhetoric of how emotions play a role in
proper Christian faith.

Richard Bishop: Severian of Gabala’s In sanctam Pentecosten (CPG 4211)

This presentation uncovers hitherto unremarked evidence that Severian of Gabala’s In sanctam Pentecosten (CPG 4211; PG 63:933-938) was delivered in the presence of the emperor Arcadius. After some attention to the sermon’s textual tradition and original transcription, the presentation interprets the sermon in light of the circumstances of its delivery, examines the evidence the sermon provides for Severian’s relationship to the imperial court, and explores the possibility that Severian delivered this sermon on the occasion underlying the partly authentic Chrysostomic text In Pentecosten, sermo 1 (CPG 4536; PG 52:803-808).

Rajiv Bhola: Spiritual Echoes: Some Parallels in Eusebius’ Portrayals of Constantine and Judeo-Christian Figures of the Past

It has long been acknowledged that, in his works on Constantine, Eusebius of Caesarea incorporates his own ideology into his portrayal of the reign of the ‘first Christian emperor’. This is observable in the De vita Constantini where, in offering an overview of the emperor’s character, activities, and policies, one of Eusebius’ aims is to present Constantine as the model of the ideal Christian monarch. As has been discussed in several dedicated studies and noted frequently in passing, this is accomplished in part by framing the emperor according to an established model, namely, that of Moses, through both scriptural references and Eusebius’ own commentary.This paper considers a further feature of Eusebius’ ideology at work in the text and a different aspect of his modelling strategy. Taking as a case study the similarities between Eusebius’ account of Constantine’s religious awakening and Christian conversion in the Vita and his portrayal of the ideal race of the Hebrews in the Praeparatio evangelica, this paper examines another way in which Eusebius attempted to align the emperor with the Christian past, but one of his own construction and import. Reading Eusebius’ attempt at fashioning a preferred memory of the emperor with a view to his corpus results in a nuanced understanding of Constantine’s Christian status in the Vita.

Edwina Murphy: Deacons as Doctores and Delegates in Cyprian of Carthage

By the middle of the third century, the leadership of the church in Roman North Africa had become more structured, as was the case elsewhere in the empire. Scholarship in this area has focused on the role of bishops in Cyprian’s thought, particularly the status of the bishop of Rome. But what of the other clerical orders? Here I examine the writings of Cyprian to determine what deacons did in this period. While they cared for the poor—a view of the diaconate that prompted a revitalisation of social work in nineteenth-century German-speaking countries—they had a much wider brief. Teaching, participating in the liturgy and assisting the bishop in administration were also important duties of deacons.

Barbara Villani: The Challenge of Authenticating Catena Fragments of Eusebius of Caesarea’s Commentary on the Psalms

An important portion of Eusebius’ Commentary on the Psalms is known only from extracts in catenae. The authentication of the single fragments assigned to a certain author by the redactor of the catena is difficult for various reasons: sometimes the abbreviation ascribing the fragment to Eusebius is not reliable; often the extracted passages from the commentary have been shortened or paraphrased; in other instances, extracts from two authors may have been combined. An edition of Eusebius’ commentary is planned within a project at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. In this paper I will present the work of the editors and show, by means of some examples, how they face the afore mentioned problems.

Pierre AUGUSTIN: From Erasmus to Field : Contribution and Limits of the Previous Editions and Translations of John Chrysostom’s Homilies on Philippians

In the recent translation of their standard edition by Field (Oxford, 1855), the sixteenth homilies On Philippians ascribed to John Chrysostom (the argumentum being here taken as the first homily of the series) have been considered “the most comprehensive treatment of [this] letter surviving from Christian antiquity”. However, their provenance and chronology, and the homogeneity of the whole series, have been challenged by the translators, thus emphasizing the need of a comprehensive study on their Greek manuscript tradition. As an inquiry is about to be launched by Sources Chrétiennes, this preliminary review aims at setting within the competing recensions of the text the respective manuscript evidence of the previous Greek editions and Latin translations, from the 16th century onward. Both the partial and isolated “editio princeps”, in 1526, by Erasmus (who published the two first homilies, though he did not believe in their authenticity) and the first publication of the series within the whole corpus of Chrysostom’s exegetical homilies on the Pauline Epistles, by Bernardino Donato, in 1529, were still based on a single witness (in the latter case, of the so called “rough recension” of the text). The more ambitious endeavours of Savile (1612), Montfaucon (1734) and especially Field (1855), though based on a partial recensio, have brought to light a much more elaborate recension, which, considered by Nobili and Savile typical of Chrysostom’s rhetorical preaching, has been mainly discarded since Field as a later attempt to remake an early "rough recension", more likely to be genuine.

Alessandro De Blasi: Gregory Nazianzen's poem I 1, 12: On the Genuine Books of the Holy Scripture

Amongst Gregory Nazianzen's wide poetic production, there is a specific group of poems, the so-called Gedichtgruppe III, where the Holy Scripture does not represent a literary background, but the very subject of Gregory's verses. The group of fifteen poems opens with carmen I 1, 12 (περὶ τῶν γνησίων βιβλίων τῆς θεοπνεύστου γραφῆς), which deserves particular attention. Here Gregory lists his catalogue of scriptural canon. His pedagogic purposes, revealed by the use of various metres, make the poem an interesting and rare example of its kind. This paper aims at shedding more light on Gregory's choices and omissions of the holy books, thanks also to the comparison with a similar poetic list, contained in Amphilochius' Iambi ad Seleucum (vv. 251-319), a poem often attached to I 1, 12 and wrongly ascribed to Gregory himself in manuscript tradition.

Demetrios Harper: Self-determination and the Question of Subjectivity: Autexousion Agency in Maximus the Confessor

This paper seeks to interpret the conceptual mechanisms that give rise to Maximus the Confessor’s understanding of human self-determination, examining them through the lens of contemporary philosophical discourse concerning the origin of the philosophical categories of autonomy and heteronomy. Although the term αὐτεξούσιον is sometimes translated as “autonomy,” many contemporary scholars have argued persuasively that the philosophers and theologians of the pre-Renaissance world who employ the term do not have the same anthropological presuppositions that inform the contemporary understanding of the concept. Christopher Gill, Alasdair McIntyre, and Charles Taylor, et al., concur that the notion of an autonomous “self” arises in the wake of the Enlightenment and especially Kantian approaches to moral psychology. Post-enlightenment autonomy is dependent in turn upon the invention of subjectivity, which is inaugurated by René Descartes’s formulation of the Cartesian “ego.” As Gill argues in his two massive treatises, the diverse philosophical approaches in the pre-Renaissance world, mutatis mutandis, possess a common notion of self-hood, regarding an individual not as a distinct subject or “I” but rather as an “objective participant” in a larger human community. While Gill’s arguments appear to stand on firm ground in relation to pagan sources, his otherwise superb analysis largely ignores the Christian tradition and especially influential Greek patristic sources like Maximus the Confessor. In an effort to address this gap, this paper shall consider the principles of moral psychology that underlie Maximus the Confessor’s approach to self-determination, examining them in light of Gill’s subject/objective participant dichotomy. 

Timothy J. Lang, Hauna Ondrey, Silke-Petra Bergjan, Mark Elliott: Workshop: Behind and Beyond the Alexandrian-Antiochene divide in biblical interpretation.

1.Paul the Allegorist and Early Christian Exegesis
Impressed by Paul’s allegoresis, subsequent Christian interpreters took Paul’s exegetical offerings as orders to go and do likewise. These interpreters thought Paul had taught them how to scrutinize newly revealed meanings in received Judean writings, an exegetical pedagogy with apostolic authorisation. In what way is Patristic exegesis Pauline?
2.Reframing Greek Patristic Interpretation: Minor Prophets Commentaries as a Case Study.
A comparison of intepreters yields support for the abandonment of the critiqued-but-enduring Alexandria/Antioch paradigm as well as cautions against alternate reductions evident in the rhetorical explanations of Young et al. Commitment to the historicity of biblical narratives will be used as a test theme.
3. Questions of Christian Identity in the interpretation of the parable of the Good Samaritan.
The parable was read by those who wanted to refer the criticism directed in the parable at the worthies to the contemporary official church with bishops and presbyters. Correspondingly there are few interpretations of the parable from the early church. The jumping-off point is a writing to be ascribed to the Antiochene realm.: Pseudo-Chrysostom’s De non anathematizandis vivis vel defunctis.The sharp Alexandrian-Antiochene divide will be questioned.
4.Augustine: doctor of grace as doctor of laws. 
In the light of the admission by Augustine that it took a while for the penny to drop in terms of the importance of a non-docetic account for the incarnation, the place of law as of real importance in the Christian life and community should not be so surprising.

Candace Buckner: A Healing Vision: Elements of the Greco-Roman Miraculous Healing Tradition in the Coptic Life of Onnophrius

the Coptic Life of Onnophrius,
the anchorite Timothy shares the story of his miraculous healing of a painful liver condition. Timothy explains how a man described as extraordinarily glorious (ⲉϥϩⲁⲉⲟⲟⲩ
ⲉⲙⲁⲧⲉ) appeared and performed liver surgery without any medical
tools in desert isolation. After the surgery, the glorious man admonishes Timothy, “Do not sin again so that no worse evil happen to you.” In essence, the text associates his sinful past behavior with his current medical predicament. I argue that such a story
plays into larger narratives of associating physical impairment and infirmity with moral and ethical transgressions so that the tale indicates that moral failings are written upon the body.

Claudio Zamagni: Biblical Quotations in Eusebius' Exegesis

In his exegetical works, Eusebius sometimes uses scriptural testimonia to prove his point. In his Question to Stephanus V, he adduces a large number of biblical quotations concerning the promises made by God to Abraham and David, as well as their fulfilment. The usage of biblical quotations in such cases seems partly inspired by similar passages in Origen. Eusebius was of course aware of Origen's work, but he is certainly not satisfied in merely reproducing his predecessor's exegesis and list of testimonia.

Volker Henning Drecoll: Improving the text. Collecting and emendating Augustine’s work in the Carolingian era

The new critical edition of De gratia et libero categorizes the text of Lyon, BM 608 and Paris BN lat. 9544 as the result of an editorial emendating work that is combined with a collection of Augustinian texts on grace and predestination. This can be clearly seen in comparison with the fragments of Eugippius. A copy of Lyon BM 608, Paris BN lat. 2095, shows the ongoing emendating work in the ninth century. One of the manuscripts used in the corrections of Paris BN lat. 2095 is Paris BN lat. 12210, a manuscript that tried to produce a supplement for those parts that are absent from the old uncial Corbie manuscript (Paris BN lat. 12205) from the 6th or 7th century. The corrected text of Paris BN lat. 2095 was often reproduced in a considerable number of manuscripts, thus the editorial work of the Carolingian era can be observed here in detail. By taking into account the manner of this text production, new light can be shed on general decisions how to establish the Augustinian text in a modern critical edition.

Paul Middleton: Early Christian Persecution: A Case for “Modified Minimalism”

he last sixty years has seen a significant shift in the way Roman persecution of the early Christians has been seen. No longer is the history of the church viewed as a history of persecution, or the first four centuries divided between “good” and “bad” emperors depending on their attitude towards the Church. Rather, the view developed that where persecution happened at all, it was sporadic and random, and local rather than officially state-sponsored. More recently, scholars have questioned even the notion of persecution, since, it is argued, any Roman action against Christians was prosecution. This might be viewed as a swing from the maximalism of, for example, Eusebius to what might be deemed minimalism. In this paper, I will argue that while an important corrective, the prosecution/persecution dichotomy that sustains minimalist accounts of persecution do not adequately take account of the situation of the early Christians. Instead, what I term “modified minimalism” will take account of both the judicial nature of Roman action against members of the early church, but also the experiences of those early Christians who believed themselves to be persecuted.

Pauliina Pylvänäinen: Agents in Liturgy, Charity and Communication. The Function of Deaconesses in the Apostolic Constitutions

The reinterpretation of deacons and diakonia challenges us to consider the function of deaconesses in the Apostolic Constitutions. The Apostolic Constitutions is a church order that originated in Antioch and was completed in AD 380. The tasks of deaconesses in the document can be divided into three categories: Firstly, duties that are linked to the liturgy in the congregation are assigned to the deaconesses by the compiler. They guard the doors of the church building, find places for women who need them and are present when the women approach the altar during the Eucharist. When a woman is being baptized, a deaconess assists the bishop during the rite. The document also consists two analogies which describe the liturgical function of the deaconesses: They function in the places of the Levites as well as the Holy Spirit. Secondly, the deaconesses have tasks that traditionally have been defined as charitable service. Since the concept of deacon has been reinterpreted, tasks have to be evaluated as to whether they include charitable connotations or not. My analysis shows that the deaconesses are sent to visit the homes of women. The visits include, for instance, almsgiving, and hence belong to the field of charity by nature. In some cases the tasks of healing and travelling also seem to have charitable connotations. However, alongside these tasks, the deaconesses also have a task that is neither mainly liturgical nor charitable. As messengers, they play a role in the communications of the congregation.

Susan L. Graham: Vision, Speech and Act: Irenaeus Interpreting the Prophets in Adversus haereses

A good deal has been said about Irenaeus’s interpretation of the scriptures. There are two possible approaches to such an analysis. One is based on what the author says about it directly.The second is based on how the author actually interprets and uses the borrowed material.The former approach, leaning heavily on Irenaeus’s rhetorical arguments in Adversus haereses 2, has long been considered to have produced a generally settled list of his rules for interpreting the Scriptures. Recent Irenaean scholarship, however, has made it increasingly clear that he applies the interpretative strategies he names far more flexibly than those rules suggest. In consequence, review and revision of our understanding of his interpretative principles and strategies has emerged as a timely task, one which has begun to get scholarly attention. This paper contributes to the task of reviewing Irenaeus’s use of the scriptures by way of the second approach, evaluating how he actually uses his texts. In particular, it addresses his approach to the prophetic texts. Following on my earlier work on his use of the prophets in the Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, this study examines his use of the prophets in Adversus haereses. It argues that analysis of Irenaeus’s actual use of his texts allows for a proper understanding of his interpretative language and the principles that drive it.

Manea Erna Shirinian: Schema isagogicum apud Patres Ecclesiae

The aim of this paper is to show that the so called schema isagogicum was widely used not only in late antiquity and among late Platonist commentators, but was actively applied for the study of the Bible and biblical exegesis, especially by the Fathers of the Church. Experts use to speak only about Origen and Proclus exercising these isagogical structures while there exist sources, which can prove that the prolegomena - introductory studies or questions, which use to have a propaedeutic character, are present in the commentaries on the books of the Bible by such an authorities as Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory the Theologian, Basil of Caesarea, Evagrius Ponticus, Ephrem the Syrian et al.The main witness to this statement is found in Armenian translations of such prolegomena called mainly "causes" (patčaŕk‘). Moreover, in Armenian manuscript tradition there exist even a collections of these "causes". One of them is the writing under the provisional title the Book of Causes, fuller title reads: "The Causes of wide and subtle writings taken from [the works] of the holy fathers and vardapets (doctors of theology) gathered together and provided by the great rabunapet Grigor, the son of Abas".This unpublished yet isagogical manual, i.e a handbook on Biblical Introduction, composed in the early13th century in Armenia,by the abbot of Sanahin Monastery Grigor the son of Abas. This book is an amazing witness of the Armenian reception of the Greek philosophical and patristic theological heritage.

Edward Mason: Constantine and the Donatists: The Origins of Imperial Christianity

Most narratives of the Donatist controversy convey that both the antagonists and the terms of their conflict were clearly defined. Schismatics and rigorists, angry at the ordination of Caecilian of Carthage, begged for imperial intervention. The emperor, who had only recently embraced Christ as a patron deity following his decisive victory over fellow-emperor Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge in 312, reluctantly chose to hear their petitions. Despite centuries of scholarship, the narrative of the emperor’s involvement remains mostly unchanged. The memory of Constantine’s involvement in the Donatist controversy has resulted in a narrative of imperial authority’s reluctance at intervening in Church affairs. Many fourth-century sources, seeking to minimize imperial participation in the Church rather than accept the symbiotic relationship, have crafted a memory of Constantine desperately trying to avoid imperial involvement in ecclesiastical affairs. However, Constantine saw the bishops as conduits to the divine. Thus, he felt his role as emperor obligated him to oversee the bishops to maintain his divine favor and the safety of the empire. In the Donatist controversy, Constantine’s first imperial interaction with Christianity, the emperor sought to find an avenue through which he could project his authority on the Church.

Przemysław Nehring: Navigating between stereotypes: Augustine on marriage and virginity

As we learn from Retractationes, two of Augustine’s treatises, De bono coniugali and De sancta virginitate, were aimed to present his own views in the polemic on the merits of marriage and virginity which is customarily associated with Jerome and Jovinian. The reasoning of those primary antagonists, though very often based on the very same biblical passages, brought them to completely different conclusions. They also employed a number of clichéd arguments, two of which were particularly prominent in their argumentation: on the one hand, there were the examples of married Old Testament prophets, who were invoked to emphasise the great value of the institution of marriage, and, on the other, the hackneyed stereotypes of the so-called “molestiae nuptiarum” (“ills of marriage”) that were customarily used to show married life in the worst possible light.Augustine’s position in the controversy was at a far remove from these extremities. The aim of my paper is to demonstrate the effective means he deftly developed to defuse the stereotype-laden debate and give substance to his own moderate position by using a number of biblical quotations as premises for his arguments built in accordance with the schemes known from the classical theory of rhetoric.

Sebastian Mateiescu: Maximus the Confessor on the Chalcedonian manner of interpreting differentia

Among the various terminological disagreements that have marked the early Christological debates, the one concerning the status of the difference (διαφορά) between the divine and human natures of Christ become a turning point during sixth and seventh century Byzantium. In general, the Chalcedonians interpreted differentia as a real feature of nature which is preserved after Incarnation, whereas the anti-Chalcedonians granted differentia a conceptual status after the union of the two natures in Christ. This paper analyzes Maximus the Confessor’s reception of these debates on differentia and holds, against the accepted view, that the issue was a matter of philosophical interpretation rather than a linguistic misunderstanding. The argument will uncover Maximus’ allegiance to the Athenian school of philosophy that interpreted differentia as an intermediate between quality and substance, whereas the Anti-Chalcedonians’ influence from the Alexandrian school that constructed differentia as a ‘substantial’ completer of being will be attested with references to Severus of Antioch and John Philoponus. By placing these debates against the traditional philosophical classification of differentia into substance or quality as their key terminological source, this approach will highlight the importance of the philosophical vocabulary as a neutral terrain on which these theological arguments can be reconstructed and further put into dialogue. 

András Handl: Migrants of Faith and the Faith of Migrants: Migration and inner-religious conflict in the Christian Communities of Rome

Migrants imported Christianity to Rome and there, migration shaped Christianity ever since. Settled for a shorter or longer period at the capital of the Empire, migrants were often also ambassadors of doctrinal or liturgical impulses, continuously diversifying the versatile and factionalised character of the local Christianities. As a result of the gradual formation of a local ‘Roman’ Christian identity alongside with the slowly emerging centralised hierarchy to the turn to the third century, clashes between newly arrived migrants and the “well-established” determined the agenda over and over again. Generations of bishops, Victor, Zephyrinus and Calixtus, experimented with various coping strategies to engage with the migrants and their ideas, theologies and traditions.The paper will present an overview and several fine-grained case studies of migration to Rome, charting migration, analysing the impact and the prompted conflict caused by migration, and examine how migration shaped local identity and facilitated the unification and the emergence of a majority church.

Manon des Portes: Transmission of the Homilies on John : what we can learn from the ethica titles

John Chrysostom’s commentary In Iohannem consists of eighty-eight homilies and was transmitted through more than three hundred known manuscripts. At least twenty per cent of the witnesses containing either the whole series or the first or second part of the series also make mention of titles that were given to the hortatory part of each homily – the ethicon. For example, at the beginning of the ethicon of the third homily, the text in the margin reads Περὶ ἐλεημοσύνης, "About alms" and in the homily 45 Ὅτι ἡ τῆς ἀναστάσεως καὶ κρίσεως μνήμη τὰς ἀτοποὺς ὁρμὰς ἐκκόπτει· καὶ περὶ εἱμαρμένης καὶ ὅτ ιἐγγὺς τὸ τέλος :- "That remembering the resurrection and judgement cuts out improper impulses; about fate and that the end is near." These titles are not mentioned systematically in the witnesses so they indicate a redactional intervention which may reveal clues about the tradition of this work. Is it possible to determine their origin? Moreover, these titles can differ from one manuscript to another. What are the main variations? Can specific families of manuscripts be distinguished through the titles of the ethica? Our presentation shall draw a preliminary conclusion of our study of ethica titles.

Taras Khomych: Origins of Ministry in First Clement

The aim of this presentation is to explain several ambiguities embedded in key passages dealing with ministry in an early Christian epistle known as First Clement, challenging at the same time a widely accepted scholarly paradigm on the beginnings and early developments of Christian ministries. As a precious witness to the origins of Christian reflection on Church offices, this first century letter has been the subject of much scholarly attention. In particular, modern scholars have tended to interpret First Clement as a turning point between an office-free, pneumatic and prophetic Christian communities, on the one hand, and later more formal but less charismatic ecclesial structures, on the other. Entering in dialogue with recent studies by John Kloppenborg and Alistair Stewart on this subject matter, this contribution seeks to dispute the dominant paradigm and explain some of the ambiguities in light of the letter’s internal evidence. It will be argued, more specifically, that First Clement sets up concrete principles for the building of a viable Christian community by using creatively ancient Jewish prophetic tradition, which has not been sufficiently considered before.

Douglas Finn: Tragic Therapy in Augustine's Confessions

I propose to investigate the connection between Augustine’s discussion of tragic theater in conf.3 and depictions of grief in conf.4 and 9. Recent work on Augustine’s “tragic vision,” by, e.g., Remy and Blowers, has shown how Augustine, perhaps paradoxically, retains an appreciation of the tragic while simultaneously transcending classical tragedy’s fatalism through faith in divine providence and grace. I augment this scholarship by considering how Augustine practically affirms and surmounts the tragic worldview through his literary depictions of grief. These portrayals serve a therapeutic purpose for Augustine’s readers. Comparing Augustine’s account of tragedy with that of Aristotle—aided by the work of Konstan on ancient Greek emotions—we see how Augustine reconceptualizes grief as an action-ready emotion that ought to inspire merciful action toward others. In the riveting portraits of grief in conf.4 and 9, we then witness how Augustine elicits and heals his readers’ emotions, orienting them away from a self-serving pleasure at the suffering of others toward the formation of a community of mercy. Augustine deftly crafts his accounts of grief: in conf.4, he compels the reader, who “watches” Augustine errantly suffer, to face his own soul's affective disorder. Next, in conf.9, Augustine presents an account of Christian grief. The reader again “watches” Augustine grieve, this time over the death of his beloved mother. Augustine again elicits the readers’ emotions, including a proud disdain toward the weeping Augustine, and replaces those selfish feelings with mercy via a dialogical incorporation into the Eucharistic sacrifice.

David Bradshaw: Patristic Views on Why There Is No Repentance after Death

Although the New Testament makes it clear that there is no possibility of repentance and forgiveness after death, it offers no explanation why. Most patristic authors who dealt with this question saw the answer as in some way linked to human embodiment. Nemesius of Emessa, for example, argues that God receives human repentance in this life as a concession in view of our being subject to “bodily affections, needs, and pleasures.” Nemesius seeks thereby to explain why God accepts human repentance but not that of the demons. Yet his answer can be faulted in that it requires positing a change in God’s attitude toward sinners at the moment of death.Later authors such as Maximus the Confessor and John of Damascus shift the focus of attention away from God’s reasons for forgiveness and toward the innate capacities of the soul. Maximus argues that after death the soul’s immediate awareness of God as the Good means that it can no longer be moved by subordinate goods, and so will no longer be capable of “moving” in the sense of making a morally decisive choice. John of Damascus offers a similar view, although he links it more explicitly to the soul’s lack of embodiment and incapacity for bodily action. I will argue that the view of Maximus and John is superior to that of Nemesius and, given its underlying Platonic metaphysics, provides an adequate response to the question.

Katharina Waldner: The Construction of Martyrs and Martyrdom in Early Christianity

Is early Christian martyrdom just a narrative representation of the “myth of persecution” (Candida Moss), a typical product of urban life in the Roman Empire (Glen Bowersock) or a kind of device to make the vague division between “Judaism” and “Christianity” more explicit (Daniel Boyarin)? My paper will discuss the genealogy of Christian martyrdom accounts anew, starting from the assumption that “martyrdom” is a dispositif (Foucault), invented and further developed to deal with a certain historical situation or event which one can observe in different cultures and in antiquity from the process of Socrates through Hellenistic time until Christian martyrdom accounts. The core element of this event is a stereotypical historical situation or even crisis when an imperial power (e.g. Ancient Athens, Hellenistic rulers or Roman governors) tries to control “religion” i.e. the way how individuals and groups communicate with the invisible world by capital punishment. The authorities depended on public performances of the juridical procedures which made it possible for witnesses to retell the court and punishment scenes in written form in a way that not only helped them to overcome the trauma of loss and survival but also to promote the victims of this kind of imperial violence as heroes and models of a very special and intense relationship between human selves and the invisible world. After exposing this theoretical and historical background the paper will explore, how the dispositif of martyrdom and the figure of the martyr is shaped by different media in the first two centuries.

  • In this workshop, speakers will only give brief summaries of their papers. The draft papers will be circulated in advance to all participants. Please contact the organiser to have the PDFs sent to you by late July/early August.

Helen Rhee: Pain at the Intersection of Ancient Medicine and Early Christianity: Paradox of Agency and Insharability

Pain in ancient medicine (Hippocratic Corpus, Aretaeus and Galen) played a central role in diagnosis as a sign of disease but also functioned as part of the therapeutic process and prognosis in a complex patient-doctor relationship. Pain in patristic treatises likewise had a double role to play on the continuum of illness and health (both physical and spiritual). My paper examines how pain blurs and problematizes a dichotomy of illness/disease and health in the intersections of medical and patristic texts with its affective and social effect through its paradoxical agency and insharability.

Thomas Tsartsidis: Ambrose and the Unity of Prudentius' Contra Orationem Symmachi

In 384, Symmachus, orator and the prefect of Rome, wrote his Third Relatio, a petition to the emperor Valentinian II for the restoration to the senate house of the altar of Victory, which had been removed two years earlier by Gratian. Bishop Ambrose of Milan opposed to Symmachus’ plea by providing counter-arguments in two letters, Epistulae 17 and 18. Nearly twenty years after Symmachus’ Relatio, the poet Prudentius undertook the task of refuting Symmachus’ arguments in his two books Contra Orationem Symmachi. The two books appear to have been grouped together soon after the battle of Pollentia (402), described in the second book (696-768). Much ink has been spilt regarding the dating and the relationship between the two books. Although both books form the work entitled Contra Orationem Symmachi, only the second book contains a refutation of Symmachus’ arguments. Book 1 consists of an anti-pagan invective section (42-407) sandwiched between a panegyric to the emperor Theodosius (1-41, 408-621) and only at the end of the book, an apostrophe to Symmachus (622-657).In this paper, I shall first revisit the vexed issue of the dating of the poem. Then, I will posit that a comparison to Ambrose’s Epistula 18 helps justify the structure of the first book, and especially the existence of the anti-pagan invective section, that seems unrelated to the main subject of the work, the refutation of Symmachus’ Third Relatio.     

Nicolas De Maeyer: Augustinus egit, Beda compegit. The value of Beda Venerabilis’ Augustinian florilegium for the edition of Augustine’s writings.

One of the most influential exegetes at the forefront of the Carolingian Renaissance was Beda Venerabilis, whose Scriptural commentaries were heavily influenced by the writings of the Church Fathers and functioned as an important mediator between Patristic and Medieval exegesis. One of Bede’s most exemplary commentaries in this respect is the Collectio ex opusculis sancti Augustini in epistulas Pauli apostoli, a compilation of fragments from Augustine’s works rearranged to form a Pauline commentary.            Together with the florilegia of Eugippius and Florus, Bede’s Collectio is a key-text in the Late Antique/Early Medieval indirect transmission of Augustine’s writings and, as such, has been often relied on by editors of Augustine’s works. Due to the lack of a critical edition, however, these editors usually consulted only one or a few witnesses of the commentary, mainly Saint-Omer, Bibl. Mun. 91, the critical value of which is limited. Based on the edition of the Collectio I am preparing for the CCSL, I will evaluate, in this paper, the use of the commentary made by earlier editors of Augustine’s works and assess the general value of Bede’s florilegium for the edition of the Church Father’s oeuvre. Particular attention will be given to the Collectio’s paratextual material, namely its titles and book/chapter numbers. This analysis will further provide insight into which Augustinian works were available to Bede during the compilation of his exegetical commentaries and via which textual channels (direct transmission/other florilegia…) he knew these works.

Emmanouela Grypeou: Demons of the Underworld in Cyril of Alexandria’s Hom 14, De exitu animi

This spurious homily attributed to Cyril of Alexandria offers a graphic description of afterlife and especially of hell punishments involving an intriguing and varied line-up of judging angels and punishing demons. More specifically, this text offers a compendium of theological and popular views and imagery regarding the nature and function, nomenclature, appearance as well as the hierarchy of demonic beings operating in afterlife. Proposed paper will focus on the demonological ideas developed in this homily against the background of related ideas about demons of the underworld as found primarily in the late antique apocalyptic tradition. As I have argued in previous publications, the “demons of the underworld” present a motif, which have been developed gradually and is of a relatively later dating in Christian apocalyptic literature. Accordingly, a study of the afterlife demonology in this homily would be conclusive regarding questions of provenance and dating of the text as well as of authorship.Finally, the paper will investigate the biblical background of the homily and the use of biblical citations for the development of the description of hell and its demons.

Bart J. Koet: Deacons in the writings of Jerome and Augustine

After having investigated the role of deacons in the early church and in Augustine's writings in earlier research, I then looked at how the writings of Jerome refer to deacons. In this lecture I would like to briefly present the results of this research.After a first assessment of data in Jerome, I will discuss the differences between Jerome and Augustine.A first observation is that in Jerome’s writings there are less references to deacons or diaconate than in those of Augustine. While Augustine's writings reveal a vivid picture of deacon performance, Jerome's deacon is more often a prototype of certain behaviour. These differences naturally reflect the different contexts of these two church fathers. The bishop of Hippo and the priest of Bethlehem have in common that they do not mention deaconesses. Therefore, a comparison of Jerome and Augustine is only a first step. Eventually, the works of John Chrysostom, for example, will also have to be examined to gain further insight into the role of deacons and deaconesses in the early Church.