1. “Perspectives on Language & Culture in Early Christianity” (Leuven, September 10-12, 2015)

    The formal, conference announcement may be found by clicking here.

    The intellectual landscape of the Classical world was radically altered by the rise and spread of Christianity, which brought about a transformation of moral and cultural values, beliefs and attitudes. Profound changes also occurred in the practical and theoretical approaches to languages as cognitive, ethnic and cultural phenomena. The linguistic horizon of Western scholars was considerably widened through direct acquaintance with the Old Testament languages (Hebrew and Aramaic); at the same time Early Christian authors became increasingly aware of the startling linguistic diversity within the Roman world and outside of it.

    Intended for an audience of scholars in a wide variety of fields (philology, theology, philosophy, language sciences, history of ideas), this interdisciplinary conference will approach the general issue of “Language and Culture in Early Christianity” from two complementary perspectives:
    (I) A context-oriented perspective, focusing on the linguistic horizon, the cultural background, and the sociohistorical setting of Early Christian approaches to language(s). Possible topics to be treated in connection with linguistic ideas are: the role of the Greek, Syriac, and Coptic philosophical and theological traditions; the role of the Jewish tradition of textual study of the Old Testament; the role of apocryphal writings; first-hand knowledge of, or second-hand information on languages other than Greek or Latin; the impact of key players, intellectual networks, and authoritative texts on Early Christian approaches to language(s).
    (II) A content-oriented perspective, focusing on arguments, views or intuitions expressed with regard to: the origin of language; language functions (both cognitive-semiotic and cultural-anthropological); the connections between language, culture and ethnicity; language variation and global linguistic diversity; the relevance of language to theology; the role of language in ancient education; problems of translation and the general issue of translatability; the “qualities” and “deficiencies” of particular languages.

    The keynote lectures will be given by: Thorsten Fögen, Alfons Fürst, Louis Holtz, Josef Lössl, and Stefan Rebenich.

    Proposals for papers, preferably in English or French, counting between 600 and 700 words, and followed by a selective list of bibliographical references, should be submitted to the organizers (contact: Tim.Denecker@arts.kuleuven.be) before November 1, 2014. Notification of acceptance will be given by February 1, 2015. A selection of papers will be published in a peer-reviewed book volume.


    April 29th, 2014 10:43 am / Continue Reading »
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  3. Doctoral researcher in Byzantine Studies at KU Leuven

    The Institute for Early Christian and Byzantine Studies of the KU Leuven is looking to employ a doctoral student (4-year full-time position).

    The successful applicant is expected to prepare a doctoral dissertation in the field of Byzantine Studies (Greek philology). The applicants need to have a MA degree from a non-EEA university in hand by the start of the fellowship (preferably October 1, 2014 or any later date as close to it as possible).

    More information can be found in attachment or at http://icts.kuleuven.be/apps/jobsite/vacatures/52900311?lang=en. Additional questions may be directed to the project promoters, Peter Van Deun () and Reinhart Ceulemans ().


    April 14th, 2014 5:04 pm / Continue Reading »
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  5. St Andrew’s Patristic Symposium 2014

    Theme: “From Alexandria to Cappadocia and Back Again”.

    When: 26 and 27 September 2014.

    Where: St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College (a member institute of the Sydney College of Divinity), 242 Cleveland Street, Redfern, NSW 2016, Australia.

    Keynote speakers: Professor Paul M. Blowers (Emmanuel Christian Seminary, Tennessee, USA) and Dr Bronwen Neil, FAHA (ACU, Brisbane).

    Conveners: Very Rev. Dr Doru Costache (St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College, Sydney) and Dr Adam G. Cooper (John Paul II Institute, Melbourne).

    The symposium primarily explores the connections between the Alexandrian and the Cappadocian traditions in Late Antiquity, more precisely the ways in which the two centers influenced each other. Papers focused on particular figures are likewise welcomed. For the papers focused on particular figures, they can address the life, personality and contributions of the earlier Alexandrines and St Athanasius, the Cappadocians and St Cyril, from various perspectives, such as historical, theological, literary, spiritual etc. Papers on events, persons and writings directly or indirectly related to the above are also welcome. We welcome, likewise, papers on Church Fathers that are not connected with either Alexandria or Cappadocia.

    Research students and early career academics are welcome.

    Proposals should be submitted to Very Rev. Dr Doru Costache at dcostache@sagotc.edu.au by 30 April 2014.


    April 14th, 2014 5:01 pm / Continue Reading »
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  7. Diodore the Theologian: Πρόνοια in his commentary on Psalms 1-50

    The notion that theology and scripture are inextricably connected in early Christian thinking has become a scholarly commonplace in contemporary patristic scholarship. But the nature of the connection has been less than clear, particularly with respect to the commentary on Psalms 1-50 (ca. 372) composed by Diodore of Tarsus (d. ca. 394).

    Despite the fact that Diodore identifies πρόνοια (providence) as the central doctrinal theme of the Psalms in his Prologue to the Commentary, scholars have largely overlooked Diodore’s engagement with πρόνοια in his exegesis of the Psalms. This study argues that a specific account of πρόνοια supplies Diodore’s primary theological framework for interpreting the Psalms by generating the questions he asks of the text and shaping his view of other themes in the Psalms. For Diodore, πρόνοια is more than a theme he identifies in the Psalms. Rather, the nature of God’s πρόνοια is for Diodore the main doctrinal question posed by the Psalter, to which his exegesis of the Psalms provides the answer. The answer, Wayman contends, is a view of πρόνοια which he describes as cooperative, reciprocal, and immanent.

    Benjamin D. Wayman is assistant professor of religion at Greenville College. He holds the Ph.D. in historical theology (early Christianity) from Saint Louis University and the M.Div. from the Divinity School at Duke University.



    April 14th, 2014 5:00 pm / Continue Reading »
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