Conference Date: 5-9 August 2024

Call for Proposals: Individual Identity Formation among Christians in Antiquity

Michael Glowasky (Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley / University of Ottawa) Theodore de Bruyn (University of Ottawa)

We know today that individual identity formation is an ongoing process involving a complex set of factors, including one’s life experiences, exposure to diverse worldviews, and affiliation with different social groups, as well as changes to one’s geographical location and cultural context. We also know that one’s sense of identity can be profoundly shaped by religious instruction, participation in ritual performance, and engagement in spiritual practices. However, while scholars in recent years have considered in detail the processes involved in social identity formation and individualization in antiquity, less attention has been given to processes used to shape or maintain individual identity within religious contexts during this time. What educational, ritual, relational, or other processes were used to cultivate individual identity in religious contexts? How did these processes interact with dimensions of an individual’s agency or sense of self? How were these processes shaped by specific contexts or factors?

Answering these questions about a period so far removed from our own requires not only careful consideration of the relevant source material, but also deliberate attention to both theory and method. We believe that it would be instructive and productive to bring together scholars who are currently seeking to draw out insights into individual identity formation by applying a particular theoretical approach to materials relating to Christianity in antiquity (2nd to 7th centuries CE). Various theoretical approaches could be relevant, bearing on cognition, education, affect, identity, ritual, performance, gender, or class, to name a few. Whatever the theoretical approach, there are common questions that could be the basis of a fruitful exchange, such as: (1) what aspect(s) of individual identity formation does a given theoretical approach illuminate? and (2) how does one deal with the evidence from antiquity in applying that theoretical approach?

We are hoping to organize such a discussion at the Oxford Patristics Conference (August 5 – 9, 2024), ideally in the form of a workshop, with the goal of publishing the papers in Studia Patristica (subject of course to the review processes of the conference organizers). If you are interested in participating in such a workshop and contributing a paper, we invite you to contact us by April 30, 2023 (emails below). In your reply, please specify: (1) the aspect of individual identity formation you are working on; (2) the theory or theories you are drawing on; and (3) some methodological considerations entailed in applying this theoretical approach to the evidence you are working with. If you already have a provisional title for a paper, please state it as well.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: and/ also welcome comments on the formulation of the workshop.  

Conference Date: 23-24 novembre 2023

La conférence explore l'évolution des calendriers liturgiques et du choix des lectures (surtout des Évangiles) qui y sont liées.

Elle permettra de croiser les sources (tétraévangiles, lectionnaires, typica, influences iconographiques, ...) et les aires linguistiques (arabe, arménien, éthiopien, grec, latin, slavon, syriaque, ...), afin de réévaluer et de préciser les tendances qui se sont dégagées de l'examen du système des péricopes, notamment le phénomène de "byzantinisation" (Galadza 2018). Les axes de la conférence sont détaillés dans le document joint.

La date limite pour l'envoi d'un titre et d'un résumé est le 31 mai 2023 ( La réponse est prévue pour début juillet.

Les frais de transport et d'hébergement sont pris en charge, au moins partiellement (les informations précises seront données avec la réponse).

The conference aims at exploring the evolution of liturgical calendars and their readings (especially from the Gospels).

It will cross sources (Tetraevangelia, Lectionaries, Typica, iconography, ...) and linguistic areas (Arabic, Armenian, Ethiopian, Greek, Latin, Slavonic, Syriac, ...), in order to re-evaluate and clarify the main tendencies that emerged from the examination of the different pericope systems, in particular the phenomenon of "Byzantinization" (Galadza 2018). The main lines of the conference are detailed in the attached document.

Deadline for submission (title and abstract): 31 May 2023 ( The answer will be given not later than the beginning of July.

Travel and accommodation costs will be covered, at least partially (precise information will be given with the response).

Conference Date: 4-5 May 2023

Call for Papers: The Late Antique Cult of Saints in Eastern Christianity, 4–5 May 2023, The Ertegun Scholarship Programme House, University of Oxford

Scholarship on Late Antique Christianity has long focused on the Christian West, often ignoring communities and liturgical traditions in the Eastern regions of the early Christian world. This resulted in a relative lack of interest, and therefore, scholarship, on numerous communities whose heritage is in danger of disappearing. However, the last couple of decades has seen an increasing focus on these arguably long-forgotten ‘Christianities’ and their communities, heritage, and literary productions. Following this crucial shift in scholarship, we wish to invite young scholars to a conference at the University of Oxford to further explore the various traditions cultivated in Christian communities residing in these marginalised areas of the Late Antique world. As a tribute to Peter Brown’s legacy in the study of Late Antiquity, the conference will survey these communities through the prism of the cult of saints.

The use of certain saints in narratives and objects provides a glimpse into their function vis-á-vis congregants and the local authorities, whilst also reflecting socio-political and religio-cultural shifts that triggered their creation, canonisation, or abandonment. An examination of the cult of saints of Eastern Christian liturgical traditions will shed light on the complex circumstances experienced by their members, from religious persecution to economic prosperity.

Due attention will be given, therefore, to the function of saints within Eastern Christianity in Late Antiquity, focusing on, but not limited, to Syriac, Armenian, Greek, Ethiopic, Coptic, and Arabic communities. From the strategic translation of a saint’s relics to the propagation of a local cult, holy men and women were used to mediate communal identity and facilitate power. Equally relevant are the saints’ roles in encounters with other religious and ethnic groups: incidents such as sharing a cultic site with another religious group or destroying a temple in the name of a saint demonstrate the ways in which early Christians utilised saints to construct the Other. Recognition will also be given to the use of saints in the secular and domestic sphere, as another way of constructing the Self, including epistolary texts, amulets, or colophons invoking miraculous figures.

We welcome proposals on a wide range of topics, including, but not limited to:

  • The role of saints within the Christian community as models of intercession
  • Divination and magical practices within the cult of saints
  • Gendered saints and gendered cults, and the contribution of women to the cultivation of narratives and practices
  • The developing theology of the cult of the saints
  • The construction of saints’ narratives
  • Bodily practices associated with the cult of the saints
  • The utilisation of saints in legal contexts and legislation around saints and their worship
  • Appropriation and adoption of saints and their holy sites by other religious or Christian traditions
  • Saints and martyrs as intermediaries and interconnectors between different religious or Christian traditions
  • The economic and political functions of saints and their shrines

Doctoral students and early career researchers from disciplines such as archaeology, philology, gender and sexuality studies, anthropology, theology, religious studies, art history, the social sciences, and history, are welcome to participate in order to create a critical, fruitful, and interdisciplinary platform for discussion. Papers may last no more than 20 minutes and will be followed by 5 minutes for questions. A number of accepted speakers will be asked to submit a shortened version of their paper to Oxford University’s The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity Database ( following the conference. Interested scholars are asked to submit an abstract of no more than 200 words alongside a short academic bio (max. 100 words) and an academic CV (max. 2 pages) to before 6st March 2023. For more information, please see the conference's website:

Conference Date: 17-20 October 2023


On 17-20 October 2023, the ERC-funded project PASSIM (Patristic Sermons in the Middle Ages), based at Radboud University Nijmegen, will organise an international conference on the medieval reception and transmission of patristic sermons and the collections in which they are compiled. The conference will take place at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR).

The sermons preached by the Latin Church Fathers Augustine, Leo, Gregory, and their contemporaries had a dynamic afterlife. Throughout the medieval period, they were widely copied, manipulated, and (re)organised in a wide array of collections. These processes of transmission are important not only because they reveal medieval attitudes to the patristic heritage, but also because the medieval mediation of this corpus has greatly impacted which sermons survived and in what shape they reached modern times. When, why and how were patristic sermons combined, (re)organised, and adapted to their medieval contexts?

The conference aims to give due attention to the mediators in the transmission of patristic sermons in the middle ages: the often-inconspicuous compilers and scribes whose creative intellectual activities formed crucial conduits for the transmission of late-antique sermons to new audiences. We intend to go beyond the reconstruction of the original form and context of individual sermons, and to focus mainly on medieval collections and manuscripts in their own right, as well as the practices of compilation that shaped them.


To understand the compiler’s work, we need insights into both the philological aspects of sermons and sermon collections their texts, sources and organisation and the compilers’ and manuscripts’ historical context. As such, the conference aims to bring together philological, historical, theological, and literary perspectives.

We encourage speakers to combine multiple perspectives in their presentations. In addition, we aim to include papers that examine the processes of compilation in specific manuscripts or sermon collections, as well as studies that reflect on (digital) tools and methodologies to understand how sermon compilation worked in practice. While we mainly concentrate on Latin sermons, we are also interested in comparative studies of compilation practices in other traditions.

We welcome proposals on a wide range of topics, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • -  Individual manuscripts and collections

    • individual manuscripts and sermon collections, their content, context, and materiality

    • the origins, organisation and evolution of late-antique sermon collections

    • points of contact and connections between sermon collections

  • -  Understanding the compiler

    • the compiler and his motives, resources, and context

    • tangible evidence of mediators (e.g. prologues, annotations, user marks)

    • the tools and support structures for compilation (e.g. libraries, catalogues, networks)

  • -  Practices of sermon compilation

    • authorial attribution and anonymity in sermon collections

    • collections that illustrate how the medieval and the patristic meet

    • comparative perspectives in other languages, genres or religious traditions

  • -  Approaches to the study of compilations

    • sermon collections and the tradition of textual criticism of patristic sermons

    • methodologies to chart and analyse compilation practices

    • digital tools and approaches to the study of sermon compilations

Conference Date: October 18-20 2022

The 4th International Patristic Conference on the theme: The Christians of the Patristic Period in Relation to the Nature will take place in Lublin, Poland, on October 18-20, 2022, at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin. If you would like to deliver a lecture during this conference, please send the provisional title, abstract and a scientific CV (all max. 2000 characters) to The deadline for proposals is February 15, 2022.

Conference Date: 29 September – 1 October 2022

The Center for Patristic Studies and Ancient Christian Literature of the “Babeş-Bolyai” University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, organizes an International Symposium on the Reception of St. Gregory of Nyssa in the Christian Traditions, which will take place in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, at the “Babeş-Bolyai” University.

The Center for Patristic Studies and Ancient Christian Literature encompasses four Faculties of Theology (Roman-Catholic, Greek-Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant) and tries to promote the common values of Christianity from the first millennium.

The deadline for registration is 1st of June.

Conference Date: 24-26 August 2022

The 11th Nordic Patristic Meeting will take place at Aarhus University on Wednesday 24- Friday 26 August 2022.

Conference Date: 27-29 January 2022

An international colloquium on St. Augustine's De civitate Dei and its reception will be held in Leuven, 27-29 Jan 2022. If you would like to deliver a lecture during this conference, please send the provisional title, abstract (max. 500 words) and a concise CV (max. 500 words) before 31 March 2021, to Marina Giani.