patristics | manuscripts

Athanasius Sinaita’s Bible II

Here goes, very briefly, the second day of the “Anastasius Sinaita and the Bible” symposium in Leuven.

The first paper today, eventually named “Juifs et polémique anti-juive dans l’Hexahemeron d’Athanase,” offered by Vincent Déroche (Collège  de France), discussed the passages where the Jews make an appearance in Athansius’ Hexaemeron. Beyond its use as designation for the literal reading of the scripture, the term ‘Jewish’ is otherwise  used polemically, and more specifically for contemporary polemical contexts (rather than a mere topos), apparently assimilated with or rather in conjunction with Arab Muslims, for instance in expressions such as ‘the synagogues of the Jews and of the Barbars’, Ἰουδαίων τε καὶ βαρβάρων συναγωγάς.

In the second paper—“Rôle et usage de l’Écriture dans les Récits d’Anastase le Sinaïte”—Andre Binggeli (IRHT, Paris) described the use of the scripture in polemical contexts (mostly antimuslim) in relation to the formation of Athanasius’ Récits sur le Sinaï and Récits utiles à l’âme (which AB edited for his PhD completed in 2001).

In the last paper of the symposium—“Rhetorical and Exegetical Appropriations of Scripture in Anastasius’ Unpublished Homilies”—Konstantinos Terzopoulos (Aegis), who is preparing the critical edition of a number of these homilies, discussed the variety of rhetorical devices used by Athanasius, and showed how the sermon was carefully built for performance, which in turn poses questions about the education of the author as well as about his whereabouts.

There. First part here.


Athanasius Sinaita’s Bible I

Here’s a very brief account of today’s papers in the “Anastasius Sinaita and the Bible” symposium held in Leuven, 12-13 December. Second part here.

In the first paper, “Anastase le Sinaïte et/ou Anastase d’Alexandrie ? Recherches nouvelles sur un grand inconnu”, Dimitrios Zaganas (who is writing a PhD on this author in Leuven) discussed the scarce evidence available (internal and especially external, including the complex textual relationships with other works and debates of the time), on the one hand for dating of the work of Athanasius of Sinai between the 7th to the 8th century, and on the other for establishing his historical identity in relation to other characters named Anastasius which appear in hagiographic literature.

In the second paper—“The Old Testament Text of Anastasius”—Reinhart Ceulemans (Leuven) offered comments on Athanasius’ use of the OT in the Hexaemeron, and in particular on the hypothesis regarding the possible use of the Hexapla (Kuehn). Even though Athanasius seems to mention Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotion, and the Hexapla, he seems to have used them indirectly, through other sources rather than the versions themselves. No clear evidence that he used the Hexapla itself and his few meaningful variant readings in Genesis do not reflect Codex Sinaiticus, or the Hexaplaric recension, or any other text type for that matter.

The third and last paper of the day, by Ioannis Papadoyannakis (King’s College London) “The Use of Question-and-Answer Method and Process in Anastasius’ Hexaemeron,” presented the background and larger context for Athanasius way of employing the Q&A structure in his homilies, which seems to follow for persuasive aims rhetorical traditions rather than, for instance, an Aristotelian way of seeking for a truth.

There you go.

CfP: “Latin language manuals from Western Christianity (350–750)” | Leuven, May 2017

Here is the call for papers. You can trace it down to here.

“Latin language manuals from Western Christianity (350–750): An international workshop” (KU Leuven, Monday 15 May 2017)

During Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, Western European society went through a number of important transformations. Studies by Banniard, Chin, Courcelle, Gemeinhardt, Irvine, Kaster, Law, Riché and others have shown the complex historical developments of cultural education (‘Bildung’) in the period concerned. However, many aspects of the textual foundations for this process remain to be studied in depth. In this respect, the corpus of Latin language manuals – grammatical, lexicographical and orthographical works – constitutes a rich but still underexplored source of documentation. The manuals at issue were composed by authors including Augustine, Cassiodorus, Isidore, and Bede, who propounded a distinctly Christian education and lifestyle, while at the same time basing themselves directly or indirectly on Donatus and the ‘pagan’ grammatical tradition.

With a view to investigating this corpus in a systematic and comprehensive way, the Center forthe Historiography of Linguistics of KU Leuven is organizing an international workshop onLatin language manuals from Western Christianity, 350 to 750, to be held in Leuven onMonday 15 May 2017. The organizing and scientific committee consists of Tim Denecker(FWO Vlaanderen), Giovanbattista Galdi, Mark Janse (UGent), Gert Partoens, Pierre Swiggers,and Toon Van Hal (KU Leuven). Confirmed speakers are Guillaume Bonnet (Dijon), BrunoBureau (Lyon), Thorsten Fögen (Durham/Berlin), Anne Grondeux (Paris), Louis Holtz (Paris),and Bruno Rochette (Liège).

The organizers invite proposals for posters or 20-minute papers to be presented during this one-day workshop, in English or French. Proposals from early career researchers are especially welcome. Preference will be given to posters or papers paying attention to transformations of the grammatical tradition, terminological and structural issues, traces of multilingualism and the regional differentiation of Latin, textual reflections of didactic practices, and the manuals’ connections with the broader sociocultural context in which they were produced and used. Proposals, counting 200 words max. for posters and 400 max. for papers, should be submitted to by 1 February 2017. Notification of acceptance will be given on 1 March 2017.

The ATRH volume is out

Quick note: the volume co-edited with Kristin De Troyer is now out:


This stems from a conference in St Andrews in 2011, which was the first St Andrews Graduate Conference for Biblical and Early Christian studies.  (The conference has since grown significantly; check out the programme of the last edition, here.)

There are several contributions which involve the Patristic reception of the HB/OT, Pseudepigrapha and the NT from various perspectives in the sections on NT and Early Christianity. You can check out the table of contents, intro and epilogue here.

Anastasius Sinaita’s Bible

Should you be in Leuven in December, here’s a nice two days conference for you. As they put it, “Participation is free, but registration is mandatory. Please register before December 1 at:” You can download the programme here.

International Symposium: Anastasius Sinaita and the Bible
12-13 December 2016
Organizers: Members of the GOA research project “From Chaos to Order”
Conveners: Joseph Verheyden and Dimitrios Zaganas
Venue: KU Leuven, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies
St-Michielsstraat 4, Collegium Veteranorum, Romero Room (02.10), B-3000 Leuven

12 December
14.00-14.30 Welcome and Coffee
14.30-15.45 Dimitrios Zaganas (Leuven)
Anastase le Sinaïte et/ou Anastase d’Alexandrie ? Recherches
nouvelles sur un grand inconnu
15.45-16.00 Break
16.00-17.15 Reinhart Ceulemans (Leuven)
The Bible Text of Anastasius’ Hexaemeron
17.15-18.30 Ioannis Papadoyannakis (King’s College London)
The Use of Question-and-Answer Method and Process in Anastasius’
19.00 Dinner

13 December
08.45-10.00 Vincent Deroche (Collège de France)
Un dialogue perdu d’Anastase adversus Iudaeos attesté par son
10.00-10.20 Break
10.20-11.35 André Binggeli (Paris)
Rôle et usage de l’Écriture dans les Récits d’Anastase le Sinaïte
11.35-12.50 Konstantinos Terzopoulos (Aegina)
Rhetorical and Exegetical Appropriations of Scripture in Anastasius’
Unpublished Homilies
12.50 Conclusion
13.00 Lunch

A Pre-Nicene Context for Origen’s Christology

The latest issue of  Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses  – 92/3 (2016) – includes the following article: “Origen’s Christology in Pre-Nicene Setting: The Logos as the Noetic Form of God” by Dragos Giulea, who helpfully uploaded it on Enjoy!


The article investigates Origen’s Christology from a less explored perspective, through the concept of morphē theoū, exclusively associated in his writings with Jesus Christ. The study argues that the concept should be understood in a third way in between anthropomorphism and the post-Nicene position of a perfectly formless divinity, namely, through the pre-Nicene theories on the noetic Form of God. While the post-Nicene writers interpreted morphē theoū in a programmatic way as the common essence of the Trinity, pre-Nicene theologians employed it exclusively in connection with the Son, and placed its discussion in the context of a hierarchical model of the Trinity which admits internal ontological degrees. Thus, although the Form of God is placed within the sphere of the divine, beyond the corporeal realm characterized by the categories of shape, colour, and measure, it is however more manifested than the perfectly invisible Father. The Form of God is contemplated in a noetic way as the divine glory on the mount of transfiguration and in the kingdom of God. By means of this concept, Origen elaborates a complex Christological vision theorizing on the pre-incarnate condition of the Logos, his incarnation and return to the first status as well as on the economy of salvation in which the Logos descends as Divine Image to reconstruct, according to his Form, those who once were created according to it. Likewise, the goal of human justified existence becomes the knowledge and contemplation of Christ’s Divine Form, while in the kingdom humans will be con-formed to this archetype and become its luminous imitations.

New issue of APF out

I’ve just received my copy of Archiv für Papyrusforschung 62/1 (2016):apf

I have in it an edition of a papyrus fragment of the Shepherd of Hermas housed in Paris (of the same leaf as the Hermas papyrus fragment in Prague) which I’ll upload soon here. I imagine the whole issue will be uploaded (for those with some sort of subscription, I believe) on the webpage of the journal, here. It is not live just yet.

I would also mention Christian Vassalo, “A Catalogue of the Evidence for Presocratics in the Herculaneum Papyri” the title is self-explanatory.  NT people may  well be interested in Peter Malik’s article on P.Beatty III (P47 in NT textual criticism, contains good parts of the Apocalypse of John, LDAB 2778) which pleads for an approach to early Christian codices that integrates the study of non- or paratextual and textual features, and discusses scribal corrections and the link between re-inking and textual variation.

Funded PhD at KU Leuven, Updated

There is an opportunity in Leuven for a PhD in Theology and Religious Studies. The way this works is the following: if you get this position, you have one year of funding  (starting in September, about 1800 euro/month net) in which one works and further refine one’s project with a supervisor (named ‘promoter’ here), and applies in January/February for a full PhD fellowship to the Belgian research agency – the FWO – for further four years (this one). UPDATE: There is an additional opportunity for after the first year, apart from the candidate’s FWO application: the promoter can also submit a project application with the FWO or the Research Council of KU Leuven. Two shots at it, as it were.

This means that if you get that, you end up with five years of full funding which should be enough to complete a thesis, take a few steps toward its publication, and apply for postdocs.

If you happen to be interested, I suggest you check the details, here (updated link), and get in touch with a professor in the faculty right away. The deadline is August 18 (updated).

There are here professors of Greek, respectively Latin Patristics, and the two professors of New Testament are interested in reception history as well.

Good luck!

Fresh on Augustine on the Hebrew Bible in the JTS

Edmon Gallagher posted on the prepub version of a forthcoming JTS article: “Augustine on the Hebrew Bible“. Enjoy!


Augustine’s support for the Septuagint as the true Christian Old Testament never waned, but his understanding of the relationship between the Hebrew Bible and the Septuagint did develop over his career. His earliest statements assume that the Seventy translators faithfully rendered the Hebrew text, with any discrepancy resulting from ambiguity in the source text. His correspondence with Jerome convinced him that there was more to it than that. Augustine’s mature writings evidence an innovative theory whereby both the Hebrew text and its Greek translation could be correct, guiding the reader to spiritual insight, even if they said different things.

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