Inaugural Graduate Conference on Early Christian Studies

May 23-25, 2022

1030 Jenkins-Nanovic Hall and on Zoom.

Mosaic Of Theodoric S Palace Basilica Of Sant Apollinare Nuovo Ravenna Italy
Image attribution: Sharon Mollerus, Mosaic of Theodoric's Palace, Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy (6124834801), Cropped, lighting, CC BY 2.0

The members of the Program in Early Christian Studies at the University of Notre Dame proudly announce the first graduate conference in Early Christian Studies. The conference will bring together graduate students of various programs and levels for three days of scholarship, exchange of ideas, and socializing on the campus of Notre Dame. View conference poster

We are delighted to announce the participation of two distinguished keynote speakers:

  • Robin Jensen (Department of Theology): “Visual Typologies: Prodigies of the Passion in Early Christian Art”: Monday, May 23, 5:00 p.m. (followed by a reception)
  • Éric Rebillard (Cornell University): “Early Martyr Narratives as Living Texts: The Case-Study of North Africa”: Tuesday, May 24, 11:00 a.m.

All events are free and open to the public.

Register to receive Zoom link


Conference Program

Monday, May 23

9:15-9:45 a.m. Opening remarks

  • Timothy Matovina, Chair, Department of Theology
  • Luca Grillo, Chair, Department of Classics
  • Hildegund Müller, Director, Program of Early Christian Studies

9:45-11:00 a.m. Session 1: New Testament (chair: James Whitaker)

  • Kendall Davis, The Interpretation of Scripture in Early Christianity as Revelatory Religious Experience: Faith, Christology, and Israel’s Scriptures in the Gospel of Luke
  • Lilly Davis, The Independent Works of Luke: Further Evidence on the Early Christian Reception of Luke and Acts
  • Eric E. Richter, The Father of the Church and the Woman Apostle: (Pseudo)Epiphanius of Salamis and his Interpretation of Rm 16:7 in Light of the Current Debate (on Zoom)

11:00-11:15 a.m. Coffee break

11:15 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Session 2: Testimonies of Christian Life (chair: Susan Francino)

  • Madeline Link, A Woman with a Plan: Female Agency and Leadership in the Itinerarium Egeriae
  • Melissa Yorio, An Analysis of Early Christian Graffiti found in Smyrna and Aphrodisias
  • Maddie Hoaglund, Remnants of Feminine Power: An Examination of Epigraphy in Ankara (on Zoom)

12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30-3:15 p.m. Session 3: Latin Fathers (chair: Melissa Yorio)

  • Marissa Swan, Reading the Body, (re)reading Lactantius’ De Opificio Dei
  • Elise Abshire, “Trophies of Glory”: St. Augustine on Martyrs, Disability, and Resurrected Woundedness in Late Antiquity
  • Michael Durant, United Bishops and the Boundaries of Communion: The Mediating Role of the Bishop-Priest in Cyprian of Carthage
  • Karl Berg, Augustine of Hippo and Late Roman Slavery

3:15-3:30 p.m. Coffee break

3:30-4:45 p.m. Session 4: Poetry and Art (chair: Rachel Edney)

  • Domenico Praticò, Cosmopoiesis and Ideology in Late Antique Greek Poetry (on Zoom)
  • Kyle Dillon, The Aqedah in Late Antique Liturgical Poetry
  • Lauren Beversluis, Martyrdom and Communion in the Mosaics of the Basilica of San Vitale

4:45-5:00 p.m. Coffee break

5:00-6:00 p.m. Keynote Lecture: Robin Jensen (Department of Theology), Visual Typologies: Prodigies of the Passion in Early Christian Art

6:00-7:30 p.m. Dinner reception at Jenkins-Nanovic Hall (Atrium)

Tuesday, May 24

9:00-10:45 a.m. Session 5: Latin Poetry (chair: Theresa Crnkovich)

  • Christine Ascik, Haec Opulentia Christicolis: Prudentius and the Christian Diet
  • Susan Francino, Violence in Prudentius’ Peristephanon
  • Bramwell Atkins, Desire and Documents in the Consolation of Boethius
  • Hannah Resnick, Riddles in the Dark (Ages)

10:45-11:00 a.m. Coffee break

11:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. Keynote Lecture: Éric Rebillard (Cornell University), Early Martyr Narratives as Living Texts: The Case-Study of North Africa

12:00-1:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00-2:15 p.m. Session 6: Origen (chair: Luísa Portilho Andrade)

  • Christopher Enabnit, Interpreting Traces of Divine Power in Origen of Alexandria’s Contra Celsum
  • Hilary O. Nwainya, Apokatastasis and Eternal Suffering: Can there be a Dialogue between Origen and Augustine? (on Zoom)
  • Adam Wyatt, Origen’s City of God

2:15-2:30 p.m. Coffee break

2:30-4:15 p.m. Session 7: Christians and Ancient Culture (chair: Karl Berg)

  • John Ladouceur, ‘Dicta ex te et per te’: The Apocryphal Letters of Paul and Seneca and Fourth-Century Christian Debates About Rhetorical Eloquence (on Zoom)
  • Regina Nagan, The Parallel Lives of Cornelia and Macrina: Mothers and Subversive Femininity
  • Ben Moon-Black, Allegory, Education, and Quotation in Julian’s Seventh Oration
  • Reed J. Morgan, Exegetical Encyclopedism: Isidore of Seville’s Scriptural Writing as Memory Aid, Spiritual Pedagogy, and Cosmic Theology

4:15-4:30 p.m. Coffee break

4:30-6:15 p.m. Session 8: Greek Fathers (I) (chair: Adam Wyatt)

  • Andrew Kneeland, The Council of Nicaea and the Changing Function of Creeds
  • Hayden Hagerman, Symbolizing Virginity: The Hermeneutics of the Symbol in Gregory of Nyssa’s On Virginity
  • Milanna Fritz, Monastic Ascent as Paschal Anamnesis: Reception of Nazianzus’ Oration 45 in Maximus the Confessor’s Ambigua 45-60
  • John Reilly, Peace Surpassing Understanding: The Strategic Christology of Pseudo-Dionysius

6:30 p.m. Dinner

Wednesday, May 25

9:00-10:45 a.m. Session 9: Syriac and Anti-Chalcedonian Writers (chair: John Reilly)

  • Rachel Edney, The Eucharist in John Rufus’ Plerophories
  • Michelle Freeman, Body and Senses in Ephrem’s Madrashe contra haereses and Madrashe de fide: Polemics and Epistemology (on Zoom)
  • Maroun El Houkayem, A Syriac Orthodox Community of Discourse: From Timothy Aelurus to Daniel of Ṣalaḥ (on Zoom)
  • Cana Kanda, Faith as Mother in the Discourses of Philoxenos of Mabbug

10:45-11:00 a.m. Coffee break

11:00 a.m. -12:45 p.m. Session 10: Greek Fathers (II) (chair: Milanna Fritz)

  • Joshua Wong, The Death of Christ in the Thought of St Maximus the Confessor
  • Samuel Korb, Configuring Divine Transcendence: Origen, Athanasius, Maximus
  • James Whitaker, The State of Scholarship on St Nilus of Ancyra
  • Luísa Portilho Andrade, Remembering the ἐνυπόστατον — Chalcedonian Christology and its Modern Remembrance

1:00-2:00 p.m. Lunch reception at Jenkins-Nanovic Hall (Atrium)


For your travel planning, please consult the University website and the campus map for more information about how to get to Nanovic Hall and Sacred Heart Parish Center.

We look forward to welcoming you to Notre Dame!

Hildegund Müller, Director

The students of the Program of Early Christian Studies:

  • Karl Berg
  • Theresa Crnkovich
  • Rachel Edney
  • Tess Fitzsimmons
  • Susan Francino
  • Lucy Grinnan
  • Adam Wyatt
  • Melissa Yorio