Australian Lutheran College’s (ALC) Associate Dean for Research, Professor Wendy Mayer, and final year PhD student Katherin Papadopoulos, recently spent a week in Oxford attending the International Conference of Patristic Studies.
The four-yearly event, held for a full week in the Examination Schools of the University of Oxford, brings together more than 1000 scholars from all over the world who study the ‘fathers of the church’.
Katherin, whose attendance at the conference was made possible thanks to scholarships from the North American Patristics Society and the University of Divinity, gave a paper on earthquakes and their liturgical commemoration in the late ancient Near East. Hers was one of five papers in a workshop on reorienting, reframing and reinventing memory in the Early Christian world. Speakers at the conference were from Canada, USA, Switzerland, and Australia.
Professor Mayer, in a paper delivered to the full gathering, gave her packed audience hope. She spoke about the many ways that studying how Christianity and Christian thought developed across the first eight centuries CE in interaction with the world around them can speak to the world and church today. Both, she argued, are ages of cultural, political, religious and economic transition in which people experience deep anxiety. Many of the social, ethical and humanitarian concerns of both eras are the same. ‘Exploration of patristics in light of postmodernity, and of postmodern conditions, anxieties and problems in light of patristics,’ she concluded, ‘is a two-way street, with significant potential for productive insights’.
Both papers will be published in the series Studia Patristica (published by Peeters, Belgium).
This story was published in ALC eNews 13 September 2019. Click here to subscribe.