Oxford Patristics Conference

The quadrennial 15th International Conference on Patristic Studies will take place in Oxford this year from Monday 6 August to Saturday 11 August 2007.   A list of papers has been sent out but is not on the website, for some reason, although abstracts are. I hope to attend at least some of it since I will be in Oxford, staying in my old college, for most of that week.

The most interesting to me is a paper being given in German “Wer war Paul der Perser?” — Who was Paul the Persian.  All I know about him is that he was an East Syriac writer of the 7th century, who composed at least two treatises, one of which was translated by Severus Sebokht into Syriac.  One of them was a summary of Aristotle, which he presented to the Shah.  According to Bar Hebraeus he sought to become a bishop, and apostasised to Magianism when he did not succeed.  I’m not sure that my German is good enough to hear the paper, tho.

7 Responses to “Oxford Patristics Conference”


  1. Patrik

    I’m looking forward to attending, too… I just finished the text for my “short communication” on Isaac of Nineveh…

  2. Roger Pearse

    Good for you! It’s nice to see that there is a Syriac session scheduled. Is your abstract on the site?

    It’s slightly odd that the web site doesn’t list the papers, as the email sent out did. I have emailed them to suggest it be added.

    There’s a session on Manichaeism and Persia on Thursday morning. This includes Peter Bruns: “Wer war Paul de Perser?”. I can’t see an abstract for it.

    It also includes Paul-Hubert Poirier: “Pour une nouvelle edition du Contra Manichaeos de Titus de Bostra”. I wrote about this earlier, and I might see if I can understand enough spoken French to listen in on this one. There is an abstract:

    “In spite of many attempts, the Contra Manichaeos of Titus of Bostra has never had a critical edition. This is because of the transmission of the text. Only around 60% of the Greek text has survived (start->III.30). The last portion of this (III.7-30) was only discovered by R.P.Casey in 1925 in codex Vatopedianus 236, and published in 1973 by Peter Nagel. All the manuscripts known before then are simply derived from one manuscript, codex Urbanus 27, which has been interpolated.

    Very fortunately the entire text has reached us in an uninterpolated Syriac translation in British Library Add. 12150 (dated to 411 AD).

    The new edition in preparation by Thomas Schmidt, Agathe Roman and myself will include the following: a critical edition of the Greek and the Syriac; concordances; and a French translation of both. It will appear in the “series Graecorum” of the Corpus Christianorum. The project is being run by (a Canadian funding group).”

  3. Patrik

    For some strange reason I was put in a group labelled something like Early Byzantine Theology, something my work definitely is not. But there was no chance to complain. I guess both the Syriac group and the one on asceticism (which would have been my first choice) was full.

    No abstracts have been mailed out to my knowledge. I do not think there actually exists any abstracts for the “Short Communications”. I can’t remember submitting anything more than a title.

  4. Byard Bennett

    Glad to hear of your interest in Paul the Persian. I have written an article on him for the Encyclopaedia Iranica and can send you a copy if you’re interested. I’m also preparing an edition and translation of one of the works attributed to him. Perhaps we’ll have a chance to meet at the Oxford conference if you’re able to attend.

  5. Roger Pearse

    Yes, I would LOVE to read the article! Which work of Paul’s are you working on?

    I can be at the conference only for Monday and Tuesday, it turns out (gnashes teeth). Please say hello if you see me.

  6. Roger Pearse

    Unfortunately I was unable to hear the paper on Paul the Persian by Peter Bruns. I did write to him, but got no reply.

    It was good to meet you, Byard, at the Garden party at the conference. The connection of Paul with anti-Manichaean writings was new to me.

    I’ve also come across Paul of Nisibis, who disputed with Justinian. There seems doubt as to whether this is the same person, tho.

  7. Chris Weimer

    Hey Roger, I’d love to see a blogpost about the conference. Sounds very interesting to me!