More papers of interest to be presented at the Oxford Patristics Conference

I’ve only scratched the surface of the papers being offered, but just looking down the list of tags on the conference blog is a treat!

Eleni Pachoumi is giving a paper on the invocation of “Christos” in a magical text:

This paper examines the spell “releasing from bonds” (XIII.288-95), in which Chrestos is invoked “in times of violence”. It is a short spell contained within the thirteenth magical handbook of the Papyri Graecae Magicae corpus originated to Greco-Roman Egypt and dated from the third to the fourth century. Questions to be addressed are: How is Chrestos described and what kind of influences does this depiction imply? Does the orthographical spelling of Chrestos with “?”, or “?” have a particular significance, or it is a matter of indifference? How is the invocation to Chrestos appropriated to magic? Is it related to the invocations of “biaiothanatoi” in magic? Finally, can we draw any general conclusions about the composer, or compiler of the spell and the possible users? I shall also pay special attention to issues of religious syncretism from Judaism, Christianity, Greek and Egyptian religion, and Gnostisism. 

Is this Jesus?  The magical texts invoke all sorts of people as power-sources.

Cyril Hoverun has a paper which will involve Stephen of Alexandria, the 7th century philosopher.  I suspect it will be too much about neo-platonism for me, but there’s no denying the interest of the subject.

Charles Hill will discuss whether Irenaeus treated the Shepherd of Hermas as scripture.

There’s a lot on Clement of Alexandria.  Java Platova has a paper which I really would like to hear, except … that it’s in German!  And my German is not up to listening to it.  It’s on the fragments of Clement in Greek and Arabic catenas.

In meinem Referat gebe ich aktuelle Übersicht der in den griechischen und arabischen Katenen erhalten gebliebenen Bruchstücke des Clemens und nehme Stellung zur Frage der Zugehörigkeit dieser Bruchstücke zur Clemens’ verlorenen Schrift Hypotyposeis. Meine Aufmerksamkeit wird vor allem auf diejenigen Fragmente gerichtet werden, die in die Stählins Edition nicht eingesetzt worden sind. 

I.e. (my translation):

In my paper I shall review the fragments of Clement currently known from Greek and Arabic catenas, and take a position on the question of the supposed fragments of Clement’s lost Hypotyposeis.  My attention will be focused mainly on those fragments not included in Stählin’s edition. 

Such a paper must be full of interest to me, as someone interested in catenas in general, and their transmission into Arabic.  Alas, that the paper was not given in a language that will be widely understood at the conference!

Grigory Kessel is a Syriacist.  He’s found new manuscripts in eastern libraries of the Second Part of Isaac of Niniveh.  The “First Part” is one of the most widely known mystical texts, but no-one knew that Isaac had written a sequel until very recently.  This paper will discuss his search and findings.  I’ll go to this, if at all possible.

Martin Wallraff, whom I think of as a chronographer, has a most interesting paper: The canon tables of the Psalms – an unknown work of Eusebius of Caesarea.

Eusebius’ Canon Tables are well known. Lavishly decorated, they can be found in many medieval gospel books. Their purpose is to help finding parallels in the four gospels. However, it is less known that Eusebius also drew up a system of “canon tables” for the psalms. This system is much less sophisticated, but it may be an important pre-stage of the famous gospel synopsis. It is significant both for the early history of illuminated Christian books and for the history of exegesis.

Got to hear that one!

I gather that there is a waiting list for places at the conference, where 850 delegates are already attending.  I can see why.  Today I checked my accomodation was booked (at Queens College) — it was.  I also asked whether I could park there — apparently not.  This may make it difficult for me to bring much stock of the Eusebius book to the conference, it must be said. 

2 thoughts on “More papers of interest to be presented at the Oxford Patristics Conference

  1. You could always hawk it out of the back of your car over in the far parking lot. Or you could get a little hand-truck to carry your book boxes in and out, like most book-table people do at conferences. Or you could pack books into a suitcase and haul the suitcase on a luggage cart.

    Yes, I’ve helped out at people’s tables at science fiction conventions before, and helped unload and load people’s cars and vans and trucks. You’d be amazed at the variety of ways people manage to trundle merchandise around…. 🙂

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