Spring 2022

The Center for the Study of Early Christianity celebrates the appointment by Provost Dominguez of Dr. Aaron Butts, Associate Professor of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures and member of the Center's Executive Committee, as Andrew W. Mellon Chair of Early Christian Studies.

Dr. Audrey Becker, Maître de Conférences HDR en histoire romaine, Université de Lorraine, and formerly a Visiting Scholar of the Center, is the author of Dieu, le souverain et la cour Stratégies et rituels de légitimation du pouvoir impérial et royal dans l’Antiquité tardive et au haut Moyen Âge, published in the series Scripta Antiqua by the University of Bordeaux.

Andrew W. Mellon Chair Dr. Aaron Butts is the author of the pedagogical reference work, Ethiopic Paradigms: A Summary of Classical Ethiopic (Ge'ez) Morphology (Leuven: Peeters, 2022).

Spring 2021

Prof. Susan Wessel (School of Theology and Religious Studies) appointed as the inaugural James H. and Mary F. Moran Professor of the History of Early Christianity

Summer 2019

Catholic University was well-represented at the Eighteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies held the last week of August, 2019 in Oxford. Graduate students participating in the conference included Sr. Maria Theotokos Adams, SSVM (STRS), Karen Carducci (Greek and Latin), Matthew Hale (STRS), Jon Paul Heyne (History), Ross Twele (STRS), and Carl Vennerstrom (ECS). CUA alumni at the conference included Dr. Kevin Kambo (Philosophy), Dr. Zachary Keith (STRS), Rev. Brendan Lupton (STRS), Sr. Maria del Fiat Miola (ECS), and Dr. Adam Rasmussen (STRS). Faculty, associates, and visiting scholars in attendance included Dr. Thomas Clemmons (STRS), Dr. Robin Darling Young (STRS), Dr. William Klingshirn (Greek and Latin), Dr. Michael Petrin (STRS), and Rev. Vasilije Vranic (ECS). Photograph...

Spring 2019

Fall 2018

Sr. Maria del Fiat Miola, Ph.D. and Dr. Sean Moberg have been appointed Research Associates in the Department of Greek and Latin.

Summer 2018

A large number of Catholic University alumni, students, and faculty presented papers and chaired sessions at the Annual Meeting of the North American Patristics Society (24-26 May 2018).

Spring 2018

In collaboration with the Department of Greek and Latin at the Catholic University of America and the Department of Classical Philology at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, the Center hosted a conference on "Classical and Christian Education" the week of March 19-23, 2018. Both universities are members of the newly-founded Catholic Consortium for International Higher Education Collaboration (CCIHEC). Press coverage.

Two presentations on Research Day, April 19, focused on Early Christianity. Dr. Monica Blanchard (Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures) discussed "The Catholic University of America and the Coptic Manuscripts of the John Pierpoint Morgan Library (1910-1941)." In a concurrent session, a paper entitled "A Sly Scholiast: The Greek Exegetical Works of Evagrius of Pontus" was presented by Dr. Robin Darling Young (Theology and Religious Studies) and Carl Vennerstrom (Early Christian Studies).

On April 16 Sr. Maria del Fiat Miola, SSVM defended her dissertation-- "Spaces of Salvation in Sixth-Century Arles: The Women's Monastery as Household and Family"--with distinction.

Fall 2017

Magnus es, domine: Graduate Conference on Saint Augustine's Confessions, Dec. 1. Poster.

Magnus es, domine: Marathon Reading of St. Augustine's Confessions, Oct. 11-13. Poster.

Oct. 11: books 1-5, trans. Prof. Vernon J. Bourke (1953)

Oct. 12: books 6-9, trans. Msgr. John K. Ryan (1960)

Oct. 11: books 10-13, trans. Sr. Maria Boulding, OSB (1997)

Magnus es, domine: The Confessions of Saint Augustine at Catholic University, Sept, 12, 2017. Poster. Audio of MAGNUS ES, DOMINE program

Dr. William Klingshirn (Greek and Latin), "The Confessions in the Classical Curriculum."

Dr. Kevin White (Philosophy), "The Confessions in the School of Philosophy."

Dr. Thomas Clemmons (STRS), "The Confessions in the Discipline of Theology."

Summer 2017

Colloquium on Origen's Homilies of the Psalms, May 22-23, 2017, moderated by Dr. Robin Darling Young, Associate Prof. of Spirituality). Featuring Lorenzo Perrone (Bologna), Alex Poulos (CUA), Miriam DeCock (McMaster), Mark Randall James (Fordham/Hunter College), Margaret Mitchell (Chicago), Joseph Wilson Trigg (Indep. Scholar). Poster.

Spring 2017

Several talks on Catholic University Research Day, Apr. 20, 2017, were given by ECS graduate students and faculty:

Dr. Aaron Butts (Assistant Prof., Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures) "The Gerald and Barbara Weiner Collection at CUA."

Dr. Monica Blanchard (Curator, Institute of Christian Oriental Research) "The Père Albert Jamme, M. Afr. Collection."

Sr. Maria del Fiat Miola, SSVM (Doctoral Candidate, ECS) "Inside the First Female Cloister: Behind the Closed Doors of the St. John's Monastery in Sixth-Century Arles."

Also on Research Day, the Center participated in the Showcase + Exhibit, held across the hall and at the same time as the Poster Sessions.

The Center was well represented by current faculty, students, and alumni at the annual meeting of the North American Patristics Society (Chicago, May 25-27):

  • Sr. Maria del Fiat Miola, Affective Relationships in the Household of the Monastery of St John in Arles
  • Dr. Thomas Clemmons, Augustine's Early Use of the Gospels (386-392)
  • Dr. Robin Darling Young, Pre-Dissertation Workshop I [Chair]
  • Prof. Philip Rousseau, Teaching, Medicine and Religion in Late Antiquity [Pre-Conference Workshop]
  • Dr. Lois Farag, Alexandrian Theological Exegesis: Athanasius and Cyril of Alexandria
  • Dr. Ky Heinze, Ransom and Christology in Origen and the Cappadocians
  • Dr. Joel Kalvesmaki, Evagrius and Aristotle
  • Dr. Jonathan Loopstra, New Light on a Relatively Unknown Genre: Lessons in Patristics from a Damascus Pedagogical Manuscript
  • Prof. John O'Keefe, Beyond Relevance: Teaching and Researching Early Christianity in the Present Moment [Panel]
  • Dr. Sean Moberg, Frank Speech in Barsanuphius and John
  • Dr. Dana Robinson, Food and Sacred Space at the Shrine of St. Felix

Fall 2016

Sr. Maria del Fiat Miola, SSVM, Doctoral Candidate in Early Christian Studies, is the author of "Mary as Un-tier and Tier of Knots: Irenaeus Reinterpreted," Journal of Early Christian Studies 24.3 (Fall 2016): 337-361.

Summer 2016

Dr. Joel Kalvesmaki (PhD, ECS '06), Editor in Byzantine Studies, Dumbarton Oaks, and Dr. Robin Darling Young, Associate Professor of Spirituality, have co-edited Evagrius and His Legacy (Notre Dame, Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 2016).

Dr. Susan Wessel, Associate Professor of Church History and Historical Theology, is the author of Passion and Compassion in Early Christianity (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2016).

Dr. Christian Hornung, Visiting Scholar, is the author of Apostasie im antiken Christentum: Studien zum Glaubensabfall in altkirchlicher Theologie, Disziplin und Pastoral (4.-7. Jahrhundert n. Chr.) (Leiden: Brill, 2016).

Prof. William Klingshirn (Director of the Center) spoke on the topic "From Cicero to Augustine: Divination in Latin literature" at a workshop for teachers held July 1 at the Catholic Univ. of Eichstätt. On July 4, he delivered a guest lecture, also at Eichstätt, on "Ritual and Truth in Late Antique Divination: Iamblichus and Ammianus."

Several Center faculty, alumni, and graduate members presented papers at the Annual Meeting of the North American Patristics Society (Chicago, May 26-28):

Philip Rousseau (Mellon Professor of Early Christian Studies) "The City a Desert"

Janet Timbie (Adjunct Assoc. Prof., Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures) "Monastic Sources from Middle Egypt: the Life of Phif as Witness to an Eremitic-Cenobitic Transition"

Robin Darling Young (Assoc. Prof., Theology and Religious Studies) "Oikonomia and Salvation Without the Church in the Works of Evagrius of Pontus"

Vlad Niculescu (Ph.D., ECS 2004) "From a Doctrine of Scriptural Hermeneutics to a Code of Hermeneutic Comportment: On the Use of Prov. 22:20-21 in the Fourth Book of Origen's De principiis"

Joel Kalvesmaki (Ph.D., ECS 2006) "Using the Syriac New Testament to Go beyond the Explication Hypothesis"

Jonathan Loopstra (Ph.D., ECS 2009) "Interpreting the 'Interpreter' without Words, Dot by Dot"

Dana Robinson (Ph.D., ECS 2016) "'The Safe Custody of Good Habit': John Chrysostom on Habit Formation"

Sean Moberg (Ph.D., ECS 2016) "Pus, Phlegm, and Holiness: The Use of Illness in the Apophthegmata Patrum"

Sarah Moravsik (Greek and Latin), "Nutrition and Angelic Intervention in Medical Treatment: Origen's Contra Celsum 8:24-32 and Philocalia 12"

Karen Carducci (Greek and Latin), "Gems, Glass, and Morals according to Isidore of Seville (Etym. 16.6-16)"

Spring 2016

"Chaldean Catholics under Genocide: A Digital Cultural Archive for an Ancient Christian Community" was the subject of Dr. Robin Darling Young's keynote address at CUA's first Research Day on April 15. Later in the day, team member Ms. Ryann Craig (Semitics) spoke on "The Christian Communities of the Middle East Project: Creating a Collaborative Cultural Herigate Project." See the Syriac Heritage Project for further information.

"The Breath of Mercy" by Sr. Maria del Fiat Miola, SSVM (ECS) has been published in the Apr. 8, 2016 issue of L'Osservatore Romano (English edition), pp. 8, 10. The article also appeared in the online edition of First Things.

Fall 2015

Prof. Philip Rousseau is the author of "Jerome as Priest, Exegete, and 'Man of the Church'," in Geoffrey D. Dunn and Wendy Mayer (eds.), Christians Shaping Identity from the Roman Empire to Byzantium: Studies Inspired by Pauline Allen, Vigiliae Christianae Suppl. 132 (Brill, 2015), pp. 186-207.

Two Early Christian seminars were held in November. On Nov. 5, Yuliya Minets read a paper entitled "The miraculous ability to speak in foreign languages in Early Christian literature." Dinner discussion focused on the topic "Demons speaking in tongues." On Nov. 19, the Rev. Dr. Edward Naumann (Greek and Latin) spoke on the topic "Augustine and the damnation of baptized infants."

A number of ECS graduate students and faculty members, including Mellon Professor Philip Rousseau attended the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature in Atlanta. On Nov. 22, Mr. Sean Moberg (ECS) delivered a paper entitled "Making Scripture Present: Meditation in Monasticism and Ancient Philosophy." The panel at which he spoke--How to Do Things with Scripture: Case Studies in Performing the Word-also featured Prof. Robin Darling Young (TRS), who spoke on the topic "Scriptural Symbola and the Monastic Habit in the Fourth Century. The same day she also served as a respondent at a session on John's Apocalypse and Cultural Contexts Ancient and Modern, andthe following day participated in a panel on the Development of Early Christian Theology.

Ms. Dana Robinson (ECS) delivered a paper at the Byzantine Studies Conference held at Fordham University Oct 22-25. "Feeding the Twenty Thousand: Shenoute's Monastic Hospitality as Model for Lay Commensal Practices" was one of two papers delivered in the session Monastic Virtue.

Prof. Sidney Griffith (Semitics) participated in a forum held on Oct. 29 at the Freer Gallery of Art on the discovery and interpretation of the Birmingham Qur'an. The project was organized by the First Millennium Network, sponsored by George Mason University, The Catholic University of America, and the University of Maryland.

Prof. Philip Rousseau delivered the annual Andrew W. Mellon Lecture in Early Christian Studies on Sept. 10. The title of this year's lecture was "On first looking into Gregory the Great's Moralia." The lecture was followed by a reception jointly sponsored by the Center for the Study of Early Christianity and the Center for Medieval and Byzantine Studies.

On Sept. 11 ECS doctoral candidate Yuliya Minets delivered a paper at the international conference Perspectives on Language and Culture in Early Christianity, sponsored by the KU-Leuven Center for the Historiography of Linguistics. The title of her paper was "The topos of xenolalia in the Christian literature of late antiquity: origins and development."

Summer 2015

Center faculty and graduate students were well represented at the 17th International Patristic Conference in Oxford. On August 12, Prof. William Klingshirn (Greek and Latin) delivered a paper on "Prophecy and Divination in the Hypomnesticon of Joseph," and Dr. Yuliya Minets (ECS) spoke on "Languages of Christianity in Late Antiquity: Between Universalism and Cultural Superiority." The following day, Prof. Janet Timbie (Semitics) spoke on the topic "Pay For Our Sins: A Shared Theme in the Pachomian Koinonia and the White Monastery Federation"; Mr. Sean Moberg (ECS) delivered a paper on "Examination of Conscience in the Apophthegmata Patrum"; and Prof. Robin Darling Young (TRS) spoke on "The Use of the Kephalaia in Evagrius of Pontus."