The Asia-Pacific Early Christian Studies Society (APECSS) - formerly Western Pacific Rim Patristics Society (WPRPS) - invites proposals for papers to be delivered at its fifth annual conference to be held at Tsuchitoi campus of Tohoku Gakuin University, Sendai, Japan, from Thursday morning, 10 September, to Saturday afternoon, 12 September, 2009. Papers are 30 minutes in duration (20 minutes delivery and 10 minutes for discussion). The Society welcomes all proposals that explore any theme relevant to the early Christian world from the New Testament to the end of Late Antiquity, and especially those that focus on this year's theme : Letter's in Early Christianity.
Ever since Paul of Tarsus produced the first piece of Christian literature, letter-writing has been a characteristic feature of early Christianity. From the purely person to the authoritative decrees of synods and bishops, from the anonymous fragments of individual letters to the collections by Ignatius of Antioch, Cyprian, Basil, Jerome, John Chrysostom, Augustine, Paulinus of Nola, Severus of Antioch, and Gregory the Great, such correspondence is a valuable source for understanding the social, historical, theological, literary, political, cultural, philosophical and psychological dimensions of early Christianity. This year we would like to explore how letters (both in terms of their content and the practice of letter-writing itself) were used by early Christians and others across the entire spectrum of Christianity in the Late Antique world. With limitless possibilities for presenters this conference should be of interest to everyone interested in early Christianity from the New Testament to the end of Late Antiquity.
A 100-word abstract should be sent by 30 April, 2009 to Dr. Geoffrey D. Dunn (firstname.lastname@example.org). Further questions can be addressed to him. Other proposals besides the conference theme are most welcome. Papers are presented in English. Our practice is that conference presenters distribute copies of their papers in English to participants to minimise language difficulties. Presenters need to bring their own copies for distribution. Registration forms and further details will be available on the Society's website at www.cecs.acu.edu.au/apecss.htm. There will be an opportunity for some cultural event in Sendai on Saturday late afternoon after the conference. A conference dinner will be held on Friday 11 September.