Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Between Man and God: Family, Friendship and Ties of the Flesh in Late Antiquity, Cambridge, UK, 14th May 2011

Source: Luke Gardiner.
Faculty of Classics, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge, UK.

On the 14th May 2011, a number of promising postgrads, drawn from the Universities of Oxford, Manchester, Birmingham and Cambridge, will gather to present papers derived from aspects of their doctoral work. Our intention is to explore the evolving institutions and frameworks, enshrined in law and communal mores, in which human relationships were structured during Late Antiquity, as the impact of Christianity made itself progressively more strongly felt. Furthermore, we will examine how the theology and rhetoric of many aspects of Christianity were themselves informed by contemporary conceptions of human relations. 

The papers will be arranged thematically into two panels, with the first exploring 'lighter', more optimistic approaches to human relationships in Late Antiquity, such as examining the developing metaphorical languages of families, friendship, and kinship in the context of, and in their impact upon, Christian doctrine and institutions. Conversely in the second, 'darker' panel, our speakers will investigate changing approaches towards understanding the (sometimes violent) end of relationships in Late Antiquity, and contemporary concerns that particular human relationships served not to enrich the life of the Christian community, but to throw up barriers between men, and to interrupt man's most fundamental relationship: that with God Himself. Discussion will be enlivened by the thoughts of the senior faculty respondents - Neil McLynn (Oxford) and Kate Cooper (Manchester), and by the overview and analysis provided by our plenary speaker, Jerry Toner (Cambridge). 

There is no registration fee for those wishing to attend, but space is limited, and places will be allocated on a first-come first-serve basis. To register, please email Luke Gardiner (lcag2@cam.ac.uk) or Robin Whelan (rew47@cam.ac.uk). We would like to thank the Faculty of Classics, Cambridge, for its very generous support for this conference.

10.45 Registration

11.15 Session 1 The Light Side (Chair: Robin Whelan, Cambridge)
Maria Kilby (Cambridge), Augustine's Donatist Brothers
Jenny Thompson (Oxford), Jerome in peril, and the peril of youth
Emma Southon (Birmingham), Late Antique Christianity and the Development of the Nurturing Mother
Respondent: Kate Cooper (Manchester)

3.45 Session 2 The Dark Side (Chair: Luke Gardiner, Cambridge)
Tamer Nawar (Cambridge), Adiutrix Virtutum (A Handmade to the Virtues) ? Confessiones 1-4 and the Perils of Friendship
James Corke-Webster (Manchester), Generation Gaps: Martyrs and their Families in the Writings of the Early Christian Church
Riccardo Bof (Manchester), TBC
Respondent: Neil McLynn (Oxford)

5.15 Plenary Session
Chair: Muriel Moser (Cambridge)
Plenary Speaker: Jerry Toner (Cambridge)