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Theology and Religion Postgraduate Study Day
13th June 2016, University of Exeter
On Monday 13th June the department came together for the end of term Theology and Religion Postgraduate Study Day, hosted at the university’s Catholic Chaplaincy. This event offered the chance for MA and PhD students to share their research in front of students and staff.
In the first session, we heard from Leanna Rierson and Giovanni Hermanin De Reichenfeld. Leanna Rierson spoke about “The Emergence of Humility in Contemporary Leadership Theories and the Potential Application to Biblical Studies.” Her aim is to combine leadership theories, humility studies, and Biblical Studies in order to better understand leadership in both the ancient world and in contemporary culture. The approach she proposed involves using case-studies to investigate Paul’s humility and how this contributed to his effectiveness as a leader. Giovanni Hermanin De Reichenfeld gave a paper titled “The Material of the Gifts from God: is the Spirit a Creature in Origen’s Commentary on the Gospel of John?” His discussion of whether Origen considered the spirit to be part of creation revealed Origen’s multi-layered understanding of the Holy Trinity and how each of its aspects came into being. I was the chair for the session, and though I was nervous because I had not chaired before, it was made easier by the well-timed speakers and enthusiastic questions from the audience.
Do you have a place that you love, that you’ve introduced to a dear friend, only to discover that they absolutely hate it?
This was the subject of the paper I delivered to the North American Patristics Society, whose annual meeting took place this May in Chicago. Basil of Caesarea (c.329-379) is famous as the ‘father of monasticism’, but before setting up his famous monastery in Caesarea he (and his family and friends) experimented with other ways of being a monk. Basil travelled around various ascetic communities on a kind of gap year after university in Athens; he then went and taught rhetoric in Caesarea, but soon had a change of heart and settled on a remote part of his family estate (at Annisa, modern Uluköy) to live as a hermit with a small group of other men.
XIII International Colloquium on Gregory of Nyssa: Homilies on the Song of Songs Rome, 17-20 September 2014, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
Dr Morwenna Ludlow
The exciting thing about Gregory of Nyssa colloquia is that they gather together some of the best international scholars working on early Christianity – not just the ones working on Gregory! The first colloquium in 1969 was co-organised by Jean Daniélou and Marguerite Harl – two of the scholars most responsible for the post-war surge of interest in the church fathers. This year we had delegates from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Japan, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. Yet the meetings are small enough to encourage genuine conversation and the atmosphere is friendly: it’s possible for a student to find herself in line for coffee or to be seated at lunch next to one of the grand old men of European patristics and to be quizzed on her current research!