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Research Seminar in Late Ancient and Byzantine Cultures

The Newman Institute Research Seminar in Late Ancient and Byzantine Cultures*

See schedule for the seminars below

*”Patristikseminariet” is now The Newman Institute Research Seminar in Late Ancient and Byzantine Cultures [Newmaninstitutets högre seminarium för senantikens och bysantinska tidens kulturhistoria].

Human culture is never solely fact, nor solely fiction, but includes whatever the human mind and spirit produce, including texts, images, liturgies, manuscripts and material culture. A critical analysis and contextualization of late ancient and medieval arts and literatures should underpin our understanding of the history of Christian traditions, and can provide apt connections to our experience of the present world. Inter-cultural perspectives are encouraged, demonstrating exchanges between classical and biblical worlds, as well as encounters among different faiths in the first millennium.

The Newman Seminar in Late Ancient and Byzantine Cultures aims to create a forum for open discussion about Christian history and cultures by providing an opportunity for informal peer review of articles in preparation, book and thesis chapters, project proposals and conference papers on any topic pertaining to this field, broadly defined. Expertise of core members includes Greek and Latin languages, biblical and patristic studies, ancient philosophy, early church history, art history, palaeography, and Byzantine/Medieval studies. The seminar has a collaboration with the New Testament Studies research seminar at Uppsala University and with the Lund Patristic Seminar. We also welcome the possibility of organizing joint conferences.


The seminar convenes on Wednesdays 4:00-5:30 PM CET (Swedish time) in hybrid format, via Zoom and at The Newman Institute (Hopkinssalen).

Papers can be circulated confidentially one week in advance in order to permit a thorough discussion concerning contents, analysis, and formal presentation of the materials. Collegiality and support across traditional subject boundaries are priorities.

To present a paper during the academic year 2023/24, for participation or for any questions concerning the seminar, please contact the chair, Barbara Crostini.

Spring 2024


Meeting ID: 891 7149 0250 Passcode: 609731

9 February 18:00-19:00 CET (OBS! Day and time!)

Barbara Crostini, “Images as Witnesses to Oral-Performative Traditions: The Case of the Synagogue at Dura Europos (mid-3rd century)”. Late Antique and Byzantine Art and Architecture Lecture Series at Yale. Respondent: Steven Fine, Yeshiva University. To receive the Zoom link, register by writing to eben.graves@yale.edu

21  February 

Kelly Holob (Chicago), “Defining the Dead: Martyrs and Other Ghosts in Roman Antiquity”.

28 February

Vladimir Ivanovici (Vienna), “The kathisma shrine and Salvific Imitation in Late Antique Christianity”.

20 March (OBS! 5-6:30 pm)

Esen Ogus (Utah Valley University), “Ontology and perception of imperial portrait statue as factors in the demise of statues in Late Antiquity”.

24 April 

Christophe Chaguinian (Texas), “A Historical Survey of Good Friday Ceremonies of the Burial of Christ” from his edited book Good Friday Ceremonies with Articulated Figures in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Paris: Garnier, 2024). 

8 May

Mary Sweeney (University of Ireland, Galway), “Re-examining the Dream of the Exagoge of Ezekiel in Eusebius’ Praeparatio Evangelica”. In collaboration with Dept. of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University, with post-seminarium.

22 May

We discuss a chapter from the book by M. David Litwa, Early Christianity in Alexandria: from its Beginnings to the Late Second Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2023). The author will join the Zoom meeting.

Previous Programmes

Autumn 2023
Spring 2023
Autumn 2022
Spring 2022
Autumn 2021