IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 1108: Heresy and Spirituality in Late Antique Christianity

Wednesday 11 July 2012, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Stavroula Constantinou, Department of Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies, University of Cyprus, Nicosia
Paper 1108-aConstantine and the Alleged Persecution of the Donatists
(Language: English)
Eric Fournier, Department of History, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Historiography - Modern Scholarship, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 1108-bThe Rules of Orthodox Faith in the Dialogue of Adamantius
(Language: English)
Ilaria Ramelli, Dipartimento di Filosofia, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano / Dipartimento di Filosofia, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano / Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Language and Literature - Greek, Language and Literature - Latin, Theology
Paper 1108-cDefying Regulation: Lay Access to the Liturgy in Early Medieval Gaul
(Language: English)
Lisa Bailey, Department of Classics & Ancient History, University of Auckland
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Lay Piety, Liturgy, Religious Life
Paper 1108-d'Being and, Catholic, Event': Isidore of Seville, Visigothic Law, and the Re-Locating of the Universal
(Language: English)
Michael J. Kelly, School of History, University of Leeds / Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Index terms: Law, Learning (The Classical Inheritance), Mentalities, Philosophy

Paper -a:
Traditional scholarship asserts that Constantine persecuted ‘Donatists’ between 317 and 321, after the councils of Rome and Arles had judged against them, and after the emperor had himself judged the case following the donatist appeal of those two sentences. This paper will argue that such a view is based on an uncritical reading of a Donatist text, the Passion of Donatus of Avioccala. Instead, a critical reading of this text and other evidence show that Constantine was consistent in his use of councils of bishops to settle Christian conflicts and exile as a punishment for bishops.

Paper -b:
I would study the Dialogue of Adamantius on the Orthodox Faith in God. Adamantius, presented as the champion of orthodoxy, here opposes ‘heretics’ such as Marcionites, Bardaisanites, and Valentinians. I have conducted careful investigation into this Dialogue, triggered by Richard Hanson’s invitation to a closer examination of it (which remains a desideratum in scholarship). Many problems surround this text, its composition, its double redaction, Greek and Latin, and its complex relations to Origen, Maximus, Eusebius, Methodius, the Philocalists, and Rufinus. I shall adduce arguments for the anteriority, and priority, of Rufinus’ version over the extant Greek. This has important implications for the overall assessment of the stance of this Dialogue, as well as the demonstration that the doctrines and conceptions supported by Adamantius in this dialogue correspond to Origen’s true thought. All the arguments adduced against the identification of ‘Adamantius’ with Origen can be refuted. A few suggestions will hopefully help cast more light onto the mystery of the Dialogue of Adamantius.

Paper -c:
This paper examines a letter from early 6th century Gaul, condemning two priests who were accused of heresy for conducting masses on a portable altar, with the assistance of women. My analysis uses the letter as a basis from which to discuss the regulation of lay access to and participation in church rites, arguing that although clerics were seeking to establish firm control over religious rituals in this period, they were only partially successful in doing so. Private religious practices continued to flourish alongside public ones and the countryside in particular continued to be a zone largely beyond episcopal control.

Paper -d:
In this paper, the central focus will be on the narrative-etymological texts attributed to Isidore of Seville and the Visigothic King Recceswinth’s (re-)constitutionalizing legal-code, known popularly as the Lex Visigothorum. Together, this set of works represents the intended dialectical limits of the 7th-century transitive site of Visigothic consciousness regarding their relationship to the past, late antiquity/’Rome’, and to the categorical future [as imperative], Spain. These texts communicated, or performed, in this manner by using cultural simulacra to arrest the meaning of recent historical events and connections to the late antique world. Through this sublimating, aesthetic act of cultural subtraction, Isidore and Recceswinth could baptize Spain, via Seville and Toledo, as a locally-universal space of shared identity, tying Spain and Catholicism together in a way so profound that it has continuously affected Spanish historiographical self-awareness.