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IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 1310: Texts and Identities, IV: Heterodox Past and Orthodox Identity in the Late Antique Mediterranean

Wednesday 11 July 2012, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien / Utrecht Centre for Medieval Studies, Universiteit Utrecht / Faculty of History, University of Cambridge
Organisers:E. T. Dailey, School of History, University of Leeds
Gerda Heydemann, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien / Institut für Geschichte, Universität Wien
Moderator/Chair:Yitzhak Hen, Department of History, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva
Paper 1310-aContesting Orthodoxy in Vandal Africa
(Language: English)
Robin Whelan, Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Historiography - Medieval, Theology
Paper 1310-bBiblical Accuracy and the Appearance of Orthodoxy in the Poetry of Dracontius and Eugenius II of Toledo
(Language: English)
Mark Lewis Tizzoni, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Language and Literature - Latin, Theology
Paper 1310-c'Ad nostram catholicam fidem': Remembering Religious Identity in Post-Conversion Visigothic Iberia
(Language: English)
Molly Lester, Department of History, Princeton University
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Hagiography, Theology

This session examines representations of orthodoxy and religious controversy in the post-Roman Mediterranean. Robin Whelan discusses a series of imaginary dialogues written by Nicene African clerics seeking to undermine a homoian self-presentation as the orthodox church. Emphasizing the ecclesiastical dimensions of the conflict, he shows how their authors drew on the resources, discourses and tactics of previous debates about imperial orthodoxy to contest the status of the true Church in the Vandal kingdom. The second paper (Mark Tizzoni) creates the bridge between Vandal Africa and Visigothic Spain. It compares attitudes to biblical accuracy and orthodoxy in the poetry of Dracontius with those in the works of Eugenius of Toledo, placing the differing approaches within the particular contexts of their poetic and religious cultures. The final paper (Mary Lester) looks at the implications that the Catholic construction of a new Gothic religious identity in 7th-century Spain had for the retrospective reconstruction of the ‘heterodox past' of the 6th century. It argues that the firm differentiation between Arianism and Catholicism results from the literary strategies used by Catholic writers who faced the need to react to the uncomfortable permeability between Arianism and Catholicism by projecting back set Gothic and Hispano-Roman religious identities. Taken together, the three papers demonstrate not only the intricate relationship between religious, political and ethnic identities, but also what was at stake in defining and contesting Christian orthodoxy between ‘Arians' and ‘Catholics'.