Studentship: 3 Research Fellowships in Late Ancient Philosophy, Biblical Early Christian Studies

Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Philosophy, Faculty of Theology & Religious Studies, KU Leuven, Beglium

Deadline: 1 June 2019

In October 2017, a team of KU Leuven professors consisting of G. Roskam (spokesperson), J. Leemans, P. Van Deun, G. Van Riel, and Joseph Verheyden, has launched an interdisciplinary research project entitled “Longing for Perfection. Living the Perfect Life in Late Antiquity – A Journey Between Ideal and Reality”. The project is funded by the Research Fund of the University of Leuven. The team is now opening a last call to hire a third group of three research fellows at the level of PhD candidate.

Job description
The project studies one of the most fundamental ideas of ancient Greek culture – the search for perfection. For centuries, not only philosophers and theologians, but also other intellectuals have reflected on what this ideal should consist in, devising ways of pursuing it in a wide range of human activities. A major focus is the complex relationship between theory and praxis and between ideal and reality, as found in pagan and Christian Greek literature from the first seven centuries CE. The team has set two main goals: the production of a comprehensive study of the different aspects of ancient ideals of perfection and of a number of in-depth studies of specific problems and core issues related to the overall topic.

Candidates are invited to apply for a full-time, four-year fellowship in one of the following subprojects:
– fellowship 1: a study of the martyr homilies of John Chrysostom.
– fellowship 2: a critical edition and study of the Capita theologica et oeconomica of Maximus the Confessor.
– fellowship 3: a study of the reception of the figures of Abraham, Moses and David in early Christian literature.

Requirements
The candidates have a broad and solid competence in late ancient philosophy and preferably also basic knowledge of early Christianity. A strong command of Greek (and preferably also of Latin) is essential, as is the ability to combine historical and philosophical/theological methodologies in an interdisciplinary way. Candidates demonstrating a thorough knowledge of relevant literary sources will be especially attractive; proven expertise in one or more of the research domains is an asset. The team welcomes applications from candidates with an excellent graduate degree (typically M.A.) in Classics or in related disciplines (e.g. Ancient History, Byzantine Studies, Religious Studies).

Applicants should be fluent in at least one of the following languages: English, French or German. The dissertation should as a rule be written in one of these languages.

Salary
The net salary will be approx. €2000/month; in addition the fellowship provides for social benefits and health insurance.
Candidates are offered a unique opportunity to be part of an enthusiastic research group within the context of a dynamic, internationally-oriented academic environment with unrivalled library resources.

How to apply

Applications should include a letter outlining the candidate’s background and motivation, a detailed CV, one writing sample, and at least one letter of recommendation. Candidates are asked to submit the entire file to geert.roskam@kuleuven.be.

A selected number of candidates will be invited to Leuven for an interview on the 20th of June. Starting date: 1 October 2019 (or soon after).

Call for Papers: Biblical Poetry: the Legacy of the Psalms in Late Antiquity and Byzantium

Ghent University, Belgiumm, 23-24 April 2020

Deadline: 31 May 2019

The Psalms, in their Greek Septuagint translation, were a fundamental corpus of biblical poetry, and as such were continuously referred to in Christian literature. They played a key role in the daily life and in the development of religious sensitivity of late antique and Byzantine people. The production of Psalm-related literature, notably exegetic, was impressively widespread. The Psalms, however, influenced other genres of religious literature as well, and their poetical nature remained an important feature that later authors were well aware of.

In preparation of a volume on the reception of the Psalms in poetry from Late Antiquity and Byzantium, we invite scholars of all levels of experience to present a paper at a colloquium on this subject.

Confirmed speakers are Andrew Faulkner, Antonia Giannouli, Christian Høgel and Maria Ypsilanti.

We welcome contributions on the following topics especially:
• the appreciation of the Psalter’s poetical nature in exegesis and in the biblical manuscript tradition (e.g. recognition, by patristic and Byzantine exegetes, of the presence or absence of poetical features);
• rhetorical aspects of the Psalms as highlighted in late antique and Byzantine treatises;
• the influence of the Psalms on Byzantine poetry (e.g. what was their role in the composition of eis heauton poems? How does self-expression in Christian poetry relate to the Psalms?);
• the reception of the Psalms in hymnographic poetry;
• the reception of the Psalter in specific genres of poetry, such as Byzantine catanyctic poetry;
• the metrical metaphrases by ps-Apollinaris and Manuel Philes;
• metrical paratexts on the Psalms.

These examples are not exclusive and papers on other related topics are welcome.

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers. Each paper will be followed by a reaction from a respondent, who will open the discussion with the audience. Contributors whose abstract is accepted will be asked to submit prior to the colloquium a rough draft of their full text. After the conference, they are expected to offer their re-worked paper for inclusion (upon acceptance after peer-review) in a volume on the reception of the Psalms in Byzantine poetry.

Please send a title and a short abstract (max. 300 words) of your paper to rachele.ricceri@ugent.be no later than May 31, 2019. Accepted speakers will be notified by the end of June 2019.

For more information, please visit our website.

Organisers: Floris Bernard, Reinhart Ceulemans, Cristina Cocola, Kristoffel Demoen, Anna Gioffreda, Andreas Rhoby, Rachele Ricceri.

This colloquium is organised within the framework of the projects David, our Orpheus. Reception, Rewritings and Adaptations of the Psalms in Byzantine Poetry (funded by the FWO – Flemish Research Foundation) and The Legacy of the Psalms in Byzantine Poetry: Book Epigrams and Metrical Paraphrases (funded by the FWO – Flemish Research Foundation and the FWF – Austrian Science Fund), which are being carried out at Ghent University, KU Leuven and the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Call for Papers: True Warriors? Negotiating Dissent in the Intellectual Debate (c. 1100-1700)

9th International Lectio Conference, Leuven, Belgium, 11-13 December 2019

Deadline: 15 April 2019

Dissent, polemics and rivalry have always been at the center of intellectual development. The scholarly Streitkultur was given a fresh impetus by the newly founded universities in the High Middle Ages and later turned into a quintessential part of early modern intellectual life. It was not only mirrored in various well-known intellectual debates and controversies – e.g. between Aristotelians and Augustinians, scholastics and humanists, Catholics and Protestants – but also embodied in numerous literary genres and non-literary modes of expression – e.g. disputationes, invectives, consilia, images, carnivalesque parades, music, etc. – and discursive or political strategies – patronage, networks and alliances. Moreover, the harsh debates notwithstanding, consensus was also actively searched for, both within particular disciplines and within society as a whole.

The aforementioned genres and strategies are all modes of negotiating dissent, which raises several important questions regarding these intellectual ‘warriors’. What were the most important issues at stake and how were they debated? Did the debates in the public sphere reflect the private opinions of the scholars involved? What access do we have to those private opinions? Can we approach such controversies in terms of authenticity and truthfulness, or consistency and coherence? Is there a contrast between ego-documents and the published part of an author’s oeuvre?

Starting from these questions, the aim of this conference is to study the polemical strategies and the modes of rivalry and alliance in scholarly debate from the twelfth through the seventeenth centuries. We actively invite papers from a variety of perspectives and disciplines (civil and canon law, philosophy, theology and religious studies, literary studies, historiography, art history, etc.) and aim to study texts in Latin, Greek and the vernacular, as well as pictorial and performative traditions. We do not only welcome specific case studies, but also (strongly) encourage broader (meta)perspectives, e.g.of a diachronic or transdisciplinary nature. The conference will span the period from the twelfth until the seventeenth centuries.

For full details, see http://lectio.ghum.kuleuven.be/conferences/