January 19, 2020

Barry Gives Invited Talk at the University of Pennsylvania

On December 6, 2019, Jennifer Barry, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, was invited to give a talk at the University of Pennsylvania hosted by the Philadelphia Seminar on Christian Origins. Barry presented material she has been working on during her Jepson Fellowship held for the 2019-2020 academic year. Research from the talk, “A Bad Romance: Domestic Violence in Late Antiquity,” is included in a section of her book that focuses on hagiographical narratives that promote and preserve gender based violence.

A recording of the talk will soon be made available for the public.

Barry Presents at Society of Biblical Literature and American Academy of Religion Conference

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Jennifer Barry

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Jennifer Barry

Jennifer Barry, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, recently presented in two panels and moderated a third panel at the national conference for the Society of Biblical Literature and American Academy of Religion held in San Diego, CA.

For the first panel, Barry presented new research for her next book project. The paper titled,“Queen Mab visits the Fathers: Fantastic Dreams and Male Desire Revisited,” was presented in the program unit on Religious World of Late Antiquity.

The second panel was held in honor of the esteemed career of Judith Perkins. Barry was asked to contribute her paper, “A Bad Romance: Melania the Younger and the male fantasy,” which builds on many of the important interventions Perkins has made to the subfield of Christian Apocrypha.

In addition to these two panels, Barry organized and moderated a pre-arranged panel on biblical receptions of exile. She now serves as an appointed Steering Committee Member for Exile (Forced Migrations) in Biblical Literature program unit. The pre-arranged panel, Late Antique reception histories of biblical flight: Part I pre-Constantinian period, is the first of two invitational sessions on the reception histories of biblical exile in the long late-antiquity. Many early Christian and non-Christian thinkers looked to biblical text(s) for types and models of flight. Invitees were asked to engage the topic of biblical exile and its reception in the late ancient period. The first session engaged the pre-Constantinian period. A select number of papers will be published in peer-reviewed special journal issue.

She was also elected to serve as a council member on the SBAllies. The informal group is committed to the idea that every scholar, no matter their identity, should be able to participate in a thoughtful and open exchange of ideas without fear or intimidation. Their primary purpose is to inform society members about the SBL anti-harassment policy and to provide information and resources for those who are considering reporting when that policy is violated.

 

Barry Invited to Give Book Talk at Temple University

Jennifer Barry, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, was invited to give a book talk at Temple University on November 14, 2019. Barry presented to the audience material from her recent publication with the University of California Press, Bishops in Flight: Exile and Displacement in Late Antiquity. Barry’s monograph was published in April, 2019 and is published in both print form and is also available via open access through the Luminos Series.

Barry Invited to Workshop at Northwestern University

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Jennifer Barry

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Jennifer Barry

Jennifer Barry, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, was invited to participate in a workshop at the Northwestern University on October 18-19, 2019. The Pro Publica: A Public Classics Workshop met to discuss and develop public facing pieces that seek to make scholarly topics accessible to a wider audience. The workshop was co-sponsored by the Classics department at Northwestern and the Society of Classical Studies.

Barry workshopped a piece on the overlap of gender violence and political propaganda titled, “Lying Women.” This piece ties into Barry’s current recent research on gender violence and late antiquity. 

Hirshberg Presents at Brown University

Dan Hirshberg, assistant professor of religious studies and director of the contemplative studies program

Dan Hirshberg, assistant professor of religious studies and director of the contemplative studies program

Dan Hirshberg, assistant professor of religious studies and director of the contemplative studies program, offered a lecture and a workshop for Brown University’s Contemplative Studies Initiative.

His lecture focused on “Secular Rhetoric in Contemplative Pedagogy,” which concurred with recent critiques and advocated for pluralist discourse as representative of the field’s objectives and practices. The interactive workshop introduced some of the adverse effects of technology usage and featured the practice of an original contemplative exercise, “Smartphone Dis/Connect: FOMO,” which invites participants to explore the subtle physiological and psychological impacts of smartphone alerts and notifications.

Brown University launched the first Contemplative Studies concentration (major) for undergraduates in the world and is a leader in the interdisciplinary research of contemplation across the humanities, arts, and sciences.

Aminrazavi Publishes Article

Mehdi Aminrazavi, Professor of Philosophy and Religion and Co-Director of the Leidecker Center for Asian Studies

Mehdi Aminrazavi, Professor of Philosophy and Religion and Co-Director of the Leidecker Center for Asian Studies

Mehdi Aminrazavi, Professor of Philosophy and Religion and Co-Director of the Leidecker Center for Asian Studies, published an article in a peer reviewed journal, “Omar Khayyām on Theodicy: Irreconcilability of the Transcendental and the Imminent,” Journal of Islamic Philosophy, 11(2019): 33-44

Barry Publishes Article in Studies in Late Antiquity

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Jennifer Barry

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Jennifer Barry

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Jennifer Barry published her latest article in the special issue on clerical exile in the peer-reviewed academic journal Studies in Late Antiquity. Her article, “Damning Nicomedia: The Spatial Consequences of Exile,” builds on work from her published monograph Bishops in Flight and incorporates material from the digital humanities Clerical Exile data base.

The article abstract is as follows:

All Christian flights were not created equal. With the aid of pro-Nicene authors, Athanasius of Alexandria’s multiple flights quickly became the standard for an orthodox exile. The charge of cowardice, or worse, heresy, was not so easily dismissed, however. While the famed Athanasius would explain away such charges in his own writings, as did many of his later defenders, not all fleeing bishops could escape a damning verdict. In this article, I explore how the enemies of Nicaea, re-read as the enemies of Athanasius, also found themselves in exile. Their episcopal flights were no testament to their virtue but within pro-Nicene Christian memory of fifth-century ecclesiastical historians, the exiles of anti-Nicene bishops, such as Eusebius of Nicomedia, were remembered as evidence of guilt. To show how this memory-making exercise took place we will turn to the imperial landscape and assess how the space someone was exiled from greatly shaped how exile was deemed either orthodox or heretical. 

Romero Contributes Essay to Volume on Ancient Greek Epigram

Professor of Classics, Philosophy and Religion Joe Romero Contributes Essay to Volume on Ancient Greek Epigram

Professor of Classics, Philosophy and Religion Joe Romero Contributes Essay to Volume on Ancient Greek Epigram

Professor of Classics, Philosophy and Religion Joe Romero (CPRD) has contributed an essay, “‘From atop a lofty wall’ Philosophers and Philosophy in Greek Literary Epigram,” edited by Maria Kanellou, Ivana Petrovic, and Chris Carey and published by Oxford University Press in a volume entitled Greek Epigram from the Hellenistic to the Early Byzantine Era (2019) pp. 288-304.

Barry Publishes Monograph Bishops in Flight

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Jennifer Barry

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Jennifer Barry

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Jennifer Barry published her first monograph, Bishops in Flight: Exile and Displacement in Late Antiquity, with the University of California Press.

A free open access ebook is available upon publication. Learn more at www.luminosoa.org.

Book Abstract:
Flight during times of persecution has a long and fraught history in early Christianity. In the third century, bishops who fled were considered cowards or, worse yet, heretics. On the face, flight meant denial of Christ and thus betrayal of faith and community. But by the fourth century, the terms of persecution changed as Christianity became the favored cult of the Roman Empire. Prominent Christians who fled and survived became founders and influencers of Christianity over time.

Bishops in Flight examines the various ways these episcopal leaders both appealed to and altered the discourse of Christian flight to defend their status as purveyors of Christian truth, even when their exiles appeared to condemn them. Their stories illuminate how profoundly Christian authors deployed theological discourse and the rhetoric of heresy to respond to the phenomenal political instability of the fourth and fifth centuries.

Mathews Presents Paper at Harvard University Symposium

Professor of Religious Studies Mary Beth Mathews

Professor of Religious Studies Mary Beth Mathews

Professor of Religious Studies Mary Beth Mathews presented an invited paper, “Doctrine, Race, and Education: The American Baptist Theological Seminary and Jim Crow,” at Harvard University’s Symposium on Religion and Public Life in Africa and the Americas, sponsored by the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. She argued that African American theological seminaries in the American South are a neglected but necessary avenue for understanding how African American evangelicals negotiated racial barriers to education and constructed autonomous spaces for theological development.