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Register here by Monday 13 March 2023

23 March 2023 - 24 March 2023

9:00AM - 6:00PM

St Chad's College, Durham University

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Join us for the Augustine and the Making of Christian Practice (400-1000) conference hosted by Dr Matthieu Pignot, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Department of History

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This conference aims to contribute to the study of the rise of Christianity in North Africa, the Mediterranean and Western Europe in the first millenium , a wide-ranging and complex historical phenomenon. It will explore the role played by Augustine of Hippo (354-430), a north african bishop and major textual authority in the shaping of religious praxis in the West. It is generally agreed that Augustine was widely read and had a major influence in the diffusion of normative ideas and practices that impregnated Christianity for centuries up to this day, such as the doctrine of original sin and the necessity of infant baptism or the unicity 
of marriage. Because of the sheer size of Augustine’s literary production, however, the concrete means through which his ideas were diffused largely remain unexplored and require a long-term collective effort.

In recent years, Augustine’s reception has benefitted from increased attention, in the context of a growing interest in reception studies more broadly. Besides a wide-ranging guide to the reception (Pollmann 2013), research has focused on tracing the transmission of Augustine’s major works (Wilmart 1931, Gorman 2001, Giani 2020), and sermons (Dolbeau 2020-2021). 
Recent studies have explored the development of Augustine’s authority (Timmermann 2018), alerted to the significance of florilegia (Delmulle-Partoens-Boodts-Dupont 2020) and shown the potential of studying early medieval manuscripts of Augustine as unique witnesses of the reception (Pezé-Delmulle 2016; Keskiaho 2016, 2018, 2019).

The Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship project “Augustine and the Making of Christian Practice (400-1000)” (History Department, Durham University), which will host this conference, emerges from this growing field. It aims to investigate Augustine’s legacy by 
focusing on a selection of little-studied works pertaining to three main Christian rituals (baptism, marriage and penance) and the definition of Christian faith and conduct. The project combines the study of the literary reception of these works and of their manuscript transmission in order to understand better Augustine’s role in the Christianization of early medieval societies. 

This conference will expand on this thread and provide a venue to reflect collectively on the nature and extent of Augustine’s influence in Latin-speaking Christian communities of the early middle ages. Bringing together scholars working on different approaches and methods(historical, philological and theological), it will combine attention to the intellectual and material means of the diffusion of Augustine’s ideas

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Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)


Thursday 23 March 2023

  • 9-9.30: Welcome and registration
  • 9.30-9.45: Introduction

Augustine’s influence on Christian rituals and conduct I

Chair: Harry Mawdsley (Durham University)

  • 9.45-10.15: Michael Wuk (University of Lincoln), “Augustine and the Making of Christian Oaths”
  • 10.30-11: Marie-Ange Rakotonaina (Yale University), “Chambers of Rest: The Legacy of the Augustinian Sabbath in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages”
  • 11.15-11.45: Brian Matz (Fontbonne University), “Reception of Augustine in the Ninth Century Debate Over Divorce and Remarriage”

12-1.30: Lunch break

Augustine’s influence on Christian rituals and conduct II

Chair: Helen Foxhall Forbes (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia)

  • 1.30-2: Manuel Mira Iborra (Universidad de Navarra), “The influence of De opere monachorum in Late Antiquity: its quotations in monastic writers and the earliest testimonia of the manuscript tradition”
  • 2.15-2.45: Matthieu Pignot (Durham University), “The early reception of Augustine’s De catechizandis rudibus”
  • 3-3.30: Lene ten Haaf (KULeuven), “In search of a true vita canonica: relying on Augustine’s textual authority (France, 9th – early 11th century)”

3.45-4.15: Tea/coffee break

The early legacy of Augustine’s preaching

Chair: Francis Watson (Durham University)

  • 4.15-4.45: Riccardo Macchioro (Università degli studi di Milano), “Augustine’s Sermones ad Populum ‘Extravagantes’ and the Structuring of Liturgical Practices”
  • 5-5.30: Zachary Guiliano (University of Oxford), “Caring for the Dead in Carolingian Europe: Augustine’s Enchiridion in Paul’s homiliary”

7.30: conference dinner

Friday 24 March

Augustine as a mediator of late antique African texts

Chair: Robin Whelan (Liverpool University)

  • 9-9.30: Mary Hitchman (University of Oxford): “Perpetua and Felicitas in Augustine and his influence”
  • 9.45-10.15: Josh Timmermann (University of British Columbia), “Augustine as Guarantor of ‘Patristic’ Status in the Early Middle Ages: The Nachleben of Tyconius”

10.30-10.45: Tea/coffee break

Augustine in late antique controversies over grace and free will 

Chair: Lewis Ayres (Durham University)

  • 10.45-11.15: Alexander Hwang (Holy Family University), “Saving Augustine’s Legacy: Prosper of Aquitaine in Rome”
  • 11.30-12: Adam Ployd (Wesley House Cambridge), “The Will(s) of Christ: The Legacy of Pelagianism in the Lateran Synod of 649”
  • 12.15-12.45: Emanuela Colombi (Università degli studi di Udine), “The readers' word: Augustine's thought and its 'marginal' reception”

1-2.30: Lunch break

Augustine, morals and politics in the Carolingian world

Chair: Cédrik Michel (Durham University)

  • 2.30-3: Marina Giani (Università degli studi di Milano), “Patristics and Politics. Augustine’s City of God in Carolingian Specula principum”
  • 3.15-3.45: Alberto Garzoni (University of Oxford), “A Forgotten Conversation. Carolingian readings of Augustine and Gelasius on political authority”

4-4.30: Tea/coffee break

The reception of Augustine in controversies on the soul

Chair: Rodrigo Ballon-Villanueva (Durham University)

  • 4.30-5: Martina Carandino (University of Oxford), “New perspectives on Augustine’s authority in Late Roman Gaul: Pomerius’ De natura animae”
  • 5.15-5.45: Jesse Keskiaho (University of Helsinki), “Augustinian teaching about the human soul in Carolingian pastoral care”

6.00: Conclusions

Download a copy of the programme from this link:   Augustine and the Making of Christian Practice (400-1000) programme