XLVIII Meeting of Scholars of Ancient Christianity 7-9 May 2020

Dear friends,

The Augustinianum and the Organizing Committee (J.A. Cabrera Montero, G. Caruso, F. Cocchini, M.G. Crepaldi, A. Di Berardino, E. Dovere, V. Grossi,  P. Mattei, A. Nazzaro, L. Perrone, E. Prinzivalli, R. Ronzani) cordially thank all who took part in the XLVII Meeting of Scholars of Ancient Christianity, and anncounce that the next Meeting will take place on 7, 8 and 9 May 2020, and will be dedicated to the topic:



The Shape and Purpose of Remembering in Ancient Christianity


Memory plays a fundamental role in the construction of both personal and collective identity. It is through memory that a community acquires an awareness of its continuity across time and in sharing that self-awareness, it strengthens its internal cohesion. When a community reshapes its memory—even unconsciously—it renders itself capable of confronting, without betraying itself, the challenges that history inevitably brings its way. The Christians of the early centuries were no different than any other community in this. The memory and continuous re-presentation of the events in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, whom they recognized as Lord and Christ, were the foundational and essential elements that contributed to their identity. This was true on the personal level, creating an identity marked by the effort to live a constant μνήμη θεοῦ, already present within the philosophical tradition, as well as on the communal level. 

In light of this dynamic, our conference proposes to show forth the various ways in which memory was formed and shaped in the patristic era: from oral tradition, the most fluid of all means, to written works, which were subject to interpretive rewriting and updating over time; from liturgical worship to material monuments. This complex task of memory construction was aimed at making alive in the present moment—both for the individual fideles as well as for the various ecclesial and civil institutions—the invaluable inheritance of a past, considered to be the bearer of great value and a sense of belonging for the present. It was a past that could extend back to the very origins of Christianity in general, in the accounts of Jesus and the Apostles; or it could remain focused on the beginnings of a local community, whether it be a local church, a sanctuary, a “school,” or a monastery. Regardless, they were eager to keep alive and constantly reformulate the memory of their roots, and thus of their identity. 

Within the construction of memory, those who guarantee its veracity play a primary role. The “witness” becomes a privileged actor in the process of authentication of that which happened, and because of this, also guarantor of fidelity to the original project. We welcome proposals for interventions that will be able to explore the various strategies by which early Christians went about conserving and adapting memory in the context of changing times and places, often with a concern to oppose any proposal to go astray from or “innovate” the understanding of their identity, within the context of a dialectic between orthodoxy and heresy. 

Contributions can treat the themes presented here within Christian authors, or those connected to them, from the first to the eighth centuries.

Those wishing to offer a brief communication (15 minutes) or a talk (25 minutes) are asked to send the title along with a brief summary of the paper and a short CV no later than 30 November 2019 to the following address only

Segreteria Incontri Augustinianum, Via Paolo VI, 25 – 00193 Roma / Italia

e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The  Organizing Committee will be meet during  January 2020 to evaluate the proposals, and will communicate the results confidentially immediately thereafter.


The Organizing Committee of the XLVIII Meeting of Scholars of Ancient Christianity

Download this file (XLVIII_Meeting_2020.pdf)XLVIII_Meeting_2020.pdf[XLVIII Incontro di Studiosi dell'Antichità Cristiana 2020 ENG]42 kB

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