Organized Lay Piety in Late Antiquity

Organized Lay Piety in Late Antiquity lead image

Organized Lay Piety in Late Antiquity or: Rethinking the Beginnings of Communal Monasticism, Forum Moving Byzantium, University of Vienna, December 11, 2017 5:00–6:30 pm

The next “Forum Moving Byzantium” will take place on Monday 11.12.2017, from 17:00 to 18:30, at the Department of  Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies (University of Vienna, Postgasse 7, 1010 Vienna, Staircase 1, Third Floor, Hörsaal).

It will provide the unique opportunity to discuss with Prof. Dr. Claudia Rapp her current work on “Organized Lay Piety in Late Antiquity or: Rethinking the Beginnings of Communal Monasticism”. The focus will be on the third to seventh century, a time when the church was just beginning to formalize and consolidate its internal organization.

Claudia Rapp is Professor at the Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies at the University of Vienna and the Director of the Division of Byzantine Research at the Institute for Medieval Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. She is the Leader of the “Moving Byzantium” Wittgenstein-prize project. Her research interests include social and religious history, the history of written and writing culture, hagiography and the cult of saints, as well as the Late Antique and Byzantine culture.

After a brief introduction in English, a group discussion will follow under the moderation of Dr. Dionysios Stathakopoulos, Senior Lecturer in Byzantine Studies (King’s College London) on the basis of the following preparatory readings (to be read in sequence):

  1. E. Wipszycka, “Les confrèries dans la vie religieuse de l’Égypte chrétienne,” Proceedings of the XIIth International Congress of Papyrology, Toronto 1970, 511-525.
  2. S. Ashbrook Harvey, “Revisiting the Daughters of the Covenant: Womens’ Choirs and Sacred Song in Late Ancient Christianity,” Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies 8 (2005 [2009]), 125-149.
  3. J. Baun, Tales from Another Byzantium, Cambridge and New York, 2007, 371-375.
  4. P. Magdalino, “Church, Bath and Diakonia in Medieval Constantinople,” Church and People in Byzantium, ed. R. Morris (Birmingham, 1990), 165-188.
  5. C. Rapp, ‘Organized Lay Piety in Late Antiquity or: Rethinking the Beginnings of Communal Monasticism’ (working paper)
  6. (optional) J. Wortley, “The Spirit of Rivalry in Early Christian Monasticism,” Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 33.4 (1992), 383-404.

Some of the questions that will be put forward for discussion are:

  • How did men and women express and enact their piety and devotion outside the established ecclesiastical structures?
  • What kind of activities did they pursue?
  • How was this viewed by others?
  • What alternative frameworks existed for the expression and enactment of piety and devotion? And how does the development of communal monasticism fit into this?

Registration is required.