11-12 May

International conference: Female Authority and Holiness in Early Christianity and Byzantium

Online via Zoom

Centre for Medieval Literature

The conference investigates the representation of women’s authority and holiness from a diachronic perspective. By underlining the connection between early Christianity and Byzantium, it brings together texts from different periods and genres, which have traditionally been studied in isolation (e.g. apocrypha, visions, hagiography). The conference centers around the notion of time, used to indicate not only temporal passing and its articulation, but also embodied, experiential time and its construction. By looking at time as intertwined with the construction and the experience of social and gendered roles, the conference explores motifs and narratives related to the different and often varying articulation of female authority, considered against the wider background of Christian ideals of holiness. Speakers will explore the interplay between temporality and traditional gender roles, the transmission and reception of female authority and sainthood between early Christianity and hagiographical texts, and the connection between temporality and female holiness in Byzantine hagiography.

Organisation and contact

For more information please contact organiser Maria Dell'Isola: mariadellisola@sdu.dk

To register and receive zoom link please write to cml@sdu.dk

Download conference poster here


Tuesday 11 May

14:00-14:15 Welcome

Introduction: Maria Dell'Isola (University of Southern Denmark/Centre for Medieval Literature)

Women in Early Christianity and Byzantium


Outi Lehtipuu (University of Helsinki)

Suffering as an Immediate Resurrection: Times of Salvation in Ancient Christian Martyr Stories


Ángel Narro (University of V alencia)

Emulating Thecla: Migdonia, Xanthippe, and Polyxena. Different Conceptions on Conversion and Religious Life

15:45-16:00 Break

Laura Carnevale (University of Bari “Aldo Moro”)

A Portrayal of ‘Gendered’ Authority Across Time and Space: Mary of Cassobola in Two Epistles of the Ps.Ignatian Corpus


Marijana Vukovic (University of Southern Denmark/Centre for Medieval Literature)

Husband as a ‘Religious Other’: Family Discord from Early Christian Apology to Medieval Hagiography

Wednesday 12 May


Luca Arcari (University of Naples “Federico II”)

A Gendered ‘Colonization’ of a Visionary Body: the Montanist Prophetess and the Male Textualization of Her Visionary Account According to Tertullian’s De Anima (9.4)


Stavroula Constantinou (University of Cyprus)

Mothers' Time: The Temporality of Motherhood in the Life of Martha and the Life of Symeon Stylite the Younger

10:30-10:45 Break

Aglae Pizzone (University of Southern Denmark/Centre for Medieval Literature)

Girls, Interrupted. Persephone, Synchronicity and Genealogy in Tzetzes’ Hypomnema for Saint Lucia


Christian Høgel (University of Southern Denmark/Centre for Medieval Literature)

The Metaphrastic Female Saint: Time and Temporality in Rewritten Lives of Women Saints

11:45-12:00 Conclusion
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