Reflections on directing a mystery play in French

by Prof. David Wiles

The French play was part of the Oxford Medieval Mystery Cycle performed on 23 April 2022 in St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford. The Playgroup: Les Soeurs de Sainte-Hilde (avec la participation de quelques paysans d’Iffleï) had been formed for the occasion by director: David Wiles The play is part of a cycle, ‘Le mystère de la passion’, written in the mid C15th by Arnoul Gréban, organist at Notre Dame cathedral, and doubtless also choirmaster. Full text available open access.

People ask me: “Why did you decide to do a play in French?”  Implication: it’s an English-speaking audience, and they won’t understand – middle-English bad enough.  Three responses to this one. 1. Political:  not good to live in a monoglot culture, and unlike modern scholarship the medieval world did not view life through the lens of the nation-state. 2. Theatrical:  to communicate through action and the body is a challenge which forces actors to engage with language on a different level, and reach out to their audience. 3. Intellectual:  venturing into Gréban’s text was a journey of discovery, as impenetrable hieroglyphs yielded slowly through rehearsal into recognisable speech patterns, with every phrase having its theatrical work to do. What looks like literary doggerel turns out to be theatrical gold.

An interesting research question follows – what are the cultural continuities that make Gréban’s mighty four-day passion play recognisably French, when set alongside the familiar English cycles?  Centralisation is one feature – responsibility not subdivided to autonomous guilds, but a single integrated work for an urban community to mount.  Another is the French ability to listen and maintain concentration upon the word.  In the English texts, action typically takes place between stanzas, but in the French text couplets conjoin speeches, so each new speaker has a rhyme to echo in order to come in on cue, a feature we found invaluable.  The sustained rhythmic flow ratchets up the tension, with enough variety of register and poetic form to hold the spectator’s attention. Like the alexandrines of Racine, the eight-syllable medieval line has a lilt that asks to be animated by the arms, so different from English metres which asked to be stamped with the feet.

After seeing the performance, a friend asked me: “What lesson was the play is supposed to impart?”  Implication: medieval theatre was didactic, a case of the church telling the peasants what to think. There is no simple moral to the John the Baptist sequence.  In the artistic structure John’s martyrdom is there because it foreshadows Christ’s.  People didn’t need telling that tyrants are venal, rather, it’s the recognisable social reality upon which a drama is built. Herod has his reasons for acting, and he washes his hands like Pilate. The medieval Salome is an enigma – we are free to draw our own conclusions, not told what to think. The urge to create theatre or art is a human constant, responding to the sensation of life as a cosmic mystery.  The idea that medieval theatre is ‘didactic’ is a handy modernist cliché, serving the narrative of progress, and all the cultural arrogance which that narrative commonly instils.  My preferred picture of the longue durée is one of progressive fragmentation, and I find in medieval theatre a holistic model of how theatre used to embrace and address a complete community in all its diversity, along with the gamut of human experience – comic and tragic, bestial and sublime – before dedicated theatre buildings and professionalism in acting and penmanship locked theatre into its lonely compartment.

David Wiles is Emeritus Professor of Drama at the University of Exeter, and lives in Iffley. He is a theatre historian whose main specialisms have been Greek and Shakespearean drama. He wrote the entry on medieval theatre for the Oxford Illustrated History of the Theatre. His medieval CV includes a student production of the plays of the Wakefield Master in the gardens of Westminster Abbey, Mankynde in the Burton Taylor rooms, a crucifixion on a farmer’s trailer in Buckingham marketplace, staging three plays by the C10th nun Roswitha, and a community production of the N-Town Creation/Fall and York Noah in Iffley.

Repeat performance of the play at Iffley Church on 24 April 2022. Cast: John the Baptist – Laurence Nagy Manasses (disciple) – Alice Hawkins Sophonias (disciple) – Laura Laube Herod – Alex Marshall Herodias – Irina Boeru Salome – Alice Hawkins Groignart A (servant) – Kate Bunn Groignart B (servant) – Andrew Stilborn Amphiarus (noble) – David Wiles Radigon (noble) – Laura Laube God – Henrike Lähnemann Crew: Director: David Wiles Consultant: Sebastian Dows-Miller Head Creator: Andrew Stilborn Filmed by Isabel Reichenbach

Trinity Term 2022 OMS Lecture: Caroline Danforth

Paper, Linen, Silk, and Parchment – Material Fragments from an Extinguished Convent

Tuesday 26 April 2022, 5p. Watch the recording on the OMS Youtube Channel

Apollonia von Freyberg was a Poor Clare nun living in the medieval village of Mülhausen (today, Mulhouse, France). We know of Apollonia through an artefact housed at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC – a colored woodcut by Lienhart Ysenhut (1959.16.15) which is housed inside a box made, in part, of recycled materials. Among these materials is the fragment of a letter addressed to Apollonia. Apollonia enriched her convent with manifold gifts and subsequently experienced the dissolution of her cloistered home during the Protestant Reformation. Beginning with Ysenhut’s print and the clues hidden in its enclosure, learn more about Apollonia’s family, wealth, and fate following her departure from Mülhausen in the early 16th century.

Caroline Danforth holds an MFA in painting from The George Washington University and a BA in German, Art History, and Fine Arts from Mary Washington College. She also studied art history in Germany for two years, in Munich and Tübingen. Since 2008, she has worked as a preservation framer of prints, drawings, and photographs at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Her research interests include the history and manufacture of parchment, German to English translation, and the Poor Clares of late medieval Germany. Most recently, Caroline served as guest editor for a special issue on parchment for Art in Translation and co-authored Letters for Apollonia for Franciscan Studies.

Medieval Matters: Week 1

Trinity term has arrived! I hope that everyone has been enjoying the warmer weather and arrival of Spring. We welcomed the beginning of term with the spectacular Mystery Plays last Saturday. On behalf of OMS, I’d like to extend a huge thank-you to all medievalists across Oxford who took part in the Plays whether as actors or spectators: we had 89 active participants and 320 registered attendants in person plus up to 150 simultaneous views on the live-stream! For those of you who missed out, you can catch up on all the action online – the recordings will be edited but are already watchable, warts and all, via the St Edmund Hall youtube channel; pics of the day are accessible via the hashtag #OxfordMysteries on twitter.

As we all return to term and to Oxford, some wisdom from the Old English Maxims:

Muþa gehwylc mete þearf, mæl sceolon tidum gongan.
[Every mouth needs food; meals must come at the correct time.]

Though technology doesn’t allow me to send you food of the traditional type, I bring you a whole smorgasbord of feasts for the mind in the form of the Trinity Term Medieval Booklet. Please do peruse it and whet your appetites for all of the exciting offerings that we have this term. For now, this is what is happening this week:

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Monday 25th April:

  • The Book at the Bodleian: Whence, Where, Whither? takes place at 11am-6pm in the Lecture Theatre, Weston Library and also streamed live. Visit the webpage for further information.
  • The Medieval Latin Manuscript Reading Group meets at 1-2pm on Teams. Sign up here for the mailing list to receive details of each week’s sessions: https://web.maillist.ox.ac.uk/ox/info/medieval-latin-ms-reading. Contact Matthew Holford, Andrew Dunning or Tuija Ainonen for further details.
  • The Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar will take place on Zoom at 12.30-2pm. This week’s speaker is Jack Sheard (Royal Holloway), ‘Byzantium and the Black Sea, c.1000-1204′. To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk. Please note that there is no need to register if you have previously subscribed to the seminar mailing list.
  • The Medieval History Seminar meets at 5pm at The Wharton Room, All Souls College and online on Teams. This week’s speaker is Richard Purkiss (Lincoln/RAI), ‘The limits of the Danelaw’. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your .ox.ac.uk account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). If you have any difficulties please email: medhistsem@history.ox.ac.uk.

Tuesday 26th April:

  • The Trinity Term OMS Lecture takes place at 5pm, online via the OMS youtube page. This term’s lecture is by Caroline Danforth, and will be on the subject of ‘Paper, Linen, Silk, and Parchment – Material Fragments from an Extinguished Convent‘.
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar meets at 5pm in Warrington Room, Harris Manchester College. This week’s speaker is Lucy Pick (University of Chicago) ‘Parables and Commandments:  a Jewish text in Latin

Wednesday 27th April:

  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar meets at 5pm at Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St. Giles. This week’s speaker is Baukje van den Berg (Central European University), ‘Twelfth-Century Scholars on the Moral Value of Ancient Poetry‘.
  • The Medieval English Research Seminar meets at 5.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, Faculty of English. This week’s speaker will be Hannah Bower (University of Cambridge), ‘“And bi þe bodi he him hent, | And al to peces here torent”: violent fragmentation and productive uncertainty in The Seven Sages of Rome’ (chaired by Marion Turner). For further information, contact daniel.wakelin@ell.ox.ac.uk.

Thursday 28th April:

  • The Middle High German Reading Group meets at 10am at Somerville College Productivity Room (Margery Fry). This term’s topic is ‘Maeren’. If you have any questions or want to participate, please send an e-mail to melina.schmidt@lincoln.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Greek and Latin Reading Group meets at 4pm in Harold Wilson Room, Jesus College – meet at Jesus lodge. This week’s text is Catullus 5, 85 and 101. Contact John Colley or Jenyth Evans to be added to the mailing list.
  • The After Rome and Further East Seminar takes place at Trinity College (Levine Room 5) at 5pm. This week’s speaker is Nadine Viermann (Durham), ‘In and out of Constantinople: Early-seventh-century coronation rituals in context’.
  • The Old English Reading Group takes place at 5.30pm. For more information and to receive the text in advance email eugenia.vorobeva@jesus.ox.ac.uk.

Friday 29th April:

  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group meets at 5pm in Taylorian Room 2 and on Zoom. This term, Luca Crisma (EPHE, Paris) will lead reading of the Anglo-Norman Letter of Prester John. For texts, joining instructions, and further information, please email Stephanie Hathaway or Jane Bliss.

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Oxford-Cambridge student conversations on ‘Cross-Cultural Entanglements’. We are a group of students from Oxford and Cambridge interested to cross-cultural entanglements in the medieval and Early Modern Period. Building on a successful first meeting, we are aiming at expanding the network to include as many students as possible. The idea is to meet once a month on Tuesday to exchange ideas and discuss both sources and articles. Anyone interested into this theme should feel free to join this group, whose meeting will be online, monthly. If you would like to be added to the mailing list, send an e-mail to nicola.carotenuto@history.ox.ac.uk
  • CFP: Hyggnathing. Following on from last year’s sucess, Hyggnathing returns this year for a fully online one-day conference for graduate students of Old Norse. We hope that the online format will allow students to join regardless of their financial situation (in-person conferences are expensive!) and geographical location. For full details, please visit the OMS blog.

Finally, as we embark upon Trinity Term, some wisdom from the Old English Rune Poem:

ᛋ [sigel] se-mannum symble biþ on hihte
[The sun is always a hope for seafarers]

May the sun in Oxford similarly bring some hope to scholars! I wish you all a happy and productive first week in the April sunshine!

[A Medievalist whets their appetite with the many offerings of the Trinity Term booklet]
Merton College, MS 249, f. 7r.
View image and text in the Taylor Edition by Sebastian Dows-Miller
https://editions.mml.ox.ac.uk/editions/bestiary/#Serra

Medicine and Healing: The 18th Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference

The 2022 Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference organising committee is pleased to announce the programme for Medicine and Healing.

Medicine and Healing: The 18th Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference

21st-22nd April, online and in-person at Ertegun House, St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LD.

Sponsored by the Ertegun Graduate Scholarship Programme in the Humanities, Oxford Medieval Studies, the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) and the Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature.

Organising Committee: Katherine Beard, Ashley Castelino, Corinne Clark, James Cogbill, Nia Moseley-Roberts, Diana Myers, Grace O’Duffy, Caleb Prus and Eugenia Vorobeva.

To register for online or in-person attendance, please visit our website.

Programme

THURSDAY 21st APRIL

9:30-9:55 Registration (in-person)

9:55-10:00 Opening Remarks

10:00-11:30 Session 1: Charmed (chair: Katherine Beard)

  • Grace Pyles, ‘The Medicinal Unicorn Horn in the European Middle Ages’
  • Emer Kavanagh, ‘Shape and Form: The Use of Sympathetic Magic in Irish Charming Tradition’
  • Radka Pallová, ‘Humane Treatment? Animal Bodies in Alexander of Tralles’

11:30-12:00 Break with refreshments

12:00-13:30 Session 2: Call the Midwife (chair: Diana Myers)

  • Ailie Westbrook, ‘‘Mulieribus non est dicendum’: Mediated Knowledge in Women’s Health in Medieval Denmark’
  • Shir Blum, ‘Appositusque Iuvat Mulierem Parturientem: the Material Variety of Amulets as Obstetrical Aides’
  • Rachel Chenault, ‘Experiencing Childbirth: The Search for Female Voices, 1000-1200 C.E.’

13:30-14:30 Lunch

14:30-15:30 Session 3: The Seventh Seal (chair: James Cogbill)

  • Ben Hatchett, ‘‘A suitable medicine against all crimes’: John of Rupescissa’s Purgative Plague’
  • Stephen Pow, ‘Was Bubonic Plague behind the Epidemic that Affected the Mongol Army in China in 1259?’

15:30-16:00 Break with refreshments

16:00-17:00 Keynote Address 1

  • Dr Hannah Bower, ‘Locating Authority in Medieval Medical Writing: Playing with Presence and Absence’

17:00 Drinks Reception

19:00 Conference Dinner (optional)

FRIDAY 22nd APRIL

9:30-10:15 Medicine & Healing at Oxford: Manuscript & Social Session (with refreshments)

10:15-11:15 Session 4: Being Human (chair: Caleb Prus)

  • Melanie Socrates, ‘Impatient Medicine: Agency and Urgency in Middle English Medical Works’
  • S. Doğan Karakelle, ‘Knowing Horses and Thyself: Spiritual Healing and Rulership Practices in Ottoman-Turkish Veterinary Manuals 1400-1600’

11:15-11:45 Break with refreshments

11:45-13:15 Session 5: Inside Out (chair: Corinne Clark)

  • Ruth Rimmer, ‘Healing Through Lists in Lacnunga
  • Colette Sarjano Utama McDonald, ‘A Stitch Through Time: the Besloten Hofjes at Mechelen, Alberto Burri, and Judith Scott’
  • Madeleine Killacky, ‘Challenging the Monopoly of 16th-Century Anatomical Knowledge through Pop-up Paper Figures’

13:15-14:15 Lunch

14:15-15:45 Session 6: Sister Act (chair: Eugenia Vorobeva)

  • Magdalena Buszka, ‘Saint Barbara of Medieval French Mystery Plays – Healer of Bodies and Souls’
  • Hólmfríður Sveinsdóttir, ‘The Use of Lead Tablets and Anatomical Votives in Medieval Healing Practices: Case studies from the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo’

15:45-16:15 Break with refreshments

16:15-17:15 Keynote Address 2

  • Professor Emilie Savage-Smith, ‘Modern Myths and Medieval Medicine’

17:15-17:20 Closing Remarks

Image: Medieval dentistry, from the fourteenth-century Omne Bonum of James le Palmer (courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

The Oxford Medieval Mystery Cycle 2022

23 April 2022, 12noon to 5pm. A cycle of medieval mystery plays performed by various groups around St Edmund Hall. A multilingual medieval experience not to be missed! All welcome (free of charge)! Performed by a variety of groups with links to Oxford Medieval Studies. Full information https://www.seh.ox.ac.uk/mystery-cycle
Directors: Henrike Lähnemann & Lesley Smith, Manager: Eleanor Baker

Programme

The cycle will be streamed via the St Edmund Hall Youtube Channel. Just tune in any time to follow the unfolding drama!

At 12 noon, the chapel bell will ring for the prologue, followed by Creation in the Old Dining Hall. From there the story of mankind will unfold, with the Old Testament being acted out in the Front Quad and the New Testament in the churchyard around St Peter-in-the-East.

Front Quad –
11:45-12:00 midday Musical Entertainment
12:00-12:05 Introduction
12:10-12:40 1. Creation and the Fall of Adam (Faculty of English)
12:45- 12:55 2. The Killing of Abel (Holloway Mystery Players)
1:00 – 1:25 3. Noah (Medieval Studies Students)

Churchyard –
1:30 – 1:50 4. The Visitation (Jasmine and the Kilnsians)
1:55- 2:20 5. The Shepherds’ Play (The Pastoral Players)
2:25- 2:40 6. The Magi (The Wise Women)
2:45 – 2:55 7. Herod the Great (The 5th Week Blues)
3:10 – 3:30 8. John the Baptist (Les Soeurs de Sainte-Hilde avec la participation de quelques paysans d’Iffleï)
3:35 – 3:55 9. Lazarus (Medieval Masters)
4:00 – 4:15 10. The Crucifixion (The Manic Medievalists)
4:20-5:00 11. The Resurrection (The Mercantile Minstrels)

Medieval Coffee Mornings are back!

Medievalists Coffee Mornings back from 22 April @bodleiancsb. Every Friday 10:30-11:30am in the Visiting Scholars Centre in the Weston Library. Access via the Readers Entrance on Museum Road. All bodcard holders welcome!

  • Tea
  • Roof terrace
  • Sneak preview of new acquisitions

@oxmedstud grads: Apply NOW to Chris Fletcher for title of “bibliobarista” to help & pick items for discussion!

Workshop Report: ‘The Murbach Hymns (MS. Junius 25) – Vernacular Glossing in the Early Middle Ages’

The workshop ‘The Murbach Hymns (MS. Junius 25) – Vernacular Glossing in the Early Middle Ages’ (17–18 February 2022) highlighted a remarkable text ensemble: the Murbach hymns, a Latin hymnal with Old High German interlinear glosses. Taking this text, one of the oldest sources of Old High German, and its manuscript MS. Junius 25 (Oxford, Bodleian Library) as starting point, the importance of vernacular glossing and writing in the Early Middle Ages became clear: It sits at the crossroads of theological, linguistic, and layout approaches to the text.

Helen Gittos and Luise Morawetz discussing MS. Rawl. C. 697 (Oxford, Bodleian Library) at the Weston Library.

Participants from all over the world were able to participate thanks to the hybrid conference format, accessible online as well as in person. To allow all participants the same close-up insights into the materiality of the valuable and fragile manuscripts, the workshop opened with a presentation of the manuscript MS. Junius 25. Due to the excellent equipment of the Bodleian Library, it came to life in the expert hands of the curators, who turned the pages and the whole volume as real-time reaction to questions and requests from the audience, who were introduced to the material and linguistic peculiarities of the rare object. The speakers present at Oxford had the chance to consult and discuss the original manuscripts beforehand.

Over the course of further sessions, scholars from different research communities came together and presented their work on linguistics, pragmatics and material studies. Combining different disciplines resulted in a comprehensive survey of the use and characteristics of vernacular in the Early Middle Ages, including Old High German, Old Frisian and Old English. The theoretical insights were put into practice in a Latin-Old High German compline, which demonstrated how the oldest variety of the German language could be brought back to life. For the first time in history, the glosses of the Murbach hymns were set to music, among other Old High German texts read during the service. The workshop was brought to a close with a consultation of further glossed manuscripts of the Bodleian Library (MS. Auct. F. 1. 16, MS. Rawl. C. 697, MS. Canon. Pat. Lat. 57), partly neither digitised nor edited, which put the focus again on the object – the foundation of historical linguistic studies.

The St Edmund Consort performing the Latin-Old High German compline in the crypt
of St-Peter-in-the-East in Oxford.

The event was designed as a workshop and was intended to allow the participants to interact with each other and develop ideas collectively. Extended breaks were included in which discussions could continue in person as well as online. This opportunity was used by many, despite sessions already overrunning to address all questions. During the sessions, breakout groups allowed smaller groups of participants to share their thoughts before entering the main discussion, enabling equal contributions from listeners and speakers and leading to lively participation.

The interdisciplinary approach to early vernacular and the workshop format worked well, as the high numbers of registrations and intense and vibrant discussions showed. The workshop brought the exciting text and manuscript of the Murbach hymns back into the focus of linguistic research.

We hope to deepen the collaborations established during the event and continue the debates about the status of the vernacular in the Early Middle Ages in future, exploring the interdisciplinary approach further and testing it on other material from the rich collections of Oxford and beyond.

The manuscript in focus. The setup of the workshop in St Edmund Hall (Oxford) during the presentation of Auct. F. 1. 16 (Oxford, Bodleian Library).

I want to thank all participants and supporters of this workshop, above all the speakers (in order of their presentations): Prof. Dr Daniela Mairhofer (Princeton); Prof. Dr Michael Stolz (Bern); Dr Elke Krotz (Vienna); Dr Matthias Standke (Berlin); Prof. Dr Alderik Blom (Marburg); Dr Helen Gittos (Oxford); Prof. em. Dr Elvira Glaser (Zurich); Prof. Dr Stephan Müller (Vienna).

I also want to thank the team of the Bodleian Libraries, Dr Alexandra Franklin, Dr Matthew Holford and Dr Andrew Dunning; Tom Revell, who produced this event; James Whitbourn, who set the Murbach hymns to music, and the St Edmund Consort, who performed the compline; and Will Thurlwell, Prof. Dr Howard Jones and Prof. Dr Henrike Lähnemann, who supported the workshop in person.


In association with the Bodleian Libraries and Oxford Medieval Studies, sponsored by the Centre for the Study of the Book (CSB), The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) and the University Council of Modern Languages (UCML).

Convenor: Luise Morawetz (luise.morawetz@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk)

The legacy of Oxford Palaeographers

The Legacy of Oxford Palaeographers is a one-day workshop that will focus on the palaeographic terminology used by key Oxford palaeographers, organised by Colleen Curran and David Rundle. Register here

About this event

This one-day workshop on 21 March 2022 at the MBI Al Jaber Building, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, will focus on E. A. Lowe, Neil Ker, Malcolm Parkes and A. C. de la Mare. The intention is not to be biographical but to discuss each person’s contribution to the discipline of palaeography, with specific emphasis on the varying terminology they used. Our speakers will focus on these palaeographers’ larger research outputs and the methodologies contained within, how these resources are still fundamental within the field, and what aspects, if any, need to be updated, questioned, or challenged. Therefore, this event will not only be retrospective but will also encourage participants to think about the future directions of the field. We further anticipate that the workshop will facilitate conversations about how we employ palaeography terminology ourselves.

Programme

10.45–11.15: Coffee/Registration (Rainolds Room, Corpus Christi College)

11.15–11.30: Introduction (Colleen Curran & David Rundle)

11.30–1: Panel 1: E.A. Lowe

  • Chair: Stephen Harrison  
  • David Ganz 
  • Giovanni Varelli 
  • Jo Story

1–2: Lunch (Rainolds Room, Corpus Christi College)

2–3.30: Panel 2: N.R. Ker

  • Chair: Christopher de Hamel
  • Julia Crick
  • Elaine Treharne
  • James Willoughby 

3.30–4: Tea/Coffee Break (Rainolds Room, Corpus Christi College)

4–5: Panel 3: M.B. Parkes

  • Chair: Pam Robinson
  • Tessa Webber
  • Daniel Wakelin

5–5.15: Comfort Break

5.15–6: Panel 4: A. C. de la Mare

  • Chair: Laura Nuvoloni
  • David Rundle
  • Martin Kauffmann

6–6.30: Respondent: Dáibhí Ó Cróinín

6.30: Drinks Reception (Rainolds Room, Corpus Christi College)

Hesychasm in Context: Theology and Society in the Fourteenth Century

The Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and the Maison française d’Oxford invite you to attend the hybrid conference Hesychasm in Context: Theology and Society in the Fourteenth Century, Thursday 17th – Friday 18th March 2022. All of the papers will be livestreamed.

To register for the in-person event (including lunches), please email Dr Rei Hakamada (rei.hakamada@theology.ox.ac.uk) as soon as possible, as numbers are limited.

Registration to participate online is via the following link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZArc-2trj4iGdfuVWLi81Wc0ybeFo43Xx-i.

PROGRAMME

Thursday 17th March
Lecture Room, Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St. Giles’, Oxford, OX1 3LU

9.00: Welcome

9.15: Rei Hakamada (Okayama University / University of Oxford), Lay Hesychasts? Isidore and Palamas among Lay People

10.00: Mihail Mitrea (Babeș Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca / Institute for South-East European Studies, Bucharest), Hesychasm and Hagiography in Fourteenth-Century Byzantium [online]

10.45: Coffee

11.15: Ralph Greis (St Joseph’s Benedictine Abbey, Gerleve), The Connection Between Liturgical Theology and Hesychastic Spirituality in the Homilies of St. Gregory Palamas

12.00: Christiaan Kappes (Ss Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary), Gregory Palamas’s Theotokos in Light of Latin Contacts and his Reception of Latin Literature in Byzantium

12.45: Lunch

13.45: Marie-Hélène Blanchet (CNRS, UMR 8167 Orient et Méditerranée, Paris), John VI Cantacuzene, the Hesychast Crisis and the Latin World: An Ambiguous Strategy

14.30: Judith Ryder (University of Oxford), When To Speak and When To Hold Your Peace: The Conflict between Demetrios Kydones and Philotheos Kokkinos

15.15: Coffee

15.45: Monica White (University of Nottingham), Hesychasm in Rus?

16.30: Norman Russell (St Stephen’s House, Oxford), Engaging with Islam in Late Byzantium: Strategies of Resistance and Accommodation

17.15: Drinks – The Maison française d’Oxford is delighted to offer participants a glass of champagne


Friday 18th March
Miles Room, St Peter’s College, New Inn Hall Street, Oxford, OX1 2DL

10.30: Eiji Hisamatsu (Ryukoku University), The Jesus Prayer and Yoga: The Early Literature of Hesychasm and the Svetasvatara Upanishad [online]

11.15: Vassa Kontouma (École Pratique des Hautes Études, PSL, Paris), The Re-enchanted Universe of Iakovos of Nea Skete (19th c.). A Hesychast Response to the Copernican Revolution?

12.15: Final remarks

12.30: Lunch

Image: St. Gregory Palamas, Monastery of Vatopedi, Mount Athos (Creative Commons CCO 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication)

Oxford Medieval Society – Plagues Panel

On Wednesday 2nd March 2022, the Oxford Medieval Society will hold a panel on medieval plagues.

Professor Mark Bailey (University of East Anglia) will give a talk entitled What did the Black Death do for us? Some answers from England, 1350 to 1400, and Professor Samuel Cohn (University of Glasgow) will speak on Plagues of the Central Middle Ages: The dog that didn’t bark.

The panel will start at 5pm and be held in the North Lecture Room of St. John’s College.

All are very welcome to attend what promises to be a fascinating panel.

Image credit: “The Triumph of Death”, Galleria Regionale della Sicilia, Palermo, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.