From Ctesiphon to Toledo:
A Comparative View on Early Church Councils in East and West
Central European University (CEU), Vienna
Thursday, October 12–Friday, October 13, 2023
Keynote lecture: Richard Price (University of London)
The Lateran Synod of 649 and the Council of Constantinople of 680–81: Concord and Divergence
The first part of the lecture will discuss the extraordinary anomalies in the acts of both these councils. In both cases there are serious problems, exceeding those of other comparable councils, over the extent to which the published acts correspond to the actual proceedings. Or, in the case of the Lateran Synod, were the proceedings accurate but the mode in which the council was conducted utterly without precedent? From there this lecture will proceed to the theological competence of each of these councils. The Lateran Synod received excellent guidance from the Greek monks, particularly Maximus the Confessor, who were in Rome at the time. In contrast, the Definition of 681 should startle us with its wilful misunderstanding of its opponents and its inadequate treatment of the one subject in Christ. At the same time, the patristic citations were so carelessly chosen as to add confusion rather than light. How did a council that lasted for ten months produce so inept a definition?
Richard Price [MA (Oxford), DPhil (Oxford), BD (London), MTh (London)] is Honorary Research Fellow of the Hellenic Research Institute at Royal Holloway, University of London and Professor Emeritus of the History of Christianity of the erstwhile Heythrop College, University of London. His many previous publications include The Acts of the Council of Constantinople of 553 (Liverpool 2009), The Acts of the Lateran Synod of 649 (with P. Booth & C. Cubitt, Liverpool 2014), The Acts of the Second Council of Nicaea (Liverpool 2018), The Council of Ephesus of 431 (with Thomas Graumann, Liverpool 2020) and Canons of the Quinisext Council (691/2) (Liverpool 2020). He is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Westminster.
Jennifer Barry (University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg VA)
Remembering Shadow Councils: Athanasius of Alexandria and the problem of Tyre
This paper will examine the role of fifth century ecclesiastical historians in preserving and creating a memory of formative Christian councils, with a specific focus on two councils that shaped the afterlife of Athanasius of Alexandria: the Council of Tyre (335 CE) and the Council of Alexandria (c.338 CE). The Council of Tyre aimed to discredit Athanasius, and it is often cited as the first council to shape his career as an exile. The Council of Alexandria, on the other hand, reinforced Athanasius's reputation as an orthodox figure, but its historical accuracy is difficult to establish. This paper argues that the Council of Alexandria served as a shadow council in the memory-making exercise of the ecclesiastical historians and was likely an invention of Athanasius himself. I conclude that the preservation and re-narration of its veracity by fifth century writers played a key role in promoting Athanasius as the model of Nicene Christian orthodoxy.
Jennifer Barry [MTS (Duke), PhD (Drew)] is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Mary Washington. She is the author of Bishops in Flight: Exile and Displacement in Late Antiquity (Berkeley 2019) and Gender Violence in Late Antiquity: Male Fanstasies and the Christian Imagination (forthcoming), along with many articles. She holds many leadership positions in organisations related to the study of late antique religion and society.
Craig Caldwell (Appalachian State University, Boone NC)
Rival Reenactments of Nicaea at the Councils of Serdica (343)
Within a Roman Empire divided between the imperial brothers Constans and Constantius II, two competing groups of bishops used elements of the Council of Nicaea to claim conciliar supremacy at Serdica in 343. Analyzing the personnel assembled by the pro-Athanasian (“western”) and anti-Athanasian (“eastern”) factions reveals how they interpreted Constantine’s council and used its legacy to bolster their positions. Ossius of Corduba, probably the most widely respected bishop among the surviving Nicene fathers, led the cause of Athanasius, along with the local bishop Protogenes of Serdica. By combining the accounts of Athanasius himself with those of Sozomen and Socrates, along with the canons of the council, we can see how these veteran churchmen presented their Council of Serdica as another Nicaea, but without a need for Constantine. On the other side, without the famous but recently deceased Eusebius of Nicomedia to lead them, the eastern bishops arrived with support from Constantinian officials such as Strategius Musonianus, who had assisted the emperor with ecclesiastical affairs in the 330s. In their competing set of canons, the anti-Athanasian faction denounced the resistance of both their episcopal rivals and the Serdican laypeople to imperial authority, striking a tone similar to Constantine’s when he had encountered Christian disunity. The synod held by these bishops tried to involve the emperor (either the departed Constantine or his absent son Constantius) in contrast to the meeting led by Ossius in another part of the city. Close attention to the attendees at Serdica thus illuminates the competition between the council meeting in the basilica versus the council meeting in the imperial palace: both gatherings reflected different legacies of Nicaea.
Craig Caldwell [MA (Princeton), PhD (Princeton)] is Associate Professor of History at Appalachian State University. He is the author of many articles on late antique military history and is currently revising his forthcoming monograph entitled Society in a War Zone: Late Roman Civil Wars in Southeastern Europe in the Fourth Century AD.
Mark DelCogliano (University of St. Thomas, St. Paul MN)
Coordinating the Double-Council of Ariminum and Seleucia: Ideals and Reality
The participants in ancient church councils typically gathered in one place at the same time, though at some councils like those of Serdica in 343 and of Ephesus in 431 the attendees divided into factions that met in opposition to one another while in the vicinity of each other. When an earthquake in Nicomedia in the summer of 358 made convening an ecumenical council in that city impracticable, Emperor Constantius II hatched a novel plan to hold single council in two separate places, the western one in Ariminum in Italy and the eastern one in Seleucia in Cilicia, cities nearly 3000 km apart. Such an undertaking obviously involved a great deal of coordination on the part of the imperial and episcopal stakeholders. This paper seeks to reconstruct insofar as it is possible what plans were made for coordination and communication between the two councils so that both constituted a single ecumenical council. For example, a single creed was drawn up in advance of both councils, the so-called Dated Creed of May 22, 359, for presentation at both. This paper furthermore explores how those plans were interrupted by some bishops involved in the twin councils; yet at the same time the very difficulty of coordination and communication between the two councils was exploited by some bishops to steer the councils toward the end desired by Constantius. In spite of the difficulties of coordination and communication between the councils, Constantius managed to get both the western bishops at Ariminum and the eastern bishops at Seleucia to subscribe to a single statement of faith, the so-called Creed of Niké. This creed was ratified as ecumenical at a council in Constantinople in January 360 and remained the official creed in the Roman Empire for nearly twenty years.
Mark DelCogliano [MTS (Vanderbilt), PhD (Emory)] is Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas. His books include his monograph Basil of Caesarea’s Anti-Eunomian Theory of Names: Christian Theology and Late-Antique Philosophy in the Fourth-Century Trinitarian Controversy (Leiden 2010) and numerous editions and translations of primary sources and numerous scholarly articles and book chapters. His most recent publications are The Cambridge Edition of Early Christian Writings, Volume 3: Christ: Through the Nestorian Controversy and Volume 4: Christ: Chalcedon and Beyond (Cambridge, 2022). He is currently working on an edition and translation of Phoebadius of Agen’s Contra Arrianos.
Claire Fauchon-Claudon (ENS de Lyon)
Accommodation during church councils: logistical challenges, issues and tensions
From Ctesiphon to Toledo, in the East as in the West, church councils bring together bishops, clerics, monks, imperial or papal legates, functionaries, translators, etc. Hundreds or even thousands of people flock to cities where the accommodation capacities are not systematically adjusted. This raises many logistical challenges. Where to house the participants of these councils? What practical solutions were found along the routes and on arrival? What material problems arose when the councils extended over several years? What problems are caused by the sudden influx of thousands of participants, and the presence of people of various statuses? Is promiscuity a source of tensions? Could some political matters be settled outside the councils?
From textual sources (historical, literary, legal, correspondence…) and material sources (archaeology), we will draw up a typology of the housing solutions adopted by the participants in the church councils (along the roads and then in the places where the councils took place). What strategies were implemented during this type of mobility? Which social, religious or political networks were involved? During Late Antiquity and Early medieval times, an imperial, ecclesiastical and monastic legislation appeared in order to codify religious mobilities and hospitality practices during synods and councils. Taking into account Latin, Greek and Syriac documentation, we will compare the Eastern and Western codification aiming to regulate the movements of clerics or monks. We will show the gaps between the decreed norms and the observed practices. Finally, we will observe the accommodation tensions induced by the questions of orthodoxy. For instance, on the occasion of the Council of Ephesus in 431, the residence where Nestorius was staying is protected by the guard of Candidianus, the comes domesticorum, as was that of John of Antioch, as well. Each faction thus probably rented a καταγώγιον where Nestorius and John barricaded themselves with their escort because they could not find private residences that were sufficiently secure; and lodging in the episcopal or imperial palace was unthinkable.
Considering the different frameworks in which these church councils operated, we will compare church council’s accommodation strategies and travel norms in East and West up to the seventh century.
Claire Fauchon-Claudon [MA (Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines), MA (Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon), PhD (University of Lyon 3)] is Associate Professor (Maître de conférences) in Ancient History at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France. Among many articles, papers and other publications, she has published (together with M-A Le Guennec) Hospitalité et régulation de l'altérité dans l'Antiquité méditerranéenne, Bordeaux, 2022 and “Les lieux de l’hospitalité”, Topoi, 24, 2021.
Cristian Gașpar (Central European University, Vienna)
Spoken like a Bishop? Sociolinguistic Notes on Linguistic (In)competence and the Dynamics of (Extra)ordinary Communication in the Greek Acts of Fifth-century Councils
The surviving Greek Acts of the Councils of Ephesus I (431 CE) and Chalcedon (451 CE) as well as those of various other ecclesiastic deliberations in between have been hailed by Fergus Millar as “by far the best evidence which we have [...] for the thought, and for the spoken and, in subscriptions, the written language of [...] several hundred different educated Christians of the fifth century,” most notably in the wealth of documents that purport to be verbatim transcripts of verbal interaction in Greek (Fergus Millar, A Greek Roman Empire: Power and Belief under Theodosius II (408-450), Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006, 254). This vast corpus should provide an excellent (albeit unique) opportunity for a sociolinguistic study of topics such as the extent and the limitations of linguistic competence in the various registers of Greek available to educated fifth-century speakers, the impact of diglossia (for the majority) and of bilingualism (at least for some of them) on their actual linguistic performance, as well as the degree of variation of such indicators within a very specific professional group—the bishops who attended the various conciliar meetings whose documents are extant.
The present paper intends to provide a tentative evaluation of fifth-century “episcopal Greek” by means of a sociolinguistic analysis of several relevant passages from fifth-century Greek conciliar Acts. My discussion will focus on a choice of diagnostic features that allow us to identify the presence of different registers of (spoken) fifth-century Greek in the extant material. I will also attempt to detect possible correlations between register choice and the social, linguistic, and ethnic backgrounds of individual speakers. Where extant, texts composed and/or performed by the same speakers in a different linguistic register will provide a welcome means of contextualizing the data obtained from the analysis of the conciliar materials.
My preliminary survey of the data sample suggests that, although accurate in principle, Millar's assessment quoted above is over-optimistic. There are obvious limitations to the value of linguistic data recorded in the conciliar Acts, most importantly, the constraints imposed by the specific dynamics of the (extraordinary) communication situation in which the speakers' interactions were recorded and the possibility that the records themselves, far from being accurate verbatim representations of words as spoken, may have been subjected to subsequent re-elaboration of various kinds in order to enhance their rhetorical and doctrinal efficacity.
Cristian Gaspar [MA (CEU) and PhD (CEU)] is Lecturer in the Department of Medieval Studies at Central European University. In addition to numerous articles and book chapters, he is frequent translator, into both English and Romanian, of late antique and religious texts, including notably a “Life of Saint Adalbert Bishop of Prague and Martyr” (2012), the first annotated English translation of BHL 37, and a Romanian translation of the minor prophets for the New Romanian Septuagint Translation Project (2009).
Thomas Graumann (Cambridge University)
Council Acts between East and West
For the self-presentation and claims to authority of synods in late antiquity, the preparation of council acts was of critical importance. The documents produced could range from the minutes of proceedings, to the documentation of theological or disciplinary decisions and supporting evidence, to the compilation of entire sets of acta. This presentation traces some of the steps and practices involved in these processes. It uses material from both the eastern and western halves of the Roman Empire and asks whether differences in practice or editorial intention are discernible.
Thomas Graumann [Dr. theol. habil. (WWU and RUB)] is Professor of Ancient Christian History and Patristic Studies at Cambridge University. In addition to numerous research articles, his notable publications include The Acts of the Early Church Councils: Production and Character (Oxford 2021), The Council of Ephesus of 431 (with R. Price, Liverpool 2020), Die Kirche der Väter: Vätertheologie und Väterbeweis in den Kirchen des Ostens bis zum Konzil von Ephesus (431) (Tübingen 2002), and Christus Interpres: Die Einheit von Auslegung und Verkündigung in der Lukaserklärung des Ambrosius von Mailand (Berlin 1994).
Uta Heil (University of Vienna)
Which Council Counts? Strategic Evaluations of Athanasius of Alexandria, Hilary of Poitiers, and Sabinus of Herakleia
It is modern research consensus that the high esteem in which the Synod of Nicaea in 325 is held emerged only over time. It is also known that Athanasius defended the Synod of Nicaea, that Hilarius became acquainted with its decisions only while in exile in the East and also wanted to come into agreement with the Orientals, and that Sabinus favoured the Antiochian Synod of 341. This is where the presentation starts and goes a step further: What significance does a synod have or do synods have at all for these authors? While only a tendency can be described for Sabinus due to the limited material, this enquiry is more successful for Hilarius and Athanasius. Both not only exhibit different theological tendencies, they also differ fundamentally in their valuation of a council.
Uta Heil [PhD (Erlangen-Nürnberg)] is University Professor at the University of Vienna, where she serves as Head of Institute for Church History and Dean of the Evangelisch-Theologische Fakultät. She is the author of numerous scholarly articles, book chapters, and critical editions, esp. Athanasius Werke, and has published several monographs on Athanasius of Alexandria and Avitus of Vienna, as well as The Apocryphal Sunday: History and Texts from Late Antiquity (Minneapolis 2023), scheduled for release contemporaneously with this conference. She is Managing Editor of the Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum/Journal of Ancient Christianity.
Ephrem A. Ishac (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna)
Nicaea in the East and West Syriac Synods
One of the questions deserving careful attention when looking at the transmission and reception of Nicaea (325 CE) in the Syriac tradition is how do we witness the presence of the canons of Nicaea in the synodical decisions in the Eastern and Western Syriac traditions. In the famous first Synod of Seleucia-Ctesiphon in 410 CE (also known as the Synod of Mar Isaac), we know of two versions: in the Eastern Syriac Synodicon (also known as the Synodicon Orientale), and in the Western Syriac version (which is thought to transmit the older text for this synod). In the two versions, we can see the clear influence of the Nicaean canons on what the Syriac synodical tradition transmitted as ‘the first’ official meeting for the Syriac bishops in the Persian Empire. Also, in the Synod of Mar Yabalaha in 420 CE, the echo of Nicaea can be heard clearly: in addition to the other Antiochian canonical and synodical collections of Ancyra (314), Neocaesarea (314-325), Gangra (342), Antioch (324/25) and Laodicea (365), the Nicaean canons are also markably noticeable in the decisions. Moreover, in the later Eastern Syriac Synods of Mar Aba (544), Mar Joseph (554), Mar Ishoʿyahb (585), and the later Eastern and Western Syriac Synods, the influence of Nicaea is noticeable and can be traced in the acts of these Syriac Synods. This paper will study the vestiges of Nicaea in the Eastern and Western Syriac Synods in the Syriac canonical manuscripts and fragments.
Ephrem A. Ishac [MA (St. Vladimir Seminary), PhD (Holy Spirit University, Lebanon)] holds several research, lecturing, and instructional appointments at Yale University, CEU, and Graz University, as well as the Foundation for Religious Studies in Bologna. Currently, he is the principal investigator for his new research project (FWF) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna. In addition to his dissertation on the Anaphora of Mar Jacob of Edessa, he is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on Syriac liturgy, with contributions in the Syriac digital humanities, including most recently (with Thomas Csanády and Theresa Zammit Lupi), Tracing Written Heritage in a Digital Age (Wiesbaden 2021).
Paulo Pachá (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro)
The General Councils of Toledo between Theory and Practice
In Visigothic Iberia during the seventh century, the Church's councils were the central stage for the development and promotion of a comprehensive Christian political discourse on all matters concerning the kingdom's government and salvation. However, this Christian political discourse has usually been interpreted in a reductive manner as a mere theoretical project, be it deliberately or because of institutional incapacity to implement it in practice. The primary instance of this debate emphasizes how the council's increasingly harsh condemnations of violent monarchical replacement could not transform the kingdom's political dynamics, as coups and depositions continued to occur even in the face of repeated threats of punishment by the councils. The evidence from the councils also shows several instances where the bishops' collective agreement and rule-making clashed with the acts of individual bishops in their sees. Another example is how general councils repeatedly affirmed the fixed periodicity of provincial councils only to note how this was not respected. Many historians have interpreted these instances as evidence of the council's limited power, as its claims of authority were often not reflected in practice. This paper argues that this simple opposition between theory and practice does not adequately explain the role of the councils in Visigothic Iberia. However, given that every practice presupposes some theory and vice versa—even if it is not explicitly stated—acknowledging this contradiction is not a sufficient explanation but is precisely what requires explanation. Instead, we will highlight how Christian political discourse constantly developed in seventh-century Iberia by analyzing the conciliar evidence within specific contexts. Therefore, we propose that far from being evidence of a static contradiction between theory and practice, the conciliar records reveal precisely the process in which theory and practice jointly and dialectically developed.
Paulo Pachá [PhD (Universidade Federal Fluminense) is Assistant Professor of Medieval History at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. In addition to his doctoral thesis on the structure and dynamics of the Visigothic state in the seventh century, he has published several articles, book chapters, and book reviews on the history of the Visigothic Kingdom. Among these, Paulo is the co-author of The Visigothic Kingdom: The Negotiation of Power in Post-Roman Iberia (with Sabine Panzram, Amsterdam 2020). He has been a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Hamburg Universität, Visiting Researcher at the IMAFO in Vienna, and was awarded two research fellowships in Madrid, both at the CCHS-CSIC and the Casa de Velázquez. From 2022 to 2023, Paulo was a Research Fellow at the RomanIslam Center in Hamburg.
Sabine Panzram (Universität Hamburg)
The Making of a Conciliar City: The Case of Toletum
The paper attempts to understand the making of a conciliar city, taking the Iberian Peninsula and Toletum as a case study. King Leovigild (569-586) made the city the urbs regia and thus gave the Visigothic kingdom a capital for the first time after decades. Toletum was therefore relevant from an administrative point of view and within the framework of what was still an "imperial order"—albeit under different circumstances. It was more difficult to gain prominence among the many cities on the Iberian Peninsula as the "first" site of Christianity. In any case, the upgrading of Toledo from a simple suffragan bishopric within Carthaginensis to a metropolitan see—a status previously held by Carthago Nova—goes back to the Decretum Gundemari of 610, the authenticity of which has been constantly questioned. I argue that tremendous efforts were required to establish its primacy. Although after 681 the Bishop of Toledo was the most powerful bishop within the Visigothic kingdom, his colleagues refused to recognize his position; in other words, the existence of (ecclesiastical) elites with their own patronage networks and armed forces ultimately prevented the development of a genuine Visigothic identity.
Sabine Panzram [PhD (Münster)] is Professor of Ancient History at Hamburg University. Her research focuses on social history of power in the Western Mediterranean, and in particular on urban history in the Iberian Peninsula. At the moment she is preparing a study on Christendom without Church. Among her latest publications stands out Regesta Pontificum Romanorum. Iberia Pontificia. Vol. VII: Hispania Romana et Visigothica (with L. Livorsi et al., Göttingen 2022).
Christie Pavey (Royal Holloway, University of London)
The African councils under Augustine and Aurelius: The key to understanding Late Antiquity?
For the Western Roman Empire, the key question about Late Antiquity typically concerns the extent to which the growing institution of the church supplanted structures found in a crumbling imperial system. Similarly, for the Eastern Roman Empire, a key question about the period concerns how exactly ecclesiastical and imperial structures worked together, and where they diverged. North Africa fits tidily into neither, particularly at the turn of the fifth century. As a result, late Roman Africa serves as a playground within which the relationship between ecclesiastical and imperial powers in late antiquity may be explored. In Peasant & Empire, Dossey argued that the explosion in the number of bishops in North Africa was a result of the diffusion of power and resources into rural areas. Humfress exposed the high level of legal training late antique bishops had, and the church’s culture of forensic rhetoric. Uhalde demonstrated that bishops became more involved in extra-ecclesiastical cases as late antiquity progressed. However, no one has explored how a bishop’s access to imperial power related to his involvement in the African church councils. In my paper, I will use evidence from the texts of these councils, as well as epigraphic data from dioceses represented at council, to argue that bishops most closely connected to imperial authority held significantly more prominent and influential positions at the African councils, even where they were fewer in number. Because of the unique nature of the councils in this context, the available evidence for bishops and their dioceses in Africa is much more extensive than for other areas of both the Western and the Eastern Roman Empire, so understanding the relationship between imperial and ecclesiastical power in late Roman Africa is key to understanding the dynamics between the church and the state in Late Antiquity and, in turn, the period itself.
Christie Pavey [MA (Kentucky), MAT (Kentucky)] is a late-stage doctoral candidate at Royal Holloway, University of London. Having held numerous fellowships and won many awards, her research focuses on late antique bishops.
Sebastian Scholz (University of Zurich)
The Problem of Church Property in the Frankish Synods of the 6th and 7th Century
Provisions on the use and safeguarding of church property were enacted at almost all Frankish synods of the 6th and 7th centuries. Ian Wood, in his book "The Christian Economy in the Early Medieval West", has elaborated on the economic importance of church property. He did not address the problems and challenges that this ownership posed to the church. Therefore, this lecture will focus particularly on the securing of church property through the decisions of synods. First, however, it will be shown how church property was used to provide for the clergy and the poor, to ransom prisoners and to maintain infrastructure. In a second step, it will be examined what problems the property caused for the church and how difficult it was to secure it. Kings, powerful laymen as well as bishops and clerics tried to take control of the property. Against this, the bishops took very different measures at the synods, which will be analysed in detail. Finally, in a third step, it will be shown what relevance these decisions had and how they are reflected in the historiographical sources of the time.
Sebastian Scholz [PhD (Köln)] is Professor of Early Medieval History at the University of Zurich. The author of numerous scholarly articles and editions, his monographs include Die Merowinger (Stuttgart 2015), Quellen zur Geschichte der Franken und der Merowinger: Vom 3. Jahrhundert bis 751 (with Reinhold Kaiser, Stuttgart 2012), and Politik—Selbstverständnis —Selbstdarstellung: Die Päpste in karolingischer und ottonischer Zeit (Stuttgart 2006).
Madalina Toca (University of Vienna)
Epistolary Canons and the West Syriac Reception of Early Church Councils
This paper aims to examine the way in which translations of Greek patristic texts, in particular selections from epistolary works, were adapted and included as 'canons' in the four major West Syriac canonical collections of the eighth and ninth centuries: Mardin, The Church of Forty Martyrs ms. 309 and 310, Vat. syr. 560A, and BnF syr. 62. These collections include a core of Canons from church councils (Canons of Nicaea, Ancyra, Gangra, Antiochia, Laodicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus, Carthage, Chalcedon, and so on), followed by excerpts from patristic literature introduced as having the authority of ecclesiastical canons. Excerpts from Ignatius of Antioch, Peter of Alexandria, and Timothy of Alexandria are examples of this layer, added to the Syriac canonical collections and forming a peculiar cluster of texts that are copied together here (as well as in later witnesses). A second cluster is formed by Athanasius’ letter to Amun and Basil of Caesarea’s letters (six items), with the Canons of Sardica interestingly interposed between these two clusters of 'canons' excerpted from Greek patristic epistolary works. Examining the differences between the four collections (among which the general outlook and distribution of the texts can vary considerably), this paper proposes a look into the mechanism that allowed documents initially unrelated to conciliar issues to be incorporated and deemed relevant as testimonies or clarifications that complement the canons of the councils.
Madalina Toca [MA (CEU), PhD (KU Leuven)] currently holds a Lise-Meitner FWF Fellowship at the University of Vienna (She is also a free research associate at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies in Leuven. He dissertation analyzed the epistolary collection of Isidore of Pelusium, offering a systematic treatment of the manuscript transmission of the corpus (Greek, Latin, Syriac), and an in depth historical, theological and literary analysis of a sample of letters. She is the editor of the volume Caught in Translation: Studies on Versions of Late-Antique Christian Literature (with Dan Batovici, Leiden 2020).