XXIII Finnish Symposium on Late Antiquity
“Conflict in Late Antiquity”
Tvärminne, Finland, 17–18 October 2014
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The XXIII Finnish Symposium on Late Antiquity will be organized on 17–18 October 2014. The aim of the symposium is to bring together scholars and postgraduate students with an interest in Late Antiquity from a variety of universities and disciplines. Our main aim is to stimulate interdisciplinary dialogue between philology, archaeology, history, theology, religious studies, art history and other disciplines that deal with Late Antiquity.
The symposium will be organized in the premises of a zoological research station operated by the University of Helsinki at a beautiful location at Tvärminne on the southern coast of Finland. It is organized by an interdisciplinary organizing committee (see below) under the auspices of the center of excellence “Reason and Religious Recognition” in the Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki, together with Department of World Cultures, University of Helsinki.
The theme of the symposium in 2014 is “Conflict in Late Antiquity”. It will be approached from a wide perspective, including different types and levels of conflict and attempts at solving them. Conflict can be discussed from the from the point of view of politics and competition for power, ethnic conflicts, conflicts between different areas and peoples of the empire, cultural and religious conflicts between and within traditions, doctrinal conflict, interpretation and portrayal of conflict in literature and art, personal conflicts, and conflicts versus everyday life. We welcome papers that discuss the scholarly approaches to late antiquity, and why the sources and scholarship focus so emphatically on conflict, and what other perspectives can be applied instead.
This year’s symposium features the following invited speakers:

  • Hagith Sivan (Department of History, University of Kansas). Prof. Sivan is specialist in Roman history, Late Antiquity, study of women in Antiquity as well as the Hebrew Bible, Jewish history and early Christianity. She has written/edited six books: Ausonius of Bordeaux: Genesis of a Gallic Aristocracy (1993); Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity (1996, co-edited); Dinah’s Daughters. Gender and Judaism from the Hebrew Bible to Late Antiquity (2002); Between Woman, Man and God: A New Interpretation of the Ten Commandments (2004); Palestine in Late Antiquity (2008) and Galla Placidia. The Last Roman Empress (2011). She has written articles on topics ranging from the Roman army in late ancient Spain to Christian ascetic females, and from the Visigothic kings of Toulouse to Jewish childhood and to meandering monk Barsauma.
  • Petri Luomanen (Biblical Studies, University of Helsinki). Prof. Luomanen has studied Jewish-Christians – i.e. Christians who embraced Christian faith but kept their Jewish way of life – and hostility expressed against them by both Christians and other Jews. He has employed social-scientific and cognitive approaches in his works. His publications include Recovering Jewish-Christian Sects and Gospels (2012), Explaining Christian Origins and Early Judaism: Contributions from Cognitive and Social Science (2007, editor with Ilkka Pyysiäinen and Risto Uro), and A Companion to Second-Century Christian ‘Heretics’ (2005, 2008 editor with Antti Marjanen).
  • Lucy Grig (School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh). Dr. Grig is specialist in cultural history in Late Antiquity, including literary and material culture with particular interest in religious history and popular culture. She has published Making Martyrs in Late Antiquity (2004) and co-edited (with Gavin Kelly) Two Romes: Rome and Constantinople in Late Antiquity (2012).
  • Antti Lampinen (Classics, University of Turku). Dr. Lampinen is specialist in Greco-Roman ethnographical writing. He finished his doctoral dissertation, Istae contra omnium religiones. Characterizing Northern Barbarian Religiosity in the Graeco-Roman Literary Tradition from Hellenism to the Later Empire in 2013.

There is space for a maximum of nine more papers. If you wish to deliver a paper, please send a short abstract (of maximum 300 words) by 1st June 2014 to Dr. Ville Vuolanto: ville.vuolanto(at)
Applicants will be informed by 19 June 2014 whether they have been accepted. We have reserved 30 minutes for each presentation including discussion, wherefore we recommend limiting the papers to 20 minutes.
The seminar is free. We will offer transportation from Helsinki to Tvärminne and the return journey, as well as accommodation (one night) and meals in Tvärminne. However, we are not able to cover any travel costs to or accommodation in Helsinki. Registration for the conference will start 1 September and close on 30 September 2014.
The Finnish Symposium on Late Antiquity has been organized annually since 1992. It started as a Finnish-language seminar for postgraduate students. However, over the years, more and more papers were presented by established scholars, and over the years well-known scholars were invited from abroad, and the language of the symposium was changed to English. In keeping with the symposium’s traditions, we encourage not only senior, but also junior scholars and postgraduate students to participate.
The organizing committee:
•    Maijastina Kahlos, PhD, Classics / Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki, maijastina.kahlos(at)
•    Ulla Tervahauta ThD, Biblical Studies, University of Helsinki, ulla.tervahauta(at)
•    Ville Vuolanto, PhD, History, University of Tampere / University of Oslo, ville.vuolanto(at)

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