Garb of Being!

Off the press & spotted in real time! More information here. It has been a joy to work on this with amazing co-editors Georgia Frank and Andrew Jacobs. And abundant thanks to all of our phenomenal chapter authors. And thank you to George Demacopoulos and Telly Papanicolaou at Fordham, and the folks at Fordham University Press for making it all possible And at its ground of being, the book is inspired-to-its-core by our beloved and indomitable scholar, teacher, and colleague, Susan Ashbrook Harvey.

[photo (book neatly positioned by herringbone and needlepoint) by Andrew S. Jacobs]
[book cover image is from a Syriac lectionary from Mosul (Iraq), dated early 13th century, British Library, Add. 7170, f. 100]
Posted in Booknote, News

Women in Global Health: Learn, Engage, Advance, Disrupt

Read about four amazing women leaders in global health, recently named the inaugural 2019 Jane Jie Sun cohort of the Women in Global Health LEAD Fellowship at Harvard University. The group includes the founder of a non-profit tackling HIV/AIDS in 36 Indian states,  a pioneer of people-centered care from Moldova, a health systems leader from Pakistan, and an award-winning youth- and reproductive health-advocate from Malawi. The Fellowship is a joint partnership between the Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI) and the Women and Health Initiative at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

For those of you in the Boston area: Hear the LEAD Fellows (and more about them) in a panel discussion this Wednesday, October 9, 2019; They will also share their strategies for success as women leaders in health, such as: What to do when you hit the glass ceiling, how to be resilient in the face of political pressure, and how to advocate for better pay and support structures at work. more information here.

Posted in Overheard, Upcoming Event

Care for the Poor in Late Antique Egypt

Fascinating upcoming lecture, in London in January: 

‘For the great agape now practiced towards the poor who come to the holy monastery …’: (P.KRU 106): Care for the poor in Late Antique Egypt


In the last quarter of the sixth century the derelict remains of an ancient Egyptian temple were given over by local townspeople to the Monastery of the holy martyr Phoibammon in order to serve its superior “in the work of the agapefor the poor” (P.KRU 105). The monastery’s charitable mandate over the next two centuries is confirmed by the survival of four its superiors’ wills, transferring the property to their successors. Several more wills and other documents belonging to local townspeople, including several women, further demonstrate the mechanics of providing for the poor through charitable donations given to saints upon the death of the testator.

This remarkable corpus of more than dozen documents on papyrus allow a rare and privileged view of the process whereby individuals give to the saint, represented by his monastery (Papaconstantinou 2012; Schenke 2016), in order to secure salvation after death (O’Connell forthcoming). This paper will draw on the wide body of recent work on charitable giving (Brown 2002, 2012, 2015, Holman ed. 2006, Finn 2006, Stathakopoulos ed. 2007, Spieser and Yota ed. 2012) to detail why members of this community gave to the poor, the mechanics of giving, and how they ensured their future commemoration.

Elisabeth R. O’Connell is Byzantine World Curator, The British Museum (BM). She completed a PhD in the Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology Graduate Group at the University of California, Berkeley, specialising in Late Antiquity. Since she joined the Museum, her research has focused on the archaeology of Byzantine and early Islamic Egypt, integrating the study of ancient texts and their archaeological contexts. She is editor of Egypt in the First Millennium AD (2014), Abydos in the First Millennium AD (2019), Egypt, empire and the formation of religious identity (forthcoming) and co-editor of Egypt: Faith after the pharaohs (2015), which accompanied the BM exhibition with the same title (2015–2016). Her wider research interests include the social history and material culture of the Byzantine Empire and its successors.

image above associated with the announcement: Caption: Palimpsest ivory diptych, c. AD 400-700, BM 1920,1214.1 (Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum)

Posted in Educational resource, Upcoming Event

AJR: Food & Transformation

The stunning and stimulating online journal, Ancient Jew Review, usually counts among my pleasure reading, so somehow never gets mentioned here. But this issue–with the tease into reading J.C. Warren’s article on her bookFood and Transformation in Ancient Mediterranean Literature–demands sharing. Above: snails and fruit basket.

Posted in Booknote, Educational resource, Web resource

How Medical Texts in Antiquity were Written: Colloquium Sept. 23-25, 2019

If anyone interested in this topic happens to be in Lausanne (or in and around Geneva) next week, this colloquium on the composition procedures of late antique medical texts looks absolutely fascinating. More info at

Registration (auditors only):
The conference is sponsored by the Section d’archéologie et des sciences de l’Antiquité of the University of Lausanne (UNIL)

Posted in Conference, Upcoming Event

Health worker report on faith collaborations in the US

This report of a one-day workshop discussed how folks working in the health sector might positively work together with “faith-based health assets.” Conversations included an overview of community faith-based assets and how they relate to population health, health improvement, evidence-based efforts, and more. Published by the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the pre-publication version is available as a free download.

Read online.

Posted in Booknote, Educational resource, Web resource

First Book Workshop – Application Call – Deadline 9/6/19

Do you know of a recent dissertation (maybe yours!) that bridges religion and health in the ancient world? Is the author (maybe you) busy in (or looking for) a teaching job while hanging between a finished dissertation and “The Book.” Need input and wisdom from other scholars in the field? Want a roundtable feedback with peers to help turn it into a book? If the answers are YES, please consider the following application:

ReMeDHe First Book Workshop – May 2020, Chicago, IL
(directly prior to the North American Patristics Society annual meeting)


The international working-group ReMeDHe (Religion, Medicine, Disability, and Health in late antiquity) invites applications for its 2020 First Book Workshop. The workshop gives two early-career scholars the opportunity to receive feedback on their dissertation (or draft of their first book), as well as tips on publication, from senior and junior colleagues who work on similar topics, sources, and questions.


  • Authors pre-circulate their drafts for all participants to read in advance of the workshop.
  • The morning of the workshop will be broken into two sessions, one for each author. Each session begins with brief opening remarks by the author and a formal response by a senior scholar before the floor is opened up to feedback from other participants. Overall, participants focus on identifying the major strengths and contributions of the draft, prioritizing areas for revision, and offering publication strategies.
  • The afternoon will again be broken into two sessions, one for each author. These sessions are dedicated to clarifying and expanding on ideas raised in the morning session, providing additional feedback, and fielding lingering questions.
  • For each workshop session, a participant will be assigned to take notes, freeing up the authors to fully engage in the conversation
  • The organizing committee will work with authors to identify scholars to invite as formal respondents and participants (approximately 15 total).
  • The workshop strives to be collegial and supportive. Our overarching goal is to strengthen the emerging scholarship on health, healing, and medicine, as well as to support junior scholars.


  • Applicants should be working on their first academic monograph on a topic that fits within the interdisciplinary scope of the ReMeDHe working group (i.e., related to religion, and health, healing, medicine).
  • Applicants should have a polished full draft of their dissertation (or draft monograph) ready to circulate by January 2020.


  • Deadline for applications: September 6, 2019
  • Notification of applicants: late September
  • Deadline for circulating drafts: late January 2020
  • Workshop: late May, directly prior to the North American Patristics Society annual meeting (in Chicago).

 Costs Involved

  • There is no cost for participating in the workshop. (Should participants wish to stay for the North American Patristics Society annual meeting, they will need to secure their own funding for NAPS membership and conference registration fee.)
  • We have received a small grant and are awaiting notification about another larger grant that may be able to subsidize some costs for participants (i.e., travel, accommodations for the workshop date). Funding will be prioritized for the authors whose drafts will be workshopped. We will do our best to ensure that anyone who wishes to participate but who has limited/no institutional funding, is able to do so.


  • Apply using this Qualtrics form:
  • The application includes:
  • Abstract of the project: summary of the main argument and of the logical moves of each chapter (500 words, Word or PDF file)
  • The names of five late antique scholars (not on your dissertation committee) whose scholarship has been particularly instructive to your work and who would be appropriate scholars we could invite to respond to your draft
  • A bulleted list of the disciplines, subfields, and scholarly conversations with which your monograph engages
  • Your projected timeline (e.g., completion of dissertation, anticipated completion of a polished full draft, projected timeline to submit for peer review, target date for publication, etc.)
  • Applications will be reviewed by a set of ReMeDHe Board members, listed at the top of the page here
  • Application deadline: September 6, 2019


Should you have any additional questions about the workshop or the application, please feel free to be in touch with Prof. Kristi Upson-Saia,

Should you like to inquire about the experience of being an author whose monograph is workshopped, please feel free to be in touch with Prof. Julie Kelto Lillis,


Posted in Educational resource, News, Upcoming Event