Towards the Prehistory of the Byzantine Liturgical Year. Festal Homilies and Festal Liturgies in Late Antique Constantinople

Towards the Prehistory of the Byzantine Liturgical Year. Festal Homilies and Festal Liturgies in Late Antique Constantinople

Harald Buchinger (Universität Regensburg) / Stefanos Alexopoulos (Catholic University of America, Washington, DC); in cooperation with the Research Network „Urbane Zentren und europäische Kultur in der Vormoderne“ and the DFG-Research Training Group „Metropolität in der Vormoderne“
Altes Finanzamt, Landshuter Str. 4, 93047 Regensburg
Vom - Bis
03.07.2018 - 06.07.2018
Prof. Dr. Harald Buchinger

Although the Byzantine Rite stands among the most important liturgical traditions, its formative phase is particularly obscure. Liturgical sources, in the strict sense of books written for and used in worship, emerge only in the middle ages; so the reconstruction of earlier developments mostly relies on hints in patristic literature. Festal homilies are thus the primary source for what can be called the “prehistory” of the Byzantine liturgical year. Their investigation, however, is complicated by the fact that almost all homiletic corpora from late antique Constantinople (except for that of Gregory of Nazianzus) pose serious problems of literary and historical identity: the assignation of many of John Chrysostom’s sermons is notoriously ambiguous; Severian of Gabala has gained clearer contours only in the last decades; the attribution of homilies to Proclus remains contested in many cases; the transmission of Nestorius’s homilies is obfuscated by his condemnation; Leontius is only known from his homilies and his identity blurred by homonymous authors in other places; and a number of other preachers, beginning with Atticus, largely remain to be explored. Manifold detailed studies are necessary before a synthesis may be attempted.
The envisaged interdisciplinary conference focuses the various perspectives of patristic, liturgical and Byzantine scholars on the development of the Byzantine liturgical year in the mirror of late antique homilies.
Speakers will reflect on (1) the literary and historical identity of late antique Constantinopolitan preachers and on the criteria which can be used to establish their homiletic corpora, as well as on historical and intellectual influences; (2) the contribution of these homilies to the history of the liturgical year and its celebrations (feasts, stations, readings, etc.) and the relation of that evidence to other regions and to the later liturgical tradition of Byzantium; and (3) the theology of the various feasts and the liturgical year as such. Hymnography is also included insofar it can be localised with confidence in pre-iconoclast Constantinople.


Tuesday 3 July Afternoon

Fundamental Perspectives

Holger Villadsen, Liturgical Year and Readings in Constantinople according to Severian of Gabala
Harald Buchinger, Mimetische und amimetische Aspekte bei Severian von Gabala
Wendy Mayer, Reappraising the homily as a liturgical source: how far can we push the boundaries?

Tuesday 3 July 6 pm: Opening and Public Keynote

Derek Krueger, The ninth-century kontakarion as evidence for the late antique calendar and festive practice in Constantinople

Wednesday 4 July Morning

Christmas Cycle
Stefanos Alexopoulos, Was there an Organized Catechumenate in Constantinople at the Time of Gregory the Theologian? Looking at Orations 38-40 for Evidence
Thomas Karmann, Zu den „Weihnachts“-Predigten Gregors von Nazianz
Nicholas Russo, St. Gregory Nazianzus’ Oration 40 (On baptism)
Annette von Stockhausen, Das Epiphanias-Fest bei Severian von Gabala – (Methodologische) Überlegungen zum Sitz im Leben einiger seiner Homilien

Easter Cycle I
Sever J. Voicu, The Ancient Byzantine Lent
Stefano Parenti & Elena Velkovska, La prequaresima e la quaresima prebizantina: la testimo-nianza dei Vangeli liturgici
Sergey Kim, Preaching on Palm Sunday in Constantinople and in Antioch: Severian of Gabala and Meletius of Antioch

Wednesday 4 July Afternoon

Easter Cycle II
Matthieu Cassin, De la Grande Semaine à la Pentecôte dans les Homélies de Léonce, prêtre de Constantinople
Radu Garbacea, Liturgy and Preaching on Maundy Thursday in Late Antique Constantinople According to Severian of Gabala and Proclus of Constantinople
Alexandru Liviu Ionita, Θεοκτόνοι ἰουδαῖοι: Patristic Homilies for the Holy Week, Anti-Judaism and the Making of the Byzantine Lectionary
Richard Bishop, The Pentecost Sermon (CPG 5815) Attributed to Proclus of Constantinople
Eirini Artemi, The theological and doxological reference to the Resurrection and the Pentecost according to the orations of Gregory Nazianzen XLI and XLV

Thursday 5 July Morning

Marian feasts

Stephen J. Shoemaker, The Cult of the Virgin in the Liturgy of Late Ancient Constantinople
Christiaan Kappes, Proclus of Constantinople (or Ps-Basil of Seleucia) Homily 39: Liturgical and Patristic Sources, Lections, and Relation to the Council of Ephesus
Mary Cunningham, Fifth- and Sixth-Century Byzantine Homilies on the Annunciation: Wit-nesses to an Early Phase of Marian Celebration and Doctrine
Spyros P. Panagopoulos, The Feast of the Entrance of the Holy Virgin into the Byzantine Li-turgical Calendar: Homiletics and Hymnography in Interaction
Marco Benini, Hypapante: Vom Christusfest in Jerusalem zum Marienfest in Konstantinopel?
Innocent Smith, Kosmas Vestitor and the Development of Marian Liturgical Devotion in East and West

Thursday 5 Afternoon

Sanctorale and other celebrations

Katharina Reihl, Die Heiligen Stephanus, Euphemia und Phokas in Konstantinopel zur Zeit des Johannes Chrysostomus
Teodoro De Giorgio, L’encomio di Gregorio di Nissa in onore del soldato martire Teodoro d’Amasea e il suo influsso sulla tradizione liturgico-iconografica costantinopolitana pre-iconoclasta
Daniel Galadza, Sanctorale of Gospel Manuscripts
Gary Philip Raczka, The Introduction of the Reading of the Gospel of Luke into the Byzantine Lectionary
Mark Roosien, The readings and processions of early earthquake commemorations in Con-stantinople: homiletic and historical precursors
Gregory Tucker, Towards the Pre-history of the Conciliar Feasts
Vitaly Permiakov, Homily of Ps.-Severian of Gabala “On the Dedication of the precious and life-giving Cross” and the Early History of the Feast of Exaltation in Constantinople

Friday 6 July Morning


Alexander Lingas, Singing Feasts in the Liturgy of Late Antique Constantinople
Georgia Frank, Singing in the Dark: The Night Vigil as Incubator of Emotions
Andrew Mellas, “Let us lift up our hearts”: Transforming theology into sacred song in Romanos the Melodist's On Pentecost
Damaskinos Olkinuora, Contextualizing Romanos: the problems of his sources and influence on festal homilies
Mark Morozowich, Patristic Holy Thursday Homilies on the Transgression of Judas: Precursors to Hymnographic Elements?
Mark Bilby, Festal Breadcrumbs of the Byzantine Eucharist: Patristic Antecedents of the Tro-parion τοῦ δείπνου
Stig Ragnvald Frøyshov and Thomas Arentzen, The kata stichon hymnography as a source for early Constantinopolitan festal celebrations?

Friday 6 July Afternoon

Complementary Questions

Byron MacDougall, Theoria in Constantinopolitan Homiletic and the Legacy of Gregory of Nazianzus
Mikhail Zheltov, Eucharistic miracle stories and annual structures
Stéphane Verhelst, L’énumération des fêtes du Seigneur dans les homélies byzantines, spécialement à Jérusalem
Vasileios Marinis, Architecture and Liturgy in the Early Churches of Constantinople: A Re-appraisal
Maria Xenaki, Commemorating the Dead in Late Antique Constantinople: Epigraphical Sources
Alexander Rentel, At the crossroads of canonical process and liturgical rites: the election and ordination of bishop in the canonical corpus

Information and registration: – space is limited!


Universität Regensburg
Fakultät für Katholische Theologie
Lehrstuhl für Liturgiewissenschaft

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