MemberJennifer Barry

…Forthcoming Book (April, 2019) with UCPress

Bishops in Flight: Exilic Discourse in Late Antiquity

pre-order the book here


Flight during times of persecution has a long and fraught history in early Christianity. Writing in the third century, Tertullian of Carthage argued that bishops who flee are cowards or, worse yet, heretics. By the fourth century, the terms of persecution changed as Christianity became the favored cult of the Roman Empire. This transition was by no means a smooth one, and bishops often found themselves in exile w…
…“Receptions of Exile: Athanasius of Alexandria’s legacy,” in Clerical Exile in Late Antiquity edited by Julia Hillner, Joerg Ulrich, and Jakob Engberg (Peter Lang Publishing, 2016).

“Diagnosing Heresy: Ps.-Martyrius’s Funerary Speech for John Chrysostom” Journal of Early Christian Studies 24.3 (Fall 2016): 395-418.

“Heroic Bishops: Hilary of Poitiers’s exilic discourse” Vigiliae Christianae 70.2 (2016): 155-174.


My research interests include the discourse of exile, the making of orthodoxy and heresy, and gendered violence in late antiquity.

MemberJohn Penniman


Raised on Christian Milk: Food and the Formation of the Soul in Early Christianity. Yale University Press, 2017.


“Blended with the Savior: Gregory of Nyssa’s Eucharistic Pharmacology in the Catechetical Oration,” forthcoming in Studies in Late Antiquity (December 2018)

“Fed to Perfection: Mother’s Milk, Roman Family Values, and the Transformation of the Soul in Gregory of Nyssa,” Church History 84.3 (2015): 495-530.

“The Health-Giving Cup: Cyprian’s Ep. 63 and the Medicinal Powe…

Scholar of religion in late antiquity / teacher of religious studies and the history of Christianity / researching at the intersection of religion, ritual, drugs, and medicine in the ancient mediterranean world.

MemberMateusz Fafinski

I am a historian of Late Antique and Early Medieval West with a particular interest in the use of Roman legacy as a governance resource. In the past I have worked on travel and trade in Early Medieval Northern Sea basin, as well as literary reception of classical archetypes in British literature. Now my main project investigates the use of Roman assets (especially infrastructural ones) as governance resources in Late Antique and early Anglo-Saxon Britain; the social impact as well as the role that the Roman infrastructure played in the Early Medieval economy and politics of the island make it a important but also rarely problematized topic. I also work extensively in the area of Digital Humanities, exploring spatial presentation of written sources.

MemberRobin Whelan

…worlds of the laity in late antique Gaul (London, 2016), in Bryn Mawr Classical Review.

2015: W. Pohl and G. Heydemann, Post-Roman transitions: barbarian and Christian identities in the early medieval West, Cultural Encounters in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages 14 (Turnhout, 2013), in Sehepunkte: Rezensionsjournal für die Geschichtswissenschaften 15.11.

2015: Y. Modéran, Les Vandales et l’Empire romain, (ed.) M.-Y. Perrin (Arles, 2014), in Journal of R…

I am currently Lecturer in Mediterranean History at the University of Liverpool. I am a cultural historian of late antiquity and the early middle ages. My research and teaching focus on the later Roman Empire and its early medieval successors, with a particular interest in issues of religious diversity, social identity, ethnic communities, and political culture. My first book, Being Christian in Vandal Africa (University of California Press, 2018) is about the consequences of church conflict in post-Roman Africa (modern-day Tunisia and Algeria). My current project considers how Christian ideology reshaped the representation and practice of governance in late antiquity. Before coming to Liverpool in January 2018, I was Hulme Humanities Fellow at Brasenose College, Oxford and The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (2014-2018), and a temporary Lecturer in Early Medieval History attached to various Oxford colleges (2016/17).

MemberHelen Spurling

…Helen Spurling, ‘A revival in Jewish apocalyptic? Change and continuity in the seventh-eighth centuries with special reference to Pirqe Mashiaḥ’, in: Hagit Amirav, Emmanouela Grypeou and Guy Stroumsa, eds, Apocalypticism and Eschatology in Late Antiquity: Encounters in the Abrahamic Religions, 6th-8th Centuries, Leuven, Peeters Publishers, 2017.

Helen Spurling, ed., The Jews and Political Discourse, Special Issue, Jewish Culture and History, 16.3, 2015, 219pp.

Helen Spurling, ‘Discourse of doubt: The Testing of Apocalyptic Figures in Jewi…

My research focuses on the interpretation of midrashic literature, with particular reference to Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Muslim relations, Jewish history from biblical times to Late Antiquity, and apocalypticism and eschatology. Following a BA in Theology and an MPhil in Hebrew Bible, I completed my PhD at Christ’s College, University of Cambridge, examining Jewish apocalyptic texts as a response to the emergence of Islam. I then worked as a Research Associate first at the University of Sheffield (2003-2005) and then the University of Cambridge (2005-2009) before joining the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations in 2009.