Patristische Arbeitsgemeinschaft

I’m honored to be invited to speak at the upcoming Patristische Arbeitsgemeinschaft in the Netherlands, January 2nd-5th. I will be able to present some insights into my recent dissertation on Slavery in Early Christianity.

In particular, I will speak about the attendance of slaves at Christian congregations and meals (be it agape, Eucharist or funeral meals). Considering that there are barely any sources that mention slaves, we should ask whether they were really part of the Christian cult life.

What do we make of the anonymous Vita Polycarpi §26, that mentions slaves assisting the προσφορά of Polycarp when he was εὐχαριστῶν? If there are other sources directly mentioning slaves or giving hints, please don’t hesitate to comment and indicate them.

Please note, too, that Dr. Stewart will be speaking as well, on “Group Therapy and the Construction of Text and Community in the Church Order Tradition”.



Filed under Introductory

6 responses to “Patristische Arbeitsgemeinschaft

  1. Ach, Herr Doktor Vaucher, you have stolen my thunder! I got the programme yesterday, and was delighted to see that you are speaking.


  2. Could you post a link to, or a pdf with the whole programme by any chance? Thanks!


  3. danivaucher

    If I stole your thunder, this shows that I have learned a little from my digital master. Other sources?
    Looking forward to meeting you in Netherlands, have a merry Christmas everybody!


  4. Dani, I have been thinking about Vita Polycarpi 25-6.
    As I think I have said before, persons of status might act as servants at the ritual meals of early Christianity, diakonoi, as a means of obtaining honor.
    Now Daphnos would appear to be a chorepiskopos. He farms for a living, and not very successfully. As such we might envisage that he is the only person of status in his village, and as chorepiskopos had no presbyteroi and, yet more signiificantly, no diakonoi. On this basis he is forced to use his own domestics. But was this common?
    Of course there is yet more going on in this text, but I hope this helps for the present. We must wonder whether this situation was not more common than we might realize, but has left little or no trace in the literature which is produced by urban elites.


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