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"Why do we think New testament scholarship is important?" was the overall motto of an international (post-)doctoral Colloquium and Seminar in Haus Johannisthal from May 17th-20th, 2023

A group of international emerging scholars came together at Haus Johannisthal near Weiden, Germany, from May 17th–20th, 2023, to discuss their research and the overall future of New Testament studies. Dr. Judith König, assistant at the Chair of Prof. Dr. Tobias Nicklas, Professor of New Testament Exegesis and Hermeneutics and Director General of the DFG-Centre for Advanced Studies “Beyond Canon_”, Regensburg, and Dr. David Cielontko, Czech Academy of Sciences and Charles University, Prague, organized the event. Participants came from the University of Regensburg (UR), Charles University, Prague, and from Trinity Western University (TWU) near Vancouver, Canada, under the auspices of Prof. Dr. Thomas R. Hatina, Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at TWU and Visiting Professor at Charles University, Prague.

During the seminar, doctoral students and post-doc researchers presented their projects with a broad variety of topics to several young and emerging scholars as well as the professors:

Stu Talene, from TWU and PhD student at Charles University, examines Marcion’s Evangelion and the composition of Luke-Acts and issued the statement, “Great authors don’t describe the world, they change it.”

Dr. Elisa Manzo, a postdoctoral fellow with the Margarita Salas Foundation in Spain, introduced the audience to the late-antique historian and theologian Orosius. In her project, Manzo combines historical, theological, and exegetical research and described her approach as walking with a torch, trying to make space between the words of Orosius’s texts and enlighten this space to discover exegetical meanings. While she pointed out, “context is always key, without forgetting the actual product.” Prof. Nicklas characterised Orosius as “an artist who painted with the medium of the bible.”

In the context of the presentation of his doctoral thesis, Marko Jovanović presented the models and theories of the parting(s) of the ways between Christianity and Judaism, the criticism of this approach which keeps being discussed controversially, and models of interlacement, concluding with a discussion about the use of models as such.

Dr. Mari Mamyan, post-doc at “Beyond Canon_” since 2019 and currently working on her own DFG-project on the Armenian Infancy Gospel, explained how comparing all possible witnesses of one text from different manuscripts and examining all variations, omissions, and additions – e.g., confusion of words graphically resembling each other or of similar sounding words – brings to light new results and aspects of the textual genesis and its variations in translations.

The semantic shift of the word ὥστε, from indicating result to purpose clauses and how it is used in LXX Leviticus and Greek documentary papyri, was presented by Naomi Rey, a promising emerging scholar from TWU, who is doing research on this topic within her Master’s thesis.

Dr. Judith König, former PhD student of Prof. Nicklas and now preparing her habilitation thesis research topic, proved the immense relevance of her project for society as a whole, dealing with the question of sexual autonomy in Antiquity and exploring the role of the bible, especially New Testament texts, in the context of sexual autonomy of women. The project was considered having the potential of changing the whole field of New Testament Studies: the bible was and still is used to do and justify great harm – thus, critical studies of the bible cannot be valued highly enough, and in the end, scholars do have responsibility.

With Kyle Parsons’ PhD thesis, the audience followed the tracking of negative reputations in early Christianity, e.g., with the example of receptions of the death of Judas, who can be read quite differently, as negative or tragic figure.

The all-encompassing parenthesis of the workshop was the question of relevance of New Testament scholarship today: 

The competence regarding what “being human” means can be taught by the provided myths to live by as well as the revelation of us as human beings that were viewed as crucial. Critical studies of texts that can unfold danger go hand in hand with responsibilities, damage control, and the possibility of hoping to reverse harm. Understanding history through texts with a context that always needs to be taken into consideration can provide moral and ethical guidance, teach resilience against ideologies, and train social emancipation. Challenging changes with the competence to ask questions can be a way to facilitate peace.

As always, also this exchange between international young researchers from different traditions and countries with the supervising professors provided an ideal opportunity for exchange beyond one's own disciplinary boundaries; the relationships established during this seminar will also be able to be used for more intensive research in the future.

(c) all Photos: Charlotte von Schelling / "Beyond Canon_"


GSCO Prize for the dissertation of Dr Gregory Tucker

Dr. Gregory Tucker has been awarded the GSCO Prize for his dissertation on "The Hymnography of the Midle Byzantine Ecclesiastic Rite & Its Festal Theology. Introduction - Edition & Translation - Commentary" (published in the series Studies in Eastern Christian Liturgies 5; Münster: Aschendorff, 2023) the prize of the Society for the Study of the Christian East 2023. After his doctorate in the Research Training Group "Metropolität in der Vormoderne" (DFG-GRK 2337), Dr. Gregory Tucker was a Junior Fellow of the Centre for Advanced Studies "Beyond Canon_" (DFG-FOR 2770) from 2021-2022 and has held a DFG position of his own at the Chair of Liturgical Studies since 2022 with a project on the Byzantine hymns for the Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ.


Summer Programme

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Meeting HTLS — Project Canon



We are pleased to announce that two of the "Beyond Canon_" fellows have each been granted their own DFG position.

Dr. Mari Mamyan has been granted a position with her project on "The Acts of Thomas Rewritten: the Apostle Thomas in the Armenian Tradition".

From 2013 unil 2019, Dr. Mari Mamyan was a research assistant at the Institute of Ancient Manuscrips Mashtots' Matenadaran, Yerevan/Armenia. She was awarded a PhD  from Yerevan State University in 2018. Since January 2019 she has been working at the "Beyond Canon_" Center in Regensburg on  'Synoptic Edition of the Armenian Infancy Gospel with Three Additional Versions (Armenian Tex and English Translation)' based on previously unpublished manuscrips.

Dr. Thomas Tops has been granted a project on "A Social-Historical Study of Truth-Telling in the Acts of Peter and the Acts of Thomas". After completing his doctoral thesis at KU Leuven and PThU Groningen, which was awarded the highest grade cum laude, Tops has been working at the Beyond Canon Center in Regensburg since October 2021 on a book about "Truth-Telling in the Gospel of John and the Early Acts of the Apostles". In his work, which is influenced by his philosophical, philological and theological training, Tops combines current issues with historical perspectives.

Link to the PDF version of the flyer

Link to the workshop flyer

13. Oktober 2022


We are pleased to announce that this year's Kavanagh Lecture of the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University was given by Prof. Dr. Harald Buchinger.
The reading took place Thursday, October 13, 2022, under the title "Deposition Rites: Dramatic Liturgy and its Media between East and West".

A brief description of the lecture via the ISM Institute's website:

„This year’s Kavanagh Lecture will be given by Professor Harald Buchinger, Chair of Liturgical Studies at Regensburg University in Germany. Deposition rites, that is, ritual entombments of symbols of Christ’s dead body on Good Friday, have long been an emotional climax of Holy Week. As dramatic rituals and multi-medial representations of biblical history, they gave rise to innovative artistic, poetic and musical genres and exerted cultural influence far beyond liturgy. While deposition rites have been abandoned in the early modern reformation or recent reform in most Western churches, the Epitaphios procession is still one of the most popular services in Byzantine Christianity. The lecture will investigate the history and meaning of these prominent elements of Christian liturgy. Historically, it will be argued that the ritual may have spread from West to East and therefore against the widely assumed general trend of liturgical influence; hermeneutically, the character of mimetic rituals and their mediality will be discussed, not least in view of their theological and spiritual bearing.“

You can re-watch the entire lecture either via the Institute's own homepage or directly follow the attached YouTube link

For older news regarding the Beyond Canon_ Centre, please visit the German homepage




Heterotopias of Religious Authority in Ancient Christianity

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