Please join us for this year’s Van Gelderen Lecture, which will feature Chris Nofziger. Chris is currently an advanced PhD candidate in Roman history under the the direction of Beth Digeser. He will be presenting his work on Athanasius of Alexandria, bishop of Alexandria from 328 to 373 CE. Athanasius was sent into exile five times by four different emperors during his forty-four year career. His bombastic rhetoric, conspiracy theories, and penchant for political troublemaking earned him followers who were fervent and enemies who were dangerous, not the least of whom was the son of Constantine, Constantius II. One can see many things in the writings of Athanasius: the image of a saint, a gangster, or simply an adherent of one kind of Christianity struggling with ideas of belonging and otherness against the backdrop of imperial pressure toward the achievement of a single monolithic Christianity. Regardless of how one interprets his legacy, Athanasius’s stories proved astonishingly resilient and continued to haunt Christians’ ideas of orthodoxy and their sense of history for millennia. New interdisciplinary and digital tools allow us to explore the other stories behind the persistence of Athanasius’s works and tell a different story of early Christianity: a story told from the shores of Alexandria where waves, wind, topography, and a network that stretched from Indian to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea all play a role in the tale.
Admission $5 for members and guests; $7 for non-members; free for students. Please call (805) 300 4016 to reserve seats by March 9.