Lectures and Seminars

A selection of upcoming and past lectures and seminars given by members of the Empires of Faith project.

6th July 2017
Members of Empires of Faith will be speaking at the International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, Session 1715, 14:15-15:45:

Byzantines and the Others: Art and Religion at a Crossroads in Late Antiquity

  • Armen Kazaryan, ‘Creating Transitions Under the Dome: Byzantine and Iranian Shapes in the Work of 7th-Century Armenian Architects’
  • Maria Lidova, ‘Crossing the Boundaries of Religious Identity: An Early Byzantine Amulet from Egypt in the British Museum’
  • Nadia Ali, ‘New Perspectives on Qusayr ‘Amra’s Decoration: Art and Religion in Early Islamic Syria’

8th June 2017
Jaś Elsner and Stefanie Lenk, ‘From Empires of Faith to Imagining the Divine’ 1-2pm, Headley Lecture Theatre, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Jaś Elsner, the Empires of Faith project lead, and Stefanie Lenk, Lead Curator of the upcoming exhibition, Imagining the Divine, will speak about the project’s growth from a research group to curating an exhibition.

Free entry. Visit the Ashmolean site for more details.

7th June 2017
‘Talking Religion: discussing religious materiality’, 12:30-6pm, Radcliffe Humanities Building & the Ioannou Centre of Classical & Byzantine Studies, Oxford.

A half-day program of discussions on material culture and the study of religion in the ancient and late antique worlds run by TORCH, Empires of Faith, and the student-run Talking Religion group.

For details see the full programme and visit the TORCH website to confirm your attendance at the first part of the day.

6th June 2017
Rachel Wood,The Khosro Cup Replication Project‘, Ancient World Research Cluster lunchtime talk, Wolfson College, Oxford.

31st May 2017
Maria Lidova, ‘Christ, Fire, Gospels: Images of Theophany in the Chapel of Galla Placidia in Ravenna’, Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar, 5pm, Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, Oxford.

23rd May 2017
Rachel Wood, ‘Digital imaging for an exhibition: the Khosro Cup Replication Project’ as part of Artefact imaging: aims, methods, and access, a workshop at Wolfson College, Oxford.

A collaborative event between the Seals and their Impressions in the Ancient Near East research project (Oxford) and the Empires of Faith research project (British Museum/Oxford).

The programme can be found here. Please note that this event is fully booked.

11th May 2017 

Maria Lidova, ‘The Earliest Icons of the Virgin in Rome: East or West?’ as part of ‘The Virgin as Bridge: Cultural Exchange and Connection through Images of the Virgin Mary’ session, 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University.

4th May 2017
Georgi Parpulov, ‘Epigraphic Gleanings from the British Museum’, Late Antique and Byzantine Art and Archaeology Seminar, Oxford University

2nd May 2017
Empires of Faith: Imagining the Divine’, a one-day workshop at the University of Edinburgh – Hunter Lecture Theatre, History of Art, ECA:

  • Yuthika Sharma, ‘Situating Vishnu: Displaying an Enigmatic Deity from Medieval India’ (Respondent: Paul Dundas, Sanskrit Studies, Edinburgh)
  • Maria Lidova, ‘Old Ways, New Faith: Shaping the Image of Christ in the Late Roman World’ (Respondent: Niels Gaul, HCA/Byzantine Studies, Director CMRS, Edinburgh)
  • Nadia Ali, ‘Qusayr ‘Amra and the Continuity of Post-classical Art in Early Islam’ (Respondent: Alain George, Islamic Art, History of Art, Edinburgh)
  • Robert Bracey, ‘The First Buddha Images and European Imperialism’ (Respondent: Halle O’Neal, Buddhist Art, History of Art, Edinburgh)
  • Rachel Wood, ‘Afterlives of Sasanian Sacred Iconographies’ (Respondent: Jaakko Hameen-Antilla, Iraq Chair, Arabic and Islamic Studies, IMES, Edinburgh)

26th April 2017
Rachel Wood, ‘Saints and senmurws: Sasanian sacred iconography in a globalized Late Antiquity’, London Classical Archaeology seminar ‘Global antiquities and Classical Archaeology’, Institute of Classical Studies, University of London

20th April 2017
Philippa Adrych, Robert Bracey, Dominic Dalglish, Rachel Wood, ‘Images of Mithra: a comparative and collaborative study of ancient art’, Staff talk, British Museum.

31st March 2017
Rachel Wood, ‘Sasanian sacred iconography in a late antique visual koiné’ in A Globalised Visual Culture? Towards a Geography of Late Antique Art panel at the Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference (TRAC), Durham University.

8th March 2017
Nadia Ali, ‘Qusayr ‘Amra and the Continuity of Post-classical Art in Early Islam: Towards an Iconology of Forms’, Classical Archaeology seminar ‘Global antiquities and Classical Archaeology’, Institute of Classical Studies, University of London

23rd February 2017
Nadia Ali, ‘Umayyad Figural Art and the Bilderverbot Reconsidered’, Pembroke College, Cambridge

16th February 2017
Maria Lidova, ‘Under the Protection of the Mother of God: The Oratory of John VII (705-707) in the Old St Peter’s in Rome’, Late Antique and Byzantine Art and Archaeology Seminar, Oxford University.

7th February 2017
Stefanie Lenk,’Material Religion and “Monumental Theology”– Since When do Theologians Care for Art?’, Research colloquium, ‘The objects of Art and Architecture’, University of Groningen.

20th November 2016
Jaś Elsner, ‘Roman art in a Eurasian Context’, Institute of Classical Studies, University of London

5th November 2016
Jaś Elsner, ‘Reflections on the Garima Gospels’, Early Ethiopian and Other Eastern Illuminated Gospel Books, Colloquium, Oxford University.

1st November 2016
Jaś Elsner, ‘The Muse Casket in the British Museum’, Late Roman Seminar, Oxford University.

21st October 2016
Nadia Ali, ‘Early Islamic Art, Local Micro-Identities and Everyday Religiosity in the Pre-Modern Syrian Countryside’, Historians of Islamic Art Association 5th biennial symposium, The Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London.

6th July 2016
Katherine Cross, ‘Religious identity and supernatural efficacy in early Anglo-Saxon warfare’, International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds.

17th June 2016
Jaś Elsner, ‘The Embodied Object: Roman Sarcophagi’, Classical Seminar, University of Warwick.

10th June 2016
Rachel Wood, ‘Religion in Sasanian Iran’, gallery talk, Gallery 52, The British Museum.

2nd June 2016
Stefanie Lenk, ‘Late Antique Baptismal Imagery at Milreu and Mértola – Religious Ambivalence as a Strategy?’, Congresso Internacional Arte e Religião na Lusitânia, Museu Nacional de Arqueologia, Lisbon

26th May 2016
Stefanie Lenk, ‘Pre-Christian Imagery in Late Antique Baptisteries in North Africa – a Paradox?’, Late Antique and Byzantine Art and Archaeology Seminar, St John’s College, University of Oxford.

23th April 2016
Jaś Elsner, ‘Refugee Classics in the 1930s and 1940s’, Rhetoric and Poetics Workshop, Classics Department, University of Chicago

10th April 2016
Jaś Elsner, ‘Empires of Faith: Research Projects and Exhibitions’, Stevanovich Institute for the Formation of Knowledge, Chicago

1st April 2016
Jaś Elsner, ‘Archaism and Naturalism in the European Visual Tradition’, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri

20th March 2016
Maria Lidova, ‘Word of Image: Textual Frames of Early Byzantine Icons’,  Inscribing Texts in Byzantium: Continuities and Transformations, The 49th Spring Symposium of the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies , University of Oxford

17th March 2016
Jaś Elsner, ‘Before Byzantine Iconoclasm: The Case of Armenia’, Late Antique and Byzantine Workshop, University of Chicago

19th February 2016
Maria Lidova, ‘Art as Evidence for the Joint Cult of Saints: John the Baptist and John the Evangelist in Early Medieval Rome and Byzantium’, The Cult of Saints in the First Millennium research seminar, University of Oxford.

1st February 2016
Stefanie Lenk, ‘Pagan roots – Reconstructing Christian tradition from late antique baptisteries’, President’s Seminar, Wolfson College, University of Oxford.

20th January 2016
Robert Bracey, Katherine Cross and Dominic Dalglish, ‘Images, relics and altars: comparing material religion in late antiquity and the early middle ages’, Earlier Middle Ages seminar, Institute of Historical Research, London.

2nd-3rd October 2015
Empires of Faith: Comparativism, Art and Religion in Late Antiquity – India to England, AD 200-800, University of Chicago
Jaś Elsner, ‘The Birth of Late Antique Art: Vienna’
Maria Lidova, ‘The Invention of Byzantium: Russia’
Stefanie Lenk, ‘Art History and Theology in Germany’
Katherine Cross, ‘Creating Anglo-Saxon Art’
Philippa Adrych and Dominic Dalglish, ‘Pre-Christian Roman Religion: Public Cults and Mysteries’
Robert Bracey, ‘The Rise of the Buddha Image in Mathura and Gandhara’
Rachel Wood, ‘Legacies and investments in Sasanian art and Zoroastrianism’
Nadia Ali, ‘The Beginnings of Islamic Art’
Jaś Elsner, ‘Late Ancient Jewish Art’
Robert Bracey, ‘The Problems of Hindu Art in Modern India’
Philippa Adrych, Robert Bracey, Dominic Dalglish, Stefanie Lenk, Rachel Wood, ‘Images of Mithras’

4th August – 5th September 2015
Interrogating the Antique Visual Tradition and Its Legacy seminar, KOSMOS ‘Globalized Classics’ conference, Humboldt Universität, Berlin
Rachel Wood, ‘Approaches to Sasanian Art and Religion’
Maria Lidova, ‘Russia and Byzantium: Creating Byzantine Art’
Stefanie Lenk, ‘Ferdinand Piper’s Monumental Theology – A Forgotten Alternative’
Katherine Cross, ‘Barbarian Art in the Early Middle Ages’

12th June 2015
The Saints Envisioned: Visual Representations of Saints in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries A collaborative colloquium between two Oxford-based research projects – ‘Empires of Faith’ and ‘Cult of Saints’, Ertegun House, Oxford.
EoF speakers:
Jaś Elsner, ‘Saints and Their Icons’
Maria Lidova, ‘Papal Agency and Mosaic Images of Saints in 7th-Century Rome’

11th June 2015
Robert Bracey, Katherine Cross and Georgi Parpulov, ‘The Material Culture of Shared Sacred Space’ British Museum tour, Sharing the Holy Land conference, Warburg Institute.

7th May 2015
Maria Lidova, ‘Christian Rulers at the Palatine: The Earliest image of Maria Regina in S. Maria Antiqua’, Late Antique and Byzantine Archaeology and Art Seminar, St. John’s Сollege, University of Oxford.

23rd March 2015
Stefanie Lenk, ‘Wie orthodox ist das Wasser? Taufikonographien in Milreu und Mértola’, 16. Symposium des Mediävistenverbandes, Berne.

5th March 2015
Philippa Adrych, Robert Bracey, Dominic Dalglish, Stefanie Lenk, Rachel Wood,
interdepartmental seminar Images of Mithras, British Museum.

4th March 2015
Rachel Wood, ‘Approaching the Art of Iran in the Hellenistic Period’, Corpus Christi Classics seminar, Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford.

2nd March 2015
Rachel Wood, ‘Of Anchors and Altars: The Role of Greek Art in Elymais, 2nd Century BC – 3rd century AD’, Classical Archaeology seminar series, Ioannou Centre for Byzantine and Classical Studies, University of Oxford.

24th November 2014
A Few Late Antique Objects from the British Museum, Ancient World Cluster lunch seminar (Haldane room), Wolfson College, Oxford
Georgi Parpulov, ‘A Late Antique Amulet from the British Museum’
Maria Lidova, ‘An Early Byzantine Ivory with the Adoration of the Magi’
Katherine Cross, ‘The Franks Casket’

23rd November 2014
Stefanie Lenk, ‘Pagan or Christian waters? – Spatial Rhetoric at Milreu (Algarve) in the 6th Century’, Debating Religious Space and Place from Constantine to Cnut (AD 306-1035) conference, University of Leicester.

7th November 2014
Katherine Cross, ‘Unlocking the Past: History, Theology and Devotion on the Franks Casket’, Haskins Society Conference, Carleton College, MN, USA.

28th October 2014
Katherine Cross, ‘Unlocking the Past: History, Theology and Devotion on the Franks Casket’, London Society of Medieval Studies seminar, Institute of Historical Research, London

16th October 2014
Philippa Adrych, Robert Bracey, Dominic Dalglish, Stefanie Lenk, Rachel Wood, ‘Images of Mithras’, After Rome seminar series, Trinity College, University of Oxford

29th July 2014
Rachel Wood, ‘The changing faces of Iranian kingship’, gallery talk, Citi Money Gallery, British Museum

9th of July 2014
Maria Lidova, ‘Investment of Power: Sacralizing Roman Imperial Insignia in the Early Byzantine World’, International Medieval Congress (7-10 July, 2014), University of Leeds

20th May 2014
Katherine Cross, ‘Pagans and Christians in Anglo-Saxon England’, Gallery talk, Gallery 41: Sutton Hoo and Europe, British Museum

8th May 2014
Maria Lidova, ‘The Imperial Theotokos: Revealing the Concept of Early Christian Imagery in S. Maria Maggire’, After Rome seminar: Aspects of the History and Archaeology from the Fifth to Seventh Century, Trinity College, University of Oxford

29th April 2014
‘The Empires of Faith Project’, cross-departmental Late Antiquity Forum, British Museum (Asia Study Room)
Rachel Wood, ‘The Iconography of Herakles and Mithra in Iran’
Dominic Dalglish, ‘The Roman Mithras’
Maria Lidova, ‘From Adoration to Veneration: An Early Byzantine Ivory Plaque from the British Museum’
Katherine Cross, ‘The Franks Casket’
Nadia Ali, ‘Religious Images in South Arabia before Islam’

16th April 2014
Rachel Wood, ‘The Surrogate Hero: The Image of Herakles in Iran’, Wandering Myths: Transcultural Uses of Myth in the Ancient World, a conference at Somerville College, University of Oxford