Seminar with Virginia Burrus: On the Recognition of the Non-human

A world-leading expert on late ancient Christianity, professor Virginia Burrus, visits the University of Helsinki and gives two workshops during her stay.

Virginia Burrus is The Bishop W. Earl Ledden Professor at Syracuse University, and she has widely acknowledged expertise especially in the questions of gender, sexuality, and the body, martyrdom and asceticism, ancient novels and hagiography, histories of theology and historical theologies. Burrus' scholarship is creative and thought-provoking, which is most recently manifested in her latest book, Ancient Christian Ecopoetics: Cosmologies, Saints, Things (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018). In this book, Burrus presents a fascinating encounter between early Christian theology and contemporary ecological thought.

During her stay in Helsinki (15-16 May) she will give two workshops, 'Late Ancient Feminist Exegesis? The Life of Saint Helia' and 'On Recognition of the Non-human'. The latter seminar on Thursday, 16 May, 12–16 at Room 204 at Kielikeskus (Fabianinkatu 26) and it is organized by the CoE Reason and Religious Recognition. The seminar is open for all interested participants, but for catering purposes, a pre-registration is asked via this link.

The programme for the seminar 'On Recognition of the Non-human' includes: 

Ancient Christian Ecopoetics – a keynote by Virginia Burrus
Responses: Dr. Miira Tuominen & Dr. Panu Pihkala
General discussion
Coffee break
Exploring Geocriticism: Saint Hilarion’s Orchard – an introduction & discussion

In the latter part of the seminar, the aim will be to consider how the literary method of 'geocriticism' might open up new readings of late ancient Christian texts, and how they might be made more ecologically relevant. In preparation, please read Eric Prieto’s essay,  'Geocriticism Meets Ecocriticism: Bertrand Westphal and Environmental Thinking'. 

Cordially welcome!