APECSS CfP ‘Health, Well-being, and Old Age in Early Christianity’

The Asia-Pacific Early Christian Studies Society invites proposals for papers to be delivered at its twelfth annual conference to be held at Tsushima Campus, Okayama University, Okayama, Japan, from Thursday morning, 13 September to Saturday afternoon, 15 September, 2018, convened by Kazuhiko Demura. Papers are 30 minutes in duration (20 minutes delivery and 10 minutes for discussion). The Society welcomes all proposals that explore any theme relevant to the early Christian world from the New Testament to the end of Late Antiquity, and especially those that focus on this year’s theme: Health, Well-being, and Old Age in Early Christianity.

Early Christians were conscious of the impact of health and ageing on well-being. Physical old age could be both a blessing and curse. Health could be both desired and despised. They held a holistic concept of the notion of well-being, understanding it not only in physical, but spiritual terms also. In many instances well-being was viewed through the perspective of eschatology and soteriology, often in an ascetical or psychagogic context, with many Christian writers asserting the superiority of the spiritual over the physical. The relationship between body and soul, sickness and health, youth and maturity, sin and grace, was key to the promotion of a true understanding of Christian well-being. At the same time one should not dismiss insights early Christians provided on the physical aspects of health and old age.

A 150-word abstract should be sent by 30 April, 2018 to Prof. Kazuhiko Demura (demura@okayama-u.ac.jp) and Dr. Geoffrey D. Dunn (geoffrey.dunn@acu.edu.au). Further questions can be addressed to Prof. Demura. Other proposals besides the conference theme are most welcome. Papers are presented in English (or other languages as appropriate). Our practice is that conference presenters distribute copies of their papers (minus notes) in English to participants to minimise language difficulties. Presenters need to bring their own copies for distribution. Registration forms and further details will be available soon on this website shortly. There will be an opportunity for some cultural event in Okayama on Thursday afternoon. A conference dinner will be held on Friday 14 September.

For more information, go to the APECSS website.