PATRISTIC, MEDIEVAL, AND RENAISSANCE CONFERENCE (PMR)

The International Patristic, Medieval and Renaissance Conference is an annual academic conference bringing together keynote speakers and scholars from around the world and across the country. This three-day event has been held since the mid-1970s and is a true tradition of scholarship.

47th International PMR

October 21 – 23, 2022 at The Inn at Villanova

Theme:  Through the Cross

Adapted image of Giotto’s Florentine Crucifix

Featuring:

Khaled Anatolios
University of Notre Dame
Author of Deification through the Cross: An Eastern Christian Theology

&

Rachel J.D. Smith
Villanova University
Author of Excessive Saints

 

From the Dream of the Rood to Anselm’s Cur Deus Homo to Matthias Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece, the figure of the cross has stood at the center of reflection on the mystery of Christ, not only in theology, but in art, poetry, music, and devotional literature. The figure of the cross has stood at the center of reflection on the mystery of Christ, not only in theology, but in art, poetry, music, and devotional literature. The figure of the cross places the mysteries of suffering and death both at the center of Christian self-understanding and on the edges of ecstatic movements beyond the self into God. It is a sign of contradiction, and yet it calls the saints to imitation. The figure of the cross has both blessed the shields of crusaders and given Lady Julian comfort that “all shall be well.” It has been a mark of exclusion for Jews and Muslims, a bane to witches and heretics, but also a sign of tender love and holy mercy. This year’s PMR offers a special invitation for papers and panels that explore the figure of the cross, meditation on the Passion, conformity to Christ, and kindred topics in the ancient, medieval, and early modern cultures of Europe, Asia, and the Mediterranean, from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. 

Contact us: pmr.conference@villanova.edu | 610.519.4728
We invite you to follow the PMR group site on Facebook.

 

*IMPORTANT REGISTRATION NOTE: 

  • Online registration has ended.
  • Attendees who have not registered are asked to email pmr.conference@villanova.edu for registration and payment information.
  • There is no ATM at The Inn.

View the schedule of sessions and events. Printed programs will be available at check-in.

Directions:
The Inn at Villanova University

GPS address: 629 County Line Rd., Radnor, PA 19087
Physical address: 601 County Line Road, Radnor, PA 19087
610-519-8000

Train from Philadelphia:
After arriving by Amtrak (or other means) to 30th Street Station, ask an attendant to direct you to the SEPTA regional rail train platforms. Take the Paoli/Thorndale line to Villanova  (station is on campus) or Radnor. Both stops are roughly one mile from The Inn at Villanova University. Car service is required to get from either station to The Inn.

Plane | Plane then train:
Philadelphia International Airport. Take the SEPTA regional rail Airport Line to 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. Then take the Paoli/Thorndale line to Villanova (station is on campus) or Radnor. Both stops are roughly one mile from The Inn at Villanova University. Car service is required to get from either station to The Inn.

Car service/taxi:
Bennett Taxi Service: 610-525-1770

Make a reservation at The Inn at Villanova
Physical address: 601 County Line Rd., Radnor, PA 19087
GPS address: 629 County Line Rd., Radnor, PA 19087
610-519-8000
A conference room rate of $179+tx is available; ask the front desk when checking availability.

 

Nearest hotels to The Inn:

Radnor Hotel (8 minutes)
591 E. Lancaster Avenue
St. Davids, PA 19087
610-688-5800; 800-537-3000

Courtyard by Marriott Devon (15 minutes)
762 Lancaster Avenue
Wayne, Pennsylvania 19087
610-687-6633; 800-321-2211

Hampton Inn (15 minutes)
530 W Dekalb Pike #202
King of Prussia, PA 19406
(610) 962-8111

Hyatt House (20 minutes)
240 Mall Blvd.
King of Prussia, PA 19406
(610) 265-0300

 

View a list of more hotels and local dining options that are near The Inn at Villanova. Wayne is the closest town to The Inn and has many dining choices. King of Prussia is also a major hub for shopping, dining and accommodations.

  

Recordings of plenary addresses dating back to 2019 can be found on the PMR Studies Conference playlist. Previous themes and a direct link to each esteemed speaker's address are provided below. 

2021: Cum Dilatasti Cor Meum: Knowledge, Affect, and the Dilation of the Heart

Featuring Catherine Conybeare
, Bryn Mawr College and Boyd Taylor Coolman, Boston College. 

2020: Thought and Prayer

Featuring Natalie Carnes, Baylor University and Emmanuel Falque, Institut catholique de Paris 

2019: Faith in History: Time, Narrative, History, Apocalypse

Featuring Gillian Clark, University of Bristol and Cyril O’Regan, University of Notre Dame 

2018: The Way of Beauty

Featuring Mary Carruthers, New York University and Junius Johnson, Baylor University

2017: A Sacrifice of Praise: Liturgy, Prayer, and Hymnody at the Center of Faith and Life

Featuring Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Brown University and Margot Fassler, University of Notre Dame

2016: A Matter of Devotion: Matter and Spirit in Theory and Practice

Featuring Caroline Walker Bynum, Columbia University and Catherine Kavanagh, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, Ireland

2015: The Scriptural Imagination

Featuring Lewis Ayres, Durham University and Vittorio Montemaggi, University of Notre Dame

2014: Visible Communion: Unity, Sanctity, Sociality

Featuring John Cavadini, University of Notre Dame and Martha G. Newman, University of Texas at Austin

2013: Deep unto Deep: Exploring Mystery, Human and Divine

Featuring Bernard McGinn, University of Chicago Divinity School and Amy Hollywood, Harvard Divinity School

2012: After Constantine: Religion, Politics, Culture, & Counterculture

Featuring Robert Louis Wilken, University of Virginia and William Klingshirn, The Catholic University of America

2011: Natura: The Splendor of These Created Things….

Featuring Richard A. Schenk, Theology Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Graduate Theological Union and Bruce D. Marshall, Southern Methodist University

2010: Mother of Mercy: The Figure of Mary in Theology and Culture

Featuring Brian Daley, University of Notre Dame; and Rachel Fulton, University of Chicago

2009: Ora et Labora. Pray and Work

Featuring John Van Engen University of Notre Dame and Michèle Mulchahey, Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, Toronto

2008: The Angel and The Muse: Inspiration, Revelation, Prophecy

Featuring Brenda Deen Schildgen, University of California-Davis and Michael Sells, University of Chicago Divinity School

2007: Faith and the Ways of Knowing

Featuring Denys Turner, Yale University and David Burrell, University of Notre Dame

2006: Structure, Space, and Meaning: The Walls and Portals of Premodern Worlds

Featuring Annabel J. Wharton, Duke University and Richard Kieckhefer, Northwestern University

2005: Reading, Community, Identity

Featuring Brian Stock, University of Toronto and Michael A. Signer, University of Notre Dame

Villanova University has enjoyed a national reputation through its Patristic, Medieval, and Renaissance Conference (PMR) for more than 40 years. Finding its natural niche and center in philosophy and theology, but extending from there to embrace a wide variety of disciplines in the field, the PMR has established a tradition of scholarship and collegiality complementary to, rather than in competition with, the larger conferences such as Kalamazoo, the Oxford Patristics Conference, or the Medieval Academy.

The conference has met a need in the academic community for working space. According to founding director Thomas Losoncy, the conference was always intended to be a place where scholars come to roll up their sleeves, to work through new ideas, to experiment and push the envelope in their various fields. The PMR’s legacy is archived in a long-running series of published proceedings, from the mid-1970s through the 2010s, testimony to its consistent success.

More recently, we have built on the strengths of the past while stepping forward to meet the needs of 21st century scholarship. Scholarship in the study of Late Antiquity has expanded and matured as its own complex field, including but not limited to the traditional study of Patristics. Medieval and Renaissance/Reformation studies, too, have grown in complexity, where the lines between intellectual history and cultural history, between theology, philosophy, art, literature, and culture have blurred or overlapped. In addition, our post-9/11 world has made clear the necessity of sustained and rigorous study of the long and complex interrelationship between the great traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Such emergent complexity has mandated an interdisciplinary and dialogical approach that the PMR has begun to reflect. Theology and philosophy provide the centers of gravity in these conversations, but all the humanities and social science disciplines contribute essential elements to the work of scholarly discernment that will both illuminate the past and help us to understand our place among these traditions and cultures that continue to touch and shape us today.

The PMR maintains its traditional features: The conference offers an open call for papers and keeps its primary focus as a “working conference,” one in which feedback and dialogue are central, in which the great mix of disciplines and areas enriches our study. This dialogue extends into the plenary sessions, centers of gravity that draw our various conversations together. To this rich affair we add the seasoning of good food and fellowship, and we hope all will leave on Sunday both sated and with appetites whet for next year. 

Our annual theme captures only part of the work we support at the PMR. We extend invitations to smaller societies or scholarly communities to gather for annual meetings, long-term research projects, or new, exploratory work. Among these, we have had a special relationship with the Boston Colloquy in Historical Theology for the last several years.

Department of Theology and Religious Studies
800 E. Lancaster Ave.
St. Augustine Center Room 203
Villanova, PA 19085

  

Recordings of Theology and Religious Studies sponsored lectures, making them accessible to the wider community, can be viewed on the TRS YouTube playlist.