Patristic, Medieval, and Renaissance Conference (PMR)

PMR 2018

PMR 2019, October 18-20.

Faith in History: Time, Narrative, History, Apocalypse

Gillian Clark

Professor Emerita and Senior Research Fellow

University of Bristol


Cyril O’Regan

Huisking Professor of Theology

University of Notre Dame

“And these are the generations…” Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are saturated from their origins with a sense of time and history, but making sense of time and history is difficult. Similarly, as scholars of pre-modern culture, whatever our field or focus,  we face the difficulties of telling the story of the diverse and complex interactions of faiths and cultures across Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance and Reformation eras. PMR 2019 will focus in its plenary theme on questions of history and historiography – how does faith appear in history?  And can we have faith in history?

While, as is our custom, the call for papers will be open, scholars are encouraged to propose papers and panels on the premodern Mediterranean and European cultures of  Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, on their own sense of history and time, on the apocalyptic sensibility, the theology and philosophy of history, on their narrative forms of discourse. In addition, scholars are encouraged to propose papers or panels on the historiography of Late Antiquity, Medieval Studies, and the Early Modern period – can we still tell a compelling story of these periods, even as our understanding grows ever more complex?


Villanova University has enjoyed a national reputation through its Patristic, Medieval, and Renaissance Conference (PMR) for over thirty 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 early 1970s through the 1990s, testimony to its consistent success.