Conference Program

All Sessions Held at the Villanova Conference Center
601 County Line Road Radnor, PA  19087
Phone:610.523.1776 - Fax: 610.523.1779



SESSION I : 10:00 AM-12:00 PM


1.       The Patristic Scriptural Imagination, Part 1: Imagery and Inspiration in the 2nd Century

Room 115/117

Organized by Jonathan Yates

Chair: Jonathan Yates, Villanova University

The “Holy Spirit” and the “Holy Scriptures” in 1 Clement

Paul Anthony Hartog, Faith Baptist Seminary

The ‘Holy Vine of David’ in Early Christian Consciousness

Clayton Jefford, Saint Meinrad College and Seminary

Inspiration in Athenagoras of Athens

D. Jeffrey Bingham, Wheaton College

Divine Longsuffering in the Irenaean Economy

Jane Sloan, Marquette University


2.       Saint Augustine (1): Moral Anthropology

Room 101

Chair: Barrett Turner, Mount St. Mary’s University

Kinetic-Axiological Elements in Augustine’s Concept of Good

Maurizio Filippo Di Silva, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Particularly Willed: Arendt, Augustine, and Neighborly Love

Katherine Sepulveda, Villanova University

Scripture in the Church: Augustine's Potential Toward Equality Of Women and Men

Robert Parks, University of Dayton


3.       Thomas Aquinas (1):  Virtue, Justice, Grace

Room 103

Chair: Michael Waddell, Saint Mary’s College

St. Thomas’s Interpretation of Aristotle on Political Justice (EN V.7 1134b18-1135a5)

J.J. Mulhern, University of Pennsylvania

Defining the Common Good: The Beginning of Political Wisdom According to Thomas Aquinas

Benjamin L. Smith, Aquinas College

The Infused Virtue of Perseverance: A Test Case for the Nature/Grace Debate

John Meinert, Our Lady of the Lake College

The Hermeneutics of Charity:  A Thomistic Reflection on Scripture and Dogma

Travis Lacy, Duke University

4.       Scholastic Philosophy and Theology

Room 114

Chair: Michelle Falcetano, Villanova University

What is “Decisive” about Averroes’ ‘Decisive Treatise’?

Robert J. Dobie, LaSalle University

Grosseteste’s Strategies on the Motive for the Incarnation

Justus H. Hunter, United Theological Seminary

Henry of Ghent on Divine Ideas of Individuals

Carl A. Vater, Catholic University of America


5.       Scripture and the Paranormal Imagination

Room 119

Chair: Rachel J. Smith, Villanova University

Christ Crowned from Head to Heel: Medicine as Divine-Human Mercy in Marcellus of Bordeaux

Dennis Hou, Independent Scholar

Augustine and Aquinas on Sorcery and Demonic Possession:

Seamus O’Neill, Memorial University of Newfoundland

“Thunderys and Levenys”: St. Barbara and the Book of Margery Kempe

Cathryn McCarthy Donahue, College of Mount Saint Vincent

Ghosts and the Scriptural Imagination in Catholic & Protestant polemic

Matthew Chominski, Archmere Academy        

6.       Figure and Form: The Word in Poetry and Paint

Room 120

Chair: June-Ann Greeley, Sacred Heart University

Dante’s Early Writings on Language

Anne M. Wiles, James Madison University

The Apology for Poetry: Scenes from Chaucer, Spenser, and Shakespeare

Patrick Timmis, Veritas Press Scholars Academy

Raphael’s Madonna of the Gold Finch Reconsidered

Mary Edwards, Pratt Institute              

LUNCH, 11:30 AM-1:15PM


Conference Center Dining Room

Transportation to Villanova Campus by taxi or Uber



SESSION II: 1:30 PM-3:30 PM


7.       The Patristic Scriptural Imagination, Part 2: Theological Exegesis in and after the Golden Era

Room  115/117

Chair:  Carl Vennerstrom, Villanova University       

Speaking of God: Reconsidering Early Christian Prosopological Exegesis

Stephen Presley, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Augustine’s Relationship to the Greek New Testament

Jonathan P. Yates, Villanova University

Scripture and Double Predestination in Isidore of Seville’s Sententiae II.2.

Brian Matz, Fontbonne University

8.       Saint Augustine (2): God and the Soul, Nothing Else (!)

Room 101

Chair: Karl Hefty, Villanova University

Augustine Analyses: What is an Image?

Hans Feichtinger, St. George’s Parish, Ottawa

Augustine’s Scriptural Reimagining of the Image of God

Matthew Puffer, Villanova University

The Self in Augustine’s Confessions: An Anthropology of Poverty

Thomas Piolata, Catholic University of America

Augustine and his insight in idipsum (PSALM 4,9): How a fragmented soul can become a unified ego through the abiding unity of idipsum

Bernard Bruning, KU Leuven             

9.       Apophasis and the Scriptural Imagination: Pseudo-Dionysius and Saint Maximus the Confessor

Room 103

Chair: Donald Duclow, Gwynnedd Mercy University              

 A Cult You Can Count On: Numbering Hierarchies of Pseudo-Dionysius

Luke Togni, Marquette University

Silence and the Imagination in Pseudo-Dionysius

Michelle Falcetano, Villanova University


Both Mere Man and Naked God: The Incarnational Logic of Apophasis in Maximus Confessor

Jordan Daniel Wood, Boston College

A Sign and Symbol of Himself: Maximus the Confessor on the Transfiguration of Christ, Cosmos, and Scripture in Ambiguum 10

Jacob Nielsen, Villanova University

10.   Saint Thomas Aquinas (2):  God and Causality

Room 114

Chair: Paul Camacho, Villanova University             

Re-imagining God’s Apophatic Form: Aquinas, De divinis nominibus, and the Pauline Corpus

Gregorio Montejo, Boston College

The Mercy of Creation: St. Thomas on the Interplay of Causality and Freedom

Erik Van Versendaal, John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family

Scriptural Witness and Exemplar Causality in Aquinas’s Christology

Michael A. Wahl, Boston College

11.   Saint Francis De Sales and the Scriptural Imagination

Room 119

Roundtable sponsored by the International Salesian Scholars Seminar

Chair: Wendy M. Wright, Creighton University

Women of the Bible and the Scriptural Imagination in St. Francis de Sales’ Treatise on the Love of God

Suzanne C. Toczyski, Sonoma State University

The Joy of the Gospel: Hearing and Seeing the Mystery of the Visitation with St. Francis de Sales and Pope Francis

Rev. Joseph F. Chorpenning, OSFS, Saint Joseph’s University Press

Francis de Sales’ Reform of the Militant Catholic Imagination

Tom Donlan, Brophy College Preparatory

Sacred Scripture, Fear, and Love in Frances de Sales’ Treatise on the Love of God

Alexander Pocetto, OSFS, De Sales University

Francis de Sales and the Gospel of John

Wendy M. Wright, Creighton University

12.   The Scriptural Imagination in the Early Middle Ages: Typology and History

Room 120

Chair:  Jennifer Jackson, Rosemont College

The Queen in Exile: Radegund of Thuringia as Esther in Persia

Mary Charlotte Elia, Independent Scholar

 A Carolingian Mother’s Reading of the Old Testament

June-Ann Greeley, Sacred Heart University

Scripture and Asceticism in the Carolingian Monastic Revolution

Sam Collins, George Mason University




Room 115/117


Lewis Ayres, Durham University

“Reading Scripture and the Development of Christian theoria in the First Five Centuries”


Wine and Cheese Hour 6:00 PM, Atrium

Please feel free to consult the literature at the registration table for dining suggestions.


SESSION IV: 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM


13.   The Nuptial Metaphor in Early Christianity

Room 115/117

Organized by Karl Shuve, University of Virginia

Chair: Angela Russell Christman, Loyola University Maryland

The Valentinians and the Transformation of the Nuptial Metaphor in the Second Century

Karl Shuve, University of Virginia

Ephesians 5:22-33 in Early Latin Commentaries

Stephen Cooper, Franklin and Marshall College

Nuptial Metaphor and Nuptial Reality: Early Christian Marriage Liturgy and the Formation of a Scriptural Imagination

David G. Hunter, University of Kentucky

Advising the Free Bride

Kate Wilkinson, Towson University

14.   Saint Augustine (3): Preacher and Exegete

Room 101

Chair: Hans Feichtinger, St. George’s Parish, Ottawa

Isaac, Galatians, and Allegory in Victorinus, Ambrosiaster, and Augustine

Joshua Gonnerman, Catholic University of America

Dogs Licking Stones: On Augustine’s Treatment of Matthew 15: 21-28

Andrew Kim, Walsh University

The “In-Corporating” Function of Augustine’s Preaching on the Psalms: The Totus Christus and the Communal Christological Imagination

Kevin G. Grove, University of Notre Dame

Remarkable Dependence for an Unremarkable Christology:

Jonatan Simons, Wheaton College

15.   Reason, Revelation, and Understanding

Room 103

Chair: Michael Waddell, Saint Mary’s College

The Place Of Revelation in Anselm’s Monologion and Proslogion

Michael Vendsel, Tarrant County College

How Theology Judges the Principles of Other Sciences

Gregory LaNave, Dominican House of Studies

Thomas Aquinas on Narrative and Reflective Understanding

Robert Sweetman, Institute for Christian Studies

16.   Split Session

Room 114


16a. The Scriptural Imagination in Elizabethan England

                Chair: Frances Biscoglio, Mercy College

Bargains of the Body Politic: the Rhetoric of Prayer in Elizabethan Women’s Petitions

Erin A. Sadlack, Marywood University

"Charity Itself Fulfills the Law": The Ironies of Scripture in Love's Labour Lost

Anthony Baker, Seminary of the Southwest

16b. The Making of Christendom

                        Chair: J. J. Mulhern, University of Pennsylvania

The Religious Policy of the Emperor Valentinian I: A Re-examination

Thomas Brauch, Central Michigan University

Interpreting the Middle Ages

Jude P. Dougherty, Catholic University of America


17.   Early Modern & Modern Retrieval and Renewal of Medieval Scripture and Theology

Room 119

Chair:  Matthew Boulter, University of Dallas

The Medieval Origins of the Doctrine of the Perspicuity of Scripture

Berek Q. Smith, Independent Scholar

Lazarus as Exemplar of Faith in Pre-Critical Exegesis

Eric J. DeMeuse, Marquette University

Vitoria and Suarez on the Ius Gentium: Evolving Natural Law?

Barrett Turner, Mount Saint Mary’s University

Newman’s Sacramental Imagination of Tradition

Christopher Cimorelli, KU Leuven


18.   Scripture and Culture in the Early Middle Ages

Room 120

Chair: Sam Collins, George Mason University


18a. Eschatology in the 7th Century, East and West


“Eye Has Not Seen”: Scripture and the Imagination of the World to Come in Isaac of Nineveh

John Zaleski, Harvard University

The Venerable Bede on the Day of Resurrection: Bede’s Theology of History in De temporum ratione and Homily II.7

Hannah Brown, Eastern University


18b. Early Medieval Ireland and the (pre)Scriptural Imagination


Saint Patrick’s Scriptural Imagination: The Scriptural  World of Early Medieval Ireland

Jacob J. Prahlow, Saint Louis University

Subtracting the Clerical Hand from the Navigatio Sancti Brendani Imram

Cathy Bodin, McDaniel College


Session V: 10:45 AM-12:15 PM

19.   Scriptural Pedagogies in the Twelfth Century

Room 115/117

Organized by Robert J. Porwoll & Dan Yingst, University of Chicago

Chair: Babette S. Hellemans, University of Groningen

Hugh of St. Victor’s Evolving Program for Teaching Scripture

Robert J. Porwoll, University of Chicago

‘You Have Shown Forth a Great Spectacle to All Who Are Reading These Things.’

Dan Yingst, University of Chicago

‘The Fathers Spoke Obscurely and the Doctors Disagree’: Heresy and Pedagogy in Peter Lombard’s Exegesis of Romans 5:12

Daniel W. Houck, Southern Methodist University

20.   Robert Holcot and Fourteenth-Century Biblical Interpretation

Room 101

Organized by John T. Slotemaker, Fairfield University           

Chair: Michael Vendsel, Tarrant County College

Robert Holcot’s Opening Sermon in his Commentary on the Book of Wisdom.

Stephen F. Brown, Boston College

Political Philosophy in Robert Holcot’s Wisdom Commentary

Jeffrey C. Witt, Loyola University, Maryland

Painting Verbal Pictures: Robert Holcot’s Picture Technique in his Commentary on the Twelve Prophets and Moralitates

John T. Slotemaker, Fairfield University


21.   The Scriptural Inspiration and Interpretation of Augustine’s Doctrine of Time in the Confessions and Beyond

Room 103

Chair: Paul Camacho, Villanova University

Per temporalia ad aeternalia: The Philosophical Implications of Augustine’s Biblical Understanding of Time

Matthew W. Knotts, University of Leuven

Scripture, Death, and Time in Book XIII of Augustine’s City of God

Sean Hannan, University of Chicago

How to Love and Why:  The Salvific Temporality of Church and Scripture in Augustine

Kyle Rader, University of Chicago


22.   The Augustinian Legacy and Communion with God

Room 114

Organized by Jordan Wales, Hillsdale College

Chair: Andrew Kim, Walsh University

The Right to Become Sons of God: Imitation, Communion, and Augustine’s Dispute with Pelagius

Jordan Wales, Hillsdale College

Divine Law and Union with Christ in Ockham, Luther, and Late Medieval Thomism

Matthew Gaetano, Hillsdale College

Participation in God in Seventeenth-Century Protestant Scholasticism: The Theology of Union and the Legacy of Augustine

Joshua Benjamins, University of Notre Dame


23.   Saint Augustine (4): The Gracious Work of the Spirit

Room 119

Chair: Lisa Maugans Driver, Valparaiso University

Augustine's Pneumatology in de vera religione

Douglas Finn, Boston College

The Deer’s “Holy Longing” for the Face of God: Enarrationes in Psalmos 41 in Augustine’s Theology of Ascent

Gerald P. Boersma, Saint Bonaventure University

“By What Standards Do They Judge?”: Augustine and the Rhetoric of Illumination and Salvation

Ty Monroe, Boston College


24.   The Scriptural Imagination in English Letters: Milton, Herbert, Donne

Room 120

Chair: Jennifer Jackson, Rosemont College             

Terra Inanis et Vacua: 
Why Matter Matters for Miltonian Monism

Matthew R. Boulter, University of Dallas

Fallenness and Fluidity in Donne’s Theological Mechanics

Dorothy Chang, Fordham University

Copying the Word: George Herbert and Creative Copia

Paul Gleason, University of Virginia

Lunch:  12:15 PM – 1:45 PM

Conference Center Dining Room

Session VI: 1:30 PM-3:30 PM


25.   The Theology of Bonaventure and Olivi

Room 115/117

Chair: Justus H. Hunter, United Theological Seminary

Concourse of Fires: Natural Philosophy, Cosmology, and Biblical Exegesis in Bonaventure's Vision of the Eschaton

Benjamin Paul Winter, Saint Louis University

Inflowing Gifts from on High: Bonaventure on the Scriptural Trope of Jacob’s Ladder in his First Sermon De Sanctis Angelis

Katie Wrisley Shelby, Boston College

Love Alone is Ecstatic: Still More Victorine Influence on Bonaventure's Itinerarium

Justin Coyle, Boston College

Christ Crucified the Center: Peter John Olivi in Conversation with Richard B. Hays on the Heart of the Scriptural Narrative

Clifton Stringer, Boston College


26.   Saint Augustine (5): Augustine’s Hermeneutics

Room 101

Chair:  Rachel J. Smith, Villanova University

Liberated by Doctrine: Imaginative Exegesis and Augustine’s De Doctrina Christiana

Philip Porter, Duke University

De doctrina Christiana and the Interpretation of Scripture

David P. Long, Catholic University of America

Strategia and narratio: Reconstructing Augustine’s Theology of Scripture

Michael Glowasky, Durham University


27.   Patristic Exegesis: Clement, Origen, and Ambrose

Room 103

Chair: Seamus O’Neill, Memorial University of Newfoundland

The Symbolic Mode of Interpretation is Most Useful':  Clement of Alexandria's Scriptural Imagination

H. Clifton Ward, III, Durham University

Scripture as the Contemplative Medium in Book Four of Origen's Peri Archon

John Solheid, Saint John’s School of Theology/Seminary

Origen on the “Passover of the Jews”

Carl Vennerstrom, Villanova University

Christ as the “Good Serpent” in Ambrose of Milan’s Exposition of Psalm 118

Angela Christman, Loyola University, Maryland.


28.   Scripture and Theology in the Twelfth Century

Room 114

Sponsored by the Boston Colloquy in Historical Theology (BCHT)

Chair: Karl Shuve, University of Virginia

William of St. Thierry’s Exegesis of the Kiss as the Nexus of his Trinitarian, Christological, and Eucharistic Theology

Nathaniel Peters, Boston College

Rebuilding Solomon’s Temple: Two Liturgical Expressions

Nicole Reibe, Boston College

29.   Asceticism and the Scriptural Imagination in Late Antiquity

Room 119

Chair:  Christopher Haas, Villanova University

Agriculture and the Scriptural Imagination in Early Rabbinic and Monastic Communities

Christine Landau, University of Virginia

Pharisees, Publicans and Prodigals: Managing Ascetics through Parables in Late Antiquity

Lisa Maugans Driver, Valparaiso University

Incense and Separable Virtues: Evagrius of Pontus on  Exod 30:34-35

Devin L. White, Emory University


30.   Scriptural Figures in Vision and Meditation

Room 120

Chair:  Cathryn McCarthy Donahue, College of Mount Saint Vincent

Synesthetic Experience: Word, Sight and Sound in Hildegard's Visions

Jennifer Wang, Georgian Court University

Lectio divina Performed:  The Prayers of Margaret of Antioch in the Mombritius Passio Sanctae Margeretae

Marie Schilling Grogan, Chestnut Hill College

The Face of Christ – A Study of Scriptural Imagination

Ann Marie Caron, RSM, University of Saint Joseph


Session VII:


Plenary Session 4:00 PM- 5:45 PM

Room 115/117

Vittorio Montemaggi, University of Notre Dame

"The Scriptural and the Scholarly Imagination: The Interpretive Challenge of Dante's Commedia"


Vigil Mass 5:45 PM

Room 119

Cocktails 6:15 PM

Atrium & Courtyard

Feast in Celebration of the 40th Patristic, Medieval, Renaissance Studies Conference

7:00 PM



10 AM:  Sunday Roundtable

An Open Converstion with Lewis Ayres and Vittorio Montemaggi

All are Welcome

Room 115/117

All Conference Events will conclude by 12pm

2014 PMR Conference

Patristic, Medieval, and Renaissance Studies (PMR) at Villanova University invites you to participate in its 40th International PMR Conference on October 16-18, 2015

The PMR committee this year makes a special invitation to scholars from all disciplines in these fields to address our plenary theme:

The Scriptural Imagination