CNRS – LEM, Université de Vienne, Université Laval et Université d’Amsterdam

Divination and Theurgy in Antiquity

Rencontre animée par Andrei Timotin (EPHE-LEM) et Crystal Addey (University College Cork)

Description et organisation

Quatrième rencontre du nouveau Webinaire « Les platonismes de l’Antiquité tardive: interactions philosophiques et religieuses (Platonisms of Late Antiquity: Philosophical and Religious Interactions).

Andrei Timotin (EPHE-LEM)
« Trois théories antiques de la divination : Plutarque,
Jamblique, Augustin. »

Crystal Addey (University College Cork)
« Platonic Philosopher-Priestesses and Female Theurgists. »

Le webinaire est organisé par Luciana G. Soares Santoprete, Anna van den Kerchove, George Karamanolis, Éric Crégheur et Dylan Burns.

La conférence aura lieu à 16h le vendredi 1 avril. Elle se déroulera en ligne.

N’hésitez pas à transmettre cette invitation à toute personne susceptible d’être intéressée par cette conférence ou toute autre conférence future sur les platonismes de l’Antiquité tardive.


Pour le lien zoom SVP envoyez un message à ; écrivez dans l’objet du message : subscribe lesplatonismes. Laissez le corps du message vide. Vous allez recevoir un courrier de confirmation en retour.


Otherwise than binary

New feminist readings in ancient philosophy and culture

Jessica Elbert Decker, Danielle A. Layne & Monica Vilhauer (Eds.), New York: Sunny Press, 2022


Examines traditional sites of binary thinking in ancient Greek texts and culture to demonstrate surprising ambiguity, especially with regard to sexual difference. Otherwise Than the Binary approaches canonical texts and concepts in Ancient Greek philosophy and culture that have traditionally been understood as examples of binary thinking, particularly concerning sexual difference. In contrast to such patriarchal logic, the essays within this volume explore how many of these seemingly strict binaries in ancient culture and thought were far more permeable and philosophically nuanced. Each contribution asks if there are ways of thinking of antiquity differently—namely, to examine canonical works through a lens that expounds and even celebrates philosophies of difference so as to discover instances where authors of antiquity valorize and uphold the necessity of what has been seen as feminine, foreign, and/or irrational. As contemporary thinkers turn toward new ways of reading antiquity, these selected studies will inspire other readings of ancient texts through new feminist methodologies and critical vantage points. When examining the philosophers and notable figures of antiquity alongside their overt patriarchal and masculinist agendas, readers are invited to rethink their current biases while also questioning how particular ideas and texts are received and read. « This volume rests on an innovative impulse to look anew at binaries in Greek thought. The essays take up a range of binaries that historiographies trace back to the Greeks, and it troubles these binaries, while also linking them to sex/gender binaries at the same time. For example, muthos/logos, stasis/change, same/different, male/female, mind/body, and so forth. And as the editors’ interest in the marginalized signals, the collection specifically examines these binaries with an eye toward their internal hierarchical relationships (e.g., mind is superior to body) and how these have shaped social ontology. While building on some of the feminist and deconstructive work on this issue, the collection moves considerably beyond that, taking up new texts, figures, and issues. The essays are engaging, intelligent, and certainly will further the productive engagement with these texts. » — Jill Gordon, Colby College.

Jessica Elbert Decker is Associate Professor at California State University San Marcos. Danielle A. Layne is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Gonzaga University. Monica Vilhauer is Founder of Curious Soul Philosophy.

(Text from the publisher)


Revealing Women

Feminine Imagery in Gnostic Christian Texts

L. Cieroni, Turnhout : Brepols Publishers, 2021


Revealing Women offers a detailed and textual oriented investigation of the roles and functions of female mythological characters in Gnostic Christian mythologies. Revealing Women offers a detailed and textually oriented investigation of the roles and functions of female characters in Gnostic Christian mythologies. It answers questions such as: to what end did Gnostic Christian theologians employ feminine imagery in their theology? What did they want to convey through it? This book shows that feminine imagery was a genuine concern for Gnostic theologians, and it enquires about how it was employed to describe the divine through a contextual reading of Gnostic Christian texts presenting Ophite, Sethian, Barbeloite and Valentinian mythologoumena and theologoumena. Overall, it argues that feminine imagery ought to be acknowledged as an important theological framework to investigate and contextualize Gnostic works by showing that these theologians used feminine imagery to exemplify those aspects of the Godhead which they considered paradoxical and, yet, essential. The claims made in the first chapters are later substantiated by an in-depth investigation of understudied Gnostic texts, such as the so-called Simonian Gnostic works, the Book of Baruch of the Gnostic teacher Justin and the Nag Hammadi treatise known as Exegesis of the Soul.

Dr Lavinia Cerioni completed her PhD at the University of Nottingham in 2018. Since then, she has worked as Adjunct Lecturer at the Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum in Rome. In 2021, she has been awarded a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship at Aarhus University in Denmark. She has published several articles on gender in early Christianity, Gnosticism and Origen of Alexandria.

(Text from the publisher) 

Table of contents

Front matter (« Table of Contents », « Acknowledgements », « Abbreviations »)  p.1

Introduction  p. 15

I. Methodological problems in the study of gnosticism  p. 23

II. The soteriological feminine in Ophite, Sethian and Barbeloite texts  p. 45

III. The Valentinian feminine imagery  p. 99

IV. Gnostic case-studies: the feminine in other gnostic traditions  p. 149

Conclusion  p. 199

Back matter (« Bibliography », « Indices »)  p. 205


Constructions of Gender in Late Antique

Manichaean Cosmological Narrative

Susanna Towers, Turnhout, Brepolis, 2019


Manichaeism emerged from Sasanian Persia in the third century CE and flourished in Persia, the Roman Empire, Central Asia and beyond until succumbing to persecution from rival faiths in the eighth to ninth century. Its founder, Mani, claimed to be the final embodiment of a series of prophets sent over time to expound divine wisdom. This monograph explores the constructions of gender embedded in Mani’s colourful dualist cosmological narrative, in which a series of gendered divinities are in conflict with the demonic beings of the Kingdom of Darkness. The Jewish and Gnostic roots of Mani’s literary constructions of gender are examined in parallel with Sasanian societal expectations. Reconstructions of gender in subsequent Manichaean literature reflect the changing circumstances of the Manichaean community. As the first major study of gender in Manichaean literature, this monograph draws upon established approaches to the study of gender in late antique religious literature, to present a portrait of a historically maligned and persecuted religious community.

Susanna Towers studied Psychology and Philosophy at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford. She completed her M.A. and doctorate in Religious Studies at Cardiff University. She lives in Bath with her three children.

(Text from the publisher) 

Table of contents

Introduction This discusses the history of gender studies and its application to religious studies; a summary of previous literature relating to gender in Manichaeism; a brief life of Mani and its relation to his canon of texts. It outlines the contents of the following chapters.

The Manichaean Father exploration and identification of gendered attributes associated with masculinity with reference to Connell’s model of hegemonic masculinity. The Manichaean Father is considered as embodiment of desirable masculine traits and the appropriate exercise of masculine rulership and authority.

The Chief Archon This chapter examines the construction of gender implicit in the characterization of the chief archon. Mani’s writings characterize the chief archon in polar opposition to the Manichaean Father as exemplum of masculine rulership which embodies lust for power and territory. Mani characterizes the chief archon as a dangerous outsider who seeks to invade. This is expressed through the trope of the cannibal. The chief archon’s acts of cannibalism mark him as alien, uncivilized and savage.
Manichaean texts written after Mani’s death reflect the persecution of the Manichaean community. The characterization of the chief archon develops to reveal a tyrannous ruler who incites fear and terror in his own subjects.

The First Man This chapter considers the apparent paradox of the two competing constructions of masculinity evident in the characterization of the Manichaean First Man, who plays a central role in Manichaean cosmological drama. His characterization as both valiant warrior and suffering victim in defeat is explored in the context of the changing circumstances of the Manichaean community facing persecution. Parallel models of endurance as a worthy expression of masculinity in Jewish, Judaeo-Christian and early Christian literature are discussed.

The Mother of Life This chapter explores the gendered characterization of the Manichaean Mother of Life in Manichaean literature. As mother of the First Man, the Mother of Life embodies positive motherhood, demonstrating nurturing characteristics. Her role in the mythological drama is considered as an expression of the Jewish/Judaeo-Christian literary Wisdom figure (Sophia, Hokmah). The Mother of Life shares and extends imagery attached to Hokmah to encompass wisdom as a weapon.
The Mother of Life is also characterized as a model of feminine imprecation to masculine authority through the valorization of her prayer to the Manichaean Father on behalf of the beleaguered First Man. This is discussed in relation to the veneration of Hannah’s prayer (1 Sam.) in rabbinic literature.

The Manichaean Demoness Az and the yetzer hara This chapter explores parallels between the feminine-gendered demon Az and the evolving Jewish concept of the “evil inclination” (the yetzer hara) as expressions of the human propensity to sin.  As mother of Adam and Eve and mother of the demons, the maternal style of the demoness Az polarizes the motherhood of the Mother of Life.

The Maiden of Light This chapter explores the characterization of the Maiden of Light and her epithets of purity and wisdom in the context of the seductive display of her image to the archons in Manichaean mythology. This act is considered in the context of the model used by feminist biblical scholars of the male as owner of the gaze and the female as object of male gaze.  The chapter argues that the characterization of the Maiden of Light should be considered in relation to the biblical characterizations of Susanna, Judith and Esther. These reveal the female as both victim and manipulator of male gaze. These texts reveal that the seeking of male gaze is extolled in cases of communal threat when authorized by masculine authority. It is argued that the seductive display of the Maiden of Light allows doubt concerning the exploitation of females within the Manichaean community.

Conclusions The conclusion draws together the research findings of the previous chapters. Polarized positions within and across constructions of gender are considered.



Programa da I Jornada Archai Gênero e Antiguidade

Problemas e métodos

Descrição e organização

A Cátedra UNESCO Archai sobre as Origens Plurais do Pensamento Ocidental da Universidade de Brasília tem o prazer de enviar o Programa da I Jornada Archai Gênero e Antiguidade: problemas e métodos, a ser realizada pela plataforma Zoom no dia 22 de fevereiro de 2021.

Primeira Jornada Archai Gênero e Antiguidade reúne um conjunto de videoconferências, apresentadas por pesquisadoras de diferentes países, voltadas para as especificidades e os desafios implicados na utilização do gênero enquanto uma ferramenta de análise pertinente também no âmbito de estudos sobre as sociedades antigas.

Odisseia, 6.100. Crédito da Imagem: Gustavo Piquera


9h45 Abertura

10h Violaine Sebillotte Cuchet (Université Paris 1 – Panthéon) Comment écrire une histoire mixte de l’Antiquité?
Chair: Emiliano Buis  (UBA- Conicet)

11h45 Marina Cavicchioli (Universidade Federal da Bahia) La botte piena o la moglie ubriaca? Vinho e gênero na antiguidade romana.
Chair: Beatriz de Paoli (UFRJ)

13h Lunch

14h Valeria Sonna (UNAM/ INEO-Conicet) El tópico literario del génos gynaikôn y su repercusión en el pensamiento filosófico.
Chair: Maria Angelica Fierro (UBA – Conicet)

15h15 Coffee break

15h30 Agatha Bacelar (Universidade de Brasília) Electra tiranicida: gênero na recepção de uma deliberação heroica na tragédia de Sófocles.
Chair: Renato Pinto (UFPE, Brasil)

16h45 Coffee break

17h00 Cinzia Arruzza (The New School for Social Research) Philosopher-Queens: A Social Reproduction Reading of the Abolition of the Oikos in Plato’s Republic Book V.
Chair: Claudia Marsico (UBA – Conicet)

18h45 Encerramento


Agatha Bacelar (UnB)
Gabriele Cornelli (UnB)
Henrique Modanez de Sant’Anna (UnB)
Lettícia Leite (UnB)
Pilar Spangenberg (Universidad de Rosario, Argentina)

As inscrições são gratuitas, mas limitadas. Corra e inscreva-se aqui:

Cátedra UNESCO Archai sobre as Origens Plurais do Pensamento Ocidental / UnB
Programa de Pós-Graduação em Metafísica / UnB
Núcleo de Estudos Clássicos / UnB
Red Brasília-Buenos Aires de Filosofía Antigua

Asociación Argentina de Filosofía Antigua
Sociedade Brasileira de Estudos Clássicos


Gabriele Cornelli

Associate Professor – Philosophy Department. Postgraduate Programme in Metaphysics. Archai UNESCO Chair on the Plural Origins of the Western Thought – Director. Universidade de Brasília

(Texto dos organizadores)



Collège de France

Agir et Subir

Femmes et familles face aux mutations de l’époque hellénistique

Description et organisation

Mme Eftychia Stavrianopoulou, professeure d’histoire ancienne à l’université de Heidelberg (Allemagne), invitée sur la proposition de la professeure Vinciane Pirenne-Delforge, donnera une série de conférences sur le sujet « Femmes et familles face aux mutations de l’époque hellénistique« 


  1. Histoire de la famille et histoire des femmes : deux histoires différentes ou complémentaires ?
  2. Dans les familles : pratiques traditionnelles et nouveaux enjeux
  3. Dans la sphère publique : stratégies familiales en représentation et transformations sociales
  4. Discours et normes : la construction de la famille-idéale et de la femme-idéale


Collège de France (11, place Marcelin-Berthelot, Paris 5e)

jeudis 9, 16 et 23 mai 2019

à 18 heures en salle 5 et le mardi 21 mai à 18 heures

l’amphithéâtre Guillaume Budé

(Texte des organisateurs) 


Colloque en philosophie ancienne et médiévale

Perspectives féminines

Description et organisation

Les perspectives féminines* sur l’Antiquité et le Moyen Âge demeurent peu valorisées.

En effet, il n’échappe à personne, au sein de la communauté universitaire, que femmes et autres populations marginalisées (quelles qu’elles soient) tendent à être sous-représentées lors d’événements académiques. Ce constat est d’autant plus regrettable que les femmes* ne sont absentes ni des départements de philosophie, ni des auditoires qui assistent à ces événements.

Ce colloque propose de mettre en valeur les recherches des femmes* en philosophie ancienne et médiévale. En ouvrant un espace d’échange sur leurs savoirs et leurs questionnements, il a pour but d’améliorer leur visibilité et leur représentation dans le milieu de la recherche.

Les chercheuses* intéressées sont invitées à soumettre des propositions de communication portant sur la question du genre dans l’Antiquité et du Moyen Âge, les femmes* philosophes de cette période, ou encore le traitement du féminin* chez un ou une philosophe en particulier. Il est également possible de proposer une communication sur tout intérêt de recherche touchant les périodes historiques visées.

Le colloque sera l’occasion pour les participantes* d’apprécier la diversité des recherches menées par les femmes* en philosophie, mais aussi d’échanger avec des chercheuses* à différentes étapes de leur carrière lors des discussions et des conférences.

Conférencières invitées : Marguerite Deslauriers, Université McGill – Christina Van Dyke, Calvin College


Vendredi 16 Mars

9h45 Accueil et introduction

10h Liberté sexuelle et plaisir féminin chez Lucrèce: la politique de la sexualité par Julie Giovacchini (CNRS)

11h Le plaisir libre et le mouvement volontaire chez Lucrèce par Charlotte Tremblay-Lemieux

11h45 La préméditation des maux, un exercice hédoniste ? par Isabelle Chouinard

13h30 Où sont passés les philosophes-reines ? Sur la disposition apparente des gouvernantes dans le Politique de Platon par Annie Larivée

14h Vieillesse, maladie et feminité chez Aristote : la portée d’une analogie par Laetitia Montelis-Laeng

15h30 L’état au livre I de la Rhétorique par Jeanne Allard

Samedi 17 Mars

9h45 Accueil et introduction

10h Les pouvoirs du lieu dialectique chez Aristote par Laurence Godin Tremblay

11h Stoic Theory of Place and the Semantic of Nouns par Marion Durand

11h45 La transformation des notions stoïcienne dans le De Abstinentia de Porphyre : le cas de l’oiskeiosis par Delphine Gingras

13h30 Perspectives néoplatoniciennes sur la legitimité des femmes en philosophie par Mathilde Cambron-Goulet

14h15 Virtues of the Mind, Powers of the Body : Intellectual Humility and Embodiement in Teresa de Avila and Hildegard von Bingen par Kelsey Boor

15h30 Medieval Mystics on Persons: What John Locke didn’t tell you par Christina Van Dyke


Toute question peut être acheminée à l’adresse suivante :


Women’s Rights and Religious Law

Domestic and International Perspectives

Fareda Banda, Lisa Fishbayn Joffe, London: Routledge, 2016


The three Abrahamic faiths have dominated religious conversations for millennia but the relations between state and religion are in a constant state of flux. This relationship may be configured in a number of ways. Religious norms may be enforced by the state as part of a regime of personal law or, conversely, religious norms may be formally relegated to the private sphere but can be brought into the legal realm through the private acts of individuals. Enhanced recognition of religious tribunals or religious doctrines by civil courts may create a hybrid of these two models. One of the major issues in the reconciliation of changing civic ideals with religious tenets is gender equality, and this is an ongoing challenge in both domestic and international affairs. Examining this conflict within the context of a range of issues including marriage and divorce, violence against women and children, and women’s political participation, this collection brings together a discussion of the Abrahamic religions to examine the role of religion in the struggle for women’s equality around the world. The book encompasses both theory and practical examples of how law can be used to negotiate between claims for gender equality and the right to religion. It engages with international and regional human rights norms and also national considerations within countries. This book will be of great relevance to scholars and policy makers with an interest in law and religion, gender studies and human rights law.

(Text from the publisher)

Table of contents

Introduction Religion and Gender Equality: Defining the Conflict Fareda Banda and Lisa Fishbayn Joffe 

Part I: Gendered Rites: Gendered Rights? 

  1. Culture, Religion and Women’s International Human Rights Frances Raday 
  2. Marriage, Religion and Gender Equality John Eekelaar 
  3. Gender, Religion and Human Rights in Africa Fareda Banda
  4. Implications of the Vatican Commitment to Complementarity for the Equality of the Sexes in Public Life Mary Anne Case 

Section 2: Negotiating Gender and Religion in State Law 

  1. Between Strict Constructionist Sharia and Protecting Young Girls in Contemporary Northern Nigeria: The Case of Child Marriage (Ijbār) Sarah Eltantawi 
  2. Spousal Relations and Horizons of Islamic Family Law Reform: The Role of Maqāṣid al-sharīʿa Discourses, Celene Ayat Lizzio 
  3. The Woes of WoW: The Women of the Wall as a Religious Social Movement and as a Metaphor Pnina Lahav
  4. Religious Coercion and Violence Against Women: The Case of Beit Shemesh, Sima Zalcberg Block 

Section 3: Religious Divorce in Civil Courts 

  1. The Impact of « Foreign Law » Bans On The Struggle For Women’s Equality Under Jewish Law in the United States of America Lisa Fishbayn Joffe

     10.Systemic Misunderstandings Between Rabbinical Courts and Civil Courts: The Perspective of an American Rabbinical Court Judge Aryeh Klapper

       11.’Socio-Legal Gendered Remedies to Get Refusal: Top Down, Bottom Up’, Yael Machtinger

       12. Challenging Stereotypes: Gender Sensitive Imams and the Resolution of Family Disputes in Montreal Anne Saris