The Association for the Study of Eastern Christian History and Culture (ASEC) held its fifth biennial conference at Georgetown University, Washington, DC, on March 8-9, 2013. The theme of the conference was “Antecedents and Subsequents of Iosif Volotsky: Exploring Eastern Christian Concerns.”

Over 40 participants and attendees congregated on Georgetown University’s historic campus for two days of intense historical, philosophical, and theological discourse during eight panels of scholarly presentations as well as a keynote lecture and numerous social gatherings.

Congratulations to the conference host David Goldfrank (Department of History, Georgetown University), his Medieval Studies associate Sandra Strachan-Vieira, and conference staff and assistants Carol Dockham and Alyssa Gomes, for arranging the on-site logistics of a highly successful conference.

Image of the front cover of the program for the 2013 ASEC conference

ASEC Conference Program 2013


Friday, March 8, 2013

Session 1: Iosif Volotskii

Chair/Discussant: J. Eugene Clay, Arizona State University


  1. “Iosif Volotsky’s sui generis Ars Disputandi” – David Goldfrank, Georgetown University
  2. “An Imagined Disputation: The Prenie s Iosifom Volotskim” – Donald Ostrowski, Harvard University
  3. “What Was New about Commemoration in the Iosif Volotskii Monastery? A Reassessment”  – Ludwig Steindorff, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

Session 2: Iosif Volotskii’s Legacy in the Russian Orthodox Church

Chair/Discussant: Scott Kenworthy, Miami University of Ohio


  1. Metropolitan Macarius and Muscovite Politics during the Reign of Ivan IV” – Charles J. Halperin, Indiana University
  2. “Deacon Feodor Ivanov as a Follower of Iosif Volotsky or a Comparative Analysis of Feodor’s ‘Authentic Testimony’ about the Wolf and Predator and One-Marked-by-God Nikon who is Pastor in Sheep’s Skin and Forerunner of the Antichrist and Iosif’s Enlightener” – Kevin M. Kain, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay
  3. “Defining Orthodoxy in Imperial Russia: The Heresiological Heirs of Iosif of Volokolamsk” – J. Eugene Clay, Arizona State University

Session 3: Tradition and Change in Monasticism through the Centuries

Chair/Discussant: Jennifer Spock, Eastern Kentucky University


  1. “What is Late Antique Monasticism?” – Rod Stearn, University of Kentucky
  2. “From Ascetic Hermit to Communal Monk: The Changing Image of Saint Nil Stolbenskii in the Early Seventeenth Century” – Isolde Thyret, Kent State University
  3. “The Last Basilians in Russia: Conversion and Cultural Change in Russia’s Western Borderlands, 1820–1840” – Barbara Skinner, Indiana State University

Session 4: Theological Controversy in the Early Church

Chair/Discussant: Joshua Lollar, University of Kansas


  1. “‘No one can doubt that the Father is greater’: Constantius II and the Council of Sirmium” – Edward Mason, University of Kentucky
  2. Canonical Fathers and the Creation of Authority in the Disputatio cum Pyrrho (PG 91, 287-353)” – Ryan W. Strickler, University of Kentucky
  3. “Schism, Unity, and Social Networks in Sixth-Century Byzantine-Papal Relations” – Joshua Powell, University of Kentucky

The conference was sponsored by ASEC, Inc.; Georgetown University’s Medieval Studies Program, Center for Eurasian, Russia and East European Studies, and the Departments of History and Theology; The Ohio State University’s Resource Center for Medieval Slavic Studies (Columbus, OH); and the Department of History of Eastern Kentucky University (Richmond, KY).