Institute for Religion & Critical Inquiry

Modes of Knowing and the Ordering of Knowledge in Early Christianity c. 100-700

We aim to study ‘modes of knowing’ constructed by Greek, Latin and Syriac Christians 100-700 CE in relation to contemporary theological, philosophical, medical and rhetorical discourses, social practices (asceticism, pilgrimage, liturgies), imperial and institutional power structures, and the material world of early Christianity (relics, sacred texts). We then ask how this construction of Christian epistemologies through cultural and intellectual appropriations might inform modern theological reflection on Christian traditions engaging with modernity. The project thus aims to advance a novel account of early Christian epistemology and intellectual culture and provide resources for interactions between faith and culture today.

The project is led by Prof. Lewis Ayres and four other Chief Investigators: Michael Champion, Matthew Crawford, Jane Heath (Durham), and Andrew Radde-Gallwitz (Notre Dame).