28 Oct An Assemblage Approach to Early Christianity: Deleuze, Latour, and the Letters of Dionysios of Corinth
Cavan Concannon (Religion,University of Southern California)
Friday, October 28, 2016/12:00 PM
Modern historians map the diversity of early Christianity in a variety of ways, from declines into heresy to competition among “varieties” of early Christianities. Drawing particularly on the philosophical work of Gilles Deleuze and Bruno Latour, Concannon argues that we might better map the remains of second-century Christianity by focusing on networks of people, ideas, and letters that moved along broader patterns of trade and communication in the eastern Mediterranean. Focusing on the costs, velocities, and viscosities of movement and commerce, he examines the network associated with Dionysios of Corinth, whose writings come to us only as fragments and summaries in Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History. He shows how non-human actants such as geography, economic activity, and trade routes shape the interactions within Dionysios’ network, allowing us to think more broadly about second-century Christianity as a series of emergent networks that form, coalesce, and dissolve in the flow of movement and connectivity that characterized the Roman Mediterranean.
Cavan W. Concannon is Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Southern California and the author of ‘When you were Gentiles’: Specters of Ethnicity in Roman Corinth and Paul’s Corinthian Correspondence (Yale University Press, 2014), Assembling Early Christianity: Trade, Networks, and the Letters of Dionysios of Corinth (Cambridge University Press, 2017), and editor (with Lindsey Mazurek) of Across the Corrupting Sea: Post-Braudelian Approaches to the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean (Routledge, 2016).
Sponsored by the IHC’s Ancient Borderlands RFG.