Research Group: Religions of Late Antiquity

Madonna and Child

The Religions of Late Antiquity research group consists of scholars who explore the plethora of religions and religiosity during late antiquity. One main perspective of the research group is to consider late antiquity as a transitional period, during which traditional and local religions are replaced by monotheistic and universal religions. Important topics of study are:

  • religious tolerance and intolerance
  • orthodoxy and heresy- scriptural religion
  • dogmas and rituals
  • religious institutions
  • religion and body


Virgin and Child (Photo: Sissel Undheim)


The Religions of Late Antiquity Research Group currently carries several functions:

  • Organizing international workshops, often at the Norwegian Institute in Athens
  • Maintaining international contacts, partnerships, projects and activities



The research group recieves funding from the Norwegian research council.


Upcoming events:

Religions in Late Antiquity Workshop

25-26 February 2020, Norwegian Institute in Athens

The purpose of this workshop is to meet, as well as to share our research interests and results with one another. For this reason, we invite all participants to prepare a session on any of his/her research interests that relates to the topic. RSVP before 5 aug 2019.


Previous events:

Phanes International Reading Group workshop: "The riot of Antioch in 387 A.D." (in collaboration with international partners)

12-13 October 2018, Norwegian Institute in Athens

Studying and discussing a specific topic, namely the riot in Antioch (AD 387), by reading John Chrysostom’s ‘Homilies on the Statues’ and Libanius’ ‘To the Emperor Theodosius, for the Statues’.


Research Group leader: prof. Einar Thomassen

Administrative coordinator: PhD candidate Moa Airijoki

Ongoing projects:

Moa Airijoki: "Transplanting Monastic Literature: A study of the Copto-Arabic reception of the Apophthegmata Patrum" (PhD dissertation, 2018-2022)


Previous projects:

Photo of Alexandros Tsakos tracing graffiti on Sai Island (Nubia)

Alexandros Tsakos traces graffiti on Sai Island, Nubia (Photo: Alexandros Tsakos)





For further information or questions concerning the research group, please contact Moa Airijoki (e-mail: moa.airijoki@uib.no)