Department Colloquium: Catherine Michael Chin (University of California, Davis) "The Future Is Very Far Away and We Have Not Arrived There Yet: Early Christian Afterlives and Classical Receptions"

Thursday, March 17, 2022 - 4:45pm to 6:15pm

402 Cohen Hall and on Zoom, link below

Speaker:  Catherine Michael Chin, Associate Professor of Classics at University of California, Davis

Title: "The Future Is Very Far Away and We Have Not Arrived There Yet: Early Christian Afterlives and Classical Receptions"

Abstract: This presentation will be a precirculated selection of my current work in progess, which examines the life and writings of Rufinus of Aquileia, the late antique translator and ascetic theorist. Rufinus’s fascination with the late Platonic theology of Origen (and implicitly that of Origen’s coeval Plotinus) prompts a fundamental historical question: what did it feel like to believe that one lived in an Origenist or Neoplatonic universe? That is, taking Rufinus and Origen as our case study, what can we imagine were the experiential dimensions of theological or philosophical belief in late antiquity? The selections of my work that will be precirculated will address this question in two ways. First, I consider what Rufinus’s theory of the afterlife would have been from within this late Platonist cosmology, and I speculate through written and visual media on what it would be like to experience such an afterlife. Second, I examine the historiographical implications of this question and ask, what media might historians of the ancient world be able to use to analyze or convey ancient experience in contemporary bodies? Using the arts model of practice as research, I attempt to outline a mode of research on and reception of the ancient Mediterranean world that is both intellectually rigorous and experientially immediate.

Registration is required to attend this Zoom talk. Registering once allows you to attend all of the spring colloquia via Zoom with the same link.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.  
PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM FILTER if you do not get an email in your inbox.

If you have any issues registering, please try using this link and Meeting ID 934 5139 5458 to register. 

If you still have issues registering, please email