An International Symposium on Christian Apocryphical Literature entitled “Ancient Christian Literature and Christian Apocrypha,” will be held in Thessaloniki, on 26-29 June 2014.

The International Symposium on Christian apocryphal literature will focus on the place that the Christian apocryphal texts occupy within the reservoir of ancient Christian literature and will investigate important aspects of the relation between these texts and the canonical textual and artistic tradition of the Church in the early Christian as well as in the Early Medieval and Byzantine period. Moreover, since the apocryphal Christian texts have generally been regarded as a textual corpus outside the canonical tradition of the Church as well as the communication vehicle of various heretical groups, the major issue of their acceptance and of their direct or indirect reception by the Christian writers of the Patristic and Byzantine period remains an intriguing subject in the field of theological research. The aim of the symposium is, therefore, to deal with these issues and to demonstrate the fundamental relation and contribution of the apocryphal texts to the formation of the Church tradition until the end of the Early Medieval and Byzantine period.

The use of the Christian apocryphal texts in the Patristic literature

The use of the Christian apocryphal texts by the Church Fathers and writers remains an important issue. What was the attitude of Church writers towards these texts and to what extent and in which way were these texts adopted by the Church Fathers and integrated in the exegetical and dogmatic tradition of the Church?

The impact of the Christian apocryphal texts on Christian worship and art

Have the Christian apocryphal texts been a reference source in the development of Christian worship, hymnography and festal cycle of the Church? This question is posed in connection with the possible role the apocryphal texts may have played in the origins and development of Christian art.

The Christian apocryphal texts and Christian historiography

How did the actual Church histori-ans deal with the Christian apocryphal texts, what were the criteria applied by them when employing these texts in their historiographical work and what is the emerging picture regarding them from the Christian historiographical literature?

The Christian apocryphal texts and Christian heresiology

What role did the apocryphal texts play in the origination of Christian heresies and how is this relation reflected in the anti-heretical literature and in the conciliar and canonical tradition of ancient Church? What is the position of the heretics towards apocryphal literature and what was the use of apocryphal literature in the polemical literature of the so-called heretics ?

The Christian apocryphal literature and the diffusion of Christian faith

The Symposium will also investigate the contribution of the apocryphal texts to the content of Christian literature (catechisms, treatises, homilies) that influenced the formation of Christian faith.


The symposium is organized by: the School of Pastoral and Social Theology / Faculty of Theology, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki; the Αssociation pour l’Étude de la Littérature Apocryphe Chrétienne; the Centre d’Analyse et de Documentation Patristiques (EA 4378, Strasbourg); the Institut Romand des Sciences Bibliques (IRSB), University of Lausanne; the Centre for Byzantine Research, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki.

Venue: Aristotle University’s Ressearch Dissemination Center (KEDEA), September 3rd Avenue, University Campus