Susanna Elm (NHC Fellow, 1991–92)

Project Title

Sozomen's, Socrates' and Theodoret's 'History of the Church': Innovation or Continuity?

University of California, Berkeley

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Fellowship Work Summary, 1991–92

Susanna Elm finished Virgins of God: The Making of Asceticism in Late Antiquity, forthcoming from Oxford University Press. For A Feminist Dictionary of the Bible, edited by E. Schüssler Fiorenza, she worked on an essay on Montanist Oracles, and for Augustianum she wrote "Athanasius' Letter to the Virgins: Who Was Its Intended Audience?" Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung carried two of her articles—one on youth gangs and the drug market in Los Angeles, another on "The Idea of a Civil Society," a conference held at the National Humanities Center in November 1991—and commissioned a piece on the Center itself. She researched and drafted an article on the use of tattoos (stigmata) in the Attis-Cybele cult, its transformation into ritual child murder accusations against Christians, and by Christians against Jews and heretics, as well as the influence of pagan tattoos on the Christian practice of the signing of the cross on the forehead. She began researching her next book, tentatively titled "The Social World of the Fifth-Century Church Historians Sozomen, Socrates, and Theodoret."