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FS-50224-09

University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Knoxville, TN 37996-0001)
Thomas John Heffernan (Project Director: March 2009 to April 2012)
"Ask of me spiritual things. Ask of me myself:" The Autobiographies of Perpetua and Augustine

A five-week college and university teachers seminar for sixteen participants to study the two great autobiographies of late Antiquity, the Prison Diary of Perpetua of Carthage and the Confessions of Saint Augustine.

The seminar will study the two great autobiographies of late Antiquity, the Prison Diary of Perpetua of Carthage, hereafter called the Passion, and the Confessions of Saint Augustine. These works will be read against the backdrop of the city of Carthage which was crucial to our subjects' emotional and intellectual growth and to the composition of their narratives. Written by a female and a male respectively, and although separated from one another by almost two centuries -- the first written in times of persecution and the latter inside a church triumphant -- the two share a number of thematic characteristics which the seminar shall explore as we investigate questions concerning the political, theological and domestic issues which shaped such original and nuanced works of self exploration. Both books provided the foundation which allowed the west to begin its exploration of human psychology and they announced new voices where before there was only silence.

Project fields:
Religion, General

Program:
Seminars for College Teachers

Division:
Education Programs

Totals:
$141,201 (approved)
$141,201 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2009 – 9/30/2010

Funding details:
Original grant (2009) $134,301
Supplement (2010) $6,900