Thomas Arentzen

Researcher at Department of Linguistics and Philology

+4618-471 1338
Visiting address:
Engelska parken
Thunbergsvägen 3H

Postal address:
Box 635
751 26 UPPSALA

Short presentation

PhD and Reader in Church History from Lund University.

I specialize in early Christian poetry and devotional literature. Currently, I conduct the research project Beyond the Garden: An Ecocritical Approach to Early Byzantine Christianity (funded by the Swedish Research Council), which focuses on trees in late ancient and Byzantine sources. Since 2012 I have served as article editor of the open access journal Patristica Nordica Annuaria.

Keywords: ecocriticism byzantine christianity hymnography byzantine ecology trees hagiography early christian poetry eastern christianity mariology

  • Reader, Lund University 2018
  • Ph.D., Lund University 2014
  • Cand.philol., Universitety of Oslo 2005
  • Cand.mag., Universitety of Oslo 2001

I studied theology at the University of Oslo and went on to do a PhD in early Christianity at Lund University. From 2015 to 2019 I conducted my own postdoctoral research project Bodies in Motion: Religion and Corporeality in Late Antiquity at the University of Oslo (funded by the Research Council of Norway) and spent spring term 2016 as Visiting Scholar at Brown University. In 2018 I became Reader (docent) in Church History in Lund. For the academic year of 2018-19 I was awarded a fellowship in Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

My research interests include Byzantine Christianity and ecology, and I have recently written a book about trees in Byzantium, Byzantine Tree Life. More generally, I have explored popular piety and literary expressions of Christian faith. My monograph The Virgin in Song studies representations of the Virgin Mary in late ancient poetry. I recently edited a volume called The Reception of the Virgin in Byzantium.

Tasks and memberships

  • Member of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment and the European Association for Studies of Literature, Culture and the Environment
  • Member of l’Association Internationale d’Études Patristiques (AIEP/IAPS)'s council
  • Member of Collegium Patristicum Lundense's board
  • Member of Society of Oriental Liturgy
  • Member of the Research Collegium, Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul
  • Article-editor of Patristica Nordica Annuaria

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Thomas Arentzen