This page highlights academic resources, projects such as seminars, centers, work groups or conferences initiated by or ongoing at particular academic institutions. For other academic resources you might use for your own teaching, mentoring, field work or research, see Books and Syllabi (or scroll down to the links below)


This website was created and is maintained (when time permits) by Susan R. Holman, an academic scholar, writer, and editor with experience in public health and religious history. For more on Dr. Holman's academic work:

Curriculum vita

Tufts School of Nutrition Alumni interview (2010)

Project on Lived Theology Interview (2009)



(please email us with news about forthcoming events)


CENTRE FOR EARLY CHRISTIAN STUDIES AT AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY: Drs. Pauline Allen, Wendy Mayer, and Bronwen Neil of the Centre for Early Christian Studies at Australian Catholic University received funding from the Australian Research Council for a three-year study of poverty in Late Antiquity. The project is testing the model of the relationship between poverty and leadership at a time of social change recently proposed by the influential historian, Peter Brown, by focusing on three pivotal figures in a defined period across a significant geographical spread: John Chrysostom (Byzantium), Augustine (North Africa), and Leo I (Italy). Papers from the Centre's Fifth International Triennial Conference in 2008, on "Poverty and Riches" will be published soon: Geoffrey D. Dunn, James S. McLaren, and Lawrence Cross, eds., Poverty and Riches. Prayer and Spirituality in the Early Church 5. Strathfield, Australia: St. Paul's Publications.

GREEK PATRISTIC TEXTS AS A NEW VOICE FOR CATHOLIC SOCIAL THOUGHT: The Center for Catholic Social Thought at the Catholic University at Leuven, Belgium (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) recently concluded a four-year research project that asked the question, "Whither the influence of Greek patristic texts in Catholic social thought of the past, the present, and the future?" Under the direction of Professors Johan Verstraeten and Johan Leemans, the project began with an evaluation of the use of Greek and Latin patristic sources in the official documents of Catholic social thought. This has already resulted in several publications, and will include ultimately the preparation of a compendium of Greek patristic texts that address matters of social ethics. It is anticipated that these resources will be of great relevance and interest to Catholic leaders and lay persons worldwide who are engaged in social issues. Focusing on Greek texts from the Apostolic Fathers to the Council of Chalcedon will allow the team to explore the common heritage of the Western and Eastern churches in Europe. A deeper knowledge of a common heritage can lead to a common platform for transcultural conversations on socio-ethical problems.

October 13-15, 2005: "Wealth and Poverty in Early Christianity,"The Second Annual Conference of the Stephen and Catherine Pappas Patristic Institute, at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston, Massachusetts. Conference papers are now published in: Susan R. Holman (ed.), Wealth and Poverty in Early Church and Society (Holy Cross Studies in Patristic Theology and History; Grand Rapids: BakerAcademic, 2008).

May 9-10, 2002:"Poverty and Charity: Judaism, Christianity, Islam", at Princeton University. Papers from the conference were published in the Journal of Interdisciplinary History, vol. 35, number 3, winter 2005.

November 10-13, 2002:"The Option for the Poor in Christian Theology;" a continuing education conference held at the University of Notre Dame,view program;



Click here for link to syllabi available online


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Read John Chrysostom's late fourth- or early fifth-century sermons on the parable of the rich man and Lazarus online here (but beware this is an 1869 translation).

The New York School of Philanthropy, Studies in Social Work, published between 1915 and 1917 several rare English translations of historical texts on poverty and religious responses. If you are unable to locate them through your research library, the texts below are available as pdf documents from our website on request:

A Sermon on Alms by John Chrysostom (early 5th century) (translated from PG 51.260-271). Translation by Margaret M. Sherwood, Studies in Social Work 10 (Feb. 1917)

Rabbinic text: "Section on charity" from the mid-16th century Rabbinic text, Shulhan Arukh.Translation by Louis Feinberg, Studies in Social Work 6 (Nov. 1915).

Juan-Luis Vives (16th century humanist):, Book 2 of his 1526 letter to the senate of Bruges, "Concerning the relief of the Poor or, Concerning Human Need." Translation by Margaret M. Sherwood, Studies in Social Work 11 (Feb. 1917). [for more about a new scholarly critical edition of this entire work, visit our "News" page or our bibliography of books on poverty that relate to the medieval period.]