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The research project was officially initiated in September 2018 and will run until August 2021.

The research group meets in Münster twice every semester (cf. the calendar for Oberseminar dates) during the three years of the project. 

In spring 2021, the EVTL group has two Oberseminaren/PhD colloquies planned: April 22-24 and June 24-26. During these seminars, members of the EVTL group will engage in NT readings together, will hear presentations from most recent research on Paul, and discuss texts with guest speakers.

During the composition of our commentary, we have invited scholars from relevant expertise from Europe and North America to think through leadership and letters with us through virtual meetings (this is in lieu of a major conference that was planned to take place at Sandbjerg Estate in Denmark, cancelled due to the coronavirus). In recent months, we have been in discussion with:

October 13, 2020: Prof. (em.) Oda Wischmeyer, University of Erlangen, Germany. We discussed the TL category of “intellectual stimulation” and how Paul, Cicero, and Seneca provoke their readers to think in “higher” and more mature ways.

November 7, 2020: Prof. Glenn Most, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Italy. We discussed taxonomies that define letters.

November 28, 2020: Prof. Nina E. Livesey, University of Oklahoma, USA. We discussed the crucial role of self-fashioning in letter writing, that is, the role of the letter writer in creating in authorial persona, particularly with an eye toward epistolary theory in the mid-twentieth century, which emphasized the role of letters as substitutes for personal presence.

January 29, 2021: Prof. Francesa Martelli, UCLA, USA. We discussed what happens after letter-writing, with a particular focus on Cicero: the letter-writer has little control on his own reception, as letters are sometimes collected and grouped into collections, possibly resulting in new storylines.