PSCO Presentation: 3 March, 2005

"Re-examining the Astrological Significance of the Ophite Diagram (CCel. 6.25-40)"
Nicola Denzey, Bowdoin College, Harvard Divinity School, and York University

THE FOURTH MEETING OF THE 2004-05 YEAR will be held on Thursday, 3 March 2005, from 7:00-9:00 pm in the Second Floor Lounge, Logan Hall at the University of Pennsylvania. The next meeting of PSCO 42 is scheduled for Thursday, 3 March 2005 at the University of Pennsylvania (Logan Hall). The speaker will be Nicola Denzey (Bowdoin College / Harvard Divinity School), on "Re-examining the Astrological Significance of the Ophite Diagram (CCel. 6.25-40)."

Nicola will be following up on some of the work she presented in "A New Star on the Horizon: Astral Christologies and Stellar Debates in Early Christian Discourse," Prayer, Magic, and the Stars in the Ancient and Late Antique World edited by Scott Noegel, Joel Walker, and Brannon Wheeler (Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press 2003), part of the "Magic in History" series.

Nicola received her PhD from Princeton University with a dissertation entitled "Under a Pitiless Sky: Conversion, Cosmology and the Rhetoric of 'Enslavement to Fate' in Second-century Christian Sources" (1997). She has taught at Barnard, Skidmore, and now at Bowdoin, and is currently also listed among the visiting faculty at Harvard Divinity School. In the fall she will join the faculty of York University (Toronto, Canada) as Assistant Professor of Christian Origins.

For further details, see

Weather Alert

PLEASE NOTE: our speaker will be attempting to join us on Thursday from Maine, where two feet of snow are predicted. Please stay tuned in case of a weather-related cancellation, or call Bob Kraft's office (215-898-5724) Thursday afternoon.


Persons wishing to dine with other participants prior to the seminar should meet at 6:00 pm at Logan Hall, Second Floor Lounge (southeast of Locust Walk and 36th Street Walk) or go directly to the Food Court in the basement of Houston Hall (just east of Logan, along Spruce Street), where an international variety of food choices is available at reasonable prices and plenty of table space for us to appropriate.

Preparatory Reading

For those who have easy access to Penn's campus prior to Thursday's PSCO, Nicola has sent some preparatory reading materials that can be picked up in the Religious Studies office on the second floor of Logan Hall. They are:

A. J. Welburn, "Reconstructing the Ophite Diagram," Novum Testamentum 23.3 (1981) 261-287.

Henry Chadwick, Origen's Contra Celsum to 6.24-27 (337-343)

And the Greek text.