Making Ends Meet
Cross-Cultural Perspectives on the End of Times in Medieval Christianity, Islam and Buddhism

  • Time: 24.-25. September 2015 (Thur-Fri), 9:00–18:00, 26. September 2015 (Sat), 9:00-16:00
  • Venue: Theatersaal of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), Sonnenfelsgasse 19, 1010 Wien (24.-25.9.2015); Institute for Medieval Research (ÖAW), seminar rooms, ground floor, Wohllebengasse 12-14, 1040 Wien (26.9.2015)
  • Organisation: Veronika Wieser
    (University of Vienna, Dept. of History, Geschichte, / Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), Institute for Medieval Research, imafo)
  • Cooperation: Vincent Eltschinger (IKGA)

See also

General Topic

A main goal of the conference Cross-Cultural Perspectives on the End of Times is to trace the social dynamics and discursive strategies behind the different visions of the End of Times in various cultural and religious areas. It aims not only to study the exchange of ideas between East and West, but also to broaden approaches so as to work towards a more differentiated view of eschatological notions in general. Studying and comparing Muslim, Brahmanical, Buddhist and Christian eschatological beliefs will shed light on the dynamic relations between processes of social identification and apocalyptic interpretations. In other words: To what extent did eschatological thought influence political and religious (self-)perception?

This conference is part of a series of joint activities of renowned scholars from the fields of History, Social Anthropology, Tibetan Studies/Buddhist Studies, Theology, Religious Studies, Byzantine Studies and Iranian Studies, who started to comparatively address the question of how eschatological visions affected religious communities and political structures in Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism. It is our aim to combine medieval contexts with broader methodological questions generated by, among others, theology, social anthropology, and modern theories of source criticism.



THURSDAY, 24 September 2015
Theatersaal • Sonnenfelsgasse 19 • 1010 Wien

Exchanges 1


Faustina Aerts-Doufikar (University of Amsterdam)

Gog and Magog Crossing Borders: Biblical, Christian and Islamic Imaginings

Bernhard Scheid (Austrian Academy of Sciences)

Death, Pollution, and the Afterlife as a Common Matrix of Japanese Buddhism and Shintō

C o f f e e B r e a k


 Exchanges 2


Martin Treml (Zentrum f. literatur- u. Kulturforschung, Berlin)

Eschatology as an Occidental Lebensform: The Case of Jacob Taubes

Johannes van Oort (University of Pretoria)

Manichean Eschatology

Uta Heil (University of Vienna)

Apocalyptic Literature – A Never-ending Story

L u n c h


Cultures of Eschatology


Guy Lobrichon (University of Avignon)

Western Eschatologies, or the Future of a Society: Addition of Individual Projects, or the Collective Construction of a Radiant Dawn?

Florian Schwarz (Austrian Academy of Sciences)

Communal, Imperial, Global? Reflections on Early Modern Muslim Eschatology and Millenarianism(s)

C o f f e e B r e a k


Scripture & Authority


Michael Sommer (University of Halle)

Utopia and the Intertextual Construction of Identity: On Politics, Adversaries and Intertexts in Revelation

Cinzia Grifoni/Clemens Gantner(Austrian Academy of Sciences)

A Methodius in the Madness: Remarks on the Redactions of the Latin Recensions of Pseudo-Methodius

Pavlína Rychterová (Austrian Academy of Sciences)

The Works of John of Rupescissa and their Medieval European Reception

FRIDAY, 25 September 2015
Theatersaal ÖAW • Sonnenfelsgasse 19 • 1010 Wien

Afterlives & Other Worlds


Zsoka Gelle (Eötvös Loránd University)

Beyul Yolmo Gangra and Buddhist Eschatology

Eirini Afentoulidou (Austrian Academy of Sciences)

Aerial Tollhouses: Space and Power in Byzantine Accounts of the Afterlife

Frederick Chen (Sheng Yan Research Fellow in Chinese Buddhism at the National Chengchi University)

The Buddhist Conquest of the Chinese Otherworld Empire

C o f f e e B r e a k


Death & Resurrection & Panel discussion


Jane Baun (University of Oxford)

Sinners before the Throne: The Medieval Byzantine Bureaucratic and Imperial Makeover of the Other World

Pia Bockius (Freie Universität Berlin)

Scattered Bones and Saintly Virtus: Resurrection of the Body and Veneration of Relics in Gregory of Tours

Roberto Tottoli (University of Naples)

Death and Eschatological Beliefs in the Lives of the Prophets According to Islam

L u n c h


Empires 1


Philippe Buc (University of Vienna)

Eschatology and Violence in the First and Second Crusades

James Palmer (University of St. Andrews)

Apocalyptic Insiders? Apocalypse and Heresy in Carolingian-Iberian Relations

Eirik Hovden (Austrian Academy of Sciences)

Zaydī Theology Popularized: A Hailstorm Hitting the Heterodox

C o f f e e B r e a k


Empires 2


Graeme Ward (Austrian Academy of Sciences)

Empire and Eschatology: The Reception of Orosius in the Carolingian World

Stephen Shoemaker (University of Oregon)

Eschatology and Empire, Byzantium and Early Islam

SATURDAY, 26 September 2015
IMAFO Seminar Rooms • Wohllebengasse 12-14 • 1040 Wien


Kurt Appel (University of Vienna)

The Testament of Time and the Last Meeting of Mankind - Bible, Musil, Agamben

Miriam Czock (University of Duisburg-Essen)

Eschatology and Time in theCarolingian Age

Ann Christys (Independent scholar)

Al-Andalus in the Last Days

C o f f e e B r e a k


Life after the End


Domenico Agostini (The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute)

The Temporary and the Eternal Afterlife: Some Remarks on Zoroastrian Eschatology

Christian Lange (Utrecht University)

Presence, not Likeness? Reflections on Traditions of Realized Eschatology in Medieval Muslim Imaginings of Paradise and Hell on Earth

Marc Tiefenauer (University of Lausanne)

The End of the End

L u n c h


Adaptations & Panel Discussion


Marilyn Dunn (University of Glasgow)

Apocalypse Now? Body, Soul and Judgement in the Christianization of the Anglo-Saxons c. 600 - c. 800

Rutger Kramer (Austrian Academy of Sciences)

'And Men Below, and Saints Above': Pastoral Power, Purity and Politics in the Carolingian Church

Immo Warntjes (University of Belfast)

The Final Countdown: Calculating the End of Days in the Seventh Century, from Ireland to Italy

W i n e r e c e p t i o n