The program is based on the long tradition of international, and in particular Nordic, research cooperation that is part of the strength of the research milieu of Early Christian Studies represented by the Collegium Patristicum Lundense at Lund University. During the last fifteen years, Professor Rubenson has been active in creating an international network of scholars working on early Eastern monasticism, a network that has greatly contributed to the successful completion of the doctoral dissertations of four of the members of the research team.
The program cooperates with some of the major centres for research on early Palestinian monastic tradition. The most important is the Patristische Kommission der Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen under the direction of Professor Ekkehart Mühlenberg. Two projects of the Academy are of special significance, the edition of the old alphabetical and systematical collections of the Apophthegmata Patrum by Chiara Faraggiana di Sarzana of the University of Bologna, and the edition of the corpus of Esaias Monachos by Professor Ekkehart Mühlenberg. The contact with the research being done in Göttingen provides the program with direct access to one of the largest collection of early eastern monastic material on microfilm in Europe, excellent library facilities in the field of research, including rare catalogues, as well as to expertise in editions of early Christian texts. Professor Mühlenberg is a senior external advisors to the program .
Others centres of particular interest for the program are:
- The Institute for Advanced Studies of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and their research program “Personal versus Established Religion: Revision, Stagnation and Synthesis in Eastern Christian Thought and Praxis (5th-8th Centuries)” directed by Professor Brouria Bitton-Ashkelony, who has previously worked specifically on the Gaza region, including the edition of a scholarly volume which incorporated a study originating in the research seminar in Lund.
- The Hill Monastic Manuscript Library at S:t John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota, directed by Professor Columba Stewart, who is an internationally recognized scholar of early monasticism. Its large and unmatched holdings of microfilms of manuscripts from the Christian Orient are of great significance to the program and its interest in the transmission of early monastic material in Syriac, Arabic and Ethiopic.
Other senior advisors of the program include:
- Professor David Brakke, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Indiana, an expert on Egyptian monasticism, who has during many years supported the research in Scandinavia in general and Lund in particular.
- Professor Troels Engberg-Pedersen, Professor of New Testament Studies at Copenhagen University and an expert on the use of Greek philosophy in early Christian literature.
- Professor Lorenzo Perrone, who is an international expert on Palestinian monasticism, both through his own writings and his close connection with scholars working in Israel and Palestine, is a senior advisor and consultant of the program.
- Professor Samir Khalil Samir, Professor of Religious Studies at Université Saint-Joseph, Beirut and director of CEDRAC, Centre de documentation et de recherches arabes chrétiennes. He is also a standing guest Professor of Christian-Islamic studies at Pontificio Istituto Orientale in Rome and expert on Syriac as well as Christian Arabic literature.
- Professor Frances Young, Professor emeritus of theology at Birmingham University, who has been very influential in redefining the role of the Bible in the shaping of Christian culture, and who has assisted in supervising the thesis of one of our researchers.
- Professor James E Goehring, Professor of Mary Washington University, one of the most prolific and influential scholars on early Egyptian monasticism in the world today.
- Associate Professor Hugo Lundhaug, University of Oslo, whose work on the use of Scripture in the literature of early Egyptian Christianity, has been of special importance to our program
- Professor Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Brown University, who is an expert on early Syriac Christianity, and a regular participants at seminars arranged by the Collegium Patristicum Lundense, the Nordic Network and the research program.