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The ITN beneficiaries (six European universities) cooperate closely with nine non-academic partner organizations that have been selected for their relevant competences and qualifications. Together, the beneficiaries and partner organizations in the network constitute a highly competent and many-facetted network specifically constructed to provide research training in the field of research in reception of Origen’s ideas about human freedom and human dignity and training in transferable skills.

The ITN also cooperate with a network of associated researchers and other related research projects. 


Aarhus University

Aarhus University was founded in 1928. It has four faculties, 40,000 students, and 1,900 PhD students, 25% of which have a foreign nationality. The Department of Culture and Society comprises a wide range of studies that make it possible to approach cultural and social conditions from many different angles: anthropology, archaeology, Asian studies, Arab and Islamic studies, philosophy and the history of ideas, history, classical studies, area studies Europe, the study of religion, and theology. The department has three PhD programs covering these topics.

Scholar in charge

Prof. Anders-Christian Jacobsen

University of Reading

The University of Reading is a research-intensive university with a substantial reputation for research excellence. The university, founded in 1926, has 17,000 students from more than 150 countries. The Department of Classics participates in the Classical Reception Studies Network and hosts a Research Group for the Classical Tradition and Reception Studies. The department offers a varied range of subjects, such as literature, mythology, drama, archaeology, art and architecture, history, languages and philosophy, all of which are connected to the study of ancient civilization.

Scholar in charge

Prof. Karla Pollmann

Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

The University of Münster was founded in 1780 and has a strong research profile in humanities and a strong international profile. It has 37,000 students (8% from abroad), and 400 partnership agreements with international universities and other academic institutions. It offers 250 courses of study and is built up by 15 departments in seven faculties. The Faculty of Catholic Theology offers studies in biblical, historical, systematic, and practical theology as well as philosophy. Moreover, this faculty hosts the Origen Research Centre.

Scholar in charge

Prof., Dr. Dr. Alfons Fürst

Christian Hengstermann

Christian Hengstermann is currently substitute professor at Münster University for Prof. A. Fürst as well as  Fellow of the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism.

Christian Hengstermann works as a research associate on the project "Cambridge Platonism at the Origins of the Enlightenment" at the University of Cambridge. He has written a monograph on Origen's freedom metaphysics and translated the Homilies of Isaiah. At present, he is writing a book on Origen's reception in early modern Cambridge and translating texts of the Cambridge Platonists into English, notably Henry More's critiques of Jakob Böhme and Baruch de Spinoza and his correspondence with Descartes.


Christian Hengstermann

Martin Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg (MLU)

MLU dates back to 1502. At present, more than 20,000 students are enrolled at the university, which encompasses over 190 subjects in 10 faculties and 10 interdisciplinary research centers as well as 6 thematic units. There are also approx. 2000 international students from over 110 countries. The Faculty of Theology currently encompasses two institutes and offers studies in classical subjects (church history, systematics, Old and New Testament studies, practical theology, religious studies, philosophy) as well as advanced courses in specialized areas, e.g. studies on ancient Oriental and Hellenistic religions, Reformation studies, Enlightenment, studies on Esotericism).

Scholar in charge

Prof. Friedemann Stengel


Friedemann Stengel

Friedemann Stengel:


Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

The university was founded in 1921 and has 41,000 students, among which 3,100 are international students. It has four campuses, 54 institutes, 22 departments, 70 research centers, and almost 100 master degree programs. The array of course offerings in the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy covers the study of classical and modern literature, philosophy, history, art and archaeology, communication, cultural heritage, and visual and performing arts. The Department of Philosophy is one of the most active in Italy and promotes an extensive research in collaboration with scholars of national and international research centers.

Scholar in charge

Prof. Elena Rapetti

Charles University

Charles University in Prague was founded in 1348 and is the largest Czech university. It has 17 faculties, three institutes, and six other centers of teaching. The university has more than 52,000 students, studying in over 300 accredited study programs that cover 655 fields of study. More than 7000 students are international. The Protestant Theological Faculty offers study programmes in theology, philosophy, and social and pastoral work and has a strong emphasis on research, particularly in the fields of biblical studies, Czech church history, and philosophy.

Scholar in charge

Prof. Lenka Karfíková


Franckesche Stiftungen zu Halle

The idea of the theologian and educationalist A.H. Francke, put into practice from 1695, was the comprehensive education and training of young people. From 1698, he built the ensemble that came to be known as the Francke Foundations. The historic collections of the Foundations include the Wunderkammer (a cabinet of artefacts and natural curiosities), the unique library, and the archive with several thousand handwritten documents. The Foundations run departments in the fields of culture and scholarship. Their work is dedicated to preserving and developing the cultural heritage, to relevant interdisciplinary and international research, to promoting cultural and social education, and to disseminating knowledge in this field. The Foundations run a study center with library, archive and research projects as well as departments for public relations and publications.

Walter de Gruyter GmbH

The independent publishing house Walter de Gruyter, with its main seat in Berlin, was established in 1749 and comprises several former publishing houses with different fields of expertise, e.g., theology, linguistics and religious studies, all specializing in high-quality academic literature. Walter de Gruyter will provide secondments to the PhD students with a focus on training in academic publishing, such as evaluation of manuscripts, editorial work, printing processes, and marketing.

Lutheran Church of Middle Germany

The Lutheran Church of Middle Germany is a united church body covering most of the German states of Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia and some adjacent areas in Brandenburg and Saxony. It supports historical and scientific research of Protestant tradition in Germany and has a wide net of social work activities connected to institutions for elderly people, children, disabled and homeless people, etc. Thus, it has experience with how questions related to human freedom and dignity are handled in modern church organizations.



Dean and Chapter of Canterbury

Dean and Chapter of Canterbury’s archive of manuscripts dates back to Anglo-Saxon times and holds a wealth of manuscripts, photographs, maps, and other records dating back to the late 8th century, making it an extraordinarily rich resource for researchers. It cooperates with the University of Kent and other research institutions and is experienced in creating modern exhibitions in relation to themes where documents rather than material items are available.



Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co. KG

Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co. KG, seated in Tübingen, is an independent publishing house which was founded in 1801 and has specialized in publishing international, high-quality academic works within the fields of theology, religious studies, classics, history and philosophy. Mohr Siebeck will provide secondments to the PhD students with a focus on training in academic publishing, such as evaluation of manuscripts, editorial work, printing processes, and marketing.


Mohr Siebeck

Dar al-Kalima College of Arts and Culture

The Dar al-Kalima College of Arts and Culture is an institution of higher education in the Bethlehem region that is dedicated to providing quality education that meets the economic, social, cultural, intellectual, and spiritual needs of the youth in Palestine. Secondments in this organization will equip the ESRs with modern management skills and with unique possibilities to learn how ideas of human freedom and dignity are employed in a context characterised by social and political oppression.


­Dar al Kalima

Etikos Aps

Etikos Aps, Aarhus, is a Human Resource consultancy within applied ethics established in 2006. The company has previously been involved in larger research programs in cooperation with researchers and scientists. It has specialized in creating organizational and leadership change by applying a research-based ethical framework to managerial and cultural problems in both public organizations and private firms. Thus, they utilize ideas about human freedom and dignity in their daily work.




Aschendorff Verlag GmbH & Co. KG

Aschendorff Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, located in Münster, has been a renowned independent scholarly as well as newspaper publisher since 1720. Today, its particular fields of expertise in academic books lie, among other things, within the areas of history, theology and philosophy. Aschendorff will provide secondments to the PhD students with a focus on training in academic publishing, such as evaluation of manuscripts, editorial work, printing processes, and marketing.




Diocese of Pécs

The Diocese of Pécs, Christian Heritage Institute, situated in Hungary, has a long history, since the deed to the diocese’s foundation was issued already in 1009. The institute has a large library of both old and new theological books and a specialized knowledge in questions relating to the research project, e.g., in church management, arrangements of academic seminars and conferences, and how patristic theology can inspire work in modern church organizations.




Katarina Pålsson

PhD Student, Lund University
Centre for Theology and Religious Studies

Katarina Pålsson is a doctoral student in church history at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University. In her dissertation, she studies the reception of Origen in Jerome's thought, with a focus on eschatological questions. Examining Jerome's involvement in three controversies – the Jovinianist, the Origenist, and the Pelagian controversies – her intention is to show in which ways the polemics against Origen affected his eschatological views and how his construction of Origenism as a heresy helped him in presenting his own thought as orthodox.

Maria Fallica

PhD Student, Sapienza University of Rome
Dipartimento di Scienze dell'Antichità

Maria Fallica is a Ph.D. graduated in History and Philology of the ancient world from the University of Rome La Sapienza. In her dissertation, she had studied the reception of Clement and Origen of Alexandria in the XVI century, analyzing the printed patristic anthologies of five theologians from different areas of the European Reformations in the years 1527-1563. In the dissertation, the philological analysis of the Latin quotations is followed by the study of the historical reasons for the plea to authority of the Alexandrines made by the Reformed authors. She has also recently studied the reception of Origen in the Beneficio di Christo crocefisso (1543), the masterpiece of the Italian Reformation of the XVI century. She is now enrolled in a second Ph.D. course in History of Christianity in Rome.



Maria Fallica

Jason M Gehrke

PhD Student, Marquette University

Jason M. Gehrke is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Theology at Marquette University, where he works on Latin Trinitarian Thought, theology and political philosophy in Late Antiquity, and the question of monotheism and violence. His dissertation attempts an historical and doctrinal description of Lactantius’ theology as a response to the policy of state sponsored violence against religious minorities in the latter Roman Empire. Jason is working to show the way Lactantius uses Christology/Trinitarian theology as the basis for a political theology that anticipates foundational political values in the modern context. For the 2016-2017 academic year, Jason is supported by a Rotary International Global Grant for Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution, which allows him to work in residence at Strasbourg University.

Fernando Hernández Fradejas

Postdoctoral fellow, University of Valladolid

Fernando Hernández Fradejas is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Criminal Law and History and Theory of Law at the University of Valladolid, Spain. His current research interests include Legal History and Theory; History of Political Thought and Political Theory; Political power and Law-making; Forms of Law-making; Legal Philosophy. As a project-associated researcher, he will analyze the political and legal thinking of Origen throughout his works. On the one hand, he will study the concept of political power and state in Origen’s works. On the other hand, he will also examine the Origen’s legal philosophy.


Fernando Hernández Fradejas

Zaynab El Bernoussi

Professor, Al Akhawayn University

Z is a professor of international relations at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Al Akhawayn University. She holds a bachelor of business administration from Al Akhawayn University, a master in finance from IE Business School, a master of public administration from Columbia University, and a PhD in political and social Sciences from the Université catholique de Louvain. Z was a Carnegie visiting scholar at the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations under the mentorship of Charles Kurzman. She is now a visiting scholar at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University under the advisorship of Donna Hicks. Z's research is at the intersection of postcolonial theory and dignity politics in the case of Egypt. She is now working on the constitutional process of post-Arab Spring Tunisia.





Zaynab El Bernoussi

Marilyn A. Lewis

Honorary Research Fellow, University of Bristol

Marilyn A. Lewis completed a University of London PhD, as a mature student, in 2010 on “The Educational Influence of Cambridge Platonism: Tutorial Relationships and Student Networks at Christ’s College, Cambridge, 1641-1688”. She is currently honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Religion and Theology, University of Bristol. Her published work focuses on the Cambridge Origenists George Rust and Henry Hallywell. She headed a team which has produced an annotated English translation of Rust’s two Latin Bachelor of Divinity discourses, published by Oxford University Press in the journal History of Universities in August 2017. Her work is generally more historical than philosophical, but with a strong theological component and an emphasis on biography and personal relationships.





Marilyn A. Lewis

Affiliated research projects

Uses of the Past

The Faculty of Arts at Aarhus University has many research projects and dissemination activities that focus on uses of the past. Scholars from a broad variety of disciplines are in different ways working on the uses of the past. Uses of the past are studied in its many different expressions, in many different places in the world and in different epochs. The faculty research priority area "Uses of the Past" will promote collaboration among these scholars and bring more national and not least international visibility to their results.

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Augustine's Anthropology

The ITN coordinator, Prof. Anders-Christian Jacobsen, has established a new research network that will investigate the idea of the human in the theology and philosophy of Augustine of Hippo, especially how he views human freedom and dignity.   The purpose of the network activities is to investigate this Augustinian tradition and to see whether there are resources in or outside this tradition which can be employed to bring the Western Christian and the non-religious modern concepts of human beings in touch with each other. 

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Origen Study Group - the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism

As part of the Cambridge Centre for Study of Platonism, headed by Prof. Douglas Hedley, the international Origen Study Group consists of several researchers working on Origen’s Christian philosophy and its reception in medieval, early modern and contemporary philosophy and theology. It organizes two regular biannual events at Cambridge University. Each of the Colloquia Adamantiana focuses upon one eminent contemporary scholar who is invited to present his latest monographs and papers and whose research is dealt with in detail in papers on his major works. The postgraduate seminar Religion and Philosophy in Origenism Old and New serves as a hub for early and later stage scholars, including the ITN participants, who give presentations on their current research on Origen and the reception of Christian Platonism. 

The Origen Study Group is headed by Dr. Christian Hengstermann, Cambridge/Münster, and Dr. Isidoros Katsos, Cambridge. You can download the flyer for the next Adamantiana event here.  

See more on the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism on

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Revised 16.02.2018