Living in the Last Days: New Testament Eschatology and its Contexts


In an attempt to move research forward and take account of the huge significance of eschatological thought across the ancient world, this workshop aims to explore the theme of eschatology in the New Testament, paying particular attention to the role of its cultural backgrounds.  We welcome papers that can offer new perspectives on New Testament eschatology, by focusing on its relationship with related historiographical contexts (Greco-Roman and Ancient Jewish world,  the Ancient Near East, etc.), seeking to provide an interdisciplinary environment. Although numerous have been the attempts to properly classify terms like “eschatology” ( Marlow - Pollmann - Van Noorden, Eschatology in Antiquity. Forms and Function, 2021), or “apocalypse” (Collins, 2014), the proposed workshop intends to re-think the widely disputed use of these critical categories, investigating how the belief of “living in the last days” - i.e. the awareness of an “End” fast approaching and its theological, social, political, cultural implications - shaped the New Testament and, more broadly, literary traditions in antiquity.


New Testament, Eschatology, Early Imperial Times, Tansculturality, Reception



Stefano De Feo

University of Bern


Gabriele Pelizzari

University of Milan

Martina Vercesi
University of Glasgow

Irene Barbotti 
Trinity College Dublin

Syracuse 2023 Call for Papers

For this workshop, we welcome papers that explore the theme of eschatology in the New Testament literature and its contexts. In this perspective, value is given to the various facets and implications that the expectation of the “End” provoked in the Christian communities (practical experiences, theoretical elaborations, interactions with others, etc.) and their interconnections with different cultural backgrounds.  We, therefore, give particular attention to the role of historical context in the formation of the New Testament and related literature. Along these lines, we propose a comparative agenda that explores eschatology as a cross-cultural theme, investigating its correlation with contemporary Jewish and Graeco-Roman traditions. Any paper related to the concept of the “End” in antiquity is very welcomed. In particular, we encourage interdisciplinary perspectives that can relate the eschatology of the New Testament with wider Jewish and Graeco-Roman traditions.