Call for Papers

The Oxford Medieval Commentary Network aims to establish a multi-disciplinary network for research and discussion of medieval texts concerned with the interpretation of the Bible. Across Western medieval literatures, the biblical text forms a central object of interpretation and comment. Such interpretations can take the form of traditional commentaries – texts derived from the Church Fathers and other authorities – which are typically written in Latin and are often restricted to a small scholarly readership. Beyond such traditional commentaries, forms of comment on and interpretation of the biblical text also suffuse medieval culture in other shapes, including poetry, song, literary and devotional texts, engagement with biblical interpretation through visual art, and performance in in music and drama. Engagement with the biblical text in these forms includes both Latinate and vernacular authors and audiences from a variety of backgrounds.

The Oxford Medieval Commentary Network aims to bring together research on traditional commentaries as well as research on interpretations of the biblical text in a broader sense, in order to trace interrelations, mutual dependencies, and developments. The network seeks to establish a conversation between scholars from a range of disciplines working on different languages and geographical areas. This conversation also includes post-medieval responses to the commentary tradition. The longer-term objective for the Medieval Commentary Network is to become a nexus of research and discussion of medieval commentary culture and its expression in various textual and artistic forms. The network is open to everyone with an interest in these topics.

A one-day workshop at Christ Church on 9 October 2021 will launch the network and lay out pathways for future collaboration and interchange. Proposals for presentations of 15 minutes on aspects of medieval biblical interpretation, including post-medieval responses, are welcome. Please submit your title and abstract (150-200 words) by 4 June 2021. Expressions of interest are also invited from those who wish to get involved with the network more generally. Everybody is welcome.
The workshop will take place in person in Oxford if circumstances permit (but may move online if necessary), and is free for all participants.

To submit your proposal, express your interest, and for further information, please contact Cosima Gillhammer, cosima.gillhammer(at)