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Course date
June 27–July 8, 2022
Course date text
These course dates are tentative and will be finalized soon.
Application deadline
ECTS Credits
Course delivery
Political theology
Liturgical studies
Late antique philosophy
Late antique theology
History of monasticism
Gender studies
SUN Packages
Tuition Waiver
Partial Scholarship
Full Scholarship

The course addresses an important topic in the history of Late Antiquity and Early Christianity: the theories of legitimacies, namely that of the Empire and the Church, and their struggle over the first six hundred years (from the first century to Justinian).
What were the reasons for the conflict and how did it play out in Late Antiquity? The relation of Christianity to the secular political sphere has been a constant concern for two millennia, starting with a rejection of the legitimacy of the Roman Empire and then accepting the Christian Roman Empire, symbolized by Constantine, the pagan Emperor, who convened the first Ecumenical Synod in Nicaea. What happened before and after the “Christian turn” of the fourth century, when Christianity moved slowly from being a persecuted “sect” to the privileged religion of the Empire? How did it impact the legitimacy of the political order and how did this change affect Christian conceptions of the secular polity and the Christian Church itself?
This seven-day summer school examines the dynamics of the interrelation of the political and the various ecclesiastical theories from the first century until another turning point which arrived with emperor Justinian. The course focuses on the theoretical aspects, which had been often neglected in the accounts of the political history of this period, thus providing the students with new research tools.
The course is primarily addressed to MA and PhD students interested in Late Antique political thought and Patristic Studies, since it will take place two years after the Oxford Patristic Conference (19-24 August 2019), the most significant scholarly event of Patristic Studies, organized every four years, but inaccessible to MA and PhD students despite its importance. The source persons are distinguished international scholars working on philosophy, the social and political history of Late Antiquity, Patristic, canon law, liturgy and monasticism. 
The online course (since the COVID-19 pandemic still requires it) would represent a unique opportunity of examining a problem from a multidimensional perspective which has always remained challenging in the following centuries up to the present, in every region where Christianity spread.  
The summer school will consist of seven days of seminars and tutorials (on demand) and virtual visits to the National History Museum of Budapest, to Aquincum and to Pécs to the early Christian cemeteries.

"The academic level of the course was high, thanks to the international board. Each professor was able to lend their expertise, presenting their topics clearly and making it accessible to everyone. This allowed each student to interact with them and with the other participants, expanding the discussion with examples derived from their specific research interests. The final result was a fruitful knowledge exchange."

[the course] "was useful, since it provided me with an important historical background concerning Political Theology. As a Philosopher, it offered me the opportunity of improving the lack of knowledge regarding historical aspects of the evolution of the Political Theology question."

"As I've been working on political theology in Late Antiquity, this course seemed to be tailor-made for my research interests. It expanded my knowledge on such a complicated topic, also taking into account how it influenced the Eastern part of the Roman/Byzantine Empire (that is something that I had rarely considered before). Then, it gave me the chance to receive useful feedback on my own research."

"[...] I think that this course was useful in the sense that it had widened my comprehension on the historical period and on the different issues raised by the specific arguments dealt in the course. In particular, the seminars and the confrontations with other students were very useful in allowing me to explore new paths of research and study."

Target group

This summer school addresses MA and PhD students with interest in the emerging field of Political Theology in Late Antiquity. Advanced BA students will also be considered. 


The course requires minimal knowledge of the political and religious context of Late Antiquity. It is desirable, but not mandatory, that students have intermediate knowledge of Latin and Ancient Greek.

Language requirements 

The language of instruction is English; thus all applicants have to demonstrate a strong command of spoken and written English to be able to participate actively in discussions at seminars and workshops. 

Please read the following directions carefully.
Below is the list of the documents you need to prepare or arrange for submission:

  1. Completed online SUN Application Form (see notes below)
  2. Full curriculum vitae or resume, including a list of publications, if any 
    Please upload your Curriculum Vitae or resume, including a list of publications, if any.
  3. Statement of Purpose (max. 1,000 words)
    In the Statement of Purpose, please describe how the course is relevant to your teaching, research, or professional work, and in what way you expect to benefit from it. Please list relevant courses in the field you have taken previously during your studies. 
    Please provide a name, contact email, and phone number of a person (a faculty member, job supervisor, etc.) who can be contacted by the course directors to attest to your abilities, qualifications, and academic/professional performance.
  4. Personal Statement on Financial Aid
    Those who are eligible and wish to apply for financial aid should specify their reasons in the “Personal statement on financial aid” section (Funding page of the application form). 

Optional attachments:
You can upload further optional documents on the Qualifications page such as 
academic documents that you think may be relevant to support your application in the ‘Other Supporting Documents’ section. All documents should be merged into a single PDF file not exceeding the size 2 MB. No passwords and encryption are allowed.

Completed CEU Summer University Application Form

We strongly advise the use of Google Chrome to enable the full functionality of the form.


  • You may apply to a maximum of two summer courses. In case of being admitted, you can only attend both if the two courses do not overlap in time. Financial aid, if available, is only granted to attend one course.
  • If you applied to CEU before, please use your existing login and password to start a new application. If you do not remember your password from last year click on Forgotten Password. With technical problems, bugs, or errors related to the online application forms please contact the CEU IT Help Desk.
  • Right after login, please select ”Summer University” radiobutton from the "Type of course" list, and leave all other fields empty.
  • All application materials must be submitted with the online application form(s). Materials sent by postal mail, electronic mail, or fax are not considered.
  • The maximum allowable file size for upload is 2MB per file and the acceptable file formats are PDF, JPG, and JPEG. Ensure all security features (e.g. passwords and encryption) are removed from the documents before uploading them.
  • Applications cannot be edited after submission. Please submit your application only when it is 100% final and complete.
  • Further user instructions for the online application are included in the form itself. Should you have questions regarding the application form, check the relevant Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


If you need help or more information during the application process, please feel free to contact the SUN staff via email.


The SUN Office will notify applicants about the selection results in April. Please check the 'Dates and deadlines' section on the relevant course websites for notification deadlines planned earlier or later. The final decision is not open to appeal.