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Professor Josef Lössl

Professor Josef Lössl

Professor of Historical Theology and Intellectual History

School of History, Archaeology and Religion

+44 (0)29 2087 5499
+44(0)29 20 754500

Research interests

  • Early Christianity
  • Greek and Latin Patristics
  • History of Biblical and Philosophical Exegesis (commentaries)
  • Intellectual History (the 'Platonic Tradition')
  • Augustine of Hippo and His Time
  • Jerome of Stridon and His Time

Research projects

  • Second Century Christianity in its Cultural Context: Tatian's Ad Graecos
  • Patristic Exegesis of Romans 1-3
  • Narrative, System and Ritual in Classical and Modern Cosmologies
  • Demons and Demonologies in early Christianity
  • Conscience and Consciousness in Pre-Modern Thought

Editorial activities

  • Executive editor, Vigiliae Christianae: A review of early Christian life and language
  • Editor, Vigiliae Christianae Supplements
  • Editor, Journal for Late Antique Religion and Culture
  • Co-editor, Studia Patristica

Research groups

Education and qualifications

  • PhD Theology (Historical Theology), University of Regensburg (1996)
  • PhD Habil. History of the Early Church, Patristics and Christian Archaeology, University of Münster (2001)
  • Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University College London (2003)

Career overview

  • 2010-       Professor, Historical Theology, Intellectual History (Patristics and Late Antiquity), Cardiff University
  • 2006-2010 Reader, Religious Studies and Theology (Patristics and Late Antiquity), Cardiff University
  • 2006-2006 Senior Lecturer, Religious Studies and Theology (Patristics and Late Antiquity), Cardiff University
  • 2003-2006 Lecturer, Religious Studies and Theology (Patristics and Late Antiquity), Cardiff University
  • 2002-2003 Humboldt Research Fellow, Classics (School of Greek and Latin), University College London
  • 2000-2002 Junior Research Fellow, Theology (Patristics and Church History), Catholic University Leuven
  • 1996-2000 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Theology (Early Christianity and Patristics), King's College London
  • 1993-1996 PhD Research Student, Theology (Early Christianity), University of Regensburg

Honours and awards

  • OBAG (EON) Prize for outstanding PhD of the year, University of Regensburg, 1996
  • Postdoctoral Award, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), 1997
  • Visiting Junior Fellowship, Catholic University Leuven, 2000
  • Alexander-von-Humboldt Fellowship, 2002
  • Visiting Senior Fellowship, Excellenz-Cluster 'Religion und Politik', University of Münster, 2010

Professional memberships

  • Senior Fellowship, Higher Education Academy (HEA)
  • Fellowship, Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation
  • Member, Association internationale des études patristiques (AIEP)
  • Member, Faith and Order Committee, Methodist Church of Great Britain




  • Lossl, J. 2019. The pre-Christian concept of human dignity in Greek and Roman antiquity. In: Loughlin, J. ed. Human Dignity in the Judaeo-Christian Tradition: Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Orthodox Perspectives.. London: Bloomsbury, pp. 37-56.
  • Lossl, J. 2019. Commentaries. In: Blowers, P. and Martens, P. eds. The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Biblical Interpretation.. Oxford Handbooks Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 171-186.
















Teaching profile

  • My teaching is focused on Early Christian Studies, Religion in Late Antiquity, History of Religion, Intellectual History, Ethics, and Reception and Memory Studies
  • I also teach Classical and Hellenistic (New Testament) Greek and Classical and Late-Antique Latin

Undergraduate modules

  • RT1356 Foundational Ethics
  • RT1343 Monotheism from Moses to Freud
  • RT4208 The Early Church: History and Memory
  • RT3201 Hellenistic Greek I
  • RT3202 Hellenistic Greek II
  • RT3107 Introduction to New Testament Greek
  • RT3108 Further New Testament Greek

Postgraduate taught modules

  • HST946 Themes in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies
  • RTT134 Late Antique Religion and Culture
  • RTT140 Religion and Culture in Late Antiquity
  • RTT309 Rhetoric and Philosophy in Late Antiquity
  • RTT312 Augustine of Hippo and His Time

Postgraduate students

I am currently supervising or co-supervising the following PhD projects:

  • Kate Tinson, A comparative study of the character of Moses in the Bible and the Qur'an and their exegesis
  • Alun Evans, Elements of a Biblically and doctrinally coherent theology of dating
  • Shepherd, Robyn, Orthodox Trinitarian Theology Then and Now: John Zizioulas and His Appeal to the Patristic Tradition

My research is in the field of Greek and Latin Patristics and in Early Christian studies. My interest is in the way early Christian and Patristic texts convey historical, biblical, philological, philosophical, theological and scientific learning. I am also interested in the rhetorical and literary forms and transformations of these texts. I am pursuing, among others, the following themes and projects:

Julian of Aeclanum and the Hirpini in Late Antiquity

Having already published extensively on Julian of Aeclanum I am continuing to undertake research on various aspects of his life, writings, thought, and reception with the aim of producing a comprehensive study of this fascinating figure of late-antique Latin Christianity.

Tatian, Ad Graecos / To the Greeks. Translation with introduction and commentary

The aim of this project, which falls under the theme of "Philosophy and Religion in Second-Century Christianity", is to produce a comprehensive commentary, with introduction and new translation, of this second-century Greek apology in the series Kommentar zu den frühchristlichen Apologeten.

Biblical and Philosophical Exegesis in Late-Antique Latin

This project is part of the Latin and Syriac Commentary Project. It consists of a number of ongoing projects on Biblical and Philosophical exegetes and their work including Jerome, Marius Victorinus, Victorinus of Pettau, Augustine, Pelagius and Julian of Aeclanum, and aims at a comprehensive study of late-antique Biblical and Philosophical Exegesis in Latin. In connection with this project I am working towards a Patristic commentary of Romans 1-3 for the series Novum Testamentum Patristicum.

Classical and Early Christian Historiography

This project is closely linked with my contribution to the Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle-project. I am interested in the origins of historiography and in links between Ancient Classical, Biblical, and early Christian historiography and between 'histories', 'chronicles' and other forms of historiography (including 'lives', 'letters', 'commentaries' etc.).

Various Themes in early Christian and Late-Antique Religion

I am also engaged in a number of studies, some already published, some awaiting publication, which touch upon a variety of issues concerning religion in Late Antiquity, and especially Christianity:

  • Consolation: The transformation of a genre in Late Antiquity
  • Narrative, system and ritual in ancient cosmologies and their reception
  • Demons and demonology in early Christianity
  • Conscience and consciousness in pre-modern thought
  • The role of memory in the formation of Christian identity
  • Identity and violence in early Christianity
  • History and prophecy


I am a member of the following research groups and centres: