Postdoc in Vienna: Proclus in Byzantium

Courtesy of John Finamore, via the ISNS mailing list:

Postdoc Position

The Institute for Medieval Research at the Austrian Academy of Sciences

Hosted by the Institute for Medieval Research at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, Dr Dragos Calma, Associate Professor at University College Dublin, is offering a postdoc position for his European Research Council Consolidator Grant entitled Neoplatonism and Abrahamic Traditions. A Comparative Analysis of the Middle East, Byzantium and the Latin West (9th-16th Centuries).

Applications are invited from outstanding early career candidates willing to study the reception of Proclus in Byzantium (see eligible criteria and requirements). The Institute for Medieval Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna is the second beneficiary of this ERC project. The successful candidate will work under the supervision of Dr Joshua Robinson (Dumbarton Oaks Library, Harvard University) and Dr Dragos Calma, and in collaboration with the international research teams of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and of the NeoplAT project. This position is fully funded by the European Research Council under the Horizon 2020 research framework programme.


  • Applicants already holding a PhD must be within five years of receiving their doctorate (i.e. it was awarded between 1 September 2013 and 1 September 2018)
  • Applicants currently completing their PhD thesis must be awarded their doctorate via viva voce examination before the beginning date of the postdoc position, but no later thann 1 September 2019


  • PhD degree in Byzantine Philosophy / Theology (preferably but not exclusively focused on the 11th -12th or 14th -15th centuries) or other relevant cognate subjects such as Ancient Philosophy (Proclus), Classics or Renaissance Philosophy
  • Excellent knowledge of Ancient Greek
  • Excellent command of English. Knowledge of Greek or Latin palaeography, German, French, Italian, Spanish or Modern Greek is considered an asset.
  • Clear interest in the intellectual history of Byzantium
  • Relevant publications (texts accepted for publication are considered)


The successful candidate will study at least one of the following topics, but it is expected that she/he will develop independent research relevant to the ERC project:

  • The place of ps.-Dionysius the Areopagite in Nicholas of Methone’s Refutation [comparisons with Thomas Aquinas’ use of ps.-Dionysius against Proclus]
  • Sources of Nicholas of Methone’s Refutation (e.g. Gregory Nazianzen, John of Skythopolis, John Damascene, Photius)
  • Reception of Nicholas of Methone in the Hesychast controversy
  • Reception of Nicholas of Methone in the Renaissance (e.g. marginal notes by Marsilio Ficino, two unpublished 16th -century Latin translations)
  • Specific comparisons of Nicholas of Methone’s Refutation with Berthold of Moosburg’s Expositio super Elementationem theologicam Procli and / or Ioane Petritsi’s Commentary on the Elements of Theology
  • Thematic studies on the following topics with explicit reference to Nicholas of Methone’s Refutation: participation, procession, creation, Trinity.

Expected outputs.

  • At least two peer-reviewed articles
  • Co-organisation of an international conference (to be held in Vienna)
  • Publication of the Proceedings of the conference

Description of the ERC Project.

The project, running until May 2023, offers a fresh and thoroughly documented account of the impact of pagan Neoplatonism on the Abrahamic traditions. It focuses mainly, but not exclusively, on the Elements of Theology of Proclus (fifth century) which occupies a unique place in the history of thought. Together with its ninth-century Arabic adaptation, the Book of Causes, it has been translated, adapted, refuted and commented upon by Muslim, Jewish and Christian thinkers across centuries, up to the dawn of modernity. This project radically challenges conservative narratives both by analysing invaluable, previously ignored resources and by developing an innovative comparative approach that embraces a variety of research methods and disciplines. Based on fundamental archival examinations in underused library collections, the project aims (1) to continue identifying new Arabic and Latin manuscripts representing a largely unknown intellectual heritage; (2) to retrace the scholarly networks by which Neoplatonism was transmitted between the Middle East, Byzantium and the Latin West; (3) to analyse the impact of Proclus on the history of metaphysics and on the relations between philosophy and theology within the Abrahamic traditions.

We offer a 100% employment (40 hours per week) for a yearly gross salary of € 42.551,60 (= grade IV/2 according to the scale of the Austrian Academy of Sciences). Depending on qualification and experience, the salary can be negotiated.

How to Apply.

The application comprises: a detailed CV, letter of intention, PhD summary, sample of relevant published or forthcoming work [up to 10,000 words], a research project and two reference letters. The applications should be sent to Dragos Calma at as well as to Dr Joshua Robinson at .

See here for official posting:

For further information please contact Dragos Calma at or Joshua Robinson at