About The Symposium

Fakes, Forgeries, and Fictions: Writing Ancient and Modern Christian Apocrypha

The 2015 York University Christian Apocrypha Symposium will take place September 24-26 at Vanier College, York University. The specific objectives for the 2015 Symposium are: 1. to examine the possible motivations behind the production of Christian Apocrypha from antiquity until the present day, 2. to integrate medieval and modern apocrypha (composed in the 19th to 21st centuries) into the wider study of apocryphal literature, and 3. to reflect on what the reactions to the recently-published Gospel of Jesus’ Wife can tell us about the creation, transmission, and reception of apocryphal Christian literature.

The highlight of this year’s event is a keynote address by Bart Ehrman, author of Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics (2012), and most recently How Jesus Became God (2014).

The event is organized by Tony Burke (York University) in consultation with Brent Landau (University of Texas at Austin). It brings together 20 Canadian and U.S. scholars to share their work and discuss present and future collaborative projects.

The symposium is open to scholars, students, and interested members of the public; all may register for the event and take part in discussions. One of the goals of the symposium is to make the work of North American scholars on the Christian Apocrypha more widely known, not only to scholars in cognate disciplines (such as New Testament Studies or Medieval Studies) but also to students, who will be the future scholars in the discipline, as well as to the wider public who is interested in the texts but has been ill-informed about them through films, novels, and fringe scholarship.

The York University Christian Apocrypha Symposium Series was created in 2011. The first symposium gathered together experts on the controversial Secret Gospel of Mark, a text that many scholars consider a modern forgery. The papers from that event were published by Cascade in early 2013 as Ancient Gospel or Modern Forgery? The Secret Gospel of Mark in Debate. The 2013 symposium featured over 20 Canadian and U.S. scholars to reflect on the North American approaches to Christian Apocrypha. The papers from that event will be published by Cascade in September 2015 as Forbidden Texts on the Western Frontier: The Christian Apocrypha in North American Perspectives.

Download the registration form here.