I am very grateful to the publics of all the invited lectures, papers, graduate seminars, and classes I have devoted over many years to the topic under investigation here, especially a lecture at the SBL Annual Meeting in November 2008, an invited lecture at Brown University in November 2009 and another at Tel Aviv University in March 2012, a lecture at the International Mediaeval Congress in Leeds in July 2012, an invited lecture at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich in July 2012; others as Senior Visiting Professor of Church History at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University, in 2012/2013 and 2015/2016, one at Durham University in spring 2013 during my Senior Fellowship there, and an invited lecture in February 2014 at Providence College, invited lectures at the Universities of Erlangen and of Potsdam in February and April 2015, invited lectures as Onassis Senior Visiting Professor of Greek Thought at Harvard University and Boston University in 2014/2015, an invited lecture at Emory in March 2015, an invited lecture at Notre Dame in April 2015, and seminars and courses as Professor of Theology and Bishop K. Britt Chair at the Graduate School of Theology, SHMS (Thomas Aquinas University ‘Angelicum’) in 2013, 2014, and 2015, as well as other lectures.
Additionally, I devoted the whole of the research time I spent at Erfurt University in 2014 and 2015 as Senior Fellow and Gastprofessorin to finalizing this monograph, besides giving an invited public lecture there in July 2014 on this very topic: heartfelt thanks to Jörg Rüpke, Hartmut Rosa, and all those attached to the Max-Weber-Kolleg for the stimulating discussion and very kind assistance. Part of this work has been prepared during a Senior Research Fellowship at Durham University and its aftermath; I am very grateful for the continued support of colleagues, staff (including at the Institute of Advanced Study and Cofund programme), and librarians. I have finalized this monograph, after some nine years of work, as a Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford University, Corpus Christi, and I wish to thank all my colleagues there, the dedicated staff, and the librarians. Thanks to them, my time there was spent in research, stimulating intellectual life, and good conversations. Many thanks also to the Library, staff, and colleagues at the Catholic University in Milan, as ever. Above all, in awe I always testify to the Lord’s help.
I greatly profited from conversation with Susan Holman when I gave a lecture at the Harvard–Providence Patristic group (Patristica Bostoniensia) in December 2014, and in subsequent exchanges: thank you! First and foremost, I am profoundly grateful to the directors of this series, Gillian Clark and Andrew Louth, and the anonymous reader of my manuscript: their remarks (p.xii) have helped a great deal to improve this volume. Warm thanks also to Tom Perridge, Karen Raith, Elizabeth Stone, Kalpana Sagayanathan, Michael Janes, and Oxford University Press for their professional efficiency and support. Last but not least, I express all my gratitude to all those who have assisted me for all these years, in Europe and the US, in both academic and everyday life.