Asia-Pacific Early Christian Studies Society
At a social gathering of scholars at St. Benet's Hall, Oxford, on Thursday evening 23 August, 2003, during the 14 th International Conference of Patristic Studies, the idea was proposed of creating a regional society for scholars, graduate students and other interested people in the countries of the western Pacific rim involved in early Christian and late antique studies, along the lines of the North American APECSS Society and the Canadian Society for Patristic Studies. This grew out of the informal interactions that have taken place between some Japanese and Australian scholars over the past several years. The idea of a society designed to advance research and teaching in these fields in these countries and to promote international co-operation and collaboration among scholars of the region was welcomed warmly by the Japanese, Australian and other international guests of the evening social event. The society would be open to others from throughout the world.
A small steering committee of scholars from Australia and Japan formed itself to turn this idea into a practical reality by organizing the inaugural conference for Tokyo in September 2004. During that conference discussions will be held to see whether the establishing of such a society as an ongoing concern is viable. If there is a positive response to this idea, then the proposal at this stage would be to hold an conference in one of the countries included in the western Pacific rim each year to provide a forum for those interested in early Christian and late antique studies throughout the region.