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Meeting Program Units

2020 Annual Meeting

Boston, MA

Meeting Begins11/21/2020
Meeting Ends11/24/2020

Call for Papers Opens: 1/7/2020
Call for Papers Closes: 3/11/2020

Requirements for Participation

Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions


Program Unit Type: Affiliate
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: SAMR invites abstracts for 2 sessions: 1. "Jesus meets Asklepios: Healing and medicine in ancient Mediterranean religions." Greek and Roman traditions, Judaism, and Christianity were fundamentally concerned with health and healing. Rites at home and in sanctuaries were both the frontline of defense and a last resort. SAMR is collaborating with Religious Competition in Late Antiquity, seeking papers that investigate the blurry intersections of healing, medicine, magic, and religion in its various guises—amulets, prayers, miracles, incubation, even the religious aspects of medicine (i.e. Galen)—in innovative and theoretically informed ways. Papers could, for example, interrogate the categories “magic” and “religion”, investigate the ways material and textual evidence overlap and the ways they do not (and what that means), or examine both “patients” and the various types of ritual specialists that they consulted. 2. "Fur, feathers, paws, and gods: Animals in ancient Mediterranean religions." Animal sacrifice has long dominated the scholarly study of animals in ancient Mediterranean religions. Recent work developing out of animal studies and ecopoetics has shown, however, that relations between human and animal were more complex, perhaps even contradictory: ancient Christian rhetoric, for example, articulated human dominance over the animal, while also imagining intimate animal-human encounters and even the re-creation of a peaceable kingdom. Inspired by recent work, this session seeks papers that address the ways that religious relations between the human and the animal were constructed in texts and material culture: in addition to animal sacrifice, what other ways were animals significant in ancient Mediterranean religions (Greek and Roman traditions, Judaism, Christianity)? Were animals good to think with? Did animality play a role in ancient religious systems of thought and practice? How might one understand theriomorphic gods, animal masks, masquerades?

Program Unit Chairs

Nancy A. Evans
Robyn Faith Walsh

Propose a Paper for this Program Unit

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For all other persons wanting to propose a paper, you must communicate directly with the chair of the program unit to which you want to propose. Chairs have the responsibility to make waiver requests, and their email addresses are available above. SBL provides membership and meeting registration waivers only for scholars who are outside the disciplines covered by the SBL program, specifically most aspects of archaeological, biblical, religious, and theological studies.

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