SAMR Panel Session at the APA/AIA Meeting 2014, Chicago, IL


DEADLINE: Feb. 15, 2012

Many studies of ancient religion have recently turned to household and private cult in order to redress a longstanding preference for the study of state-level religiosity. At the same time, these studies make clear that neither household nor state cult can be adequately understood without reference to the other. This panel explores one facet of this relationship, asking how the boundaries between private or household religion and ethnic or state cult might have been manipulated for various reasons in the ancient Mediterranean world, including the Near East and Egypt in addition to Greece and Rome. We invite papers that draw upon events, texts, and/or material evidence to discuss how the concept of “dwelling with the gods” was employed in the ancient world, whether as a norm or a form of transgression. Specific instantiations might include household shrines for family and community deities; houses attached to sanctuaries; parts of houses consecrated as state shrines; images of private individuals set up in sanctuaries of the gods; or even individuals allowed to take up residence in a god’s temple. Panelists might focus upon these or similar practices that may have been used strategically to draw together the fortunes of one individual/household and an ethnic group or the state, to promote an individual or family to a position of state leadership, or even negatively to identify an individual as a threat to the community. By examining particular examples or shifts in practice, wherein the boundaries between household or private cult and ethnic or state cult may have been redefined, the papers in this session should help us better understand developments in the religious practice of both the household and the state and the role that manipulating the boundaries between them played in constructing and representing personal power and charisma within the community.

Abstracts of 500-600 words for a paper to last between 15 to 20 minutes should be submitted by email attachment as .doc or .rtf files to Abstracts should contain a title and a word count, but no identifying information so that abstracts can be judged anonymously by our Program Committee. For further information about abstract format and requirements, please see the instructions on the APA’s web site. The deadline for submission of abstracts is February 15, 2013.

For further information, contact Eric Orlin at