Religious Convergence in the Ancient Mediterranean

On June 23-26, more than 40 scholars of religion presented papers, chaired sessions, and enjoyed the extraordinary hospitality of the Villa Malfitano in Palermo for the conference, Religious Convergence in the Ancient Mediterranean. Special thanks are due to Sebastiano Tusa, Sovrintendente del Mare della Regione Siciliana and Professor of Prehistoric and Protohistoric archaeology at the Università degli Studi Suor Orsola Benincasa of Napoli; to Paola Misuraca,  the Soprintendente ai beni culturali di Trapani, who on behalf of the Fondazione Whitaker made it possible for us to meet in the spectacular surroundings of the Villa Malfitano. Important financial support was provided by SAMR, Lockwood Press, ISD Book distributors and generous donors; three days of excellent papers ranged from Hittite Anatolia to Syro-Palestine, Sicily, Rome and Greece, exploring the common topic of convergence – between regions, social strata, self-identified ethnicities, and gods and men in the ancient Mediterranean. An unforgettable trip to the ancient site at Mozia concluded the conference, and left us all with many more avenues to ponder in the investigation of ritual in a world whose connectedness continues to draw scholarly energies and engaged debates. Particular thanks are due to everyone who participated, by giving papers, chairing sessions, and wading into the unfamiliar waters of research foci outside their own! Your energy, enthusiasm and good humor were unfailing, and we look forward (dare we say this?) to the next conference!

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