Ritual Matters: Materiality In Ancient Religion

Annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature

November 17-20, 2018     Denver, Colorado

Materiality is raising new paradigms in the study of religions, informing regional studies from Southeast Asia to the American west, and embracing questions in cognition, linguistics, the economics of religion and the body-culture interface in healing cults.  Its potential for ancient Mediterranean religion informs the collected essays in Ritual Matters: Material Remains and Ancient Religion, ed. Claudia Moser and Jennifer Knust (University of Michigan Press, 2017).  We invite papers to engage with the key proposals of the volume, including:

  • How might a focus on materiality shape new methodologies in the study of ancient religion?
  • How do these framework converge with or challenge established heuristic pathways?
  • Do these frameworks effectively bridge the various categories of materiality, from bones and waste to temple reliefs?
  • What new light can these innovations offer to text-centered approaches to ritual in ancient contexts?
  • How do comparative studies, both within the ancient Mediterranean and beyond, take on new energy because of the book’s approaches?

We are especially interested in papers that offer new reports from the field – archaeological or iconographic – or from literary studies,  that engage with the methodologies and strategies  in this edited volume.  Co-sponsored with Greco-Roman Religions, and Archaeology of Religion in the Roman World.

Proposals should be submitted electronically through the SBL website. The deadline is Tuesday, 6 March, 2018. You must be a member of the SBL or seek a waiver in order to deliver a paper. Papers should last between 15 and 20 minutes. Abstracts should contain a title and a word count, but should not have any information regarding the identity of the submitter. All abstracts will be reviewed anonymously. Please direct all queries to SAMR at socamr@gmail.com.  Deadline for all abstracts: Tuesday, March 6, 2018.

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