Annual Meeting of the Society for Biblical Literature

November 21-24, 2020    Boston, Massachusetts

Ancient Mediterranean religions (including Greek and Roman traditions, Judaism, and Christianity) were fundamentally concerned with health, healing, and medicine. Rites and rituals at home and in sanctuaries were both the frontline of defense and a last resort. For this session, SAMR is collaborating with the SBL Religious Competition in Late Antiquity program unit, seeking papers that investigate the blurry intersections of healing, medicine, magic, and religion in its various guises—amulets, prayers, miracles, incubation, etc. or even the religious aspects of “straight” 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.

Proposals should be submitted electronically through the SBL website. The deadline is Wednesday, 11 March, 2020. 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

You can link to the SAMR page on SBL submission site here.