‘The Use and Dissemination of Religious Knowledge in Antiquity’, Conference (5-7 November, 2018)

Conference: The Use and Dissemination of Religious Knowledge in Antiquity

Department of History, Religions & Philosophies, SOAS, University of London

in collaboration with the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo, Norway

5-7 November 2018, SALT lecture theatre (S110, Paul Webley Wing)

Everyone is welcome – entrance is free of charge


Monday 5 November

14:00-14:15h: Introduction (Catherine Hezser, SOAS)

Session 1: Popular Religious Knowledge in Ancient Mesopotamia

14:15-15:00h: Andrew George, SOAS, University of London:

“Access to Religious Knowledge in Ancient Babylonia”.

15:00-15:45h: Sam Mirelman, SOAS, University of London:

“Public Lamentation in Ancient Mesopotamia”.


15:45-16:15h: Coffee break


Session 2: Judean Communities of the Second Temple Period

16:15-17:00h: Diana Edelman, University of Oslo:

“How was Jewish Religious Knowledge Disseminated in Judean Communities ca. 350-30 BCE?”

17:00-17:45h: David Hamidovic, University of Lausanne:

“The Production and Dissemination of Knowledge in the Community of Qumran”.


Tuesday 6 November

Session 3: Rabbis and “Popular” Judaism

9:30-10:15h: Philip Alexander, University of Manchester:

“’If They Are Not Prophets, They Are Sons of Prophets’: Folk Religion (minhag) as a Source of Rabbinic Law”.

10:15-11:00h: Catherine Hezser, SOAS, University of London:

“Interaction between Rabbis and Non-Rabbinic Jews in Palestinian Rabbinic Literature of Late Antiquity”.


11:00-11:30h: Coffee Break


Session 4: Liturgy and the Synagogue

11:30-12:15h: Anders Runesson, University of Oslo:

“The Role of the Synagogue in the Dissemination of Religious Knowledge in Late Antiquity”.

12:15-13:00h: Stefan Reif, University of Cambridge:

“Medieval Jewish Prayers and Rituals as Religious Education”.


13:00-14:00h: Lunch break


Session 5: Near Middle Eastern Christian Communities

14:00-14:45h: Hugo Lundhaug, University of Oslo:

“The Use and Dissemination of Apocrypha in Egyptian Monasteries”.

14:45-15:30h: Erica Hunter, SOAS, University of London:

“Public and Private Religious Practices Amongst the Christian Communities of Mesopotamia”.


Wednesday 7 November

Session 6: Material Culture and Women’s Religiosity

9:30-10:15h: Annette Weissenrieder, University of Halle:

“The Function of Material Culture in the Dissemination of Religious Knowledge in Ancient Christianity”.

10:15-11:00h: Christine Amadou, University of Oslo:

“The Tecla Tradition and Women’s Religious Knowledge in Early Christianity”.


11:00-11:30h: Coffee break.


Session 7: Reading, Education, and Scholastic Transmission

11:30-12:15h: Hindy Najman, University of Oxford:

“Reading Practices and the Vitality of Scripture”.

12:15-13:00h: Jan Stenger, University of Glasgow:

“Religious Knowledge and Models of Authority in Sixth-Century Gaza”.

13:00-13:45h: Holger Zellentin, University of Cambridge:

“The Transmission of Legal and Literary Features of Late Antique Literature into the Qur’anic Milieu”.


14:00-15:00h: Final discussions over lunch.

For further information please contact Prof. Catherine Hezser (ch12@soas.ac.uk)

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