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Meeting Program Units

2011 Annual Meeting

San Francisco, CA

Meeting Begins11/19/2011
Meeting Ends11/22/2011

Call for Papers Opens: 1/25/2011
Call for Papers Closes: 3/4/2011

Requirements for Participation

Religious World of Late Antiquity


Program Unit Type: Group
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers:

1)Beyond the Sensible: Religious Objects, Perception and Power

Some of the objects with the greatest religious meaning or function in the religions of Late Antiquity were not perceptible by the five human senses, either because they were deliberately kept hidden, because they no longer existed, or because they were literally insensible - incapable of being apprehended through the body. What is the relationship between the importance of an object in ancient religiosity and its ability to be perceived? Were hidden objects regarded as more or less powerful than perceivable objects? Did formerly sensible objects, like relics, lose or gain power or authority once they were hidden?

2)The Materiality of Texts / The Word as Object

At some point in the development of sacred texts, readers became aware of them as material entities. How did this awareness affect their adornment, both inside with ornate calligraphy and illuminations, and outside with ornamented covers? How did this development influence ritual practices? What happens to our understanding or even interpretation of text when it depends as much, if not more on the materiality of the text than on the words themselves? How does thinking about the materiality of ancient texts (and attendant technologies) provide insight into the development of ritual practices and other embodied ideas of the sacred? Co-sponsored with Art and Religions of Antiquity and Social History of Formative Christianity and Judaism. Submit proposals for this session to only one of the three co-sponsoring units.

3) Material remains of violence

We invite proposals for a shared panel on the material remains of violence. Papers addressing the destruction and/or reuse of cult sites and the memorializing of violent acts through relics, objects, altars and tombs and spaces are especially welcome. Submit proposals to the Violence and Representation of Violence unit

Program Unit Chairs

Jason BeDuhn
Naomi Koltun-Fromm

Propose a Paper for this Program Unit

If you are a SBL member, you must login before you can propose a paper for this or any other session. Please login by entering your SBL member number on the left in the Login box.

For all other persons wanting to propose a paper, you must communicate directly with the chair of the program unit to which you want to propose. Chairs have the responsibility to make waiver requests, and their email addresses are available above. SBL provides membership and meeting registration waivers only for scholars who are outside the disciplines covered by the SBL program, specifically most aspects of archaeological, biblical, religious, and theological studies.

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