Senses and Culture in the Biblical World
Program Unit Type: Section
Accepting Papers? Yes
Call For Papers: We plan to hold three sessions in 2014. First: Ever since Aristotle elevated vision and audition to the top of the sensorium, the "lower" senses have received much less scholarly attention, even though they are highly valued in some cultures. For this panel, we welcome papers that treat one of the less studied senses, such as taste, touch, smell, kinesthesia, proprioception, and pain. Papers that relate the sense in question to larger questions, such as social order, cosmology, cognition, or cultural values are especially welcome. The abstract should state the paper's thesis, outline the approach that will be taken, and identify the primary texts to be discussed. Second: With the "Metaphor Theory and the Hebrew Bible" and "Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Interpretation" sections we will organize an invited panel on "Metaphors of Illness in Biblical Literature." The papers will showcase how we read and analyze images of illness and its attendant elements (i.e., pain, isolation, impurity, fear, anguish, etc.) in the Bible. This joint session aims to engage the topic from our different theoretical points of departure, so as to invite dialogue with the analytical perspectives of the other panelists. The goal will be a thick description of how illness is represented and used in biblical literature from multiple perspectives. Third: An invited panel will review Yael Avrahami, The Senses of Scripture: Sensory Experience in the Hebrew Bible (LHBOTS 454), London & New York: Continuum/T&T Clark, 2012 (winner, 2013 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise). Avrahami's book constitutes the first systematic investigation of the ways in which ancient Israelites thought about and used their senses. This panel will assess the book’s significance for understanding ancient Israelite epistemology, and discuss future directions for sensory analyses of the biblical world.
Program Unit Chairs