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Meeting Program Units

2017 Annual Meeting

Boston, MA

Meeting Begins: 11/18/2017
Meeting Ends: 11/21/2017

Note that the deadline for paper proposals is 11:59 PM (23:59) Eastern Standard Time (UTC -5) on the day PREVIOUS to the deadline below.


Call For Papers Opens: 12/19/2016
Call For Papers Closes: 3/8/2017
Requirements for Participation

Religious Experience in Antiquity


Program Unit Type: Section
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: The Religious Experience in Antiquity section invites paper proposals for the 2017 SBL meeting. Our first session is a joint session with the Senses and Culture Unit on Synesthesia and Religious Experience. Distinct from multisensory experience, synesthesia describes the perception of sensory blending. We welcome papers that examine physiological or metaphorical synesthesia, especially those that relate sensory blending to embodied cognition and lived bodily experience. Proposals may engage foundational methodological questions, such as: evidence for sensory blending (e.g., texts, art, material remains); the function of synesthesia in accounts of transcendent, esoteric, ecstatic, or revelatory experiences; the inducement, cultivation, or management of synesthesia through religious practices; the relationship between descriptions of sensory blending and the lived experiences of individuals and groups in antiquity. Papers for this joint session should give a clear statement of the paper's thesis, outline the approach that will be taken, and identify the primary texts and examples to be discussed. Our second session is on the special topic of Dreams and Visions. We welcome papers that investigate the relationship between texts about dreams and/or visions and the experience of dreams and/or visions; the role of rituals and practices that are associated with these experiences; or papers that examine these experiences as embodied cognitive, neurological, or sensory experiences. Our third session is jointly hosted with the Historical Jesus and the Mind, Society, and Religion sections on the topic of the historical Jesus, exorcism and spirit possession. Some papers will be invited for this session but proposals are also welcomed. Our fourth session will be an open session. We warmly invite proposals on any topic connected to Religious Experience. All proposals must include a clear methodological description and specify the texts or other material artifacts under discussion.

Program Unit Chairs

Angela Kim Harkins

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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  • Call 404-727-9498 Outside the US
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