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Meeting Program Units

2017 Annual Meeting

Boston, MA

Meeting Begins11/18/2017
Meeting Ends11/21/2017

Call for Papers Opens: 12/19/2016
Call for Papers Closes: 3/7/2017

Requirements for Participation

Archaeology of Religion in the Roman World

Program Unit Type: Section
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: The Archaeology of Religion in the Roman World section invites papers for two sessions: (1) Material Culture, Agency, and Religion and (2) Ritual and Religion on the City Streets of the Empire.

For (1): Recent work in the study of agency, identity, and landscape has changed our understanding of the material culture of religion in the ancient Mediterranean world. Drawing on archaeological and anthropological theories, there is an increasing trend in scholarship to consider the role that material culture plays in societies as central: objects are now seen not just as final outputs of human agency, but as subjects of far more complex interactions between human beings and the surrounding environment. This panel is interested in case studies that illustrate how new, innovative and theoretically-grounded approaches to material culture move beyond the idea of “artifact as (passive) object” to take account of material culture as “(active) subject” in influencing and even changing social behaviors. We welcome papers on any city, region, object or collection of artifacts, related with any context or group, which discuss relationships between material culture and Roman religions.

For (2): It is a commonplace that ancient urban life was lived in public, often time in the streets of the city. How does the study of religious ritual interact with the idea of public performance? How does the activity of daily life in a Roman city affect and shape the ritual practice of specific individuals and groups living in that same space? Is there conflict; and if so, how? Is there evidence of neighbors and citizens accommodating people’s religious beliefs; and if so, what is it? By looking more specifically at how cities themselves determine, frame, engage with rituals, we hope to explore the complexities of religious action and behavior in urban landscapes, outside traditional boundaries of religious behavior (“churches, synagogues, temples").

Program Unit Chairs

Douglas Boin
Jorunn Okland

Propose a Paper for this Program Unit

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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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