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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

Mysticism, Esotericism, and Gnosticism in Antiquity

Program Unit Type: Section
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: As part of a five year study on rituals and mysticism, esotericism, gnosticism in antiquity, we invite papers especially related to the theme of 1) ascent and visionary experience and 2) ritual creativity. One session will be hosted along with John's Apocalypse and Cultural Contexts Ancient and Modern and Second Corinthians: Pauline Theology in the Making sections on the theme of “Ascent, Visionary Experience and Theology in Early Judaism and Christianity.” Papers for this session will explore ascent in early Jewish and Christian texts, especially as the motif relates to ritual and questions of literary/rhetorical form, religious experience and theology. Another session will be jointly sponsored with Western Esotericism (AAR) on the development of new ritual practices, as the development attends in particular to the processes by which practitioners construct new rituals- the discourses they draw upon from inside their own tradition and from outside them, as well as from other, non-sacred discourses and practices. Finally, we will feature a session on ritual experts in antiquity, with reviews of Heidi Marx-Wolf, Spiritual Taxonomies and Ritual Authority: Platonists, Priests, and Gnostics in the Third Century C.E. (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016) and Heidi Wendt, At the Temple Gates: The Religion of Freelance Experts in the Roman Empire (Oxford, 2016).

Program Unit Chairs

Grant Adamson
Kelley N. Coblentz Bautch

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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