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Meeting Program Units

2018 International Meeting

Helsinki, Finland

Meeting Begins: 7/30/2018
Meeting Ends: 8/3/2018

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: 10/18/2017
Call For Papers Closes: 2/15/2018
Requirements for Participation

Medicine in Bible and Talmud (EABS)


Program Unit Type: Section
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: For 2018 we invite proposals for papers or for panel-sessions, preferably with a comparative perspective, on the theme “The ways of the amorites – magico-medical knowledge and practices among Jews and others in (Late) Antiquity”. Our thematic panel will deal with ideas and practices that blur earlier dichotomies between magic or 'folk medicine' and ‘rationale’, or ‘scientific’ medicine in Jewish, Early Christian, and related ancient traditions. The program unit welcomes presentations studying healing approaches that range from the so-called 'Dreckapotheke' (‘dirt pharmacy’), use of healing charms, amulets etc., to bodily interaction with patients or the production of specific devices ( incantation bowls, amulets etc.). Practices like divination, dream interpretation, dream healing and incubation are to be included. Papers may address the representation in particular texts, objects and contexts. Not only the discursive framing (genres, canonical corpora) but also materiality and utilization of language are of interest. Furthermore, studies will explore agency (transmitters/experts), institutions or institutionalization as well as aspects of self-assertion, expertise and competition within the ancient "medical marketplace". What was the attitude of so-called intellectual elites (rabbis, philosophers,medical authors, Christian clergy) to and their involvement in these approaches to healing? Finally, but related to the previous questions, the contributions could interrogate the gendered hierarchies of authority and expertise regarding magico-medical knowledge and practice. In addition, for a joint session with the SBL Healthcare and Disability in Antiquity unit, we seek proposals on conceptions of the body from the ANE through Talmudic period. Comparisons across Israelite, Judaic, early Christian, Graeco-Roman and Irano-Persian/Zoroastrian religio-medical traditions are particularly welcome. Contributions on other related topics are also invited.

Program Unit Chairs

Lennart Lehmhaus
Markham Geller

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.

If you are a member of the European Association of Biblical Studies (EABS), but not of SBL, please click here to propose a paper.

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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