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Meeting Program Units

2021 Annual Meeting

San Antonio, TX

Meeting Begins11/20/2021
Meeting Ends11/23/2021

Call for Papers Opens: 1/20/2021
Call for Papers Closes: 3/24/2021

Requirements for Participation

Greco-Roman Religions


Program Unit Type: Section
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: Session 1 (“Death and Demise of Greek and Roman Religions”) seeks to rethink narratives of death and continuity of Greco-Roman religions in Late Antiquity. We invite papers that theorize interruptions in the cults of the Greek and Roman world, ranging from their transmutation to the cessation of, e.g., the Mithras cult or the “New Prophecy.” How, e.g., do religions die, how do we recognize their deaths, and what are their afterlives? How do they relate to earlier generalizations about the triumph of Christianity? Session 2 ("The Religion of Slaves and Freedpersons") continues conversations on typology, descriptive categories, and the production of knowledge. Potential foci include analyses of slave/freedperson populations in the Mediterranean world: their day-to-day lives, training, and cultural capital within social networks. We are open to various forms of evidence, including material culture, text, epigraphy, and archaeological data on reconstructed ritual practices.(1)(2) Session 3 ("Animals in Ancient Mediterranean Religions") examines human/animal relations in antiquity beyond the topos of animal sacrifice. We invite papers addressing this topic in literary and archaeological sources, and exploring the roles animals played in religious thought and practice. How, e.g., might we understand theriomorphic gods, the ritual use of animal masks and masquerades, or of animal parts in magical potions? Presenters may submit their papers for a planned publication.(2) Session 4, “Studying Greek and Roman ‘Religions’ in Context,” invites papers that interpret material evidence and contexts towards understanding religions in the Greek and Roman worlds, particularly those at their margins. We especially welcome papers focusing on contextual practices as they relate to wider discourses, encouraging a “thick” description and analysis of specific cults. (1) With Redescribing Early Christianity Section. (2) With Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions.

Program Unit Chairs

Barbette Stanley Spaeth
Maria Doerfler

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