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Meeting Program Units

2023 Annual Meeting

San Antonio, Texas

Meeting Begins11/18/2023
Meeting Ends11/21/2023

Call for Papers Opens: 1/23/2023
Call for Papers Closes: 3/14/2023

Requirements for Participation

Greco-Roman Religions

Program Unit Type: Section
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: GRR this year invites submissions to three panels. The first, "Interactions between human and divine in the ancient and modern world," co-sponsored with the AAR Contemporary Pagan Studies unit, will address divine epiphany and the differential reception of the divine in the Greco-Roman and modern worlds. Which, how, when, where, and why do gods manifest? How is the perception of such contact different in the modern vs. the ancient setting? Papers do not need to address both settings, although a comparative approach is highly encouraged. A second panel, titled "Reconsidering belief in Greek and Roman religion," focuses on a theme prominent in recent scholarship, namely that of belief as central to Greek and Roman religion. Long considered idiosyncratic of (Protestant) Christianity, belief is now reevaluated in light of new theoretical approaches. This panel will consist of two parts: a review panel dedicated to Jacob L. Mackey, Belief and Cult: Rethinking Roman Religion (Princeton University Press 2022) (Invited speakers); and an open call for papers addressing the role of belief in pre-Christian Mediterranean religion. Our third panel, offered jointly with the Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions, deals with "Secrecy and sociogenesis: mysteries, restricted rituals, and the growth of religious communities." Why do rituals sealed by secrecy – or even just rumored to be – generate robust trajectories for emergence, growth, and longevity in social groups? This panel invites papers focused on ancient Mediterranean religions in which secrecy, interacting with political power, rhetorical strategies, scriptural hermeneutics, and the aesthetics of concealment yields resilience and expansion over time. We will also have a panel with invited speakers on Jae Han’s Prophets and Prophecy in the Late Antique Near East (Cambridge University Press, 2023). For full descriptions of all panels, see

Program Unit Chairs

Barbette Stanley Spaeth
Maria Doerfler

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