Religion and the Body

Religion and the Body
12th International Spring School on Ancient Religions – 27-31 Mars 2011
Appel à contributions
Date limite : 30 novembre 2010
Universität Erfurt
Kolleg-Forschergruppe ?Religiöse Individualisierung in historischer Perspektive“

Charlotte Fonrobert (Stanford) ? Richard Gordon ? Annette Hupfloher (Erfurt) ?
Eric Rebillard (Cornell/Erfurt) ? Jörg Rüpke (Erfurt) ?
Francisco Marco Simón (Zaragoza) ? Katharina Waldner (Erfurt)

Religious practice is deeply involved with the body. Frequently, religious gestures and rituals use body language and intensify bodily experiences. Amulets are carried on the skin, making divine protection bodily perceptible. Sacrifices are concluded by banquets, bringing media of religious communication into one’s own body. Gods, too, have bodies, which might be touched, fed, anointed. The seminar will touch upon such general features. Furthermore, it will concentrate on forms of intensification: the permanent use of the body as a medium of communication with the divine in the form of askesis; the construction (and deconstruction) of the body and its qualities ? gender, youth ? in specific rituals, the interpretation of bodies as media of divine messages. Concepts of purity might transform everyday behaviour and can help to draw boundary lines between ethnic and religious groups. Finally, the body itself, its health, is a specific concern of religious practices, in daily life as in specific cults and trans-regional healing sanctuaries.

 The seminar will offer an overview over such phenomena, paying special attention to the development of specific Jewish or Christian forms. It will analyze archaeological as well as textual sources from Classical Greece into late antique Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism. Lectures and seminars will help to clarify ancient and modern concepts as to critically discuss importance evidence and long-term developments. The work will include the discussion of papers and texts (distributed in advance). We will also be analyzing sources in small groups.
M.A., Ph.D. and post-doctoral students from the disciplines of Classics (including its various sub-disciplines), Religious Studies, Ancient Judaism, and Theology are invited to participate. The maximum number of participants is 25. The course will be conducted in English; the knowledge of Latin and Greek is desirable. Participants can present their own research projects, if related to the general topic. Please, add a short summary of your topic to your application.

Please apply via email by 30th November, 2010, supplying also a brief CV with your application. Confirmation will be sent by mid-December, to be followed by a reader including primary texts and some secondary literature by the end of January. There will be a participation fee of 50 EURO covering the costs of the reader, coffee breaks etc. Inexpensive accommodation is available, and can be booked by the organizers, if required.

For queries and further information please contact:
Max Weber Centre – University of Erfurt
PO Box 90 02 21  D-99105 Erfurt, Germany