PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Denver, CO
November 17-20, 2018

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Religion in Premodern Europe and the Mediterranean Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit aims to bring together scholars working on premodern Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in order to create a venue in which religious phenomena can be considered comparatively. Our panels are 90 minutes in length and feature 2-3 papers as well as a respondent. Individual papers may be embedded in a single tradition, but presenters should be interested in engaging this material comparatively during the discussion period.

Call for Papers: 

We welcome proposals on all topics related to the Unit's subject matter, broadly conceived. Proposals that are themselves comparative in nature or that present novel approaches to the study of premodern religion are particularly welcome. We encourage the submission of preformed panel proposals; each 90-minute panel should include two or three papers and a respondent. The steering committee will also consider panel proposals without a designated respondent; if accepted, the steering committee will appoint an appropriate respondent.

This year, we specifically encourage proposals on the following three topics:

Prophetic and Divinatory Dreaming -- Ordinary people found evidence in the Bible and Qur'an as well as in hagiography that God communicates to humans through dreams. Practical texts even offered special prayers for access to divine knowledge through dreams. Even as believers sought true divine dreams, however, they had to distinguish these experiences from dreams brought on by humoral imbalance or demonic temptation. This session aims to explore dream narratives and oneiric techniques in premodern texts with the goal of understanding how, where, and when dreams could be understood as a mode of access (legitimate or not) to revelatory knowledge.

Jerusalems: Heavenly, Earthly, Imaginary -- This session aims to explore premodern Jewish, Christian, and Islamic ideas of Jerusalem as expressed in a variety of media, such as visions, art, exegesis, and chronicles. Of particular interest are papers that examine the relationship between conceptions of Jerusalem and ideas about the very nature of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam.

Premodern Masculinities -- This session, to be co-sponsored with the Men, Masculinities & Religion Unit, aims to explore the performance of masculinities or the construction/representation of normative and subaltern masculinities in premodern Europe and the Mediterranean. Participants will examine the diversity of masculinities within Jewish, Christian, and Islamic communities and the varied ways that gender and masculinity intersect with religious, ethnic, and cultural identities.

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
ChairSteering Committee