This program unit focused on Late Antiquity in the East aims to provide a home for the study of religious traditions that are rooted in Mesopotamia, Persia, and western Asia, particularly those parts that were outside the Roman cultural reach such as Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, and Mandaeism. While the unit will focus on late antiquity, many of these traditions, and particularly their extant texts come to us from much later periods, and this scholarly issue will be part of our discussions. In addition, many of the traditions that were born in this time and place also spread to other parts of the world, and the study of them in those forms and contexts also has a place within this program unit, as does investigation of their response to the rise of Islam in the region. In addition, this unit’s focus is not exclusively on those traditions that developed uniquely in this region, but also those which, when transplanted there, had significant evolutions in that milieu that differ from their counterparts in other times and places (e.g. Christianity, Judaism). We likewise encourage research which focuses on the interaction between the various communities and traditions of this place and time.
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Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity Unit
Call for Proposals
Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity is seeking paper proposals for four sessions
1) Middle Eastern Christianity and Others in the City of the Late Antique East (co-sponsored with Middle Eastern Christianity)
The Middle Eastern Christianity and the Traditions of the Late Antiquity East Units invite paper proposals that analyze Middle Eastern Christians in the city. This call is open to broad interpretation, such as: interaction with other religious communities, civic visions, city life, public engagement, civic movements, and any other ways that M.E. Christians have interpreted or engaged the city. The Call for Papers is open to scholarship from all academic fields. Successful proposals must present a clear thesis, explain the theoretical and methodological approaches of the research, and identify a specific body of evidence that the research will interpret.
2) One will be an open session for which papers on any topic germane to the subject area of the Program Unit may be proposed.
3) For the second session, we will be pairing papers on particular themes across religious traditions in the Late Antique East: Time, Space, and Text. Presenters will each offer a ten-minute paper on the theme in one or more religious traditions or texts in the Late Antique East, followed by discussion. To apply, please write a proposal detailing which theme you are interested in presenting on, what religious tradition(s) or texts(s) you would like to explore, and what features of the theme you are interested in highlighting. Organizers will pair interlocutors. Proposals may explore Late Antique Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Mandaeism, Manichaeism, eastern Christianities, early Islam, Iranian Buddhism, and/or any other religious traditions in the Late Antique East.
4) For the 2020 annual meeting, we are also inviting papers for a special joint session cosponsored by Qur’an Unit and the Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity Unit on Translation, Transmission and Intertextuality. We are for paper proposals that reflect the problems and methodologies encountered by the members of the Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity Unit and the Qur’an Unit while pursuing their research that involves translation, transmission and intertextuality. If you have ideas for a contribution, please correspond with the co-chairs of the two units as soon as possible to help us put together a strong and interesting panel.
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
Reyhan Durmaz, University of PennsylvaniaMember Since: 2020
Zsuzsanna Gulcsi, Northern Arizona UniversityMember Since: 2020
Jae Han, Brown UniversityMember Since: 2020
Sigrid Kjaer,Member Since: 2020
Abby Kulisz, Indiana UniversityMember Since: 2020
Laura Locke Estes, Saint Louis UniversityMember Since: 2020
James McGrath, Butler UniversityMember Since: 2020
James Walters, Rochester UniversityMember Since: 2020