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Religion and Education in the Ancient Greek World -25-26/10/2017, Göttingen (Germany)

The study of ancient educational systems is a well-established field of inquiry and has offered several contributions that enlarged our understanding of the history of education. However, notwithstanding the ubiquitous presence of religion, ancient pedagogy of religion has not received systematic examination yet. This symposium will initiate a discussion concerning ancient Greece. Our speakers will explore how religious education, intended as the knowledge of beliefs, rituals, and values pertinent to the divine, was transmitted to the younger generations and the wider social community in the ancient Greek-speaking world across the Mediterranean from the Classical period to Late Antiquity.

Religious education will be considered not only from the perspective of learned individuals but especially in its collective dimension, that is the socialization of shared knowledge and civic identities. In three sessions (1. Religious Education and Social Structure; 2. Educating the Body for Ritual Aims; 3. Knowledge and the Performance of Cults), we intend to identify and investigate the contexts devoted to educating the community in religious matters, which figures were deemed authoritative, through which activities the body was trained for the gods, which skills were needed in cults, and how astrological and philosophical knowledge influenced worship. A variety of sources, from literary texts and epigraphic documents to material culture, will help us to shed light on Greek mentalities and processes of transmission.

FECHA/DATE/DATA: 25-26/10/2017

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Paulinerkirche, University of Göttingen (Göttingen, Germany)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Tanja Scheer, Irene Salvo (SFB Bildung und Religion, Sub-Project C 01)

INFO: web -


[deadline registration: 20/10/2017, email to ]


Wednesday, 25 October 2017

1. Religious Education and Social Structure

Marietta Horster (Mainz): Sacred Personnel as Role Models in the Post-classical Period

Eftychia Stavrianopoulou (Heidelberg): „Denn alle halten die Frauen für die Urheberinnen der Götterfurcht“: Formen der religiösen Bildung von Frauen im Hellenismus

Irene Salvo (Göttingen): The Pedagogical Function of Cult Associations in Classical Athens

*Public Keynote Lecture* Josine Blok (Utrecht): Educating Citizens: Knowledge, Competence, and Values in Greek Poleis

Thursday, 26 October 2017

2. Educating the Body for Ritual Aims

Sophie Bocksberger (Oxford): Dancing Little Bears

Barbara Kowalzig (New York): The Rhythms of Social Life in the Greek City

Susanne Gödde (Berlin): Der Einsatz des weiblichen Körpers im antiken Theater: Ritualisierung, Sexualisierung, Ästhetisierung

Stefan Lehmann (Halle-Wittenberg): Römische und elische Olympioniken von der späten Republik bis zu den Flaviern im Zeusheiligtum von Olympia

3. Knowledge and the Performance of Cults

Tanja Scheer (Göttingen): Religious Knowledge in Classical Athens: Images and their Contexts

Aleksander Wolicki (Warsaw): Greek Priestesses and Literacy

Ilaria Bultrighini (London): The Early History of the Seven-day Week and the Spread of Astrology in the Greco-Roman World

Ilinca Tanaseanu-Döbler (Göttingen): Philosophy and Religious Education: Porphyry’s On Statues

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