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CALL. 13.02.2018: [Panel 11 at SBL 2018] Dispelling Demons: Interpretations of Evil and Exorcism in




LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: (Helsinki, Finland)


INFO: web -


This session considers the different interpretations of demons and monsters as seen in ancient Near Eastern, Jewish, and Biblical material. It aims to understand how such liminal beings were represented in these different, though connected, contexts, and how they were characterized in both textual and artistic depictions. Demons and other supernatural beings were often constructed in negative: created and defined through measures that could be taken to protect against them or exorcize them from an afflicted individual. The ways in which such figures could be fought or expelled, as well as the qualities that defined a number of benevolent supernatural figures that worked to oppose their malevolence, speaks to their important, but often fluid and shifting, roles in each context and culture. This session hopes to encourage discussion on the place of demons and monsters among the three different contextual settings listed in the session’s title. Demons must most often be discussed through the means and rituals which were designed to oppose them, and so they may be studied through close analysis of textual, artistic, and archaeological evidence. In examining these figures, and the apotropaic rituals which countered them, this session allows for individuals specialized in the textual studies of each area to engage in dialogue with one another, with the overall aim of creating a forum for specialists of ancient Near Eastern, early Jewish, and Biblical material to consider the shifting role of such figures across the three contextual areas. Call for Papers:

Demons and monsters are found as independent, yet connected, figures in ancient Near Easter, Jewish, and Biblical contexts. Many figures were tied to particular geographic or topographic locations or representative of certain illnesses or afflictions. Others, aided by their inherently liminal qualities, moved from one context to the next, migrating from earlier to later periods. In doing so, their origins and functions were often reinvented and repurposed to fit their new setting. This session invites papers that consider the role and representation of demons and monsters in these contexts, particularly in light of how such figures were protected against, and the rituals and texts utilized to combat them. Program Unit Chairs: Gina Konstantopoulos ( Proposals should be submitted through the SBL website. Deadline: 13th February (midnight, EST).

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