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CALL. 14.02.2018: [Panel 13 at SBL 2018] Medicine in Bible and Talmud (EABS) - Helsinki (Finland)




LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: (Helsinki, Finland)


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CALL FOR PAPERS: The ways of the Amorites – magico-medical knowledge and practices among Jews and others in (Late) Antiquity For the 2018 meeting of EABS and SBL in Helsinki, Finland (July 30 - August 3) we invite proposals for papers or for panel-sessions (3 papers, possibly a respondent), preferably with a comparative perspective, on the theme “The ways of the amorites – magico-medical knowledge and practices among Jews and others in (Late) Antiquity”. Our thematic panel will deal with ideas and practices that blur earlier dichotomies between magic or 'folk medicine' and ‘rationale’, or ‘scientific’ medicine in Jewish, Early Christian, and related ancient traditions. The program unit welcomes presentations studying healing approaches that range from the so-called 'Dreckapotheke' (‘dirt pharmacy’), use of healing charms, amulets etc., to bodily interaction with patients or the production of specific devices ( incantation bowls, amulets etc.). Practices like divination, dream interpretation, dream healing and incubation are to be included. Papers may address the representation in particular texts, objects and contexts. Not only the discursive framing (genres, canonical corpora) but also materiality and utilization of language are of interest. Furthermore, studies will explore agency (transmitters/experts), institutions or institutionalization as well as aspects of self-assertion, expertise and competition within the ancient "medical marketplace". What was the attitude of so-called intellectual elites (rabbis, philosophers,medical authors, Christian clergy) to and their involvement in these approaches to healing? Finally, but related to the previous questions, the contributions could interrogate the gendered hierarchies of authority and expertise regarding magico-medical knowledge and practice. In addition, for a joint session with the SBL Healthcare and Disability in Antiquity unit, we seek proposals on conceptions of the body from the ANE through Talmudic period. Comparisons across Israelite, Judaic, early Christian, Graeco-Roman and Irano-Persian/Zoroastrian religio-medical traditions are particularly welcome. Contributions on other related topics are also invited. Proposals (and questions) should be sent to the program unit chairs (, and MUST be submitted via the SBL website where additional information is available: <>.

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