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FECHA LÍMITE/DEADLINE/SCADENZA: 15/12/2019
FECHA CONGRESO/CONGRESS DATE/DATA CONGRESSO: 23-24/04/2020
LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Faculty of Philosophy, Theology, and Religious Studies, Radboud University (Nijmegen, Netherlands)
ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Ellen van Wolde; Aren M. Wilson-Wright.
The Faculty of Philosophy, Theology, and Religious Studies at Radboud University invites graduate student submissions for a symposium on Linguistics and Ancient Israelite Religions (description and preliminary below).
If you are interested in presenting a paper, please send an abstract of 250–400 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of the day on November 15th. Applicants will be notified of their submission status by December 15th.
Much of the data on ancient Israelite religions comes from written documents, such as the Hebrew Bible. But, as with many ancient texts, the meaning of these documents often proves elusive. What, for example, does the commandment “you shall have no other gods before me” in Exodus 20:2 actually mean? Is the phrase “before me” (Hebrewעַל־פָנָי ) intended spatially or hierarchically? In other words, does Exodus 20:2 prohibit the Israelites from installing cult statues of other deities in Yahweh’s temple—the spatial sense—or adopting a new patron deity—the hierarchical sense? In cases like this, the study of language can often help untangle the meaning of difficult texts. To answer the questions posed earlier, we could analyze the other occurrences of עַל־פָנָיin the Hebrew Bible as well as similar expressions in related languages. So far, however, biblical scholars have rarely applied linguistic methods to the study of ancient Israelite religions and—when they do—they have focused primarily on elucidating individual texts.
In this symposium, therefore, we aim to explore the potential of linguistic methods for studying ancient Israelite religions more broadly. We are particularly interested in new ways of using historical, cognitive, and comparative linguistics to study ancient Israelite religions as well as reflections of methodology. Examples of potential topics include using historical linguistics to trace the evolution of the Israelite pantheon from its Proto-Northwest Semitic ancestor, employing cognitive linguistics to determine how the ancient Israelites conceptualized their god(s), and using comparative linguistics to understand Israelite religious terminology.