Carla Sulzbach e-mails the following:
I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the Faculty of Religious Studies of McGill University is organizing an International Conference from September 15th to 19th 2003 with the title "The Changing Face of Judaism, Christianity and Other Greco-Roman Religions in Antiquity". The info below is from the "call for papers" which, of course is closed now. The conference schedule may be found at http://ww2.mcgill.ca/religion/lects.htm.
Description of the Conference
The conference on "The Changing Face of Judaism, Christianity and Other Greco-Roman Religions" has three main objectives: first, it seeks to advance research materially by coordinating and comparing recent perspectives on the often separated sub-fields of pre-Rabbinic Judaism, early Christianity, Gnosticism and other Greco-Roman religions. Second, the conference is intended to foster emerging research partnerships between McGill's Faculty of Religious Studies and two key Religious Studies centres in Germany as well as among research universities in Montreal. Finally, we hope the conference will engage and stimulate research interests in Canada which have been moving toward a broader and more interdisciplinary approach to the religious world of Mediterranean antiquity (e.g., in the Religious Rivalries Seminar of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies)
In recent decades, Greco-Roman Judaism has become a major field of interest linking Biblical Studies, Religious Studies and Jewish Studies. The whole corpus of writings found in Qumran and elsewhere in the Judean Desert has finally been published, while new critical studies and translations have made other non-canonical writings of ancient Judaism (the so called Pseudepigrapha) newly accessible to wider scholarly study. The corpus of Gnostic literature found in Nag Hammadi has similarily challenged our understanding of the relations among Judaism, early Christianity, Gnosticism and their wider religious environment.
These texts and the new methods applied to their study have forced scholars to re-think well-established and widely accepted historical and religious constructions in the areas of Biblical Studies (Hebrew Bible and New Testament), Religious Studies (the interaction between Ancient Judaism, Early Christianity and the Greco-Roman religions) and Jewish Studies (the continuity and discontinuity between Ancient Israel, Post-Exilic Judaism and Rabbinic Judaism).
At the same time scholars interested in the religious diversity and complexity of the Roman Empire have also absorbed the influence of new methods (e.g., ritual studies) for studying practices, sources, periods and regions often neglected in Classics.
This not only has resulted in a growing number of publications with an interdisciplinary character, but also in new approaches to Jewish-Christian and interreligious dialogues and concepts of religious pluralism. Thus, not only the face of the various religious traditions of the Greco-Roman period, but even the ways in which the members of present-day religions are looking at themselves are changing.
The planned conference, which is scheduled to take place from September 15th to 19th 2003 and will be hosted by the Faculty of Religious Studies, will therefore seek to cover and link the following fields: 1) Hellenistic Judaism and Greco-Roman Culture 2) Sectarian and Non-Sectarian Writings from Qumran, 3) The Canons of the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint and New Testament, 4) Interactions between Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity, and 5) Jewish and Christian Traditions in the context of Greco-Roman religions.
International scholars will be invited to present papers on the basis of their merits in the sub-fields of Ancient Judaism/Early Christianity/Greco-Roman Religions. A call for short papers will be sent to all members of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies (as far as they do not belong to the invited speakers) as well as to all colleagues and graduate students from Montreal universities. Papers will be selected not only for general merit, but also especially for their light on the interrelations among the sub-fields named above. A representative selection of papers will be published in a congress volume.
An important motive for the Montreal meeting is the realization of hopes for closer research relationships in the study of ancient religions among McGill, Erfurt and T�bingen, a nexus into which we would also like to invite local colleagues from the Universit� de Montr�al and Concordia University.