Saturday, October 14, 2006

The religious marketplace in late antiquity, or 'the more things change . . .'

Studying the program book from the upcoming American Academy of Religion-Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting, I came across this description of a joint session session between the Europe and the Mediterranean in Late Antiquity Group, the Manichaean Studies Seminar, and the Religion in Roman Egypt Consultation:

This joint session addresses how, in the conditions of general tolerance that prevailed from Constantine to Theodosius, religious groups adapted from their prior established or illicit status to a free market of open competition and adopted various strategies of attracting or retaining adherents.

Two thoughts: Does this sound familiar? And, second, sometimes it's too bad that the mushrooming size of the joint annual meeting means that the two bodies will no longer meet together after 2007. Although the SBL has a biblical focus, some very interesting work on late Classical Paganism does slip in.


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