Dynamics of Religion and Religious Space in the Ancient Mediterranean (GSAS Workshop, 2018–19)

Religious practices and sacred spaces operated at the crux of Greek and Roman society, acting as both a source of social cohesion and a locus of divisive tension throughout antiquity. Greek and Roman religious practices, generally characterized as conservative and stable, underwent several phases of radical upheaval during moments of shifting political or cultural circumstances. The purpose of this workshop is to explore these moments of religious change in the ancient Mediterranean world, broadly conceived as any instance of transition, disruption, cooperation, reconsideration or resistance related to religion from the Archaic to the Byzantine period.

While the workshop will emphasize the archaeological, epigraphic, and historical evidence for religious change, we intend to explore questions arising from textual and literary sources as well.  Through this diachronic and cross-disciplinary approach to ancient religion, the workshop aims to answer broad questions about the dynamics of religion and religious space in the ancient world.

Graduate Student Coordinators: Julia Judge (juliajudge@g.harvard.edu), Stephen Shennan (sshennan@g.harvard.edu)

Faculty Advisors: Alexander Riehle (ariehle@fas.harvard.edu), Adrian Staehli (staehli@fas.harvard.edu)