CFP: Panel on pre-modern Jewish medicine and sciences, EAJS Congress, July 2018, Krakow

Lehmhaus FU Berlin's picture

CALL for PAPERS - EAJS Conference 2018, Krakow: Pre-organized Panel on Jewish medicine and sciences


Jewish Roots and routes of knowledge - approaches to medicine, sciences and knowledge in pre-modern Jewish cultures


The Berlin based research project on “Talmudic medicine” (Prof. Mark Geller, Dr. Lennart Lehmhaus) seeks to organize for the EAJS Congress 2018 in Krakow, Poland a pre-organized panel. The sessions will explore Jewish approaches to medicine and adjacent scientific fields (astrology/astronomy; physiognomy; zoology/biology etc.) in their respective historical and cultural contexts. The panel, thus, addresses knowledge of medicine, illness and the body, and its complex entanglement with other scientific and religious discourses (various scientific fields as well as cosmology and medical approaches in Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah, philosophy) throughout pre-modern Jewish history.

The organizers invite especially presentations discussing engagement with these matters in rabbinic and Talmudic traditions against the foil of their literary and socio-cultural background(s). This focus will be accompanied by presentations on earlier biblical and post-biblical (Second Temple) traditions as well as studies on later, medieval and early modern periods, which may shed light on various ways of transmission, transfer, or appropriation of such knowledge on different routes. We encourage the submission of contributions that explore comparative perspectives and contextualize their material from different angles. This will allow for inquiries into trans-cultural trajectories, appropriations and (ex)changes that occur on the synchronic or diachronic level in and between neighboring cultures. Such a perspective helps assessing Jewish approaches to medicine and scientific knowledge within the broader history of sciences and knowledge, while also addressing their particular Jewishness and epistemological characteristics.

Contributors may interrogate the interplay between medical, religious, political, ethical and ritual discourses as well as the literary or discursive framing, and practical, performative, or material aspects. Moreover, the papers and discussions on this panel shall help to clarify methodological and theoretical questions, which are of crucial importance for a broader and more thorough understanding of medicine and scientific knowledge in pre-modern Jewish cultures.


If you are interested, please send a tentative title of your contribution and a short abstract of 100-300 words together with a brief bio-note to the panel conveners. Please circulate or share this Call for Papers with interested colleagues, graduate students via your departmental mailing lists or social media. Thank you.


<<<<<< ! IMPORTANT! SUBMISSION DATE: DECEMBER 16, 2017 >>>>>>>



Panel conveners

Prof. Markham J. Geller (UCL, London/ FU Berlin - TOPOI/ SFB 980/ BabMed)

Dr. Lennart Lehmhaus (FU Berlin – SFB 980 “Episteme in Motion”/ Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, UPenn, Philadelphia)


The project on Talmudic medicine forms part of the transdisciplinary project “The Transfer of Medical Epistemes in the ‘Encyclopaedic’ Compilations of Late Antiquity”, a collaboration with specialists in Early Byzantine Medical Encyclopedias (PI: Prof. Philip van der Eijk) at Humboldt University and based at the FU Berlin Collaborative Research Center SFB 980 “Episteme in Motion”. It is connected to a complementary research group (BabMed) on the trajectories of ancient Mesopotamian medicine into the Babylonian Talmud, which collaborates with a team in Israel (Prof. Shamma Friedman/Dr. Aaron Amit).