SHORT DEADLINE Medicine, Sciences & Knowledge in Biblical & Talmudic Traditions

Lennart Lehmhaus Discussion

Dear Colleagues,

the renewed program/research unit at EABS (European Association of Biblical Studies) “Medicine, Sciences and Knowledge in Biblical and Talmudic Traditions” invites proposals for the upcoming annual meeting of the EABS to be held in Toulouse, France 4-7 July 2022.

Please consider to apply! Also, please share and forward this information to anyone who might be interested.
Since pandemic uncertainties are still with us in 2022, the EABS Conference 2022 is planned as a hybrid meeting with the possibility of virtual and in-person participation. So all those who cannot travel to Toulouse or are not able to partcipate in-person could still contribute.
We encourage applications for virtual/hybrid presentations.
The submission date is drawing near very quickly: it is Sunday, 20 February 2022

We welcome presentations that address any topic falling into the scope of our program on ancient to medieval medicine and knowledge as described on our website: <>

For 2022 we invite especially contribution that deal with our annual focus as outlined in the following

Toulouse 2022 Call for Papers

Knowledge Entanglements - medical and other scientific traditions/practice/discourses in legal and religious texts/cultures

Papers are invited to explore possible overlaps, entanglements but also frictions between legal and religious texts/cultures and medical and other scientific traditions/practice/discourses in Jewish or Christian traditions and beyond.

In the late antique period, scholars around the Near East and Mediterranean began to agglomerate knowledge in various fields of ancient sciences, not exclusively based on classical sources in Greek and Latin. These broader impulses of ordering and making knowledge accessible in antiquity took place in scholarly as well as in imperial institutions in Jewish, Mesopotamian, Roman-Byzantine, and Persian contexts. At the same time, one may witness a surge of medial and other technical handbooks for various purposes. Those phenomena might have facilitated the popularization of expert knowledge and its appropriation into primarily non-technical, literary texts (e.g. narratives, drama, epistles etc.; cf. Plutarch or Aelius Aristides) and religious traditions (e.g. rabbinic compilations; monastic traditions, the Persian Denkard; various early Christian authors). How can we understand the dynamic interplay between legal and religious discourse (e.g. rabbinic texts, monastic orders, hagiography etc.) and ancient medical and scientific discourse? Which purposes did the integration of medicine and science in those traditions serve for? Can we identify (epistemic/ ideological/ theological) limitations regarding the appropriation or merging of such knowledge?

On another level, compilational features shared between Mesopotamian, Persian, Graeco-Roman (Codes, Digests and Pandects) or Arabic scientific, religious and legal corpora, monastic orders or Talmudic and Midrashic collections also constitute a fruitful comparandum for the collection of scientific knowledge. Which strategies of selection, dissociation or re-arrangement, and which discursive forms (dialectics, precedents, case stories etc.) were shared between these legal, religious, and scientific texts? What concepts of or claims to systematic comprehensiveness can be singled out?

We are especially interested in presentations on rabbinic-Talmudic traditions (until the early medieval period) against the foil of their literary and socio-cultural background(s) as well as on earlier and contemporary discourses in the Bible, post-biblical (Second Temple) traditions, and early Christian texts (in Greek, Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Latin etc.). In order to offer a comparative perspective, contributions on the embeddedness of these medical and scientific discourses in ancient Babylonian and other Near Eastern cultures (Persian, Mandean, Arabic) are highly welcome. Papers may explore synchronic and diachronic perspective that highlight various processes of transmission, transfer, rejection, modification and invention of the issues at hand. Those presentations will contribute to the transcultural history of science(s) and knowledge in (late) antiquity.

The “Medicine in Bible and Talmud” group invites paper proposals from scholars of diverse disciplinary and regional backgrounds, from different institutions and at different career stages. Modest stipends for travel, accommodation and registration fees might be available for selected early career scholars/junior faculty. Further information will follow.


We would like to stress that, alongside the thematic focus in 2022 on “Knowledge Entanglements”, we invite also contributions that fall into the general scope of our group as outlined above on our website. Accordingly, proposals engaging more generally with medical or other related (scientific) knowledge and practice in Jewish traditions or related ancient cultures are welcome.

Please register and apply online via the EABS website (you have to be a member to apply but the membership fee is relatively small) by 20 February 2022 :


Simultaneously, you can send your proposals to the chairs. Please do not hesitate to approach us with questions or remarks before your actual submission.


Markham J. Geller (University College London),

Lennart Lehmhaus (Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen),