CFP - Research Unit "Medicine, Sciences and Knowledge in Biblical and Talmudic Traditions" , EABS Annual Conference 2023, Siracusa, Sicily and ONLINE (hybrid), 10-13 July

Lehmhaus FU Berlin Discussion

REMINDER !! CFP-Submission until January 13th!!

EABS Annual Conference in Sicily (Siracusa, in-person AND hybrid/online), 10-13 July 2023


For the EABS Annual Conference in Sicily (in-person or hybrid), our research unit "Medicine, Sciences and Knowledge in Biblical and Talmudic Traditions" welcomes papers that fall within the general scope of the research unit. 

The group focuses primarily on medical and scientific ideas and practices in the Biblical and Rabbinic traditions in a wider sense (e.g. New Testament, Qumranic texts, so-called „apocryphal“ traditions, Targum, early Christian texts), as well as in closely related or contemporary traditions. We also welcome papers that deal with other than Jewish or Christian Scripture-related traditions and cultures (e.g., Graeco-Roman, Syriac, Coptic, Arabic, ancient Mesopotamian, Irano-Persian, Mandean, Manichean etc.)

For our thematic focus in 2023 "The Whole World in a Book – Encyclopaedic Trends of Collecting and Ordering Knowledge in Jewish and Other Traditions",

papers are invited to comparatively explore broader inclinations or subtle shifts toward encyclopaedic impulses of ordering and making knowledge accessible in Jewish, Christian or others traditions from antiquity to medieval time. Studies may address the intertwined dimensions of epistemological creativity: namely, structure or order of knowledge; application and practical value of knowledge, and its didactic dimensions. Still, the encyclopaedic momentum can also be explored within religious traditions (e.g. rabbinic compilations; monastic traditions/orders, the Persian Avesta, Denkard etc.; Manichean sources) or literary texts (e.g. Plutarch) that were engaged in a dynamic entanglement between scientific, legal and religious discourse. 

On another level, contributions may address 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 as a fruitful comparandum for the encyclopaedic collection of knowledge. Which strategies of selection, dissociation or re-arrangement, and which discursive forms (dialectics, precedents, case stories etc.) can be noticed? Which concepts of or claims to systematic comprehensiveness were applied? Which concepts or clusters of ideas (philosophy, political ideology, theology etc.) formed the basis for these encylopaedic projects? 

 We are especially interested in presentations on rabbinic traditions (from antiquity and throughout the long Jewish 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 discourses in ancient Babylonian and other Near Eastern cultures (Syriac, Persian, Mandean, Arabic, Indian etc.) 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 and beyond.

The CFP closes this Friday, January 13 !!

Please submit your proposals and share this CFP widely! Thank you! See you in Italy! (If you should have any difficulties during registration or submission, please let us know – in difficult cases, we can still add papers for some time after the deadline).

Please find the full CFP and all information regarding the conference here: Research Unit Homepage

The EABS Annual Conference in Sicily 2023 will be in a hybrid format. So, it will be possible to remotely present a paper via a video conferencing system. Please keep this option in mind, if you cannot attend the conference in person for various reasons. If you prefer to present virtually, please let us know this beforehand (ideally, in your proposal) or at your earliest convenience.

 The “Medicine, Sciences and Knowledge in Biblical and Talmudic Traditions” 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 without their own funding (please indicate this in your application and/or contact the chairs). 

 While the formal application should be done through the online system of EABS, please feel free to email the unit chairs your proposals and contact us in case of any questions related to this call or to the research unit in general.


with best wishes,


Lennart Lehmhaus