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Research Field 1


The session will be devoted to the role of scripture, scripturality and orality in formation processes in late antiquity. Based on an article by Guy Stroumsa ("Early Christianity – A Religion of the Book?")* we suggest to discuss some of the following questions in more detail.

1. How important are orality and oral material in the formation of religion, judged from your particular expertise?

2. To what extent is a particular mediality or a "media revolution", as Stroumsa puts it with Doron Mendels, a crucial factor of formation and spread of a religion?

3. Do you agree with Stroumsa's hypothesis of the permeability of oral and written tradition in general? Or do we have a certain degree of "scripturality" and textual stabilization within the first phases of the formation processes?

4. To what extent does the relation of text and commentary influence the formation of a particular religion?

5. Do you know about any examples where text or scripture are an object of material exchange?

6. And do you know about contact based receptions of texts in interreligious contexts?

7. Are there cases where translations were used in the formation or formative period of a particular religion?

8. Do "interreligious" translations exist, and if they do, where?

9. Do you have examples of the emphasis of the role of language in religious formation processes?

10. Is there any indication of exchange phenomena in handling sacred scriptures or in performance of scripture?

We would invite you all to contribute to the discussion with specific examples from your particular material. If you have any idea and are willing to present a very short input of 5-10 minutes, based on your material, you are very welcome. Please send a short e-mail to

*Stroumsa, Guy G. "Early Christianity - A Religion of the Book?" In Homer, the Bible and Beyond: Literary and Religious Canons in the Ancient World. Edited by Margalit Finkelberg and Guy G. Stroumsa, 153–73. Jerusalem Studies in Religion and Culture 2. Leiden: Brill, 2003.

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