Birgit van der Lans of the University of Groningen asked me to forward this CfP which will be of interest to some of you:
Call for Papers: ‘Christians, connectivity and networks in the ancient Mediterranean'; Annual Conference European Association of Biblical Studies, Cordoba, July 12-15, 2015
Deadline to submit paper proposal: March 15, 2015, via http://www.eabs.net/site
Contact: Birgit van der Lans, University of Groningen (email@example.com)
In recent years ‘connectivity’, mobility and the fluidity of the movement of people, goods, and ideas have emerged as influential paradigms in studies of the ancient Mediterranean. At the same time, critical reassessments of the Mediterranean as an interconnected region emphasise regional diversity and restricted access to mobility and exchange. The current interest in connections has come with a new upsurge of network analysis, utilised as a heuristic perspective or as a methodological tool, to map nodes, flows and ties and to analyse political, economic and religious interaction. For the study of Christian origins much remains to be explored, beyond the commonplace notion that the relatively peaceful conditions and road network of the early Roman Empire facilitated the
spread of the Christian message.
The purpose of this session is to explore 1) the implications of Mediterranean connectivity, and its boundaries, for Christian origins, 2) how Christian networking mapped onto contemporary practices, and 3) the possibilities and limitations of network analysis for Christian origins, the New Testament writings and the context in which they were produced. Issues which papers might address include, but are not limited to: the possibilities and limits of mobility and travel; the social roles of envoys and letter carriers; diplomatic practices and correspondence; connections between private associations, on local or trans-local levels; social networks and conversion; the spread of religious knowledge, ideas and practices.