Toulouse 2022 Call for Papers
This year we will look through the lens of Cultural Evolution at a big question that has a close bearing on the study of the Biblical world, namely the relationship between culture and religion. What constitutes culture? Is religion part of culture, or something separate? What is the relation between the two? Do religion and culture change in the same way? What is the role of biology in both?
In this session, we want to explore the possibilities offered by the cultural evolutionary perspective to reframe and clarify this classic source of vagueness and debate. We are particularly interested in the impact of this discussion on the study of ancient religions.
The session welcomes both theoretically oriented discussions and historical case studies that shed new light on this question.
We are looking for papers relating to this topic, with questions such as:
- Can we differentiate between culture and religion in the ancient world?
- How can we navigate the interfaces between religion, culture, and biology?
- How to describe in cultural-evolutionary terms the new religions that emerged.
- Can we perceive changes in the religions of the ancient world throughout time, and how do we periodize this long duration?
- Is the concept of the Axial Age relevant for describing religions of the ancient world?
Papers will be considered for publication in a thematic issue of AABNER, Advances in Ancient Biblical and Near Eastern Research.
We will also have this year, as usual, an open session, where scholars can present their work relating to the Bible and cultural evolution, whether from the theoretical aspect or as case studies. In this session, we want to explore how a cultural evolutionary approach helps understand and conceptualize the biblical world, and especially the religions of it, and those that originated in this world.