Emotions and the Biblical World


The last few decades have witnessed a growing interest in the study of emotions among scholars of antiquity, reflecting a more general interest among scholars of various disciplines in how different societies throughout the centuries have conceptualised and represented emotions. The Emotions and the Biblical World research group explores the role that emotions play in biblical writings, and in Early Judaism and Early Christianity more generally. This includes but is not limited to patterns of articulating emotions, their significance in worship and broadly understood religious experience, the role of emotions in strategies of persuasion, the vocabulary used to describe emotions and their manifestations, translating emotions discourse, as well as the social and cultural factors that influence their expression, suppression or repression, with a particular focus on the relationship between emotions and gender, and between emotions and the construction of otherness. The literary corpora that we consider are not limited to the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, but include also other Early Jewish and Early Christian writings.



Dominika Kurek-Chomycz
Liverpool Hope University 

Fran├žoise Mirguet
Arizona State University

Ronit Nikolsky
Groningen University

Member Area

Wuppertal 2021 Call for Papers

For the 2021 Annual Conference in Wuppertal, the Emotions and the Biblical World research group will focus on the study of emotions in rabbinic literature. Having a very strong legalistic component, this literature and its culture do not philosophise or theorise emotions per se. In view of this, the intention is to explore how emotions are represented in these texts and perceived in the larger culture. Methodology is thus crucial, since it determines how we unearth the emotionality where it is not always explicitly discussed.

Furthermore, rabbinic literature evolves in constant interaction between legal matters and biblical and other narratives. We are therefore also interested in papers that explore how emotions of biblical protagonists are adapted, reworked, and interpreted in rabbinic culture.

We welcome paper proposals on any aspect of emotions and rabbinic literature/culture, taking into account the above considerations. In addition, we plan to hold an invited session which will discuss methods and approaches to rabbinic emotions.

And finally, we will feature an open session, for which we invite submissions on a range of themes in keeping with the goals of this unit.