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Bookish Circles: Teaching and learning in the ancient Mediterranean (Part II)

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Bookish Circles: Teaching and learning in the ancient Mediterranean (Part II)

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Location: Heythrop College, University of London, Newman Room

A series of collaborative colloquia and seminars of the Heythrop Centre for Textual Studies

At this conference we seek to distinguish varieties of ancient literacy, the social functions they served and the circles in which they did so. Experts are gathering to discuss the ancient Jewish and early Christian materials alongside the classical sources. In particular, we explore ancient varieties of adult teaching and learning with a view to casting further light on what kinds of literacy served which functions in the ancient Mediterranean.

In recent years classicists have taken a lead in refining the study of ancient literacy. Discussion is departing from older deterministic conceptions where orality and literacy were viewed as evolutionary stages in a linear process;  where attention focused principally on what percentage of people were literate; and where this literacy was a largely undifferentiated category. Prompted by insights from the social sciences and furnished with twentieth-century manuscript discoveries, recent commentators aspire to greater refinement in the social historical study of ancient literacy. Contributors to projects like Encyclopaedism from Antiquity to the Renaissance (J. König and G. Woolf eds; Cambridge: University Press, 2013), Ancient libraries (J. König, K. Oikonomopoulou and G. Woolf eds; Cambridge: University Press, 2013) and Ancient Literacies: The Culture of Reading in Greece and Rome (W. A. Johnson and H. N. Parker eds; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009) have begun to probe related questions. First, what kinds of literacy can be discerned and what purposes did they serve in various ancient contexts? Second, in what kinds of social circle were particular kinds of literacy at home?

Our purpose in the present project is twofold. First, we take up and pursue the task outlined above, to distinguish varieties of ancient literacy, the social functions they served and the circles in which they did so. Second, we draw into the discussion the ancient Jewish and early Christian materials. The combination of materials traditionally separated within subject areas can only improve our hopes for historical insight. Further, the trajectory of the discussion — so far largely conducted within classics — will illuminate areas of ancient Jewish and early Christian studies where a canonical perspective still hampers historical enquiry in some quarters. To this end, we explore ancient varieties of adult teaching and learning with a view to casting further light on what kinds of literacy served which functions in the ancient Mediterranean.

(Bookish Circles Part I     Heythrop College, 29th-30th July 2016)
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Bookish Circles Part II     Heythrop College, 25th-26th November 2016

Bookish Circles Part III     comprises individual seminars held at Heythrop College between December 2016 – June 2017

Programme

Friday 25th November 2016, Newman Room, Heythrop College


10:30   Arrival and coffee         

11:30   Professor Catherine Hezser, (SOAS, University of London): The Role of Written Texts in Rabbinic Oral Culture

12:30   Ingo Kottsieper, (Westphalian Wilhelms University Münster): Literacy and Aramaic as Written Language in the Achaemenid Empire (Part II)

13:30   Lunch

14:30   Dr Lindsey Askin (University of Cambridge): [Jewish Scribal Culture]

15:30   Tea

16:00   Professor Annette Steudel, (Georg-August Universität, Göttingen): [Teaching and Learning in the Dead Sea Scrolls]

18:00   Dinner

Saturday 26th November


08:00   Breakfast

10:00   Dr Francesca Middleton (University of Cambridge): Homeric lemmata and the shape of Hellenistic literacy

11:00   Dr Matthew Nicholls, (University of Reading): The place of libraries in the wider architecture & landscape of urban learning; their co-location with auditorium facilities

12:00   Lunch

13:00   Dr H. H. Drake Williams III   (Tyndale Theological Seminary, Netherlands): [II Corinthians, I Clement and Jewish Scripture]

14:00   Professor Bart Koet, (Tilburg School of Catholic Theology, Belgium): Ethics or Halacha? “Calling” as a key to the dynamics of behaviour according to Paul. A reflection on 1 Corinthians 1:1-11

15:00   Tea

15:30   Panel discussion

Registration fees

Delegates may register for one or both days, at a charge of £25 per day. This includes lunch each day as well as tea and coffee breaks throughout the day.

Delegates may also join speakers at an evening meal from 18:00 on Friday 25th November at the Randa Lebanese restaurant, Kensington Church Street, London (a few minutes walk from Heythrop College), for an additional £30 per head. This will need to be paid in cash on the day. If you would like to attend the meal, please inform Jonathan Norton by Tuesday 22nd November at: j.norton@heythrop.ac.uk

Accommodation

Delegates will need to arrange for their own overnight accommodation. It will be worth contact Campus Services at Heythrop College [ campusservices@heythrop.ac.uk  ]. Accommodation may available at Heythrop College, but this is not guaranteed.

Contact Name: Jonathan Norton
Contact Email: j.norton@heythrop.ac.uk