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Society for Biblical Literature International Meeting / European Association of Biblical Studies (ISBL/EABS)

Berlin, Germany

August 7 - 11. 2017

Medicine in Bible and Talmud (EABS): Papers are invited on the comparative theme "Literary and discursive framing and concepts of (medical) knowledge in (Late) Antiquity", from biblical and apocryphal texts, into later Jewish, Rabbinic-Talmudic traditions and beyond. The organizers explicitly welcome papers by scholars working on these questions as in neighboring or adjacent traditions (ancient Babylonia or Egypt; Graeco-Roman culture(s); Iranian traditions, early Christianity; Syriac traditions; early Islam etc.). Recent studies into ancient scientific traditions have emphasized the craft and artifice of those texts. On the one hand, these works can be characterized by a rather astonishing degree of literary expertise, discursive versatility and rhetorical sophistication. Ancient scientific authors were well versed not only in their very field of expertise but deployed compositional techniques from their respective cultural milieu. On the other hand, one notices also the complex framing of scientific knowledge in texts whose primary focus was religious, poetic, historiographic, or literary. Based on this, we welcome presentations on the representation and embedding of medical (and other) knowledge in particular texts and contexts. Papers may address the special design of such knowledge discourses. How does the use of rhetoric strategies, literary structures, or genres in `scientific texts’ affect the ideas conveyed? Could a specific hermeneutic (Listenwissenschaft/ encyclopaedism/ linguocentrism) not only serve as a "container" but also as a method for knowledge acquisition? One might ask further: who constructs this discourse for whom, and with which (implicit/explicit) intention? How can the adoption of certain textual strategies and compositional techniques rather be seen as a vital venue for (structural/discursive) knowledge transfer, rather than the actual content of the passage?

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