Wuppertal 2020 Aug 3-6
This workshop is intended to start a conversation between studies of the reception of biblical texts in late antiquity and studies of paradoxography, the ancient genre of cataloguing and describing marvels of nature. These include strange animals, wondrous geographical phenomena, and apparent miracles. The recent focus in Classical studies on paradoxography has demonstrated that fascination with marvels impacted many different literary productions, and may be partly responsible for the apparent increase in fantastic, super-human, and divine aspects of literature produced in late antiquity. The workshop will encourage scholars to engage with paradoxographies and related literature, to study their authors’ attitudes toward marvelous and paradoxical phenomena, and to reflect on their prospective literary influence. A basic understanding of the genre of paradoxography is imperative in connecting any miraculous story to its literary context and helps to put an author’s literary creativity under perspective.
We welcome any paper considering the use of marvels and miracles in biblical reception, including apocalypses, extracanonical gospels, apocryphal acts, patristic, monastic and rabbinic literature. The Greco-Roman fascination with marvels of nature resulted in numerous paradoxographic writings, which may be relevant for biblical reception in numerous ways. Research questions may include how paradoxes of nature are used to explain biblical texts, how marvels are used to draw conclusions regarding future scenarios such as the end of the world. Papers may also compare marvels in texts of biblical reception with those encountered in paradoxographic literature, or how particular authors use marvels to sustain their arguments.
Chairs: Carl Johan Berglund, Marion Pragt, Monika Amsler
Submission deadline for proposals is February 20, 2020. Travel grants are available.