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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Event Archive

Water and Religious Life in the Roman and Late Antique Near East. A Two-Day International Workshop at Durham University

22nd March 2016, 18:30 to 23rd March 2016, 17:30

Convened by Eris Williams Reed and Stephen Humphreys. Co-organised by the Departments of Archaeology and Classics & Ancient History. Held under the auspices of the Centre for the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean and the Near East.

Generously supported by: Institute of Advanced Study, Durham Ritual, Religion, Belief and Place Research Group, Durham Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Durham Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Durham The Classical Association.

Please click here to see further details and the full programme for the workshop

Registration is free and includes coffee breaks on Wednesday. To register, please indicate the sessions you wish to attend via our Doodle Poll:, entering your name and institutional affiliation as you would like it to appear on your name badge.

Abstract: Whilst water has permeated countless dimensions of religious life throughout history, the Roman and Late Antique Near East provides an especially rich context for the study of this topic. Our chronological range, from the Roman conquest in 64 BC to the rise of Islam in the seventh century AD, bears witness to the development of pagan, Jewish and Christian religious traditions and their interaction on local and regional scales. Our geographical span, stretching from Iraq's western border to the eastern Mediterranean coast, incorporates a striking variety of microclimates, which fostered distinctive local responses to the hydrological environment and elevated the importance of water in both sacred and utilitarian contexts across the region. It is this concurrent religious and environmental diversity that recommends the Roman and Late Antique Near East as a stimulating setting to examine the relationship between water and religious life.

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