The American Academy of Religion’s Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity program unit, and the Society of Biblical Literature Aramaic program unit and Religious World in Late Antiquity Section, are co-sponsoring a session on the Aramaic and Mandaic magical bowls.
A session is being planned on the Aramaic magic bowls. Given the interdisciplinary sponsorship, we propose that the session focus on the intersection of diverse perspectives on these artifacts:
Aramaic Magic Bowls: Language, Ritual, and Context. How can language experts help clarify the nature of the beliefs and practices associated with these artifacts? How can those who study the societies and subgroups that used such bowls help clarify the meaning of obscure terminology? How can the study of the Late Antique context in which the bowls were produced help shed light on their use, significance, and meaning? How can the study of the bowls shed light on the usefulness on the categories of syncretism and mixing?
And here is the call for papers as shared by the SBL Aramaic section:
We invite papers on Aramaic incantation bowls in Late Antiquity for a session cosponsored by the SBL Religious World in Late Antiquity Section and the AAR Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity Group. Papers should present new texts or perspectives, and may deal with texts in any Aramaic dialect (Jewish Babylonian, Syriac, Mandaic, etc.). We also welcome papers that explore the bowls as a source of evidence for the nature of beliefs and practices within the Jewish, Christian, Mandaean, and other groups that produced the bowls.
If you work in this area, please submit a proposal to one of the program units! See too the other calls for papers from these program units, including one (also co-sponsored with SBL) on “race” in Late Antiquity, and another open session on anything related to the religious traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity.