We have planned three sessions: 1) The Economics of Meals (open call); 2) Transformative Ritual and the Textual Transmission of Early Christian Meal Texts (invited papers only); and 3) The Archeology of Ancient Meals (invited papers only). 1) The Economics of Meals: We invite scholars to propose papers on the economics of meals. In focusing on the social interactions around meals we must also think about what resources it takes to make a meal. Possible topics include: What is the role that economics plays in ancient discourses on meals? What sources provide evidence for minimum food intake and how does this impact our understanding of meals? How do economics relate to various laws about early meals? Are there models from the social sciences that are helpful for interpreting source materials on meals and economics? 2) Transformative Ritual and the Textual Transmission of Early Christian Meal Texts: Changes in the ritual practice of Christian meals have influenced the transmission of New Testament and early Christian meal texts. This is the working hypotheses of the network “Mahl und Text” of eight doctoral and post-doctoral researchers in Europe, funded by the German Research Foundation. The aim of the network is to investigate correlations between transformation processes from Symposium to Eucharist on the one hand, and variants in the manuscript tradition of New Testament and early Christian meal texts, or the larger editorial phenomena attested by the manuscripts of those texts, on the other. The aim of this session is to present and discuss the work of this research network. 3) The Archeology of Ancient Meals – in Honour of Dennis E. Smith: A co-sponsored session, details to follow.
The Meals in the Greco-Roman World seminar is an ongoing seminar within the Society of Biblical Literature explores meals as a window into social and religious life in the Greco-Roman world and as a pivotal consideration in understanding early Christianity and Judaism. This blog provides information about the current activities of the seminar and discusses current issues as well as publications concerning ancient meals.