Upcoming/Past Meetings

2019 (San Diego)

Session 1: Reading and Interpretive Activity during Ancient Meals

9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: 31A (Upper Level East) – Convention Center

Susan Marks, New College of Florida, Presiding (10 min)

Jan Heilmann, Technische Universität Dresden
Ancient Literary Culture and Meals in the Greco-Roman World: The Role of Reading during Ancient Symposia (30 min)

Break (5 min)

Jonas Leipziger, Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg
Ancient Jewish Reading Practices and the Greco-Roman Meal Tradition (30 min)

Andrew McGowan, Yale Divinity School, Respondent (20 min)

Discussion (30 min)

Session 2: Drinking and Intoxication in Ancient and Late Antique Meals

S25-138 11/25/2019
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: 30E (Upper Level East) – Convention Center

Chan Sok Park, College of Wooster, Presiding (5 min)

Jon-Paul Lapeña, Harvard Divinity School
Contextualizing Paul’s Rhetoric of the μέθυσος: Attitudes Toward Drunkenness and Its Stigma in the Early Imperial Period (25 min)

Kevin Künzl, Technische Universität Dresden
Drinking like Jesus: Symposiastic Ethics in Clement of Alexandria (25 min)

Jordan D. Rosenblum, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“The Wine of the Region”: Brewing Religion and the Translation of Rabbinic Ritual from a Palestine to a Babylonian Context (25 min)

Lillian I. Larsen, University of Redlands
Wine Is Not for Monks? (25 min)

Vadim Putzu, Missouri State University, Respondent (15 min)

Session 3: Two New Handbooks: Meals and Ritual

Joint Session With: Meals in the Greco-Roman World, Ritual in the Biblical World
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Balboa (South Tower – Level Three) – Marriott Marquis

Book Panel: Risto Uro, Juliette J. Day, Richard E. DeMaris and Rikard Roitto (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Ritual; and P.B.A. Smit & Soham Al-Suadi (eds.), T&T Clark Handbook to Early Christian Meals in the Greco-Roman World. Co-sponsored by the Meals in the Greco-Roman World Seminar and Ritual in the Biblical World Section. Both new handbooks advance the study of early Christian ritual, but they do so in rather different ways. Panelists will present and assess the hanbooks’ differing approaches and consider the results of each approach.

Richard DeMaris, Valparaiso University, Introduction (10 min)

Soham Al-Suadi, Universität Rostock, Panelist (15 min)

Rikard Roitto, Stockholm School of Theology, Panelist (15 min)

Hal Taussig, Westar Institute, Panelist (15 min)

Colleen Shantz, St Michael’s College, University of Toronto, Panelist (15 min)

Richard Ascough, Queen’s University, Panelist (15 min)

Jonathan Schwiebert, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Panelist (15 min)

Roundtable Discussion (25 min)

Discussion (25 min)

2018 (Denver)

Session 1: 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 texts that concern meals. 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 that concern meals, 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.

Jan Heilmann, Technische Universität Dresden, Presiding 

Benedikt Eckhardt, University of Edinburgh, Textual Variants in Justin, 1 Apology 65–67

Kevin Künzl, Technische Universität Dresden, The Meal in the Letters of Ignatius: Textual Variants as Evidence for Transforming Practice and Theology 

Tobias Flemming, Technische Universität Dresden, The Ritual Practice of Christian Meals and New Testament Textual Variants

Soham Al-Suadi, Universität Rostock, Respondent (10 min)

Jennifer Knust, Boston University, Respondent (15 min)

Anni Hentschel, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Panelist

Peter Smit, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Panelist

Session 2: The Archeology of Ancient Meals – in Honour of Dennis E. Smith

Hal Taussig, Presiding (5 min)

A Tribute by Joe Tyson read by Hal Taussig

Matthias Klinghardt, Technische Universität Dresden, The Meal in Its Nonliterary and Literary Worlds 

L. Michael White, University of Texas at Austin, Changing Patterns of Communal Dining in the Ostia Synagogue 

Susan M. Elliott, Independent Scholar, Next Came the Letter: Listening with Dennis E. Smith to Paul’s Letters in the Context of Household Gatherings 

Session 3: The Economics of Meals

Chan Sok Park, College of Wooster, Presiding 

Jin Hwan Lee, Independent Scholar, Meals for All, All for Meals 

Gregg Gardner, The University of British Columbia, Poverty, Charity, and the Economics of Sabbath Meals in Early Judaism 

Karen Connor McGugan, Harvard University, Hungering and Thirsting for Resurrection: Origen’s “On First Principles” and the Realities of Food Scarcity in Antiquity 

Andrew McGowan, Yale Divinity School, “Having Their Fill of the Loaves”: Early Christian Meals and Ancient Bread Distribution 

2017 (Boston)

Session: Meals and Violence

Susan Marks, Presiding
Susan R Holman, Whip Handle and Spoon: Forced-Feeding Eucharist in Late Antiquity
Lillian Larsen, Respondent
David M. Freidenreich, Respondent

2016 (San Antonio)

Session 1: Meal and Teaching

Meredith Warren, University of Sheffield, Presiding
Steven C. Muir, Concordia, Not by Bread Alone, but by Every Word from the Mouth of the Lord – The Confluence of Eating and Teaching in the Ancient Mediterranean
Birgit van der Lans, ‘Quarrelling over opinions’ (Rom. 14:1): verbal disorder and competitive speech at Greco-Roman meals 
Angela Standhartinger, The School of Moses at Table. Sympotic Teaching in Philo’s De vita contemplativa 
Soham Al-Suadi, Respondent 

Session 2: Meals and Morals

Andrew McGowan, Yale Divinity School, Presiding
Joseph R. Dodson, Seneca’s Epistle 95 and the Convivial Background of Romans 1.26–27 
Richard A. Wright, Drinking, Teaching, and Singing: Ephesians 5:18-19 and the Challenges of Moral Instruction at Greco-Roman Banquets 
Chan Sok Park, The Johannine Last Supper as a Site for Moral Formation 

2015 (Atlanta)

Session 1: Libation and Meal – Wine, Offerings, and Ritual

Hal Taussig, Presiding
Jan Heilmann, Libations in the New Testament: About a Forgotten Ritual 
Matthias Klinghardt, Libation for the New Covenant
Meredith Warren, Pouring Out God’s Wrath: Libation Imagery in the Book of Revelation 
Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus, Respondent 

Session 2: Dietary Laws in the Bible and Their Ancient Reception

Meredith Warren, Presiding
Peter Wick, Rejection of Dietary Laws in the New Testament 
Andrew McGowan, Books for Cooks: Leviticus 11, Diet, and Exegesis in Early Christianity 
Jordan Rosenblum, ‘The following you shall abominate among the birds’: Ancient Debates About Eating Fowl 
Lillian Larsen, Desert Dining: Dietary Restrictions in Early Monasticism 
Christophe Nihan, Respondent 

2014 (San Diego)

Session 1: The Meal in John 6

Hal Taussig, Presiding
Jan Heilmann, A Meal in the Background of John 6:51–58? 
Meredith Warren, My Flesh is Meat Indeed: Theophagy and Christology in John 6:51c–58 
Vojtech Kaše, Consuming Jesus – Receiving Eternity: Meal Elements of Special Quality in Johannine Communities
Harold Attridge, Respondent 

Session 2: Food in Antiquity (Joint Session with: Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament; Meals in the Greco-Roman World; Gender, Sexuality, and the Bible)

Zeba Crook, Carleton University, Presiding
Philip Tite, Roman Diet and Meat Consumption: Reassessing Elite Access to Meat in 1 Corinthians 8 
Andrew McGowan, Knowing the Color of One’s Bread: How Forms and Types of Bread Reflected and Created Ancient Social Structures
Alicia Batten, Fish for Thought in the Early Church 
Michel Desjardins, Respondent

Session 3: Meals and Justice (Joint Session with Meals in the Greco-Roman World; Meals in the HB/OT and Its World)

Carol Meyers, Presiding 
Walter J. Houston, ‘To Share Your Bread with the Hungry’: Justice or Charity? 
Michael Satlow, Beggar at the Banquet 
Peter-Ben Smit, Convivial Justice – Meals with Meaning in Early Christianity
Loren Stuckenbruck, Respondent 

Session 4: Meals and Material Culture in Late Antiquity

Carly Daniel-Hughes, Presiding
Robin M. Jensen, Depictions of Dining in Early Christian Art
Steven Fine, Samaritan and Jewish Meals in Late Antiquity: Between Archaeology and Literature
Susan Marks, Respondent 
Soham Al-Suadi, Respondent 

2013 (Baltimore)

Session 1: Bodies on the Couch: Gender, Space, and the Meal

Soham Al-Suadi, Presiding
Matthew Roller, Postures, Roles, and Social Distinctions: A Classicist’s Perspective on Early Christian Commensality
Jorunn Økland, Gender-Mixed Dining in Non-Public Spaces: To What Can Early Christian Meals Be Compared?
Caroline Johnson Hodge, Meals on Wheels: The Reserved Sacrament and Other Christian Daily Devotions 
Carly Daniel-Hughes, Respondent 
Ellen Aitken, Respondent 

Session 2: Killing and Eating: On Sacrifice and Meals

Jordan Rosenblum, Presiding
Daniel Ullucci, Competing for the Gods’ Portion 
Barbette Spaeth, Animal Sacrifice in Greco-Roman Religion: A Review of the Evidence 
Andrew McGowan, Making Sacrifices: Early Christianity, Ritual Meals, and Cultic Tradition 
Jonathan Klawans, Respondent
Hal Taussig,  Respondent 

2012 (Chicago)

Session 1: Meals and Economics

Dennis Smith, Presiding
Jodi Magness, Conspicuous Consumption: Dining on Meat in the Ancient World
Steven Friesen, Inconspicuous Consumption: Reconstructing Average Diets in the Ancient  Mediterranean World using Stable Isotope Analysis
Ma. Marilou S. Ibita, Not Without the “Have-nots”: Overcoming Economic Divisions at the Lord’s  Supper
Gregg E. Gardner, Let Them Eat Fish: Food for the Poor in Early Rabbinic Judaism

Session 2: Meals and Greco-Roman Associations

Richard Ascough, Queens University, Presiding
Richard Ascough, An Introduction to the Session: Associations and Christian Origins – Status Quaestionis
John S. Kloppenborg, Associations and their Meals
Hal Taussig, Respondent; Susan Marks, Respondent; Dennis Smith, Respondent

2011 (San Francisco)

Session 1: Food and Identity in the Greco-Roman World

Susan Marks, Presiding
David M. Freidenreich, Food and Identity in Pauline Communities
Andrew McGowan, Food and Identity in Early Eucharistic Meals
Jordan D. Rosenblum, Food and Identity in Early Rabbinic Judaism
Hal Taussig, Respondent 

Session 2: Meals as Matrix for Early Christian Theology

Angela Standhartinger, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Presiding
Matthias Klinghardt, Meal and Theology in Paul
Soham Al-Suadi, The Formation of Theology at Meals: How the Hellenistic Meal Shaped Early Christian Theology
Dennis E. Smith, Hospitality at Meals as a Theological Metaphor
Carly Daniel-Hughes, Respondent 


Session 1: Rethinking Last Supper/Lord’s Supper in the New Testament

THESES: Rethinking Last Supper/Lord’s Supper in the New Testament (prepared by Matthias Klinghardt and Dennis E. Smith)

Susan Marks, Presiding
Dennis E. Smith, “Rethinking Last Supper/Lord’s Supper I”
Matthias Klinghardt, “Rethinking Last Supper/Lord’s Supper II”
Respondents: Angela Standhartinger, Jae Won Lee, Carly Daniel-Hughes

Session 2: Toward a Profile of Eucharistic Origins

THESES: Toward a Profile of Eucharistic Origins (prepared by Andrew McGowan and Lillian Larsen)

Willi Braun, Presiding
Andrew McGowan, “A Profile of Eucharistic Origins I: Symposia, Sustenance, and Sacrifice”
Lillian Larsen, “A Profile of Eucharistic Origins II: Monks, Meals, and Meanings”
Respondents: Matthias Klinghardt, Carly Daniel-Hughes, Hal Taussig

Session 3: The Table as a Generative Locus for Social Formation in Early Judaism

Hal Taussig, Presiding
Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus, “The Table and Early Judaism I”
Susan Marks, “The Table and Early Judaism II”
Jordan Rosenblum, “The Table and Early Judaism III”
Respondents: Judith Hauptman, Dennis Smith, Nancy Evans


Session 1: Book Review – Hal Taussig’s In the Beginning Was the Meal: Social Experimentation and Early Christian Identity

Susan Marks, Presiding
Panelists / respondents: Dennis E. Smith, Angela Standhartinger, Matthias Klinghardt, Hal Taussig (response to the reviews)

Session 2: The Culture of Reclining: Corporeality, Sexuality, Intimacy

Philip A. Harland, Presiding
David L. Balch, “Artistic Representations of Corporeality, Sexuality, and Intimacy at Meals.” Photos and photo descriptions now available in pdf.
Carly Daniel-Hughes, “Bodies at Rest, Bodies in Motion: Status, Corporeality, and Negotiations of Power at Ancient Meals”
Jennifer A. Glancy, “Notes on Early Christian Responses to Corporeality, Sexuality, and Intimacy in Dining Culture”
Ellen B. Aitken, “A Valentinian Response to the Culture of Reclining”
Lillian I Larsen, “Monastic Meals: Countering a Reclining Culture?”
Jordan D. Rosenblum, “Inclined to Decline Reclining?: Women, Corporeality, and Dining Posture in Early Rabbinic Literature”


Session 1: Slavery and Household Meals

Janet Walton, PresidingCarolyn Osiek, “Slavery and Household Meals”Nancy A. Evans, “Did Slaves Ever Recline at Meals?”‘
Carly Daniel-Hughes, “The Sex-Trade and Slavery at Meals”
Angela Standhartinger, “The Saturnalia in Greco-Roman Culture”Lillian I. Larsen, “Early Christian Meals and Slavery”
Respondent: Jennifer Glancy

Session 2: Rabbinic Meals and Methodology

Dennis Smith, Presiding
Susan Marks, “Rabbinic Grace after Meals and Social Formation”
Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus, “Performing Myth, Performing Midrash at Rabbinic Meals”


Session 1: Meals and Social Formation

Jae Won Lee, “Politics of Meals and Community in Solidarity: Paul’s politics of difference in Rom 14:1-15:13”
Hal Taussig, “Greco-Roman Meals and Performance of Identity: A Ritual Analysis”
Respondents: Dennis Smith, Matthias Klinghardt

Session 2: Rethinking Eucharistic Origins: The Work of Andrew McGowan

Andrew B. McGowan, “Rethinking Eucharistic Origins: Seven Theses on Eucharistic Practice”
Respondents: Dennis Smith, Angela Standhartinger
Discussion of works by Andrew B. McGowan on early Christian and Greco-Roman meals
Respondents: Angela Standhartinger, Dennis E. Smith


Session 1: Dining Space and the Culture of Greco-Roman Meals at Pompeii

David L. Balch, “Visual Representations in Pompeian Triclinia: What Do They Tell Us (if anything) about Practices and Values at Greco-Roman Meals?”
Carolyn Osiek, “What Kinds of Meals Did Julia Felix Have in Pompeii?”
Respondent: Dennis Smith

Session 2: Women at Greco-Roman Wedding and Funerary Meals

Kathleen E. Corley, “Women, Funerary Meals, and Lament, and the Origins of Early Christian Meals.”
Susan Marks, “Present and Absent: Women at Greco-Roman Wedding Meals.”


Session 1: Meals in Greco-Roman Associations

Richard S. Ascough, “Forms of Commensality in Greco-Roman Associations.”
Respondent:  Matthias Klinghardt
Philip A. Harland, “Culturally Transgressive Banquets in Greco-Roman Associations: Imagination and Reality.”
Respondent: Dennis E. Smith

Session 2: Women at Greco-Roman Meals

Ellen B. Aitken, “Remembering and Remembered Women in Greco-Roman Meals.”
Respondent:  Susan Marks
Angela Standhartinger, “Women in Early Christian Meal Gatherings: Discourse and Reality.”
Respondent:  Hal Taussig


Deciphering an Ancient Meal: The Therapeutae as a Test Case (Consultation session)

Ellen B. Aitken, “Singing at Meals Among the Therapeutae.”
Willi Braun, “Philo, Feasts, and Philosophy: The Therapeutae for Example.”
Matthias Klinghardt, “The Therapeutae’s Dance.”Andrew McGowan, “The Food of the Therapeutae: A Thick Description.”
Hal Taussig, “Ritual Perfection and/or Literary Idealization in Philo’s On the ontemplative Life and Other Greco-Roman Symposia.”


Defining a Typology for the Study of Meals in the Greco-Roman World (Consultation)

Dennis E. Smith, “The Greco-Roman Banquet as a Social Institution.”
Matthias Klinghardt, “The Typology of the Community Meal.”
Respondents: Ellen B. Aitken, Willi Braun, Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus, Andrew B. McGowan


Meals in the Greco-Roman World: Defining a Research Field (Consultation)

Dennis E. Smith, “Meals and Christian Origins.”
Andrew B. McGowan, “Meals and Eucharistic Origins.”
Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus, “Meals and Jewish Studies.”
Kathleen E. Corley, “Women and Meals.”
Hal Taussig, “Meals and Ritual Studies.”
L. Michael White, “Meals and Archeology.”