Proposed session for 2014 American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, November 22–25, 2014
For its inaugural year, the Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity Group is issuing an open call for papers on any topic within the boundaries of the program unit (the study of religious traditions that are rooted in Mesopotamia, Persia, and western Asia, particularly those parts that were outside the Roman cultural reach such as Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, and Mandaeism). However, proposals are especially welcome on the subject of urban life and religious community in Eastern Late Antiquity. What do we know about how religiously-defined communities congregated (or not) in the big urban centers of the late antique east? How did they relate (or not) to cities, the other people that lived there and the folks that governed them? What do we know about, and what can we learn from, the study of traditions which thrived solely or primarily in urban (or rural) areas, and from the comparison of sources and material evidence related to those traditions which spanned the urban-rural divide?