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We welcome proposals on all topics related to the Unit's subject matter, broadly conceived. Proposals that are themselves comparative in nature or that present novel approaches to the study of premodern religion are particularly welcome. We encourage the submission of preformed panel proposals suitable for 90-minute time slots. We also encourage the submission of individual paper proposals for panels on the following subjects:

1.      Religions and poverty in premodern societies: charity and the question of asceticism.
This session would explore tensions between chosen poverties and unchosen poverties and the idea of serving those defined as poor. To what extent is voluntary poverty and service to the poor a form of asceticism?

2.      Charismatic leaders in medieval societies: saints, charlatans, and their followers
One person’s holy man or savior is another’s heretic, fraud, or diabolically-inspired villain. How do people discern the difference?

Mission Statement:

This Unit aims to bring together scholars working on premodern Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in order to create a venue in which religious phenomena can be considered comparatively. Individual papers may be embedded in a single tradition, but presenters should be interested in engaging this material comparatively during the discussion period.

Method of Submission:




Claire Fanger, claire@celestiscuria.org

Martha Newman, newman@austin.utexas.edu


Steering Committee:

Wendy Love Anderson, andersonwl@wustl.edu

Nicole Archambeau, nicole.archambeau@colostate.edu

Brian Catlos, brian.catlos@colorado.edu

Fadi Ragheb, fadi.ragheb@utoronto.ca


Session Allotment: Tier 1 – Two 90-minute sessions

Next Review: 2025