Urban Religion in Roman North Africa


  • Valentino Gasparini (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid) vgaspari@hum.uc3m.es
  • Asuman Lätzer-Lasar (Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, University of Erfurt) asuman.laetzer-lasar@uni-erfurt.de

The ‘Lived Ancient Religion’ approach has generated outstanding results in the analysis of how people in antiquity entangled their local and pre-existing beliefs with Roman religious traditions, and embedded both in their lives. This paradigm is now being implemented by two further projects: ‘LARNA’ (Madrid, 2018-2022) is now testing this perspective within the very promising context of religious transformations in ancient North Africa, from the Hellenistic period to Late Antiquity; ‘Urban Religion’ (Erfurt, 2018-2022) goes even beyond this enterprise, by focusing on the spatial dimension of religious communication. On the one hand, religion played an eminent role in the process of formation of a city and shaping of its urbanity (founding rituals, selection of tutelary deities, etc.); on the other hand, the massive movement and interaction of diverse social actors within cities and urban spatial settings, together with the concentration and circulation of a multitude of objects, had tremendous impacts on religious dynamics. By combining these two projects, we invite speakers to answer to questions like: How far did the specific spatiality of cities in North Africa influence the religious actions of their inhabitants and the shaping of their urban environment? How far did the different and newly emerging religions impact on the urban space and the city planning? We welcome papers from ancient religious studies, ancient history, archaeology and related disciplines focusing on North African antiquity and dealing with every religious tradition documented during the Roman occupation between the 2nd century BCE until the 5th century CE.

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