13. Naples 2021

13th Enoch Nangeroni Meeting

DATE: 7-10 June 2021

THEME: “‘Listen to the Sibyl in all things’: Reconsidering the Jewish-Christian Sibylline Oracles”

CHAIRS: Olivia Stewart Lester, John Collins, Hindy Najman, and Gabriele Boccaccini

This conference will bring scholars of ancient Judaism, Classics, and early Christianity together for an interdisciplinary re-examination of the Jewish-Christian Sibylline Oracles. These texts, historically underappreciated by biblical scholars and classicists, are becoming a site of growing interest as both disciplines increasingly turn to texts outside of their own canons, more deeply integrate gender into the study of antiquity, further their exploration of the themes of authenticity and forgery, and reassess relationships between Jews, Christians, and their neighbors across the ancient Mediterranean world. The conference will include an excursion to Cuma to visit the site of the sibyl.

Papers are invited on the following topics:

  1. The Figure of the Sibyl: What roles does gender play in the presentation of sibylline prophecy across the collection? What are the political and literary implications of taking up a sibyl as a figure for producing Jewish and Christian prophecy?
  2. Sibylline Pseudepigraphy: How does the ongoing production of Sibylline Oracles relate to larger Hellenistic, Roman, Jewish, and Christian practices of pseudepigraphic writing? How do the Sibylline Oracles resemble or participate in Jewish prophetic pseudepigraphy, and how might they have been shaped by Hellenistic and Roman educational techniques?
  3. Sibylline Interpretation: How do the Sibylline Oracles reinterpret Greek mythology, poetry, and philosophy, on the one hand, and Jewish and Christian scriptures, on the other? How has the language of the Sibylline Oracles been inflected by surrounding literature, including the Septuagint and Homeric epic?
  4. Sibylline Oracles as Oracles: How do the Sibylline Oracles resemble or differ from other oracle collections in antiquity? Why might the oracle as a literary type have appealed to ancient Jewish and Christian sibylline writers?
  5. Time in the Sibylline Oracles: How is time constructed within the collection: past, present, and future? In what ways do the Sibylline Oracles participate in the tropes of apocalyptic eschatology, and how do they transform them?
  6. Judaism and Christianity in the Sibylline Oracles: What can we learn from the Sibylline Oracles about intellectual and literary interactions between Jews and Christians in antiquity? How do we make sense of the distinct Jewish and Christian layers of the text alongside the Christian preservation of these texts as a collection?​​​​
Stay tuned for more information and an official call for papers.

*Photo by Mentnafunangann, hosted on Wikimedia Commons.