Call for Papers – Conversion Texts

The Center for the Study of Conversion and Inter-Religious Encounters is announcing its first four-day annual conference on the theme of Texts of Conversion to be held at Ben-Gurion University in Be’er Sheva, Israel, from the 26th-29th May 2014.

The first aim of the conference is to explore the broad range of available literary sources in which relevant information about converts can be found and discuss the methodology for extracting such information and analyzing it. Scholars of all disciplines, interests, geographic and chronological focuses are invited to propose papers which will shed light on the extant data and propose methodological strategies for its accumulation and analysis. Sessions might include, but are not limited to, such topics as:

Law and conversion: courts records, regulations, and legal opinions
Religious and Secular Governance: decrees, official records,
Narrative and conversion: historiography, hagiography, biography, poetry
Intellectual and cultural brokerage: convert-authored scientific and educational treatises, poetry, and fiction
Theology: debates, exegesis, polemics, and apologetics
Archeology: tombs, dedications, houses of worship
Psychological, linguistic and semiotic analysis of conversion texts

We especially welcome papers that address related texts from the Medieval and Early Modern periods, but also welcome proposals dealing with Antiquity and the Modern Era which bear relevance to the theme of the conference.

The second aim of the conference is to showcase the proposed database and prepare the ground for international cooperation on inputting relevant data. Participants are requested to prepare materials relevant to one or more converts (or an example of mass conversion) according to the parameters of the database set out above. We will study these test cases together, input the materials, and attempt to deal with the problems that arise, thereby creating a protocol for the database and ironing out the difficulties.

Proposals should include the title and abstract (300 words) of your proposed paper (30 mins) along with the outline of the materials to be presented to the group relating to the database.
Please send the materials to

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