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Jewish, Christian and Muslim Travel Experiences

(3rd century BCE—8th century CE)

Travel and pilgrimage have become central research topics in recent years. Some archaeologists and historians have applied globalization theories to ancient intercultural connections.  

This conference aims to contribute to the study of ancient travel in two ways. First, our focus will be on experiences of travel. Our main question will be: How did travelers in the ancient world make sense of their journeys, real or imaginary, and of the places they visited? Second, by treating Jewish, Christian, and Islamic experiences together, we seek to develop a longue durée perspective and explore the ways in which travel experiences across these three traditions resembled each other. By focusing on “experiences of travel,” we hope to foster interaction between the study of ancient travel in the humanities and that of broader human experience in the social sciences.

Lecture 1:

Imagining a “Realm of Islam”: Centricity, Capacity, Connectivity

Lecture by Zayde Antrim

This talk challenges any assumption that spatial thought among Muslims has been dominated by a Dar al-Islam (Abode of Islam) versus Dar al-Harb (Abode of War) binary. Using maps, geographies, and travel accounts generated in the first millennium after the coming of Islam, Antrim will illuminate the changing ways early and medieval Muslims imagined themselves and others in the world. The polycentric, capacious, and connective nature of spatial thought in this period is particularly striking when compared with today’s tendencies toward hierarchy, partition, and exclusivity

Date: 27 January 2020
Time: 16:30 - 17: 30 uur (Drinks afterwards)
Location: 38 Oude Boteringestraat, Groningen 28 January

Travel as an Aspect of Religious Leadership in Late Antiquity: The Examples of Rabbi Abbahu and Origen

Lecture by Maren Niehoff (sponsored by CRASIS)

This lecture draws attention to two religious leaders, one Jewish (Rabbi Abbahu), the other Christian (Origen), who were both active in third century Caesarea. They were travelling far and wide, apparently seeing journeys as part of their responsibility. The lecture compares the destinations and specific purposes of their journeys, asking whether their maps overlap and their style coincides. 

Date: 28 January 2020
Time: 16:30 - 17: 30 uur (Drinks afterwards)
Location: 38 Oude Boteringestraat, Groningen 28 January

More information

If you have any questions, feel free to write to one of the organizers: 
Susanne Luther (s.k.luther @ rug.nl)
Clare Wilde (c.e.wilde @ rug.nl)           
Bärry Hartog (p.b.hartog @ pthu.nl)