Comparative Methodology


The Comparative Methodology unit explores methodological questions foundational to comparative analyses between literary sources in the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman periods. The goal of this research unit is to make explicit what is too often only implicit in scholarly comparative work, the underlying justifications and methods which make a comparison “work”. Participants are encouraged to challenge past assumptions about the how and why of comparisons by drawing upon philosophical and phenomenological resources, and additionally, to consider the perceived benefits of the comparative endeavour. Furthermore, comparisons seek to grant new insights into source materials, but how these results are measured in terms of quality has yet to be determined. The Comparative Methodology unit seeks to address these shortcomings by encouraging scholars to think deeply about the means and outcomes of their comparative work, in order to generate new heuristic tools through which comparisons might be more explicitly defined and beneficially utilised


Comparative Methodology, Biblical Literature, Jewish Literature, Greek Literature, Persian Period, Hellenistic Period, Roman Period, Intercultural Relationships, Contact-Zones, Intellectual Heritage


Reimund Bieringer
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

Tavis A. Bohlinger
University of Durham

Member Area

Toulouse 2022 Call for Papers 

The Comparative Methodology research group welcomes paper proposals for the 2022 annual conference in Toulouse, France. After concentrating in past years more on the possibilities offered by comparative methodology in exegetical studies, this year we invite paper proposals on the limitations and dangers of comparative methodologies in the study of texts from the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman periods. Papers can focus on test cases where comparative methodology has led to results that were called into question by later scholars or that the contributors of our session wish to call into question. We suggest that paper proposals reflect on criteria which can be used for the evaluation of interpretive results based on comparative methodology.