Sofia 2024 Call for Papers
1. The first session will focus on “Childhood in the Graeco-Roman world”. The research on childhood and children’s reality, especially in the Graeco-Roman world, has been a field of growing interest since the 1990s. Scholars, however, have focused mainly on Rome and the information provided by literary sources whereas children’s lives in the provinces (more particularly those of the East) have not been explored in depth. Moreover, it seems that the epigraphic and material evidence of the ancient world has not been often used in the discussion of ancient children. Hence, the broadening of the research field (both geographical and cultural) and of the diversity of sources used in the studies of ancient childhood seems to be a desideratum. At the same time, children both as metaphors and real persons often appear in New Testament texts. Therefore, the application of the insights gained by ancient childhood studies in reconstructing the cultural, social and historical reality of ancient children, especially in the context of early Christian communities and families, could be an important contribution to current New Testament studies. We, therefore, invite papers focusing on a) methodological issues and challenges in ancient childhood studies, b) the ancient sources (with a particular emphasis on material and non-literary ones) of children and their reality, c) the family and society roles of children as well as their gradual formation as members of their communities, d) the gender, social class and regional aspect of childhood, and e) the importance of ancient evidence regarding children for the study of New Testament and early Christianity.
2. The second session will be in collaboration with the “The Bible, Ecology, and Sustainability” research group. We invite papers that will focus on hunger, food, and poverty, especially in relation to ancient children. How were their lives affected by poverty or lack of food? What was their place in common meal events, especially in religious contexts? Could they also be recipients of hospitality? Were they included in utopian visions of bliss and prosperity? What is the importance of the data of ancient sources in understanding biblical texts where children are present in food-sharing events?
3. An open session where papers on any topic within the range of the interests of the research unit are welcome.