The importance of Samaritan Research has gained considerably in recent years. Many new publications have come to light that has cast new light on Samarian - Judean relationship. Archaeology in both regions have altered the picture of both and moved the perspective from a biblically Jerusalem centered view to a broader view, which takes the political and religuous development of both regions into consideration throughout the whole of the first millennium. From being seen as an aberrant Jewish sect and an almost extinct people, Samaritan archaeology and history has proved a continuous existence of the Samarian-Israelite people in the first millennium BCE. The region of Samaria did not suffer the cataclysms of foreign occupation as much as did the regions of Judah and (Benjamin). Yahwist cult places continued to function in spite of the decline of the Israelite kingdom, and the temple on Gerizim was in existence as early as the mid fifth century BCE. Judaeans and Samarians of the Persian and Hellenistic periods had more in common than divided them, and the often purported hostility between the two regions occurred only towards the end of the century, when cult centralisation became a vital political issue for the Hasmonaean rulers.
This session aims at presenting and discussing these new information and its relevance for ancient history and biblical studies in general.
Samarian / Samaritan history, religion, culture and literature are also topics that can be dealt with in this session.