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

Wuppertal 2021 Call for Papers

This unit is not accepting any proposals for the 2021 conference

The Comparative Methodology session at EABS 2020 Wuppertal seeks papers that address issues of methodology in comparative analyses of ancient texts. We desire contributions that address the questions of “why” and “how” to juxtapose New Testament texts with non-biblical texts from Early Judaism and Greco-Roman sources. Papers should follow a two-part approach, firstly dealing with questions of method, secondly presenting a case study of said method through the juxtaposition of (ideally) two ancient texts. 

Authors should attempt to address one or more of the following questions: 
1. How should we construct a comparison between two texts, i.e., what are the necessary criteria? 
2. Why are comparisons necessary to biblical studies, or are they? 
3. How should the outcomes of comparative work be assessed in terms of value, or even legitimacy? 
4. What level of competence in various texts and authors will justify one’s comparative work?

We welcome your submissions for EABS 2020 in Wuppertal