Ancient Israelite Epistemology

Epistemology of the Ancient Fertile Crescent


Annette Schellenberg, Universität Wien
Jan Dietrich, Universität Bonn
Thomas Wagner, Universität Wuppertal

Reflection on knowledge is often assumed to origin in the formation of Greek philosophy since pre-Socratic times. Based on this insight, earlier cultural stages in the ancient Near East, including ancient Israel, are described as archaic. In these “archaic cultures”, reflections on the principles of knowledge and its doc-umentation in written sources are said to have hardly existed. Against this view, new approaches to the study of epistemologies in these cultures have emerged in the recent years. The aim of the conference “Epistemology of the Ancient Fertile Crescent” is to bring these new approaches into dialogue to create a concise picture of epistemological processes in the cultures of this region.

June 22, 2022 (Wednesday)

  • 1.00pm Pre-conference Lunch
  • 2.00pm Words of Welcome
  • 2.15-3.15pm Jan Dietrich (Aarhus) – Epistemologies of the Ancient Mediterranean: Characteristics and Comparisons
  • 3.15-4.15pm Katharine J. Dell (Cambridge) – “Even Though Those Who are Wise Claim to Know, They Cannot Find it Out.” (Eccl 8:17): A Pendulum of Epistemological Perspectives in Ecclesiastes, as Contextualized in Greek Culture
  • 4.15–4.45pm Coffee Break
  • 4.45-5.45pm Mark Sneed (Lubbock) – The Relationship Between Qohelet’s Anthropology and His Epistemology
  • 5.45-6.45pm Thomas Wagner (Wuppertal) – Cognitive Domains and Cultic Rituals: Shared Understanding and Individual Perception
  • 7.00pm Dinner

June 23, 2022 (Thursday)

  • 9.00-10.00am Francesca Rochberg (Berkeley) – Cuneiform Knowledge and Natural Knowledge
  • 10.00-11.00am Hindy Najman (Oxford) – Concepts of Nature in Second Temple Judaism: A Philological and Philosophical Exploration
  • 11.00–11.30am Coffee Break
  • 11.30–12.30am Eva Cancik-Kirschbaum (Berlin) – Ancient Epistemologies in First Philologies
  • 12.30–1.30pm Lunch Break
  • 1.30–2.30pm Jaco Gericke (Vanderbijlpark) – “Come Let us Reason Together” (Isa 1:18): The Comparative-Philosophical Question of Epistemological Commensurability and the Search for Justification Criteria in the Old Testament’s Second-Order Religious Language
  • 2.30–3.30pm Dru Johnson (New York) – Ritual Epistemology in the Hebrew Bible
  • 3.30–4.00pm Coffee Break
  • 4.00–5.00pm Annette Schellenberg (Wien) – “For the Lord Gives Wisdom” (Prov 2:6): Old Testament Notions about the Involvement of God in the Cognition Processes of Humans
  • 5.00–6.00pm Karen Gloy (Luzern) – Hypotaxis versus parataxis: A Discussion of Plato with the Ancient Near Eastern Way of Thinking
  • 6.00–7.00pm Dinner
  • 7.00-8.00pm Marc Van De Mieroop (New York City) – What is Knowledge? A Babylonian Answer (Public Lecture)
  • 8.00pm Reception

June 24, 2022 (Friday)

  • 8.30–9.30am Christoph Horn (Bonn) – The Epistemology of Wisdom in Ancient Neoplatonism
  • 9.30–10.30am Ludwig Morenz (Bonn) – Reading a readers perspective: Ambiguity and the art of reading in MK-Egypt. A case stuy of Ankhu (stela Liege I/630) – a free floating individual?
  • 10.30–11.00am Coffee Break
  • 11.00–12.00am Douglas Yoder (Los Angeles) – The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil: A Case Study in Comparative Epistemology
  • 12.00–13.00am Esther Heinrich-Ramharter (Wien) – Formal Aspects of the Tun-Ergehen-Connection in the Book of Job
  • 13.00–13.30am Final Discussion and Farewell

Programme Download (update 22 June 2022)

zuletzt bearbeitet am: 22.06.2022

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