May 9-11: Inner Purity Conference

1st Floor Cocke Hall, Gibson Room
Andrej Petrovic and Ivana Petrovic
UVA Classics

Conference Program

Inner Purity and Pollution in Ancient Mediterranean Religions and Beyond

Thursday, May 9, 2019 to Saturday, May 11, 2019

Organised by the Laboratory for Cultural Pluralism, Institute of Humanities and Global Cultures, and the Department of Classics, University of Virginia.

Conference venue: Gibson Room, Cocke Hall, University of Virginia Charlottesville

The principal aim of this conference is to throw more light on the categories of inner purity and pollution in ancient religious traditions (variously grasped as moral, ethical, or more generally spiritual purity and pollution). A further goal is to illuminate the way individual communities reacted to other purity beliefs and the impact of other societies on individual communities’ purity and pollution beliefs. The conference brings together experts in ancient Egyptian religion, ancient Judaism, early Christianity, Greek and Roman religions, and ancient Buddhism. 

Thursday 9th May

5-5.15 PM Andrej Petrovic, Ivana Petrovic: Introduction

5.15-6.15 PM John Gee: Ancient Egyptian Purity in Practice

6.15-7.15 PM Ivana Petrovic: Justice and Inner Purity in Greek Philosophy and Cult


Friday 10th May

10-11AM Andreas Bendlin: Inner Purity, the Moral Self, and Roman Religion: From the Republic to the 4th Century CE

11AM-12PM Jacob Mackey: The Fetial Oath: Inner Purity, Divine Punishment, & Large-scale Cooperation in Roman Italy

Lunch break

1.30-2.30PM Ian Werrett: Voices in the Wilderness: Qumran, Jesus, and the Purity Systems of Second Temple Judaism

2.30-3.30PM Andrej Petrovic: On Clear Conscience: Syneidesis between Greek Cults and Early Christianity

Coffee break

4-5PM Moshe Blidstein: Ritualization of Inner Purity or Internalization of Ritual Purity? The Early Christian Case

5-6 Reception at the Department of Classics


Saturday 11 May

10-11AM Lily Vuong: ‘Without Stain or Corruption’: The Virgin Mary and Inner Purity in Apocryphal Literature

11AM-12PM Sonam Kachru: Inner Purity: South Asian Prospects for a Comparative Category

12-12.30 Final discussion