Conference on Religious and Philosophical Conversion in Ancient Mediterranean Traditions

We are pleased to announce the Conference on Religious and Philosophical Conversion in Ancient Mediterranean Traditions (CoRPC), which will take place at the University of Bonn from 25 to 27 of September 2018 ( ).


Steering Committee

Kelley Coblentz Bautch (St. Edward’s University in Austin)

Athanasios Despotis (Universität Bonn)

Edith M. Humphrey (Pittsburgh Theological Seminary)

Hermut Löhr (Universität Bonn)


Rationale: Research on the experience of religious conversion or spiritual transformation is necessarily interdisciplinary and interest in this field grows progressively. In light of this important and burgeoning area of study, CoRPC explores conversion or converting experience in the environment of the ancient Hellenistic world(s) with attention to early Judaism and early Christianity/the New Testament. Presentations will undertake both historical and philological reconstructions relying on source material and utilising interdisciplinary approaches. Similarly, discussions take up the literary use of the motif of conversion, the topic of philosophical conversion as well as ritual, social and embodied aspects of spiritual transformation.

CONFIRMED KEYNOTE SPEAKERS (in alphabetical order)

Pierre-Yves Brandt, Lausanne

Natacha Bustos, Rosario

Stephen Chester, Chicago

Athanasios Despotis, Bonn

Edith M. Humphrey, Pittsburgh

Miguel Herrero de Jauregui, Madrid

Rikard Roitto, Stockholm

We are accepting papers for the following main subjects of discussion:

1. Theorising conversion and de-conversion

2. “Turning” in the Hebrew Bible

3. Conversion rhetorics in Hellenistic Judaism

4. Spiritual transformation in the purview of the Qumran Communities

5. Conversion in the New Testament and Christian Apocrypha

6. Philosophical conversion

7. Conversion and the pagan mysteries

8. Early Christian reception of the New Testament texts

9. Polemical and satirical approaches to religious and philosophical conversion

10. Ecumenical readings

11. CSR (Cognitive Science of Religion) approaches to conversion experience in the Jewish and Hellenistic world


Abstracts of no more than 300 words for 20-minute papers should be sent to by 30 th January 2018. The abstracts will be reviewed by 15th of February.


We look forward to hearing from you and please do not hesitate to contact us at with any questions.

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