Just as we speak of “dead” languages, we say that religions “die out.” Yet sometimes, people try to revive them, today more than ever. The “New Antiquities” workshop, taking place at Freie Universität Berlin, will address this phenomenon through critical examination of how individuals and groups appeal to, reconceptualize, and reinvent the religious world of the ancient Mediterranean as they attempt to legitimize developments in contemporary religious life (1960s–present day). Drawing from the disciplines of religious studies, archaeology, history, philology, comparative literature, and sociology, “New Antiquities” will scientifically investigate a diversity of cultic and geographic milieus, ranging from Goddess-worship to Neo-Gnosticism, from the Americas to Italy and the former Soviet Union. Pioneering studies will discuss the appropriation of academic scholarship in emerging religious cultures, the reception of antiquity in music and new media, and the appropriation of ancient authority amongst ideologues invoking feminism, traditionalism, queer spirituality, and Christian fundamentalism.
The organizers of the “New Antiquities” workshop and editors of the volume following from it are:
Prof. Dr. Almut-Barbara Renger
Dr. Dylan M. Burns