Next Event
PSCO Presentation: Friday, 18 November, 2005

Roundtable Discussion

The second meeting of this year's PSCO will be held in conjunction with the SBL/AAR Conference in Philadelphia on Friday, 18 November 2005 from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm in Regency B at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel (1200 Market).

To take advantage of the presence of persons who cannot normally attend PSCO meetings, the Co-Chairs would like to suggest the following topics for a roundtable discussion (open to all):

1) The question of social models continuing across time: how do we make sense of the oft-cited (but problematic) decline of Egyptian temples in many communities, the resulting itinerancy of Egyptian ritual expertise (either textual or in terms of actual personnel), and the rise of (relatively or symbolic) stationary Holy Man figures (of varying traditions) in administrative positions in the Eastern Roman Empire?

2) The importance of social networks between Ritual Experts as Ritual Experts (such as the linkages within the post-Iamblichean Neoplatonic communities) and the generation of distinct cultural identities out of those networks.

3) How might David Frankfurter's Ritual Expertise model impact the way that we conceptualize Religion in general (as, for instance, a technology vs. a worldview, or reimagining worldview formation and maintenance as a social technology of sorts)?

4) The parameters of expertise (this grows out of the extremely lively discussion at our first meeting this year) and how to apply the term to raw data.