Rites and Symbols of Caves in Antiquity

Rites and Symbols of Caves in Antiquity
Proposal Deadline: February 28th, 2014
Contacts: dino.maiuri@tiscali.it; alessandro.saggioro@uniroma1.it; sergio.botta@uniroma1.it

From the editors:

Caves have always been considered as places offering shelter from the world and have been variously associated to symbolic values in Ancient cultures. They have also been regarded as gateway to the Underworld, place of the Death, residence of the shadows, since it better shows the Orphic-Pythagorean image of the human body condemned to imprisonment according to the Platonic concept of soma-sema.

The cave-body is like a tomb, but it is also a genetic or palingenetic space mainly due to its chthonic virtue and the intense evocative quality. In an Upanishad it is said that the Atman, who is the Universal Spirit, is contained in a cave; the Judeo-Christian culture has a rich anthology of natural and artificial grottoes; and the oracular property of the cave of the Sibyl or of the adyton of Pythias is outstanding in the Greek-Roman world.

This research arises from the FIRB project “Spazi sacri e percorsi identitari. Testi di fondazione, iconografia, culto e tradizioni nei santuari cristiani italiani fra tarda antichità e Medioevo” (coordinated by Laura Carnevale and Tessa Canella) and aims to collect articles devoted to the symbolic meaning and the cultural use of caves.

This Call for Papers is intended to produce a special issue of the journal Studi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni, which aims to provide a forum for exchange among the many disciplines involved in the study of the religions.

The Editors of this Special Issue welcome articles from different methodological and theoretical views within the field of Religious studies and from a wide comparative perspective.

Scholars are invited to send an abstract (max. 2000 words, containing the title, author(s) name and affiliation, five keywords) that should state the aims of the paper and the methodology used.

Abstracts should be submitted by February 28th, 2014 via email to: dino.maiuri@tiscali.it; alessandro.saggioro@uniroma1.it; sergio.botta@uniroma1.it.

The acceptance of the papers will be communicated before June 30th.