Call for Papers: “Judaeans in the Persian Empire” (Cordoba, July 2015)

by Jason Silverman

At the 2015 European Association of Biblical Studies conference in Cordoba, Spain (12–15 July, 2015), I’ll be co-chairing a new research group with Caroline Waerzeggers and Anne-Mareike Wetter (both Leiden University), called “Judaeans in the Persian Empire“. 

We want this research group to treat the Persian Empire as a significant social and historical context for the development of Second Temple Judaism rather than just a chronological time frame. The emphasis is more on historiographic than literary questions, with a strong commitment to interaction with cognate disciplines (e.g., Assyriology, Achaemenid studies, Iranology, social sciences). We are strongly hoping to facilitate dialogue between a number of sub-disciplines within the Ancient Near East as much as possible.

Our first topic/call for papers is “Focus on Dating: Establishing firm chronological touchstones for historiography and literary texts.” Biblical scholars increasingly agree on the crucial nature of the centuries of Persian rule, but criteria for dating texts and social changes remain elusive. This call seeks to determine how and what can be dated, drawing on evidence from across the Persian Empire and from varied methodologies. One session will have invited scholars of the Achaemenid Empire, and all scholars are invited to submit for one or more open sessions. We especially encourage approaches which begin with extra-biblical evidence. Papers dealing with historiography of the Persian Empire, methodology for dating texts, and methodologies for discerning historical redactions are encouraged.


The full programme of the research group “Judeans in the Persian Empire“, as well as the Call for Papers for the sessions at the conference in Cordoba can be found on the website of the European Association of Biblical Studies. Note: the deadline to submit an abstract is March 15, 2015.