CFP: The Role of the Temple in the Ancient Economy

“Money and Cult”
The Role of the Temple in the Ancient Economy

The Irish Society for the Study of the Ancient Near East
Third Annual Conference
When: May 23–25, 2014
Where: Dublin, Ireland

From the conference organizers:

As major social and administrative institutions, often with substantial assets, temples played an important role within the economies of the Ancient Near East. Not only were resources diverted to them for building and cultic use, but many temples also played a role in the creation of wealth and the employment of various strata of society, from priests to scribes to slaves. Similarly, kings both patronised temples and used them as convenient sources of revenue. The interactions between religious needs and economic practicalities were complex and varied significantly over time and location. We therefore invite papers which examine the intertwined roles of cult and economy in the Ancient Near East.

Papers which explore a wide-range of economic aspects of temple cults or the cultic ramifications of economic realities are expected. Appropriate topics include building programmes, educational programmes, sacrificial economies, trade in cultic paraphernalia, systems of tithing and temple taxation, and the relationship of priests to royal administrations. We are also interested in the relationships between temples, such as the temples in Jerusalem, Elephantine, Leontopolis, and on Mount Gerizim (and elsewhere), and how much their interaction may have been aided or hindered by economic aspects.

We invite abstracts of no more than 500 words to reach us by email at by 28 February 2014.