International Symposium: The Stuff of the Gods

From 7–9 July 2015 the Swedish Institute at Athens, in collaboration with the British School at Athens, organized a three-day international conference titled

The Stuff of the Gods: The Material Aspects of Religion in Ancient Greece

The conference programme took as its point of departure the idea that the gods of the Greeks liked things and that Greek religion thereby is inseparable from its temples, altars, statues, and votive offerings. As a corollary, to understand Greek religion one has to integrate into any study of its theology and rituals, its distinctive materiality.

The Stuff of the Gods examined this “distinctive materiality” on two levels: firstly, by examining the role of religious objects in human society, and secondly, by looking at the significance that objects were thought to have for the gods themselves. The discussions aimed specifically at exploring the ancient Greek ideas on objects and their materiality, a perspective that has hitherto been given little attention.

The organizers, Matthew Haysom, Maria Mili, and Jenny Wallensten, now wish to thank everyone involved for making the event a great success, filled with new ideas and stimulating discussions.

The proceedings will be published in the series of the Swedish Institute, after a thorough peer-review process.

Research/ Conferences, Seminars & Workshops


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