About the Conference


In the world’s varied cultural contexts and religious traditions, both the status and function of ‘sacred’ texts exhibit striking differences. Sacred texts can include both canonical and extra- or post-canonical writings, not only ‘scripture’, but also authoritative ‘secular’ texts and texts which resist any meaningful distinction between sacred and secular. Further, the term ‘text’ itself can encompass a multitude of phenomena, including both oral and written tradition, as well as the body of practice that gives context to both. Due to this diversity, myriad questions arise regarding how religious communities approach and define sacred texts, as well as, reflexively, regarding the methodology by which scholars approach the study of such texts.

This interdisciplinary conference on 15 November 2014 gathers Oxford postgraduates to explore both the meaning and function of ‘sacred texts’ in their varied cultural and religious contexts, and to facilitate a dialogue that sheds light on commonalities and differences within and among disciplines and religious traditions. We invite scholars from all disciplines whose work engages sacred texts or their effects, broadly conceived, to participate with us.

The conference will take place at Ertegun House (37A St. Giles) in Oxford, and is jointly sponsored by Ertegun House and the Oxford University Faculty of Theology and Religion, organized by the Graduate Theological Society (Emily Kempson, Jeremiah Coogan, Jyoti Raghu, Paweł Rochman).