Area 1: Piety and Paideia. Religious Traditions and Intellectual Culture in the World of the Roman Empire

The main research of this interdisciplinary research group is devoted to the “schools” and institutions of higher education within different religious traditions – an intriguing, yet understudied subject. The focus lies on the Christian, Jewish and Pagan worlds during the 2nd and 3rd centuries. The team members intend to analyze these different cultural and religious contexts and their interactions:

How are “schools” and circles of learning defined in these sources?
What importance is ascribed to schools in the creation of religious identities?
Which parallels, which mutual interactions, dissociations and forms of transitions between these schools can be observed?
How do particular modes of teaching and learning correlate with different religious traditions?

Each member of the research group focuses on one educational centre in the Mediterranean area combined with one religious perspective (Christian schools in Rome – Rabbinic education and circles of learning in Palestine – The Museion and higher pagan education in Alexandria).

The goal of the group is to come to a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the higher educational institutions of that time.