Conference Power of Parables

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International conference Power of Parables

The NWO-project Parables and the Parting of the Ways started in 2014, supervised by Eric Ottenheijm (Utrecht University), Marcel Poorthuis (Tilburg University) and Annette Merz (PThU). This comparative research collects, translates and compares Jewish and Christian parables, and is guided by the question of why the production of parables ceased in Christianity whereas this genre remained in use in Rabbinic Judaism in the 1st and 2nd century AD.

During the last years the researchers have engaged in conversations, seminars, and meetings as to the nature and function of parables. To conclude this research project on parables, the international conference Power of Parables: Narrative and Religious Identity in Late Antiquity will take place from Monday 24th until Wednesday 26nd of June in Utrecht. Several international researchers will contribute to the conference, by presenting their paper on and exchange information about parable (related) research. On Monday, Galit Hasan-Rokem (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) will give a public lecture about “Doublespeak of the Rabbis: Folk Narrative Poetics of late Antique parables and fables”. The three keynote lectures will be given by Tal Ilan (Freie Universität Berlin), Catherine Hezser (SOAS University of London) en Ruben Zimmermann (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz). Furthermore, Lieve Teugels will present her latest book The Meshalim in the Mekhiltot. An Annotated Edition and Translation of the Parables in Mekhilta de Rabbi Yishmael and Mekhilta de Rabbi Shimon bar YochaiSee for the complete programme below.

Colleagues, teachers, researchers and students from the participating universities are invited to join the conference. If you would like to join (a part of) the conference, please register by sending an e-mail to, under mentioning of ‘conference’ and the parts or days of the programme you want to participate in.