Laura Suzanne Lieber
Professor , Duke University
This project examines Jewish, Samaritan, and Christian liturgical poetry from the fourth to the seventh century CE, through the lens of late ancient theories of oratory, rhetoric, and performance, and in light of material artifacts of the performative world (theaters, synagogues, and churches). The resulting volume will provide scholars of early Judaism, early Christianity, and classical studies with a new method for understanding these often-overlooked yet once immensely popular and influential works of literature and their pivotal role in late ancient society. Furthermore, while the focus will be on texts from the Mediterranean and Near East, the approach—literarily sensitive, culturally attuned, and comparative—will be of broad interest to those who work in literature, rhetoric, theater, and history.