Mediterranean Archaeology Collaborative Specialization (MACS) Program Lecture Series presents…
Dr. John Kloppenborg
Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto
"Social Networks and the Diffusion of elective cults in Antiquity"
Elective cults such as the cult of Sarapis, Isis, Mithras, Jupiter Dolichenus, and Christ propagated via social networks created by a variety of institutions, including commercial relationships, elite patronage, physical contiguity, craftwork, and translocal guilds. Understanding the diffusion of cults involves at least three factors: the existence of durable networks of communication; the ‘ecology’ of each of the cults; and the threshold needed for activation of the cultic behaviour.