Debating Conversion in Different Historical Contexts
International Conference

26th -29th May 2014

An International Conference by The Center for the Study of Conversion & Inter-Religious Encounters in Cooperation with Israeli Centers of Research Excellence, Israeli Science Foundation and  Council for Higher Education


26th -29th May 2014, Oren Conference Hall (Ulam Knassim Aleph), Building 26,
Marcus Family Campus, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva


The first aim of the conference is to explore the broad range of available literary sources in which relevant information about converts can be found and discuss the methodology for extracting such information and analyzing it. Scholars of all disciplines, interests, geographic and chronological focuses are invited to propose papers which will shed light on the extant data and propose methodological strategies for its accumulation and analysis.


Sessions might include, but are not limited to, such topics as:


Law and conversion: courts records, regulations, and legal opinions

Religious and Secular Governance: decrees, official records,

Narrative and conversion: historiography, hagiography, biography, poetry

Intellectual and cultural brokerage: convert-authored scientific and educational treatises, poetry, and fiction

Theology: debates, exegesis, polemics, and apologetics

Archeology: tombs, dedications, houses of worship

Psychological, linguistic and semiotic analysis of conversion texts


We especially welcome papers that address related texts from the Medieval and Early Modern periods, but also welcome proposals dealing with Antiquity and the Modern Era which bear relevance to the theme of the conference.


The second aim of the conference is to showcase the proposed database and prepare the ground for international cooperation on inputting relevant data. Participants are requested to prepare materials relevant to one or more converts (or an example of mass conversion) according to the parameters of the database set out above. We will study these test cases together, input the materials, and attempt to deal with the problems that arise, thereby creating a protocol for the database and ironing out the difficulties.


Full Program


Photo Album

Videos from the Conference

Contact Information


For more information please feel free to contact the conference administrator:

Bat-el Gozlan: