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Facebook and Religious Studies

February 2015
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There are many opinions out there about Facebook (FB); some spend much too much time on it (and they admit that), some are dependent on a daily basis (and they deny it), others (so they at least say) can abstain from it, others (so they say), are not even inscribed as members.

I, for my self, must admit that once being a member, it is hard to quit. Hence I try to make the best out of it. I have namely discovered that there are several very interesting groups, focusing on interesting religious, even Biblical topics, in a scholarly way. Here is some groups I can recommend (you can find them by logging in and using the search function at the top of the FB page):

Corpus Hellenisticum Novi Testamentum

The program unit’s general description is to read and discuss ancient Greek materials that provide insight into the literary and religious worlds of early Christianity and to read and discuss papers that analyze early Christian texts in dialogue with Hellenistic materials.

228 members.

ALMMG – Ancient Levant and Mediterranean multidisciplinary Gathering

ALMMG is a gathering of archaeologists,
historians and multidisciplinary scientists interested in the ancient Near East, Levant and Mediterranean, and in the study of archeo-industry. The essence of the gathering is to form a free, social-professional network, sharing data and views, and encouraging scientific discussions and cooperation among members, through interdisciplinary collaboration.
ALMMG is a forum for individuals, scholars and graduate students, practicing in ancient Levantine and Mediterranean prehistory and history, and in the various disciplines involved in the study of ancient history and archaeology.

2359 members.

This group is closed; one have to apply for membership by writing one of the administrators.

Enoch Seminar: Second Temple Judaism and Christian Origins

This is a scholarly page devoted to the study of ancient Judaism. The Enoch Seminar (www.enochseminar.org) was born in 2001. Its goal is to bring together international specialists in Second Temple Judaism and Christian Origins. We have four major activities: (1) the biennial Enoch Seminar (with its Proceedings); (2) the biennial Enoch Graduate Seminar; (3) the biennial Nangeroni Meetings; (4) “4 Enoch: The Online Encyclopedia of Second Temple Judaism and Christian Origins” www.4enoch.org

Public group;  58 members.

IOQS – International Organization for Qumran Studies

The International Organization for Qumran Studies (IOQS) is an international collaboration platform for scholars in the field of Dead Sea Scrolls studies. The IOQS was founded in the summer of 1989 in Groningen at an international conference. The website of the IOQS is hosted by the Groningen Qumran Institute. Eibert Tigchelaar of the K.U.Leuven is Executive secretary of the IOQS.

Public group.  436 members

However, The IOQS facebook group was established as a forum for communication among active scholars in the field of Dead Sea Scrolls Studies. Requests by non-specialists to join the group will be considered on the basis of demonstrated interest in the academic study of the Scrolls and related literature. If you would like to be considered for membership in the facebook group, but are not a published author in this field, then you may write to group admin to request such consideration.

History of Religions

History of Religions’ group deals with the scientific study of religions in order to emphasize as many perspectives as possible within this field of study.

Closed group. 1311 members.

A few comments:

These are the 5 religious FB groups I am most familiar with; there might be several others; write a comment if you want to pinpoint some others.

All of these groups are meant for scholarly discussions; as you see, some of them are even closed to non.members. But for all of them it will be that participants are expected to have some sort of scholarly education or even expertise.

Next posting will be about FB groups related to the study of the Bible, especially the New Testament. Stay tuned!  🙂


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