About > Aims and Activities


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The activities of the Centre include a programme of live events (seminars, workshops, conferences), print and online publications on ancient material religion topics, and a suite of Open Access digital resources. We also support the work of PhD students at The Open University working in related topics.

We draw on the advice and expertise of an international advisory board, which includes experts in Greek, Etruscan and Roman religion, as well as leading scholars from the wider field of material religion. Other contributors help us address our aims by writing essays, giving talks and interviews, and contributing to audio and video documentaries. Together, we address a wide range of questions related to the study of ancient material religion, including the following:

  • What are the unique forms and traditions of Greek, Etruscan and Roman material religion (including lived experience and embodied practices as well as material ‘things’)?

  • How and why do these forms and traditions change as they move across time and space? How are they differently experienced by people with different cultural, social, gendered and embodied perspectives? 

  • How are our perspectives on ancient material religion shaped by later views of material culture and the sacred?

  • What is the ‘legacy’ of ancient material religion? For example, how does classical antiquity impact on later religions? And how do the sacred objects, bodies and rituals of classical antiquity permeate the cultural imagination today?

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Photograph ON THIS PAGE REPRODUCED WITH THE KIND PERMISSION OF BARON THYSSEN-BORNEMISZA