Sacred Trees and Tree Persons - a seminar by Dr Anna Perdibon - Milton Keynes - Wednesday 16th October 2019

Events > Dr Anna Perdibon


A lunchtime seminar at the Open University by Dr Anna Perdibon from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Wednesday 16th October 2019.

The talk will begin at 1pm, and a sandwich/buffet lunch will be available from 12.30pm. If you have any special dietary or other requirements, or any questions about the event, please email the organiser Jessica Hughes (

The seminar will take place in Seminar Room 6 in The Open University Library. Come into the main glass door entrance, and turn left to find the lift and stairs to the second floor. There will be signs posted on the day.

This is a free event but spaces are limited, so please follow the link below to book your place via EventBrite.

Abstract: “The religious world of the ancient Mesopotamians is rich and multifaceted, with a dense network of entangled meanings. Nature, landscape, cosmos, divinity and personhood are all intertwined threads of ancient Mesopotamian material religion. This paper will offer some insights into the ancient emic relationships between humans and arboreal entities in Mesopotamia. Trees were conceptualized and related to as “other-than-human” persons – sacred and cosmic entities connected to deities and other visible and invisible inhabitants of the ancient Mesopotamian world, kin to deities and humans, and approached with respect in the cult. Moreover, trees and other vegetal entities played significant roles in healing and purifying rituals. It was in ritual and magical performances that the agency, materiality and spirituality of arboreal persons became fully manifest, indicating a relational cosmos and the animate nature of ancient cuneiform cultures. This evidence forces us to question the western dichotomies of nature/culture, subject/object, animate/inanimate, natural/supernatural in order to reassess ancient religious experiences from an emic perspective.”

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