Next month, Cambridge University Press will publish The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Mediterranean Religions, edited by Barbette Spaeth (College of William and Mary). The publisher’s description follows.
In antiquity, the Mediterranean region was linked by sea and land routes that facilitated the spread of religious beliefs and practices among the civilizations of the ancient world. The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Mediterranean Religions provides an introduction to the major religions of this area and explores current research regarding the similarities and differences among them. The period covered is from the prehistoric period to late antiquity, that is, ca. 4000 BCE to 600 CE. Nine essays providing an overview of the characteristics and historical developments of the major religions of the region, including those of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Syria-Canaan, Israel, Anatolia, Iran, Greece, Rome, and early Christianity. Five essays dealing with key topics in current research on these religions, including violence, identity, the body, gender, and visuality, taking an explicitly comparative approach and presenting recent theoretical and methodological advances in contemporary scholarship.