Exalted Spirits: The Veneration of the Dead in Egypt through the Ages

The American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) ,The American University in Cairo (AUC) and the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA) are organizing a joint conference titled Exalted Spirits: The Veneration of the Dead in Egypt through the Ages. This three-day conference will cover the veneration of deceased figures in Egypt from the Pharaonic period up to current times, using the diverse evidence available in terms of texts, images, and lived traditions.

The conference will feature academic papers as well as panel discussions focusing on current practices related to the veneration of the dead and their origins, which may be traced back to ancient Egypt, and is aimed at both academic and non-academic participants. The former will present academic papers, while the latter (which may include creatives from different fields) would participate in panel discussions. Academic papers will be published in a peer-reviewed publication.

We invite people to submit papers relating to the following topics: the definition of ancestor veneration; the different types of individuals who were the focus of cults of the dead [ranging from kings, deceased family members, prominent individuals with saintly powers in society—such as Imhotep in ancient Egypt, Saint Anthony in Coptic Egypt and the Ahl al-Bayt (family of the Prophet) in Islamic Egypt—or more informally in local society, such as Heqaib or local saints whose cults are currently celebrated in villages and towns throughout Egypt]; and the rituals, ceremonies and festivals that are associated with venerated deceased figures. 

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