Sensing Divinity: Incense, religion and the ancient sensorium

  • Start Date: June 23, 2017 at 9:00 am
  • End Date: June 24, 2017 at 5:00 pm
  • Event Link:
  • Location: British School at Rome and the École française de Rome, Via Gramsci 61 00197 Rome, Italy
  • Ticket Price: 0.00

This conference will explore the history of a medium that has occupied a pivotal role in Mesopotamian, Greek, Roman and Judeo-Christian religious tradition: incense.

According to Margaret E. Kenna in her provocative 2005 article ‘Why does incense smell religious?’, this aromatic substance became a diagnostic feature of Greek orthodoxy during the Byzantine period, but it is clear that incense was also extensively used in the rituals of earlier polytheistic societies to honour the gods. Fragrant smoke drifting up towards the heavens emblematized the communication that was established between the mortal and the immortal realms, which in turn contributed to the sensory landscape of the sanctuary.

Keynote speakers:

  • Joël Candau (University of Nice)
  • Esther Eidinow (University of Nottingham)

For more information, please visit the Conference webpage.

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