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Call for applications for 3 one-year postdoctoral fellowships 2014-2015

The Research Centre “Religions and Societies in the Mediterranean world” (RESMED), a laboratory of excellence affiliated to Sorbonne University (Paris) offers three (3) one-year RESMED postdoctoral fellowships, starting September 2014. Deadline for applications: 18 April 2014.


Candidates will have defended their doctorates in France or abroad less than 5 years ago. Candidates holding a PhD from our founding institutions are not allowed to apply (Universities of Paris-Sorbonne, Panthéon- Sorbonne, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes).

Application documents
Application form to download
Application letter
Curriculum vitae
Postdoctoral project description (up to 5 pages)
Two recommendation letters
Electronic copy of the thesis if it not published at the time of application
A significant paper in electronic format

The application may be submitted in French or English.


The application will be sent in pdf format before April 18, 2014 at midnight (Paris) to the Director and the Secretary of the Labex RESMED (,
Decisions will be taken at the end of June 2014.

Starting date of the contract
1st September 2014

Net salary
2000 €/month

A final report has to be provided at the end of the contract.


  • Profile 1. B1. Cultural backgrounds of the Greek Christian exegesis

This profile is about exploring how Christian writers of the first four centuries used notions and practices of the Greek world (edition, theory of interpretation, modes of argumentation, philosophy) to suit their exegetical and doctrinal works. Concerning the texts of the Apostolic Fathers and apologists, the research could focus on the recovery of forms of Greek literature and rationality found in previously independent documents, now unified. The culture of Irenaeus of Lyon could be a research topic in this context. Alexandrian writers like Clement and Origen especially require some attention, considering in particular the newly found original pieces of Origen on the Psalms. The investigation could be expanded to the use of logic in the theological controversies of the fourth century.

  • Profile 2. B2. Food and religion in the Mediterranean world: from polytheistic to monotheistic religions

This research will contribute to the program jointly supported by the UMR Orient et Méditerranée and the Labex RESMED on “Medicine and Food in Antiquity”, in line with:
1- the existing research on “the Syriac version of the Treaty On food composed by Hunain ibn Ishaq” (ERC-FLORIENTAL project led by R. Hawley);
2- a programme of the units of research “Greek Medicine” and “Pharaonic Worlds” on “Food preservation” (international conference held in May 17, 2013);
3- a conference scheduled in April 2014 led by Hervé Monchot and Béatrice Caseau on “Prohibited foods in religions”.
The goal is to focus on dietary practices in a broad sense, to study the links between religion and food from production to consumption, to show the continuities or ruptures between different cultural and religious traditions of the Mediterranean world.
Some topics are proposed:
- Rites and practices developed around growing plants and harvesting (cereals, herbs, etc.), the role of incantations;
- Animal sacrifice and rituals of slaughter, distribution of meat (to priests, warriors, etc.);
- Methods of food preservation (salting, drying, wine making, etc.)
- Distinctive diets (men, women, children), food for gods and food for men, recipes (cooking, pharmacology, magic, etc.), diet interdictions, deviant behaviours (anthropophagy for instance).

  • Profile 3. C1. Music, ritual, sociability in the area of the former Ottoman Empire

In the area of the former Ottoman Empire, festive and musical sociability is mainly called “muhabbet”, literally “love” (from Arabic, as “agape” in French comes from Greek), an intimate and domestic form of some institutional rituals such as the “djem” of the Alevi-Bektashi. Other names are also used to designate these meetings such as “yaranlık”, literally “the appointment of friends”, from Persian “yar”, “friend”, “(the) beloved one”. Lawful or unlawful consumption of alcohol (a part of the ritual in the Bektashi culture) may take place during these festive meetings which often deal with micro-politics as well, according to the contents of the poems that are sung. We invite those studying these “interaction rituals” across the area of the former Ottoman Empire to submit an application.

  • Profile 4. C1. Religious festivals in the Mediterranean in Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages (1st to 10th century).

Are invited to present a proposal, postdoctoral students interested to work on religious festivals of the Late Antique and early mediaeval period. Among the projects that fall in this profile, we include those that address the issue of participation in religious celebrations of members of another religion or another group of the same religion, eg Christians’ participation in Jewish holidays or pagan festivals, the attendance of heretics at religious festivals of communities who proclaim themselves Orthodox, the participation of Muslims in Christian holidays. Is also included the study of restrictions that sources mention about this participation. Will also be considered for this profile those who are interested in aspects of sociability and social practices such as food, songs and dances that took place during these festivals. The successful candidate will participate in the organization of a conference and share editorial work on the themes of religious sociability.

  • Profile 5. C2. Religions and social practices: mutual assistance in multireligious societies

This profile is about studying mutual aid between social groups in urban areas of the Mediterranean in medieval times. Who are the social actors, donators or receivers? What is their economic level and their religious and political position? One might wonder whether a prior relationship is necessary in order to put in place a system of mutual aid. What do these practices reveal about sociability? Once established, do they change social relationships?
How does the assistance to the needy function in various communities? What are the institutional supports? What is the implication of political power in these social practices, in regard to the confession of the dominant group or of the minorities?
Quantitative issues should be explored (such as capital flows or interest), but they will not be the ultimate goal of this research. Economic factors will be treated as social indicators. What are the prohibitions, the limits and transgressions at work thay one may discover through such a research? How can the study of this phenomenon enhance our knowledge of multireligious societies?

- Download the application form (format .doc)
- Download the application form (format .pdf)

Sorbonne University
Orient Méditerranée - UMR 8167
Paris Sorbonne Université
Sorbonne Université - Université Paris 1 [in french]
École Pratique des Hautes Études
Centre Léon Robin sur la pensée antique [in french]
Patrimoines et Langages Musicaux [in french]
Institut de recherche et d'histoire des textes
Archéologies d'Orient et d'Occident et textes anciens (AOROC) - UMR8546 [in french]

© Labex Resmed - 2014