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Gregory Woolf


Gregory Woolf - University of London, UK

Greg Woolf is Professor of Classics and Director of the Institute of Classical Studies in London. He has degrees from Oxford and Cambridge and held fellowships at both universities before taking up the chair of Ancient History at the University of St Andrews which he held from 1998 until 2014. He is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and of the British Academy and he is a member of the Academia Europaea. He has held visiting positions in Italy, France, Brazil and Germany where he is an Associate Fellow of the Max Weber Kolleg of the University of Erfurt. He held a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship and is the recipient of an Annelise-Maier Forschungspreis from the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung.



Project: Professor Woolf will be working in parallel with Professor Jaime Alvar Ezquerra on a set of linked investigations on the experience of ancient polytheism, especially in relation to ritual conducted in dedicated spaces. Classical religion has often been constructed on the basis of normative rules and institutions, and this has been a productive way of understanding the shared communal cults of ancient polities in particular. Our approach takes a different starting point, beginning with embodied understanding of religion and sensory dimensions of epiphany on which we will run a major conference in Madrid. Alvar’s expertise on mystery religions and on the ritual traditions of the Iberian peninsula and Woolf’s on prehistoric ritual and lived ancient religion will complement each other in a series of follow up project which will cumulatively develop a different way of approaching both public cults and those of elective religious communities.

Imagen Cátedras de Excelencia 2014