The Executive Board and Directors of the International Catacomb Society announce with great pleasure the Shohet Scholar Grant Program recipients for 2021-2022. In this application cycle, the ICS sought to to support specifically
junior scholars without full-time employment, early career (untenured) faculty, or young scholars who
receive little to no institutional support for their research. As always, it was not easy to make a selection, since all the projects had interesting aspects and were well worth funding.

  1. Chris Stantis (Research Fellow, National Museum of Natural History) and Kevin Salesse (Postdoc, Université Libre de Bruxelles) “Awakening the dead: approaching the social fabric of Pompeii through mobility and funerary customs using molecular bioarchaeology.” This project seeks to shed new light on the social fabric of Pompeii through the mobility dynamics and funerary practices of its inhabitants from a longue durée perspective by analyzing 238 human skeletons.
  2. J. Gregory Given (Independent Scholar), “Open Letters: Ignatius of Antioch and the Reconstruction of Early Christianity.” An analysis of the letters of Ignatius of Antioch that argues they are best interpreted as an “open text” and outlines the larger implications for Early Christian Studies, Classics and other related fields.
  3. Rebecca Harris (untenured Assistant Professor, Messiah University), “Living in the Liminal: The Present as a Place of Access in Qumran Literature.” Applying theories of liminality to the archaeology and literature of the Qumran community, this study demonstrates how Qumran group identity and ritual-liturgical practice cultivated a sense of present communion with divine beings and offered the worshiper assurance of future incorporation into the heavenly realm. This project brings together the study of texts and archaeology with theory.

The Shohet Scholars Grant Program of the International Catacomb Society desires to support scholars of demonstrated promise and ability who are judged capable of producing significant, original research that is consistent with the above goal. Shohet Scholars may do their research in the fields of archaeology, art history, classical studies, history, comparative religions, or related subjects. The work need not focus explicitly on the Roman catacombs, but it should be within the sphere of the Mediterranean world from the late Hellenistic Period to the end of the Roman Empire. Of special interest are interdisciplinary projects that approach traditional topics from new perspectives. Project abstracts of past Shohet Scholar Grant Program recipients can be found here. To learn more about the Shohet Scholars Program, and upcoming deadlines for applications, please visit this link.

With many thanks to our colleagues in the jury for giving their time, energy, and wisdom to a successful outcome.

Sincerely,
Prof. Annewies van den Hoek,
President of the International Catacomb Society

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International Catacomb Society

The International Catacomb Society was founded in 1980 by art historian Estelle Shohet Brettman (1925-1991). The society is dedicated to the preservation and documentation of the Jewish catacombs and other rare vestiges of history that illustrate the common influences on Jewish, Christian, and pagan iconography and funerary practices during the time of the Roman Empire. The society also strives to increase knowledge about the interconnections between Judaism, Christianity, and the surrounding ancient world by issuing grants, sponsoring lectures, and disseminating information and publications.