Interfaith dialogue in ancient Egypt

the anthropology of intercultural discourse in New Kingdom Elephantine and Deir el-Medineh

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paper


In ancient Egypt, creating social memory took place in what is generally referred to as 'cult' which itself was rooted in rituals. Ritual, cult, memory and identity are intrinsically linked with each other, and when it comes to Egypt, it is hardly surprising that faith is the glue which holds societies, large or small, together. As it is only natural for social groups such as villagers to interact and exchange ideas with their neighbours about religious traditions (i.e. faith) on a local level, one may ask to what extent such behaviour which is not religious behaviour per se might also have determined dialogues amongst inhabitants of a large metropolis, region or even of another country. By defining interfaith dialogue as constructive interaction between people of different religious traditions, an understanding can be reached about how ancient Egyptians interacted with their neighbours regarding different religious beliefs. Such an investigation does not necessarily need to concentrate exclusively on bilateral relations between ancient Egypt and her neighbours. As this contribution aims to show, even on a micro level, interfaith dialogue can be observed in ancient Egypt.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-143
Number of pages13
JournalStudi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventThe gods of the others, the gods and the others: forms of acculturation and construction of difference in the Egyptian religion: journée d'études in memory of Sergio Donadoni - Sapienza Università di Roma, Rome, Italy
Duration: 23 May 201623 May 2016


  • Egyptology
  • archaeological excavation
  • interfaith dialogue
  • anthropology
  • Deir el-Medineh
  • Elephantine
  • New Kingdom

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