Material religion and Pompeii: introduction

Jessica Hughes  (The Open University)


This opening essay introduces the term ‘material religion’ and gives a brief account of this academic field and its history. It considers how and why classicists and classical archaeologists have not yet fully engaged with the debates around material religion and indicates some of the reasons why it might be important to do so.

Keywords: material religion, Pompeii, classical archaeology, senses, embodiment, lived religion

Full text: OAJ_ISSUE_10_0_Jessica Hughes_final  (PDF 773KB).


Biographical note 

Jessica Hughes is Senior Lecturer in Classical Studies at The Open University. Her research focuses on aspects of material religion, memory studies, classical reception and the changing religious landscape of Campania, Italy. Her publications include Votive Body Parts in Greek and Roman Religion (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and Sensual Religion: Religion and the Five Senses (Equinox, 2018, co-edited with Graham Harvey).