Guest Lecture Dr. Rick Bonnie (University of Helsinki): Synagogues and Ritual Baths: Exploring Jewish Religious Practices in Early Roman Palestine

Our physical environment shapes our thoughts, texts, and practices. This perspective remains understudied in the fields of Biblical studies and early Jewish studies. This lecture delves into Jewish material heritage from the Early Roman period (c. 100 BCE – 100 CE) of communal synagogues and private ritual purification baths (miqva’ot). It will explore the social meaning and functioning of these archaeological features by considering their physicality: for example, walls, entrances, channels, and rain water. This ultimately leads to an exploration of how synagogues and ritual baths were felt and understood by their communities.


Organizer: Ulla Tervahauta (