(JCC) THE CULT & THE CROSS: THE CULT OF MITHRAS, 50 CE
Chair: BIANCA LAMBERT
GRAND CRISIS MANAGER: MARGARET HODSON
crisis manager: FINN THOMPSON
approximate committee size: 20
The year is 50 CE. It’s been a decade and a half since Jesus of Nazareth -- a Jewish carpenter’s son from a backwater village in the Roman Empire -- was crucified at the hands of Pontius Pilate. Early followers of Jesus, who call themselves “The Way,” are a scrappy group of new believers that face persecution and seemingly insurmountable odds as they attempt to spread their message. The Way’s rival ideology is the Cult of Mithras, a mystic religion whose adherents meet in underground temples and swear an oath of secrecy. Mithras is an ancient Persian god quickly gaining in popularity with the Roman military. The Cult of Mithras is also expanding to Roman Africa, Roman Britain, and Roman Syria at the same time that The Way’s missionary activities are stretching towards Antioch, Corinth, Cyprus, and Alexandria. These two groups are engaged in fierce ideological competition to gain adherents, the results of which could forever transform the history the Roman Empire and the Western world.
The Cult of Mithras is centered in Rome, but is quickly expanding towards the western half of the empire. The cult is gaining followers in the Roman world, especially among freedman, slaves, merchants, pirates, soldiers, and minor bureaucrats. The adherents participate in ritual meals and there are seven grades of initiation in order to become a follower. The underground temples -- or mithraeum -- contain imagery of Mithras being born from a rock. The god then kills a bull and eats a feast with the sun god, Sol. The Cult of Mithras must balance their heritage as a secret, underground religion with their desire to spread across the Roman Empire and continue gaining adherents. The Roman Cult of Mithras’ religious ideology is still being developed; there is room for theological growth as the Roman cult diverges from its Persian roots. However, in order to continue gaining followers, the Cult of Mithras must contend with their rivals. The Apostles of Jesus are new on the scene but quickly making waves in amongst Jews and Gentiles alike. It’s up to you to ensure that the word of Mithras emerges triumphant in this battle to win hearts and minds in the Roman world.
Expansion of Ideology
Political & Social Structures of Ancient Rome
Human Migration & Inter-Cultural Exchange
background guide coming soon
NAIMUN strives to provide every delegate with a well-rounded, educational, and enjoyable experience. The learning objectives for the JCC: Cult of Mithras are as follows. Delegates will:
Understand how to develop a religious ideology and gain adherents
Learn about the political and social structure of ancient Rome
Participate in building regional networks throughout vast swathes of disparate territories in the 1st century
About the Chair
Bianca Lambert is a member of the Class of 2020 in Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, and an M.A. Candidate in Georgetown’s Security Studies Program. She is majoring in Science, Technology, and International Affairs (STIA) with a concentration in Security, and minoring in French. After having “studied” abroad for a semester in Lyon, France, she is excited to be back in DC and doing Model UN again. Previously, Bianca has served as a Crisis Analyst, Director, and Chair at both NCSC (Georgetown's University-level Model UN conference) and NAIMUN, and has staffed NAIMUN-Pegasus in Chengdu, China. Most recently, she chaired the Ivorian Cabinet at NCSC XLVII. In addition, she has also served on the Georgetown International Relations Association (GIRA) board which oversees NAIMUN. Outside of staffing, you can find Bianca dancing on the tap team when she’s not procrastinating, studying, and talking about how much she misses California and Brazilian food.
About the GRAND Crisis Manager
Margaret is a member of the Class of 2020 studying International Politics with a concentration in International Law, Institutions, and Ethics and a minor in Arabic. She is very excited to be the Grand Crisis Manager for this year’s Joint Crisis Committees at NAIMUN LVII. In the past, Margaret has served as the Crisis Manager for the Cabinet of the Ivory Coast, 2011 at the 47th National Collegiate Security Conference Crisis (NCSC XLVII), the Crisis Manager for the Ad-Hoc Committee of the Secretary-General at the 56th North American Invitational Model United Nations Conference (NAIMUN LVI), and the Director of Registration for NAIMUN LV. Outside of staffing Model United Nations conferences, Margaret can be found working at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs and tutoring refugee students through Jesuit Worldwide Learning. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring DC and eating smoothie bowls. Margaret can’t wait to welcome you all to NAIMUN LVII for a fast-paced and exciting committee!
About the Crisis Manager:
Finn Thompson is a member of the Class of 2022 in the Georgetown College, seeking a double major in Biology and Computer Science as well as a minor in French. Although he is one of the only STEM major of the Georgetown International Relations Club, his experience in speech and debate and love for politics led him to join Georgetown’s travel MUN team at the beginning of his freshman year. Finn has worked as a Crisis Analyst at both NCSC and NAIMUN, including experience as a CA in JCC: Catalonian Independence at last year’s NAIMUN. He also travels regularly to college-circuit MUN conferences and is planning on studying abroad in France next summer. Finn drastically improved the state of the IRC’s MUN memes upon his arrival to the team and is instantaneously identifiable by his cactus phone case, an iconic keepsake from his last trip abroad to South Korea. MUN aside, Finn works on the advocacy team of GU Pride and drinks absurd amounts of coffee on any given day. He looks forward to working with you all at NAIMUN LVII!