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Congresses

2014 International Meeting

Vienna, Austria

Meeting Begins: 7/6/2014
Meeting Ends: 7/10/2014

Call For Papers Opens: 10/28/2013
Call For Papers Closes: 2/12/2014
Requirements for Participation

Program Units

 

“Literary Features” – Fact or Fiction (EABS)

Karolien Vermeulen
Elizabeth R.Hayes
Description: The research group aims at providing a forum for scholars with an interest in “literary features” in ancient Near Eastern texts, such as paronomasia, Janus parallelism, chiasm, and double entendre, drawing on a variety of methodological frameworks and as such reflecting the current trends in scholarship on the literariness of these features.

Call for papers: The 2014 joint session of the ISBL Stylistics and the Hebrew Bible section and the EABS “Literary Features” – Fact or Fiction section invite submissions for three sessions in Vienna.

The first session comprises invited paper and focuses upon the intersection of stylistics and the message of Genesis.

In addition to the session with invited speakers, we also solicit papers for two open sessions:

  • The first session will explore the nexus between stylistics and ideology. For this session preference will be given to studies that explain the manner in which the author or redactor utilizes style in service of ideological concerns, be they polemical or otherwise.
  • The second open session will explore various devices present in the Hebrew text and focus on ways they can enhance the reader’s understanding of the text. For this session papers should address a specific feature in any given book or combination of books. Features can be semantic, structural, grammatical or phonetic in nature or consist of a mixture of these elements (examples: hendiadys, (Janus) parallelism, geminate clusters, paronomasia …).

Also welcome are papers that explore Hebrew stylistics from the perspective of a well-articulated grammatical or linguistic theory. Papers on topics in Genesis are particularly welcome, as a publication of selected essays is being planned.

Ancient Near East

Stephen C. Russell
Description: The ancient Near East section explores the texts and material culture of the ancient world, especially Egypt, the Levant, Anatolia, and Mesopotamia from the birth of writing through the Hellenistic period. Our aim is to study the ancient world with a variety of methods and from a variety of perspectives—anthropological, archaeological, art-historical, economic, legal, literary, philological, sociohistorical, etc. We welcome work that reads the literature or material culture of one region against another, as well as work that is more limited in scope. Each year, we anticipate hosting two panels: one devoted to any aspect of the study of the ancient Near East, and one focussing on a more narrowly defined theme, region, approach, or time period.

Call for papers: The ancient Near East section explores the texts and material culture of the ancient world, especially Egypt, the Levant, Anatolia, and Mesopotamia from the birth of writing through the Hellenistic period. Our aim is to study the ancient world with a variety of methods and from a variety of perspectives—anthropological, archaeological, art-historical, economic, legal, literary, philological, sociohistorical, etc. We welcome work that reads the literature or material culture of one region against another, as well as work that is more limited in scope. Each year, we anticipate hosting two panels: one devoted to any aspect of the study of the ancient Near East, and one focussing on a more narrowly defined theme, region, approach, or time period. This year, in addition to papers on any aspect of the study of the ancient Near East, we welcome papers on religious spaces and structures. Such papers might treat religious spaces within the sphere of the household, those at the local level of clans and towns, or those of national and international significance. They might also take up the imagined spaces of the mythic past or of realms beyond the material world. Papers focussing on literature and material culture are equally welcome, as are those that engage theoretical literature on ritual and space and those that do not.

Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible

Joel M. LeMon
Christopher B. Hays
Description: This section, formerly titled Iconography and the Bible, examines the ways that ancient pictorial material informs interpretations of biblical texts and vice-versa. We welcome papers that explore the relationships between iconographic and textual materials as well as papers that deal exclusively with iconographic issues.

Call for papers: This section examines the ways that ancient pictorial material informs interpretations of biblical texts and vice-versa. We welcome papers that explore the relationships between iconographic and textual materials as well as papers that deal exclusively with iconographic issues. We are particularly glad to be able to host this program unit in close collaboration with the EABS 'Iconography and Biblical Studies' research group. In addition to two invited sessions, we will have one open session and a session devoted to the the topic of "iconographic constellations." For this session, we solicit papers that explore the ways that textual and pictorial constellations cohere and interact with one another.

Ancient Near Eastern Traditions in the Biblical World and Beyond

Gebhard Selz
Description: This program unit focuses on reception of Ancient Near Eastern texts in the Bible, the Tanakh as well as in Biblical and extra-Biblical apocrypha. In a broader scope the role of these texts mediating Ancient Near Eastern belief system to surrounding or subsequent cultures may be addressed. At the beginning of the 20thcentury such issues played a salient role in the so-called “Babel-Bibel” controversy. Increasing specialization in the various fields as well as the dubiousness of many the former hypotheses have since obscured such comparative approaches. Therefore partial re-evaluation of these topics seems promising.

Call for papers: The Ancient Near Eastern Traditions unit invites papers which concentrate on individual aspects of the reception of Ancient Near Eastern belief systems in the Biblical world as well as on their afterlife in surrounding and subsequent cultures. Religious, cultic, mythological, stylistic and linguistic features may be addressed and an awareness of the methodological and hermeneutic problems involved will be highly appreciated.

Anthropology and the Bible (EABS)

Emanuel Pfoh
Philip R. Davies
Description: The aim of this unit is to foster ethnographic readings of biblical stories, both Old and New Testaments, and anthropological perspectives on the archaeology, the history and the literature of ancient Palestine in its Near Eastern context. Relevant topics for discussion are:-Political and historical anthropology of ancient Palestine (city-states, urbanization, state-formation processes, ethnogenesis).?-Mediterranean anthropology in biblical narrative (patronage, hospitality, feud, honour and shame, food).?-Sociology and anthropology of religion and ancient Palestinian cultic and ritual data (aniconism, iconography, burial, cultic places, etc.).?-Sociology and anthropology of biblical studies (the production of academic knowledge and its impact on society).?-Comparative analysis of Biblical and Eastern Mediterranean literature from an anthropological perspective.

Call for papers: For the 2014 meeting in Vienna, the Anthropology and the Bible research group will have a special session on Ethnicity, Archaeology & Texts. Participation is by invitation only.

Anti-Semitic Readings of the Bible

Armin Lange
Susanne Gillmayr-Bucher
Description: This seminar wants to survey the anti-Semitic reception history of the Bible from its beginnings in antiquity until today based on selected examples. We aim at documenting the continuities and discontinuities in the anti-Semitic interpretation of biblical texts as well as their motivations, historical and cultural contexts, and their repercussions for scholarly approaches to the Bible today. Although most presentations in this program unit are by invitation some submissions are welcome.

Call for papers: This seminar wants to survey the anti-Semitic reception history of the Bible from its beginnings in antiquity until today based on selected examples. We aim at documenting the continuities and discontinuities in the anti-Semitic interpretation of biblical texts as well as their motivations, historical and cultural contexts, and their repercussions for scholarly approaches to the Bible today. Although most presentations in this program unit are by invitation some submissions are welcome.

Apocalyptic Literature

Lorenzo DiTommaso
Description: The Apocalyptic Literature Section provides the International Meeting’s only general forum for studies related to apocalyptic literature. The Section welcomes papers that engage the wide range of apocalyptic texts, that provide analysis of the history and conventions of apocalyptic literature, and that employ diverse methodological perspectives.

Call for papers: The Apocalyptic Literature Unit invites papers in the following areas: 1) We invite papers on all aspects of the study of ancient apocalyptic literature, using diverse methodologies. We encourage proposals that explore apocalyptic texts from interpretive perspectives that have been traditionally under-represented in the academy, including African, African-American, Asian, Asian-American, Latina/o, Pacific Islander, and Post-colonial hermeneutical approaches. 2) We invite papers on the topic "Apocalyptic Text: Visual and Written". Possible topics to consider in relation to apocalyptic literature and related artwork from all periods include beauty/false beauty and their relation to holiness; senses and sensory experience; emotional and cognitive responses to apocalyptic imagery; theories of vision; and aesthetics. We welcome papers with links to collections in our host-city, Vienna, and to the history of the city and its surrounding region. 3) We invite papers on the relation between saintly lives and apocalyptic traditions and literature. In addition, the Apocalyptic Literature Unit will feature a joint panel with the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha and Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism sections on the topic of "Apocalypticism in Late Antique Christianity: New Perspectives, Fresh Challenges." Six invited papers will discuss apocalyptic texts, themes, and traditions in Christianity from the second century CE to the rise of Islam. The discussion will be channeled towards comprehending the distinctive nature of late antique Christian apocalypticism, describing its expressions in their various social and cultural ecologies, and formulating a new understanding of its role as "apocryphal" literature and its relationship with "gnostic" categories. The goal of the session is to move towards the preparation of a comprehensive volume on the apocalypticism in late antique Christianity in light of recent scholarship.

Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha

Tobias Nicklas
Description: The Section fosters ongoing study of extra-canonical texts, as subjects of literary and philological investigation; as evidence for the history of religion, theology, and cult practice; and as documents of the socio-symbolic construction of traditions along lines of class and gender.

Call for papers: This year the section will have two sessions. The first session will be open to various topics within the study of Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha. The second session will feature a joint panel with the Apocalyptic Literature and the Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism sections on the topic of "Apocalypticism in Late Antique Christianity: New Perspectives, Fresh Challenges." Six invited papers will discuss apocalyptic texts, themes, and traditions in Christianity from the second century CE to the rise of Islam. The discussion will be channeled towards comprehending the distinctive nature of late antique Christian apocalypticism, describing its expressions in their various social and cultural ecologies, and formulating a new understanding of its role as "apocryphal" literature and its relationship with "gnostic" categories. The goal of the session is to move towards the preparation of a comprehensive volume on the apocalypticism in late antique Christianity in light of recent scholarship.

Apostolic Fathers and Related Early Christian Literature

Paul A. Hartog
Taras Khomych
Description: This unit fosters academic discourse focused upon the “Apostolic Fathers” and supplemental literature, as transmitters of earlier traditions; as reflections of theology, ethics, and worship; as means of identity and community formation; and as subjects of literary and social-theory investigations.

Call for papers: This year, we especially invite papers reflecting the theme of "Women as Wives, Widows, Leaders, Legends, Mothers, and Martyrs" in the Apostolic Fathers and Other Early Christian Literature. Papers may address these topics through historical, literary, theological, ethical, or socio-cultural lenses. Beyond this particular focus, the program unit also welcomes other papers investigating any early Christian text(s) up to the year 250 (thus including but not being limited to the so-called "Apostolic Fathers").

Archaeology and Diaspora Judaism

Nóra Dávid
Description: This unit augments archaeology-related sessions organized at the International Meeting by providing focus on diaspora Judaism.

Call for papers: Archaeology provides a great amount of data about Judaism both in- and outside of Judea. For the history of ancient diaspora Judaism archeological finds are among our most important sources. There is a great and increasing amount of scholarly literature on diaspora Judaism. As ancient diaspora Judaism is being studied in different parts of the world and publications on it are written in many cases in the respective local languages and/or published in national journals this literature is neither easily accessible for the members of the Society nor even known. The aim of this panel is to bring together scholars researching different areas of ancient diaspora Judaism in the Roman Empire. Besides the already widely researched regions and groups (such as e.g. the Jews in ancient Egypt and in the city of Rome) the panel intends to target diaspora communities not as well known to a broader scholarly public (e.g. Asia-Minor, North-Africa, Britannia, etc.). Besides the invited speakers we are happy to accept papers as well!

Authority and Influence in Biblical Texts

Jan G. van der Watt
Description: The aim of this seminar is to investigate the nature of authority and leadership language as it is used in Biblical documents (both Old and New Testament). Since definitions of what leadership really is vary widely, the seminar uses a functional approach. Contributors will be asked to focus on the texts of the Old and New Testaments (each according to his or her expertise) and to investigate how authority is expressed and handled, but also how a group is convinced to move along with a leader to a common goal. Especially the dynamics of language, expression, rhetorics, etc. will be focused on.

Call for papers: The aim of this seminar is to investigate the nature of authority and leadership language as it is used in Biblical documents (both Old and New Testament). Since definitions of what leadership really is vary widely, the seminar uses a functional approach. Contributors will be asked to focus on the texts of the Old and New Testaments (each according to his or her expertise) and to investigate how authority is expressed and handled, but also how a group is convinced to move along with a leader to a common goal. Especially the dynamics of language, expression, rhetorics, etc. will be focused on.

Bible and Cinema

Klaus Davidowicz
Frank Stern
Description: This unit is organized by the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Jüdische Studien in Österreich. The unit engages with the film adaption of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. With a focus on the US, only cinematographic adaptions will be considered. It will be asked: 1) How are biblical figures presented and how are they are altered? What remains of the biblical source texts in movies dedicated to them? Are cinematographic adaptions of biblical themes influenced by extrabiblical texts such as Josephus and Philo? Which role plays antisemitism in film adapations of the New Testament Passion narratives?

Call for papers: Papers fitting the unit's description are welcome.

Bible and Empire

C.L. Crouch
Jonathan Stökl
Description: A unit examining the influence of imperial political powers on the development of the Bible in its historical context as well as the Bible’s use and reception throughout subsequent history.

Call for papers: For the 2014 IM in Vienna the Bible and Empire group invites papers addressing the interface between Bible(s), empire(s) and identities, including ethnic, religious, political, economic or class, and cultural identities. There will be at least two sessions, both open. Session I will focus on the biblical texts and the ancient empires (Egyptian, Assyrian, Greek, etc.). Session II will consist of papers examining the use and reception of the Bible in the context of the modern empires, from the perspective of those subjected to imperial power as well as by empire-builders themselves. Abstracts should be submitted via the SBL website in the usual way. Queries may be addressed to the chairs (carly.crouch@nottingham.ac.uk, jonathan.stokl@kcl.ac.uk).

Bible and Its Influence: History and Impact

Andrew Mein
Mary Mills
Description: This program unit explores how the Bible has been used and/or influential in the way it has been received in society. The focus is upon the reception of the text in contexts other than a narrow critical-academic one.

Call for papers: This program unit deals with the interface between biblical text and its reception, through cultural modes such as art, music, politics. For this meeting there will be four sessions which will be held jointly with the parallel unit of EABS. Two sessions will be open to any proposals which meet the overall criteria of the unit, one will be devoted to the theme of Bible and World War 1, one will address topics on music, art and the viennese context. Proposals of papers are welcomed in these areas.

Bible and Syriac Studies in Context

Cornelia Horn
Description: This unit offers a forum for scholars of Syriac and related languages and literatures (including Arabic) to explore the intimate connections between Syriac biblical interpretation, historiography, hagiography, and culture in Oriental Christianity, Judaism, Manichaeism, Zoroastrianism, and Islam.

Call for papers: For 2014, we invite contributions from those who wish to address the topics: a) Biblical/Scriptural interpretation; b) history through the lens of Syriac sources; c) comparative perspectives on spiritual and mystical traditions; and d) Syriac sources on intercultural and/or interreligious relations. Papers on topics in the areas of hagiography, asceticism, apocalypticism, anthropology/gender/age, manuscript studies, textual criticism, and material culture/art/architecture are likewise very welcome. In addition, we plan to have at least one open-topic session for which we invite papers from anyone interested to contribute.

Bible and the Moving Image

David Shepherd
Caroline Vander Stichele
Description: The Bible and the Moving Image unit, titled the Bible and Cinema until 2011, is devoted to the use, influence, and development of biblical texts, motifs, and themes in the various media of the moving image, including cinema throughout its history, television, and the interactive narratives of gaming media.

Call for papers:

One session will be devoted to a panel discussion of Darren Aronofsky's new film 'Noah' (rel. March 28, 2014). Those interested in being part of the panel are invited to submit a proposal outlining an aspect of--or perspective on--the film which they would explore as part of the panel. Due to the release date of the film, proposals will be accepted until 4/30/2014 and after the closing of the usual call for papers (2/5/2014) should be sent to shepherd@tcd.ie or C.H.C.M.vanderStichele@uva.nl.

A second open session invites the proposal of papers on any topic related to the use, influence, and development of biblical texts, motifs, and themes in the various media of the moving image, including cinema throughout its history, television, and the interactive narratives of gaming media. Papers which break new ground in any of these areas are particularly welcome.

Bible and Visual Culture

Katie Edwards
Rev. Michael Patella, OSB
Description: Some of the most engaging and creative insights into biblical narrative are found in paintings that adorn national and provincial galleries throughout Europe. They are a reminder that frequently our reading and understanding of biblical stories are influenced by our encounter with and response to the cultural, especially artistic, representations of a passage. One of the aims of the section, Bible and Visual Culture, is to locate distinctive and representative appropriations of biblical paintings in galleries across Europe, draw parallels between ways in which biblical texts engage the reader and biblical paintings the viewer, and to create methodologies that ensure that visual interpretations of the Bible play a central role in the 21st century in challenging (or supporting) traditional readings of biblical characters and plots. The Bible and Visual Culture Section also encourages explorations of the Bible and its influence in other visual media, such as sculpture, book illustration, film, advertising, street art and other aspects of popular culture. The benefit of such a research area is that it is multidisciplinary and makes use of insights from a range of disciplines including art history, psychology, gender studies, and postcolonial studies.

Call for papers: Papers are now invited for the Bible and Visual Culture seminar of the International SBL 2014. Papers should focus on topics that present an original, distinctive and creative visual interpretation of a biblical text, narrative, or character. In keeping with the seminar’s overall aim of exploring biblical works of art in the venue where the SBL takes place, we would like to concentrate on the art in Vienna which has made this city a center of faith and culture for central Europe. Submissions can draw from any period or be of general nature. They may focus specifically on an individual painting or sculpture from Vienna’s cityscape or from one of the city’s many museums: Kunsthalle Wien, Museum of Modern Art (Mumok), Kunsthistoriches Museum, Albertina, Belvedere, Kunst Haus Wien, and Leopold Museum. Consideration will also be given to submissions referencing works from the broader reaches of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Bible in Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Traditions

His Grace Dr. Vahan Hovhanessian
Description: This program unit will offer a forum for biblical professors and scholars from the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox traditions (the latter including Aramaic, Syriac, Armenian, Arabic, Georgian, Coptic, among others) to engage in critical study of the role of the Bible in eastern Christianity, past and present. A particular aim of this section will be to engage participating scholars in dealing with issues raised by contemporary and critical biblical scholarship. The committee invites presentation and discussion of papers from a variety of approaches and methodologies, including (but not limited to) theological, historiographic, philological, and literary studies.

Call for papers: This program unit will offer a forum for biblical professors and scholars from the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox traditions (the latter including Aramaic, Syriac, Armenian, Arabic, Georgian, Coptic, among others) to engage in critical study of the role of the Bible in eastern Christianity, past and present. A particular aim of this section will be to engage participating scholars in dealing with issues raised by contemporary and critical biblical scholarship. The committee invites presentation and discussion of papers from a variety of approaches and methodologies, including (but not limited to) theological, historiographic, philological, and literary studies.

Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Law

Gary Knoppers
Reinhard Achenbach
Description: The purpose of the Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Law Section is to promote interdisciplinary research on ancient Near Eastern, biblical, and post-biblical law. Methodological perspectives include historical-critical, literary, legal-historical, feminist, and social-scientific approaches.

Call for papers: For the Vienna meetings, we will be focusing on “International Law in the Hebrew Bible.” Two planned sessions and one open session will be offered at the ISBL meeting. The papers will deal with topics, such as state treaties, military law, diplomatic marriages, and the negotiation of property rights in client state. Well-informed papers analyzing how legal, narrative, or prophetic texts (e.g., the oracles against the nations) deal with international relations or the norms (whether explicit or implicit) guiding such relations are welcome. Comparative historical treatments, embracing the Neo-Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian, Persian, or Hellenistic periods, are another possibility.

Biblical Characters in the Three Traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)

John Tracy Greene
Description: This seminar approaches biblical literature through its most famous and pivotal characters, for it is around them that the subsequent biblical story is organized and arranged. Moreover, these characters have come to enjoy a life and fame that extends well beyond the basic Old Testament, Miqra, and New Testament, and even into the Qur’an and Islamic oral and written texts. As was demonstrated at the recent Tartu seminar, Samaritan texts and traditions (unfamiliar to many) have a contribution to make to the seminar as well. Our work seeks, among other goals, to facilitate a meaningful and informed dialogue between Jews, Christians, Muslims and Samaritans by providing both an open forum at annual conferences, and by providing through our publications a written reference library to consult. A further goal is to encourage and provide a forum in which new scholarly talent in biblical and related studies may be presented.

Call for papers: The Prophetic Movement in the Bible and Related Literature

Presentations on this theme have been invited. There have been thousands of prophetic messages and oracles uttered or written by mantic personalities from the ancient Near Eastern and Greek worlds, and even up to modern times. Here we find a substantial body of work dealing with a “correspondence” between humankind and a divine entity. These sources of prophetic messages and activities are the subjects around which oral presentations and discussion will revolve. As always, new readings are encouraged and expected.

Biblical Criticism and Cultural Studies

Fernando F. Segovia
Jeremy Punt
Description: The goal of this unit is to pursue the intersection between the fields of cultural studies and early Christian studies. As such, the unit will encompass a broad variety of foci: the question of method and theory in cultural biblical criticism; the application of cultural analysis to biblical criticism and thus the academic tradition of reading; and the appeal to and deployment of early Christian texts and contexts across other traditions of reading, such as the religious-theological, the cultural-artistic, and the material-social—all broadly defined. This goal follows and expands upon two earlier incarnations: more recently, Critical Theory and Biblical Interpretation; originally, The Bible and Social Location, which ran from 2003-2004 and then changed to The Bible and Critical Theory.

Call for papers: In 2014 the unit will launch two research projects. The first project, on Biblical Criticism in the Global South, seeks to examine the meaning and task of contemporary biblical criticism in the Global South. We will begin in Vienna with Africa and the Middle East in 2014, then proceed with Latin America and the Caribbean in 2014 (Buenos Aires) and with Asia and the Pacific in 2015 (Seoul). The second project, Constructing the Economics of Early Christianity, seeks to analyze the dynamics and mechanics, contexts and slants, behind the tradition of materialist approaches to early Christianity. The focus is not on economic studies of early Christianity, but on studies of such materialist studies of early Christianity. Presentations for both topics are welcome.

Biblical Interpretation in Early Christianity

D. Jeffrey Bingham
Description: This program unit explores the interpretative structures, methodologies, and concerns of patristic exegesis and the various assumptions underlying it.

Call for papers: This year we plan to hold an invited session on the topic, Reading Martyrdom: The Bible and Early Christian Martyrdom. In addition to this invited session for which papers have already been solicited, we will hold two open sessions. We hope that each open session will treat the the book of Psalms in Early Christian interpretation. We welcome proposals on the numerous ways in which the Psalms have enriched Christian thought and practice. For instance, we welcome treatments of early Christian readings that examine the Psalms and worship, liturgy, prayer, hymnody, Christology, eschatology, suffering and evil, and soteriology.

Biblical Masculinities

Peter-Ben Smit
Ovidiu Creanga
Description: This unit explores expressions of masculinities in biblical literature, following the emergence of masculinities studies—which intersects queer, cultural, ethnic/racial, and postcolonial studies, to name but a few—at the turn of the twenty-first century and their recent advancements. The unit systematically reflects on what the insights arising from such studies can contribute to an understanding of the biblical writers' male ideology, seeks to tackle theoretical issues, and provides applications for, and limitations to, reading HB and NT texts through the prism of the masculinities question.

Call for papers: This session will be co-sponsored with the EABS Emotions and the Biblical World unit. The focus of this consultation will be on God’s masculinity, and thus we welcome proposals which explore the connection between God’s emotions and maleness. This includes the question as to what extent God's emotions are explicitly gendered, i.e. whether there is a connection made between God's masculinity and emotions, or whether this remains mostly implicit. The corpora of writings to be considered from this perspective, in addition to the HB, LXX, and the NT, may include other Early Jewish and Early Christian literature.

Biblical Theology

Mark Elliott
Carey Walsh
Description: The unit explores the hermeneutical innovations and theological implications of the location of critical biblical interpretation within the confessional communities of the various traditions. Particular attention is given to the relationship between systematic theology, practical theology, philosophical theology, and biblical studies, with respect to their nature and status as discrete disciplines.

Call for papers: 1. Invited Panel to review Magne Saebø (ed.), Hebrew Bible / Old Testament The History of Its Interpretation Hebrew Bible / Old Testament. III: From Modernism to Post-Modernism. 2. Open Session: Biblical Theology: so what is it and where is it going, if anywhere? Papers which interact with OT theologies or NT Theologies of the last ten years or which move to consider the issue of Whole Bible theology with reference to current treatments (again, post-2000) will be welcomed. The relationship between biblical theology, church lectionaries and preaching will also be considered. To what extent is biblical theology some kind of 'ecclesial theology'? There might also be space for papers on the following: Is there a place for a confessional Jewish position, or a non-confessional 'secular' theology of the bible? Are there some biblical themes which are less 'divisive' than others?

Biblical Women in Patristic Reception

Agnethe Siquans
Description: Biblical women play an important role not only in the Church Fathers’ Bible interpretation, but also in other genres of patristic texts: as role models for both women and men, as exemplifications of certain virtues or vices, as authorities in arguments, as references for specific practice etc., always reflecting the contemporary social, cultural and religious context, especially with respect to women. This unit focuses on the reception of biblical women in patristic texts of all sorts.

Call for papers: Submissions of papers related to the unit's description are welcome.

Canonical Approaches to the Bible (EABS)

Sandra Hübenthal
Description: The research group Canonical Approaches to the Bible focuses on the role of the Bible as Canon – an aspect considered as marginally or only a preliminary step to the actual exegesis by the mainstream of historical-critical science for a long time. The canonical approach associates the necessity to explore different shapes of canon (both diachronically and synchronically) as well as the significance of the different communities of faith and practice that emerge from the different shapes of canon. The “canonic quality of the Bible” is not a secondary attribute, as biblical texts come into existence as canon (i.e. highly relevant literature for a community) and for the later recipients, “canon is the primary context” (G. Steins). Canon thus describes literary, sociological and theological aspects of the biblical text. Historical questions are not blanked out; they quite contrary play a vital role as each aspect of canon can also be explored in its historicity. The research group gathers scientists both from Old and New Testament Studies who work on the different shapes and aspects of Canon.

Call for papers:

Instead of introducing innovative methods of interpretation, the previous discourse about (the) biblical canon and its role for biblical exegesis rather focused the attention on the complexity of the phenomenon »canon«. Inspirations for the exegetical discourse are to be expected, if the »canon« is perceived in its multivalence: What is a canon of religious scriptures? How can shape and outline of a canon be described in literary terms? What kinds of relationship(s) exist between a canon and the community of faith referring to this canon? What is the impact of the canon? And last but not least: How is (was) the canon read?

Even after four decades of canonical approach the discussion of many of these issues is only beginning. The question remains what is important for the understanding of the phenomenon »canon« beyond Sanders, Childs, Rendtorff and other scholars? This session aims to gather different approaches and bring them into a fruitful exchange. Contributions on the history of the canon are as welcome as sociological, literary and linguistic studies.

Chronicles and Utopia (EABS)

Frauke Uhlenbruch
Description: This workshop invites papers that study Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah in a way informed by the concept of utopia.

Call for papers: Reading the Bible as utopia is a recent method of approaching biblical texts as a textual artifact as well as investigating the lived realities of the communities in which the texts originated. Engaging these texts from a perspective informed by the concept of utopia—descriptions of imagined ideal states of being at odds with reality—has often been interlinked with other contemporary approaches to biblical literature, e.g., postcolonial criticism, sociology, literary criticism, and critical theory, as well as to studies in intellectual history of ancient Israel.

Although some papers will be invited, this workshop strongly encourages proposals for additional papers and particularly for those that explore the way in which texts in Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah could be understood as utopian narratives, or why and how the literati who shaped these texts chose to focus on specific images for the construction of their ideals.

Comparative Studies of Literature from the Persian and Hellenistic Periods

Louis C. Jonker
Description: This section, titled Historical Books (Hebrew Bible) through 2011, encourages comparative studies of literature from the Persian and Hellenistic Periods in order to map the common trends (theological; socio-psychological; rhetorical; etc.) occurring in historiographical (biblical; apocryphal; extra-biblical), prophetic and wisdom literature of the period.

Call for papers: The section "Comparative Studies of Literature from the Persian and Hellenistic Periods" encourages scholars specializing in different textual corpora, but all working on literature from the Persian and Hellenistic periods, to collectively engage in research on the common literary, historiographical, theological, ideological, rhetorical or socio-psychological trends of the literature from these periods. We take the historiographical books of the Hebrew Bible as point of departure, and we want to solicit a series of comparative studies with this literature over the next six years (starting in 2012) at the SBL International Meetings. Our third session at the 2014 meeting in Vienna will bring studies on historiographical literature from the Persian and Hellenistic periods in discussion with Pentateuch scholarship. At least two sessions will be organized. The first will be a joint session with the Pentateuch Section in which a panel of four invited speakers (two specializing in historiographical literature of the Persian and Hellenistic periods, and the other two in Pentateuch studies) will be organized. At least one open session with five open slots will provide space for other scholars to come and share their comparative research between historiographical and Pentateuch literature in our collective effort to map out the trends in Persian and Hellenistic period literature. Proposals are therefore invited for these open slots.

Contextual Interpretation of the Bible (Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and New Testament)

Archie Chi-Chung Lee
Description: The goal of this Consultation is to explore the interest in developing a SBL seminar or section on Contextual Biblical Interpretation, its different strategies (including “inculturation,” inter(con)textualization, and reading with “ordinary” readers) and its methodological justifications, and the extent to which all interpretations are contextual. We are especially interested in seemingly “marginal” (from the geographical, gender, faith, class, age, communal and so forth) aspects and in community.

Call for papers: In 2014, it is planned that there will be an open session together with the European Association of Biblical Studies (EABS) Family group on the topic of "Constructing Families". Critical contextual studies of how genealogies are understood and in what ways they play the role of shaping the people's construction of families. The tentative theme is "Constructing Families: How Genealogies Help and Hinder." In the following years we will continue our contextual biblical interpretation of different books of the Bible for the book series of Texts@Contexts. In 2015 and 2016 the Latin American and Asian contexts respectively will be the focus. Wisdom Literature and Apocalyptic Writings will be the chosen categories.

Digital Humanities in Biblical Studies and Early Jewish and Christian Studies (EABS)

Claire Clivaz
Juan Garces
David Hamidovic
Description: This research group focuses on the transformation of biblical studies and early Jewish and Christian studies in the emerging digital culture. Initiated in the forties by Fr. Roberto Busa, the field of the Digital Humanities has been so called since 2001. This label is linked to several research centers, with PhD, master and bachelor programs. Biblical studies, Early Jewish and Christian studies are joining progressively this field of research, and the purpose of this seminar is to make visible and to stimulate this field in EABS. Two points have been chosen to start this research group in 2012: manuscripts and academic publishing and research.

Call for papers:

The Digital Humanities in Biblical Studies, Early Jewish Studies and Early Christianity Studies research group chairs cordially invites the submission of proposals for papers and/or panel discussion topics for the forthcoming EABS/SBL meeting in Vienna. We encourage proposals covering the entire spectrum of Digital Humanities topics applied to Biblical Studies, Early Jewish Studies and Early Christianity Studies. We expect papers on:

(1) The creation and structuring of digital data representing the texts and artefacts relevant to Biblical Studies, Early Jewish Studies and Early Christianity Studies

(2) The digital analysis of said data (linguistics, stylometrics, stemmatology, network analysis, etc.), the presentation, rendering and visualisation of data and its analysis, and critical analysis of the social and cultural aspects of the digitisation of research and society in relation to the aforementioned texts and artefacts.

Digital Humanities in Biblical, Early Jewish, and Christian Studies

David Hamidovic
Daniel Machiela
Claire Clivaz
Hugh Houghton
Description: The unit focuses on the transformations of Biblical, Early Jewish and Christian studies in the emerging digital culture. We propose to study interactions between Digital Humanities and Biblical, Early Jewish and Christian studies (literature, manuscripts, art, archaeology, epigraphy, methodology).

Call for papers:

The Digital Humanities in Biblical Studies, Early Jewish Studies and Early Christianity Studies research group chairs cordially invites the submission of proposals for papers and/or panel discussion topics for the forthcoming EABS/SBL meeting in Vienna. We encourage proposals covering the entire spectrum of Digital Humanities topics applied to Biblical Studies, Early Jewish Studies and Early Christianity Studies. We expect papers on:

(1) The creation and structuring of digital data representing the texts and artefacts relevant to Biblical Studies, Early Jewish Studies and Early Christianity Studies

(2) The digital analysis of said data (linguistics, stylometrics, stemmatology, network analysis, etc.), the presentation, rendering and visualisation of data and its analysis, and critical analysis of the social and cultural aspects of the digitisation of research and society in relation to the aforementioned texts and artefacts.

Early Christianity and the Ancient Economy

Thomas R. Blanton, IV
David Hollander
Description: The Early Christianity and the Ancient Economy unit is the foundational component of an international, interdisciplinary project that seeks to delineate the relationship between early Christianity and the ancient economy in the period from Jesus to Justinian, demonstrating both similarities and differences in attitudes, approaches to problems, and attempted solutions.

Call for papers: The Early Christianity and Ancient Economy program unit sponsors three projects: The first project involves a study of all the major aspects of the economy in the ancient world, especially the Roman Empire. The second project examines first-century early Christianity both in relationship to the ancient economy and in regard to its own economic aspects. The third project does the same for Christianity in the second to the fifth centuries. Both synchronic and diachronic studies are encouraged, as are contributions focused on specific issues (such as money, texts, authors, themes, and events). The unit welcomes papers addressing the economy in its broadest sense, including both mercantile and non-mercantile transactions; proposals involving gift exchange and other extra-mercantile modes of transmission of goods and services are solicited. Paper proposals for all three projects are welcomed, especially those that make use of papyri, inscriptions, and other realia. Those submitting a proposal should designate in the Abstract the project for which the paper should be considered.

Early Christianity between Judaism and Hellenism (EABS)

Michael Labahn
Outi Lehtipuu
Description: The constitutive idea of this seminar is to treat Early Christianity as a multivalent phenomenon, characterized by a fundamental diversity. The focus is on interchanges and interactions between various groups and movements in the ancient Mediterranean world that had an impact on the developing Christianity, including the interrelations between various Christian groupings. Papers offered to this seminar may focus on both canonical and non-canonical writings and may apply a variety of methods.

Call for papers: The special topic for 2014 is “Ephesos: Exchange and Religious Conflicts in a Multi-Faith Ancient City.” Ephesos was not only a city where different Christian groups and communities with different traditions were at home but it was a place where several other religious cults and philosophy flourished. Moreover, it was a political (Emperor cult) and economical centre. The focus of our seminar is on religious interchange and its hermeneutics. We welcome papers that deal with texts and/or archeological evidence that shed light on the religious scene of the city of Ephesos in the first Christian centuries. We want to encourage the use of different methodological approaches. Papers dealing with new archaeological research at Ephesos are particularly welcome.

Early Judaism and Rabbinics (EABS)

Moshe Lavee Levkovitch
Ophir Münz-Manor
Description: The Early Judaism and Rabbinics Research programme focuses on the Bible as discussed, received, interpreted, preached in Second temple and Rabbinic Judaism. The programme discusses the various literary texts involved in the on-going cultural adaptations of the Bible in Judaism from 3rd BCE to the beginning of the Muslim Era: Re-written Bible, Philo, Qumran, Midrash, Mishnah, Talmud and more. The programme encourages comparative examination of Jewish and Christian Literature. Late antique and medieval authors elaborated frequently in prose or in verse on biblical accounts. Prose compositions include exegetical and homiletic commentaries, theological treatises and the like. Verse elaborations on the Bible are generally less common and include liturgical poems, verse homilies and other types of sacred poetry. This duality is reflected very clearly in Jewish and Christian texts from Late Antiquity and the early middle Ages. Thus, for example, we have commentary on the book of Genesis in Midrash Genesis Rabbah and in the poetry of Yannai. Similarly, Romanos' Kontakia is comparable to contemporary treatises by Greek Church Fathers and even a more interesting case is Ephrem’s verse and prose homilies on various biblical themes. From a thematic viewpoint we would not expect big differences between verse and prose treatments of the same biblical themes yet even a brief survey reveals that the genre affects frequently the content of a composition.

Call for papers: Scholars of Midrash and adjacent fields are hereby invited to propose related papers for the sessions of the Early Judaism and Rabbinics Program in the coming annual meeting of the European Association of Biblical Studies, in July 2014.

Editorial Techniques in the Hebrew Bible in light of Empirical Evidence (EABS)

Juha Pakkala
Reinhard Müller
Description: *

Call for papers: *

Emotions and the Biblical World (EABS)

Dominika A. Kurek-Chomycz
Françoise Mirguet
Description: This research group explores the role that emotions play in biblical writings and in Early Judaism and Early Christianity more generally, including but not limited to patterns of articulating emotions, the role of emotions in strategies of persuasion, the vocabulary used to describe emotions and their manifestations, as well as the social and cultural factors that influence their expression, suppression or repression, with a particular focus on the relationship between emotions and gender.

Call for papers: For the 2014 joint EABS and SBL meeting in Vienna the Emotions and the Biblical World we invite paper proposals for two sessions:

(1) The first session will be co-sponsored with the ISBL Biblical Masculinities unit. In 2014 the focus of this consultation will be on God’s masculinity, and thus we welcome proposals which explore the connection between God’s emotions and maleness. This includes the question as to what extent God's emotions are explicitly gendered, i.e. whether there is a connection made between God's masculinity and emotions, or whether this remains mostly implicit. The corpora of writings to be considered from this perspective, in addition to the HB, LXX, and the NT, may include other Early Jewish and Early Christian literature.

(2) The second session will be devoted to exploring the role of emotions and their conceptualisation in Early Judaism. For this panel we already have several invited papers, but we will also consider additional paper proposals. We especially encourage papers which include discussion of methodological issues, as well as those which are not focused exclusively on literary texts, but which make use also of other types of evidence, such as inscriptions and papyri.

Epigraphical and Paleological Studies Pertaining to the Biblical World

Annalisa Azzoni
Robert Deutsch
Description: The unit focuses on inscriptions and icons bearing on the Bible world, with special concentration on the meaning and analysis of seals, ostraca, magic bowls, inscriptions, and scripts from the ancient Near East.

Call for papers: The unit focuses on inscriptions and icons bearing on the Bible world, with special concentration on the meaning and analysis of seals, ostraca, magic bowls, inscriptions, and scripts from the ancient Near East.

Epistle to the Hebrews

Eric F. Mason
David M. Moffitt
Description: This unit is designed to encourage conversation about the historical, hermeneutical, and theological issues raised in Hebrews. Special attention will be given to papers that engage topics relevant to the portion of the Epistle under consideration each year.

Call for papers: This consultation will offer two sessions. A thematic session with prearranged papers will address key issues in the interpretation of Hebrews 3-4. Proposals are invited for an open session featuring papers on any subject related to study of Hebrews.

European Research Centre for Ancient East-Mediterranean Cultures (CAMC)

Description: The European Research Center for Ancient East-Mediterranean Cultures (CAMC) is structured as a joint venture between the University of Tartu, Estonia, the University of Münster, Germany, and the University of Helsinki, Finland, and has its seat at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Tartu. Juridically it is a Consortium of the following chairs / departments: 1. Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Tartu, 2. Old Testament, Tartu, 3. New Testament, Tartu 4. Classical Philology, Tartu, 5. Ancient History, Tartu, Besides the academic research and teaching at these three Universities the CAMC has officially the status of the "Baltic Branch of the Fondazione Mediterraneo", Naples, and is thus one of the leading Estonian-German bodies which is responsible for the cultural and social co-operation between Estonian and German academic institutions and the Anna Lindh foundation for the dialogue between cultures, the Swedish Institute, both located in Alexandria and the Fondazione Mediterraneo in Naples, Italy. Its domicile is located at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Tartu, Estonia. The objectives of CAMC are established as set out in the statutes of both, the University of Tartu and the Fondazione Mediterraneo, Naples, which will be proposed to the institutions of the partnership. The main objectives are generally: -to identify, develop and promote areas of cultural and historical convergence between the countries and peoples of the Mediterranean on the academic level. -to hold a close and regular dialogue between Mediterranean academic institutions and those of Estonia, Finland and Germany, by promoting the understanding of Mediterranean culture. -to serve as a catalyst for promoting cultural cooperation and mobility between Mediterranean and Finno-Ugric speaking people on different levels (e.g. scholar, student exchange, etc.) targeting in particular the young and activities relevant to young academic people.

Call for papers:

Expressions of Religion in Israel

Mark Alan Christian
Antje Labahn
Description: Formerly titled "Israelite Religion," this program unit focuses on the broad scope of Israelite religion and cult beginning with the first temple period. It provides a forum for scholars to explore rapidly expanding conceptions of "Israelite religion." Contributors interpret biblical traditions and artifactual discoveries in Israel in the light of comparable traditions and material evidences in neighboring countries.

Call for papers:

For the 2014 meeting in Vienna, Expressions of Religion in Israel is looking for papers that explore the relationship among cultic personnel, especially those looking for potential rivalry between Levites and priests. Such an investigation would consider the various trends and conceptions of identity among these groups. Whereas evidence of rivalry may be shown in biblical literature, we also encourage papers that would demonstrate glimpses of rivalry in the material culture, in archaeology, in iconography, and perhaps even in the arts. The social sciences also offer insight into the stratification of religious leadership and the tensions that exist between groups, not all of which is harmful, within a religion such as Yahwism. This is an open call for papers.

Expressions of Religion in Israel is also hosting a special panel entitled "Taking Stock and Thinking Ahead: The Study of Israelite Religion Now and in the Future" in which six invited specialists in the area of Israelite religion will present 20 minute position papers outlining their views on our accomplishments as a sub-field and where we need to go from here. For example, what are the questions that we have yet to address and the issues that have become passé.

Families and Children in the Ancient World

Reidar Aasgaard
Mikael Larsson
Anna Rebecca Solevag
Description: This unit provides a forum for presenting and discussing issues related to families, children and biblical literature. The section is open to presentations on the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Testament and early Christian, Rabbinic and Greco-Roman material from a variety of perspectives and using a variety of methods.

Call for papers: For the Vienna 2014 meeting we plan two open call sessions. The first session will be on “Children as subjects or instruments in the ancient world, biblical and/or non-biblical”. Paper proposals from a variety of perspectives, such as gender, medicine, archaeology, ritual and literature, are welcome. The second will be hosted together with the EABS group The Bible in the Twenty-First Century: Politization of Bibles and Biblization of Politics and will be on “Constructing families: Functions and Aims of Genealogies“. Paper proposals are invited on and around this theme, both in the Hebrew Bible and in the New Testament. Papers in dialogue with postcolonial discourse, queer studies, empire studies, international relations studies, subaltern studies, and related methodological-theoretical approaches, are particularly welcome.

Feminist Interpretations

Irmtraud Fischer
Description: The aim of this unit is to provide a forum for research in issues and questions relating to feminist methods of interpretation. While specifically focused on methodological concerns, we are also concerned to ground that reflection in the reality of engagement with specific texts.

Call for papers: For the 2014 SBL IM in Vienna, the Feminist Interpretations unit will organize four sessions. 1) Open call for papers on methodological issues specifically relating to exegesis in feminist interpretation and gender studies. Papers are invited on divergent methodologies (e.g., historical critical, narratology, intertextuality…) and their relevance for gender studies. 2) Open call for papers on feminist exegesis and cultural studies, specifically on the reception history of gender relevant themes and texts of the Bible. 3) Open call for papers on feminist exegesis and traditional exegesis – two separate fields? After more than 40 years of scientific feminist exegesis there are still publications of traditional exegesis reading not even any of the publications done by women with gender awareness. This session calls for papers that reflect the relationship of feminist and traditional exegesis and the lack of reception of Gender studies, especially in research done based on historical critical methods, but also gaps in feminist exegesis concerning themes or methods. 4) Open call: Junior section of gender relevant exegesis. In this section we expect papers of young researchers presenting their studies.

Gender Criticism and the Bible (EABS)

Hanna Stenström
Description: Gender criticism is a rapidly growing field, with an important development of new theoretical perspectives. From focus solely on women in biblical texts and in the world “behind” the texts, attention has today shifted to critical analyses of gender discourses, focusing on both masculinity and femininity. The field today also includes queer studies, where an awareness of the instability in constructions of gender and sexuality opens for new readings.

Call for papers: A session with invited guests will be planned, but the research group also accepts proposals for an open session. Scholars working on the field gender/feminist criticism, including queer and masculinity studies, are welcome to send in proposals, especially proposals for papers contributing to the theoretical development on the field.

Gospel of Mark

Elizabeth Shively
Geert Van Oyen
Description: Our aim is to provide a forum for scholars and graduate students to explore all aspects of and approaches to the research, hermeneutics, and interpretation of the Gospel of Mark, including (but not limited to) historical, exegetical, theological, methodological, and literary studies. We are especially interested in the investigation of new questions, new areas of inquiry, and new strategies for reading Mark.

Call for papers: The Gospel of Mark unit is planning two sessions for the 2014 International Meeting. Session 1 is an invited session on the topic, “Communication, Pedagogy, and the Gospel of Mark." The aim of this session is to build on the 2013 session by inviting scholars to make presentations that develop pedagogical methods congruent with a post-literate culture or that recognize post-critical approaches. We are particularly interested in the movement from theory to praxis and in a focus on specific Markan texts, for instance, conflict stories, parables, the Olivet discourse, or Passion narrative. Session 2 is an open session on "Special Topics in The Gospel of Mark."

Graeco-Roman Society and the New Testament (EABS)

Ekaterini Tsalampouni
Birgit van der Lans
Description: The research group will focus a) on various aspects of the social life of the Graeco-Roman world (e.g. household networks and religion, kinship, friendship and other relationships, slavery, prostitution, social and geographical mobility, social groups, everyday life in Graeco-Roman cities etc.) that consist part of the socio-historical context of the New Testament texts and could therefore provide insight into them, and b) on artifacts from the Graeco-Roman world (e.g. inscriptions, papyri and archeological findings) that can shed light to various aspects of the New Testament texts and events.

Call for papers: Two sessions are scheduled for the meeting in Vienna: - an open session where papers on any topic within the range of the interests of the research group are welcome. - a session focused on “Papyri and the New Testament”. Since Vienna's Department of Papyri houses one of the largest papyrus collections of the world, a special session is devoted to insights offered by Greek, Coptic and Latin papyri and ostraca into the religious, social and political context of Christians and Jews in the first centuries CE. We welcome papers that deal with private letters, administrative and legal documents, religion and magic; as well as papyrological evidence for the development of authoritative scripture: text collections, scribes, copyists and literacy.

Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World

Laura M. Zucconi
Description: The unit seeks to foster scholarship related to disability in all fields of biblical studies. Major areas of concern include medical history of the Ancient Near East and Greco-Roman worlds; the religious, legal, and cultural status of people with disabilities in the biblical and formative Jewish and Christian periods; the representation of disability in biblical and cognate texts, biblical theology of the same, and disability in the history of biblical interpretation.

Call for papers: The unit plans to have two sessions at the 2014 meeting. 1) An open session, welcoming paper proposals on any aspect of the study of health and disability related to the Bible. 2) This is a joint session with the Place, Space and Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean World. “Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World: Towards Spaces of Healing and Wholeness.” This session will focus on the relationship between place/space and healthcare and disability in the Ancient World. We invite papers that explore (but are not limited to) topics such as the following: places of healing; places of isolation and/or exclusion; illness, disability and impurity; the interaction between locality and physiology; narrative space – stories of illness, disability and healing. For the joint sessions, please submit papers to both sections individually.

Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Ancient Israel Studies (EABS)

Philip R. Davies
Diana Edelman
Description: The aim of these sessions is (a) to encourage papers in areas/topics not covered or well covered in the meeting, (b) to encourage papers whose (innovative) approaches are not yet well represented in the meeting, and (c) to set a place where colleagues working in various areas and using various methodological approaches may interact. This is the place for both colleagues who work in less-trodden areas/approaches and for those who wish to communicate across the boundaries of our various sub-fields.

Call for papers: This session is open for all paper proposals related to studies concerning the Old Testament, Hebrew Bible, and Ancient Israel which do not fit in any of the other seminars or workshops.

Hellenistic Greek Language and Linguistics

Steven E. Runge
Peter Spitaler
Paul Danove
Description: Hellenistic Greek forms the basis of studies relative to both testaments as well as much of the ancient world. This section welcomes papers on any aspect of the Greek found in the Septuagint, New Testament, or other Hellenistic literature. Linguistic, grammatical and lexical studies are particularly encouraged.

Call for papers: We welcome papers on any aspect of the Greek found in the Septuagint, New Testament, or other Hellenistic literature. Linguistic, grammatical and lexical studies are particularly encouraged.

Hellenistic Judaism

Ljubica Jovanovic
Stephen Herring
Description: This section is dedicated to the study of all aspects of Judaism related to Hellenistic times. The Hellenistic period includes its chronological, cultural, and linguistic dimensions.

Call for papers: Vienna is a perfect city in which to discuss Hellenistic Judaism. From the appreciation for liberal education to the city’s historic, all-encompassing claim as a center for both the arts and sciences, Vienna’s rich history as a multi-cultural and multi-religious city means that many Hellenistic ideals are still alive and well. In appreciation, we welcome papers on all aspects of Hellenistic Judaism, including those that trace their influence and impact on the present.

Hellenistic Judaism (EABS)

Noah Hacham
Description: This research group provides a forum for discussing the broad scope of Hellenistic Judaism: history and historiography, theology, literature, society, economy and culture of the various Hellenistic Jewish communities, as well as the relationship between the motherland and Hellenistic Diaspora Jews, and their attitude towards the native population, society and culture.

Call for papers: Proposals addressing any aspect of Hellenistic Judaism for the 2014 Vienna conference are welcome.

Iconography and Biblical Studies (EABS)

Izaak J. de Hulster
Florian Lippke
Description: Archaeology provides Biblical Studies with information essential for understanding the biblical text in its historical context. An important branch of archaeology is iconography, the study of pictorial expressions. Studying pictorial material contemporary to the biblical documents affords insight into the historical context of the text and facilitates an awareness of how the people contemporaneous with the text thought, imagined, and observed reality. For these reasons, and others, iconography merits sustained attention and effort as a road which leads to a more nuanced and more complete picture of many aspects of Biblical Studies.

Call for papers: At the joint conference (with SBL) in Vienna, iconography sessions will be organized together with the SBL program unit ‘Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible’; at present, we are discussing with SBL and possible presenters about our thematic sessions (presentations on invitation); papers on all iconographic topics are welcome for our open session, please, contact the chairs! For submitting a paper, please, check out the SBL program unit ‘Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible’ – also for papers iconography papers broader than the scope of the SBL program unit, so papers on New Testament and iconology, etc. are also welcome.

Israel and the Production and Reception of Authoritative Books in the Persian and Hellenistic Period (EABS)

Susanne Gillmayr-Bucher
Prof. Dr. Maria Haeusl
Description: The goal of this research programme is to explore the social processes, ideological matrices, and matters of identity formation involved in the production and use of authoritative texts in the Persian and Early Hellenistic periods. How the various books in the Hebrew Bible have been shaped in order to serve as guidelines and authoritative illustrations for behaviour for the emerging Jewish communities in Yehud or in the diaspora in the Persian and early Hellenistic periods; How some books were intended to socialize their readers by constructing shared images of the past; How authoritative books shaped and reflected a system of shared sites of memory that contributed to self-understanding and social cohesion; How and why books became authoritative and what 'authoritative' may mean in this regard; Anything related to the production and reception of authoritative books in the Persian and Early Hellenistic period, from socio-political considerations to studies of the discursive environment within which the books emerged or read and reread.

Call for papers: The theme for 2014 is “Sedaqa and Torah in post-exilic Discourse”

Sedaqa and Torah represent two comprehensive theological concepts describing the relations between people and the deity in two different ways. E.g., in the book of Isaiah the term of Sedaqa forms a central concept, while in the Pentateuch Torah is the central idea. Nevertheless, Sedaqa and Torah cannot be differentiated easily, nor are these two concepts only occurring in different Old Testament texts. Despite their different focus they are interrelated.

In the sessions of the 2014 conference we want to explore how the concepts of Sedaqa and Torah are discussed in post exilic literature. Possible research questions could be:

  • Which aspects do the concepts of Sedaqa and Torah have in common and how do they differ from one another?
  • How are the two concepts interrelated in different texts?
  • What is the focus of each concept?
  • Did Sedaqa or Torah become authoritative concepts?
  • How did these concepts shape post-exilic communities?

Israel in the Ancient Near East (EABS)

C.L. Crouch
Jonathan Stökl
Anna Elise Zernecke
Description: This research group is designed to provide a common forum for scholars investigating issues of religion, language and culture in the ancient Near East and welcomes participants from across the range of subjects and time periods.

Call for papers: Ethnicity is a concept used widely to interpret remains of ancient Near Eastern cultures, their textual records and traditions, and their material cultures. Questions of ethnic identity are a topic of prime importance in the Hebrew Bible. The chairs invite papers discussing all aspects of ethnicity, methodological issues and basic concepts, as well as case studies.There will also be an open session for other papers addressing topics covered under the rubric ”Israel in the ancient Near East”, for which papers are also welcomed. Please note that abstracts longer than 250 words will not be accepted.

Johannine Literature

Yak-Hwee Tan
Description: The main purpose of the unit is to address issues and concerns having to do with the analysis and interpretation of the Johannine literature--a major component of the Christian Scriptures, encompassing for our purposes the Gospel of John and the three Johannine letters.

Call for papers: We invite submission of papers of any topic related to Johannine literature, encompassing the Fourth Gosepl and the three Johannine letters. A session will focus on the role of culture and history in biblical interpretation of the Johannine literature.

Johannine Literature and Docetism (EABS)

Reimund Bieringer
Description: The term “docetism” has been around in New Testament studies, but its meaning is rather vague. It is also disputed in which texts “docetism” might be attested to for the first time. This workshop will explore the descriptions and definitions of “docetism” and study the alleged occurrences in the Johannine literature, esp. the Gospel of John and the first letter of John.

Call for papers: This workshop welcomes paper proposals which study an aspect of the gospel of John or of a Johannine letter in light of what has often been called “docetism” in the perspective of the question what “docetism” is and whether we encounter traces of it in Johannine literature.

Judaica

Mayer I. Gruber
Description: The section is concerned with all aspects of the literatures of ancient, medieval, and modern Judaisms, especially as they intersect with biblical literature. Exploration of Judaism and the arts and material culture are especially encouraged.

Call for papers: The Judaica Unit of the 2014 SBL International Meeting at Vienna welcomes papers dealing with any and all aspects of post-Hebrew Scripture Judaisms especially but not exclusively in relationship to Hebrew Scripture. Multi-disciplinary papers referring to art, music, and literature are especially welcome.

Law and Narrative (EABS)

Christoph Berner
Harald Samuel
Description: The amalgamation of law and narrative is not only a key feature in the formation of the Narrative Books of the Hebrew Bible, but proves to be a dominant aspect of Early Jewish literature as well. The research group aims at illuminating the complex interplay between legal and narrative material in both areas by bringing together redaction criticism with a focus on reception history. In this way, it aspires to enhance the understanding of continuities and discontinuities in the development of Biblical and Early Jewish texts.

Call for papers: For the Vienna meeting, we have decided to focus on “Sabbath and Festivals in Law and Narrative.” We will deal with the narrative contextualisation of the respective legal prescriptions as well as their impact on Biblical and ancient Jewish narratives. Papers, both in English and German, dealing with any of these aspects are cordially invited. The deadline for submitting proposals is Jan. 31, 2014.

Male Circumcision: Between Controversy and Tradition (EABS)

Karin Neutel
Peter-Ben Smit
Description: In the ancient world as well as today, male circumcision is an issue that can prompt fierce debate. The way the practice is viewed, both by advocates and opponents, is closely bound up with wider constructions of religion, history and culture, making circumcision a valuable case through which to understand social attitudes.

Call for papers: This workshop invites contributions on all aspects of male circumcision, especially those that connect ancient and modern practices and perspectives. We welcome a variety of theoretical or methodological approaches, including, but not limited to, gender studies, biblical studies, cultural studies and ritual studies.

Metaphors in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and Their Reception

Marianne Grohmann
Hanne Loeland Levinson
Description: Metaphors in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and their Reception is a special unit organized for the meeting in Vienna. The unit focuses on the reception history of Hebrew Bible / Old testament's metaphors in a wide spectrum of fields. The unit will organize two sessions in Vienna including some invited scholars and papers from the open call for papers.

Call for papers: We invite papers that have their point of departure in the biblical text, but focus on the reception history of HB/OT metaphors. The papers can deal with the reception of the metaphors in post biblical literature, including Jewish and Christian texts, but also the reception history in literature, art or film. The proposal should show both which text material/which metaphors the paper will focus on, which theoretical approach is used in the text reading, and how the metaphors are used or reused.

Methods in New Testament Studies

Markus Lang
Description: The unit is devoted to the exploration and application of new methods to the New Testament text. The use of literary critical methods is encouraged. The goal of the unit is to develop new ways to understand the development of the early Christian community.

Call for papers: There's a multitude of approaches to the reading of the New Testament. This unit is devoted to the discussion of varying methodological issues concerning the NT. Papers ranging from a critical reconsideration of classical methods to new approaches to special hermeneutical aspects like Feminism or post-colonial criticism and much more are welcome in the discussion of this unit. The goal of it is to further our methodological understanding of New Testament exegesis.

Midrash, Halakhah and Reception

Gerhard Langer
Günter Stemberger
Description: This unit is organized by the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Jüdische Studien in Österreich. The aim of this unit engages with research on Midrash, especially halakhic Midrash, and on the reception of Bible in different forms – e.g. in modern films. The focus of the panel is on hermeneutics as well as on case studies like the Leviticus Midrash Sifra. Further explanations of rabbinic hermeneutics in Midrash, comparison with the hermeneutics of the church fathers and reception of midrashic elements even in modern movies are part of the panel.

Call for papers: Papers fitting the unit's description are welcome.

Modern Jewish Receptions of the Bible

Wolfgang Treitler
Description: This program unit discusses biblical traditions in modern literatures of the 20th and 21st centuries. It asks how biblical traditions are transposed to achieve new meaning for modern contexts. In this way, biblical texts help to understand and interpret modern contexts. What is interpreted, is not only the biblical tradition but modern reality in light of biblical themes. Hence, biblical texts and traditions can gain new significations in light of modern narratives.

Call for papers: Papers are by invitation only.

Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism

Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta
Andre Gagne
Description: The Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism Section provides a forum for current international research on the Coptic codices discovered at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1945. Research areas include: issues of text and translation; analysis and interpretation of the tractates; codicological analysis; background and provenance of the manuscripts; studies relevant to the larger social and religio-historical contexts of the Nag Hammadi texts, especially their relation to Jewish, Christian and Greco-Roman religious traditions.

Call for papers: This year the Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism unit will be holding two sessions. The first of them will address the theme “Religious Experience in the Nag Hammadi Codices”. We invite proposals which examine accounts of visions, soul flights, ascents, trance, ecstasy and other “altered-states of consciousness” (ASC) experiences at Nag Hammadi. This topic can be studied from an interdisciplinary perspective, using various methodological approaches such as historical and literary criticism, philology, history of religions, cultural anthropology, cognitive science of religion, phenomenology, psychology, ritual theory, sociology, etc. The aim of this session is to develop a comprehensive interpretation of religious experience as described in the Nag Hammadi collection. The second session will feature a joint panel with the Apocalyptic Literature and the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha sections on the topic of "Apocalypticism in Late Antique Christianity: New Perspectives, Fresh Challenges." Six invited papers will discuss apocalyptic texts, themes, and traditions in Christianity from the second century CE to the rise of Islam. The discussion will be channeled towards comprehending the distinctive nature of late antique Christian apocalypticism, describing its expressions in their various social and cultural ecologies, and formulating a new understanding of its role as "apocryphal" literature and its relationship with "gnostic" categories. The goal of the session is to move towards the preparation of a comprehensive volume on the apocalypticism in late antique Christianity in light of recent scholarship.

New Testament/Early Christianity/Rabbinic Studies (EABS)

Jorunn Økland
Description: This session welcomes paper proposals from the entire field of New Testament studies which do not fit in any of the existing EABS units related to New Testament studies.

Call for papers: If you intend to submit a paper proposal for the EABS part of the joint SBL/EABS meeting 2014 in Vienna and you cannot find a program unit which corresponds to the area covered by your paper, the general New Testament session is the place you are looking for. This session has the distinct advantage of being enriching by its broadness of focus, methodologies and approaches. It is intended to open up the possibility for scholars to participate in this conference who are working in areas not yet represented in EABS by a research group. It is an attempt not to allow the limits of the unavoidable topics of the New Testament sessions to limit a scholar’s chances to participate. It is the organizers’ hope that after a successful presentation scholars will consider offering a workshop or starting a new research group within EABS.

Paragraphing in Modern Bible Translations and Ancient Manuscripts (EABS)

Marjo C. A. Korpel
Paul Sanders
Description: Previous research has shown that the delimitation of pericopes, verses, strophes and other sections determines exegesis to a large extent. In a new seminar with a widened scope attention will be paid to paragraphing in modern translations (especially European translations) and in ancient biblical texts (Hebrew Bible and New Testament) and translations (e.g. Septuagint, Vulgate, Peshitta). Recent overviews show that there is hardly any consensus among commentators and translators with regard to the delimitation of pericopes in the Bible. Previous research has established that it is very helpful to compare modern paragraphing with the delimitations found in ancient manuscripts. Examples of such research abound already, not only in many contributions to the series Pericope (Scripture as Written and Read in Antiquity, see http://www.pericope.net), but also in other works, like Jack Lundbom’s commentary on Jeremiah in The Anchor Bible, as well as a recent work by Marjo Korpel and Johannes de Moor, The Silent God (Leiden 2011). The latter work discusses several examples of blank spaces in Hebrew texts that seem to coincide with significant rhetorical silences.

Call for papers: For the EABS/SBL meeting in Vienna 2014 we welcome especially paper proposals that focus on paragraphing in European Bible Translations and in ancient manuscripts that are kept in European libraries. Generally the duration of papers to be read should not exceed 20 minutes. At the conference a proposal will be launched to apply for a subsidy of the European Communion to develop the European heritage in this respect.

Pastoral and Catholic Epistles

Felix H. Cortez
Kelly Liebengood
Description: The section encourages the study of the historical, hermeneutical and theological issues raised by the Pastoral and Catholic Epistles.

Call for papers: This section has a wide object of study, a total of 10 epistles (1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1, 2, 3 John, and Jude). Its aim is to promote the study of these epistles in at least four ways: (1) exploring new approaches to their study, (2) suggesting solutions to exegetical, literary, text critical, historical, and theological problems associated with them, (3) highlighting new areas of research, and (4) evaluating the significance of the history of their scholarship. Proposals on any of these topics are welcomed.

Paul and Pauline Literature

Kathy Ehrensperger
William S. Campbell
Description: The unit provides a forum for presentation and discussion of original scholarly research on all facets of the interpretation of the Pauline Corpus in the New Testament. This includes consideration of exegetical, socio-historical, history of religions, theological, literary, history of interpretation, and methodological questions.

Call for papers: The unit provides a forum for presentation and discussion of original scholarly research on all facets of the interpretation of the Pauline Corpus in the New Testament. This includes consideration of exegetical, socio-historical, history of religions, theological, literary, history of interpretation, and methodological questions.

Pauline Literature (EABS)

Reimund Bieringer
Dominika A. Kurek-Chomycz
Ma. Marilou S. Ibita
Description: The unit has a historical-critical focus, including material evidence from the first century world of Paul. At the same time, we want to foster dialogue between historical and contemporary perspectives, between exegesis and contemporary discussions in theology and religious studies.

Call for papers: This year we plan to hold an invited session on the topic: Pauline Studies and Epigraphic Evidence. The aim is to explore the opportunities and limits of the use of epigraphic sources for the study of the letters of Paul. Our interest is in methodological issues arising from the use of inscriptions in Pauline Studies, but always linked to specific epigraphic evidence in relation to specific Pauline texts or themes in the Pauline writings. All the papers for this panel have been solicited, there is thus no call for papers this time.

Pentateuch (Torah)

Description: The unit provides a forum for presentation and discussion of research on the Pentateuch / Torah, with a particular focus on transmission-historical issues and linkage of that area of inquiry with other more synchronic methodologies.

Call for papers: The unit provides a forum for presentation and discussion of research on the Pentateuch / Torah, with a particular focus on transmission-historical issues and linkage of that area of inquiry with other more synchronic methodologies.

Persian Period

James Nogalski
Description: This seminar focuses on the history and literature of Yehud in the context of the Persian period, 539-333 BCE. We have particular interests in imperialism and its effects, pluralism within the period, practices of religion within the household, and the development of temple, cult, and canon.

Call for papers: We invite paper proposals on the history and literature of Yehud in the context of the Persian period, 539-333 BCE. We have particular interests in imperialism and its effects, pluralism within the period, practices of religion within the household, and the development of temple, cult, and canon. This year we will devote at least one session to papers dealing with criteria for distinguishing texts from the early, middle, and late Persian period. We also anticipate an open session related to any of the topics noted above.

Place, Space, and Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean World

Gert T. M. Prinsloo
Karen Wenell
Description: Investigates the inherent spatiality of human existence and how it affects human behavior, ideology, identity, and orientation. Ancient Mediterranean texts and societies are studied from a decidedly spatial perspective. Different approaches to spatiality will enrich investigations, e.g. narratological space, critical spatiality, sociological theories on space, space and identity, space and body.

Call for papers: Three themes will be discussed (a general and two more two more specialized spatial themes). • First theme: "'This World' and 'Other Worlds' in Ancient Spatial Perceptions/Conceptions." We invite papers that explore the connections between 'this world' and 'other worlds' in spatial imagination. How do 'imagined' textual spaces relate to 'real' social spaces of the ancient world? Analysis of particular examples are welcome as well as more theoretical discussions relating to how we access ancient spaces - e.g. using sociological, literary, archaeological methods and approaches. • Second theme: "Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World: Towards Spaces of Healing and Wholeness" (joint session of the Place, Space and Identity and the Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World sections). We invite papers that explore (but are not limited to) topics such as: places of healing; places of isolation and/or exclusion; illness, disability and impurity; the interaction between locality and physiology; narrative space – stories of illness, disability and healing. • Third theme: "Place, Space and Ritual in the Ancient Mediterranean World." Even if scholars in Ritual Studies disagree on a single definition of the concept "ritual," all would probably agree that rituals are closely tied to the spaces or places where rituals take place. Most religious rituals are performed at sacred spaces, rituals within a family often happen at a specific space in that family's home, even personal rituals are bound to happen repeatedly at the same place. Papers in this section will explore how spaces/places function in the performance of rituals, how they transform ritual action and how they, at times, are transformed themselves by the rituals that happen within them. We welcome papers that creatively combine aspects of the proposed themes, e.g. the relationship between space, illness and ritual; imagined "other worlds" as a spatial transcending of illness and disability.

Postcolonial Studies

Mark G. Brett
Philip Chia
Monica J. Melanchthon
Description: This unit explores the diversity of postcolonial studies and their relevance in particular contexts, encompassing critical accounts of reception history, postcolonial theory, and fresh proposals for reading biblical texts.

Call for papers: Postcolonial Diversity

Instead of treating postcolonialism as a limited set of conceptual tools brought to the interpretation of biblical texts, this session invites papers that reflect on the diversity of postcolonial theories, practices and contexts.

Transnational comparisons may show how biblical topics relate in diverse ways, for example, to the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the formation of the state of Israel, the post-colonial politics of Burma or Hong Kong, land rights in Aotearoa/New Zealand, or religious practices in Samoa. Analysis may identify key historical problems, or suggest how postcolonial studies might inform political and economic initiatives, such as reconciliation or the negotiation of land rights.

Our session at the International SBL meeting in Argentina (2015) will be devoted to postcolonial studies in the context of the Americas.

Prophets

William A. Tooman
Tyler Mayfield
Description: This unit aims to provide an open forum for scholars to present papers on a variety of topics germane to the study of ancient Israelite prophecy and prophetic literature.

Call for papers: The Prophets Unit invites proposals for two open sessions on any area of research related to the prophetic literature of the Hebrew Bible including its interpretation, reception, history, or criticism. Papers should be 20 minutes long, with an additional 10 minutes left for discussion.

Psycholinguistics and the Bible (EABS)

Jaroslaw Moeglich
Description: Our workshop will adopt an interdisciplinary approach to the biblical text from the perspective of psycholinguistics. “Psycholinguistics” is a branch of psychology, which studies psychological processes happening in the human mind with regard to use of language. We shall focus on the study of texts in order to understand how the texts’ authors understood particular terms and concepts. §We propose to apply the research methods of psycholinguistics, e.g., vocabulary frequency analysis or the analysis of semantic fields to study a biblical text. The intended result of the research of this group is albeit hypothetical re-construction of certain psychological concepts of the biblical authors, e.g., what was their concept of identity and how was it expressed in terms of language?

Call for papers: The upcoming meeting in Vienna, the city of Sigmund Freud, encourages us to invite paper proposals dealing with the interdisciplinary research of psycholinguistics and the Bible. We especially encourage proposals dealing with stereotypes or identities in biblical and parabiblical texts.

Psychological Hermeneutics of Biblical Themes and Texts

Heather A. McKay
Bas van Os
Description: Psychological Criticism complements approaches that consider texts and their impact/s from the perspective of the reader, alongside literary, rhetorical and theological approaches, identifying how texts operate within the minds of their readers, or portray thoughts and motivations of the characters in their narratives.

Call for papers: This year we plan to have three sessions: (1) A specific psychological reading of a biblical text or character contrasted with a theological reading of the same text or character. (2) A specific psychological theory or concept that helps to explain how Jesus of Nazareth so quickly became a DIVINE object of worship with insights as to the psychodynamics/psychospiritual motivations underpinning that identification. (3) An Open Session, applying a specific psychological theory or concept to a biblical text, character or concept. We welcome proposals for all three sessions.

Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Cecilia Wassen
Sidnie White Crawford
Description: The unit provides forum for presentation and discussion of views relating to the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Qumran settlement, and the people of that place and of those documents.

Call for papers: The Qumran unit will be sponsoring three separate sessions. The first session is devoted to the theme ‘Apocalypticism in the Dead Sea Scrolls’ when we will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the publication of The Apocalyptic Imagination (1984) by John J. Collins. We invite proposals on any topic related to apocalypticism in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the session will be a mix of invited and open papers. The second session, in cooperation with University of Vienna, is on “Reception of Scripture in Second Temple Literature.” Papers are welcome on any aspect of this topic (editions, translations, transmission, literary use, exegesis, authority, social locations, etc.) and in any work or group of works within the corpus of Second Temple literature. Preference will be given to papers that integrate the Scrolls with other bodies of Second Temple literature. The third session is open and paper proposals are welcome on any aspect of the study on the Dead Sea Scrolls and Khirbet Qumran.

Quran and Islamic Tradition in Comparative Perspective

Zohar Hadromi-Allouche
Michael Pregill
Description: This unit seeks to foster comparative research on the Quran and Muslim culture, discourse, and devotional life. We encourage papers and panels that examine the Quran and Islamic tradition in the wider context of the history of the Western monotheisms; explore Islam’s profound historical relationships with Judaism, Christianity, and the biblical heritage; and promote comparative inquiry and intercommunal dialogue more generally.

Call for papers: The Quran and Islamic Tradition in Comparative Perspective unit of the ISBL welcomes proposals for both individual papers and pre-arranged panels for the International Meeting of SBL in Vienna, Austria, July 6-10, 2014. Suggested topics might include, but are not limited to: parallels to biblical, Jewish, and Christian tradition in the Quran and Islamic literature; the relationships between Jewish, Christian, and Muslim exegetical traditions; the various discursive expressions of intercommunal exchange and relations, including both dialogue and polemic; Islam in European discourse; and Muslim cultural, religious, social, and political life in the West. The 2014 meeting in Vienna will feature two special panels co-sponsored by European institutions. We welcome submissions pertaining to the themes of these panels for potential inclusion in the programme: Comparative Mystical Traditions in the Medieval Islamic World, co-sponsored with the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI), Rome; and The Bible in Arabic: Current Trends in Research, co-sponsored with Research Unit Intellectual History of the Islamicate World, Freie Universität Berlin Please contact the Chair of the program unit, Michael Pregill, Dept. of Religious Studies, Elon University (michael.pregill@gmail.com) for more information.

Reception and Transmission of Authoritative Literature in the Graeco-Roman World in light of Papyrology

Bernhard Palme
Description: Papyrus witnesses of authoritative texts are of key importance because of their old age. They allow for the study of the dissemination of ancient authoritative literatures and the reconstruction of their early textual and translation histories. Furthermore, papyrological research illuminates the material culture of the transmission of authoritative texts in antiquity. In addition to invited papers, this program unit welcomes submissions which highlight material culture, textual and translation histories, as well as dissemination studies of ancient authoritative literatures.

Call for papers: Papyrus witnesses of authoritative texts are of key importance because of their old age. They allow for the study of the dissemination of ancient authoritative literatures and the reconstruction of their early textual and translation histories. Furthermore, papyrological research illuminates the material culture of the transmission of authoritative texts in antiquity. In addition to invited papers, this program unit welcomes submissions which highlight material culture, textual and translation histories, as well as dissemination studies of ancient authoritative literatures.

Reception History of Jewish Scriptures in Graeco-Roman Egypt

Bernhard Dolna
Maria Kelm
Description: This unit focuses on the reception and handling of Jewish authoritative texts within the Egyptian Hellenistic cultural context. The fields of discussion encompass various hermeneutic approaches towards scriptures and their significance for the development of a distinctive Jewish identity within the multicultural background of the Hellenistic and Roman period. Contributions to this program unit are by invitation only.

Call for papers:

Reception of Scripture in Second Temple Literature

Esther Glickler Chazon
Description: Papers are welcome on any aspect of the topic of the reception of Scripture (editions, translations, transmission, literary use, exegesis, authority, social locations, etc.) and in any work or group of works within the corpus of Second Temple literature. Preference will be given to papers on literature outside the corpus of the Dead Sea Scrolls and to papers that integrate the Scrolls with other bodies of Second Temple literature.

Call for papers: Papers are welcome on any aspect of the topic of the reception of Scripture (editions, translations, transmission, literary use, exegesis, authority, social locations, etc.) and in any work or group of works within the corpus of Second Temple literature. Preference will be given to papers on literature outside the corpus of the Dead Sea Scrolls and to papers that integrate the Scrolls with other bodies of Second Temple literature.

Reception of the Bible in Jewish, Early Christian and Islamic Art

Renate Pillinger
Description: This program unit addresses the reception of the Bible in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim art in (late) antiquity. Examples discussed will include pilgrim flasks and late antique textiles. The art works studied derive from a wide range of locations and will thus provide a survey of various aspects of the reception of the Bible in art history.

Call for papers:

Reception of the Bible in Latin American Narratives and Images (EABS)

Paulo Nogueira
Description: This workshop aims to gather scholars and students interested in analyzing different receptions and interpretations of the Bible in Latin American literature, and visual culture. We will focus on the history of the reception, intertextuality, and visual semiotics, among other approaches in order to explore how Biblical themes, plots, metaphors, and characters are recreated and transformed in connection with elements of Latin American popular culture in the literature and in the visual arts. We also plan to explore the discursive heterogeneous and the hybrid forms of literary and visual expressions in the above mentioned texts.

Call for papers: Papers addressing Latin American literary and visual texts connected with biblical themes, plots, metaphors and characters are welcome. Papers concerning methodological questions are also welcome.

Reception of the Bible in the Sign of World War One

Petra Ernst
Description: This unit is organized by the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Jüdische Studien in Österreich. Concerning the anniversary of World War One, this unit plans to discuss the reception of the bible in literary and journalistic texts which were written during the war and in the aftermath. Within the broad spectrum of European "war literatures" the war itself has often been depicted as an event of biblical dimensions. Thus not only Christian and Jewish sermons, but also journalistic and literary texts, (published) letters, essays, memoirs etc. are referring to biblical texts, figures, themes, and metaphors. The planned seminar/section deals with the reception of the bible in such texts, with its multifaceted functions, strategies, and efforts of creating meaning in the horrifying period of war.

Call for papers: Papers should focus on topics that present a cultural and literary access to a biblical text, narrative, character etc. Considering the venue where meeting takes place, we would like to concentrate on texts written in the former Habsburg Monarchy and central Europe.

Revisiting Kuntillet Ajrud (EABS)

Description: After a forty-year hiatus, the final report on the excavations at Iron Age Kuntillet Ajrud was released just this past year. Not only does the 360+ page report provide information from the site previously known, but it presents many new long awaited data for the first time. In response to this publication, and in only a matter of a few months, several experts have already offered major revisions and new interpretations of the Kuntillet Ajrud data. This is particularly the case with such issues as the site’s date and function, its “ethno-political” affiliations, the interpretation of both new and previously known inscriptions along with the identity of their associated languages, as well as the all important art historical artifacts from the site. -To take but one example, interpretations of the now famous pithoi drawings and inscriptions that mention and that may depict the deities Yahweh and Asherah have likewise been reassessed. Long before the final report came out, these data contributed immensely to the ongoing, vigorous study of Iron Age Israelite religious beliefs regarding the divine-human encounter in four discrete but interrelated areas; the role of the feminine in early Israel’s concept of the divine, the symbiosis of Israel’s diverse henotheistic-monotheistic traditions, the visualization of the divine, and the crucial role of apotropaism.

Call for papers: In the initial iteration of the Revisiting Kuntillet Ajrud work shop, participation will be by invitation only. The first meeting of the workshop in Vienna (2014) is designed to provide participants with the opportunity to offer updates, clarifications, elaborations and rejoinders in light of the findings published in the 2012 volume. In at least two future reiterations of the work shop other internationally recognized experts will be invited to offer their assessments and exchanges on the same sets of issues as well as others that may emerge in response to the final report’s publication.

Ritual in the Biblical World

Ada Taggar-Cohen
Daniel Belnap
Description: The Ritual in the Biblical World Section focuses on the nature, meaning and function of ritual found in textual sources (HB, NT, non-canonical) in the larger context of the material culture of the ancient world, employing insights and methods of the field of ritual theory and enthnography.

Call for papers: This year the Ritual in the Biblical World offers two sessions: 1) An open call for papers: We invite papers for an open session on all aspects of ritual activities, with their textual, as well as archaeological and iconographical expressions, in the larger context of their cultural and religious functions in Ancient Israel and Late Antiquity. 2) A joint session with the "Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible" section (Invited papers) This session will explore the relations between ritual symbolism and the visual arts through the study of artifacts, pictorial content, archeological context and textual interpretations. It will explore the role of ritual in creating symbolism, as well as the relationship between ritual performance and the arts, inquiring whether the “artistic” element in the ritual was reqired for the ritual function.

Schriftrezeption bei Paulus und in der Paulustradition: Reception of Scripture in Paul and Pauline Tradition

Markus Oehler
Florian Wilk
Description: The section is devoted to the reception of the OT in Pauline and Deutero-Pauline literature. It includes papers on the Jewish and historical background of Paul's dealings with Scripture, on the different forms of OT-reception in his letters and on the further development of interpretative strategies in the Pauline tradition including the Book of Acts. It will be completed with a discussion about the relevance of these findings for contemporary theology.

Call for papers: Papers are by invitation only.

Science Fiction and the Bible (EABS)

Frauke Uhlenbruch
Description: This group invites papers which engage with the possibilities of discussing biblical literature informed by Science Fiction (SF). Proposals for papers are invited that apply specific works, tropes, or theories from SF to consider whether new insights can be derived from applying concepts of SF to biblical concepts or passages. -Using the concept of SF is a multidisciplinary approach. We encourage proposals from Bible scholars with an interest in SF, but also particularly from scholars in disciplines such as cultural studies, literature, sociology, film/media studies or even engineering and physics. In 2014 we expand our scope to also include considerations about religion and ethics, which may not be directly linked to a specific biblical passage or concept.

Call for papers: For our meeting in Vienna in 2014 (July 6th-10th), we accept proposals for papers which look at a specific passage or concept in biblical literature informed by SF (theory or a specific work or genre within SF). In addition to this, we expand our scope to invite considerations about religion and ethics (in conjunction with SF), which may not be directly linked to a specific biblical passage.

Septuagint Studies

Kristin De Troyer
Description: This unit is open to all papers devoted to the Old Greek text and related versions.

Call for papers: We are welcoming papers that deal with small and large issues of Septuagint studies: from detailed analyses on one verse to discussion and hypothesis on the LXX books, with or without connection to textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible. This program unit is also interested in issues of daughter versions of the Septuagint. For the Vienna meeting, papers that address the reception history and issues of the LXX will be given priority.

Status of Women in the Profession

Rannfrid Irene Thelle
Description: The Committee holds sessions each year exploring the nature of the profession as experienced by women biblical scholars. The goal of the sessions are to provide a forum for open discussion, networking, and the sharing of ideas.

Call for papers:

Study of the Historical Jesus (EABS)

Tobias Hagerland
Description: The research group is devoted to study of the historical Jesus. Beginning in 2012, the group will run a four-year program on Jesus and the Scriptures. It will host continual discussion of the methodological possibilities and challenges inherent in the enterprise of studying how the historical Jesus used and was affected by the sacred Scriptures of Israel. Each year, in addition to that, the research group will feature a session that focuses on Jesus’ interaction with a specific group of writings within the Bible: (1) the ‘historical books’; (2) the Prophets; (3) the Psalms; and (4) the wisdom literature.

Call for papers: For the 2014 meeting in Vienna, proposals are invited for the two planned sessions. The theme of the first session is ‘Jesus and the Psalms and Wisdom’. It will accommodate papers that discuss how the historical Jesus was influenced by, or consciously used, specific motifs, stories or passages from the book of Psalms and the wisdom literature of the Hebrew Bible and early Judaism. The second session will be open to broader methodological and theoretical issues pertaining to the study of Jesus’ interaction with the Scriptures of Israel. Among the infinite number of questions that could be raised here are the following: How do we distinguish between the historical Jesus’ use of the Scriptures on the one hand, and primitive Christian appeal to the same writings in the Gospels, on the other? In what way does the current trend of taking a ‘memory approach’ to the historical Jesus affect this enterprise? To what extent is knowledge of how Jesus’ contemporaries interpreted the Scriptures helpful for understanding his use of the Bible? What are the implications of different text forms and ‘translations’ (such as the Targums)? Can recent advances in the field of intertextuality be of value for the study of the historical Jesus and the Scriptures?

Stylistics and the Hebrew Bible

Elizabeth R.Hayes
Karolien Vermeulen
Description: The unit will offer a forum for scholars interested in stylistics and the Hebrew Bible. The goal is to explore the relation between form and meaning of the text drawing on a variety of approaches (rhetorical, narratological, cognitive, ideological…).

Call for papers: The 2014 joint session of the ISBL Stylistics and the Hebrew Bible section and the EABS “Literary Features” – Fact or Fiction section invite submissions for three sessions in Vienna. The first session comprises invited paper and focuses upon the intersection of stylistics and the message of Genesis. In addition to the session with invited speakers, we also solicit papers for two open sessions: The first session will explore the nexus between stylistics and ideology. For this session preference will be given to studies that explain the manner in which the author or redactor utilizes style in service of ideological concerns, be they polemical or otherwise. The second open session will explore various devices present in the Hebrew text and focus on ways they can enhance the reader’s understanding of the text. For this session papers should address a specific feature in any given book or combination of books. Features can be semantic, structural, grammatical or phonetic in nature or consist of a mixture of these elements (examples: hendiadys, (Janus) parallelism, geminate clusters, paronomasia …). Also welcome are papers that explore Hebrew stylistics from the perspective of a well-articulated grammatical or linguistic theory.

Synoptic Gospels

Sakari Hakkinen
J. R. C. Cousland
Description: The Synoptic Gospels, which have formed a coherent unit since antiquity, have played an important role in modern scholarship. This section provides an open forum for the presentation of papers, from a variety of perspectives and using a variety of methods, on these seminal religious texts.

Call for papers: Study of the Synoptic Gospels is critical for a literate understanding of religious discussions and imperatives in today's world. This year, three sessions will be organized and proposals are welcome for each one of them. The themes of the sessions are: 1. Orality, Memory and Literacy in the formation process of the Synoptic Gospels. Since there is no special session on Q, we invite proposals in two categories: one specializing in Q and the other on the Synoptic Gospels. 2. The Synoptic Problem Reconsidered. At the beginning of the session Dennis R. MacDonald will outline his alternative solution to the synoptic problem based on his Two Shipwrecked Gospels (SBL 2012), and we invite responses to his solution. 3. Special Themes on the Synoptic Gospels. All topics are welcome. We especially welcome proposals that deal with more than one Gospel. Please indicate in your proposal which session your paper will fit best.

Texts and Contexts of Jeremiah: The Exegesis of Jeremiah 1 and 10 in light of Textual and Reception History

Armin Lange
Karin Finsterbusch
Description: This program unit is dedicated to the topic of "The Texts and Contexts of Jeremiah: The Exegesis of Jeremiah 1 and 10 in Light of Textual and Reception History." Based on the examples of Jeremiah 1 and 10, we intend to bring the textual and reception history of Jeremiah into a dialogue with the exegesis of this book. We hope that this bridge building will lead to new insights not only into the literary development and textual growth of the book of Jeremiah but also into its interpretation and reception history. Talks in this program unit are by invitation only.

Call for papers: Talks in this program unit are by invitation only.

The Bible in Byzantium: The Use and Abuse of Tradition

Claudia Rapp
Description: The Bible is the foundational text for all aspects of politics and culture in the Byzantine Empire from the fourth to the 15th century. This program unit consists of three sessions exploring its reception through appropriation, interpretation and application. ‘The Bible between Jews and Christians in Byzantium’ shows how the Bible was pressed into service by Christian authors to demarcate the dividing line to Judaism. ‘Biblical Scholarship in Byzantium’ investigates the mechanisms and tools by which Byzantine theologians, preachers and scribes sought to make the Biblical text accessible to a contemporary audience. ‘Biblical Foundations of Byzantine Identity and Culture’ demonstrates the different uses of the Bible in the social and political reality of Byzantium.

Call for papers: Papers are by invitation only.

The Bible in the Iberian World: Fundaments of a Religious Melting Pot (EABS)

Maria Ana T. Valdez
Ricardo Muñoz Solla
Description: That the Iberian Peninsula represents a fundamental hub between Christianity, Judaism and Islam is common knowledge. However, theologians and historians have been studying these phenomena as isolated events and not as part of a much larger Iberian world characteristic, one that should be understood in terms of the broader Western thought. This sessions’ goal, though experimental, is to provide a space of discussion for those of us who work with biblical themes in the context of the Iberian world, including not only the peninsular space, but also its colonial spaces, e.g., American, African and Asian places where Portuguese and Spaniards played an influential role starting in the Early Modern period. Moreover, the subjects to discuss are not limited nor to a particular time frame nor to a specific chronological period for this first phase. Our initial objectives are to underline the importance of the Iberian world as a space of communication, or not, between the different religions of the Bible, of biblical interpretation, and how the Iberian world was prone to be influenced by the Bible.

Call for papers: For the 2014 meeting in Vienna, we are particularly interested in papers that explore the following topics: 1) biblical translation, 2) Inquisition and its influence in the production of commentaries in the Iberian world – reaction and counter-reaction movements, and 3) Eschatological hope and its influence on the development of Iberian exegesis.

The Bible in the Twenty-First Century: Politization of Bibles and Biblization of Politics (EABS)

Athalya Brenner
Jeremy Punt
Description: Biblical Interpretation today is characterized by a variety of different concerns and approaches. The focus of this program unit is on the use and misuse of biblical texts in past and present politics, in the broadest sense; and conversely, on the use and misuse of politics in biblical interpretation and transmission. The scope may include analysis of the biblical and related texts and contexts, questions of method and theory, and especially attention to interpretations- interpreters and their contexts. Papers are welcome from such perspectives as psychology and psychoanalysis, philosophy, postcolonial studies, gender studies, social studies, economic studies, racial-ethnic studies, and queer studies.

Call for papers: Politization of Bibles and Biblization of Politics: Politics of Genealogy - In recent years we have focused on various ways and means used by communities for adapting “their” bibles for political ends, in the widest signification of “political”, the past as well as the present. Continuing our project of investigating how bibles are conceived today, and how they are defined and enlisted for shaping societies and for remembering the future, be those societies religious or secular, in previous years we examined notions and methodologies employed for reading biblical families, fraternity and sorority. Still interested to trace how, why, when and by whom kinship terms get abstracted into other social and ideological “realities”, our focus since 2013 is on the politics of genealogies in the Jewish and Christian bibles, and beyond them. ¶We plan two sessions for 2014. One session will be hosted together with the ISBL Contextual Interpretation group on “Genealogies and Gender in Biblical Texts” and will feature invited papers. ¶A second open session will be hosted together with the SBL Children and Families group and will be on “Constructing families: Functions and Aims of Genealogies“. Paper proposals are invited on and around this theme, both in the Hebrew Bible and in the New Testament. When papers are in dialogue with postcolonial discourse, queer studies, empire studies, international relations studies, subaltern studies, and related methodological-theoretical approaches, they will be particularly welcome. ¶Proposals for papers for the second, open session should be submitted directly to the program unit chairs: Athalya Brenner  and Jeremy Punt. ¶Drafts of papers will be posted about a month before the conference on Athalya’s homepage. During the session, papers will be summarized in panel fashion in order to leave ample time for a general discussion.

The Biblical World and Its Reception (EABS)

William John Lyons
Emma England
Description: This seminar aims to provide a forum in which participants can engage in the theoretical issues pertaining to the reception of the 'biblical world' throughout the last 2500 years and/or present specific examples of how biblical and chronologically related texts have been appropriated within later cultural, political and artistic contexts. Insights drawn from a wide range of range of disciplines are encouraged and the reception history of any relevant text from the biblical period will be considered suitable material for presentation and discussion.

Call for papers: For Vienna, the seminar will be holding four joint sessions with the ISBL’s Bible and Its Influence: History and Impact group. Preference will be given to papers on music, Vienna-related topics, and the First World War, but it is anticipated that two of the sessions will be open and thus may include any topic that is relevant to the seminar’s general interests.

The Image of Female Prophets in Ancient Greek and Jewish Literature

Hanna Tervanotko
Description: This section seeks to foster the study on relationship between Jewish and Greek texts and traditions in the ancient Mediterranean context. By using variety of methods this unit explores expressions of female prophets preserved in the ancient Jewish literature and compares these references with the image of Greek female prophets. The aim of this consultation is to shed new light on female prophecy in the neighboring cultures and analyze their possible interrelation.

Call for papers: Papers are by invitation only.

The Reception History of the Bible in the Wissenschaft des Judentums of the Viennese Bet Ha-Midrash

Description: *

Call for papers: *

The Reception of Classical "Text" in the Greco-Roman World

Danuta Shanzer
Description: This unit explores modes of reception of classical “text” and texts in the greater Greco-Roman world. Canonical authorities such as Homer and Vergil will be treated; likewise, the reception of lesser-known texts such as Orphica in Christian Latin vision literature. The nature of the text received is open: the emphasis will be ways and means and modalities of reception.

Call for papers: This panel is open to submission and cross-disciplinary submissions (including ones dealing with material culture) are most welcome.

The Reception of the Bible in Greco-Roman Tradition

Danuta Shanzer
Description: This section deals with the reception of the Bible in the Greco-Roman tradition writ large and diachronically, even down to the 19th C. The unit is a multi-disciplinary group showing linguistic, philological, archaeological, literary, cultural historical, theological, and religious historical approaches. The Bible is seen repackaged in Homeric and Vergilian disguise. Biblical religious laws and Jewish material culture are seen “received” in late antique Christianity. The Gospel of John ‘s rhetorical and linguistic reception in Gothic translation is studied. The reception of OT narrative “scripts” (tree-felling and ordeal by poison) is explored in Late Antique exegesis and hagiography, and the Resurrection narrative is analyzed as received in the late 19th C. in Lew Wallace’s Ben Hur.

Call for papers: Papers are by invitation only.

The Reception of the Scripture in the Patristic Exegesis (II-VIII centuries) (EABS)

Marian Vild
Cosmin Pricop
Alexandru Mihaila
Description: The workshop will attempt to analyze and categorize the exegetical methods used by the Christian writers from the II-VIII centuries AD and to formulate a comprehensive overview about different types of allegory, typology and moral application. The workshop aims to tackle the exegetical homilies and commentaries of Patristic writers but also adjacent works such as dogmatic treaties, festal homilies, apophtegmata, liturgical texts etc. Synthesis papers that are dedicated to certain schools or periods are welcome too. The focus lies on the understanding of the influences from other writers (philosophers, Christian, Jews or Pagan writers), ways of thinking, methods, bias, hermeneutical principles, aims, receptions in their era and in the aftermath of the Patristic writers, either promoters of the so-called heresies or members of the mainstream. The research of the workshop will contribute to better articulation of the history of reception, hermeneutics and the Wirkungsgeschichte regarding the biblical texts. The purpose of the workshop is also to disseminate the discussions by publishing the papers in English and occasionally in German and French.

Call for papers: The first year of the session will focus on the one hand on the methodology and the problematic involved in studying the Patristic reception of the biblical texts, and on the other hand on the biblical exegesis developed by the Apostolic Fathers and Apologists. Mainly those papers will be selected that present the state of research in the patristic hermeneutics, the definitions of the hermeneutical principles etc. or propose methodologically an investigation in the biblical exegesis of a patristic work / writer.

The Relation Between Luke’s and John’s Gospel (EABS)

Christos Karakolis
Predrag Dragutinovic
Ekaterini Tsalampouni
Description: The possible relation between Luke’s and John’s gospel has been an issue of academic debate since the beginning of the 20th century. The New Testament scholars’ attention has been attracted by the verbal and narrative overlapping between the two gospels. Those who accepted the existence of such similarities tried to explain them by suggesting the existence of a shared oral tradition or a literary dependence of the fourth to the third gospel or vice versa. The workshop will re-address this issue and will attempt to offer new insights by approaching the question from various different perspectives, such as the literary and redaction history of the two gospels, common theological themes, tradition transmission procedures, orality, narrative criticism, intertextuality etc.

Call for papers: Papers which will address the question of the possible connection of the two gospels and suggest new ways of dealing with it are welcome.

The Song of Songs: Literal or Allegorical?

Ludger Schwienhorst-Schönberger
Description: In Jewish and Christian Tradition, the Song of Songs has been understood allegorically as a poem about the relationship between God and his people or between Christ and the Church. Modern biblical criticism however understands the Song of Songs literally as poems about the erotic-sexual love. In light of the Jewish and Christian reception histories of the Song of Songs the program unit will ask if this text is to be understood metaphorically dealing with the relationship between God and his people.

Call for papers: Proposals are by invitation only.

Wisdom Literature

Katharine J. Dell
Description: The Wisdom Literature section seeks to encourage an ongoing discourse on new ideas and methodologies in the study of Wisdom Literature. The primary focus is on Biblical wisdom - Proverbs, Job, Qoheleth, the Wisdom Psalms and other texts influenced by wisdom ideas, as well as Ben Sira and Wisdom of Solomon. The section is also concerned with the relationship between biblical wisdom literature and cognate texts of the ancient Near East.

Call for papers: Papers are invited on any aspect of wisdom literature - its scope, its books, its intertexts, its ancient Near Eastern counterparts - for open sessions. This year papers on any aspect of the history of interpretation that sheds light on any of the wisdom books is particularly encouraged and it is planned to have at least one open session on that topic.

Working with Biblical Manuscripts (Textual Criticism)

Jan Krans
Description: The unit seeks to foster the study and criticism of biblical and related texts — including examination of manuscripts and other sources, restoration of the text, and especially the investigation of the history of its transmission—in its Late Antique cultural context.

Call for papers: Papers concentrating on any aspect of textual criticism are welcome, in particular practical work with manuscripts. Examples of topics include: papyrological insights, scribal habits, preservation techniques, technical developments, computer-assisted tools, the production of critical editions, evaluation of patristic and versional evidence, discussion of particular passages, social historical studies, new projects, systematic-theological problems, teaching text-criticism in an academic setting, etc.

Writings (including Psalms)

Donald R. Vance
Description: The aim of the unit to promote all aspects of and approaches to the study of the texts commonly referred to as the Writings (Ketuvim) in the Hebrew Bible.

Call for papers: This section continues its strong presence at the International meeting again this year and we invite papers on any work included in the Writings of the Hebrew Bible. There will again be a section devoted to the Psalms, so papers are sought that deal with individual psalms, the Psalter as a whole, or even on poetic theory. The majority of papers are on other books in the Writings and papers on wisdom, apocalyptic, historiography in Chronicles/Ezra-Nehemiah, etc. are encouraged.
 
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