Search SBL

Meeting Program Units

2017 Annual Meeting

Boston, MA

Meeting Begins11/18/2017
Meeting Ends11/21/2017

Call for Papers Opens: 12/19/2016
Call for Papers Closes: 3/7/2017

Requirements for Participation

Early Christianity and the Ancient Economy

Program Unit Type: Section
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: The Early Christianity and Ancient Economy program unit sponsors three research areas that explore the increasing, and timely, turn to the economic in the study of ancient social, cultural, and intellectual history. The first research area involves a study of all the major aspects of the economy in the ancient world, especially the Roman Empire. The second research area examines early Christianity from the first to the fifth centuries CE both in relationship to the ancient economy and in regard to its own economic aspects. The third research area focuses on issues of method and theory in the study of ancient economies. Both synchronic and diachronic studies are encouraged, as are contributions focused on specific issues (such as money, texts, authors, themes, and events). Paper proposals for all three research areas are welcomed, especially those that make use of papyri, inscriptions, and other realia. At least two sessions are planned for the Boston meeting. The first is an open session consisting of papers submitted in response to the call for papers in any of the three research areas. The second session will consist of papers exploring a particular issue of method and theory in the study of ancient economies: New Institutional Economics (NIE), the regnant paradigm for the study of the ancient economy, tends to focus on activities and policies related specifically to market activity. However, extra-mercantile transfers of currency, goods, and services (e.g., tribute, taxation, looting, banquets, patronage, & other forms of euergetism) must have amounted to a substantial proportion of the wealth in circulation in the imperial period, perhaps rivaling the scale of mercantile activity. This session aims to press historians not only to consider the significant role of the extra-mercantile economy but also to problematize the conceptual separation of mercantile from extra-mercantile exchanges—a separation with the potential to reduce “economics” to the market economy.

Program Unit Chairs

David Hollander
Thomas R. Blanton IV

Propose a Paper for this Program Unit

If you are a SBL member, you must login before you can propose a paper for this or any other session. Please login by entering your SBL member number on the left in the Login box.

For all other persons wanting to propose a paper, you must communicate directly with the chair of the program unit to which you want to propose. Chairs have the responsibility to make waiver requests, and their email addresses are available above. SBL provides membership and meeting registration waivers only for scholars who are outside the disciplines covered by the SBL program, specifically most aspects of archaeological, biblical, religious, and theological studies.

Questions About Membership?

  • Call 866-727-9955 Toll Free in the US
  • Call 404-727-9498 Outside the US
  • Fax us at 404-727-2419
  • Email us at

© 2018, Society of Biblical Literature. All Rights Reserved.