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Meeting Program Units

2017 Annual Meeting

Boston, MA

Meeting Begins: 11/18/2017
Meeting Ends: 11/21/2017

Note that the deadline for paper proposals is 11:59 PM (23:59) Eastern Standard Time (UTC -5) on the day PREVIOUS to the deadline below.


Call For Papers Opens: 12/19/2016
Call For Papers Closes: 3/8/2017
Requirements for Participation

Religious Competition in Late Antiquity


Program Unit Type: Section
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: The first session, “Theorizing Forms of Competition in Galatians,” examines how Paul’s letter describes an attack against his apostleship stemming from a new gospel that competes with his own. We invite papers that apply methodological approaches that highlight competitive discourses over community formation, conversion, Jewish law, and other ritual praxes in Galatians. We aim to explore how competition between the diverse socio-cultural realia of ancient Mediterranean religions shaped this epistle. Contributors should analyze how ritual, social, cognitive, or other theories elucidate intersections between parallel religious and philosophical communities. For the second session, “Utopian Myth-Making and Social Formation,” (co-sponsored by the Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory unit), we invite proposals on how religious and philosophical communities imagine their ideal communities. How did various religious communities generate utopian myths, competing for “correct” interpretations and contesting alternatives? How were such utopian ideals applied in actual communities? We seek papers that cover a range of methodologies (e.g. textual and literary criticisms, philology, social and anthropological theories). The third and fourth sessions will be dedicated to the “fate” of the vessels associated with the First and Second Jerusalem Temples (e.g. ark of the covenant, menorah). The papers will examine how they concretize religious expression, foster connections between otherwise distant peoples, embody memories, and served as media for competing claims over the biblical past. The third session, “Loss and Recovery of Temple Vessels in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East,” invites papers (open call) on the literary and ideological roles of the vessels within their biblical and ancient near eastern contexts. The fourth session, “The Temple Vessels in Late Antique Religious Competition,” will consist of invited papers on late-antique Jewish and Christian sources.

Program Unit Chairs

Gregg E. Gardner
Lily Vuong

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.

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