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Meeting Program Units

2018 International Meeting

Helsinki, Finland

Meeting Begins: 7/30/2018
Meeting Ends: 8/3/2018

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: 10/18/2017
Call For Papers Closes: 2/15/2018
Requirements for Participation

Psychological Hermeneutics of Biblical Themes and Texts


Program Unit Type: Section
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: The psychological aspects of human life are integral to human existence, but they represent an under-examined area in Biblical studies. Biblical authors show great interest in people's capacity to cope psychologically with their circumstances, in their interpretations of life situations, and in how to effect change – both internal and external. This section investigates the potential of an examination of Biblical texts with regard to symbols and archetypal images, unconscious factors in biblical motifs and practices, psychodynamic aspects, biblical personalities, religious experience, and the psychology of biblical ethics. We invite papers on the psychological aspects of the biblical themes and texts, as they may be found behind the texts, in the texts themselves, and in their reception up to the present day. In a time of emering racism, concurrent with a deepening climate crisis, exploring defense mechanisms appear to be a promising approach to the interpretation of present-day politics, a psychological factor exploited by populism. How would this situation be dealt with, and how would it resonate with Biblical themes and texts? This year we especially welcome papers that explore defense mechanisms, (such as denial, displacement, regression, repression, rationalization, sublimation) without excluding other themes and approaches. We prefer papers that make explicit use of existing psychological theories. The intersection between biblical theology and psychology is a meeting between two disciplines in their full right – each with their specific questions and areas of expertise, but very much complementary to each other.

Program Unit Chairs

Linda Joelsson
Eben Scheffler

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.

If you are a member of the European Association of Biblical Studies (EABS), but not of SBL, please click here to propose a paper.

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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