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Meeting Program Units

2019 Annual Meeting

San Diego, CA

Meeting Begins11/23/2019
Meeting Ends11/26/2019

Call for Papers Opens: 12/19/2018
Call for Papers Closes: 3/6/2019

Requirements for Participation

Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory


Program Unit Type: Section
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: The kinds of stories that people today recognize as ancient myths—stories of semi-divine heroes, hostile and benevolent gods, weird monsters, and the like—arguably find their closest contemporary analogs in modern science fiction and superhero fantasy. For our first session we solicit papers that attempt to understand these intersections from a variety of critical perspectives. Proposals may address broad generic convergences—e.g., the relationship between ancient and modern post-apocalyptic narrative—or they may employ theory to elucidate the role these ancient and contemporary “myths” play in their respective societies and cultures. Explorations of discrete points of contact between classic or contemporary SF works and their ancient counterparts are also welcome (e.g., Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and biblical or Greco-Roman myth; Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash and Babylonian myth; and so on). Our second session will be a panel of invited papers focusing directly on myth theory. Papers will demonstrate and discuss how scholars improve historical and comparative studies of ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean texts and traditions, including both Hebrew Bible and New Testament, by explicitly engaging in theorization of myth. We are also co-sponsoring a third session with the Mind, Society, and Religion: Cognitive Science Approaches to the Biblical World unit, titled "Conceptualization of Divine Beings in the Ancient Near East." It aims at bringing together historical, cultural, and cognitive perspectives on how people in the ancient Near East thought about gods, conceptualized divine beings, and transmitted myths about heavenly agents. This session is partly invited and partly open; proposals are welcome both from cognitive and/or historical perspectives. Papers will be circulated beforehand, and Mark S. Smith is invited as respondent.

Program Unit Chairs

Austin Busch
Debra S. Ballentine

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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