Search SBL

Meeting Program Units

2020 Annual Meeting

Virtual Meeting

Meeting Begins11/29/2020
Meeting Ends12/11/2020

Call for Papers Opens: 1/7/2020
Call for Papers Closes: 3/11/2020

Requirements for Participation

Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity

Program Unit Type: Seminar
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: The Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity Seminar provides a forum for collegial work that employs any aspect of sociorehtorical interpretation. The Seminar also supports interpreters working on volumes in the Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity Commentary Series. Sociorhetorical interpretation is a broad and interactive interpretive analytic that welcomes engagement with a wide variety of interpretive perspectives and strategies that seek to explore the interpretation of biblical and cognate texts. Our first three sessions will be invited papers on the following topics. First, we will hold a joint session with the Ideological Criticism Section that explores how to incorporate ideological concerns with other interpretive approaches and strategies to formulate an integrated interpretation. Second, we will hold an analytical seminar that delves into sociorehtorical commentary on a particular book of the New Testament. Third, we will hold panel on the Creativity of Early Christian Discourse. These papers will deal with varieties of religious discourses in the Mediterranean world and how they were creatively blended in the texts of the New Testament and Early Christianity to generate rhetorically effective communication. In addition to these sessions, the Seminar is putting out an open call for papers that engage biblical and cognate texts within the broad scope of sociorhetorical interpretation. Sociorhetorical interpretation is a heuristic analytic that features the analysis of pictorial reasoning, the blending of various religious discourses, the multiple textures of a text, and the rhetorical force of emergent structures. Papers are welcome to employ a wide variety of classic and contemporary interpretive strategies (e.g., cognitive science, material culture, critical spatiality, topoi analysis, new institutional economics, etc.) within an interactive process that explores the social, rhetorical, cultural, ideological, and religious interpretations of texts.

Program Unit Chairs

Bart B. Bruehler
Robert H. von Thaden, Jr.

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


© 2023, Society of Biblical Literature. All Rights Reserved.