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Meeting Program Units

2020 Annual Meeting

Boston, MA

Meeting Begins11/21/2020
Meeting Ends11/24/2020

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

Requirements for Participation

Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory


Program Unit Type: Section
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: Myth as a category is sometimes opposed to history (a narrative purporting to relate past events). Yet myth can be written in a variety of genres, including historiography. Our first session invites papers that reflect upon myths written in historiographical form, or myths purporting to relate events that “really happened” in the past. We are especially interested in the rhetorical and ideological import of these “historiographical myths” and encourage deep theoretical reflection on how myths sometimes function as history and how history can at times function as myth. We encourage participants from diverse specializations—including ANE literature and Greco-Roman religions—who employ a range of methodologies. Our second session, co-sponsored by the Nag Hamaddi and Gnosticism section, solicits papers that study extant Gnostic literature (including but not limited to works attributed to Classic or Sethian Gnostics, Valentinians, and related alternative Christian movements) using methodologies conventionally employed in the study of ancient myth. Paper proposals might be comparative in scope, bringing specific aspects of Gnostic myth into dialogue with other classical or ancient near eastern myths. Alternatively, they might engage in deep theoretical reflection on Gnostic myth as myth. Complementary and divergent approaches are possible as well, of course, provided they focus on myth as a key feature of Gnostic religion and literature.

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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