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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

Senses, Cultures, and Biblical Worlds


Program Unit Type: Section
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: We plan to hold THREE sessions in 2020. (1): With Philology in Hebrew Studies, we invite papers investigating the actual language used to describe sensory events in the Hebrew Bible. What terms are used for sense perception in the Hebrew Bible and what are their relationships to one another? Are there aspects of modern thinking about the senses that is imposed through conventional translations? What insights regarding the Hebrew terms and the depiction of sensory events in the Hebrew Bible can we gain by studying ancient versions? In general, what has been at stake in scholarship on the senses, and how much identity between ancient and modern experiences is generally presumed? How are we to frame the question of difference or alternatives to modern perspectives that are potentially brought to light through biblical texts? (2): With Ritual in the Biblical World, we invite papers on how the sensory aspect of ritual behavior can be understood as an epistemological avenue to the experience overall. (3): For our standalone panel, we welcome paper proposals exploring the function and meanings ascribed to the sense of touch in biblical and other ancient sources. Questions to address include but are not limited to the following: The significance of touch in encounters with divine beings and other experiences of the divine; The role of touch in ritual and in interaction with other worshippers as attested in literature and material culture; How does touch relate to other senses in cult and everyday life? The dual nature of touch, namely that it provides information both about external objects coming into contact with one’s skin, and about one’s own body; To what extent sensory hierarchies and views on haptics prevalent in specific target cultures are reflected in translations (both ancient and modern)? For all panels, the abstract should state the paper's thesis, outline the approach that will be taken, and identify the primary sources and examples to be discussed.

Program Unit Chairs

Anne Katrine Gudme
Dominika A. Kurek-Chomycz

Propose a Paper for this Program Unit

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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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