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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

Early Jewish Christian Relations


Program Unit Type: Section
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: We plan three sessions, and invite proposals for the first two. Session 1: Recent years have seen multiple appraisals and reappraisals of the relationship(s) between Judaism and Christianity in antiquity. Recent scholarship has provided multiple models to think with—some complementary, and some competing. Thirty years after this program unit was inaugurated, this session invites papers that assess the state of the field, suggest points of contact and points of departure, and elicit conversations about future directions for the study of early Jewish Christian relations. Session 2: Ancient Polemics and Modern Manifestos. Modern manifestos--the kind often left behind by those who perpetrate acts of terrorism or hate crimes--sometimes bear striking resemblances to ancient polemical or heresiological writings, such as those by Justin Martyr, John Chrysostom, or Irenaeus. We invite papers exploring the similarities and differences between ancient and modern manifestos, and the kinds of arguments they employ. How do differentiating from others, demonization of others, deployment of scriptural texts, appeals to purity, and metaphorical violence function across ancient and modern texts? Is there value in the comparison? Session 3: Joint Session with the International Catacomb Society. From a modern perspective, these underground burial complexes appear as stages on which to perform religious and ethnic affiliations using iconography, inscriptions, and rituals. Some catacomb shrines combine motifs traditionally associated with biblical narratives and Roman mythology. Others reflect greater homogeneity. This panel seeks papers that explore what can be learned about Jewish and Christian relations from the material and literary remains of catacomb burial practices and sites. Did burial rituals and funerary remains provide loci for Jews and Christians to compete, cooperate, and/or clash? How should scholars interpret finds whose associations are ambiguous or polysemic?

Program Unit Chairs

Eric Smith
Shira L. Lander

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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