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Meeting Program Units

2023 Annual Meeting

San Antonio, Texas

Meeting Begins11/18/2023
Meeting Ends11/21/2023

Call for Papers Opens: 1/23/2023
Call for Papers Closes: 3/14/2023

Requirements for Participation

Redescribing Christian Origins

Program Unit Type: Seminar
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: We are excited to offer three panels this year: 1) Redescribing Idolatry: In this first session, we are interested in interrogating and redescribing "idolatry." When this term is used in the study of Christian Origins, it is regularly tainted with value-judgments and otherwise inaccurate descriptors, often in the service of rendering Christian beliefs and practices unique in comparison to so-called “pagan idolatry.” These papers will rethink the utility of the concept, expose unstated assumptions in its scholarly use, and/or explore alternative, more intellectually precise and academically responsible terminology. Papers for this panel will be invited. 2) Our second session is co-sponsored with the Greco-Roman Meals unit: This panel will focus specifically on redescribing the “Last Supper” as described in the Synoptic Gospels and in 1 Corinthians. While we welcome proposals that interrogate these passages in light of larger communal meal practices in antiquity, we are most interested in evaluating the description of this meal and the so-called “words of institution” in the canonical texts. Of interest is reevaluation of the degree to which these literary descriptions of the meal and its institution has been taken for granted and/or anachronistically interpreted. 3) And finally, we invite submissions for an Open Session. We are happy to consider any papers that deal with redescribing/rethinking conventional elements of Christian Origins scholarship, including: revisiting a common term or category (e.g., ritual, ekklesia), questioning scholarly narratives, or redescribing non-canonical scholarship (in a potential partnership with the Nag Hammadi session). Redescribing Christian Origins is a seminar and papers are pre-circulated before the meeting. They are not read in full during the seminar, but rather summarized (sometimes with a formal response), so as to leave ample time for group discussion. We ask attendees to come prepared for these group discussions

Program Unit Chairs

Jennifer Eyl
Robyn Faith Walsh

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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