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Congresses

2015 Annual Meeting

Atlanta, GA

Meeting Begins: 11/21/2015
Meeting Ends: 11/24/2015

Note that the deadline for paper proposals is 11:59 PM (23:59) Eastern Standard Time (UTC -5) on the day PREVIOUS to the deadline below.


Call For Papers Opens: 12/17/2014
Call For Papers Closes: 3/5/2015
Requirements for Participation

Program Units

 

Academic Teaching and Biblical Studies

Taylor Halverson
Description: Pedagogy and the classroom each provides a hermeneutical and heuristic frame of reference for the reading and interpretation of the Bible. Each classroom is also part of a larger institutional context has its own mission statement and culture. These provide concrete interpretive communities in which reading and interpretation take place. The exploration of the dynamics of teaching within the context of pedagogical concerns, institutional goals and cultures, and specific classroom communities is the goal of the group's agenda.

Call for papers: Session 1: Addressing the Affective Domain in Teaching Biblical Studies. Successful submissions will propose to present for 20 minutes and include a description of specific audience takeaways for application and course design. Session 2: Redesigning Survey Courses. This workshop-style session promotes conversation about reimagining how we teach the Bible. Each presenter will offer a brief, 5-10 minute overview of some aspect of the new course (outcomes, assessments, structure, coverage, etc.). Attendees will then spend about 20 minutes responding. Session 3: Teaching Apocalyptic Literature. Propose to present for 20 minutes on some aspect of teaching Apocalyptic literature. Session 4: Teaching the Bible with Technology. We are seeking 10 minute presentations in which presenters demonstrate the use of how a technology could be used in the classroom. For general judging criteria, go to: http://alturl.com/szr3a

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Academy of Homiletics

Description: The Academy of Homiletics, founded in 1965, is a professional guild for teachers of preaching. Our mission is to further the academic discipline of homiletics and to promote scholarship and pedagogy in the field. The Academy brings together professors and teachers of homiletics for research and study of preaching in theological education, for critical reflection on methods and innovations, and for fostering interdisciplinary research with other related areas and disciplines. Membership in the Academy is open to teachers and doctoral students of homiletics. The Academy has a membership of approximately 400 colleagues. Although we originated and meet primarily in North America, our membership is international. In addition to our annual meeting, in which we present papers (generated by an annual call for papers on the respective conference theme) in nine work groups organized around particular streams of study in the field, conduct plenary sessions with keynote lectures/addresses/panels, and gather for worship services, the Academy also sponsors the juried, peer-reviewed academic journal, Homiletic. For a full overview of our Academy, we invite you to review our website, www.homiletics.org.

Call for papers: The Academy of Homiletics, founded in 1965, is a professional guild for teachers of preaching. Our mission is to further the academic discipline of homiletics and to promote scholarship and pedagogy in the field. The Academy brings together professors and teachers of homiletics for research and study of preaching in theological education, for critical reflection on methods and innovations, and for fostering interdisciplinary research with other related areas and disciplines. Membership in the Academy is open to teachers and doctoral students of homiletics. The Academy has a membership of approximately 400 colleagues. Although we originated and meet primarily in North America, our membership is international. In addition to our annual meeting, in which we present papers (generated by an annual call for papers on the respective conference theme) in nine work groups organized around particular streams of study in the field, conduct plenary sessions with keynote lectures/addresses/panels, and gather for worship services, the Academy also sponsors the juried, peer-reviewed academic journal, Homiletic. For a full overview of our Academy, we invite you to review our website, www.homiletics.org.

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African Association for the Study of Religions

Elias Kifon Bongmba
Description: The African Association for the Study of Religions is an academic association of the scholars of religions posted in universities in Africa, and of scholars of the religions of Africa posted in universities outside Africa. It was founded at an IAHR (International Association for the History of Religions) conference in Harare, Zimbabwe, in September 1992 for the purpose of promoting the academic study of the religions of Africa more generally through the international collaboration of all scholars whose research has a bearing on the subject. The AASR seeks to stimulate the academic study of religions of Africa in a variety of ways: providing a forum for multilateral communications between scholars of African religions; facilitating the exchange of resources and information; encouraging the development of linkages and research contacts between scholars and institutions in Africa, and between scholars in Africa and those overseas. The AASR also endeavors to assist scholars to publish their work and travel to professional meetings. The AASR is an affiliate of the IAHR since 1995. It meets at the IAHR quinquennial congress and organizes conferences in Africa. Its members participate in panels at conferences outside of Africa. The AASR publishes the bi-annual AASR Bulletin and maintains a web site: www.a-asr.org. AASR plans for an online journal are at an advanced stage.

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African Biblical Hermeneutics

Kenneth Ngwa
Madipoane J. Masenya
Madipoane J. Masenya
Description: This section is devoted to the study of the Bible from African perspectives, and focuses on African issues. A diversity of methods reflecting the social-cultural diversity of Africa is used in reading the Bible. The emphasis is on encouraging readings of the Bible that are shaped by African perspectives and issues, and giving voice to African biblical scholars as they contribute to global biblical scholarship. The unit expects to publish essays from its sessions.

Call for papers: 1. Narratology and Orality in African Biblical Hermeneutics How can biblical interpretation in Africa and about Africa be informed by orality and narrotology? Laying emphasis on methodological presuppositions about orality and narratology, techniques and technologies of orality, and the socio-ethical and cultural implications of orality and narratology, this section invites papers that address and demonstrate the answer to the opening question. 2. Navigating “Concepts of Marriage in Africa” in the context of African Biblical Hermeneutics The apparent normativity of (heterosexual) marriage in many an African context cannot be disputed. Various notions of marriage typify the African landscape in its variety. Among these were/are arranged monogamous heterosexual unions, polygynous and levirate marriages and “marriages to families.” In their attempt to create ethically sound biblical hermeneutics on African marriage, how may African biblical hermeneuticians navigate such an exercise? 3. Notions of Healing and Wellness in African Biblical Hermeneutics (ABH) This section invites papers on healing and wellness in Africa and about Africa, with emphases on holistic healing and wellness for individual and communal bodies. Of particular interest would be papers that foreground and explore the intersections of traditional and modern medicine; cultural assumptions and taboos around sickness, healing, and wellness; and ritual and embodied practices on healing and wellness in the context of ABH 4. Celebrating the Scholarship of Professor Justin Ukpong In African Biblical Hermeneutics (ABH), the phrase “inculturation hermeneutics” is mostly, if not always, linked to the name of Justin Ukpong, the late Nigerian New Testament scholar. In this session, we invite papers which will foreground the significance of Ukpong’s inculturation hermeneutics for the broader ABH, and papers engaging his scholarship widely.

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African-American Biblical Hermeneutics

Herbert R. Marbury
Love L. Sechrest
Description: The purpose of the African American Biblical Hermeneutics Section (AABHS) is to engage in the interdisciplinary and holistic study of the Bible and its place in a multi-faceted and complex African-American cultural Weltanschauung. The section provides a forum for scholarly discussion of any aspect of engagement with the bible from the perspective of African American culture, history, literature, or politics. It encourages interdisciplinary discussions about hermeneutics and culture and strives to encourage emerging scholars in publishing scholarly work in the field and advancing the study of African American hermeneutics.

Call for papers: The specific purpose of the African American Biblical Hermeneutics Section (AABHS) is to engage in the interdisciplinary and holistic study of the Bible and its place in a multi-faceted and complex African-American cultural Weltanschauung. AABHS will offer four sessions for the 2015 Annual Meeting. We will offer one session that will be an open call for paper proposals that address any aspect of African American biblical research. Second, we are planning a joint session to honor the work of Randall Bailey, one of the leading scholars in African American Hermeneutics, with the SBL LGBTI/Queer Hermeneutics section and the AAR Bible in Racial, Ethnic, and Indigenous Communities Group. A third session will also be a joint session, this time with the Bible and Culture section, which will focus on Immigration Detention and Mass Incarceration in the New South. This session invites papers that approach the biblical theme of the captive body from the broad span of contemporary critical theories. We are especially looking for papers that engage in a parallel reading with prisoners in the Bible and cultural productions by those imprisoned, as well as papers that historicize prison or immigrant readers of the Bible in order to reveal a contrapuntal hermeneutic, tactics of resistance, modes of self-fashioning, and figurations of freedom. Our final session will continue the exploration of the hermeneutics of Martin Luther King Jr. begun in the 2014 annual meeting with additional invited papers that interrogate his appeals to the NT or the Hebrew Bible in published writings, sermons, and political speeches. Please consult the call for proposals in January to learn if there will be opportunities to propose a paper for one of these four sessions.

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Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative

Janet Elizabeth Spittler
Scott S. Elliott
Description: The Section on Ancient Fiction and Early Jewish and Christian Narrative fosters methodologically diverse analyses of these ancient narratives, including: their interplay and interconnections; socio-cultural contexts; representations of reality, including religion; and narrative form, including plot, character, style, voice, etc.

Call for papers: The Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative section is planning two open sessions, an invited panel, and a joint session with the Bible, Myth, and Myth-theory program unit. For the open sessions, we invite proposals on any topic relevant to the group’s focus. We are particularly interested in papers that address either of two themes: (1) “Exile, Alienation, and Travel,” i.e., papers exploring these motifs either within individual narratives or as the contexts and conditions of their composition, transmission, or interpretation; (2) “Letters in/as/with Narrative,” i.e., papers exploring the intersections of epistolary and narrative literature (including, for example, the role of letters and letter-writing within narrative, epistolary novels, or collections of letters attached to narrative texts). The third session will focus on recent approaches to analyzing biblical narrative, and feature contributors to the Oxford Handbook to Biblical Narrative (forthcoming 2015). The joint session with Bible, Myth, and Myth-theory will be a panel focusing on the scholarship of Dennis MacDonald, specifically its relevance for myth theory, the category of myth within biblical studies, and critical comparative studies that situate the Bible's engagement with mythical traditions within a broader ancient Mediterranean cultural milieu. This panel will include invited and open-call papers. We welcome papers on any topic relevant to the intersection of MacDonald's work with myth or myth theory. For instance, how does MacDonald’s often controversial analyses of discrete literary relationships between New Testament and Greco-Roman literary works provide a starting point for understanding the role of myth in ancient Mediterranean literary production; or for understanding how myths evolve as they travel from one cultural tradition to another; or for analyzing literary uses of myth within cultural competition?

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Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible

Brent A. Strawn
Martin Klingbeil
Description: This section examines the ways that ancient pictorial material informs interpretations of biblical texts. We welcome papers that explore the relationships between iconographic and textual materials as well as papers that deal exclusively with iconographic issues.

Call for papers: The Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible Section invites papers for two or perhaps three sessions, at least one of which will be open to any submission that falls within the general parameters of the section, which deals with all aspects of ancient Near Eastern iconography and the Hebrew Bible. In 2015, we especially welcome papers that treat the text-image interface, particularly with reference to genres and topics beyond those that have been frequently discussed from an iconographical perspective (viz., figurative imagery, metaphor, etc.). Another session is open to PhD students in ANE iconography calling for papers based on dissertation projects. The session organizers will invite respondents to these papers.

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Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars

Jonathan E. Soyars
Elizabeth Struthers Malbon
Description: The Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars is an international association of biblical scholars who are affiliated with the churches of the Anglican Communion, including the Episcopal Church in the U.S., the Anglican Church of Canada, and the Church of England. Its purpose is to support biblical scholarship at all levels in the Anglican Communion. AABS is dedicated to fostering greater involvement of biblical scholars in the life of Anglican churches, and to promoting the development of resources for biblical studies in Anglican theological education.

Call for papers: Based on a discussion at the 2014 AABS meeting in San Diego, the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars will not be accepting paper proposals for the 2015 meeting in Atlanta but will be inviting a speaker or speakers to address the shared and distinctive emphases and strategies of Anglican/Episcopal and Lutheran biblical interpretation.

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Applied Linguistics for Biblical Languages

Helene Dallaire
Randall Buth
Description: The Applied Linguistics for Biblical Languages Group seeks to explore and address the many issues involved in adding oral-aural considerations to the study of the biblical languages. These issues include listening-speaking pedagogy, developing second-language internalized proficiency amongst scholars, affirmative impact on the students, teacher training, distance education, measuring the efficiency of training programs, and stimulating auxiliary projects that arise like improving dictionaries and grammars for new pedagogical contexts.

Call for papers: Applied Linguistics for Biblical Languages (ALBL) and Global Education and Research Technology (GERT) are sponsoring a joint session on Computer-Aided Language Acquisition for Greek and Hebrew. The emphasis will be on (1) computer-based techniques that foster active engagement with the target languages rather than rote learning and memorization, (2) teaching people to think in the target languages instead of metalanguage, and (3) measuring and comparing the effectiveness of such techniques.

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Aramaic Studies

Tawny L. Holm
Ute Possekel
Description: The Aramaic studies section is intended to provide a forum for scholars interested in various aspects of Aramaic language. Previous paper topics have included aspects of the Targumim, Qumran Aramaic, Peshitta, Samaritan papyri, and Elephantine Aramaic.

Call for papers: The Aramaic Studies Section anticipates at least three sessions this year. For one or more open sessions, we invite papers on any aspect of Aramaic language, texts, and culture. We especially welcome papers on the Targumim, Qumran Aramaic texts, Peshitta and Syriac biblical versions, Samaritan papyri, Elephantine Aramaic, and Aramaic magical texts. For a joint session with the Syriac Literature and Interpretations of Sacred Texts Section, we welcome contributions on Syriac and its relation to other dialects of Aramaic, on biblical commentary, and on the interface of Christian and Jewish exegesis. Finally, in a joint session with the Qumran Section to honor the work of Moshe Bernstein, invited speakers will present papers on Aramaic language and literature in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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Archaeology of Religion in the Roman World

Heidi Marx-Wolf
Jorunn Økland
Description: The goal of this unit is to promote the study of material culture associated with religious activity in the Hellenistic and Roman periods and to showcase new theoretical approaches to this evidence. Presentations related to Second Temple Judaism, early Christianity, and Greco-Roman religion, broadly defined, are all welcome.

Call for papers: The Archaeology of Religion in the Roman World section invites paper proposals for the following sessions: One of our sessions will focus on graffiti and informal epigraphy as evidence of the social location of the early Christians. A second session will explore how artifacts such as statues, wall paintings, and architecture as well as epigraphic and papyrological vocabulary might inform the interpretation and translation of Biblical images and narratives. The third of our sessions will be an open session.

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Archaeology of the Biblical World

Erin Darby
Description: This interdisciplinary unit is dedicated to the archaeology associated with the geographies, people groups, and time periods related to biblical literature, with special attention to the contributions of material and textual evidence. This unit adheres to ASOR’s Policy on Preservation and Protection of Archaeological Resources (http://www.asor.org/excavations/policy.pdf). As a unit we are committed to upholding the highest ethical standards relating to provenance. The unit will not be a venue that supports the analysis or authentication of illicit materials.

Call for papers: In 2015 Archaeology of the Biblical World will host an invited panel on Religion in Iron Age Jordan and at least one open session. Broadly construed, the "Biblical World" includes the time periods and geographies associated with the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. The unit welcomes proposals that use archaeology in conjunction with biblical studies in order to explicate a historical context, a particular passage, or some cultural element associated with the biblical world. Additionally, we welcome studies and results from archaeological projects that are concerned with sites or material culture related to the biblical world. Policy regarding the presentation of unprovenienced material or material from contested territories can be found in our unit description on the SBL website. Specific questions regarding submissions for which these issues are relevant should be brought to the chair.

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Art and Religions of Antiquity

Felicity Harley-McGowan
Lee M. Jefferson
Description: This consultation examines the visual and material evidence of the religions of the Mediterranean basin in antiquity (Judaism, Christianity, and Greco-Roman "paganism") as well as the methods by which scholars study these materials alongside textual or documentary evidence.

Call for papers: The Art and Religions in Antiquity program unit is sponsoring three sessions at the 2015 annual meeting and co-sponsoring one session with the Violence and Representations of Violence unit, including 3 OPEN SESSIONS. We welcome proposals on the art and material culture of any ancient religious tradition and encourage papers that address the use of art and material culture in the service of religion. For our OPEN SESSIONS, the Art and Religions of Antiquity section especially seeks paper proposals that address the following topics - but all proposals will be considered: 1) Art and Magic: For this session we seek papers that address the role of art and material culture as it relates to magical practice in antiquity. Papers that treat objects of ritual power, objects that were observed and interacted with, physical spaces that were endowed with ritual power, and newly found objects from early Judaism and the ancient Near East are most welcome. 2) Art and Empire: For this session, we seek papers that address the role of art and material culture as it relates to the broader theme of "Empire." Papers that address art and the rituals or practices of "Empire," papers that address religious art in an imperial context, or papers that challenge the relationship between religious art and Empire will be most welcome. 3) The Arts of Violence: We are also co-sponsoring an OPEN SESSION with the The Violence and Representations of Violence unit. We invite papers that consider the intersection of art and violence in the ancient world, including, but not limited to, visual representations of violence, violence against art, iconoclasm, or violence as art (i.e., fatal charades). Paper proposals may be submitted to either program unit. We will also sponsor a fourth session that will consist of invited papers to review the recent book by Lee I. Levine, Visual Judaism in Late Antiquity: Historical Contexts of Jewish Art (Yale University Press).

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Asian and Asian-American Hermeneutics

Chloe Sun
Jin Young Choi
Description: The unit promotes Asian and Asian American biblical scholarship, highlighting the broad range of diversity that makes up the different Asian and Asian American communities. It also aims to contribute to diversifying biblical scholarship and expanding biblical studies in terms of topics, approaches and discourses.

Call for papers: The Asian and Asian American Hermeneutics Group invites papers that read biblical texts alongside other sacred texts in, from, as well as to Asian and Asian American contexts and communities. We welcome papers that examine methodological and hermeneutical issues involved in such a reading, as well as papers that offer readings of specific texts and passages. Both veteran and first-time presenters are encouraged to submit proposals.

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Assyriology and the Bible

K. Lawson Younger, Jr.
JoAnn Scurlock
Description: Assyriology and the Bible section provides the focused context for papers dealing with various Mesopotamian-related topics. It seeks to generate strong integrative research between the disciplines of Assyriology and Biblical Studies by encouraging adept historiographic, philological, literary and/or iconographic work.

Call for papers: In Atlanta, the Assyriology and the Bible Section shall host a special session on "Ancient Commentaries and the Stream of Tradition," as well as at least two open sessions in which we will accept proposals on any subject related to the study of Assyriology and the Bible.

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Bible and Cultural Studies

Jacqueline Hidalgo
Lynne St. Clair Darden
Description: This interdisciplinary Section encourages comparative analyses of the Bible as artefact and icon in word, image, and sound. We offer a forum for pursuing cultural analyses of gender, race, and class both within the social world of ancient Mediterranean cultures and in dialogue with modern cultural representations.

Call for papers: We are collaborating with other groups on four sessions this year. 1. We invite papers related to the intersection of disability studies and the Bible that explore (but are not limited to) topics such as the following: colonial representations of the body, intersections of disability, gender, class and race; economic and sociopolitical perspectives; disability, illness and sacred texts; and/or explores how the Bible has been used to codify and justify discrimination of the disabled in recent history, and how may the Bible be used to resist discrimination/violence against the disabled. 2. We invite papers related to the intersection of critical race theory and the Bible. Specifically, we are interested in papers that address some of these questions: how has the Bible been used to codify and justify racial divisions and conflicts in recent history, how may the Bible be used to resist modern racial discrimination/violence, and what are creative intersections/interventions between biblical hermeneutics and critical race theory regarding identity construction? Papers emphasizing an attention to conflict, division, peace, and reconciliation will receive special attention. 3. "Immigration Detention and Mass Incarceration in the New South.” Papers should approach the biblical theme of the captive body from the broad span of contemporary critical theories. We are especially looking for papers that engage in a parallel reading with prisoners in the Bible and cultural productions by those imprisoned. Also welcomed are papers that historicize prison or immigrant readers of the Bible in order to reveal a contrapuntal hermeneutic, tactics of resistance, modes of self-fashioning, and figurations of freedom. 4. We are also working with Contextual Biblical Interpretation in an open call on contextual methodologies; see their call for more information.

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Bible and Emotion

Matthew Richard Schlimm
F. Scott Spencer
Description: This section focuses on understanding the spectrum of emotions displayed throughout the Bible in their literary and cultural contexts, informed by the burgeoning cross-disciplinary study of emotion in contemporary philosophy, psychology, literary theory, linguistics, neuroscience, politics, economics and other fields.

Call for papers: The Bible and Emotion Consultation will host two sessions in 2015. One session will feature invited papers and respondents focusing on the emotion of joy. The second session is open. We invite proposals related to critical study of the Bible and emotion across the full range of biblical literature. We are interested in papers that explore methodological questions and that examine divine and/or human emotions in a biblical text, set of texts, book, or genre.

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Bible and Film

Matthew S. Rindge
Description: This unit focuses on the critical analysis and interpretation of Bible/Jesus films and other films incorporating biblical themes or motifs in terms of the films’ biblical and extra-biblical content, cultural and historical significance, and ideology. Secondary focus on pedagogical use of such films, and the preservation, archiving, and digitalization of rare Bible/Jesus films. (This unit was titled Scripture and Film through 2013.)

Call for papers: 1) We invite papers for one or two open sessions dealing with the critical analysis of Bible and Film. Broadly construed, such analysis may take multiple forms and use diverse approaches (e.g., examining the use of the Bible in Film; constructing a critical dialogue between film(s) and biblical texts; utilizing film theory to enrich our understanding of films and/or biblical texts). 2) We invite papers for a separate session on “Rethinking the Field of Bible and Film.” In light of recent films in general and (more specifically) recent "Bible" films (e.g. Exodus, Noah, Su Re, Son of Man), what developments do we see in the field of “Bible and Film”? In what ways would we like to see the field develop? We look for papers that examine various aspects of the field (e.g. genres, methods, texts, theoretical approaches). Some papers may be considered for a forthcoming T&T Clark/Bloomsbury volume on this subject. 3) We also invite papers for a co-sponsored session with The Bible and Popular Culture section focusing on Slavery themed films. Given the Atlanta location, the release of “Exodus: Gods and Kings” and “Selma,” and ongoing protests re: Black Lives Matter, we wish to focus on films that address themes of race, class, slavery, oppression/liberation, civil rights, etc. 4) We also invite papers for a joint session with Ethics and Biblical Interpretation on the various ways in which film (and other media) shapes personal, communal, or social ethical/moral imagination. How might such ethical rhetorical interests in cinema relate to the ways in which biblical texts shape ethical/moral imagination?

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Bible and Popular Culture

Linda S. Schearing
Valarie Ziegler
Description: This unit explores and analyzes the relationship between the Bible and popular culture. It focuses on materials designed for everyday life—comic strips, advertisements, theme parks, popular music, etc. Drawing from a variety of disciplines and analyzing both the printed and visual media, presenters will explore the interaction between biblical text and popular culture.

Call for papers: This unit explores and analyzes the relationship between the Bible and popular culture. It focuses on materials designed for everyday life: comic strips, advertisements, theme parks, popular music, etc. Drawing from a variety of disciplines and analyzing both the printed and visual media, presenters will explore the interaction between biblical text and popular culture. On the tenth anniversary of our founding, we especially seek papers related to the Bible and popular culture in Atlanta; papers that address theoretical approaches to interpreting the Bible and popular culture; papers that consider the style and impact of biblical interpretation at advocacy/recovery web sites like the Wartburg Watch or Under Much Grace; and papers that consider comical appropriations of the Bible. We also invite papers for a co-sponsored session with The Bible and Film section focusing on Slavery themed films. Given the Atlanta location, the release of “Exodus: Gods and Kings” and “Selma,” and ongoing protests re: Black Lives Matter, we wish to focus on films that address themes of race, class, slavery, oppression/liberation, civil rights, etc.

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Bible and Practical Theology

Deborah A. Appler
Dr. Randall Y. Furushima
Description: This section aims to promote the development of integrative knowledge centered upon the intersections between biblical interpretation and practical theology. We want to challenge both doctrinal reductionism and the distancing inherent in the historical-critical method, as well as encourage relational and interactive readings of both human situations and biblical texts in order to reveal their multivalence.

Call for papers: We invite papers on any issue emerging out of the intersections of biblical interpretation and practical theology, viz., liturgy, formation, education, administration, pastoral care, and public theology. We are especially interested in the application (praxis) of biblical readings to human situations (context) as addressed in the texts. Interdisciplinary collegial presentations are encouraged but not required.

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Bible and Visual Art

Christine Joynes
J. Cheryl Exum
Description: The purpose of the section is to provide a forum at the national SBL to explore historical, hermeneutical, theological, iconographic, and/or theoretical aspects related to the interpretation of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures in visual art through the centuries.

Call for papers: Papers are invited for two of three sessions. Session 1 Theme: Sexual Violence in the Bible and Biblical Art / Biblical Art in Atlanta. For an open session on the Bible and visual art, we invite papers of either a general nature or focusing specifically on a particular work or works of art. Preference will be given to papers dealing with sexual violence in the Bible and biblical art and to papers dealing with art works in Atlanta. Session 2 Theme: The Politics of Biblical Art. For a joint session with the Use, Influence and Impact of the Bible Section, we invite papers which engage with the theme of 'the politics of biblical art'. Whereas we are particularly interested in papers addressing the political impact of individual works of art, we encourage submissions which engage creatively with the above theme from any angle. Session 3 Theme: Teaching the Bible and the Arts in the Undergraduate Classroom. This joint session with the Teaching Biblical Studies in an Undergraduate Liberal Arts Context Section will be a panel discussion, with invited panelists, followed by discussion. For this session we are not accepting papers.

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Bible in Ancient and Modern Media

Rafael Rodríguez
Tom Thatcher
Description: The Bible in Ancient and Modern Media Section provides SBL members with opportunities to experience biblical material in media other than silent print, including both oral and multimedia electronic performances. This program unit's three foci are (a) the original media world of the Scriptures, (b) the Bible in electronic media, and (c) the history of the Bible in various media.

Call for papers: BAMM invites papers related to the ancient and modern media contexts of biblical transmission and interpretation. We invite especially papers that address issues of literacy, textuality, scribality, and orality in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament research, New Testament and early Christianity research, and modern translation and pedagogy.

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Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory

Austin Busch
Debra S. Ballentine
Description: This section (a) provides a forum for sustained and focused attention on the concept of myth and its place in biblical studies and (b) encourages the development and refinement of multi- and interdisciplinary approaches to this area of inquiry.

Call for papers: The ‘Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory’ unit will have two sessions in 2015. We welcome proposals for an open session on the use of myth and myth theory in biblical studies, both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, including their Greco-Roman and ancient Near Eastern contexts. We are especially open to papers that foreground comparative and/or interdisciplinary research, and to papers that employ non-philological methodologies (archaeology, art-history, etc.). Our second session will be a joint session with the unit on 'Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative.' This session will be a panel focusing on the scholarship of Dennis MacDonald, specifically its relevance for myth theory, the category of myth within biblical studies, and critical comparative studies that situate the Bible's engagement with mythical traditions within a broader ancient Mediterranean cultural milieu. This panel will include invited and open-call papers. We welcome papers on any topic relevant to the intersection of MacDonald's work with myth or myth theory. For instance, how does MacDonald’s often controversial analyses of discrete literary relationships between New Testament and Greco-Roman literary works provide a starting point for understanding the role of myth in ancient Mediterranean literary production; or for understanding how myths evolve as they travel from one cultural tradition to another; or for analyzing literary uses of myth within cultural competition; or for understanding the complex relationship of myth, religion, and literature in the ancient Mediterranean world?

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Biblia Arabica: The Bible in Arabic among Jews, Christians, and Muslims

Athalya Brenner-Idan
Meira Polliack
Description: Jews, Christians, and Samaritans living under Muslim rule translated their sacred scriptures into Arabic. Interest in this vast treasure of texts has grown, and their contribution to the history of interpretation and religious history is considerable. This consultation will discuss these translations, as well as how they were influenced by the Qur’an and used in inter-religious conversations.

Call for papers: The “Biblia Arabica” Consultation invites paper proposals for a joint session with the "The Qur'an and the Biblical Tradition (IQSA)" Unit, on the topic: "The Bible is at the same time everywhere and nowhere in the Arabic Qur?an” (Sidney H. Griffith): Case Studies and Reflections. This session aims at studying the elaboration and treatment of specific biblical themes in the Qur’an and by its interpreters. Case studies may be on divine revelation, attitudes to class, violence and destruction, attitudes to women, prophets and prophecy, space and time, but do not have to be limited to these. Proposals will reflect explicitly on the theme as articulated by Sidney Griffith, and consider processes of canon formations and renewal on the basis of earlier canons. (Our second session will be an invited Panel).

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Biblical Ethics

Markus Zehnder
Peter S. Wick
Description: This unit explores ethical issues related to the biblical canon. It seeks to bring together exegetes of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament in order to discuss similarities, differences, and intertextual connections between the various ethical traditions in biblical literature and their respective contexts.

Call for papers: This year we will have one methodological session and two thematic sessions. The methodological session will be devoted to the topic “The Moral Vision of the Bible”, with Richard b. Hays and a panel of further experts in the field. Paper proposals are invited for the two thematic sessions: 1. Justice and Mercy; and 2. Law and Love. Potential presenters are expected to investigate the relationship between these complementary terms/concepts (either “Justice and Mercy” or “Law and Love”). In addition to more general suggestions regarding the relationship of these terms/concepts, potential presenters should also, whenever possible, provide a discussion of specific biblical texts. Even when focusing on one of the two Testaments (which we assume to be the normal procedure), speakers are encouraged to look at similarities and differences between the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament or between one of the two Testaments and relevant extra-biblical material that sheds light on the subject.

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Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics

Constantine R. Campbell
Jonathan M. Watt
Description: This section aims to promote and discuss ongoing research into biblical Greek language and linguistics, covering the Septuagint and particularly the New Testament. While traditional language studies are welcome, methods derived from modern linguistic theories and their applications are encouraged.

Call for papers: The Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics Section invites members to present a paper that utilizes linguistics to study the biblical text, and to submit their proposal through the online system before the call deadline of March 4, 2015. Proposals should consist of a 1-2 page description of the paper, include bibliographic resources, and make clear the theoretical framework is use in that paper. In addition, proposers (both full- and student-members) who have not previously presented in this section of the SBL Annual Meeting must submit their full paper to the program unit co-chairs before February 27, 2015. Please note that, papers must be of such a length that they can be presented within 25 minutes, so as to allow for 5 minutes of response and discussion after that presentation. This section will have at least one theme session, on theoretical approaches to Greek prepositions. However, any other papers that further contribute to the discussion of the Greek of the Bible and using a clearly articulated theoretical framework will be considered for the open session.

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Biblical Hebrew Poetry

Elizabeth R.Hayes
Mark J. Boda
Description: This section focuses on all aspects of Hebrew poetry in the biblical canon: archaic poetry, the role of oral tradition, poetic meter, parallelism, structural and nonstructural poetic devices, imagery, metaphor, and figurative language. Papers dealing with any portion of poetry in the Hebrew Bible are welcome.

Call for papers: Biblical Hebrew Poetry will include four sessions. Two sessions invite papers on various aspects of Biblical Hebrew poetry. The third session comprises invited responses to F.W. Dobbs-Alsopp’s volume, On Biblical Poetry (Oxford University Press, 2015) and the fourth session is a joint venture with the Book of the Twelve Prophets group. Papers addressing any aspect of Biblical Hebrew poetry are welcome for the first open session. The second open session addresses the current state of the discussion of Hebrew parallelism. It is commonly held that prosodic, semantic, syntactic, morphological, and phonological parallelisms recurrent across the "members" of ancient Hebrew verse - cola, lines, and strophes according to one set of terms - are the chief hallmark of ancient Hebrew verse. This session invites papers on elements and structures in parallelism in ancient Hebrew poetry, with a synthetic description of all examples occurring across a defined corpus of 200 lines or more. Papers presented in this session will be considered for inclusion in a planned volume on "Parallelism in Ancient Hebrew Verse: The State of the Question." We are requiring papers for this session to be turned in by Sept 1 for review by the respondents. Session four is a joint session between the Biblical Hebrew Poetry Group and the Book of the Twelve Prophets Group. This session will explore poetic, rhetorical and other artistic uses of language in the book of the Twelve Prophets. Attention will be given to the role of poetry within the rhetoric of an individual book or the corpus as a whole as well as the role of poetic devices within particular passages or sections of the corpus.

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Biblical Law

Bruce Wells
Description: The purpose of the Biblical Law Section is to promote interdisciplinary research on ancient Near Eastern, biblical, and post-biblical law. Methodological perspectives include historical-critical, literary, legal-historical, feminist, and social-scientific approaches.

Call for papers: We invite proposals for two open sessions on any aspect of the study of biblical law, including work related to cuneiform documents, the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Second Temple Literature, questions of pentateuchal criticism, legal history, gender analysis, social-scientific analysis, and newer methodologies. Copies of papers are distributed in advance through our section's Web site (biblicallaw.net). Proposals on the topic of sacrificial ritual will be especially welcome. Together with the Ritual in the Biblical World section, we will be co-sponsoring a session of invited papers on the topic of sacrifice and are interested in including papers on that topic in our open sessions as well.

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Biblical Lexicography

Erik Eynikel
Michael P. Theophilos
Description: The Section brings together those working on lexicography and lexicology of ancient biblical languages. The discussions seek to bring the theoretical to bear on the practical task of dictionary making and encourage research in the area of historical lexical analysis.

Call for papers: The Section brings together those working on lexicography and lexicology of ancient biblical languages. The discussions seek to bring the theoretical to bear on the practical task of dictionary making and encourage research in the area of historical lexical analysis. The Biblical Lexicography Section is seeking proposals on relevant topics for the 2015 Annual Meeting. We will host an invited session on Coptic Biblical Lexicography which will cover a range of key topics and issues in the field. We welcome paper proposals for two further open sessions on any aspect of Biblical Lexicography.

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Biblical Literature and the Hermeneutics of Trauma

Christopher Frechette
Elizabeth Boase
Description: This unit studies methods for employing various definitions of trauma to interpret particular sets of biblical and extra-canonical texts, giving attention to the relationship between personal and communal dimensions of trauma, and to applying biblical interpretation in other theological disciplines.

Call for papers: This consultation will receive paper proposals for two sessions, each with its own topic. Each proposal should indicate which of the two topics it is intended to address. In keeping with the aims of the consultation, all papers must define how “trauma” is understood, and explain why that understanding is helpful for interpreting the biblical text. We encourage papers that address New Testament texts as well as those that address Old Testament texts. The two topics are: (1) Contextual approaches to reading biblical literature through a hermeneutics of trauma: The aim of this session is to explore the application of trauma theory to biblical texts in the face of contemporary contexts and issues, with a particular focus on the implications of the hermeneutical lens utilized within the discussion. Papers may read texts in terms of the issues raised by contemporary contexts, or explore how people in contemporary experiences of trauma and disaster have actually found particular biblical texts helpful. We encourage papers that focus on the following populations but will also consider others: Latin American and African American ethnicities, inner city residents, and indigenous populations. (2) Ethical and moral dimensions of reading texts from the perspective of trauma: One of the consequences of reading biblical texts through the lens of trauma and trauma theory is a heightened awareness of the presence of both victims and perpetrators, traumatized and traumatizers, within the text. The aim of this session is to explore some of the theological, ethical and moral dimensions raised by such textual readings. The session will include a discussion as to the impact of differing theories of trauma on interpretation. Papers that explore divine involvement in portrayals of trauma, and the implications of narratives told from the perspective of perpetrators are also invited.

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Blogger and Online Publication

James F. McGrath
Description: Originally organized under the aegis of the 'biblioblogging' community, this unit has been renamed. 'Biblioblogging' refers to a diverse community of nearly every point of view that communicates new ideas or insights, debates, and discusses exegetical and historical subjects. The Blogger and Online Publication Section supports the publication of articles, commentary, and items of interest relating to the Bible and biblical studies online using blogs, social media sites, online journals, and other Internet or web-related vehicles, and promotes communication between bloggers and the SBL.

Call for papers: The Blogger and Online Publication Section has focused most of its attention in recent years on the blogging side of its name. And thus discussions related to online publication - such as the challenges of preserving digital materials, and the ways in which online publications are appreciated, or fail to be appreciated, in faculty evaluation - are especially encouraged. The session will conclude with a panel of bloggers discussing topics which have been the focus of attention on blogs and in other online forums in the months prior to the annual meeting.

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Book History and Biblical Literatures

Jeremy Schott
Eva Mroczek
Description: This consultation investigates how insights from Book History illuminate scriptural literatures. We marshal scholars of Hebrew Bible/ANE, Judaism, Christianity, Nag Hammadi, Syriac studies, and modernity in a theoretical and historical conversation about the culturally contingent concepts of text, authorship, readership, publication, and materiality.

Call for papers: The Book History and Biblical Literatures Consultation will hold two sessions in 2015 on the theme of Paratext. Paratexts include features that are materially connected to a text to frame or surround it, such as titles, prefaces, epilogues, colophons, scholia, marginalia, rubrics, tables of contents, decorative elements, or, in the case of codices, covers and front matter. Such paratextual features, according to literary theorist Gerard Genette, serve as a threshold or a frame for the text itself; they mark off a text’s boundaries, mediate between the text and its readers, and govern the way the text is received. The Consultation welcomes papers that discuss the nature and function of paratextual material in sources from all sub-fields of the SBL. How do paratexts inform the way texts are interpreted and received? Where is the boundary between text and paratext? To what extent are our paratextual categories (such as titles or epilogues) adequate for describing ancient textual phenomena in their own scribal contexts? How does studying paratextual material contribute to our understanding of the composition, transmission, use, and interpretation of our sources? We especially encourage contributions that approach paratext comparatively and theoretically, and are open to papers not only about ancient textual practices, but also about the modern framing of our sources.

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Book of Acts

Matthew L. Skinner
Steve Walton
Description: This Section (1) explores new strategies for reading Acts; (2) proposes solutions to existing exegetical, literary, text critical and historical problems associated with Acts; (3) highlights new areas of inquiry regarding Acts; and (4) assesses the significance of the history of Acts scholarship.

Call for papers: The Book of Acts Section is planning two sessions for the 2015 Annual Meeting on the theme “Acts in the Discourses of Ethnicity.” Ethnic discourses have recently provided a helpful lens in the interpretation of the New Testament. Questions of ethnicity have long concerned scholars of Luke-Acts in particular, for the question of Luke’s perspective on Jews/Judaeans has been a critical site of contestation for some time. In addition, narratives like the Ethiopian eunuch and Paul’s Areopagus speech have prompted questions of ethnic encounters and their theological and historical import. Session I is a collaboration between the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts units to ask questions of ethnicity in the interpretation of Luke-Acts anew. What is the status of these complex questions at the moment? What new work must we pursue? In what ways can ethnicity shed new light on Luke’s perspective on Jews/Judaeans? How might ethnic discourse clarify Luke’s theological perspectives? What historical insight might we gain with an ethnic lens of inquiry? We are inviting papers for this session, and will not accept proposals for it. Session II is an open session and encourages a wide range of proposals that suggest fresh approaches to existing problems or that explore new strategies for reading Acts. Proposals on the theme of ethnicity in the Acts of the Apostles will be particularly welcome.

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Book of Daniel

Amy C. Merrill Willis
Description: The Book of Daniel consultation seeks to promote new and inter-disciplinary scholarship on Daniel and Daniel-related literature (both canonical and pseudepigraphical literature). It welcomes a range of analytical approaches to Daniel, but especially encourages ideological, theological, and literary treatments.

Call for papers: The Book of Daniel Section invites papers dealing with any topic or issue in the critical interpretation of Daniel for the 2015 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA.

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Book of Deuteronomy

Cynthia Edenburg
Reinhard Müller
Description: This unit provides a forum for the discussion of Deuteronomy as a book, its origins and growth, as well as its reception by different groups of readers in antiquity.

Call for papers: At the 2015 meeting we will be holding two invited sessions on Rhetoric in the Book of Deuteronomy. The first session will focus on rhetoric in the laws, and the second session will deal with the rhetoric of Deuteronomy's framing chapters.

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Book of Psalms

Karl Jacobson
Melody D. Knowles
Description: It is the aim of the Book of Psalms unit to promote all aspects of and approaches to the study of the Psalms, with a major focus on the issue of how the Psalter as a collection has an integrity, history, and purpose of its own.

Call for papers: In addition to the open session (for which all kinds of papers on the Psalms are welcome), the Book of Psalms group will be devoting three sessions to particular themes: Reformation and Early Modern Women Interpreting the Psalms (joint session with the Recovering Female Interpreters of the Bible Section, with a special focus on Mary Herbert Sidney [1561-1621] and the Sidney Psalter); The Differences in the Numbering and Ordering of the Psalter: The Fluidity Through the 16th Century AD; and Liturgical Psalms and Penitential Prayer in Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah (joint session with the CEN Section).

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Book of the Twelve Prophets

Aaron Schart
Description: The Book of the Twelve Section provides a forum for research into textual, literary, historical, religious, and ideological dimensions of the Minor Prophets and their ancient archival form as a collection within a single scroll.

Call for papers: The Book of the Twelve Prophets Section invites papers investigating issues related to any text or texts within the so-called Minor Prophets. There will be one completely open session, one open joint session together with the Biblical Hebrew Poetry Group focusing on poetry in the Twelve, and one closed session on Haggai.

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Children in the Biblical World

Reidar Aasgaard
Sharon Betsworth
Description: This section explores the child characters in the Bible, investigates the lives of children in the ancient world, and evaluates how biblical texts affect children in the post-biblical world. We invite traditional research in biblical studies, as well as interdisciplinary approaches to the topic.

Call for papers: The Children in the Biblical World section plans to host two sessions in 2015. The first will be an open session for which we invite submissions on any topic related to children and the Bible, the ancient world, or how biblical texts affect children in the post-biblical world. We invite traditional research in biblical studies as well as interdisciplinary approaches to the topic. The second session will be a presentation of recent monographs on children in the Bible (Hebrew Bible and New Testament) and a discussion of the current and future state of this field within biblical studies. This session will be organized by invitation.

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Christian Apocrypha

Brent C. Landau
Tony Burke
Description: The Section fosters ongoing study of extra-canonical texts, as subjects of literary and philological investigation; as evidence for the history of religion, theology, and cult practice; and as documents of the socio-symbolic construction of Christianity along lines of class and gender.

Call for papers: Call for papers: The Christian Apocrypha section will run four sessions in 2015, each considering the “lived contexts” of apocryphal texts. The first session will be a joint session with the Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds Section; it will focus on what the papyri fragments of apocryphal gospels can tell us about their use in early Christian communities (we are interested both in well-known fragments, such as the Egerton Gospel, as well more recent discoveries, such as P. Oxy. 5072). The second session considers the production, use, and transmission of Christian Apocrypha in monastic settings from late antique Egypt to medieval Europe and beyond. The third session looks at efforts to collect Christian Apocrypha, whether in manuscripts (e.g., Life of Mary compilations, compendia of apocryphal acts) or in scholarly collections (e.g., J. A. Fabricius’s Codex Apocryphus Novi Testamenti, C. Markschies–J. Schröter’s Antike christliche Apokryphen). Finally, the fourth session is an open call to papers covering aspects of “lived contexts” of texts and/or approaches from any time period. Although some presenters in the themed sessions may be invited, we also welcome paper proposals on all topics.

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Christian Theology and the Bible

Arthur Sutherland
Rebekah Eklund
Description: Our task is to explore the intersection between the disciplines of Christian Theology and Biblical Studies. Does or can such an intersection exist? What then could be or would be theological exegesis? What is its relation to religious communities, the history of interpretation, historical theology, history of confession and doctrine, so-called Higher Criticism, etc.?

Call for papers: In 2015 the Christian Theology and Bible Section will hold two sessions exploring anagogical interpretations of Scripture (i.e., the exegesis of Scripture in relation to hope and the life to come). One session is for invited papers, and is a continuation of a multi-year project on the "senses" of Scripture in ancient and contemporary contexts. The second session invites proposals for papers examining anagogical interpretation during the Civil Rights movement. We welcome papers on Martin Luther King, Jr., particularly on his use of the Bible in his preaching and public addresses, as well as papers on lesser studied figures and topics pertaining to anagogical interpretations of Scripture (e.g., spiritual songs and hymnody, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Albany Movement, women, children, pedagogies in Sunday School, civil rights and the kingdom of God, Howard Thurman’s mysticism, etc.).

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Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah

John W. Wright
Steven James Schweitzer
Description: Our section provides a collegial forum for graduate students and scholars in which papers can be read, projects initiated, questions explored, new approaches attempted and broader discussions held relating to the research and scholarship of these biblical books.

Call for papers: The Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah section will run three sessions in 2015. The first session is an open session; we invite papers on any aspect of research on Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah. The second session will be a joint session with the Book of Psalms Section, with invited papers and respondents on the topic: Liturgical Psalms and Penitential Prayers in Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah. The third session will be a joint session with the Postcolonial Studies and Biblical Studies Section, with two parts. The first will be invited papers on ethnocentrism in Ezra-Nehemiah. The second will be open papers on aspects of postcolonial theory applied to Ezra-Nehemiah.

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Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Interpretation

Robert H. von Thaden, Jr.
Description: The emerging field of cognitive science is reshaping longstanding philosophical assumptions about epistemology and metaphor. This section applies cognitive linguistics to biblical studies, with a focus on the ways cognitive approaches help scholars to grapple with how language makes meaning.

Call for papers: The Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Interpretation section will hold 2 sessions at the 2015 meeting. The abstracts for these sessions should state the paper's thesis and explicitly describe the cognitive linguistic approach that will be taken. (1) "Open Session": This is an open call for papers. The papers in this session will apply findings of cognitive linguistics to biblical studies with a particular focus on the ways cognitive approaches help scholars to grapple with how language makes meaning, how a text evokes authority, and/or how contemporary readers interact with ancient texts. (2) "The Cognitive Difference to the History of Religion": This session will be organized together with the Mysticism, Esotericism and Gnosticism in Antiquity section and will focus on the usefulness of cognitive studies for historians. All papers for this session have been invited.

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Construction of Christian Identities

Bas van Os
Sandra Huebenthal
Description: This unit focuses on interdisciplinary study of the making of Christianity, which is understood as a complex phenomenon. The making of Christianity takes place within conflicting intercultural relations among Mediterranean/Near-Eastern religious groups, which contributed to a diversified evolution within early groups of Jesus followers. The unit seeks primarily to describe groups and their religious practices rather than their theological ideas.

Call for papers: This unit focuses on interdisciplinary study of the making of Christianity, which is understood as a complex phenomenon. The making of Christianity takes place within conflicting intercultural relations among Mediterranean/Near-Eastern religious groups, which contributed to a diversified evolution within early groups of Jesus followers. The unit seeks primarily to describe groups and their religious practices rather than their theological ideas.

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Contextual Biblical Interpretation

James P. Grimshaw
Description: The goal of this consultation is to explore the interest in developing a SBL seminar or section on *Contextual Biblical Interpretation,* its different strategies (including “inculturation,” inter(con)textualization, and reading with “ordinary” readers) and its methodological justifications, and the extent to which all interpretations are contextual.

Call for papers: We welcome papers that examine biblical texts while making explicit the role that a reader’s contemporary context plays/played in the interpretation – whether it is the contemporary context of one’s own interpretation, or the interpreters’ particular contexts (when considering existing interpretations, e.g., by critical exegetes, preachers, etc.). We plan to have (1) two text-centered sessions and (2) two joint sessions. First, in preparation for new volumes of the Text@Contexts Series, we are particularly interested in papers dealing with texts from Revelation, Paul's undisputed letters (other than the Corinthian correspondence), and Paul's disputed letters. Second, in preparation for a methodological volume of the Text@Contexts Series, jointly with the SBL Program Units Asian and Asian-American Hermeneutics, Bible and Cultural Studies, and Islands, Islanders, and Scriptures, we call for papers on “contextual biblical methodologies” – emphasizing either “context-focused methods” (methods particularly shaped by a given context, e.g. the context of Islands and Islanders) or “theory-framed methods” (methods developed on the basis of e.g. epistemological, hermeneutical, socio-cultural, communication theories). Note: Contributors will commit themselves 1) to have drafts of their papers ready for distribution to all participants by early October; and 2) to prepare responses to all the papers in their session. Drafts (from all four sessions) will be shared on a website. At the conference papers will be summarized, not read in full, to leave maximum time for discussion. Acceptance of papers for the session is a first step toward, but does not guarantee, publication in the corresponding volume of the ongoing contextual series Texts@Contexts (Sheffield Phoenix).

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Contextualizing North African Christianity

David Riggs
David E. Wilhite
Description: This consultation encourages interdisciplinary study of North African Christianity within its broader social, cultural, and historical contexts (ca. 180-650 CE). The goal is to explore how North African Christians cultivated religious identities and practices as inhabitants of an evolving society in late antiquity.

Call for papers: The Contextualizing North African Christianity Section invites paper proposals for the following two sessions devoted to the North African bishop and martyr, Cyprian of Carthage: 1) Contextualizing the Life of Cyprian. We seek paper proposals that help to situate Cyprian’s life and work within the social and cultural contexts of Roman North Africa. 2) The Afterlife of Cyprian. Cyprian was an influential figure in his own day but loomed even larger after his death. We welcome proposals illustrating this enduring influence (e.g., hagiographical traditions, the pseudo-Cyprianic corpus, and as an authority in the Donatist controversy and among various authors of the fourth through seventh centuries).

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Corpus Hellenisticum Novi Testamenti

Troy W. Martin
Description: This consultation will 1) read and discuss ancient Greek materials that provide insight into the literary and religious worlds of early Christianity and 2) read and discuss papers that analyze early Christian texts in dialogue with Hellenistic materials.

Call for papers: In 2015, the CHNT Section will sponsor three sessions: 1) A joint session with the SBL Philo Seminar on Philo and Plutarch and the Bible; 2) a session on Early Christian Literature and Greek Sexuality; and 3) a session with papers that use ancient Greek materials to provide insight into the literary and religious worlds of early Christianity or that analyze early Christian texts in dialogue with Hellenistic materials. The first two are pre-arranged sessions, while the last session is an open call for papers.

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Deuteronomistic History

Christophe Nihan
Juha Pakkala
Description: This unit discusses the books of Deuteronomy and the Former Prophets (Joshua–Kings) both individually and as a collection. As such, its focus is on the connections between these books (linguistic, topical and chronological); the compositional techniques and theological trends that they exemplify; as well as the social and historical milieu or milieus in which they were produced.

Call for papers: The general aim of this unit is to explore the connections between the books of Deuteronomy and Joshua–Kings (Former Prophets) in all their dimensions. Papers proposed for the open session of this section should interact in some fashion with the various models that seek to explain the connection (or disconnection) of these books, (for example the conventional Deuteronomistic History hypothesis by Martin Noth), whether the models are affirmed, rethought or rejected.

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Development of Early Christian Theology

Mark DelCogliano
Description: This unit, title Development of Early Trinitarian Theology through 2011, will explore the close connections among the construction of the Christian scriptures, early Christian practices of biblical interpretation, and the theological and ecclesiastical debates that occurred from the apostolic period through the fourth century.

Call for papers:

For 2015 we are accepting proposals for two sessions (in addition to a planned review discussion):

1. New Perspectives on the Cappadocian Fathers. Recent years have seen an outpouring of new studies on Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa, which have raised important questions about their biblical interpretation, their relationship to non-Christian rhetorical and philosophical traditions, their role in the articulation of Christian doctrine, and their theological achievements. For this session, we welcome papers on the theologies of the three Cappadocians which take into account the new perspectives that have recently emerged in scholarship, especially papers which address the use of scripture within the Cappadocians’ theological argumentation.

2. Scholarly Tools and Aids for Exegesis in Early and Late-Antique Christianity. By the time Christianity began spreading throughout the Mediterranean basin and beyond, the Greco-Roman world had developed a highly sophisticated culture of literary scholarship: definitive editions of classic texts were produced, marginal apparatuses were invented, bibliographies were compiled, and commentaries and treatises were composed. Moving forward into late antiquity, such works proliferated, including scholia, commentaries, lexica, and grammatical treatises. For this session we welcome papers that examine the early and late-antique Christian appropriation and development of this tradition: the creation of scholarly tools and aids specifically for exegesis, their use, their influence, and so forth. Some works of this kind are relatively well known, such as Origen’s Hexapla, Eusebius’ Canon Tables, and Augustine’s De doctrina Christiana. Papers on these and similar works are suitable, provided that they focus not on interpretations of particular passages, but on the scholarly tools and aids for exegesis themselves.



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Digital Humanities in Biblical, Early Jewish, and Christian Studies

Claire Clivaz
David Hamidovic
Description: This consultation explores the ongoing transformation of biblical studies, and early Jewish and Christian studies, within digital culture. Initiated in the 1940s, the "Digital Humanities" is now shaping all Humanities disciplines. Sessions will focus on its impact on manuscripts and editions; reading and exegesis; publishing and access; and innovative research methodologies more generally.

Call for papers: The first session will welcome invited papers on the topic «Papyrology and Digital Humanities»; it will be a joined session with the Papyrology and Early Christian Studies section. The second session accepts papers: it will focus on «Data Visualization, Digital Paleography and Images». Data Visualisation is still a new topic in Biblical Studies and manuscripts fields. We invite papers that tried to bridge the gap between «seeing» and «reading» textual elements, whatever it is a close reading or a distant reading on big data; papers on network analysis and GIS are welcomed. We invite proposals exploring the practice and theory of digitizing ancient manuscripts of the Bible and other early Jewish and Christian literatures. Abstracts focused on specific projects, as well as more general and epistemological reflections, are welcomed.

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Disputed Paulines

Christopher R. Hutson
Description: The Disputed Paulines Consultation seeks to explore historical, literary (including rhetorical), and theological matters which bear upon the interpretation of the letters of the Pauline Corpus that many argue are not genuinely or immediately authored by Paul. It is hoped that careful study of these letters will help us better understand both these documents and early Christianity more broadly.

Call for papers: The Disputed Paulines Section will offer one or two open sessions, for which we invite papers exploring historical, literary (including rhetorical), and theological matters that bear upon the interpretation of one or more of the Disputed Paulines (or a discreet section thereof). For 2015 we invite papers interpreting those letters in relation to the intersection of politics and religion in the context of the Roman Empire, but we also welcome proposals on other aspects of the letters. In addition, the Disputed Paulines Section, in collaboration with the Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity Section, will present an invited panel to review Harry Maier, Picturing Paul in Empire: Imperial Image, Text and Persuasion in Colossians, Ephesians and the Pastoral Epistles (Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2013). Maier will respond.

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Early Christianity and the Ancient Economy

David Hollander
Description: The Early Christianity and the Ancient Economy Consultation is the foundational component of an international, interdisciplinary project that seeks to delineate the relationship between early Christianity and the ancient economy in the period from Jesus to Justinian, demonstrating both similarities and differences in attitudes, approaches to problems, and attempted solutions.

Call for papers: The Early Christianity and Ancient Economy program unit sponsors three projects: The first project involves a study of all the major aspects of the economy in the ancient world, especially the Roman Empire. The second project examines first-century early Christianity both in relationship to the ancient economy and in regard to its own economic aspects. The third project does the same for Christianity in the second to the fifth centuries. Both synchronic and diachronic studies are encouraged, as are contributions focused on specific issues (such as money, texts, authors, themes, and events). Paper proposals for all three projects are welcomed, especially those that make use of papyri, inscriptions, and other realia. At least two sessions are planned for the meeting in Atlanta. Those submitting a proposal should designate in the Abstract the project for which the paper should be considered.

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Early Exegesis of Genesis 1

Christoph Markschies
Volker Henning Drecoll
Description: The unit focuses upon the fundamental importance of Genesis 1 for the development of Jewish and Christian theology between the first and sixth centuries C.E. It combines different methodological approaches and cultural contexts (e.g. apologetic texts, Gnostic sources, exegetical commentaries and homilies).

Call for papers: The unit focuses upon the fundamental importance of Genesis 1 for the development of Jewish and Christian theology between the first and sixth centuries C.E. It combines different methodological approaches and cultural contexts (e.g. apologetic texts, Gnostic sources, exegetical commentaries and homilies).

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Early Jewish Christian Relations

Tina Shepardson
Shelly Matthews
Description: The Early Jewish Christian Relations Group deals with the relationships of Christians and Jews as Christians emerged as groups distinct from Jews, and how these groups continued to affect one another in the following centuries. It considers approximately the first four centuries.

Call for papers: The Early Jewish Christian Relations section is planning two open sessions, along with a pre-arranged panel jointly sponsored by the Paul within Judaism section. For the TWO OPEN SESSIONS, we are particularly interested in papers focusing on either of two themes: 1) BLOOD and early Jewish and Christian relations (e.g., martyrdom, circumcision, menstruation, sacrifice, deicide, etc.); or 2) MATERIAL CULTURE and early Jewish and Christian relations (e.g., archaeology, artefacts, magic, etc.). The joint session will be a review of the edited volume _Paul Within Judaism: Restoring the First Century Context to the Apostle_ (Fortress 2015). All proposals must be submitted online. All inquiries should be sent to Tina Shepardson (cshepard@utk.edu).

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Ecological Hermeneutics

Barbara Rossing
Description: This Section will focus on hermeneutical principles and models for ecological readings of the biblical text and tradition. Attention would be paid to the anthropocentric bias of texts and readers as well as to discerning alternative traditions sympathetic to ecology, Earth and the Earth community. The aim is to explore the art of reading the text with empathy for the natural world.

Call for papers: Draft of proposal: The topic for 2015 will be impoverishment -- the processes that degrade the natural world with it's human and non-human members. Proposals on this topic are welcomed. In addition, there will be an open session that will accept proposals on any biblical text. We encourage proposals that have a strong methodological awareness, such as engaging with the principles of Ecological Hermeneutics - suspicion, identification and retrieval (e.g., Habel and Trudinger, Exploring Ecological Hermeneutics, SBL 2008) and/or the methodology of the Exeter project (e.g., Horrell, Hunt and Southgate, Greening Paul, Baylor 2010). Proposals that include elements that link the biblical material with contemporary ecology and culture are welcomed.

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Economics in the Biblical World

Richard A. Horsley
Samuel L. Adams
Description: This program unit explores economics in the biblical world from a variety of approaches, including textual analysis, archaeological study, economic history, and much-needed theoretical engagement. We examine both larger economic structures and more local patterns (i.e., household and village).

Call for papers: The "Economics in the Biblical World" program unit will have two sessions in 2015. The first will be an invited panel on Nehemiah 5, with examination of this pivotal text from a variety of angles. Papers will involve literary analysis, assessment of relevant archaeological evidence from the Persian period, and how the political-economic relations in Nehemiah 5 fit the imperial economy under the Persians and the local officials who served them. A second, open session will focus on biblical texts (legal collections, prophets, writings, Gospels) addressing the use of land, people’s relationship to the land (land tenure), and claims on the land by kings or the temple-state and their officers. For this open session, proposals should focus on key texts, critically evaluated in their historical political-economic context and/or in relation to analogous ethnographic information. Archaeological evidence may be helpful, particularly in relationship to central biblical passages on this topic. Those anticipating the submission of proposals should feel free to communicate with Sam Adams (sadams@upsem.edu) or Richard Horsley (richard.horsley@umb.edu) with any questions.

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Egyptology and Ancient Israel

Bernd U. Schipper
John Huddlestun
Description: The Egyptology and Ancient Israel Section exists to promote discussions between biblical scholars and Egyptologists, thus functioning to provide leadership in an interdisciplinary initiative which is increasingly important as scholars in ancient Near East studies realize the significance of the area’s interdependent relationships. Where appropriate, the section will communicate and work with other related program units toward the end of enhancing and furthering interdisciplinary conversations across the ancient Near East.

Call for papers: Session One: This session consists of invited papers and is devoted to the biblical book Song of Songs and Egyptian literature. Session Two: This is an open session. We welcome paper proposals on a variety of topics, which address interrelated issues of comparison and influence between ancient Egypt and ancient Israel.

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Ethics and Biblical Interpretation

David J. Downs
Amy C. Merrill Willis
Description: The aim of the Ethics and Biblical Interpretation Consultation is to study the way the various projects of biblical interpretation and hermeneutics intersect with the concerns of ethics. This consultation will engage ethicists, theologians, and biblical scholars in interdisciplinary conversations.

Call for papers: The Ethics and Biblical Interpretation Section will host two session for the 2015 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA. The FIRST session will be an OPEN session on the topic Change. Calls for change abound in biblical tradition. The Hebrew prophets call for reformation of political and social structures, insisting that the honoring of covenantal obligations toward God and neighbor requires transformation of the heart and communal politics alike. New Testament texts take up issues of political, social, and personal change in richly diverse ways. In contemporary political and social discourse, the cry for change has become urgent. Yet what exactly is change? Who are the ones who need to change and why? How is change best accomplished? And what is the relationship between change and power in ethical discourses that draw on Scripture? We invite papers that explore dimensions of this topic. The SECOND session will also be an OPEN session co-hosted with the Bible and Film Section. We invite papers on the various ways in which film (and other media) shapes personal, communal, or social ethical/moral imagination. How might such ethical rhetorical interests in cinema relate to the ways in which biblical texts shape ethical/moral imagination?

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Ethiopic Bible and Literature

Ralph Lee
Steve Delamarter
Description: This unit studies the sacred texts and literature of the ancient and rich Ethiopic tradition. It seeks, through critical study, to understand the ideology, sociology and the process of literary formation, of the Ethiopic tradition, in particular the Bible, and also discusses its manuscript tradition.

Call for papers: We plan three sessions. The THEOT (Textual History of the Ethiopic Old Testament Project): The THEOT project has analysed large sets of Ethiopic manuscripts dating from the 14th-20th centuries CE for several books, including Deuteronomy, Judges, Ruth, 1-4 Kings, Esther, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Hosea, Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, Malachi, and the Biblical Canticles. Analysis is developing a picture of textual families, their defining features , and a picture of the key factors influencing the development of the text. Papers presenting the current state of research, or that synthesize data and develop the picture of the textual history are invited. Papers are welcome from those involved with the THEOT project, or from others working on Ethiopian manuscripts who can present research that builds the picture of the textual history. Secondly, The Encyclopaedia Aethiopica: marking the completion of this monumental work with an open session inviting papers that discuss the contribution of this work, we invite papers that draw on this tremendous resource, that map out new research directions that are now possible, and that assess and develop this work's contribution to Ethiopian Studies. In line with the encyclopaedia, papers are welcomed that deal with historical developments, places and geographical history, ethnology and sociology, religion and art, trade and economy, politics and important personalities, with a particular emphasis on the unit’s of critical studies seeking to understand the ideology, sociology and the process of literary formation, of the Ethiopic tradition. A joint session with the Syriac Literature and Interpretations of Sacred Texts Section, invites contributions that show intersections between Ethiopic and Syriac or Syriac-Arabic exegetical, literary, or historical traditions. We are especially interested in papers that deal with hagiographical traditions on ascetics (e.g., Isaac of Nineveh, Antony, Pachomius, Basil, or Evagrius).

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Ethnic Chinese Biblical Colloquium

Diane G. Chen
Description: The Ethnic Chinese Biblical Colloquium (ECBC) emerged with the rise of the awareness of contextualization and cross-cultural awareness in biblical interpretation. A group of scholars who are of ethnic Chinese origin created ECBC as a forum to address issues relevant to this concern within SBL in the 1990s. Prominent founding members of this group are Dr. Seow Choon-Leong, Dr. Wan Sze-Kar, Dr. Gale Yee, Dr. Mary Foskett, Dr. Jeffrey Kuan, and Dr. John Yieh. The group invites scholars to participate in the forum held annually within the SBL Annual Meeting.

Call for papers:

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Exile (Forced Migrations) in Biblical Literature

Martien A. Halvorson-Taylor
Description: This section examines exile, displacement, and migration (forced or involuntary) in biblical literature—its history, associated literature, and conceptualization from a wide range of methodological perspectives.

Call for papers: At the 2015 Annual Meeting, we will host at least two sessions. The first session will consist of invited speakers who will respond to David Carr’s Holy Resilience: The Bible's Traumatic Origins (Yale University Press, November 2014). The second session will consist of papers selected from an open call. This year, in light of our invited panel, we particularly welcome paper proposals on the topic of trauma and exile; special consideration will be given to papers that treat gender.

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Extent of Theological Diversity in Earliest Christianity

David B. Capes
Description: Focusing on the evidence for Jesus' death and resurrection as a narrative used to shape the identity of emergent communities, and on the alternatives to this narrative preserved in early Christian sources, this Consultation explores the origin, nature and extent of theological diversity in earliest Christianity from the beginnings until approximately 180 CE. By fostering a conversation involving the testing of various reconstructions of early Christian history against the range of relevant evidence, the unit seeks to bring greater precision to the study of "orthodoxy and heresy in early Christianity."

Call for papers: Focusing on the evidence for Jesus' death and resurrection as a narrative used to shape the identity of emergent communities, and on the alternatives to this narrative preserved in early Christian sources, this Consultation explores the origin, nature and extent of theological diversity in earliest Christianity from the beginnings until approximately 180 CE. By fostering a conversation involving the testing of various reconstructions of early Christian history against the range of relevant evidence, the unit seeks to bring greater precision to the study of "orthodoxy and heresy in early Christianity."

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Feminist Hermeneutics of the Bible

Dr. Margaret Aymer
Richard D. Weis
Description: The aim of this unit is to provide a forum for research in issues and questions relating to feminist methods of interpretation. While specifically focused on methodological concerns, we are also concerned to ground that reflection in the reality of engagement with specific texts.

Call for papers: The Feminist Hermeneutics of the Bible Section will offer four sessions at the 2015 Annual Meeting. The first will be an open session for which paper proposals on any topic within the section's scope of concern are welcome. A second will be a session on the theme "Feminist Hermeneutics looks at biblical interpretation in relation to created families, families of choice, . . .." Proposals for papers related to this theme are especially welcome this year. A third session, co-sponsored with the Rhetoric and New Testament Section and Paul and Politics Group, will feature an invited panel reflecting on the 25th anniversary of the publication of Antoinette Clark Wire’s The Corinthian Women Prophets. The fourth session will feature an invited panel reviewing Susan E. Hylen’s forthcoming book, A Modest Apostle: Thecla and the History of Women in the Early Church (Oxford University Press, 2015).

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Formation of Isaiah

Todd Hibbard
Jacob Stromberg
Description: The Formation of Isaiah unit provides an international forum for discussion of issues related to the formation, growth and unity of the Isaiah scroll as well as questions of poetic imagery, intertextuality, history of interpretation and reader response criticism.

Call for papers: The Formation of the Book of Isaiah group will offer three sessions for 2015. We invite papers for a session on “The Meaning of the Future in Isaiah.” How does Isaiah develop notions or portraits of the future? How useful are the usual analytic categories for explaining the future in Isaiah (e.g., eschatology, utopia, etc.)? What methodological challenges exist for expressing the book’s understanding of the future? Proposals are welcome that address specific texts in the book, explore methodological and terminological issues, or examine thematic issues related to the idea of the future in Isaiah. Two additional sessions of invited papers are planned on “Isaiah through the Lens of Trauma Theory” and “The Making of the Book of Isaiah: Techniques, Aims and Assumptions."

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Formation of Luke and Acts

Dr. Patricia Walters
Description: Recent Lukan studies indicate the formative role of diverse verifiable sources including the Septuagint (e.g., Deuteronomy; the Elijah-Elisha narrative), Greco-Roman writings (e.g., historiography; epic, particularly Homer), and some epistles. The Section aims to check and synthesize such use of sources, thus clarifying the formation of Luke and Acts, and facilitating discussion of broader NT issues.

Call for papers: Recent studies in Luke and Acts indicate the formative role of diverse verifiable sources including the Septuagint, Greco-Roman era historiography, rhetoric, novellas, epistles, and possible early Christian traditions. The Section aims to investigate and synthesize use of such sources, thereby clarifying the formation of Luke and Acts in the context of broader New Testament issues. We welcome papers on aspects of formation related to the Western text of Luke and Acts, Marcion's Evangelion, the minor agreements, extra-biblical and biblical citations found in Luke and Acts, or other features of demonstrable formative influence.

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Function of Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphal Writings in Early Judaism and Early Christianity

David A. deSilva
Loren L. Johns
Description: This unit is focused broadly on questions related to canon, namely: What is the biblical canon? How did it take shape? How did the so-called noncanonical works function in the early Jewish and Christian communities? How do these noncanonical works help us comprehend the shaping of the canon and by whom? What is the relation between a closed canon and the notion of a God who speaks in every generation? With considerable media interest in this subject in recent times, it is important to raise and address some of these important questions.

Call for papers: The steering committee welcomes proposals for papers focusing on the function of particular extra-biblical texts within Jewish or Christian communities from antiquity through modernity as demonstrated by the literature, art, ritual, or other media of these communities. As always, the relation of such function to the formation or fact of "canon" in these communities remains a topic of interest. We hope to have two open sessions in 2015.

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Gender, Sexuality, and the Bible

Gwynn Kessler
Description: This group engages in critical discussion with research on sexuality and gender in disciplines such as critical theory, philosophy, literature, cultural studies and the social sciences. It explores the implications of this research for biblical and postbiblical studies.

Call for papers: We are planning three sessions calling for papers for the Atlanta meeting. FIRST SESSION is jointly sponsored with the Israelite Prophets section. This session examines depictions of male/masculine embodiment in prophetic literature, in particular the body of male prophets. Papers will highlight and inspect portrayals of masculinity using a broad range of theoretical insights to draw attention to the undertheorized and unexamined representations of the male body in prophetic texts. Focus will also be paid to how masculinity advances/deters the prophetic message, as well as its significance for gender and/or sexuality. The SECOND SESSION invites papers on Monstrosity and Animality. The Bible is populated with various human, animal, and supernatural characters and the boundaries between these categories do not always remains fixed. This session will examine the ways in which the animal, as well as the human-animal and supernatural-animal hybrids are often associated with monstrosity. In addition, this session will pay particular attention to the ways in which animality and monstrosity combine in discourses about sex and gender (as well as race, ethnicity, and religion) in biblical texts and their later interpretations. Proposals that deal with either monstrosity of animality, as well as those that combine them, will be considered. The THIRD SESSION is an open session, welcoming proposals for papers on any element of research related to gender, sexuality, and the body in the study of the bible and/or antiquity, including their various afterlives and influences. Questions or further inquiries for these sessions may be directed to the chair, Gwynn Kessler at kessler@swarthmore.edu.

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Genesis

Christopher Heard
John E. Anderson
Description: The Genesis unit promotes sustained and continued dialogue and scholarship on the book of Genesis from a variety of methodological perspectives, especially (yet not limited to) those approaching and treating the text as a canonical whole. It creates space for those working on Genesis to share their work in a focused place.

Call for papers: The Genesis Section invites submissions on any aspect of the study of the book of Genesis. We anticipate three open sessions for the 2015 meeting. Papers addressing the impact of compositional hypotheses on scholars’ work with Genesis are particularly encouraged this year, but all proposals relevant to the study of Genesis are welcome.

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Global Education and Research Technology

Nicolai Winther-Nielsen
Randall K.J. Tan
Description: The Global Education and Research Technology (GERT) section fosters and evaluates open technology and data for biblical scholarship and teaching worldwide. GERT focuses on information and communication technology for biblical studies, including corpus linguistics, language acquisition, interpretation, translation, and instruction.

Call for papers: The Global Education & Research Technology (GERT) section is planning 4 sessions for SBL 2015 in Atlanta. One session is devoted to presenting & evaluating the Tiberias Project (A Web Based Tool for Text Categorization & Authorship Attribution of the Hebrew Scriptures) under development by Joshua Berman (Hebrew Bible) & Moshe Koppel (Computer Science) of Bar-Ilan University. We welcome proposals for the following 3 sessions: 1. Teaching the Bible with Technology. Academic Teaching & Biblical Studies (ATBS) & GERT are sponsoring a joint session on Teaching the Bible with Technology. We are seeking 10-minute presentations in which presenters demonstrate how a technology could be used in the classroom. The emphasis is on the demonstration aspect of the presentation so that participants can visualize how to implement the technology being showcased. Whether it relates to Twitter, blogs, webcams, Oculus Rift, software, audience response systems, or other technologies, we welcome actual cases of specific technologies that improve student learning. 2. Computer-Aided Language Acquisition for Greek and Hebrew. Applied Linguistics for Biblical Languages (ALBL) & GERT are sponsoring a joint session on Computer-Aided Language Acquisition for Greek & Hebrew. The emphasis will be on (a) computer-based techniques that foster active engagement with the target languages rather than rote learning & memorization, (b) teaching people to think in the target languages instead of metalanguage, & (c) measuring & comparing the effectiveness of such techniques. 3. Corpus-based Computing/Linguistics for Ancient Greek. This year’s emphasis will be on “growing the corpus” of open data, including primary texts, metadata for morphology & syntax, semantic metadata, & other resources needed to consume them intelligently. See http://biblicalhumanities.org/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=106 on how paper proposals for GERT sessions are evaluated. Follow GERT at http://biblicalhumanities.org/viewforum.php?f=3.

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GOCN Forum on Missional Hermeneutics

Michael Barram
Description: What would it mean, and what might it look like to read the Bible self-consciously from, and with an explicit methodological starting point in, an ecclesial location that is construed as fundamentally missional in cast and character? How might such an attempt both inform and critique contemporary missiological assumptions? What discoveries about the biblical text might be opened up through the adoption of such a social location and interpretive aim? The Forum on Missional Hermeneutics of the GOCN draws together biblical scholars, theologians, graduate students, and ministry practitioners from a range of disciplines and ecclesiological contexts at the Annual Meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature. The Forum explores the intersections of missiology, ecclesiology, and biblical scholarship in the interpretation of the Bible as it serves the missional vocation of the church. Website: http://www.gocn.org/

Call for papers: Session Theme: "Biblical Formation of the Congregation for Missional Witness." This session of the GOCN Forum on Missional Hermeneutics invites presentations on the theology and practice of biblical formation in the faith community: that is, the role of the Bible and its interpretation in the process of forming "Scripture-shaped communities" (Richard Hays) for mission in the world, in concrete contexts. The approaches could range widely, from homiletical strategies, to lay formation, to case studies of congregational change, to curriculum development, to seminary preparation of ministry practitioners.

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Gospel of Luke

John T. Carroll
Mark A. Matson
Description: The Gospel of Luke garners continued interest because of its distinctive narrative construction and its rhetorical, theological, and ethical emphases. The unit is interested in exploring Luke’s literary features and theology, and in encouraging new research on the gospel.

Call for papers: The Gospel of Luke section is continuing its plan to offer one session of invited papers addressing core themes in the Gospel’s narrative or theology. For 2015, a thematic invited session on issues of ethnicity will be hosted jointly with the Acts Section. We invite paper proposals for our open sessions dealing with any aspect of the Gospel of Luke, but we would be especially interested in papers addressing the portrayal of ethnicity or Judaism in Luke, or proposals that address Luke’s narrative construction of space and/or time.

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Greco-Roman Religions

Gerhard van den Heever
Description: This unit is highly interdisciplinary and comparative, a forum regularly bringing together historians of religion, specialists in Christian origins, classicists, archaeologists, and social scientists from across the world to pursue questions that foster new cooperative research initiatives.

Call for papers: The Greco-Roman Religions Section invites papers for two sessions. The first panel focuses on “Healing Cults in the Mediterranean World from the Late Hellenistic to Early Imperial Period.” Papers are invited that explore a broad range of practices in context pertaining to a range of ancient healing cults. Proposals are especially welcome that describe, explain, and theorise healing practices, institutionalised cults, healing cult personnel, and related cult spaces as these occurred across the Mediterranean world, both in continuity as well as in contextually wrought innovations. Papers should ideally seek to understand different healing cults and sets of healing practices in relation to each other but also in relation to the wider encompassing social, cultural and religious discourses. The second session is devoted to the new book project: “Redescribing Cult Formation in the Early Imperial Era. Discourse, Invention, Material Religion.” The aim of the project is a redescriptive conceptualization of ancient religious formations in a material or naturalistic understanding of how religions originate. The project is conceptualized to be comprehensively redescriptive, which implies extensive comparative study, and the application of a broad range of culture studies, discourse studies, social science and spatiality theories, and ethnomethodologies (incl. human geography and cultural geography). The planned first session for 2015 will be devoted to conceptualizing theoretical frameworks for such a redescriptive conceptualization of ancient religious formations. Papers are invited that reflect on comparative and redescriptive frameworks for theorizing ancient religious formations with reference to case studies as illustrative instantiations of theory-informed explanations of cult formations. Contributors should reflect on how theories mutually relate in order to avoid silos of conceptualization, so as to enable comprehensive interpretation and “deep understanding.”

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Greek Bible

Robert Hiebert
Description: The Greek Bible section focuses on the use of the Greek versions (the Septuagint or other Greek versions) in biblical exegesis by Hellenistic Jewish authors, the New Testament writers, the Church Fathers, Greek historians or philosophers, and medieval Jewish scholiasts, as well as on the methodologies they employ.

Call for papers: The Greek Bible Section offers a unique forum for current scholarship on the reception history of the ancient Greek translations of the Jewish scriptures. A focus of the section has been the interpretation of the Greek text, including (but not limited to) ancient Jewish authors, the writers of the New Testament, the Church Fathers, Greek historians or philosophers, and medieval Jewish scholiasts. Topics of discussion have included the history of biblical exegesis, the life and culture of Jews and Christians, Jewish-Christian relations, the text of the Greek Bible, and the history of the Greek language. For a number of reasons this is a very important area of research, with implications for the study of Hellenistic Judaism, Early Christianity, as well as late antiquity and the Byzantine world.

For the 2015 meeting in Atlanta the Greek Bible section invites papers for two sessions:

  • A special session, "The Afterlives of Greek Isaiah.” This session will explore the reception history of the Old Greek version of the book of Isaiah, with reference to topics such as transmission, redaction, intertextuality, exegesis, scholarly approaches and social cultural issues. Papers should demonstrate engagement with the Greek text as such.
  • An open session, “Greek Bible.” This session deals with any aspect of the reception history of the Hebrew-Greek translations of antiquity, including (but not limited to) their use within Hellenistic, Tannaitic and medieval Judaism, the New Testament and early and Patristic Christianity. Papers should demonstrate engagement with the Greek text as such.


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    Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World

    Joel S. Baden
    Nicole Kelley
    Description: This unit, titled Disability Studies and Healthcare in the Bible and Near East until 2011, seeks to foster scholarship related to disability, illness, medicine, and healthcare in the biblical world and text. Major areas of interest include: the religious, legal, and cultural status of persons with disabilities or illness in the biblical and formative Jewish and Christian periods; the representation of disability and illness in biblical and cognate texts; the theology of such texts; the history and archeology of medicine and healthcare in the ancient Near East and Greco-Roman worlds; and the subjects of disability, illness, medicine and healthcare in the history of biblical interpretation.

    Call for papers: The unit plans to have at least two stand-alone sessions at the 2015 meeting. Both sessions will be open to any aspect of the study of health and disability related to the Bible. In addition, we will hold two joint sessions. The first is with the Cultural Studies section, for which we invite papers related to the intersection of disability studies and the Bible that explore (but are not limited to) topics such as the following: colonial representations of the body; intersections of disability, gender, class and race; economic and sociopolitical perspectives; disability, illness and sacred texts; and/or how the Bible has been used to codify and justify discrimination of the disabled in recent history, and how may the Bible be used to resist discrimination/violence against the disabled. The second joint session will be held with the Metacriticism unit, and will be entitled Disability Studies Metacriticism. Topics of interest include disability studies and contestations of textual authority, conflicts between historical-critical studies and theological approaches, comparisons of disability scholarship within and outside of biblical studies, and disability as distinctive meta-critical tool.

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    Hebrew Bible and Philosophy

    Jaco Gericke
    Andrew Johnson
    Description: This unit is concerned with the problems, potential, possibilities and prospects of philosophical perspectives on the Hebrew Bible. The aim is to discuss the relationship between the Hebrew Bible and Philosophy as well as textual contents related to various topics in previously largely neglected philosophical sub-fields, e.g. metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of religion, etc.

    Call for papers: The Hebrew Bible and Philosophy unit will be hosting two sessions: 1) invited papers from scholars of bible, theology, and philosophy examining the basis for philosophical criticism of Hebrew Bible, and 2) an open call for papers that propose to examine specific biblical texts or the Hebrew Bible as a whole for philosophical content. Preference will be given to proposals that consider neglected philosophical sub-disciplines in Hebrew Bible scholarship (e.g., metaphysics, logic/rationality, epistemology, philosophy of religion). See hebrewbibleandphilosophy.wordpress.com for the motivations of this program unit and examples of examinations of the bible's philosophical content.

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    Hebrew Bible and Political Theory

    Francis Borchardt
    Description: Politics was as central to the life of ancient Israel as it is in our modern world. It is found throughout the Hebrew Bible and cognate literature. This unit attempts to study political phenomena in this corpus with methodological rigor.

    Call for papers: As usual, the Hebrew Bible and Political Theory section will be accepting papers that attempt to gain understanding of the Hebrew Bible and the literature commonly read by scholars of ancient Judaism by utilizing the theories of political philosophy. As other program units already explore feminist ideology, African-American hermeneutics and post-colonial approaches, this session will give preference to papers that employ theoretical models concerning, for example, notions of nationhood, citizenship, law, class, social hierarchy, economic distribution, modes of leadership, and the like. This year we would be particularly interested in papers dealing with the conception of natural law and/or human rights in the Hebrew Bible. Promising contributions will be considered for an edited volume being prepared by the program unit.

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    Hebrew Bible, History, and Archaeology

    Matthew Suriano
    Jeremy Smoak
    Description: This program unit exists to foster discussion of the relationship between archaeology in all its aspects (including survey, excavation, and epigraphic data) and the history of the ancient Israelite kingdoms and/or the Hebrew Bible.

    Call for papers: The Hebrew Bible, History, and Archaeology session invites papers for two sessions, accepting papers that address the history or archaeology of ancient Israel and Judah through the use of texts, archaeology, and anthropological approaches.

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    Hebrew Scriptures and Cognate Literature

    Martti Nissinen
    Description: The Hebrew Scriptures and Cognate Literature Section provides a major forum for research on specific points of contact between the Bible and the literatures of Israel's neighbors, to better elucidate the Bible as a collection of ancient Israelite writings.

    Call for papers: The Hebrew Scriptures and Cognate Literature Section offers a wide-ranging forum for new research on specific points of contact between the Bible and the literatures of Israel's neighbors, with the goal of understanding biblical texts as they relate to the broader production of ancient scribes. We welcome submissions on all relevant topics, emphasizing that papers must incorporate both biblical and non-biblical material. There will be either one or two open sessions, depending on the decision of the committee regarding paper submissions.

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    Hebrews

    Amy Peeler
    Craig R. Koester
    Description: The famous and almost proverbial saying that Hebrews appears to its viewer as a “melchisedekitisches Wesen ohne Stammbaum” was uttered by Franz Overbeck in the year 1880, during the high noon of historicism. The missing genealogy that Overbeck lamented meant peculiarly to him a lack of historical context. This perceived “lack” was the consequence of flawed presuppositions originating in ideological frameworks, and consequently led New Testament scholarship to view Hebrews as the “enigmatic,” the “other” one, and furthermore led to the neglect of its historical context by Hebrews scholarship. Consequently, the context was judged as “irrelevant” for Hebrews interpretation. Recent scholarship on the contrary has developed a particular interest in Hebrews’ context. Therefore, while maintaining the distinctiveness of Hebrews it is the aim of this Group to explore extensively and facilitate scholarly research on Hebrews’ relations to other early traditions and texts (Jewish, Hellenistic and Roman), so that Hebrews’ historical, cultural, and religious identity may be mapped in greater detail.

    Call for papers: The Hebrews Section will hold two sessions in 2015: (1) "Time and Space in Hebrews: Sapiential and Apocalyptic Perspectives." Hebrews' worldview reflects both wisdom and apocalyptic traditions. The writer portrays the action of Christ in terms of heavenly and earthly realms. Past, present, and future time are brought together in a complex way. The perspective is intriguing, yet difficult to categorize. We invite proposals that open up fresh perspectives on the spatial and temporal dimensions of Hebrews by drawing from wisdom writings and apocalyptic texts. The session is jointly sponsored with Wisdom and Apocalypticism in Early Judaism and Early Christianity. (2) "Hebrews, Theology, and Ethics." Papers for this session are by invitation and will explore theological and ethical dimensions of Hebrews from interdisciplinary perspectives.

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    Hellenistic Judaism

    Lutz Doering
    Sandra Gambetti
    Description: This section is devoted to the history of (a) Judaism of the Hellenistic period (that is, "Hellenistic" understood chronologically from Alexander the Great to Augustus), (b) Greek-speaking Judaism in antiquity (that is, "Hellenistic" understood linguistically), and (c) the interaction between Judaism and its host cultures in antiquity ("Hellenistic understood culturally and socially).

    Call for papers: The Hellenistic Judaism Section will organize three sessions for the 2015 Atlanta meeting. Two sessions will be by invitation only: (1) a session discussing work in progress on Corpus Papyrorum Judaicarum, Part IV, currently prepared for publication by Tal Ilan and Noah Hacham; and (2) a panel, co-sponsored with the Pseudepigrapha Section, organized around Benjamin Wright's commentary on the Letter of Aristeas, to be published in 2015. The third, open session (3) is entitled “Alexandria and the Jews in the Ptolemaic and Roman periods.” For this session we invite papers on any aspect relating to the topic, but we are especially interested in submissions focusing on one of the two following issues: (a) “A growing intellectual hub: Alexandria and the Greek Torah as an Alexandrian book.” The early Ptolemies claimed for Alexandria an intellectual role which would challenge that of Athens. The Jews arrived in the city when this project was in the first stages of its development; the translation into Greek of their book, the Torah, occurred at the same time as the formation of the library. Was the Greek Torah a Jewish book or an Alexandrian book? We invite submissions elaborating on the accessibility and knowledge of the Greek Torah outside Jewish circles in the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. (b) “Where were the Jews in Alexandria?” The presence of the Jews in Alexandria is certainly historically documented, but archaeology has as of yet been of little help to substantiate the claim of the written sources. We invite submissions discussing the archaeological evidence of Alexandria in relation to the presence of a consistent and growing Jewish community on its territory.

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    Historical Jesus

    Amy-Jill Levine
    Thomas Kazen
    Description: Historical Jesus research is one of the oldest and most debated areas in Biblical Studies. We encourage critical analyses of historical methods, recent trends and contemporary reception, and we give scholars and students opportunities to present their latest Jesus research.

    Call for papers: For the 2015 meeting we are planning for one or two open sessions with short papers and more time for discussion than we have had in the past. We especially encourage papers that display a conscious methodology. We are also planning for a theme session on the future of historical Jesus studies, for which the papers will be invited. The Historical Jesus section has repeatedly returned to issues of history, method, criteria and perspectives, and the aim of this session is to take a bird's eye view on recent developments and where they might lead us.

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    Historiography and the Hebrew Bible

    Daniel Pioske
    Description: This unit (formerly Current Historiography and Ancient Israel and Judah) explores how historians use the Hebrew Bible for purposes of historical research and writing.

    Call for papers: Papers are invited once again this year on any historiographical case study or on methodological reflections concerning the pertinence of the genre of historiography in regard to certain texts within the Hebrew Bible. Applications to a single text or across a few texts of interdisciplinary theories or methods including, but not limited to, space, cultural/social memory, frontier studies, diaspora studies, political theory, ritual studies, folklore studies, literary studies, and ideological studies are welcome, particularly if they include specific discussion of how the approach used influences the perception of the biblical texts and supports or undercuts an understanding of certain texts as historiographical in nature.

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    History and Literature of Early Rabbinic Judaism

    Alyssa M. Gray
    Carol Bakhos
    Description: This section is devoted to both historical and literary study of the Rabbis of Late Antiquity (ca. 70 CE - 640 CE). We encourage studies that are interdisciplinary and comparative, and that take into account the wider social and cultural environments in which the Rabbis worked.

    Call for papers: Two sessions will be by invitation. For a third session, papers dealing with all aspects of late antique rabbinic Judaism are welcome for consideration, but preference will be given to papers that engage in a methodologically rigorous exploration in historical context of texts and topics relating to ecology and the environment in the classical rabbinic corpus. It is hoped that a panel on this theme can be formed.

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    History of Interpretation

    D. Jeffrey Bingham
    Description: The purpose of the section is: (1) To encourage the investigation of the history of biblical interpretation, especially with respect to the socio-historical context of the interpreters; (2) To support scholars by providing a forum for presentation and critical discussion of their works at the annual meeting; and (3) To encourage conversation among scholars investigating different time periods and geographical areas for their mutual benefit.

    Call for papers: This year the History of Interpretation section particularly welcomes proposals on biblical apocalyptic material in the history of interpretation.

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    Homiletics and Biblical Studies

    Charles Lynn Aaron
    Description: The Homiletics and Biblical Studies Section encourages dialogue among scholars in both fields who share an interest in critical exegesis, its various methods, and the unique hermeneutical and theological problems inherent to the relationship between biblical interpretation and proclamation.

    Call for papers: The Homiletics and Biblical Studies Section plans invited panels on the Preaching of Martin Luther King, Jr. and a book review session on Mark and John. We issue a call for papers in our open session on various topics that concern the relationship between biblical interpretation and homiletics. We encourage papers from a variety of traditions and welcome interreligious dialogue.

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    Ideological Criticism

    Davis Hankins
    Description: This Section approaches the Bible through critical philosophical perspectives and explores how power shapes and is shaped by the Bible and its reception. We embrace various definitions of ideology and approaches to uncovering the political stakes of the Bible and of its uses and influences.

    Call for papers: The Ideological Criticism Section seeks paper proposals on any topic concerned with Ideological Criticism as defined in the program unit description. Especially welcome at the 2015 Annual Meeting are papers that engage the following topics: 1) New Theoretical Perspectives and New Materialisms. An open session looking for papers that explore the potential and impact on biblical studies and on biblical texts of new developments in philosophical thought and in critical theory. We especially welcome papers that engage what is variously referred to under the rubric of New Materialisms. 2) Engagements with Ideological Criticism itself in light of this section's 25th year in the SBL.

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    Institute for Biblical Research

    Mark J. Boda
    Nijay K Gupta
    Description: The historical goals of the Institute for Biblical Research include fostering the study of Scripture within an evangelical context, establishing facilities for the furtherance of biblical studies, and encouraging university and college students toward a vocation of biblical scholarship. Website: www.ibr-bbr.org

    Call for papers: The Institute of Biblical Research holds an Annual Lecture each year on the Friday night prior to SBL. This lecture is invited and this coming year (2015) will be delivered by Craig Bartholomew. There are, however, opportunities for involvement in IBR in research groups which take place on Friday afternoon. To propose papers and ideas for these research groups please go to https://www.ibr-bbr.org (and click on Research Groups) and contact Research Group coordinators listed there. To propose a new research group please contact Beth Stovell (bstovell@ambrose.edu). For further information about IBR and the IBR program please contact Mark Boda at mjboda@mcmaster.ca and go to https://www.ibr-bbr.org.

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    International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies

    Leonard J. Greenspoon
    Description: The IOSCS is an Affiliate of the SBL. For further information on the IOSCS, please contact the program unit chair.

    Call for papers: The International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS) is soliciting papers for its annual meeting in Atlanta, to be held in conjunction with SBL. Proposals should be presented through the SBL Annual Meetings website. Please direct any queries to Leonard Greenspoon at ljgrn@creighton.edu.

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    International Qur’anic Studies Association

    Emran El-Badawi
    Michael Pregill
    Nicolai Sinai
    Nicolai Sinai
    Gabriel Said Reynolds
    Description: The International Qur’anic Studies Association fosters scholarship on the Qur’an, its context, its relationship to other scriptural traditions, and its influence upon literature and culture. IQSA facilitates the broad and open discussion of the Qur’an from a variety of academic perspectives.

    Call for papers:

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    International Syriac Language Project

    Richard A. Taylor
    Description: All papers are presented as contributions to the International Syriac Language Project (ISLP), the aim of which is to redefine ancient-language lexicography for the 21st century, and to lay the foundations for a new comprehensive Syriac-English lexicon. The group and its invited contributors is interdisciplinary and collaborative, and therefore includes specialists in related fields.

    Call for papers: The next scheduled meeting of the International Syriac Language Project (ISLP) will be held on 21-24 November 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia, in conjunction with the annual meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Academy of Religion. We are looking forward to these meetings and the opportunity to interact with one another’s research, particularly as it relates to the goals and interests of the ISLP. On behalf of the organizing committee we would like to encourage ISLP members and friends to consider proposing a paper on a relevant topic for presentation at this meeting. Proposals on all aspects of lexicography, linguistics, and ancient languages, especially but not limited to Syriac studies, are most welcome. Papers that are presented at the meetings will later be peer reviewed and submitted for publication in our ISLP series entitled Perspectives on Linguistics and Ancient Languages (PLAL), which is published by Gorgias Press. Since we have a limited number of slots available on the program, it is important that we hear from you as soon as possible if you wish to propose a paper. We do hope that you will be able to join us in Atlanta for these meetings. Please contact us right away at the following e-mail addresses to let us know of your interest. We look forward to hearing from you soon! James Aitken Cambridge Rick Taylor Dallas

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    Intertextuality and the Hebrew Bible

    Carleen R. Mandolfo
    Hyun Chul Paul Kim
    Description: The purpose of this unit is to provide a forum for presentation and discussion on the study of intertextuality in the Hebrew Bible. This unit explores various issues related to methodology as well as interpretation, considering not only the Hebrew Bible but also its connection to ancient Near Eastern literature, Second Temple texts, the New Testament, interreligious sources, art, and film.

    Call for papers: This new program unit will have two inaugurating sessions. One session’s theme is “Intertextuality and Hebrew Bible: Whence and Whither?” This is an invited session in which panelists will discuss where the field of Intertextuality and the Hebrew Bible has been and what potentials/pitfalls it holds for the future of biblical studies. The other session, with invited panelists, will be a joint-session with the Megilloth consultation for a Book Review Panel on Michael Fishbane’s JPS Commentary on Song of Songs (to be published March 1, 2015).

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    Intertextuality in the New Testament

    Erik Waaler
    Max J. Lee
    Description: The purpose of this unit is to provide a forum for presentation and discussion on intertexual interpretations of New Testament passages. This unit focuses on ways in which the language of texts are recited, echoed, reconfigured, or recontextualized by other texts from the LXX, Greco-Roman philosophers, orators, decrees, Second Temple sources, Hebrew Scriptures, or another ancient source.

    Call for papers: The Intertextuality in the New Testament Section seeks paper proposals for two special topic sessions and one open session. 1) The session on the Johannine literature corpus invites proposals which focus on the intertextual interpretation of the Gospel of John, the Johannine Letters or the Apocalypse of John. 2) The session on rhetorical criticism invites proposals using critical methods in ancient or modern rhetoric to analyze the use of texts by New Testament writers in their arguments, propositions, or moral exhortations. 3) One session is open and invites papers on all elements of intertextuality in the New Testament.

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    Inventing Christianity: Apostolic Fathers, Apologists, and Martyrs

    David L. Eastman
    Stephanie Cobb
    Description: This unit focuses on the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, the apologists, and the authors of martyrdom accounts (AFAM) in the second and third centuries. The goal is to explore their role in the invention of “Christianity” and early Christian identities.

    Call for papers: In 2015 the unit will sponsor two sessions of pre-arranged papers: 1) Martyrdom and Persecution: Frend at 50. In honor of the 50th anniversary of William Frend’s "Martyrdom and Persecution," this session will explore the legacy of Frend and the current state of scholarship on the issue of martyrdom in early Christianity. 2) Acts of Paul. This session will focus on the Acts of Paul in its second-century context as evidence of the reception of the Pauline tradition.

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    Islands, Islanders, and Scriptures

    Althea Spencer Miller
    Jione Havea
    Description: This section is a platform for island and islander views, languages, peoples, swaggers, rhythms and more. It engages interests and realities of islanders from and between the Caribbean and Oceania, and how those condition the reception, translation and interpretation of scriptures.

    Call for papers: We invite proposals for two open sessions: 1. Biblical Coastlands and Coastal Readings: We invite presentations on scriptural texts relating to coasts and coastlands (e.g., Eze 26, Acts 28:1-10; see also Isaiah texts that use the notions “coastlands” or “coastlands and islands”). Is there a specific geography that these texts have in mind with these references or is it an imaginary geography? If imagined what informs that imagination to depict coastal regions rather than say for want of something more expressive, continental space? What's different about coasts and coastland ways? How have these texts been read? By/for whom? How might you read these texts islandly? 2. Caribbean Readings: Rhythmic Bible Readings and the Riddims of Reading the Bible. (Riddims here serves as a cultural appropriation of the English term rhythms that speaks to a certain musicality.) This session features papers that explore the interface between text and contexts, in this case the Bible and Caribbean cultures, with an ear to music production. Taking the Caribbean as the starting point, how does this context read the Bible as well as critique the Bible through its music? Additionally, what are the places where the Bible's integral message critically addresses the Caribbean contexts, perhaps calling common assumptions into question? Papers will provide descriptions and analyses of these relationships as the foundation for articulating the peculiarities of a Caribbean biblical exegesis.

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    Israelite Prophetic Literature

    Steed Vernyl Davidson
    Description: This section aims to provide an open forum for scholars to present papers on a variety of topics germane to the study of ancient Israelite prophecy and prophetic literature.

    Call for papers: We invite papers that cover themes in the following four sessions. Session 1: Characterizations of God in Prophetic Poetry Much of the prophetic literature appears in the form of divine speech mediated by a prophet. This session explores ways in which God/YHWH is portrayed in these speeches, be it through self-characterization, metaphors or more concrete descriptions. We welcome proposals that explore various theological implications of how God is portrayed, both in their ancient and modern contexts. Session 2: Representations and Metaphors of Otherness This session concentrates on how prophetic literature represents otherness in material and metaphoric ways. Attention will be drawn to otherness in terms of space, race, ethnicity, gender, and other forms of identity markers, singularly or collectively. These paper analyze metaphoric and other representations of otherness in prophetic literature from various theoretical perspectives with the aim of understanding the meaning of these metaphors and representations for early readers/hearers, their reception at various points in history, or their impact for contemporary readers. Session 3: Open Session This session features papers on a broad range of topics dealing with prophetic literature. Papers that fall within the scope of other thematic sessions may also be presented here. Session 4: The Male Prophetic Body (A joint session with Gender, Sexuality, and the Bible) This session examines depictions of male/masculine embodiment in prophetic literature, in particular the body of male prophets. Papers will highlight and inspect portrayals of masculinity using a broad range of theoretical insights to draw attention to the undertheorized and unexamined representations of the male body in prophetic texts. Focus will also be paid to how masculinity advances/deters the prophetic message, as well as its significance for gender and/or sexuality.

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    Israelite Religion in Its West Asian Environment

    Simeon Chavel
    Description: A forum for the study of religion in Israel and Judea within their larger Southwest Asian and East Mediterranean contexts. Aims to bring together a wide variety of questions, perspectives, periods, disciplines, theories, methods, and kinds of data, e.g., verbal text (literary and pragmatic), visual art, artifacts and architecture; philology (broadly), art-history, sociology and anthropology, and history; theology, ritual, gender, and ethnicity. Above all, the forum seeks to facilitate the systematic framing of questions and analysis of religion in theoretical terms, with theoretical scholarship.

    Call for papers: We welcome well-crafted 25 min. papers from scholars across the globe, senior and junior, returning presenters as well as new ones, specializing in or featuring any of the sub-disciplines, in straight lecture or image-oriented format.

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    Jesus Traditions, Gospels, and Negotiating the Roman Imperial World

    Colleen Conway
    Eric Thurman
    Eric Thurman
    Description: The section aims to encourage the exploration of the diverse ways (accommodation; cooption, ambivalence; self-protective protest; challenge; alternative communities and contestive practices; exposure of imperial strategies etc.) in which Jesus traditions and gospels negotiate the Roman imperial world.

    Call for papers: This year we will have two open sessions. For one of these sessions, we are particularly interested in papers that work with theories of empire as they relate to study of the Roman Empire. Also encouraged are papers that examine the negotiation of the Roman Empire in terms of gender, class or race, keeping in mind the section's focus on Jesus traditions and gospels.

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    Jewish Christianity / Christian Judaism

    Petri Luomanen
    F. Stanley Jones
    Description: The broad aim of this research unit is to clarify the religion, history, and sociology of the ancient groups traditionally called, collectively, “Jewish Christianity,” but increasingly “Christian” or “Jesus-believing Judaism.” The group also seeks to clarify the issues involved in conceptualizing such groups as a distinct category of religion in antiquity.

    Call for papers: The section extends an open call for papers dealing with any aspect of Jewish Christianity/Christian Judaism; it hopes to dedicate one session to Jewish Christian sources of the synoptic gospels.

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    Jewish-Christian Dialogue and Sacred Texts

    Joel N. Lohr
    Leonard J. Greenspoon
    Description: This unit explores issues related to the interpretation of sacred texts, with a view toward contemporary Jewish-Christian dialogue. It aims to foster biblical scholarship and pedagogy that is informed by and nurtures dialogue and to provide venues for discussion between the traditions on sacred scriptures.

    Call for papers: This unit explores issues related to the interpretation of sacred texts, with a view toward contemporary Jewish-Christian dialogue. It aims to foster biblical scholarship and pedagogy that is informed by and nurtures dialogue and to provide venues for discussion between the traditions on sacred scriptures.

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    Johannine Literature

    Alicia D. Myers
    Jo-Ann A. Brant
    Description: Our mission is to address issues and concerns having to do with the analysis and interpretation of the Johannine literature--a major component of the Christian Scriptures, encompassing for our purposes the Gospel of John and the three Johannine letters. The section has historically been committed to highlighting new voices and issues in the field.

    Call for papers: Our 2015 Annual Meetings sessions will include an open session, for which papers on all topics related to the Johannine Gospel and letters will be considered, and sessions on the Genre of the Gospel of John and Characterization in the Gospel of John. The discussion of Characterization is a continuation of a discussion begin at the 2014 annual meeting. Papers that consider comparison of Mark and John's approach to characterization are especially welcome.

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    John's Apocalypse and Cultural Contexts Ancient and Modern

    Leslie Baynes
    Description: This section provides an interdisciplinary forum for nontraditional and traditional methods to interact in the exploration of the meaning and significance of the Apocalypse of John and related literature in both their ancient and modern cultural contexts.

    Call for papers: The section invites submissions for an OPEN SESSION on John's Apocalypse and Cultural Contexts, Ancient and Modern. While we welcome proposals on all aspects of the Book of Revelation, we especially invite papers that offer new perspectives on the text, including papers that approach the text from specific hermeneutical contexts, employ innovative approaches to the Apocalypse, and/or offer new perspectives on enduring questions. Session two is an invitation-only book review panel.

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    John, Jesus, and History

    Catrin H. Williams
    Craig R. Koester
    Description: The John, Jesus, and History Group will highlight issues related to the Johannine tradition and the composition-history of the Fourth Gospel and the Johannine Epistles, with special emphasis on the place of these documents in contemporary study of Christian origins. Dialogue on these issues will be encouraged through the group’s annual meetings and through other venues throughout the year.

    Call for papers: The John, Jesus, and History group will hold three sessions in 2015. One will be a major review of the contributions that have been made to the discussion of historical questions pertaining to John's gospel over the past twelve years. The session will identify major questions and help to assess new directions. A second session will continue the exploration of Portraits of Jesus in the Gospel of John, which began in 2013. Papers will focus the way early Christian traditions about Jesus as healer, Messiah, and Son of God are both preserved and recast in John. A third session will focus on either the Johannine tradition in a particular geographical context or on possible connections with other early Christian sources. All papers will be by invitation. We encourage those wishing to propose a paper in Johannine studies to do so through the Johannine Literature section.

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    Josephus

    Jan W. van Henten
    James S. McLaren
    Description: The Josephus Group will support the Brill Josephus Project, which is publishing all of his works with translation and commentary. We shall reach out collaboratively to the SBL community with a wide variety of topics related to the study of Josephus.

    Call for papers: Two sessions are planned for the 2015 annual meeting. One session will be devoted to papers related to the Brill Josephus project and is by invitation only. For the second session the Josephus Seminar invites proposals for papers on Josephus and political thought. We are particularly interested in papers that explore Josephus’ own political views or his response to political ideas and practices developed by others.

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    Joshua-Judges

    Ed Noort
    Thomas B. Dozeman
    Description: The Joshua-Judges Section will seek to reach a synthesis of all genuinely pertinent information and insight needed to interpret Joshua and Judges responsibly and competently. Specialists will contribute to understanding contents, background, text, structure, and interpretation of these books.

    Call for papers: Two sessions: (1) Closed Session on Joshua 24; (2) Open Session on any topic relating to the interpretation of Joshua-Judges.

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    Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion

    Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza
    Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre
    Description: The JFSR is the oldest interdisciplinary, interreligious feminist academic journal in religious studies. Founded in 1985, it is published twice annually, in the spring and fall. Located at the intersection of feminist theory and studies in religion, it welcomes contributions that explore a diversity of feminist theories, practices, cultures, and religions. Its editors are committed to rigorous thinking and analysis in the service of the transformation of religious studies as a discipline and the feminist transformation of religious and cultural institutions. Website: http://www.fsrinc.org/jfsr/

    Call for papers:

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    Korean Biblical Colloquium

    S. Aaron Son
    John Ahn
    Kang-Yup Na
    Description: The purpose of this organization is to promote Korean scholarship in biblical studies and related fields and to facilitate fellowship and networking among Korean scholars in those fields. Members of KBC include Koreans and others who are engaged in biblical studies and related fields and who are interested in developing Korean perspectives in those fields and sharing their scholarly experiences with fellow Korean scholars.

    Call for papers: KBC welcomes paper proposals in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Intertestamental literature that engage critical, theological, postcolonial, cultural, or various approaches.

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    Latino/a and Latin American Biblical Interpretation

    Alejandro F. Botta
    Ahida Calderon Pilarski
    Description: The issue of contextualization at the level of reception or interpretation, involving not only location but also perspective, has become paramount in Biblical Studies in recent years. For some time now, a good and growing number of Latino/a American and Latin American biblical scholars have been addressing the problematic of reading the Bible explicitly from their particular placements and optics in society and culture. This proposed Consultation seeks to pursue such work in sustained and systematic fashion by bringing together scholars—Latino/a and Latin American as well as others with an interest in such discussions—from across the spectrum of biblical criticism. Its scope is conceived as broad: first, the biblical texts as such, both testaments; second, readings and readers of these texts in modern and postmodern biblical criticism; lastly, traditions of reading the Bible outside academic criticism. Its approach is also envisioned as wide-ranging: open to a variety of methodological approaches and theoretical perspectives, from the more traditional to the more recent.

    Call for papers: In 1975, theologians from a variety of backgrounds had a conference in Detroit to share perspectives and “explain their own analysis of the structures that oppressed them.” Two of the dynamics of oppression, among others, highlighted at this gathering were race and class conflict. Papers from this conference were later published in Theology in the Americas (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1976). In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the 1975 Detroit Conference, the Latino/a and Latin American Biblical Interpretation Section calls for papers addressing the issue of Race and Class Conflict (struggle) in Biblical Interpretation.

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    Latter-day Saints and the Bible

    Jared W. Ludlow
    Description: This unit examines the interpretation and use of the Bible by Latter-day Saints beginning with Joseph Smith down to the present. Papers draw on tools used in biblical studies and address topics of broad interest to the academy of biblical scholars.

    Call for papers: For the 2015 Annual Meeting, the Latter-day Saints in the Bible section is planning two topical sessions, including some invited papers, and possibly one open session. One session will deal with the topic of what is LDS biblical interpretation addressing questions and issues such as “What is LDS Biblical Studies?” “How might academic approaches be used in an LDS context”? “responses to the Documentary Hypothesis” “theories addressing hermeneutics and/or classification of authority in LDS sources.” Another session will look at LDS readings and interpretive issues in the Gospels, especially Mark and Luke. If interested in either of these topics, please contact the committee chair or submit a paper proposal. Other papers are invited on any topic directly pertinent to Latter-day Saints and the Bible including the translation or interpretation of passages in the Old or New Testament, the reception history of the Bible for Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith Translation emendations, or inter-textual studies between the Bible and restoration scriptures. Papers exploring the notion of what is scripture or the role of scripture in North American history are encouraged. Comparisons with other Christian denominations or non-Christian traditions—in interpretation or methods of scripture study—are also welcome.

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    Letters of James, Peter, and Jude

    Duane F. Watson
    Dr. Peter H. Davids
    Description: The Letters of James, Peter, and Jude Section considers research on these letters that contribute to understanding them and their social contexts. It encourages the use of rhetorical, social-scientific, sociorhetorical, ideological, and hermeneutical methods, as well as other cross-disciplinary approaches in addition to the historical-critical method.

    Call for papers: The focus for the special session will be the Letters of James, Peter, and Jude in the context of Second Temple Jewish Literature. There will also be an open session to which we invite original research on these epistles using modern methodologies and heuristics.

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    Levites and Priests in History and Tradition

    Madhavi Nevader
    Sarah Shectman
    Description: This section comprises a forum for the investigation into the social and historical roles of the cultic personnel (predominantly Levites and priests) in ancient Israel and early Judaism, as well as into the literary presentation of those figures in early scriptural traditions. Papers from a variety of methodical approaches may be accepted.

    Call for papers: The Levites and Priests in History and Tradition Section will host two sessions in 2015. The unit welcomes proposals for a session on the topic of the high priesthood in ancient Israel and the wider Near East. For an open session, we welcome proposals on the social and historical roles of cultic personnel in ancient Israel and early Judaism or on the literary presentation of those figures in early scriptural traditions.

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    LGBTI/Queer Hermeneutics

    David Tabb Stewart
    Lynn R. Huber
    Description: Sexual orientation and kinship continues to be contested in public, ecclesial and academic communities across the globe and Biblical interpretation underpins much that is oppressive in these efforts. This section provides a forum for interrogating issues related to these interpretations and for formulating interpretive methods that emerge from the diversity of LGBTI/Q experience and thought.

    Call for papers: The LGBTI/ Queer Biblical Hermeneutics program unit invites papers for an open session on "Queering Canons." How do LGBTI/ Queer interpreters engage, deploy, and challenge biblical canons? What rhetorical and interpretive methods are employed by LGBTIQ individuals and communities to "queer" the canons of traditional biblical studies? In what ways do LGBTIQ cultural canons, including traditions of camp, drag, literature, and film, intersect with, undermine, or augment biblical texts and traditions? Do queer identities and positionalities necessitate the destruction of canons or can queer interpreters create and deploy alternative canons?" In addition, LGBTI/ Queer Hermeneutics will sponsor an invited review panel on Sussanah Cornwall's book "Intersex, Theology and the Bible: Troubling Bodies in Church, Text and Society" (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2015). To explore intersectionalities in biblical interpretation, a third, and invited, cosponsored panel on the legacy of Randall Bailey will be held in cooperation with the African American Biblical Hermeneutics Section.

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    Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qur’anic Corpus (IQSA)

    Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau
    Sarra Tlili
    Description: This unit provides a forum for the study of the Qur’an from a literary standpoint. We welcome papers that examine the structure of passages or entire surahs; analyze the plot, characterization, themes, and voice in Qur’anic narrative; study the interplay between sound and meaning; explore literary motifs specific to each type of Qur’anic discourse; compare and contrast recurrent narratives and other repeated elements or passages; and investigate the Qur’an’s use of literary devices such as imagery, metaphor, foreshadowing, flashback, irony, chiasmus, caesura, alliteration, assonance, and so forth.

    Call for papers: 1. Literary Analyses and the Question of Chronology of the Qur’anic Text: This panel seeks to shed light on the question of chronological development of the Qur’an. Some of the questions we hope to raise are: Do rhetorical and linguistic analyses of the text help defining the characteristics of makki /madani periods? Which intra-textual features testify to the chronological composition of the text? Do Qur’anic style, themes and word meaning evolve over time within the Qur’an(consider Angelika Neuwirth's views on a lively dialogue between text and audience)? Does the chronological appearance of the Qur’an have any relevance to or implications on its supposed Ring composition or Semitic style, the unity of the surah, or the Qur'an as a written text? Proposals that evaluate the usefulness and applicability of theories, traditions and hypotheses of chronological development to the Qur’an, especially in relation to its literary features, are also welcome. 2. Themes and Rhetorical Tools in the Qur’an: The second panel seeks proposal on any other aspects of the linguistic, literary, and thematic approaches of the Qur’an, as relevant to the unit description above.

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    Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew

    Jacobus A. Naude
    Description: The goals of this section include: (1) to provide a unique, cross-disciplinary forum for the application of modern linguistic theory and methodology to the study of biblical Hebrew; (2) to encourage interest in linguistics and its advantages for biblical exegesis and interpretation among biblical scholars who do not have prior training in linguistic theory; (3) to promote publication of scholarly works which apply linguistics to biblical Hebrew

    Call for papers: The Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew Section solicits papers for three sessions and a joint session with NAPH. The first session will be non-thematic; papers that address the study of Biblical Hebrew using a well-articulated linguistic method are welcome, and those that apply linguistics to particular Biblical Hebrew texts are especially encouraged. The second session will be topical focussing on "the syntax of edge constructions", including but not limited to such phenomena as left-dislocation, right-dislocation, fronting (topicalization), extraposition, other word-order shifts and pronominal resumption. The third session will be a second topical session considering topics of VP argument structure such as object marking, transitivity, ergativity, case marking, valency and the like. Papers are also invited for a joint topical session with the NAPH on Editing the Hebrew Bible (the growth and change of biblical texts) and Historical Linguistics (a topic addressed in the recent volume by Robert Rezetko and Ian Young, Historical Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew: Steps Towards an Integrated Approach (Atlanta: SBL, 2014)) . Papers should discuss how the growth and change of biblical texts can challenge and contribute to historical linguistics. Papers for all sessions should be grounded in sound linguistic theory and applied to a set of texts in order to further our understanding of the phenomenon under discussion. Please submit your abstract online. Submitters who have not presented a paper previously in the Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew Section are asked also to include the full paper.

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    Literature and History of the Persian Period

    Deirdre N. Fulton
    Kenneth A. Ristau
    Description: The Literature and History of the Persian Period Group emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to biblical texts and related literature of the 6th-4th centuries BCE by bringing together archaeologists, Assyriologists, classicists, Egyptologists, and sociologists, to name but a few, with biblical scholars specializing in various facets and texts pertinent to this era.

    Call for papers: The Literature and History of the Persian Period Group will be holding two sessions. The first will be a joint session with an invited panel and the second will be open session for which we are accepting paper proposals on any topic consistent with the parameters of the group.

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    Maria, Mariamne, Miriam: Rediscovering the Marys

    Ann Graham Brock
    Mary Ann Beavis
    Description: The goal of this unit is to provide a forum to focus on certain female figures, in this case the various Marys in canonical, extracanonical, and cultural contexts, digging deeply with a variety of methodologies, perspectives, and approaches.

    Call for papers: This Consultation welcomes scholarship about the Marys in the biblical tradition that considers contexts such as the socio-cultural milieu that produced texts about them, reception history, and historiography, including implications for contemporary issues of leadership, authority, and inclusivity. An important goal of this consultation is to provide a forum for conversation and collaboration on how different methodologies can be used to more deeply investigate these important female figures. The variety of analyses may include text, iconography, archaeology, epigraphy, ethnographic and literary analyses, feminist and womanist approaches, and multiple analyses. A final goal is to learn how individual Marys, whether known as Mary, Mariamne, Mariam, or Miriam, but especially mother and Magdalen, are today being integrated into the religious practices of various faith communities. For 2015, proposals for papers in the following areas will be considered: • Iconography of the Marys • Which Mary? Confusions or conflations of Marys • Other research topics that reflect the interests of the Consultation

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    Mark

    Kelli S. O'Brien
    Description: The Mark Seminar is a venue for research on the text and themes of the Gospel of Mark and its historical, social, and religious context. The focus is on in-depth discussion; so papers are read in advance by members, with short summaries presented at the session. To inquire about seminar membership, contact the chair.

    Call for papers: The Mark Seminar invites proposals (350 words max) for papers on two topics. First, Hiddenness and Secrecy in Mark: From Wrede to Juel and Beyond. This session will examine the function of hiddenness and secrecy in Mark, engaging with questions on the literary quality of Mark. For example, is there a consistent secrecy theme within a tightly written gospel or is the gospel loosely constructed, thus giving rise to problems with attempts to tie all the references together? Respondents may engage with Wrede, Juel, or others, but are not required to do so. Second, “Who do you say I am?” Markan Christology: Jewish Prophet or Cosmic Lord? This session will continue the recently renewed debate over Markan Christology. Is Jesus characterized entirely within the human plane, for example as a prophet? Or does Mark present Jesus as somehow cosmic, divine? Papers should engage with the larger debate (rather than simply treating their own position). Ideal papers will consider the literary qualities of Mark in addressing this question (e.g., how do literary irony and allusion affect our reading of key passages?). We are looking for a range of positions in anticipation of a lively discussion. Format and submission: Proposals should consist of a statement of the problem being addressed, the thesis the paper purports to prove, and the basic outline of how the author intends to argue their case. First time SBL presenters are requested to provide their paper in full. Proposals should be submitted through the SBL website at http://www.sbl-site.org/. Do not email to the chair. Applicants will be notified accordingly within a week or so of close.

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    Markan Literary Sources

    Adam Winn
    Matthew Ryan Hauge
    Description: This Seminar on Markan Literary Sources will explore Mark's literary dependence on extant literature, especially Jewish, Christian, and Greco-Roman—a topic that has long been neglected. The method will include awareness of: (a) ancient methods of reshaping texts; (b) recently-developed criteria for judging literary dependence.

    Call for papers: The Seminar will have two sessions in 2015. Session one will address possible literary source material for Mark 14-16. Session two will address general methods for and approaches to identifying Markan literary sources. We welcome paper proposals for either topic.

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    Masoretic Studies

    Daniel S. Mynatt
    Description: The purpose for this section is to discuss, research and promote the field of Masoretic Studies among Hebrew Bible Scholars. Masoretic Studies seeks to clarify the translation and interpretation of the Hebrew Bible text through the use of the Masorah, to further our understanding of the history of the Masorah, and to explore related fields (e.g. grammar, Rabbinic Studies).

    Call for papers: Masoretic Studies will hold an Open Session at the 2016 Annual Meeting. Papers pertaining to Masoretic Studies or related topics are welcome. Anyone interested in presenting should contact David Marcus at damarcus@jtsa.edu. Masoretic Studies seeks to clarify the translation and interpretation of the Hebrew Bible text through the use of the Masorah, to further the understanding of the history of the Masorah, and to explore related fields (e.g. grammar, Rabbinic Studies).

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    Matthew

    Anders Runesson
    Daniel M. Gurtner
    Description: The Matthew Section sponsors invited and submitted papers, panels, reviews and welcomes submission on any topic related to Matthean scholarship.

    Call for papers: The Matthew Section is seeking proposals on Matthean topics for the 2015 Annual Meeting. We will host an invited session of papers that will present original contributions to the study of Matthew's Gospel in conversation with key themes and topics raised by Francis Watson's recent groundbreaking book Gospel Writing: A Canonical Perspective (Eerdmans, 2013). The invited papers will develop new lines of research emerging from the issues Watson's arguments raise. While these issues will range widely in light of the wide scope of the book, they will include topics such as the early reception of Matthew, the viability of Q, Matthew within the canonical collection, and the theological significance of Gospel differences. Professor Watson will participate offering a response to the papers. The open session welcomes papers on any Matthean topic. Submissions will be evaluated in a blind review process on the basis of originality and clarity of the thesis proposed as well as the overall contribution it makes to Matthean studies.

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    Meals in the Greco-Roman World

    Andrew B. McGowan
    Soham Al-Suadi
    Description: The Greco-Roman banquet, which was a complex and highly influential Hellenistic institution, will be explored as a lens into Greco-Roman social bonding and boundaries and as a pivotal consideration in reconstructing the history of early Christianity and Judaism.

    Call for papers: We have plannes two sessions: 1) Dietary Laws in the Bible and their ancient reception and 2) Libation and meal - Wine, offerings and ritual The session on „Dietary Laws in the Bible and their ancient reception“, which includes an open call for papers, will focus on early Jewish and Christian reception of the laws concerning animals proper to eat, and those not. While the text of Leviticus 11 offers proscriptions that appear definitive, even ancient readers who accepted it as authoritative faced significant choices about how to interpret them. Papers are invited that address whether and how particular meats and other foods were included or excluded from diet (especially with reference to Lev 11), controversies about proper interpretation of this and related texts, and how these relate to other questions of identity and belief. The session on „Libation and meal - Wine, offerings and ritual“ is planned with invited scholars, who will focus on the role of libations, particularly in relation to ancient meals. The papers will address issues including how and by whom wine is used, and discuss the theological, social and political significance of using wine during a libation. The presenters are asked to include a focus on methodology for approaching these rituals and the associated data.

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    Meals in the HB/OT and Its World

    Cynthia Shafer-Elliott
    Peter Altmann
    Description: This unit builds on the anthropological insight of meals' importance, utilizing the considerable data about food and feasting from the OT/HB and the ANE to address questions of social status, gender, sexuality, communal formation and dynamics, and theology and ideology.

    Call for papers: This year the "Meals in HB/OT" section is planning three sessions. The first will be an open session focusing on the intersection of meals, gender, and ethnicity. We welcome a diversity of perspectives that reflect specifically on the importance of gender and, if appropriate, ethnicity for texts that concern meals in the HB/OT. We would especially welcome investigations that engage with material culture or interpretations of specific biblical and comparative ancient texts. Our other two sessions address "Meals and Justice" and "Meals and Cultural Exchange in the Persian Period." These sections consist of invited papers. All sessions will conclude with a respondent; therefore, drafts of accepted papers must be sent to the section chairs one month prior to the meeting.

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    Megilloth

    Amy Erickson
    Bradley J. Embry
    Description: This unit seeks to offer an outlet for scholarship on the collection known as the Megilloth. The Program will provide a venue for discussion of both the individual books (scrolls) that constitute the collection (Ruth, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, and Esther) as well as to the relationship between the individual books themselves, thereby seeking to foster conversation about the Megilloth as a distinct corpus within Hebrew Bible and the value of this designation to the academic community. The Program unit is interested in readings of these books and the corpus that explore matters of gender, ethnicity, and identity, as well as those that explore the different canonical locations of the books and the varied readings that may emerge from these differences.

    Call for papers: This session invites papers that deal with any aspect of the Megilloth. Papers that deal with theory or themes shared by multiple books within the Megilloth are particularly encouraged.

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    Metacriticism of Biblical Scholarship

    James Linville
    Rebecca Raphael
    Description: This unit critically evaluates suppositions in and underlying biblical scholarship, including how an explicitly non-religious approach differs from what is even now represented as historical-critical scholarship, especially when compared to other secular disciplines within the Humanities (history, classical studies) and the Social Sciences (e.g., anthropology, sociology).

    Call for papers: The Metacriticism Section seeks proposals in four areas. (1) Metacriticism of New Testament Ethics. What presuppositions and agendas underlie scholarship on ethics in NT texts? How can descriptive and explanatory studies best be constructed? How is the concept of “ethics” and its study conducted in cognate fields such as classical studies, early rabbinics, and ANE and Mediterranean civilizations? (Open, plus 1-2 invited presentations.) (2) Imaginal Worlds and Biblical Studies. Science fiction and fantasy communities have generated multi-authored, cross-media canons that construct imaginal worlds and center interpretative communities. What might biblical studies learn from these contemporary social practices – about multiple authorship, anonymity or pseudonymity, world construction, canon creation, and interpretive activity? We prefer methodological proposals that go beyond motif and narrative comparison. (3) Disability Studies Metacriticism. Topics of interest include disability studies and contestations of textual authority, conflicts between historical-critical studies and theological approaches, comparisons of disability scholarship within and outside of biblical studies, and disability as distinctive meta-critical tool. Jointly sponsored with the Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World. (4) When Is the Big Tent Too Big? Jointly with NAASR, we seek papers that critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of the “big tent” philosophy that governs professional organizations, publishing, and departments in religious studies and biblical studies. This “big tent” mixes etic and methodological naturalist perspectives with emic, confessional, and theological approaches to religion along with opportunities for interfaith dialogue. Contributors to this session identify the impact the Big Tent has on the secular study of religion and sacred texts and its status within the large world of secular disciplines of the humanities and social sciences.

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    Metaphor Theory and the Hebrew Bible

    Hanne Loeland Levinson
    Description: This section aims to advance the understanding of how metaphor operates in the Hebrew Bible, with a focus on how applied metaphor theory can enhance our work as Bible scholars; it also aims to deepen our knowledge of the diverse metaphorical language used in the Hebrew Bible.

    Call for papers: We are planning three sessions for the meeting in Atlanta. Our first session has both invited and an open call for papers on the theme: "Translating Biblical Metaphors." In this session we will explore the problems presented by translating metaphors from biblical Hebrew into other languages. We welcome papers on both ancient translations of metaphor (e.g. Septuagint or Targum) and on more contemporary issues of translation. Papers for this session should show awareness of both modern metaphor theory and translation theory, and will typically highlight either a single biblical metaphor or a single biblical passage. Our second session has an open call for papers on a theme of your choice within the field of metaphor theory and Bible. Our third session is a workshop for graduate students working on dissertations on metaphors in the Hebrew Bible. The session aims to provide an opportunity for students to showcase their work and receive feedback from more senior scholars in the field as well as from their fellow students. Paper proposals should follow the standard procedure of other SBL sessions. Those who are accepted for the session will have to submit a written presentation of their work by October 1, 2015. The paper can be 1) the prospectus of your thesis, 2) a draft of a chapter, or 3) a standard paper. Each student will have 15 min in the session for a presentation of their work. The presentations will be followed by a planned response and open discussion. More senior scholars in the field of metaphor studies are encouraged to contact the chair to volunteer as respondents and to participate in the open discussions. All proposals for our sessions should state the author's main thesis, the methodological approach followed, and the specific examples studied. All papers must incorporate current metaphor theory and engage the Hebrew text.

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    Midrash

    Rivka Ulmer
    Description: The Midrash Section is a scholarly forum for the comprehensive, interdisciplinary study and analysis of the particular mode of interpreting the Bible developed and utilized by the rabbis of late antiquity.

    Call for papers: The Midrash Section will sponsor two sessions in Atlanta: 1) An open session pertaining to any aspect of the study of Midrash and related literature; 2) A session entitled "The Senses in Midrash" focusing on research in the humanities, anthropology, biology, and religion around such issues as sight, sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch.

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    Mind, Society, and Religion in the Biblical World

    Jutta Jokiranta
    Risto Uro
    Description: The aim of the program unit is to draw on theories developed in the cognitive science of religion, a new multidisciplinary field centering on cross-culturally recurrent patterns in religious thought, experience, and practice, and to develop approaches integrating cultural and cognitive studies. For more information, visit http://blogs.helsinki.fi/mindsocietyreligion/.

    Call for papers: In the 2015 Annual Meeting, the Mind, Society and Religion section will organize two sessions on the theme “Cooperation, Manipulation, and Violence: Evolutionary Perspectives on Ancient Texts”, and a third, open session. In recent decades, scholars of religion have increasingly begun to draw on insights and theories from biological sciences to understand and explain the roots of human religiosity and morality. Some biologists and evolutionary scientists, in turn, have become interested in questions about human nature, origins of morality, altruism and prosociality, in other words, the kinds of questions that have traditionally been discussed by theologians, philosophers, and scholars of religion. How can these biological and evolutionary perspectives on religion and morality help biblical scholars and historians of religion to understand ancient texts and people who produced and used these texts? The first session will focus on the work of Frans de Waal, well-known primatologist and ethologist (Emory University, Atlanta), whose pioneering work on empathy among primates has led him to ask fundamental questions about human cooperation, prosociality and the origins of morality. This session is pre-arranged and organized in cooperation with the AAR Cognitive Science of Religion group and the International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion. For the second session, we invite paper proposals that focus on the theme “Cooperation, Manipulation, and Violence” using cognitive and evolutionary approaches to biblical materials or promoting dialogue between these and other approaches in biblical studies. The third session is open to proposals relating to any research focus stated in the description of the program unit.

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    Minoritized Criticism and Biblical Interpretation

    Description: The issue of contextualization at the level of reception and interpretation, involving not only social-cultural location but also ideological perspective, has become paramount in Biblical Studies in recent years. For some time now, a substantial and ever-growing number of African American, Asian American, and Latino/a American biblical scholars have been addressing the problematic of reading the biblical texts explicitly from their respective placements and optics in society and culture. This proposed Consultation seeks to expand such work by bringing together scholars from these and other population groups, both national and international, that have traditionally been classified as “minority” groups but who today classify themselves as “minoritized” groups. A word about the term “minoritized” is in order. Such groups have undergone what in Racial-Ethnic Studies is known as a process of racialization or ethnicization, grounded in real or perceived biological or cultural features, respectively. The process itself is dialectical as well as differential. It is dialectical insofar as it entails a construction of a racial or ethnic Other by a Self, which in the process constructs itself as separate. It is differential insofar as such a construction involves an unequal relation of power between Self and Other, one of domination and subordination, respectively. When such a process takes place at the level of a political unit or state, then one can speak of such groups as “minoritized” by a “dominantized” group formation. The proposed Consultation thus seeks to bring together critics from such groups not only within the United States but also globally, in order to work together as critics on the problematic of minoritization-dominantization at all levels of the discipline as conceived and practiced today. Its scope is thus quite broad: (1) the ancient texts as such, canonical as well as extracanonical; (2) readings and readers of these texts in modern and postmodern

    Call for papers: The unit will continue the two-year projects begun last year, having to do with the wider context and impact of biblical criticism in the contemporary world. -The first, “Reading in These Times,” takes up the role of the minoritized critic today, in the light of the perceived national and global situation. -The other, “Migration, Economics, Militarization, and Ecology” addresses the issue of migration, alongside its attendant contexts, with special attention to economics, militarization, and ecology. Given the nature of our unit, the focus is on the United States. The call is for a panel in each session, consisting of six presenters: two from each major minority formation, with a male and female panelist as ideal.

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    Mysticism, Esotericism, and Gnosticism in Antiquity

    Kelley N. Coblentz Bautch
    Rebecca Lesses
    Description: This unit is an interdisciplinary and comparative historical unit, critically investigating religious texts, traditions, phenomena and artifacts as they relate to religious currents of secrecy (esotericism), knowledge (gnosticism), and their revelation through religious praxis (mysticism) in the formative periods of Judaism and Christianity, roughly from 500 BCE-500 CE. Exploration of a range of textual traditions and artifacts is encouraged, including those created and used in Jewish, Christian, Greco-Roman, Egyptian, Persian and Babylonian contexts.

    Call for papers: The Mysticism, Esotericism and Gnosticism in Antiquity Section invites historical and comparative papers that help us better understand mysticism, esotericism and gnosticism in the ancient world. In addition to an open session of papers, we will have focused sessions on the topics of shamanism and hermeticism; papers that explore these topics are particularly encouraged. Four sessions are planned for the 2015 Annual Meeting. 1) Open session of papers. 2) Joint session on shamanism with the Religious Experience in Antiquity Group. 3) Joint session on Hermeticism with the Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism Section. 4) Joint session with the Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Studies Section on the usefulness of cognitive studies for historians; all papers for this fourth session have been invited.

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    Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism

    April D. DeConick
    Dylan M. Burns
    Description: The Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism Section provides a forum for current international research on the Coptic codices discovered at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1945. Research areas include issues of text, interpretation, social and religio-historical contexts, codicology, and translation.

    Call for papers: The Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism Section invites papers on any topic related to the study of Nag Hammadi literature, although papers that explore Hermetic, magical, and Neoplatonic texts are particularly encouraged for 2015. We have planned three sessions and a special reception. 1) Open session with book review. 2) Joint session on Hermetism with SBL Section: Mysticism, Esotericism and Gnosticism in Antiquity. 3) Joint session on Eros and Ascent with AAR Section: Platonism and Neoplatonism. 4) Reception to discuss and celebrate James Robinson’s two volume publication, The Nag Hammadi Story.

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    National Association of Professors of Hebrew

    Zev Garber
    Description: The NAPH is an Affiliate of the SBL. For additional information on the NAPH, please contact the program unit chair.

    Call for papers: NAPH is sponsoring six sessions and co-sponsoring one session. Session One, Annual Meeting of Officers and Members. Session Two, Theme: “Post-missionary Messianic Judaism (Brazos 2005) Ten Years Later: Assessing the value and viability of Mark Kinzer's proposal for the role of Jewish followers of Jesus in the Jewish-Christian relationship.” Session Three, Theme: "Minding Letters: Current Approaches to Ancient Hebrew Palaeography in the United States, France, and Israel.” This session explores assumptions, similarities, and differences in theories about and in methodologies employed in studying the history of ancient Hebrew palaeography. Session Four, Theme: “Editing the Hebrew Bible (the growth and change of biblical texts) and Historical Linguistics.” Papers are invited for a joint topical session with the Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew Section of SBL on Editing the Hebrew Bible (the growth and change of biblical texts) and Historical Linguistics (a topic addressed in the recent volume by Robert Rezetko and Ian Young, Historical Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew: Steps Towards an Integrated Approach (Atlanta: SBL, 2014)) . Papers should discuss how the growth and change of biblical texts can challenge and contribute to historical linguistics. Contact: Jacobus Naudé (naudej@ufs.ac.za). Session Five, Theme: "Methods for Teaching Particular Types of Content or Skills." The methodology session invites papers and/or demonstrations of effective methods for teaching particular skills or areas of content necessary for learning biblical Hebrew. Session Six, Theme: “Issues in Prophetic Literature.” Paper proposals on all aspects of the study of the prophetic literature in the Hebrew Bible are welcome. Session Seven, Theme: Biblical Hebrew Narrative.

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    New Testament Textual Criticism

    Jennifer Knust
    Description: The New Testament Textual Criticism Section seeks to foster the study and criticism of the text of the New Testament—including examination of manuscripts and other sources, restoration of the text, and especially the investigation of the history of its transmission—in its Late Antique cultural context. SBL has had a group dedicated to this topic as far back as 1946.

    Call for papers: For 2015, the Section is sponsoring two open sessions and would particularly welcome papers addressing: the methods, approaches and theories of textual criticism; the manuscripts that inform this work; the transmission and reception of textual variants; the implications of textual change; the significance of para-textual phenomena for the study of the NT text; and changing understandings of “canon,” as these changes appear in books. NTTC is also co-sponsoring an invited panel on Marcion’s text of the Gospels with the Formation of Luke-Acts Section.

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    Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship at the American Bible Society

    Kent Harold Richards
    Description: For information please contact: Kent Richards at kent.richards@strategypoints.org.

    Call for papers: Papers in all modern languages and on all subjects related to the Bible and translation theory are invited. Please contact Kent Richards kent.richards@strategypoints.org with any proposals. The invited program on Translating Alterity will continue into its fourth year focused on Translating Silence. The major presentation is by Carolyn Sharp. It will introduce critical theorizing of agonistic conflict and silence as may be relevant for translation, considered philologically and also regarding cultural mediation of Scripture texts. Several biblical texts will be employed to illustrate. Those invited to respond include David Gunn, Deborah Shadd, Phil Towner, and Gerald West. Details will be forthcoming.

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    North American Association for the Study of Religion

    Description: The North American Association for the Study of Religion (NAASR) was initially formed in 1985 by E. Thomas Lawson, Luther H. Martin, and Donald Wiebe, to encourage the historical, comparative, structural, theoretical, and cognitive approaches to the study of religion among North American scholars; to represent North American scholars of religion at the international level; and to sustain communication between North American scholars and their international colleagues engaged in the study of religion.

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    Novum Testamentum Graecum: Editio Critica Maior

    Holger Strutwolf
    Tommy Wasserman
    Description: The unit presents the on-going work on the Editio Critica Maior (ECM), a comprehensive text-critical edition of the Greek New Testament that exhibits the history of the Greek text through its first millennium as documented in manuscripts from the second century until the invention of letterpress printing. It provides scholars engaged in the tasks of exegesis and textual criticism with all the relevant materials found in Greek manuscripts, patristic citations, and early translations. The selection of Greek manuscripts rests on an evaluation of all known primary witnesses, and each of the manuscripts selected is cited completely with all its variants. This opens the way for a new understanding of the history of the text, the more so because all relevant evidence is stored on databases. The primary line of the ECM presents a text based on a careful application of internal and external criteria, streamlined by the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method.

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    Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds

    Lincoln Blumell
    Description: The Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds Group explores how the ancient papyri illumine the world of early Christianity and will appeal to scholars interested in paleographic, linguistic, and textual questions, as well as those who specialize in the social and cultural history of early Christianity.

    Call for papers: For 2015 the Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds Group is sponsoring four sessions: three open sessions and one panel session with invited papers. For two of the open sessions we invite proposals that seek to explore how the ancient papyri illumine the world of early Christianity and will elucidate paleographic, linguistic, and textual questions, as well as larger questions relating to the social and cultural history of early Christianity. For the third open session, which is jointly sponsored with the Christian Apocrypha Section, we invite papers that specifically deal with Christian apocryphal fragments preserved on papyrus (and related materials). The fourth session is an invited panel on digital resources and Papyrology, and is jointly sponsored by The Digital Humanities in Biblical, Early Jewish, and Christian Studies consultation. For questions contact lincoln_blumell@byu.edu

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    Paul and Politics

    Diana Swancutt
    Joseph A. Marchal
    Description: The purposes of the Paul and Politics Group are to bring together several currently separate but often overlapping lines of investigation and interpretation of the apostle Paul, his mission, his letters, and his longer-range impact. Those lines of investigation include "Paul and the politics of the churches," "Paul and the politics of Israel," "Paul and the politics of the Roman Empire" and "Paul and politics of Interpretation."

    Call for papers: We are planning several sessions for the Atlanta meetings and are seeking submissions around a number of themes. FIRST, we invite proposals for papers on any element of research related to the relationship(s) between "Paul" and "politics" (in the broadest sense of both of these terms. SECOND, we invite proposals that explore innovative methods for interpreting archaeological materials in conversation with Pauline texts, and especially those illuminating the intersections between rhetoric and archaeology. THIRD, we seek paper proposals engaging queer approaches to Pauline epistles or interpretations (using both of the terms "queer" and "Pauline" in capacious ways). A variety of approaches are encouraged, either to the "Pauline" (the person, the letters, their audiences and after-lives, ancient contexts and continuing impacts) or to the "queer" aspects of papers, but we are especially interested in proposals that foreground their theoretical conversation partners. Questions or further inquiries about these themes may be directed to either of the co-chairs, Joseph Marchal, at josephamarchal@gmail.com, or Diana Swancutt at dmswancutt@gmail.com

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    Paul Within Judaism

    Magnus Zetterholm
    Mark D. Nanos
    Description: While the opposition between Paul and Judaism has been the undisputed point of departure in much previous Pauline scholarship, the aim of this program unit is to develop Pauline studies from the hypothesis that Paul remained within and practiced Judaism.

    Call for papers: The Paul Within Judaism section is planning one open session, a pre-arranged panel together with the Early Jewish Christian Relations section, and an invited session on Paul's view on the salvation of the Jewish people. For the OPEN SESSION, we accept papers that develop the hypothesis that Paul worked within Judaism.

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    Pauline Epistles

    Caroline E. Johnson Hodge
    Emma Wasserman
    Description: The Pauline Epistles section aims to stimulate critical analysis of the letters of Paul by offering a platform for new research. The section maintains a historical orientation and typically focuses on situating the undisputed Pauline letters in their immediate social, political, religious, and intellectual contexts.

    Call for papers: Scholars of all ranks are encouraged to submit papers for our three open sessions. Proposals should explain the arguments of the paper in clear, succinct, and compelling ways. Would-be presenters should also specify the kind of data that they will use to contextualize Paul's writings, whether this involves specific texts, traditions, or material culture. Those whose primary interests are in reflecting on normative theological issues may find that other sections provide a more appropriate venue for this work.

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    Pauline Theology

    Alexandra R. Brown
    Douglas Campbell
    Description: The unit has been set up in order to explore central issues in Pauline theology. No single understanding of "Pauline theology," or of how it is to be delimited from other aspects of Pauline discourse, is assumed at the outset. A complementary goal is the introduction of Pauline textual and theological insights into conversations with other fields, for example, with brain research, ecology, and race.

    Call for papers: For 2015 the Pauline Soteriology Group is inviting papers from certain scholars on the topic of Paul, poverty, and "the powers"; and is holding a review session on John Barclay's important forthcoming book, Paul and the Gift (Eerdmans).

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    Pentateuch

    Sarah Shectman
    Thomas Römer
    Description: The Pentateuch Section provides a forum within the SBL for presentation and discussion of research on the Pentateuch, with a particular focus on transmission-historical issues and linkage of that area of inquiry with other more synchronic methodologies.

    Call for papers: The Pentateuch Section provides a forum within the SBL for presentation and discussion of research on the Pentateuch, with a focus on textual composition and transmission and linkage of that area of inquiry with other methods, especially literary and sociological approaches. We encourage proposals focused on textual composition and transmission and on the intersection of historical-critical and literary or sociological methods. All proposals should demonstrate an engagement with the larger scholarly discussion, whether synchronic or diachronic. In addition to an open call, for the 2015 Annual Meeting we are planning a focus on the book of Genesis across sessions. In that vein, we are particularly interested in proposals for papers on the ancestral narratives of Genesis.

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    Performance Criticism of Biblical and Other Ancient Texts

    Jin H. Han
    Description: This interdisciplinary unit is intended to foster discussion about how the creation and interpretation of biblical and other ancient texts has been shaped by their oral transmission and aural reception by ancient communities, using the methods associated with performance criticism.

    Call for papers: In 2015, we will hold two sessions that welcome thought-provoking proposals. For the first session, we seek papers that examine the formative influence of performance on the creation of texts, the performance of such texts in ancient contexts, representation of oral performance in written texts, performative features embedded in biblical and other ancient texts, or related topics. For the second session, we are interested in papers that examine the role that oral performance played in the design and delivery of prophecy, oral performance of prophetic oracles in ancient contexts, and performative features that can be observed in biblical and other ancient examples of prophetic texts.

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    Philo of Alexandria

    Ronald Cox
    Description: Philo’s works are invaluable sources about not only his own thought and exegesis but also such related fields as Judaica, philosophy, history, Classics, New Testament, and early Christianity. This Seminar focuses on these topics and on commentaries-in-preparation on Philonic treatises.

    Call for papers: For the 2015 Annual Meeting, we first extend a general call for papers on current research in Philonic studies, encouraging proposals from scholars at all levels on any aspect of research on Philo. Second, we will hold a session, whose participants will be invited, devoted to Albert Geljon’s and David Runia’s commentary-in-progress on Philo’s De plantatione for the Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series. And third, we will hold a joint session with the Corpus Hellenisticum Novi Testamenti consultation where invited speakers will examine how two supposed Platonists, Philo and Plutarch, integrate traditions of lived religion into philosophical discourse and how this integration informs our understanding of the New Testament.

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    Philology in Hebrew Studies

    Jeremy Hutton
    Professor Christopher A. Rollston
    Description: This program unit aims to take up the dual challenge of reflecting self-critically on the nature of philology as a discipline and developing rigorous methodologies of philological study, particularly as may pertain to the Hebrew Bible and related literature.

    Call for papers: For 2015, the Philology in Hebrew Studies consultation is actively soliciting papers on the theme “bilingualism and translation in antiquity.” Philology studies textual and linguistic communication; as part of the core procedures of the discipline, the boundaries between languages must be transgressed. But this linguistic “border-crossing” is not solely the project of modern philologists—it was already a common problem facing the peoples of antiquity, and was overcome in diverse and effective ways. We invite proposals that consider issues raised by the complications of inter-linguistic interaction, and that analyze the methods and contexts of translation in antiquity. Topics to be addressed potentially include: product- vs. process-oriented approaches in translation studies; bilingualism and/or translation in co-texts; and methods of assessing the translator’s technique in biblical and non-biblical translations. Although we especially encourage papers on this theme, we will continue to accept papers on any methodological or theoretical aspects of Philology in Hebrew Studies and, more broadly, in Northwest Semitic.

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    Polis and Ekklesia: Investigations of Urban Christianity

    James R. Harrison
    Laurence L. Welborn
    Description: This new Consultation of SBL investigates the expansion of early Christianity as an urban phenomenon from Jerusalem to Rome, from the perspective of Paul’s letters and the book of Acts against the backdrop of the local documentary and archaeological evidence. It seeks to bring together New Testament and classical scholars in the study of the New Testament writings as primary evidence for the understanding of civic and religious life in the first-century Mediterranean world. The wide range of methodologies and disciplines employed in this investigation ensures a more holistic approach than has been the case in the past.

    Call for papers: This Consultation of the SBL investigates the expansion of early Christianity as an urban phenomenon from Jerusalem to Rome, from the perspective of Paul's letters and the Acts of the Apostles, in the context of the local documentary and archaeological evidence. The Consultation seeks to bring together scholars of early Christianity and Greco-Roman antiquity in the study of early Christian texts as primary evidence for the understanding of civic and religious life in the first and second century Mediterranean world. The wide range of methodologies and disciplines employed in this investigation aims at a more holistic approach than has been the case in the past. The focus of the Consultation in 2015 is the cities of the Lycus Valley, including Colossae, Hierapolis, and Laodicea. There will be two sessions, one open, the other by invitation.

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    Postcolonial Studies and Biblical Studies

    Christopher D. Stanley
    Yak-Hwee Tan
    Description: This section offers a forum for papers exploring any aspect of the relation between postcolonial studies and biblical studies, including both the use of the Bible in the modern colonial enterprise and the application of postcolonial models to the ancient world.

    Call for papers: The Postcolonial Studies and Biblical Studies Section is soliciting papers for two sessions at the 2015 Annual Meeting. (1) The first session will consist of papers offering postcolonial readings of the books of Ezra and/or Nehemiah. Proposals should state clearly how postcolonial theories will be used in their analysis. (2) For the second session, co-sponsored with the Latino/a and Latin American Biblical Interpretation Section, papers are sought that address any aspect of the interaction between postcolonial studies and biblical studies in the geographic and social context of Central and South America. Papers that examine how postcolonial studies relates to liberation theology and how this affects people's engagement with Scripture, whether at the scholarly level or among ordinary people, are especially welcome. (3) A third session will consist of invited papers and responses on the topic of "Evangelicals and Postcolonial Studies."

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    Poverty in the Biblical World

    Matthew J.M. Coomber
    Diana Swancutt
    Description: This unit will examine poverty, servitude, and related issues in the Hebrew Bible, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity. While non-canonical texts and related materials will be included, primary focus will be on biblical texts. Innovative interdisciplinary methods as well as traditional exegesis are welcome. More information is available at http://povertyinthebiblicalworld.wordpress.com/.

    Call for papers: The Poverty in the Biblical World Section will offer 3 sessions in 2015, two open and one arranged: the FIRST OPEN SESSION invites proposals on critical readings of key HB, other Judean, NT, and rabbinic texts on the "safety net" for the poor--its existence, descriptions, uses, and effectiveness -- and its modern implications. Further info: richard.horsley@umb.edu. The SECOND OPEN SESSION is on "Paul, Impoverishment, and Thriving." The dynamics of thriving and impoverishment in Paul have been a subject of some interest among scholars seeking to understand how Paul's communities (and those that followed them) dealt with the intercalations of status difference, ethnic difference, and the economic realities of slavery. This call invites papers exploring Paul's letters on these subjects and their moral dynamics within their sociopolitical and imperial contexts. Further info: dmswancutt@gmail.com. We may have a THIRD SESSION (arranged) on ways to use texts from Deuteronomy on debt-release critically. In addition, we are excited to co-sponsor two joint sessions: one, on "Religion, Class, and the Bible" with the AAR Religion, Theology, and Class group; and hopefully a second co-sponsored with Ecological Hermeneutics on "Global Capitalism, Global Warming, and Global Poverty."

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    Prayer in Antiquity

    Daniel K. Falk
    Rodney A. Werline
    Description: The Prayer in Antiquity Consultation examines prayer in Israelite, Jewish, Christian and pagan contexts. Moving beyond historical- and form-critical methodologies, and approaches that reduce prayer simply to text, presentations will examine prayer within its cultural context and give priority to understanding prayer as embodied practice.

    Call for papers: The Prayer in Antiquity Consultation examines prayer in Israelite, Jewish, Christian and pagan contexts. Moving beyond historical- and form-critical methodologies, and approaches that reduce prayer simply to text, presentations will examine prayer within its cultural context and give priority to understanding prayer as embodied practice.

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    Prophetic Texts and Their Ancient Contexts

    Esther J. Hamori
    Jonathan Stökl
    Description: The objectives of this group are: (1) to foster as much discussion as possible among participants in the sessions without limiting the number of participants; (2) to involve a wide variety of viewpoints from the international academy interested in "prophetic texts and their ancient contexts"; and (3) to encourage creativity and diversity among those interested in this field by inviting proposals for papers within the described parameters.

    Call for papers: The group Prophetic Texts and Their Ancient Contexts seek to explore the links between divination (of which prophecy is to be considered a sub-category) and the cult as expressed in the Hebrew Bible and adjacent literature, as well as in ancient Near Eastern texts. We will invite papers that deal with a wide range of historical, literary, and methodological issues. First, what were the links between the cultic and the prophetic personnel? Did prophets have ritual / cultic functions in temples? Did prophetic actions and/or utterances play a role in the performance of the cult? What were the ritual aspects of divinations? Second, how do literary texts describe the interaction between prophecy and the cult? Third, how can various theories (e.g. religious theory, performance theory) enable us to reach a better understanding of the interplay between divination and cultic ritual in ancient Israel and the wider ancient Near East? The group will investigate this topic over the course of two consecutive SBL meetings.

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    Pseudepigrapha

    Liv Ingeborg Lied
    Matthias Henze
    Description: The goals of this section include: to provide a forum for scholarly discussion of Jewish and Christian pseudepigrapha; to encourage the broader study of pseudepigrapha for its relevance in understanding early Judaism and Christianity; to facilitate both cross-disciplinary interaction and further integration of the study of pseudepigrapha within biblical studies.

    Call for papers: The Pseudepigrapha Section is planning to have three sessions at the 2015 meeting in Atlanta. The first, closed session, jointly organized with the Hellenistic Judaism section, will be organized around Benjamin G. Wright’s new CEJL volume on the Letter of Aristeas. The second session, “Pseudepigrapha and Method,” is an open session. We invite papers that explore the methodological approaches that have shaped the study of the Pseudepigrapha, current methodological challenges in the study of the Pseudepigrapha, or the ways in which studies of the Pseudepigrapha can offer methodological corrections to the wider study of early Jewish and Christian texts and contexts. The third session is also an open session. Young scholars and new voices in Pseudepigraphic Studies are especially encouraged to submit abstracts.

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    Psychology and Biblical Studies

    Barbara Mei Leung Lai
    Dereck M. Daschke
    Description: The objectives of the Psychology and Biblical Studies Section are (i) to present an historical-critical overview of "psychological" approaches to scripture; (ii) to assess the significance of these approaches for ongoing Biblical research, exegesis, and interpretation, and (iii) to provide a forum for considering and developing the future agenda of "psychological criticism" as a sub-discipline within Biblical Studies.

    Call for papers: We always welcome proposals for papers that address Biblical texts, themes, figures and/or readers using the concepts and interpretive tools of any field of psychology. We urge the use of the original Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic, especially when the argument of your paper rests on the meanings of specific words or phrases. For 2015, we are particularly interested in papers that offer psychological perspectives as applied to character studies, with special focus on "Psychological Profiling of Strong Women in the Bible." We also welcome any papers that highlight methods, models, and approaches in the interface between psychology and Biblical studies, including from the emerging fields of neurotheology, brain physiology and religious experience, and evolutionary psychology.

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    Q

    Daniel A. Smith
    Alan Kirk
    Description: The Q Section offers a forum for research on the “Sayings Gospel” Q. Since Q provides access to earliest Jesus tradition and to the theology and social history of Jewish Christianity, the Q Section integrates a broad variety of issues and methods. The Q Section website is http://neues-testament.uni-graz.at/de/forschen/internationales-q-projekt/sbl-q-section.

    Call for papers: For the 2015 Annual Meeting, the Q Section will organize three sessions. (1) Open Session. In this session, papers are welcome on any topic related to Q. (2) Was There a Q Community? This session raises the problem of the existence of a "Q community", considering whether a distinct community can extrapolated from the distinctiveness of Q's genre; in other words, to what extent can sociological inferences be drawn from literary markers of a work? Some participants will be invited, but proposals for papers are also welcome. (3) Q and Violence. Instead of asking whether or not the authors and/or Jesus endorsed or discouraged violence, contributors will examine the ways that violence language contributes to the message of Q and the identity construction of the authors. Some participants will be invited, but proposals for papers are also welcome.

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    Qumran

    Eibert Tigchelaar
    Michael Segal
    Description: The Qumran Section of the SBL provides an equal-opportunity forum for presentation and discussion of views relating to the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Qumran settlement, and the people of that place and of those documents.

    Call for papers: The Qumran section welcomes papers on any aspect of the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Qumran, including studies of texts, material culture, history, literature, or recent advances in the field. For 2014 the Section will host an invited session on the Hellenistic Context of the Dead Sea Scrolls alongside two open call sessions. We will also co-sponsor an invited session on ‘Aramaic Language and Literature in the Dead Sea Scrolls’ with the Aramaic Section. In order to maximize opportunities for presenters, scholars should not present more than two years in succession. This restriction does not apply to invited papers.

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    Qur'an and Biblical Literature

    Carol Bakhos
    John Kaltner
    Description: Recent scholarship recognizes the need for dialogue and cooperation in understanding the relationship of the Bible and biblical literature to the Qur'an and Muslim exegesis. The aim of this unit is to encourage scholars to consider the importance of the Qur'an and Muslim exegesis for understanding the Bible and its interpretation, and vice-versa.

    Call for papers: Suggested topics include, but are not limited to: the Qur’an and its exegesis in comparative perspective, with particular attention to literary and historical connections between Muslim interpretation of the Qur’an and non-Muslim exegesis of the Bible and related traditions; the current state of the field of Qur’anic Studies; critical approaches to the study and analysis of the Qur’an (from both Muslim and non-Muslim perspectives); Qur’an translation; pedagogy (the Qur’an in the classroom); comparative hermeneutics (ancient, medieval, or contemporary); interfaith dialogue; sectarian polemics; gender and sexuality in comparative perspective; the Qur’an in the context of Late Antiquity. Prearranged panels with a set topic and invited participants will be given full consideration.

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    Qur’an Seminar (IQSA)

    Clare Wilde
    Mehdi Azaiez
    Description: The Qur’an Seminar is a collaborative research project that brings together scholars from around the world to discuss and comment on selected key qur’anic passages. This research emerges from current trends in Qur’anic Studies that seek to deepen our understanding of the religio-cultural ties between the qur’anic text and the intellectual history of the Late Antique Near East. Accordingly, scholars will be asked to produce innovative commentaries on selected qur’anic passages. These commentaries should incorporate at least one of three central topics inherent to an understanding of the Qur’an: its textual structure (i.e., logical, rhetorical, and literary qualities, or na?m); its intertextual relationships with both biblical and extra-biblical traditions; the historical context from which the qur’anic text and the Islamic movement emerged.

    Call for papers: For the 2015 meeting in Atlanta, we have selected four passages that highlight four themes, to be discussed at two separate panels. The panels, with their passages and themes, are as follows:
    • Panel n. 1: Passage 1: II, 1-29 (Polemics), Passage 2: VII, 1-58 (Narratives)
    • Panel n. 2: Passage 3: LIV, 1-55 (Eschatology), Passage 4: LXIII, 1-11 (Contemporary Events)

    Scholars are invited to submit commentaries for one or both of these panels. To participate on a panel, commentaries must be submitted for both passages in that panel. (Thus, those wishing to participate on both panels are asked to submit four commentaries; those wishing to participate on one panel are asked to submit two commentaries.) Each commentary must not exceed 400 words (prospective panelists should therefore submit no more than 800 or 1600 words). We especially welcome commentaries that address the Qur’an directly and do not rely exclusively on the categories of medieval exegesis. After reviewing the submissions, the QS chairs will select the panelists and post their commentaries on the QS IQSA website (which will be up in April) via a link whose access will be restricted to the selected panelists. In this way, each panelist will be able to review all of the selected commentaries prior to the Annual Meeting. In Atlanta, the QS will be structured as a round-table forum. Panelists will not be asked to prepare a traditional paper. Rather, for each of the four discussions, one panelist (a volunteer, agreed on by the chairs) will be asked to give a brief introductory overview, presenting the passage and summarizing and synthesizing the commentaries; all panelists will then engage in a free-flowing conversation, expanding on the ideas presented in the submitted commentaries. Both panels will be open to the public.

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    Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics (IQSA)

    Farid Esack
    Karen Bauer
    Description: This unit aims to understand and contextualise the methods and hermeneutics applied to the Qur’anic text, both historical and contemporary. The Methodology and Hermeneutics unit addresses questions that might implicitly govern other units, such as: what is Qur’anic Studies, and how does the study of the Qur’an differ from the study of its interpretation? What are the methodological differences between descriptive and normative approaches to the text? How does context (intellectual, social, ethical, historical) affect hermeneutical approaches to the text? The unit welcomes papers addressed to the hermeneutics and methods of particular schools of interpretation or thought, and also on hermeneutics as applied to specific subjects or concepts such as social justice and gender.

    Call for papers: At the 2015 meeting, the Methodology and Hermeneutics unit will have one round table discussion and one thematic panel. We invite paper proposals for the thematic panel, entitled ‘The Qur’an and Politics: Hermeneutical Approaches’. Papers for this panel could address medieval or modern uses of the Qur’anic text as proof text (or pretext) for various political agendas. We particularly encourage papers that delve into specific hermeneutical approaches and analyse how these approaches are applied to the author’s agenda. The round table discussion will be devoted to the topic ‘The Current State of Qur’anic Studies and its Future’ and will involve invited participants from various arenas of the field. All enquiries about the Methodology and Hermeneutics panels should be addressed to Karen Bauer, kbauer@iis.ac.uk.

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    Reading, Theory, and the Bible

    Jay Twomey
    Robert Paul Seesengood
    Description: The Reading, Theory, and the Bible Section provides a forum to encourage innovative and experimental approaches to biblical studies, to facilitate critical reflection on the role of theory in reading, and to support biblical scholarship informed by cross-disciplinary conversation.

    Call for papers: Reading, Theory, and the Bible invites proposals for one open session this year. Proposals are welcome for papers that engage contemporary theory for purposes of biblical interpretation. Reading, Theory and the Bible sponsors innovative, experimental work on Bible (Bible being interpreted in the broadest sense to include all commentaries and intertexts). We exist to accommodate work that pushes the boundaries of scholarship, and we work on the assumption that questions of provenance, philology, and history are amply accommodated by other groups in the SBL. We also encourage innovative presentation.

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    Recovering Female Interpreters of the Bible

    Marion Taylor
    Description: This unit focuses on the recovery of work by female biblical interpreters before the twentieth century who wrote from various faith and ideological standpoints. These female interpreters will be considered in their cultural and historical contexts, with the intention of analyzing their neglected contributions to the study of biblical literature.

    Call for papers: Session 1) "Reformation and Early Modern Women Interpreting the Psalms." We invite proposals for papers on early modern women who translated or interpreted the psalms. This session, co-sponsored by the Book of Psalms Section, will include attention to Mary Herbert Sidney (1561-1621) and the Sidney Psalter.

    Session 2) Women Interpreters Through the Ages." We invite proposals for papers on female biblical interpreters before the twentieth century. Papers may deal with a specific female interpreter or may compare several historical women's interpretations of a specific biblical text or theme.

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    Redescribing Early Christianity

    Erin Roberts
    William E. Arnal
    Description: The seminar contributes to the study of early Christian history by problematizing current consensus views, unexamined assumptions, and categories; recontextualizing and redescribing the key data through comparative analysis; and accounting for the configurations of texts under view in terms of social theory.

    Call for papers: The Redescribing Early Christianity unit is organizing two sessions that address issues associated with the concept of time. One session will focus on the ways that early Christians used time—construed broadly—as a strategy of mythmaking. Potential topics include studies related to anachronism, chronology, and genealogy. A second session will attend to the ways that scholars have dealt with the concept of time as found in the ancient sources, asking what has been at stake in the study of time and considering how a redescription of the data would move the field forward. We seek papers that address and redescribe any aspect of the concept of time as it relates to the study of early Christianity. Abstracts that utilize social, cognitive, or evolutionary theories, as well as papers that incorporate theoretical and/or methodological work from other fields of study, are particularly welcome. Please note that both sessions will be conducted in seminar-style format, meaning that papers will be pre-circulated in late October or early November and then discussed in greater detail in Atlanta. Questions or requests to be on the mailing list for pre-circulated papers may be sent to William Arnal (william.arnal@uregina.ca) or Erin Roberts (erinroberts@sc.edu).

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    Religious Competition in Late Antiquity

    Nathaniel Desrosiers
    Lily Vuong
    Description: This unit analyzes the competition between diverse socioreligious and philosophical groups of the ancient Mediterranean basin through the development of broadly comparative approaches and methodologies. It delineates the ways in which competitive interaction reshaped cultural and religious landscapes.

    Call for papers: The first session, “The Rhetoric of Foreign” will explore the label ‘foreign’, as it often serves as an evaluative statement, rather than a neutral descriptive term in ancient Mediterranean literature. For example, an author who wishes to discredit a particular cultic practice may label that practice ‘foreign’, ‘barbarian’, or ‘Canaanite’. Scholars have often taken these labels as accurate descriptions for understanding differences between normative and non-orthodox representations of society, belief, and ritual, and in doing so they reproduce the interested stance of the primary text. This session will focus on the rhetorical use of labels such as "foreign" in ancient texts, with the goal of correcting/redirecting scholarly understandings of the practice. We welcome papers that will examine this problem within biblical or late antique contexts. The second session invites papers that analyze representations of martyrdom in Late Antiquity. While religious, cultural, and political competition is inherent in martyrdom accounts, there is room for greater discussion about the role of representations of martyrs (in texts, art, architecture, etc.) in inter- and intra-religious competition. Contributors should consider the important rhetorical aspects of these representations that, when unpacked, can tell us much about competition between particular communities. Third, in collaboration with the AAR Middle Eastern Christianity Group and the SBL Religious Competition in Late Antiquity unit we seek proposals that address wisdom literature in the Middle Eastern Christian communities. The program units invite proposals that investigate wisdom literature in the Syriac milieu as it is understood broadly—including related Christian traditions in other Middle Eastern languages, such as Arabic, Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopic, Greek, etc. Proposals focused on any historical period are welcome, and abstracts must demonstrate methodological and theoretical rigor.

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    Religious Experience in Antiquity

    Angela Kim Harkins
    Description: This section investigates the experiential elements of religions from the ancient near east to late antiquity, with a particular interest in examining (1) the relationship between texts and experience, (2) religious practices in the context of ritual, prayer, ecstasy, dreams and visions, 3) the role of embodied experiences (cognitive, neurological, and sensory) in the generation of religious ideas and commitment.

    Call for papers: The Religious Experience in Antiquity section will be sponsoring three sessions this year. (1) The first is a quad-sponsored session with the Science, Technology, and Religion Group (AAR), the Religion, Affect, and Emotion Group (AAR), and the Cognitive Science of Religion Group (AAR) on the topic of "Religion, Emotion, and Belief?" How can recent approaches from the natural and social sciences help scholars of religion to better understand the religious experience of belief? Is belief a natural product of affective and cognitive processes? What role does emotion play in belief? Does the role of emotion and belief function differently in “science” and “religion”? How do religions use emotion in the cultivation of the believing religious-subject? Is there room for a model of self and subjectivity that goes beyond self-cultivation, in which a subject is being acted upon (ethics of passion)? How does work on emotions complicate or challenge the links between belief and religiosity? What are the distinct benefits and limitations to conceptualizing religious belief in these ways? (2)The second session on Shamanism will be jointly sponsored with the Mysticism, Esotericism, and Gnosticism in Antiquity Section. Papers that revisit the usefulness of shamanism for the study of religion and religious experience are encouraged. (3) The third session is an open call for papers on any topic related to religious experience in antiquity. Those interested are strongly urged to highlight the methodological approach that will be taken. Innovative approaches are especially welcome.

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    Religious World of Late Antiquity

    Cynthia M. Baker
    Lynn LiDonnici
    Description: A forum for scholars working comparatively and thematically in the period and regions in which Christianity, Judaism, Manichaeism, and Islam formed within a rich environment of other religious traditions, where norms of authority, belief, practice, and identity were contested and settled.

    Call for papers: RWLA invites paper proposals for sessions on the following three topics: (1) Demons and demonology in Late Antiquity. (2) “Christianization” and “Islamicization.” For this session (to be cosponsored with AAR’s Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity Section), we are particularly interested in proposals that wed focused examination of specific case studies to broader critical reflection on the terminology, categories, and questions at play within these fields of study. (3) Themes explored in Thomas Sizgorich's _Violence and Belief in Late Antiquity: Militant Devotion in Christianity and Islam_ (for a session to be cosponsored with the Qur'an and Late Antiquity program unit of the International Qur’anic Studies Association). We will also cosponsor (with the Social History of Formative Christianity and Judaism Section) an invited session devoted to Robert Gregg’s _Shared Stories, Rival Tellings: Early Encounters of Jews, Christians, and Muslims_.

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    Rhetoric and the New Testament

    Greg Carey
    Todd Penner
    Description: This section explores the continuously-evolving field of rhetorical criticism of the New Testament in all its diversity. Approaches include the use of Greco-Roman categories, modern approaches to rhetoric, and interdisciplinary studies that utilize anthropology, visuality, ideology to name a few.

    Call for papers: The Rhetoric and New Testament Section has several sessions planned for 2015. / ( ONE ) A session co-sponsored with the Paul and Politics Group and entailing a review and assessment of Antoinette Clark Wire’s on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the publication of this signal work in rhetorical studies. Papers for this session are invited. / ( TWO ) An open-call session co-sponsored with the Speech and Talk in the Ancient Mediterranean World Section on the theme of “Speech, Sight, and Space.” We invite papers exploring the rhetorical configurations of speech, sight, and space in relation to early Christian/ancient texts. For example, how does visual imagery function rhetorically in ancient texts (e.g., invoking built or natural environments)? How do ancient authors situate sight or speech in particular spaces (e.g., Cicero's speeches and the theater; private vs. public conversations; teaching “in the temple”/synagogue; Paul at the Areopagus)? What were the boundaries of sight and speech (e.g., Philo's claim that God's speech was visible at Sinai, or the Book of Revelation's paradox of "hearing" one thing but "seeing" another)? What is the significance of speech-sight-space when we consider the oral performance of ancient narratives or epistles (e.g., how might our understanding of Paul's letters be shaped by the visual realities of the ancient spaces in which they were read/performed)? / ( THREE ) An open-call session for which we invite proposals dealing with various aspects of the intersection of the study of rhetoric and the New Testament. Proposals that focus on the theme of “Why Does the Study of Rhetoric and the New Testament Matter?” are particularly welcome.

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    Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity

    Alexandra Gruca-Macaulay
    Bart B. Bruehler
    Description: The Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity Seminar provides a forum for collegial work on the Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity Commentary Series, and for the public exploration of facets of sociorhetorical interpretation that promise to contribute to the work of biblical scholars not directly associated with the project.

    Call for papers: The RRA Group holds three sessions at the annual meetings according to three research tracks. For Track 1 (New Horizons in Sociorhetorical Interpretation) the Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity seminar and the Senses and Culture in the Biblical World section are sponsoring a joint session exploring the non-visual senses. While sight is often the most prominent of the senses deployed by biblical and cognate texts, sensory language involving hearing, touching, tasting, smelling, proprioception, pain, or any other sense demands our attention as well. The papers in this session will examine the use of this language by examining how and why the rhetoric of the texts employs such sensory language. As sensory experience is culturally mediated, interpretation of sensory language in ancient texts will also require us to attend to the cultural meanings the different senses evoked in their indigenous contexts. Moreover, since the senses are more often than not simply assumed by the texts, attending to how they function when they are explicitly engaged will help us to understand these texts better. This session will consist of three invited papers and one respondent. Track 2 (An Analytical Seminar showcasing the use of sociorhetorical interpretation) will be on 2 Corinthians and will be presented by Prof. B. J. Oropeza. Track 3 (Refining Sociorhetorical Interpretation) will be a conjoint session with the Disputed Paulines Section and will present an invited panel to review Harry Maier, Picturing Paul in Empire: Imperial Image, Text and Persuasion in Colossians, Ephesians and the Pastoral Epistles (Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2013). Maier will respond.

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    Ritual in the Biblical World

    Russell C. D. Arnold
    Jonathan Schwiebert
    Description: The Ritual in the Biblical World Section focuses on the nature, meaning and function of ritual found in textual sources (HB, NT, non-canonical) in the larger context of the material culture of the ancient world, employing insights and methods of the field of ritual theory and enthnography.

    Call for papers: For our open session, we invite papers that explicitly employ recognized models, methods or theories of the social sciences to investigate either a ritual text or the social world of the New Testament, in which ritual is seen as a constitutive feature. This session will be co-sponsored with the Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament section. We are also planning a session of invited papers on the topic of sacrifice, co-sponsored with the Biblical Law section.

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    Sabbath in Text and Tradition

    Edward Allen
    Description: This unit brings together scholars of biblical and post-biblical texts and traditions for sustained, cross-disciplinary conversation about the Sabbath’s origins, development and meaning; provides constructive venues for papers, reviews, presentations, critique and feedback; and promotes collaboration in producing publications on the Sabbath.

    Call for papers: The Sabbath in Text and Tradition Group invites papers on two topics. 1) The Sabbath in Second Temple Judaism and the Greco-Roman World-- While the biblical material related to the Sabbath has been well studied, less attention has been paid to the non-biblical material from the Second Temple period. This session welcomes papers that focus on the non-biblical sources of the first few centuries of the Common Era. This would include authors such as Philo and Josephus, material from Qumran as well as Rabbinic traditions that arguably belong within the Second Temple period. Other topics that might be addressed include Greco-Roman references to the Sabbath, as well as other sources in the centuries before and after the second temple period including Christian references about the Sabbath in the period immediately after the Second Temple period. Topics could include differing definitions of the Sabbath, comparative patterns of Sabbath observance, and differing views of the Sabbath in the life of the observer. Papers on other related topics are welcome. 2) The Sabbath and God-- The Sabbath is often seen as a human institution, yet the Bible describes God as its originator and the center of worship upon it. This session welcomes papers that relate God and the Sabbath in a variety of ways, including God as the originator of the Sabbath; God’s rest as a prototype of human rest; God as the object of Sabbath worship; human response to God on the Sabbath; God and the law of the Sabbath; God and the holiness of the Sabbath; the God who enjoins the Sabbath; God as the one who models Sabbath observance; Sacrifice to God on the Sabbath; the Sabbath as a sign to God or as sign from God; what might be an affront to God on the Sabbath and what might be pleasing to God on the Sabbath; as well as other related topics.

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    Sacred Texts and Public Life

    Charles G. Haws
    Mark A. Chancey
    Description: The purpose of this unit is to support the discussion of the way sacred texts, and especially the Bible, play a role in and intersect with various dimensions of public life, including policy. It hopes to bring people and institutions together to unravel the past relationships of sacred texts and public life and envision new ways to shape this lively intersection.

    Call for papers:

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    Sacrifice, Cult, and Atonement

    Henrietta L. Wiley
    Description: The Sacrifice, Cult, and Atonement section is a forum for studying the practices, interpretations and reception history of sacrifice and cult in the Hebrew Bible, Ancient Judaism, Christianity, and their larger cultural contexts (ANE, Greco-Roman religion). Methodological perspectives include – but are not limited to – historical criticism, tradition history, comparative and literary approaches, ritual theory, and sociological analysis.

    Call for papers: The Sacrifice, Cult, and Atonement section welcomes all proposals on topics pertaining to sacrificial practice and function, cultic worship, and the means and significance of atonement as represented in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, or other Second Temple literature, and as demonstrated in the material culture of the relevant periods. This year we especially seek papers on two themes. For the first, Sacrificial Themes in Biblical Narrative, papers should focus on narrative texts from the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, or both. Papers on the second theme, (Ig)Noble Death Traditions and Paradigms, should consider questions of when a person’s death may be considered particularly honorable, noble, or otherwise notably beneficial to the community—or not—as represented in any First or Second Temple literature. As always, we are interested in a variety of methodological approaches, including—but not limited to—historical criticism, tradition history, comparative and literary approaches, art history, ritual theory, and sociological analysis.

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    Scripture and Paul

    Dr. Linda L. Belleville
    Thomas L. Brodie
    Description: The intent of this seminar is to provide a forum for a group of Jewish Scripture and Pauline scholars to examine Paul’s use of Scripture in light of text-critical and scholarly advances regarding second temple literary use of Scripture. It is the intent of this seminar to work toward the resolution of scholarly gridlock concerning the way the apostle Paul interpreted and applied the Jewish Scriptures.

    Call for papers:

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    Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity

    Bruce N. Fisk
    Description: The purpose of the Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity Section is to provide a context in which new scholarship on intertextuality and early biblical interpretation can be presented and critically evaluated. Specifically, the section is devoted to examining how the Hebrew Bible was used and interpreted in the literature of early Judaism (including rabbinic literature) and early Christianity (to ca. 400 CE) and to considering methodological issues associated with this task.

    Call for papers: Particularly welcome this year are papers that explore early Jewish and Christian appropriations of Biblical "Land" texts--texts marked by themes of land promise, possession, inheritance, boundaries, exile, return, Zion and Temple.

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    Second Corinthians: Pauline Theology in the Making

    Dominika A. Kurek-Chomycz
    Steven Kraftchick
    Description: Existing Pauline Theologies are either based on the ripe fruit of Paul’s theologizing in Romans (e.g., J. Dunn) or give a synthesis of theological themes across the board of Paul’s letters. The focus of this Seminar is how Paul develops his theology in his second letter to the Corinthians. We shall trace aspects of his theology on a trajectory from their very beginning in concrete historical situations and compare them to their reuse in more abstract contexts. Attention will also be given to their potential pre-Christian or early Christian pre-history and their post-history in what has been called the Pauline school. The main focus will be on the way concrete historical circumstances shaped the genesis of certain theological themes and how they changed when new circumstances arose or when the link to concrete circumstances got lost. Each theological theme will therefore primarily be studied in its epistolary context of 2 Corinthians and in light of the historical situation in which it was developed. The comparison with other letters is not intended to create one unified Pauline theology, but rather, in the contrast with other instances, to understand better the specifics of the theme under study.

    Call for papers: For this seminar there are two calls for papers: 1) an open call for papers on the theological issues of, or in, 2 Corinthians along the lines of the goals of the seminar, i.e., viewing the letter(s) as “theology in the making" (see description for further goals of the seminar); 2) a call for papers soliciting contributions on sections of, or on the whole of, 2 Corinthians 10 along the lines of the goals of the seminar. We are especially interested in how the conceptions of authority and institutional response are related to the conditions Paul encountered at Corinth. Other themes of interest include: Paul's bodily versus epistolary presence; the imagery employed in 2 Cor 10; Paul’s opponents; chapter 10 and literary integrity of 2 Corinthians. The complete texts of the accepted papers are due by October 31, 2015.

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    Senses and Culture in the Biblical World

    Greg Schmidt Goering
    Description: This interdisciplinary unit investigates all aspects of sensory perception in the Bible and early Judaism and Christianity, including how various cultures thought about, used, and ascribed meaning to the senses. The unit embraces diverse approaches to the study of the senses, including philological, anthropological, psychological, linguistic, cognitive, literary, and phenomenological methods.

    Call for papers: We plan to hold two sessions in 2015. First: As a love poem, the Song of Songs is arguably the most sensual book in the Hebrew Bible. For an open panel, we invite paper proposals that offer a sensory analysis of the Song or of any element in the reception history of the Song. Papers that relate the sense(s) under investigation to larger questions about social order, cosmology, cognition, or cultural values are especially welcome. The abstract should state the paper's thesis, outline the approach that will be taken, and identify the primary texts to be discussed. Second: With the Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity seminar, we are sponsoring a joint session exploring the non-visual senses. While sight is often the most prominent of the senses deployed by biblical and cognate texts, sensory language involving hearing, touching, tasting, smelling, proprioception, pain, or any other sense demands our attention as well. The papers in this session will examine the use of this language by examining how and why the rhetoric of the texts employs such sensory language. As sensory experience is culturally mediated, interpretation of sensory language in ancient texts will also require us to attend to the cultural meanings the different senses evoked in their indigenous contexts. Moreover, since the senses are more often than not simply assumed by the texts, attending to how they function when they are explicitly engaged will help us to understand these texts better. This session will consist of three invited papers and one respondent.

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    Slavery, Resistance, and Freedom

    Bernadette Brooten
    Emerson B. Powery
    Description: This unit will investigate the intersections between Ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean slavery and biblical and early rabbinic texts, the diverse forms of resistance to it, and the meaning of freedom in slave-holding societies. Presenters will also examine how Jews and Christians—free, freed, and enslaved—have interpreted biblical texts on slavery and freedom and will propose how to “read for freedom.”

    Call for papers: Our session is an open call for proposals that address any aspect of enslavement in the Bible and Ancient Near East; New Testament, early Christian history, early rabbinic literature, and ancient Mediterranean history; or interpretations of biblical, rabbinic, or other classical texts. We are particularly interested in papers that explore the intersections of enslavement and ethnicity or enslavement and children. We encourage papers that show the complex experience of slavery by taking into account various dimensions and, in particular, ethnicity and age. This may involve giving attention to what ‘slaving’ involves and the impact slavery had on economy and culture (and, may continue to have on contemporary contexts). Papers might also address the theological use of slavery as a metaphor and its consequences for children and people of various ethnicities in the ancient world. Time periods addressed may be ancient, modern, or any time in between.

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    Social History of Formative Christianity and Judaism

    Gil P. Klein
    Blake Leyerle
    Description: This section is dedicated to a study of formative Christianity and formative Judaism utilizing a broad methodological perspective that places an emphasis on interpreting the data within specific social, cultural, and linguistic contexts. We function as a clearinghouse for developments in social historical methodology and perspectives for our period. (previously Social History of Early Christianity)

    Call for papers: For 2015 we are planning three sessions. The first will be a pre-arranged session, co-sponsored with Religious World of Late Antiquity Section, on Robert C. Gregg’s book, Shared Stories, Rival Tellings: Early Encounters of Jews, Christians and Muslims (forthcoming from OUP). The second will also be a pre-arranged session on Mira Balberg's book, Purity, Body and the Self in Early Rabbinic Literature (University of California Press, 2014). For the third session, we seek proposals on the topic of Imperial Spaces of Conflict. We are particularly interested in papers focusing on the spatial dimension of agonic relations between individuals or groups that were subject to imperial power in late antiquity. We would also welcome papers that deal with spatial tensions (for example, borders, liminal settlements, contested resources, land use) between the Roman, Sasanian, or Byzantine empires and those who lived within their territories.

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    Social Sciences and the Interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures

    Jeremiah W. Cataldo
    David Chalcraft
    Description: The section is a dynamic program segment of the SBL that provides a welcoming forum for investigation of the social world of ancient Israel. The section particularly encourages papers utilizing methods and theories from the social sciences for the interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures.

    Call for papers: The Social Sciences and Interpretation of Hebrew Scriptures section will be running two sessions during the 2015 Annual Meeting. Our first session is open and we encourage submissions dealing broadly with social-scientific analyses of the Hebrew Bible. For our second session we invite papers on the theme of "the social, economic, or political productivity of protest"--"protest" understood broadly--as found within the Hebrew Scriptures. We encourage papers that use social-scientific theories to reveal new ways of reading the Hebrew Scriptures, whether to expose an "original intent" or to explain a new interpretive strategy for the modern reader. For both sessions, we especially encourage those papers that demonstrate a clear engagement of recent trends in social-scientific theory and that make an attempt at finding a point of dialogue between study of the Hebrew Scripture and study in the social-sciences.

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    Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament

    Alicia J. Batten
    Zeba A. Crook
    Description: The Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament Section program encourages the self-conscious employment of recognized models, methods, or theories of the social sciences in order to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the texts and social world of the New Testament.

    Call for papers: For the 2015 meeting in Atlanta, we will have 3 sessions. The first session will consist of invited papers and a respondent on the theme of physiognomy and the texts and social world of the New Testament. The second will be open and co-sponsored with the Ritual in the Biblical World Section. We invite papers that explicitly employ recognized models, methods or theories of the social sciences to investigate either a ritual text or the social world of the New Testament, in which ritual is seen as a constitutive feature. The third session is also open but proposals that focus upon politics and its relationship to the texts and social world of the New Testament are especially welcome.

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    Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions

    Nancy A. Evans
    Description: This new group is devoted to the study of the religions of the ancient Mediterranean basin broadly conceived. The Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions aims to focus particular attention on the polytheistic religious traditions of Greece, Rome and the Near East, their interaction with each other, and with the monotheistic religious traditions of the region. Please visit out website (www.samreligions.org) for further information.

    Call for papers: New Approaches in Social Sciences and the Study of Ancient Religion Although the application of social science methodologies to the study of ancient Mediterranean religion extends back to the origins of the modern social sciences, many new methodologies and theoretical orientations have appeared in the past few decades that scholars of ancient religion have only recently begun to employ, with very fruitful if sometimes controversial results. Cognitive science has perhaps attracted the most attention, but social psychology, communication studies, performance theory, practice theory, and ritual theory have also figured largely in recent research. The Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions invites scholars and students of the religions of the ancient Mediterranean world, including Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Near Eastern religions, as well as early Christianity and Judaism, to submit abstracts that address the application of recent social scientific approaches to the study of religion. Potential topics include, but are not limited to: case studies that involve the application of a specific methodology; and general evaluations of particular methodologies and theories with specific reference to the ancient Mediterranean. Proposals should be submitted electronically through the SBL website. The deadline is Wednesday, 4 March, 2015. You must be a member of the SBL or seek a waiver in order to deliver a paper. Papers should last between 15 and 20 minutes. Abstracts should contain a title and a word count, but should not have any information regarding the identity of the submitter. All abstracts will be reviewed anonymously. Please direct all queries to SAMR at socamr@gmail.com.

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    Society for Comparative Research on Iconographic and Performative Texts

    James W. Watts
    Description: The Society for Comparative Research on Iconic and Performative Texts (SCRIPT) was founded in 2010 to encourage new scholarship on iconic and performative texts. Our goal is to foster academic discourse about the social functions of books and texts that exceed their semantic meaning and interpretation, such as their display as cultural artifacts, their ritual use in religious and political ceremonies, their performance by recitation and theater, and their depiction in art. SCRIPT sponsors programming at existing regional and international scholarly meetings and at colleges and universities. We welcome new members and ideas for programs and venues to host them. For further information, see http://script-site.net/.

    Call for papers: SCRIPT encourages comparative study of iconic and performative texts within and across cultures and religious traditions. For the SCRIPT panel in Atlanta, we invite papers on the theme “sensing books, sensing scriptures”.

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    Society for Pentecostal Studies

    Blaine B. Charette
    Description: The Society for Pentecostal Studies began in 1970 and is an organization of scholars dedicated to providing a forum of discussion for all academic disciplines as a spiritual service to the kingdom of God. The purpose of the society is to stimulate, encourage, recognize, and publicize the work of Pentecostal and charismatic scholars; to study the implications of Pentecostal theology in relation to other academic disciplines, seeking a Pentecostal world-and-life view; and to support fully, to the extent appropriate for an academic society, the statement of purposes of the World Pentecostal Fellowship. http://www.sps-usa.org/

    Call for papers: The Society for Pentecostal Studies began in 1970 and is an organization of scholars dedicated to providing a forum of discussion for all academic disciplines as a spiritual service to the kingdom of God. The purpose of the society is to stimulate, encourage, recognize, and publicize the work of Pentecostal and charismatic scholars; to study the implications of Pentecostal theology in relation to other academic disciplines, seeking a Pentecostal world-and-life view; and to support fully, to the extent appropriate for an academic society, the statement of purposes of the World Pentecostal Fellowship. http://www.sps-usa.org/

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    Søren Kierkegaard Society

    Kyle Roberts
    Description: The purpose of Søren Kierkegaard Society (SKS) is to encourage study and discussion of the thought of Søren Kierkegaard in all its dimensions and ramifications, including its sources and influences. Affiliated with the American Academy of Religion (AAR), Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), and the American Philosophical Association (APA), the Society alternates its annual business meeting between AAR/SBL and APA conventions. The Society encourages scholarship on Kierkegaard at the national and regional meetings of the AAR/SBL and APA through an Executive Committee which includes members of both organizations.

    Call for papers: The Søren Kierkegaard Society welcomes paper proposals that constructively engage Kierkegaard’s biblical interpretation for contemporary political or public theology. In particular, we welcome papers that put examples of Kierkegaard’s biblical interpretation into dialogue with postcolonial biblical interpretation. Papers can range from positive appreciations to critiques of Kierkegaard’s biblical interpretation. Papers might focus on any text or passage within the broad range of Kierkegaard’s corpus.

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    Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity

    Eric Smith
    Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre
    Description: This unit seeks to engage diverse methodological and theoretical perspectives on social practices in antiquity as mediated through place or larger spatial frameworks. Presentations exploring the creation, use, or understanding of space or place through material remains and/or texts are welcome.

    Call for papers: We invite paper proposals for a session dedicated to the relations of narrative and space. How does spatiality inflect narrative? How does narrative produce and alter material spaces and their attendant imaginaries? What role does narrative play in the use and misuse of space? How does sacred space rely on and/or defy narrative? Scholars working in literary and archaeological approaches to ancient religions are welcome to submit proposals. A second session of invited papers will discuss the edited volumes produced by this unit over the last decade in order to provide a retrospective and prospective review of the study of space, place, and lived religion in antiquity.

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    Speech and Talk in the Ancient Mediterranean World

    Jeremy F. Hultin
    Michal Beth Dinkler
    Description: This section focuses on speech practices and discourse about speech. Of special interest are the ways that gender, status, and ethnicity figure in ancient discussions of speech, and the way that social realities are revealed—and shaped—by discourse about how to talk. Treatments of specific ways of talking (e.g. gossip, loquacity) as well as more theoretical analyses of speech are welcomed.

    Call for papers: In 2015, "Speech and Talk" is holding a joint session with "Rhetoric and the New Testament." For this joint session, we invite papers exploring the rhetorical configurations of speech, sight, and space in relation to early Christian/ancient texts. For example, how does visual imagery function rhetorically in ancient texts (e.g., invoking the built or natural environments)? How do ancient authors situate sight or speech in particular spaces (e.g., Cicero's speeches and the theater; private vs. public conversations; teaching "in the temple"/synagogue; Paul at the Areopagus)? What were the boundaries of sight and speech (e.g., Philo's claim that God's speech was visible at Sinai, or the Book of Revelation's paradox of "hearing" one thing but "seeing" another)? What is the significance of speech-sight-space when we consider the oral performance of ancient narratives or epistles (e.g., how might our understanding of Paul's letter to the Romans be shaped by the visual realities of the ancient Roman spaces in which it was read/performed)?  Such questions are meant to be suggestive, not restrictive. Papers addressing other ways speech, sight, and space intersect are welcome.

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    Synoptic Gospels

    Robert Derrenbacker
    Description: The Synoptic Gospels as a unit have played an important role in modern scholarship, including, but not limited to, the relationships among the Gospels. This section provides a forum for the discussion of papers from a variety of theoretical perspectives and critical methods on the content and formation of the Synoptic Gospels and what they reveal about the contexts of their composition.

    Call for papers: The Synoptic Gospels section invites proposals for papers for its open sessions on the content or formation of any of the Synoptic Gospels, and we especially are interested in papers that address the relationship between two or more of the gospels or deal with themes that touch on multiple gospels. In addition, there will be one invited session examining Francis Watson's book "Gospel Writing: A Canonical Perspective" (Eerdmans, 2013).

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    Syriac Literature and Interpretations of Sacred Texts

    Cornelia Horn
    Cynthia J. Villagomez
    Description: This unit offers a forum for scholars studying the Syriac interpretation of Biblical and related literatures and the intimate connections between Syriac biblical interpretation, historiography, hagiography, and para-scriptural traditions in Oriental Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

    Call for papers: For the 2015 meeting in Atlanta we welcome papers for three joint and one or more open sessions. 1) For a joint session with the SBL Ethiopic Bible and Literature Section, we invite contributions that show intersections between Ethiopic and Syriac or Syriac-Arabic exegetical, literary, or historical traditions. We are especially interested in papers that deal with hagiographical traditions. 2) In collaboration with the AAR Middle Eastern Christianity Group and the SBL Religious Competition in Late Antiquity unit we seek proposals that address wisdom literature in the Middle Eastern Christian communities. The program units invite proposals that investigate wisdom literature in the Syriac milieu as it is understood broadly—including related Christian traditions in other Middle Eastern languages, such as Arabic, Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopic, Greek, etc. Proposals focused on any historical period are welcome, and abstracts must demonstrate methodological and theoretical rigor. 3) In collaboration with the SBL Aramaic Studies section, we invite papers for a joint session. 4) We warmly welcome contributions for one or more open sessions with presentations of research on Syriac literature and the Syriac Bible, its versions, transmissions, exegesis, and relevance for understanding religion, culture, history, and society in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. We continue to be strongly interested in papers that address the intersections between the Bible, the Qur'an, and their interpretive traditions through the lens of Syriac authors.

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    Teaching Biblical Studies in an Undergraduate Liberal Arts Context

    Glenn S. Holland
    Description: This section explores the opportunities and challenges of teaching biblical studies in undergraduate liberal arts institutions. Presentations and discussions share and evaluate pedagogical objectives, strategies, and assessment. The section also fosters a community of biblical studies scholars and teachers.

    Call for papers: This section explores the opportunities and challenges of teaching biblical studies in undergraduate liberal arts institutions. We invite proposals for a session on Biblical Studies and AAC&U LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes from those who have already participated in addressing the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes, those currently in the process, or those who anticipate taking part in the process in the near future. We also invite proposals for an open session devoted to "Biblical Studies and -- " (Fill in the blanks in various ways, such as "skills development," "location," "performing arts," or "film studies.") In the proposal, outline the rationale, challenges, opportunities, strengths, and weaknesses of the approach as they apply to a specific example in your own teaching context. Handouts and engaged presentation styles are welcome. This section will also have a session devoted to "Biblical Studies and Art" in association with the Biblical Art program unit, with contributions from a panel of invited scholars.

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    Texts and Traditions in the Second Century

    Christopher M. Hays
    Michael F. Bird
    Description: The aim of this consultation is to promote scholarly discussion and debate on the texts, people, and traditions significant for Christian history and reception of biblical texts in the second century which are currently underrepresented at the annual meeting.

    Call for papers: The consultation “Texts and Traditions in the Second Century” seeks to create space, in the context of the SBL, for the detailed discussion of the texts, people, and traditions of a pivotal period of early Christianity during which a number of canons and identities were conflicting and coalescing. This year the consultation will include two sessions, both of which will feature a mixture of invited and open call papers. The first session is entitled “Paul and the Second Century”, and the consultation welcomes submissions of any paper on this subject, broadly conceived. The second session is entitled “Texts and People in the Second Century”. As the name suggests, this is an open session which encourages proposals on any second century text or person which might illuminate the development of Christianity in this formative period. The consultation aims to foster original and interdisciplinary research on second-century Christianity. Accordingly, special consideration will be given to submissions that focus on new approaches or underexplored subjects. Potential contributors are encouraged to contact the session organizers with any questions. Christopher M. Hays: cmhays@gmail.com Michael Bird: m.bird@ridley.edu.au

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    Textual Criticism of Samuel – Kings

    Kristin De Troyer
    Description: This unit aims at enhancing cooperation and exchange of ideas between scholars working on the text of Samuel and Kings in various languages. (At the present, there is activity in editorial projects on critical editions of the Septuagint text, various projects on the daughter versions of the Septuagint, and projects around the Hebrew text aiming at commentaries,text-editions, or monographs on text-history.) Such cooperation is necessary, due to the very complicated nature of the textual history of these books, and promises good results, as it is the advantage of all parties to be informed of the progress of work by their colleagues.

    Call for papers: The emphasis of this years program will be on kaige texts: where do we find kaige, what are the manuscripts involved, how do we recognise kaige, why do we speak about kaige vs proto-Theodotion, etc. We encourage people to submit paper proposals that deal with these questions, even if the questions require the analysis of books other than Samuel-Kings.

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    Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible

    Russell E. Fuller
    Ingrid E. Lilly
    Description: The Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible section concerns itself with the origin and nature of all forms of the biblical text. The discipline involves the comparison of data from the various witnesses to the biblical text (Masoretic text, Septuagint, Dead Sea Scrolls, etc.), and the evaluation of that data.

    Call for papers: The Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible section solicits papers for one open session on any aspect of textual criticism. The section concerns itself with the origin and nature of all forms of the biblical text. The discipline involves the comparison of data from the various witnesses to the biblical text (Masoretic text, Septuagint, Dead Sea Scrolls, etc.), the evaluation of that data, and theoretical issues about the discipline of textual criticism. The section will also host two invited sessions in Atlanta: (1) The Character and Nature of Citations and Allusions in the War Scroll, and (2) Presentation of Current Work on Critical Editions for the Hebrew Bible Critical Edition Project (published with SBL).

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    The Qur’an and Late Antiquity (IQSA)

    Michael Pregill
    Description: The Qur’an and Late Antiquity program unit focuses on investigation of and critical reflection on the historical context in which the Qur’an was revealed. We seek papers that illustrate significant textual parallels between the Qur’an and other literatures of Late Antiquity, especially those that contribute to a better understanding of the Qur’an’s place in its cultural, political, social, and religious environment. We also seek papers that interpret the rise of the Qur’anic community in a broader phenomenological, sociological, or historiographic context, whether that of pre-Islamic Arabian society or the Roman and Sasanian Empires that dominated the eastern Mediterranean and Near East in this period. Particular attention will be paid to such questions as processes of political consolidation and legitimation, construction of communal boundaries, and relationships between communities and polities.

    Call for papers: The Qur’an and Late Antiquity program unit focuses on investigation of and critical reflection on the historical context in which the Qur’an was revealed. We seek papers that illustrate significant textual parallels between the Qur’an and other literatures of Late Antiquity, especially those that contribute to a better understanding of the Qur’an’s place in its cultural, political, social, and religious environment. We also seek papers that interpret the rise of the Qur’anic community in a broader phenomenological, sociological, or historiographic context, whether that of pre-Islamic Arabian society or the Roman and Sasanian Empires that dominated the eastern Mediterranean and Near East in this period. Particular attention will be paid to such questions as processes of political consolidation and legitimation, construction of communal boundaries, and relationships between communities and polities.

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    The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition (IQSA)

    Cornelia Horn
    Holger Zellentin
    Description: The focus of this unit is the Qur’an’s relationship to the Biblical tradition in the broadest sense: the books of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament in the various languages of their original composition and later translations (regardless of a particular book’s status of canonization within specific Jewish or Christian groups), the exegetical traditions of the Bible, and the homiletic, narrative, and legal corpora that have developed in close dialogue with this Biblical tradition prior to the emergence of the Qur’an and subsequently in exchange with the Qur’an.

    Call for papers: For the 2015 meeting in Atlanta, we invite papers for two sessions. 1) Together with the "Biblia Arabica" consultation of SBL, "The Qur'an and the Biblical Tradition (IQSA)" invites paper proposals for a joint session on the topic: "'The Bible is at the same time everywhere and nowhere in the Arabic Qur'an' (Sidney H. Griffith): Case Studies and Reflections." This session aims at studying the elaboration and treatment of specific biblical themes in the Qur’an and by its interpreters. Case studies may be on divine revelation, attitudes to class, violence and destruction, attitudes to women, prophets and prophecy, space and time, but do not have to be limited to these. We invite proposals that reflect explicitly on the theme as articulated by Sidney Griffith, and that consider processes of canon formations and renewal on the basis of earlier canons. 2) We invite papers on interactions between the biblical and qur'anic traditions for an open session.

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    The Qur’an: Manuscripts and Textual Criticism (IQSA)

    Keith Small
    Luke Treadwell
    Description: The aim of this unit is to provide a cross-disciplinary setting to address the variety of interconnected issues that arise when questions concerning the Qur’an’s text are explored in the areas of its manuscript tradition, the transmission of the text in manuscripts and the relationship of these texts to those found in references to alternative Qur’anic readings in the qira’at literature and other Islamic literature. This will provide a forum to explore the historical context of the Qur’an from various eras, as well as such diverse but related topics as the palaeographic, codicological and art historical study of the Qur’an’s manuscript tradition, textual criticism applied to the texts found in manuscripts as well as the phenomenon of the alternative Qur’anic readings found in references in Islamic literature to the qira’at. It is hoped that bringing scholars from these disciplines of Qur’an manuscript studies and qira’at studies will serve to enrich and strengthen both of these fields.

    Call for papers:

    Panel 1:For the 2015 Meeting in Atlanta we invite papers that deal with all eras and regions of the Qur’an’s manuscript tradition, as well as the variety of palaeographic, art historical, codicological, and historical issues one encounters in our discipline. For example, a paper topic may focus on presenting a particular manuscript or group of manuscripts, on exploring a feature of orthographic development, a particular script style, the dating of manuscripts, issues of textual criticism, systems of qira’at, on the Qur’anic arts of the book or on a feature of Qur’anic manuscript studies not listed here but that fits the general parameters listed in the description of the program unit.

    Panel 2:This panel aims to provide a forum for the study of the Qur’an as it was applied to objects of daily use, as well as elite artefacts and buildings and for the investigation of scholarly reactions to these developments in hadith collections and other textual sources. In this panel we invite contributions on any aspect of the Qur’an’s history and pre-history that lies outside the manuscript tradition. For example, topics relating to Qur’anic citation in the epigraphic (including graffiti as well as formal inscriptions), architectural, ceramic, numismatic and papyrological records and the use of the Qur’an in funerary, apotropaic and prophylactic contexts would be most welcome. Topics concerning pre-Islamic inscriptions that might have a bearing on the later formulation of the text of the Qur’an are also welcome.

    Proposals should include a title and an abstract of approximately 400 words.



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    Theological Interpretation of Scripture

    Michael J. Gorman
    Tom Holsinger-Friesen
    Description: This seminar explores the hermeneutical innovations and theological implications that ensue when critical biblical interpretation is conducted within diverse confessional communities, especially, but not only, those of the Christian tradition. It is this complex exploration itself that amounts to what may be called theological interpretation, an approach to biblical interpretation that gives particular attention to (1) the relationship between theological and other approaches to biblical studies, including historical criticism; (2) the significance and the challenges of expanding the contexts of biblical interpretation to include canon, creed, community, and constructive theology; (3) the relationship between biblical studies and systematic theology, practical theology, and philosophical theology; (4) the impact of theological convictions and religious practices (both traditional and contemporary) on biblical interpretation, and of theological interpretation on religious and academic communities; and (5) the actual theological interpretation of biblical texts. (Formerly Theological Hermeneutics of Christian Scripture)

    Call for papers: In 2015 the Theological Interpretation of Scripture seminar will sponsor two open sessions. The first session will be entitled "Theological Interpretation of Daniel in the MT and LXX" (i.e., Daniel and/or the "additions"). The second session will be on "Trinity in/and the Bible." We invite proposals for exegetical, theological, and/or reception-history papers on biblical texts relevant to the topics above. Papers will be 20 to 25 minutes in length. All accepted papers will be read in their entirety at each session. In addition, the Theological Interpretation of Scripture seminar, together with the "Bonhoeffer and Social Analysis" unit of the AAR, will sponsor a session on "Bonhoeffer as Theological Interpreter." We invite paper proposals investigating aspects of Bonhoeffer as a theological interpreter of Christian Scripture. Submissions may explore Bonhoeffer's own exegetical practice and its application in particular cases, examine the role of exegesis in the construction of his own distinctive theological positions, or perhaps consider Bonhoeffer's understanding of Scripture and its consequences for contemporary debates about theological exegesis. All accepted papers will be read in their entirety at the session.

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    Theological Perspectives on the Book of Ezekiel

    Prof. Dalit Rom-Shiloni
    Madhavi Nevader
    Description: This Section has two aims. First, it seeks to bring together scholars working on the book of Ezekiel to share research and conclusions about the book. Second, it encourages an expressly theological approach to the book.

    Call for papers: This section seeks to bring together scholars working on the book of Ezekiel to share research and conclusions about the book. Although the section encourages an expressly theological approach to the book, it is open to other methodological approaches as well. We will hold two sessions in Atlanta 2015: (1) An Open Session. We invite paper proposals on any aspect of the book of Ezekiel; (2) We launch a new three years program on the topic: “Perspectives on Land, Landscape, and Cosmic Geography in Ezekiel.” The first topic to be discussed in Atlanta is specified as follows: “Heaven, Earth, and the Underworld: Spatial Conceptions in Ezekiel.” Papers are invited on the book's theology on any of these spheres or on their (inter)relationship. Of special interest is the discussion of how Ezekiel relates to and differs from other biblical and ancient Near Eastern traditions and sources in his conceptions.

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    Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures

    Julia M. O'Brien
    Marvin A. Sweeney
    Description: The purpose of the Theology of Hebrew Scriptures section is to promote sustained reflection, dialogue, and research on the various theological ideas, themes, and motifs that are found throughout the Hebrew Bible. It seeks to facilitate Jewish-Christian dialogue, creating a venue where Jewish and Christian interpreters can reflect together on a theological interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures.

    Call for papers: The Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures section will hold three sessions in 2015. One is an open session, for which any proposal related to theological inquiry of the Hebrew Scriptures is welcomed. A second session on Divine Hiddenness will include invited panelists. A third session on The Theology/ies of Daniel will be co-sponsored with the Book of Daniel program unit and will include invited papers.Questions may be addressed to Julia O'Brien or Marvin Sweeney, program unit co-chairs.

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    Transmission of Traditions in the Second Temple Period

    Juha Pakkala
    Description: The unit will concentrate on the transmission of traditions particularly in the Second Temple period. It will focus on both transmission processes themselves and the practical mechanics employed in such processes. While literary evidence is central to this investigation, physical manuscripts, other material artefacts, iconography, and traces of oral transmission processes will be factored into the discussion whenever possible. In the textual evidence particular emphasis will be placed on texts in which two or more empirically attested versions of the same story (or book) differ considerably. All such cases in the different available corpora from the general time period will be taken into consideration.

    Call for papers: This group is accepting papers which deal with the processes of textual growth, and especially those which focus on what textual differences can tell us about the composition process of Hebrew scriptures. Particular focus is on the variant textual witnesses, which show how the texts of the Hebrew scriptures were changed or edited. Papers dealing with textual growth (or other editorial changes) in the Hebrew Bible (parallel passages that contain differences), the Dead Sea Scrolls, the text critical evidence (LXX etc.), and other ancient Near Eastern literature are encouraged to participate.

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    Ugaritic Studies and Northwest Semitic Epigraphy

    Eric D. Reymond
    Joseph Lam
    Description: Our purpose is to foster the academic study of ancient Ugarit, the associated cuneiform alphabetic texts, and ancient Northwest Semitic epigraphic texts, especially in order to explore areas of commonality between these fields of study and Biblical literature.

    Call for papers: The Ugaritic Studies and Northwest Semitic Epigraphy section plans to hold two sessions in 2015: (1) A session on cross-cultural connections between Greek and Northwest Semitic literatures, which will include invited papers, but for which unsolicited submissions will also be considered; and (2) an open, non-thematic session consisting of papers on any topic relevant to Ugaritic and Northwest Semitic studies.

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    Use, Influence, and Impact of the Bible

    Andrew Mein
    Lesleigh Cushing Stahlberg
    Description: This program unit explores how the Bible has been used and/or influential in the way it has been received in society. The focus is upon the reception of the text in contexts other than a narrow critical-academic one.

    Call for papers: This year we aim to have at least one open session: proposals are welcome on any aspect of the Bible's reception history. For the open sessions our preference is for papers that do not focus on the narrower history of scholarship, but explore wider aspects of the Bible's impact on religions, society and culture, art, literature and music. We are aiming to hold a joint session with the Bible and Visual Art section, and would particularly welcome proposals around the theme of ‘The Politics of Biblical Art’: for this we are particularly interested in papers addressing the political impact of individual works of art, but we encourage submissions which engage creatively with the above theme from any angle. We also intend to continue the focus on 'The Cultural History of Biblical Commentary' that we began in 2014. The commentary has long been the dominant form of biblical interpretation, and we invite papers that examine the history and practice of commentary writing from the second temple period to the 21st century. We are particularly interested in papers that will examine areas such as the development of the form of the commentary, the material production and consumption of commentaries, the ideological assumptions that underpin commentaries, and the religious, cultural and/or political influence of particular commentaries.

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    Violence and Representations of Violence in Antiquity

    Kimberly Stratton
    Ra'anan Boustan
    Description: This section promotes a robust discussion of violence and its representations in the ancient world. Papers utilize a variety of approaches and theoretical tools to consider what constitutes violence, seeking to advance knowledge about power and its effects in antiquity while also providing analogical materials for thinking about contemporary manifestations of religiously inflected violence.

    Call for papers: In 2015, the Violence and Representations of Violence Section is sponsoring three sessions: 1) an invited panel on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the founding of this unit; 2) an open session on the topic “Children, Violence, and Religion,” co-sponsored with the Comparative Approaches to Religion and Violence group of AAR; 3) an open session on “The Arts of Violence,” co-sponsored with The Art and Religions of Antiquity unit of SBL. The CFPs for each of these sessions are as follows: 1) Violence and Representations of Violence Section at 10: Retrospect & Prospect: This invited session will invite 5 past leaders and participants to reflect on the circumstances that lead to the formation of this unit, the concerns that shaped its agenda, the development of the group over the course of its first ten years, and future directions for research. 2) “Children, Violence, and Religion”: This open session, co-sponsored with the AAR unit “Comparative Approaches to Religion and Violence,” invites submissions that investigate violence by or toward children in "religious" contexts. Papers may address any form of verbal, psychological, or physical violence, real or imagined. In addition, such violence may represent a normative requirement for a given religious community, as in the case of child soldiers, child suicide missions, child sacrifice, or it may represent a despicable crime imputed to the religious Other, as in accusations of ritual murder of children by Christians in antiquity or Jews in medieval Europe. Papers may address evidence from any historical setting, from ancient to contemporary. 3) “The Arts of Violence”: This open session, co-sponsored with the SBL unit “The Art and Religions of Antiquity,” invites papers that consider the intersection of art and violence in the ancient world, including, but not limited to, visual representations of violence, violence against art, iconoclasm, or violence as art (e.g., fatal charades).

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    Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion

    Trish Overpeck
    Description: The Wabash Center encourages excellent teaching in departments of religion and theological schools through careful attention to the issues that every faculty member faces including course design, assessment, student learning goals, understanding the institutional context and the broader purposes of teaching. We offer programs at the SBL Annual Meeting as well as workshops, colloquies, and conferences which are organized throughout the year. Fully funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. and located on the Wabash College campus in Crawfordsville, Indiana, we also offer grants for institutions or individuals who wish to propose projects or research relating to teaching and learning. Our consultants program can facilitate on-site faculty conversations about pedagogical issues through a brief application process available online. Teaching and learning resources (both books and those available through the Internet) are also available through our website. See our website for a full listing of programs, grant deadlines, and resources: www.wabashcenter.wabash.edu.

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    Warfare in Ancient Israel

    T M Lemos
    Description: This section will 1) explore and develop new and ongoing areas of inquiry regarding texts, practices, experiences, and ideology concerning warfare in ancient Israel and the ancient Near East; 2) offer analyses of specific issues associated with warfare in ancient Israel and sketches of programmatic approaches to the study of warfare in general; 3) assess the significance of the history of scholarship on warfare in ancient Israel; and 4) establish a collaborative and incremental investigation of various dimensions of warfare in ancient Israel and the Hebrew Bible that moves toward the production of a comprehensive reference work.

    Call for papers: The Warfare in Ancient Israel Section fosters the interdisciplinary study of war and its representations in the Hebrew Bible and ancient Near East and is sponsoring an open session and a select panel at the 2015 Annual Meeting: (1) For the open session, the steering committee invites papers treating any aspect of warfare and violence in ancient Israelite and Judean societies and texts from preexilic through postexilic periods, especially papers on the effects of warfare and violence upon combatants or aggressors, whether as individuals or groups. Presentations will be limited to twenty minutes followed by ten minutes of open discussion. (2) The panel session,“Warfare in Early Israel: The State of the Question,” will examine what can be known or said about warfare, warriors, and violence in emerging Israelite society, and will engage Mark Smith’s book, Poetic Heroes: Literary Commemorations of Warriors and Warrior Culture in the Early Biblical World. Fifteen minute presentations by invited panelist will introduce the discussion in this closed session. For additional information, contact Tracy Lemos (tlemos@uwo.ca) or Frank Ritchel Ames (fames@mac.com).

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    Westar Institute

    Description: Westar Institute — home of the Jesus Seminar — is dedicated to fostering and communicating the results of cutting-edge scholarship on the history and evolution of the Christian tradition, thereby raising the level of public discourse about questions that matter in society and culture.

    Call for papers: Westar Institute — home of the Jesus Seminar — is dedicated to fostering and communicating the results of cutting-edge scholarship on the history and evolution of the Christian tradition, thereby raising the level of public discourse about questions that matter in society and culture.

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    Wisdom and Apocalypticism

    Karina Martin Hogan
    Matthew Goff
    Description: Our group seeks to develop more rigorous and sophisticated ways to speak about wisdom and apocalyptic texts and motifs in early Jewish and early Christian literature. We are committed to attending to the concrete social location of particular texts.

    Call for papers: The Wisdom and Apocalypticism Section is planning an open session on Wisdom and Apocalypticism in the New Testament. We welcome papers that deal with various topics involving wisdom and apocalyptic themes and motifs in the New Testament, with preference given to papers that focus on the Letter of James. We encourage submissions from advanced doctoral students and early-career scholars. We are also accepting proposals for a joint session with the Hebrews section on Time and Space in Hebrews: Sapiential and Apocalyptic Perspectives. The Epistle to the Hebrews presents a worldview that reflects both wisdom and apocalyptic traditions. The writer portrays the action of Christ in terms of heavenly and earthly realms. Past, present, and future time are brought together in a complex way. The perspective is intriguing, yet difficult to categorize. We invite proposals that open up fresh perspectives on the spatial and temporal dimensions of Hebrews by drawing from wisdom writings and apocalyptic texts. Our third session will be an invited session on concepts of time and history in sapiential and apocalyptic literature.

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    Wisdom in Israelite and Cognate Traditions

    Stuart Weeks
    Description: The Wisdom Section seeks to provide a forum for the exploration of new ideas in the study of Wisdom Literature, focusing on the Wisdom literature of the Bible and apocryphal wisdom traditions but also on related literature from elsewhere in the ancient Near East.

    Call for papers: The Wisdom in Israelite and Cognate Traditions Section is hosting three sessions for the Annual Meeting 2015. Two of these are open for paper proposals on any topic concerned with the study of Wisdom Literature as defined in the program unit description. A third session, consisting of invited papers, will address the topic of Wisdom and Revelation.

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    Women in the Biblical World

    Vanessa Lovelace
    Susan E. Hylen
    Description: This section explores the multifaceted lives of women in the biblical period. It is a forum for inquiry into literary and material culture, including biblical and extra-biblical texts, the history of their interpretation, and the relevant cultural milieu.

    Call for papers: Women in the Biblical World invites proposals for papers in three sessions. 1) Reading the Bible with Women from the South. As we gather in Atlanta, we invite paper proposals that analyze readings of the Bible by southern women. 2) Intersections of Race, Gender, and/or Class in biblical texts. We invite papers on the intersections of race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and/or class and the portrayal of femininity and/or masculinity in the Bible. 3) Open session.

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    Writing/Reading Jeremiah

    Amy Kalmanofsky
    Else K. Holt
    Description: The Writing/Reading Jeremiah group invites new readings and constructions of meaning with the book of Jeremiah "this side" of historicist paradigms and postmodernism. We welcome all strategies of reading Jeremiah that seek to reconfigure, redeploy, and move beyond conventional readings of Jeremiah. Our manifesto: not by compositional history alone, nor biographical portrayal alone, nor their accompanying theological superstructures; rather, we seek interpretation from new spaces opened for reading Jeremiah by the postmodern turn.

    Call for papers: The theme of the 2015 sessions will be Body and Embodiment in Jeremiah. We welcome papers that examine physical or metaphorical, traumatized or gendered bodies in Jeremiah, and that address how the book or tradition of Jeremiah is embodied in ancient Judaism and Christianity. The Writing/Reading Jeremiah group invites new readings and constructions of meaning with the book of Jeremiah "this side" of historicist paradigms and postmodernism and with special emphasis on theoretical and interdisciplinary methods of interpretation.

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