Search SBL
 













Congresses

2016 Annual Meeting

San Antonio, TX

Meeting Begins: 11/19/2016
Meeting Ends: 11/22/2016

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: 12/16/2015
Call For Papers Closes: 3/2/2016
Requirements for Participation

Program Units

 

Academic Teaching and Biblical Studies

Renate Viveen Hood
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: ATBS offers 4 sessions. Sessions 2-4 are open for proposals: Session 1: "Developing Effective Assessments." Round-table panel and discussion session. [No proposals.] Session 2: “Teaching the Bible with Technology." We welcome presentation proposals showcasing ways in which technology effectively facilitates teaching in Biblical Studies. Priority will be given to proposals that clearly show how technology can enhance student learning. Preference is given to innovative approaches that are available to users without cost. Presentation proposals will be evaluated in terms of (1) effectiveness of topic or approach for teaching Biblical Studies, (2) clarity and timeliness of topic or approach, and (3) potential reusability or adaptability of method for wider use. Session 3: “Best Practices in Teaching Sacred Texts.” We invite proposals for a co-sponsored session with the AAR's Teaching in Religion section on best practices in teaching sacred texts in Biblical Studies and Introductory Religion courses. Successful proposals will focus on student engagement, innovative and proven pedagogy, and will include a pragmatic component. Presentations will be 15 minutes of which at least 5 minutes are designated as hands-on demonstration time. Session 4: "Teaching Violent Texts." We welcome presentation proposals demonstrating methods, tools, and activities for opening effective classroom dialogue and learning around the study of violence in sacred texts. Please submit proposals which clearly describe the method, tool, or activity you will present, any example text(s) addressed in your presentation, and the specific learning outcome addressed. Pedagogical examples applicable across the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, and texts that inform these, as well as sacred texts important in inter-faith dialogue, are all welcome. 20-minute long interactive presentations will be followed by 5 minutes of group conversation and feedback.

Tags:

African Association for the Study of Religions

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.

Call for papers: 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.

Tags:

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) African Biblical Hermeneutics and the MIT’s: Research in the fields of Africana studies, cultural studies, gender studies, anthropology, economics, cognitive science, and political science among others, provide opportunities for new methods in African biblical hermeneutics. We invite papers that explore innovative methodological approaches to Biblical studies in Africa, approaches that are multi-disciplinary and/or inter-disciplinary and/or trans-disciplinary (MIT). (2) The Bible and Violence in Africa: Africa continues to be “divided by the same God.” The sacred texts which basically remain authoritative in Africa have been used to perpetuate violence through colonialism, wars, genocide, terrorism, gender-based violence, and environmental degradation among others. This session invites papers, particularly those that explore the intersections between the Bible and various forms of violence and those that engage possible non-violent approaches to biblical interpretation in Africa (3) Panel on Book Reviews: To showcase on-going and exciting scholarship in African biblical hermeneutics, this session will be constituted by a panel of invited scholars. The panellists will review the books by D. BEA Akoto, Proverbs and the African Tree of Life: Grafting Proverbs 25-29 on the Ghanaian Ewe Folk Proverbs (2014) and Robert Wafula, Biblical Representations of Moab: A Kenyan Postcolonial Reading (2014). The authors will respond to the reviews. (4) JOINT SESSION: ABH, POCO and AASR: The African Biblical Hermeneutics Section is co-sponsoring a session with the Postcolonial Studies and Biblical Studies section and the African Association for the Study of Religion that will address the theoretical and practical intersections between postcolonial theory, religion, and biblical studies in Africa. The session will consist of both invited papers and open submissions. Proposals are welcome on any aspect of the question especially in contemporary African contexts

Tags:

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: AABH 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 2016 Annual Meeting. We will offer one session that will be an open call for paper proposals engaging any aspect of African American biblical research. A second session will explore the state of the discipline by inviting panelists to present papers that discuss a particular strategy in African American Biblical Hermeneutics, including, for instance (1) African Americans as interpreters of the Bible; (2) analysis of biblical themes in African American cultural expression; (3) Womanist interpretation and other intersectional analysis; (4) the Bible, race and racism; and (5) cross-disciplinary work that interrogates the Bible and African Americans in US society. In yet a third session we are collaborating with the Committee on Under-Represented Minorities in the Profession (CUREMP) and others to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of CUREMP. Finally, we are offering a fourth extended session that will be divided in half for purposes of reviewing two important recent works in AABH: Nyasha Junior’s Introduction to Womanist Interpretation (Westminster/John Knox) and Herbert R. Marbury’s Pillars of Cloud and Fire: The Politics of Exodus in African American Biblical Interpretation (New York University). 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.

Tags:

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. We invite proposals on any topic relevant to the group’s focus. For one of the two sessions, we are particularly interested in papers located at the intersection of critical theory and ancient narrative. We are interested in both how critical theory informs and facilitates the interpretation of ancient narratives, and how ancient narratives critique, complicate, and/or contribute to critical theory. Proposals that foremost engage in close reading of ancient text in conjunction with critical theory will be given first consideration.

Tags:

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 2016, we especially welcome papers on the following three topics: (1) seals from the IA IIa/b period; (2) non-verbal gesture/communication; and (3) visual culture studies and ancient Near Eastern iconography.

Tags:

Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars

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: For its 2016 meeting the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars welcomes paper proposals (or other programming ideas) that consider the role of biblical studies and/or biblical scholars in the formation and revision of prayer books in the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Tags:

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 invites 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. In addition, we are planning two joint sessions: 1. For an open session cosponsored by the Syriac Literature and Interpretations of Sacred Texts Section, we invite contributions on any relevant topic at the intersection of our two fields of study. 2. We invite papers on Aramaic incantation bowls in Late Antiquity for a session cosponsored by the SBL Religious World in Late Antiquity Section and the AAR Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity Group. Papers should present new texts or perspectives, and may deal with texts in any Aramaic dialect (Jewish Babylonian, Syriac, Mandaic, etc.). We also welcome papers that explore the bowls as a source of evidence for the nature of beliefs and practices within the Jewish, Christian, Mandaean, and other groups that produced the bowls.

Tags:

Archaeology of Religion in the Roman World

Douglas Boin
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 papers for three sessions: (1) Dating Early Christian Papyri, which will focus on old and new methods in the dating of early Christian papyri, from palaeography to carbon dating and ink analysis; (2) Religion and Water / Religion "Under Water." This session is open to papers that discuss religious artifacts or sites “under water” (excavated through nautical archaeology). We are also interested in research which explores the study of religion and water in the broader landscape of city and countryside, particularly as it relates to features like aqueducts, rivers, fountains, baptisteries, and miqvaot; and (3) the Archaeology of the City of Rome. This session will be organized with the SBL Unit: “Inventing Christianity: Apostolic Fathers, Apologists, and Martyrs."

Tags:

Archaeology of the Biblical World

Erin Darby
Eric Welch
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 2016 Archaeology of the Biblical World will host an invited panel on the Shephelah in the Iron IIB 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.

Tags:

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 2016 annual meeting and co-sponsoring one session with the Jewish Christianity/Christian Judaism program unit, including TWO OPEN SESSIONS. 1) Art and Destruction: The Art and Religions of Antiquity program unit invites papers focused on Art and Destruction. For this session, we seek papers that treat topics concerning the removal, desecration, or destruction of art and material culture and its historical impact and relevance. Papers that treat the destruction of ancient art in recent years are also most welcome. 2) Art and Religion of Ancient Syria: For this session we seek presentations that address the role of art and material culture as it relates to Syria, broadly construed, in antiquity or late antiquity. Presentations that emphasize regionally distinctive monuments, artifacts, structures, manuscripts, and rituals are most welcome, along with recently discovered materials. For inquiries about best practices regarding matters of provenance, please consult with representatives of the SBL Council’s Task Force on the Use of Ancient Artifacts. 3) Our unit is sponsoring a session devoted to Dura-Europos, specifically centered around the publication of a new book by Michael Peppard, The World's Oldest Church: Bible, Art, and Ritual at Dura-Europos, Syria (Yale, 2016). This session will include invited panelists responding on aspects of ritual, art history, and theology related to Dura-Europos. 4) Our final session, Identity in Late Antique Syria: Jewish-Christians, Philosophers, and Prophets will be co-sponsored with the Jewish Christianity/Christian Judaism program unit. It will be centered around a new book by Zsuzsanna Gulacsi, Mani’s Pictures: The Didactic Images of the Manichaeans from Sasanian Mesopotamia to Uygur Central Asia and Tang-Ming China (Brill, 2015), and comprised of invited speakers

Tags:

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. The group also co-sponsors a joint session with the Bible and Cultural Studies and Contextual Biblical Interpretation groups about what difference minoritized feminist and womanist voices make in reading apocalyptic literature.

Tags:

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 San Antonio, the Assyriology and the Bible Section shall host a special invited session on “Philosophy in Mesopotamia? Thinking about Thinking,” as well as at least two open sessions in which we accept proposals on any subject related to the study of Assyriology and the Bible.

Tags:

Bible and Cultural Studies

K. Jason Coker
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 two open calls this year: 1. "Apocalyptic Scripturalization, Ambiveilence, and the Utopian: Pasts and Futures of Minoritized Feminist and Womanist Criticism." The recent publication of minoritized feminist and womanist studies in Revelation—especially Shanell T. Smith’s The Woman Babylon and the Marks of Empire (Fortress, 2014), Lynne St. Clair Darden’s Scripturalizing Revelation (SBL, 2015), and Jacqueline M. Hidalgo’s Revelation in Aztlán (Palgrave, 2016)—point toward significant transformations in the bodies producing scholarship on the Apocalypse, the questions be asked about and around the text, and the interpretive approaches that matter for reading Revelation. We are looking for papers that jump off from these recent studies and ask about what difference minoritized feminist and womanist voices make in reading apocalyptic literature? Are there significant shifts to be charted? What are the questions and approaches that might matter most in the next generation of biblical scholarship on/in relation to the Apocalypse? 2. "Scriptural Colonialism: Rethinking the Conjunction of Missionary Activities, Colonialism, and the Bible." Given our location in San Antonio and the prominent remains of Spanish colonial missions as well as the Alamo, we invite papers that examine scriptures or specific scriptural texts as they have been deployed in, taken up, transformed by, or informative of missionary activities and missionary colonialism. While we are especially interested in papers that rethink scriptures in colonial religious projects around the world but also including Spanish missionary colonialism and U.S. Manifest Destiny, we also welcome papers that use missionary colonial histories and practices to rethink and reinterpret Jewish and Christian biblical texts. We would also welcome papers that attend to colonial legacies in more recent and contemporary practices of scriptural interpretation.

Tags:

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 2016. One session will feature invited papers and respondents focusing on "Biblical Emotional Responses to Human Sin and Suffering: Exploring the Limits of Forgiveness, Repentance, and Compassion." 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.

Tags:

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: We invite papers for 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). For the second open session, special consideration will be given to papers that address one of the following: "non-traditional" film formats (live-film, animation, short films, etc.); auteurs; genres; Gender and Sexuality; Migrations and Borders. Note: Papers in our sessions are typically forty minutes in length so that presenters can incorporate about ten minutes for showing film clips. Each paper is followed by a ten minute discussion. Two other sessions (one co-sponsored with Bible and Popular Culture) will review recent books on Bible/Film.

Tags:

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: Theme-based Session--The Bible and Scandal: We invite proposals that consider instances in which the use of the Bible in popular culture has provoked scandalous behaviors, interpretations, political consequences, or institutional disruptions. Open Session: We invite proposals related to any aspect of the Bible and popular culture.

Tags:

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 paper proposals for two open sessions and one themed. Open Session: We invite papers on any issue emerging out of the intersections of biblical interpretation and practical theology (liturgy, formation, education, administration, pastoral care, and public theology) that encourages relational and interactive readings of both human situations and biblical texts. Themed Session: We invite papers that engage biblical texts and practical theology that focus on violence and strategies for healing. We are interested in papers that address violence in general and against marginalized communities (e.g., violence against women, LGBTQ communities, minority faiths, races, ethnicities, etc.). For all sessions, interdisciplinary collegial presentations are encouraged but not required.

Tags:

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 the following three sessions: Session 1 will focus on Images of the Apocalypse in Art. We invite papers dealing with visual art of the Apocalypse in any medium (e.g. painting, sculpture, stained glass, book illustration, film, popular culture) and from any time period, in order to explore historical, hermeneutical, theological, iconographic and/or theoretical issues. Our theme for Session 2 is Visualizations of the Bible for Global Research and Teaching. This is a co-sponsored session of the Bible and Visual Art and the Global Education and Research Technology sections. In a joint effort to identify, present, and/or create various repositories of visual images that can be used in teaching and research in global settings, we invite papers focused on image repositories, global access, open data, and culturally contextualized visualizations of the biblical text. Our third session is an open session. Papers are invited that offer an original, distinctive and creative visual interpretation of a biblical text, narrative or character. In keeping with the section’s overall aim of exploring biblical works of art in the venue where the SBL takes place, we particularly encourage topics that relate to art, sculpture or other forms of biblical art in public spaces in San Antonio.

Tags:

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: Bible in Ancient and Modern Media highlights the mediation of biblical texts and traditions (both Hebrew Bible and New Testament) through multiple communicative media throughout history, spanning from antiquity to the present. In 2016, BAMM will host four sessions. The first session welcomes paper proposals on any aspect of “the Bible” (Hebrew Bible/Old Testament; New Testament; related literatures) in either ancient or modern media (memory, oral tradition, performance, written and/or printed text, art, music, iconography, graffiti, numismatics, electronic media, etc.). BAMM is especially interested in papers that offer critical analyses of the function of media in the construction of meaning. The second—an invited panel—will address the theme, “Orality, Textuality, and Prophetic Literature,” and is the culmination of a three-year project on orality, textuality, and the formation of the Hebrew Bible. The third—an invited panel—will introduce the concept of sound mapping and highlight recent works that examine how biblical (especially NT and/or Greek) texts use sound in the construction of meaning. The fourth—an invited panel co-sponsored with the Book History and Biblical Literatures consultation—will feature the work of William Johnson on book- and reading-cultures in antiquity.

Tags:

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: Welcoming submissions for two thematic and one open session. 1)"Theogony and Anthropogony in the Bible and Beyond," will focus on mythic treatments of the origins and status of gods and humans in ANE and Greco-Roman literatures, including HB, NT, and non-canonical Judean texts. What notions do mythic explanations of the origins of divinity and humanity share? What distinguishes humans from gods? When and for whom (heroes, kings, ancestors) is this boundary permeable and with what implications? What sorts of literary dialogues obtain between biblical depictions of God and ANE theogonies? We encourage incorporation of a variety of data, including archaeological, visual, and textual. 2)“Jesus as Myth”: Despite lack of theorization, the concept “myth” has been important among classic historical-critical treatments of the gospels and other NT literature (e.g. Strauss, Bultmann, etc). Recent scholarship, on the contrary, often prefers approaches to understanding Jesus that emphasize the value of the gospels as historical sources for reconstructing Jesus’ social situation, even if subjecting them to highly skeptical historical inquiry. We invite papers that articulate and apply to Jesus critical theories of myth, in conversation with contemporary historical or literary-critical approaches. Such papers might redraw lines between fiction and history/biography in gospel scholarship or propose new ways of interpreting particular pericopes. They might use “myth” as an organizing concept for suggesting meaningful parallels between NT and other ancient writings, or for understanding the generic contours of the gospels and other NT writings about Christ. 3)Open call: We welcome proposals on myth and myth theory in both HB and NT biblical studies, including Greco-Roman and ANE contexts. We encourage participants from diverse specializations—including ANE literature and Greco-Roman religions—and a range of methodologies: textual and literary criticism, archeology, anthropology, etc.

Tags:

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 is planning two sessions for the AM in San Antonio. 1). A joint open session with The Qur'an and the Biblical Tradition (IQSA) Section. We invite paper proposals on "New Developments in the Study of Karaite Bible Exegesis and the Islamic and Christian Oriental contexts." Papers can focus on aspects of Karaite Bible commentaries and/or Karaite Bible translations that engage with Islamic and Christian sources, overtly or covertly, in positions of polemics or agreement. 2) An invited panel session on "New sources and Publications" in the Study of Arabic Bible translation". We will invite 4-5 persons to discuss their and others' new publications, and a responder, then follow with a general discussion. No papers are invited for this second session.

Tags:

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 (on “Focal Values and Criteria for Biblical Ethics”) and two thematic sessions. We invite paper proposals for the two thematic sessions: 1. “Dealing with Foreigners / Migration”; and 2. “Social Justice”. Potential presenters are expected to include an analysis of specific biblical texts and not only focus on a discussion of sociological (and other) theories. They are also 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.

Tags:

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 2, 2016. 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 17, 2016. 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 each presentation. This section will have at least one theme session, on a topic yet to be specified. 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.

Tags:

Biblical Hebrew Poetry

Elizabeth R.Hayes
Kevin Chau
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 be holding four sessions. Two sessions invite papers on various aspects of Biblical Hebrew poetry. The first session welcomes papers with an emphasis on metaphor, metonymy and other figurative language in Biblical Hebrew poetry. The second open session will address 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." The third session will address “The Poetics of Violence.” This session welcomes papers that focus on the “face of violence,” i.e., violence as related to gender, power, culture, ethnicity, the natural world, the Divine, conflict, etc. as it appears in the biblical Hebrew poetry. The session is also interested in how the “face of violence” found in biblical Hebrew poetry interfaces with contemporary and global world experiences. The fourth session is a joint venture with the Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew group. This session will examine the question of whether poetry and prose in the Hebrew Bible have different linguistic features, what those features are and how they should be described. At one end of the spectrum are scholars who believe that prose and poetry are distinct linguistic systems; at the other end are scholars who believe that prose and poetry comprise one linguistic system. Analyses that can explain how the linguistic variation and/or differences arise between prose and poetry are welcome.

Tags:

Biblical Law

Dr. Hannah K. Harrington
Shalom E. Holtz
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: The Biblical Law section plans three sessions for the 2016 Annual Meeting. 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. Together with the Theology of Hebrew Scriptures Section, we will be co-sponsoring a session of invited papers on the topic of theodicy and biblical law, and are interested in including papers on that topic in our open sessions, too. Copies of papers are distributed in advance through our section's Web site (biblicallaw.net).

Tags:

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 2016 Annual Meeting. We will host an invited session on a panel review of recently published Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek, the English translation of Franco Montanari’s Vocabolario della Lingua Greca (Brill, 2015). We welcome paper proposals for two further open sessions on proposals on subjects of relevance to the lexicography and semantics of Hebrew, Greek or other biblical languages.

Tags:

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. Proposals should indicate which of the two topics they are 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. We welcome papers that employ a range of methods, and include critical reflection on the implications of both the method utilized and the particular understanding of trauma adopted. The two topics are: (1) In a session co-sponsored by the Exile (Forced Migration) Section, papers are invited to read a particular biblical text in light of present situations of forced migration around the world. The aim of this session is to explore the application of trauma theory at the nexus of the biblical text and current situations reflecting a range of experiences of forced migration, including displacement within the boundaries of a particular country. (2) Papers are invited to explore methodological issues raised by employing psychological or sociological categories in employing a lens of trauma through which to interpret biblical texts functioning within ancient contexts. Given that much of contemporary social scientific theory relies on research conducted in the modern West, the question arises as to which aspects of these theories may be considered applicable across cultures, both in the contemporary world and in history. We invite papers that explore the nexus between particular contemporary theories or approaches to trauma and their application to particular biblical texts.

Tags:

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: This section investigates how insights from Book History illuminate scriptural literatures. We consider the culturally contingent concepts of text, authorship, readership, publication, and materiality, marshaling scholars of Hebrew Bible/ANE, Judaism, Early Christianity, Nag Hammadi, Syriac studies, and other sub-fields within the SBL to encourage collaborative and comparative work. We will host three sessions in 2016. The first session welcomes proposals on the theme of PUBLICATION. What did it mean to make a text "public" in the ancient world? If "publishing" is a modern concept that scholars sometimes anachronistically impose on antiquity, what are some ways we might think historically about the promulgation and dissemination of writing in the ancient societies that produced our sources? The theme of the second session is open. Given the lively interest in our 2015 theme of Paratexts, we welcome more submissions that engage this topic (the study of textual frames, such as titles, prefaces, epilogues, colophons, marginalia, etc), but also invite proposals on any topic within the purview of Book History and Biblical Literatures. For both of these sessions, we are particularly interested in proposals that take comparative and theoretical approaches and bring different subfields of the SBL into conversation with one another. In keeping with the interdisciplinary emphasis of the section, we especially encourage submissions from scholars working in Qu'ranic Studies/Islamic Studies. Our third session is an invited panel sponsored jointly with the Bible in Ancient and Modern Media section on reading practices in antiquity, featuring classicist William Johnson of Duke University.

Tags:

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 invites submissions for an open session covering any aspect of research related to the Acts of the Apostles, including (e.g.) textual, theological, narratival, historical, reception-historical, exegetical, social-scientific, and ideological approaches. The section also plans to host two additional sessions at the 2016 annual meeting. One of these, sponsored jointly with the Theological Interpretation of Scripture section, will explore "The Ascension and the Ascended Christ in the Book of Acts" and will involve invited panelists and ample plenary discussion. The other session, sponsored jointly with the Gospel of Luke section, will focus on characterization in Luke-Acts and will also include invited papers.

Tags:

Book of Daniel

Donald C. Polaski
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: For the 2016 Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, the Book of Daniel Section invites proposals dealing with any topic or issue in the critical interpretation of Daniel, including the MT, the LXX, the Additions to Daniel, and pseudepigraphal materials related to Daniel. The best proposals will indicate a distinctive contribution to a current problem in the study of Daniel, or will bring a promising theoretical framework to a particular issue, or will raise new questions about an overlooked problem in the understanding of Daniel. All proposals must go through the SBL proposal submission link on the website.

Tags:

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 2016 meeting we will be holding two invited sessions. One session will deal with the reception of Deuteronomy in the extra-Biblical literature of the Hellenistic period. The second session will focus on reevaluating the relationship between covenant framework of Deuteronomy and Neo-Assyrian treaties and loyalty oaths.

Tags:

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 an open session (for which all kinds of papers on the Psalms are welcome), the Book of Psalms Group will have two sessions devoted to specific topics: -Susan Gillingham's work on Pss 1-2 and the reception history of the Psalms, and -the book of Psalms and ritual practice in both ancient and contemporary contexts.

Tags:

Book of the Twelve Prophets

Jakob Wöhrle
Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer
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: For the Annual Meeting in 2016, the Book of the Twelve Prophets Section will organize three sessions: an open session, an invited session about the book of Jonah and an invited session about “Israel and the Nations in the Book of the Twelve”. For the open session we invite papers investigating issues related to any text or texts within the Book of the Twelve, with preference given to papers that address the formation or interrelatedness of the Book of the Twelve as a literary corpus.

Tags:

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 three sessions in 2016. The first will be an open session. 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. The second session will be a joint session with Women in the Biblical World focusing on the them of “innocence.” Interpreters sometime use the term “innocent” to describe certain biblical characters based upon the character’s age and gender. However, innocence is a social construct often applied to biblical characters, such as children, without critical analysis. Factors such as race and class affect who is automatically assumed to be “innocent” and who is not “innocent.” This session invites papers that address how race, ethnicity, gender, and age influence how readers and the texts themselves evaluate characters and their innocence, especially woman and children. The third session will present the work of the project “Tiny Voices from the Past: New Perspectives on Childhood in Early Europe” (Univ. of Oslo/Norwegian Research Council), and the publications which have resulted from this four year long examination of children in the ancient world (see http://www.hf.uio.no/ifikk/english/research/projects/childhood/index.html). The committee will invite the presenters for this session.

Tags:

Christian Apocrypha

Brent C. Landau
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: The Christian Apocrypha program unit will run four sessions at the 2016 Annual Meetings. The first is a book review panel dedicated to Philip Jenkins’s The Many Faces of Christ: The Thousand-Year Story of the Survival and Influence of the Lost Gospels; panelists are invited. The second session is a joint session with the Digital Humanities in Biblical, Early Jewish, and Christian Studies program unit, pertaining to the ways in which digital humanities is impacting the study of the Christian Apocrypha; although some presenters will be invited, we strongly encourage scholars interested in participating to contact the program unit chair and/or submit an abstract. The third session will tentatively focus on violence in the Christian Apocrypha; submissions of abstracts on this theme are welcome. The fourth and final session will be open to submission of any abstracts pertaining to the study of the Christian Apocrypha, broadly conceived; members of the steering committee, however, are particularly interested in papers exploring healing in the Christian Apocrypha, the artistic/iconographic representation of apocryphal narratives, or discussions of Christian Apocrypha found in patristic sources.

Tags:

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: 1) The Christian Theology and Bible section is launching the first of a four-year series on biblical figures who appear in both Testaments and their significance for Christian theology, beginning with Hagar, one of the few women to appear in both the Old and the New Testaments (in Genesis and Galatians). In light of this, we invite papers that demonstrate how Hagar has influenced Christian theology in the past, that explore how theologians have interpreted her in either Testament or both Testaments, and/or that describe Hagar’s role in constructive Christian theology today. 2) The Christian Theology and Bible section is also launching the first of a four-year series on Christian theologians and their interpretation of the Bible. This first session invites papers on Martin Luther and his theological interpretation of a specific text or set of texts in the Old or New Testament. The session is interested not only in Luther as a historical theologian but also for his role in constructive Christian theology today. Finally, the Christian Theology and Bible section will host an invited review panel of Richard Hays, Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels (Baylor University Press, 2016), jointly sponsored by the Journal of Theological Interpretation.

Tags:

Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah

Steven James Schweitzer
Sean Burt
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 four sessions in 2016. 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 Literature and History of the Persian Period Section, with invited papers on the topic: Literature, History, and Archaeology. The third session will be a book review panel on the recent important collection of essays, Covenant in the Persian Period, edited by Richard Bautch and Gary Knoppers. The fourth session will be invited papers on the topic of gender issues in Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah.

Tags:

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 2016 meeting. The abstracts for these sessions should state the paper's thesis and explicitly describe the cognitive linguistic approach that will be taken. (1) The FIRST SESSION 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 SECOND SESSION, a joint session of the Performance Criticism of the Bible and Other Ancient Texts section with the Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Studies section, issues a call for papers that focuses on HUMOR in cognition and performance.

Tags:

Construction of Christian Identities

David A. Creech
Julia Snyder
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: Sessions this year will consist of invited papers. If you are interested in participating in the seminar and are not yet a member, please email Julia Snyder at the above address.

Tags:

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 or discuss methodology while making explicit the role that a reader’s contemporary context plays/played in the interpretation (whether the contemporary context of one’s own interpretation or the interpreter’s particular contexts). We plan to have four very different sessions, two of which are joint. Papers presented will be considered for publication in an ongoing series Texts@Contexts (Sheffield Phoenix). First, a session on contextual biblical methodologies (either methods shaped by a given context or theory-framed methods). Second, a text-centered session on Samuel, Kings, Chronicles and the Megilloth (Five Scrolls) as well as Paul’s undisputed and disputed letters. Third, a joint session about what difference minoritized feminist and womanist voices make in reading Revelation. See the “Bible and Cultural Studies” call for papers for a fuller description. Fourth, a joint session with the AAR’s “Ricoeur Group.” Here’s the full description - Ricoeur and Context: Put Ricoeur into dialogue with contextual interpretation and theology. How might resources from Ricoeur's work (e.g. hermeneutics, narrative, tradition, translation, memory, embodiment) assist, complicate, or prohibit the methods, themes, or contents of contemporary contextual biblical interpretation and/or contextual theologies? Conversely, how might Ricoeur's ideas be supported, complemented, or corrected by contextual approaches?

Tags:

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: This year we have an open call for two sessions. Session 1: "Exploring the Meaning of Punic Identity in Roman Africa," which will focus on the meaning of Punic culture and the significance of its legacies for how North Africans conceived of their religious identities. We intend for this first session to lay the groundwork for later studies that will move past this general Punic background and look more specifically at the influence of distinctively African social and cultural orientations on the cultivation of Christian identities in Roman and post-Roman North Africa. Session 2: "Narratives of the Hebrew Bible in Christian Africa," which will be devoted to various Old Testament narratives as found in the writings of Christians from North Africa, such as Tertullian, Cyprian, Lactantius, Optatus, the Donatists, and Augustine. These early Christian North African writers are important witnesses to the Vetus Latina and other versions of the scriptures, and they represent some of the most influential voices in the early Latin tradition of biblical interpretation and theology.

Tags:

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 2016, the CHNT Section will sponsor three sessions: 1) A session dedicated to the topic of Plutarch and early Christian literature; 2) a session on Christianity at Oxyrhynchus; 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. Papers related to the theme "Asia Minor" are especially sought for this third session. The first two are pre-arranged sessions, while the last is an open call for papers.

Tags:

Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature

Barbara Schmitz
Frank Ueberschaer
Gerhard Karner
Kristin De Troyer
Description: The unit provides a forum for the deuterocanonical writings. A central focus (1 of 3 sessions per meeting) is on the Book of Ben Sira with its theology and textual complexity. The goal is to foster academic research, stimulate discussions among scholars, and promote interest in these texts.

Call for papers: The unit provides a forum for the deuterocanonical writings. A central focus (1 of 3 sessions per meeting) is on the Book of Ben Sira with its theology and textual complexity. The goal is to foster academic research, stimulate discussions among scholars, and promote interest in these texts.

Tags: 1 Esdras (Biblical Literature - Deuterocanonical Works), 1 Maccabees (Biblical Literature - Deuterocanonical Works), 2 Esdras (4 Ezra) (Biblical Literature - Deuterocanonical Works), 2 Maccabees (Biblical Literature - Deuterocanonical Works), 3 Maccabees (Biblical Literature - Deuterocanonical Works), 4 Maccabees (Biblical Literature - Deuterocanonical Works), Additions to the Book of Esther (Biblical Literature - Deuterocanonical Works), Baruch (Biblical Literature - Deuterocanonical Works), Deuterocanonical Works (Biblical Literature - Deuterocanonical Works), Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) (Biblical Literature - Deuterocanonical Works), Judith (Biblical Literature - Deuterocanonical Works), Letter of Jeremiah (Biblical Literature - Deuterocanonical Works), Prayer of Manasseh (Biblical Literature - Deuterocanonical Works), Psalm 151 (Biblical Literature - Deuterocanonical Works), The Additions to the Book of Daniel (Biblical Literature - Deuterocanonical Works), The Additions to the Book of Daniel - Bel and the Dragon (Biblical Literature - Deuterocanonical Works), The Additions to the Book of Daniel - Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Young Men (Biblical Literature - Deuterocanonical Works), The Additions to the Book of Daniel - Susanna (Biblical Literature - Deuterocanonical Works), Tobit (Biblical Literature - Deuterocanonical Works), Wisdom and Philosophical Literature (Early Jewish Literature - Jewish Pseudepigrapha), Wisdom of Solomon (Biblical Literature - Deuterocanonical Works)

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 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.

Tags:

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 2016 we are accepting proposals for one session (in addition to a planned review discussion and a session on the Diatessaron):

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 and Eusebius’ Canon Tables. 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.

At the 2015 Annual Meeting, papers were delivered on Eusebius' Canon Tables, Biblical study aids in the Donatist tradition, the Rule of Faith, and Priscillian's Canons on the Letter of Paul. The program unit welcomes submissions on these and other topics such as the kephalaia system in the Greek and Latin gospel traditions, the Euthalian apparatus, onomasticons such as those by Eusebius and Jerome, handbooks for exegesis, biblical prologues, and the like.

Tags:

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: A panel will be organized on the publication of collected essays by our group in the new series Digital Biblical Studies (Brill). A joined session will focus on Digital Humanities and Christian Apocrypha ; another session will focus on digital academic communication and publication. Both sessions will welcome invited papers and will accept papers.

Tags:

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: Depending on the number and quality of proposals received, the Disputed Paulines Section will offer one or more 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 those letters (or a discreet section thereof). For 2016, we especially welcome papers that explore any aspect of family in the Disputed Paulines.

Tags:

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 San Antonio. Those submitting a proposal should designate in the Abstract the project for which the paper should be considered.

Tags:

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. In 2016 the second and third centuries, including Origen, the relationship between Christian and "pagan" thought and questions of cosmology and anthropology will be at the center of the two sessions.

Tags:

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 three open sessions. For the OPEN SESSIONS, we are particularly interested in papers focusing on three themes: 1) GENDER and early Jewish and Christian relations; or 2) SPACE and PLACE and early Jewish and Christian relations, which will be co-sponsored with the “Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity” program unit; or 3) BORDERS and early Jewish and Christian relations. All proposals must be submitted online. All inquiries should be sent to Tina Shepardson (cshepard@utk.edu) or Shelly Matthews s.matthews@tcu.edu.

Tags:

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: Proposals are invited for presentations in 2016. Proposals may engage with a particular biblical text or theme, or the methodology of an ecological reading. A strong methodological basis is encouraged (see, e.g., Habel and Trudinger, Exploring Ecological Hermeneutics, SBL 2008 , or the Exeter project, Horell, Hunt and Southgate, Greening Paul, Baylor 2010, or volumes in the Earth Bible Commentary Series, Sheffield-Phoenix), as is an innovative linking of contemporary ecological issues with biblical material, such as climate change or displacement (refugees). In 2016 there will be open sessions for which proposals on any biblical text will be considered. There will also be two joint panel sessions with invited speakers, one with Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity Seminar on the Gospel of Matthew, and another with Poverty in the Biblical World on climate change.

Tags:

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 is planning three sessions for the 2016 meeting. The first is a joint session with the Wisdom and Apocalypticism section. This will be an invited session on sapiential and apocalyptic texts in relation to the theme of economics, entitled “Economic Instruction and Poverty in Wisdom and Apocalypticism.” The second will be an invited session on theoretical approaches to the study of ancient economies and the state of the field in this area. The third, "open" session will be focused on labor and labor relations. We welcome proposals for presentations on the various forms of labor in the ancient world, particularly as addressed in biblical texts. Proposals should be fairly precise about textual focus, approach, and anticipated conclusions.

Tags:

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 will be a joint session with invited papers (together with the Pentateuch section). Session Two: This is an open session. We welcome paper proposals on a variety of topics addressing interrelated issues of comparison and influence between ancient Egypt, Israel, and/or the biblical text.

Tags:

Ethics and Biblical Interpretation

Amy C. Merrill Willis
Nichole M. Flores
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 Group is an interdisciplinary partnership between biblical scholars, theologians, and ethicists. The work of our group focuses on the methods,texts, and principles for using the Bible in ethical deliberation. Toward that end, the group invites proposals for TWO sessions. For the *first* session, the steering committee invites proposals that treat the topic of Social Upheaval, Movements of Resistance, and the Bible. Proposals might engage in a contemporary and critical reading of a scriptural text using specific ethical principles, frameworks, or thinkers, in order to reflect on a current instance of social upheaval or a contemporary resistance movement, such as: the Syrian refugee crisis, the Black Lives Matter movement, or the crisis of homelessness for U.S. military veterans. Or proposals might identify and analyze contemporary examples of resistance literature or movements, emerging from recent social upheavals, that use or re-use biblical texts. The *second* session will deal with the topic of Violence, Ethics, and the Bible. For this session, the committee invites proposals that incorporate a close reading of scriptural texts into a critical conversation with contemporary ethical reflection on a particular event or topic involving violence or the threat of violence.

Tags:

Ethiopic Bible and Literature

Ralph Lee
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 clusters and 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. This session would also welcome papers from specialists interested in the Septuagint and its use in Ethiopic literature. Secondly, an open session welcomes papers that seek to understand the ideology, sociology and the process of literary formation, of the Ethiopic tradition. There is a strong interest in papers on the Ethiopian commentary tradition, and also in the liturgical use of texts. This year there is a particular interest in papers on the Ethiopian national epic, the Kebra Nagast, and associated literature. A joint session with the Syriac Literature and Interpretations of Sacred Texts Section, invites contributions that show intersections between Ethiopic and Syriac, Syriac-Arabic, Coptic-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).

Tags:

Ethnic Chinese Biblical Colloquium

Chloe Sun
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:

Tags:

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: In 2016, Exile (Forced Migration) in Biblical Literature will have two panels; only the first will accept papers through an open call. The first panel is co-sponsored with the Biblical Literature and the Hermeneutics of Trauma consultation. Papers, which will come through an open call as well as by invitation, will read a particular biblical text in light of present situations of forced migration around the world. The aim of this session is to explore the application of trauma theory at the nexus of the biblical text and current situations reflecting a range of experiences of forced migration, including displacement within the boundaries of a particular country. The second panel is provisionally titled, Exiles and Empires: the Problem of the Long Sixth Century. All papers will be invited. The period between the weakening of the Assyrian Empire under internal and external pressure and the consolidation of the Persian Empire (i.e., the 630s-520s BCE) should be considered as a historical unit. The collapse, transfer, and rise of empires during this period coincided with significant population movements and other forms of culture transfer whose interconnections deserve serious study. This session considers the interconnections of empire and exile as a system.

Tags:

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."

Tags:

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 and Migration." Proposals for papers related to this topic are especially welcome this year. A third session, co-sponsored with Bible and Cultural Studies, will be a session on the theme "Apocalyptic Scripturalization, Ambiveilence, and the Utopian: Pasts and Futures of Minoritized Feminist and Womanist Criticism." Proposals for papers that consider the difference minoritized feminist and womanist voices make in reading apocalyptic literature, in light of recent publications by Lynne St. Clair Darden, Jacqueline M Hidalgo, and Shanell Smith. Are there significant shifts to be charted? What are the questions and approaches that might matter most in the next generation of biblical scholarship on/in relation to the Apocalypse? Papers on this topic are especially encouraged. A fourth session, co-sponsored with the Minoritized Criticism, will feature an invited panel reviewing Vanessa Lovelace and Gay Byron's forthcoming book, Womanist Biblical Interpretation: Expanding the Discourse (Semeia Studies, SBL, 2016).

Tags:

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 Isaiah group will offer three session for 2016. We invite papers for a session on "Torah in the Book of Isaiah." How is the idea of torah present in the book of Isaiah? To what does the handful of uses of the term refer? Does the book possess a developing idea of torah that corresponds to the development of Genesis–Deuteronomy, or some portion thereof, as textualized torah? How might we explain the absence of the term torah from the last section of the book (Isa 56–66)? How does Isaiah’s understanding of torah affect the formation and development of the book? This session will feature both invited and accepted papers. We particularly encourage proposals that shed light on how the idea of torah in Isaiah also advances our understanding of the book’s formation. Two additional sessions with invited papers are planned on "Assyria and the Making of Isaiah" and "The Poetry of Isaiah 1–39."

Tags:

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: Papers in 2016 will support a “summation session” in the formation of Luke and Acts, as we prepare to transition to a new phase. We welcome papers that offer different models of the development of these two texts, drawing on source, redaction, and text criticism to make their argument. Papers should include a proposed placement of Marcion's Evangelion in their developmental model.

Tags:

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: Our FIRST SESSION is jointly sponsored with the AAR's Feminist Theological Reflection section. This session is the inaugural session on Rape Culture, Religious Texts, and Pedagogy. Contemporary conversations about the epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses has created the space for broader examination of "rape culture." Rape culture describes a socailly accepted pattern that legitimates violence as a form of gender policing and sexual violence as a form of policing other socially non-conforming activities. Religious texts play a significant role in the examination of rape culture: they contribute to the construction and transmission of cultural norms; they influence government and legal systems; they create gendered expectations and taboos; and they function both overtly and subtly in current media. The teaching of these texts provides us with the opportunity to examine rape culture and its effects on us and our students, and perhaps to work towards its deconstruction. We invite papers that explore the intersection of rape culture and religious texts, and the ways in which innovative pedagogies can promote deep, effective, and powerful examination of the texts themselves and the ways in which those texts play a role in and/or are reflected in cultural contructs. The SECOND SESSION is jointly sponosored with the Violence and Representations of Violence in Antiquity section unit. From the masculinizing of martyrs to the metaphoric rape of feminized nations in Roman art and biblical prophets, gender and violence often coalesce in ancient religion. This panel on Gender and Violence invites papers to investigate the intersection of these two themes in ancient religious artifacts (texual and material). The THIRD SESSION is an open session, welcoming proposals on any element of research related to gender, sexuality, and the body in the study of the bible and/or antiquity. Please email Gwynn Kessler at kessler@swarthmore.edu with questions.

Tags:

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 2016 meeting. We are also seeking those who may be interested in serving on the steering committee for the unit. Contact the chairs should you possibly be interested.

Tags:

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 and Research Technology (GERT) section is planning 4 sessions for the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas (November 19-22, 2016). (1) Open Session. We invite proposals for an open session on any topic relevant to the use of information and communication technology for biblical scholarship and teaching worldwide. Please see http://biblicalhumanities.org/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=106 for more information on how paper proposals submitted to GERT are evaluated. (2) Visualizations of the Bible for Global Research and Teaching. This is a co-sponsored session of the Bible and Visual Art and the Global Education and Research Technology sections. In a joint effort to identify, present, and/or create various repositories of visual images that can be used in teaching and research in global settings, we invite papers focused on image repositories, global access, open data, and culturally contextualized visualizations of the biblical text. (3) Technology Buffet. This is a session of invited papers with no unifying theme. (4) Low Hanging Fruit in Digital Biblical Studies. In this session, practitioners will work together with digital resource designers to demonstrate practical applications. The goal is to show how high quality open resources can lead to more efficient and better work in research and teaching for biblical studies.

Tags:

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: "Migration, Marginalization, and the Mission of God: Missional Hermeneutics in the Context of Human Displacement and Relocation.” The work of the GOCN Forum on Missional Hermeneutics is rooted in the conviction that God, as revealed in Scripture, is engaged in a mission to the creation (missio Dei) and that a central component of this divine mission is the way in which God calls a people into existence in order for that people to join with God in this mission to the world. In this sense, movement (e.g., being sent) seems to be integral to the church’s missional calling, biblically understood. At the same time, diverse peoples in many contexts are currently on the move as a result of and under the pressure of larger—and often unjust—forces, whether socio-cultural, political, economic, environmental, and so on. What is the particular shape and focus of our participation in the divine mission in the context of such human movement (e.g., economic emigrations, political refugee crises, mass incarcerations, human trafficking) and how does this participation flow from and inform our doctrine of God and our biblical interpretation? How might missional readings of Scripture inform the way we think about these topics today? We invite submissions that engage thoughtfully with specific biblical texts from either Testament, exploring how the church’s missional calling may be illuminated through the intersection between biblical interpretation and contemporary migration and marginalization.

Tags:

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 plans to offer three or four sessions in 2016. A session on Luke and empire will feature papers by invited panelists. A second session, sponsored jointly with the Book of Acts section, will focus on characterization in Luke-Acts and will also include invited papers. For our remaining session(s), we welcome paper proposals dealing with any aspect of the interpretation of the Gospel of Luke.

Tags:

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 open sessions. The first session focuses on the ongoing work towards the book project, “Redescribing Cult Formation in the Early Imperial Era. Discourse, Invention, Material Religion.” For this year’s session, the project coordinators/editors solicit proposals devoted to particular case studies and focus areas, presented in full engagement with the theoretical topoi introduced in the first year, including diasporic identity formations, spatial conceptions of the sacred and social positionality and New Religious Movements. Successful proposals will put theoretical concepts to the test in specific test cases to help make the intended volume more impactful and provocative of further research. For specific case studies, successful proposals will move beyond simple description and text exegesis to “thick” redescriptive theorizing of ancient cult formations in accordance with the theoretical framework set out above. Please consult the full project description at http://greco-romanreligion.blogspot.co.za/2014/12/redescribing-cult-formation-in-early.html. For the second session, “Interpreting Religion in the Mediterranean World,” papers are invited that that explore, investigate, and theorize the contribution from material evidence, artefactual remains, and material contexts for our understanding of religions in the Greek and Roman worlds.

Tags:

Greek Bible

Dirk Büchner
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 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.

Tags:

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 2016 meeting. Both session will be open to any aspect of the study of health and disability related to the Bible.

Tags:

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: At the 2016 Annual Meeting, Hebrew Bible and Philosophy will host two sessions. The first of these will be held jointly with the Megillot group and has as its theme epistemological perspectives in and on the five scrolls, i.e. Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Qohelet and Esther. It is to be constituted by invited speakers only. The second session, by contrast, will be open and more generally orientated. Paper proposals will be welcomed from anyone in any way interested in discussing philosophical perspective(s) in and on (any topic related to) the Hebrew Bible. For further details as well as some examples of philosophical approaches to the text, aspiring participants and anyone else interested are referred to https://hebrewbibleandphilosophy.wordpress.com

Tags:

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: This year, the Hebrew Bible and Political Theory section will be hosting a joint session with the Hellenistic Judaism section. This section is planned as an invited section of four papers with the opportunity for a critical response. The theme of this section will be "Jewish Ethnicity in the Hellenistic Period". In support of this invited session, and a proposed edited volume, the Hebrew Bible and Political Theory section will be accepting papers in an open call for at least one additional session dealing with questions of ethnicity and nationalism in any of the writings of ancient Judaism, including the Hebrew Bible. In addition, 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, or papers which attempt to discern a native political philosophy in those writings. 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.

Tags:

Hebrew Bible, History, and Archaeology

Jeremy Smoak
Jacqueline Vayntrub
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: 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.

Tags:

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 the ancient Near East in different periods, 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. In 2016, there will be a joint session with the Pseudepigrapha Section with invited papers on Interaction and change in scribal cultures in the Persian and Hellenistic periods.

Tags:

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 is planning two sessions for 2016. (1) One session will focus on Critical Theological Issues in the Epistle to the Hebrews. We welcome paper proposals that consider key texts, topics, and themes that explore the theological dimensions of Hebrews. (2) The other session considers Hebrews at the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. It recognizes that perspectives that emerged among Protestants and Roman Catholics in the sixteenth century influenced the interpretation of Hebrews in the centuries that followed. We welcome paper proposals that consider aspects of the interpretation of Hebrews from the medieval period through the sixteenth century.

Tags:

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 intends to organize three sessions at the 2016 San Antonio annual meeting. Two of them will feature invited papers: one of these will focus on material culture and the practice of Jewish Law in Greco-Roman Palestine, the other one, on Judean ethnicity in the Hellenistic-Roman period – a panel that we will organize together with the Hebrew Bible and Political Theory program unit. The third, open session, for which we invite paper proposals, is devoted to “Jewish Historiography before Josephus.” This session will discuss the extant works and fragments of Jewish-Hellenistic historiography before Josephus, such as the fragments of Demetrius the Chronographer, Eupolemus (and “Ps.-Eupolemus”), Cleodemus Malchus, Artapanus, as well as 1 and 2 Maccabees. We invite paper proposals on any aspect of the historiography in these texts, including consideration of the different geographical locations and political experience of the authors, and papers dealing with comparative issues.

Tags:

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 2016 meeting we are again planning for one or two open sessions with short papers and a fair amount of time for discussion. We accept a wide range of topics, but please remember that papers should always focus on issues that are relevant for the study of the HISTORICAL Jesus. Proposals are evaluated through a blind review process. Abstracts which clearly state how the paper will further or move beyond the present state of historical Jesus studies stand a better chance to receive a fair evaluation. We are also planning for theme sessions on parables and on Jesus research and rabbinic texts. Papers for these sessions will be mainly invited.

Tags:

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 topics that address how the Hebrew Bible can be used by historians for their investigations into the ancient world. Preference will be given to papers that engage contemporary debates regarding the theories and methods of history writing (including, but not limited to, space, cultural/social memory, frontier studies, feminist theory, post-colonialism, diaspora studies, literary theory, and ideological criticism) and which discuss how these perspectives matter for the use of particular Hebrew Bible texts for historical study.

Tags:

History and Literature of Early Rabbinic Judaism

Hayim Lapin
Michael Rosenberg
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: Proposals are welcome for papers dealing with all aspects of the history and literature of early rabbinic Judaism. For 2016, preference will be given to papers that address two themes in particular: (1) violence in rabbinic literature in all its manifestations; and (2) any parallels between rabbinic literature and early Islamic literature, including methodological reflections on the study of such parallels. It is hoped that a panel can be formed around one or both of those themes. There will also be an invited panel discussing Christine Hayes’s What’s Divine About Divine Law? Early Perspectives (Princeton, 2015).

Tags:

History of Interpretation

Michael C. Legaspi
Mark Elliott
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: 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.

Tags:

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 Preaching In/And the Borderlands and on Preaching Exodus as a Paradigm for Liberation. 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 inter-religious dialogue.

Tags:

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: Ideological Criticism issues an open call for two sessions. We welcome all papers concerned with ideological criticism as defined in the program unit description. This year we are especially but not exclusively interested in papers that explore the following two topics: (1) theory and history, and (2) interpretation and global capitalism. First, in response to our sense of a growing divide in biblical studies between theory and history, we encourage proposals for papers that offer theoretically reflective historical analyses. Second, and to continue ongoing conversations in our program unit about biblical interpretation in the context of global capitalism, we welcome proposals for papers that advance our understanding of political exegesis in the contemporary moment.

Tags:

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 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

Tags:

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 San Antonio, 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.

Tags:

International Qur’anic Studies Association

Nicolai Sinai
Nicolai Sinai
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: 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.

Tags:

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: 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.

Tags:

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: We are planning to have two sessions for 2016: The first session is a joint-session with Joshua/Judges section on the theme of “Judges, Gender, and Intertextuality,” for which we are accept paper proposals: The session will focus on intertextuality and gender in the book of Judges. Topics may include violence, broadly construed; war; heroism; nationalism; queer readings, etc. Papers should include a significant intertextual component, whether construed narrowly (inner-biblically) or broadly (cultural media in any category). The second session is an “open” session on “Intertextuality and the Hebrew Bible: Whence and Whither?”: We are particularly interested in papers covering methodological or applicative, retrospective and prospective points of view relating to the approach of intertextuality, broadly construed.

Tags:

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 has three planned sessions, one is closed and the other two seek paper proposals. 1) The first closed session is a book review panel of Exploring Intertextuality: Diverse Strategies for the New Testament Use of Texts, which was authored by participants of this section. 2) The second open session is themed and invites papers which focus on the use of intertextual interpretation to construct Christologies in the New Testament. 3) The 3rd session is open and invites papers on all elements of intertextuality for the interpretation of New Testament texts.

Tags:

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 2016 the unit has two pre-organized sessions for which the programs are already set: 1) The Ignatian Epistles. The session will explore two significant themes in the study of the writings of Ignatius of Antioch: the impact of his letters on early Christian practices and the reception of the Ignatian letters in the construction of early Christian identity. 2) Rome. The session examines the development of Christian identity and practice in Rome through the integration of literary and archaeological evidence. We are also co-sponsoring a third session with the unit Archaeology of Religion in the Roman World: 3) Archaeology of the City of the Rome. N.B. We are able to accept proposals only for this joint session on Rome (#3).

Tags:

Islands, Islanders, and Scriptures

Fiona C Black
Nasili Vaka’uta
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: This year we will have three sessions. The first is a discussion of _Islands, Islanders, and the Bible: Ruminations_ (Eds. Jione Havea, Margaret Aymer, and Steed Vernyl Davidson; SBL Press, 2015).This invited panel will provide ideological, contextual, and perspectival analyses and reflections on (select) essays from the book. The second will be an open session on tourism and islands. The exoticization of islands as tourist destinations occludes the permanence of occupancy and fluid citizenship. It constructs islands as places of conflictual oppositions. The sun is a fixed orb. The sea laps and moves on. Sand is a temporary guard. Coral reefs are vulnerable and susceptible to ships and detritus. How does this unstable cluster throw up multiple hermeneutic postures? We invite papers that explore tourism as a concrete reality with conceptual potential for the interpretation of sacred texts - Canonical, Apocryphal, Cultural/Artefactual, and Pseudepigraphic. The third session is an invited panel discussion on Modern Palestine and the Bible. Biblical scholars and theologians from on the ground and from outside of Israel-Palestine will present their views on the relation between biblical scholarship and "Palestine" (holy land, native people, religious heritage). How has biblical scholarship engaged (or not engaged) Palestine? To what extent have biblical scholars (dead or alive) appreciated and/or avoided Palestine? What might have been their motivations? What has Palestine to offer biblical scholarship? The members of the panel will draw attention to different ways in which Palestine is more than just archaeological, pilgrimage, tourist, ideological, occupied, impoverished, invented and/or contested site(s).

Tags:

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 will offer three sessions at the 2016 Annual Meeting: (1) A joint session, with the Theological Perspectives of the Book of Ezekiel that forms a part of their continued work on a three-year project, “Perspectives on Land, Landscape, and Cosmic Geography in Ezekiel.” This session will feature papers on the actual and imagined landscapes of the book of Ezekiel, specifically how the book represents space and/or land across several dimensions and expressions, and the role these representations play in advancing the meaning and interpretation of the book. (2) A session that explores various perspectives on aniconism in prophetic literature. More than simply a taxonomy of references to aniconism or a review of the historical developments as witnessed in prophetic literature, papers will examine, among other things, how the theological construct is deployed to support the rhetoric of the book or at times places where the prophetic text subverts the norms of aniconism and offers representation of the divine through bodily and other forms. We eagerly look forward to papers that focus particular attention on recent developments in the debate on aniconism and how the prophetic literature contributes uniquely to this discussion. (3) An open Session that presents 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.

Tags:

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: A forum for the study of religion in ancient Israel, Judea, and related societies and polities in the Fertile Crescent, Turkey, the East Mediterranean, and Egypt. Welcomes a wide variety of questions, perspectives, periods, disciplines, methods, and kinds of data: textual, epigraphic, archaeological, iconographic, art-historical, sociological, gender-focused, comparative, and more. (Formerly the Israelite and Canaanite Religion Section.)

Tags:

Jesus Traditions, Gospels, and Negotiating the Roman Imperial World

Catherine M. Murphy
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 focus on the ancient economy, broadly construed to include themes of wealth and poverty, taxation and debt, labor and wages, households and homelessness, slaves and masters, the gender dimensions of any of these topics, and other related phenomena. Proposals are especially encouraged that engage these themes by using theoretical concepts that offer nuanced understandings of how gospel authors and audiences negotiated the broader ideologies and material practices of the Roman Empire.

Tags:

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: Alongside an open call for any topic dealing with ancient Jewish Christianity, the section welcomes papers in particular on archaeology and material culture relative to Jewish Christianity and on the term ioudaios as it interfaces with the subject.

Tags:

Jewish Interpretation of the Bible

Tamara Cohn Eskenazi
Tamar Kamionkowski
Description: This unit intends 1) to give scholars the opportunity to explore the particularities of Jewish biblical interpretation over the last two millennia; 2) to make traditional Jewish sources more accessible to biblical scholars of a variety of faiths; 3) to begin synthesizing the forms in which Jews interpreted the Bible throughout the ages, including art and music thereby clarifying the place of Bible within Judaism.

Call for papers: This unit intends 1) to give scholars the opportunity to explore the particularities of Jewish biblical interpretation over the last two millennia; 2) to make traditional Jewish sources more accessible to biblical scholars of a variety of faiths; 3) to begin synthesizing the forms in which Jews interpreted the Bible throughout the ages, including art and music thereby clarifying the place of Bible within Judaism.

Tags:

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: Our section is sponsoring two sessions for San Antonio. One is an open session, all relevant proposals welcome. The other session is titled "Has God Brought Us All Laughter? Jews, Christians, Humor and the Bible." In this session, we seek to explore the role of humor in the interpretation and application of Scripture among Jews and Christians. In keeping with the overall theme of our section, we especially look forward to proposals that also identify or embody this humor as part of Jewish-Christian dialogue.

Tags:

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 2016 Annual Meeting program will include an open session, for which papers on all topics related to the Johannine Gospel and letters will be considered, and two thematic sessions. One will focus upon the place of the body in the Fourth Gospel including themes such as the inscribed, religious, transgressive or tortured body, social bodies, the body politic, and sense experience. Another will focus upon Johannine philosophy. Both thematic sessions will feature invited papers, but papers submitted to the open call that contribute to a significant dimension to the discussion will be considered.

Tags:

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: We invite 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. We also invite submissions for a joint session with the Bible and Culture section on Apocalyptic Scripturalization, Ambivalence, and the Utopian: Pasts and Futures of Minoritized Feminist and Womanist Criticism. The recent publication of minoritized feminist and womanist studies in Revelation—especially Shanell T. Smith’s The Woman Babylon and the Marks of Empire (Fortress, 2014), Lynne St. Clair Darden’s Scripturalizing Revelation (SBL, 2015), and Jacqueline M. Hidalgo’s Revelation in Aztlán (Palgrave, 2016)—point toward significant transformations in the bodies producing scholarship on the Apocalypse, the questions be asked about and around the text, and the interpretive approaches that matter for reading Revelation. We are looking for papers that jump off from these recent studies and ask what difference minoritized feminist and womanist voices make in reading apocalyptic literature. Are there significant shifts to be charted? What are the questions and approaches that might matter most in the next generation of biblical scholarship on/in relation to the Apocalypse? Our third session will explore class rhetoric and apocalyptic. The received tradition regarding early Jewish and Christian apocalyptic texts is that they were resistance literature of the oppressed. We seek papers that interrogate this received tradition. We are particularly interested in paper proposals that deal with economic, political, rhetorical, and religious contexts that affected the emergence and persistence of apocalyptic texts and movements.

Tags:

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: In 2016 the John, Jesus, and History group will hold several sessions with invited papers only. One will complete the series on the Portraits of Jesus in the Gospel of John. Two other sessions will continue the review of the John, Jesus, and History project by considering the critical issues that remain and the contributions that have been made to this field. A fourth session is co-sponsored with the Synoptic Gospels section and will focus on Jesus Remembered in John and Q.

Tags:

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 2016 annual meeting. A panel session will be devoted to Steve Mason's new book A History of the Jewish War, A.D. 66-74 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016). A second session focuses on the ongoing work for the Brill Josephus project and will discuss issues connected with Antiquities 11 and 16-17. Both sessions are by invitation only.

Tags:

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: 2016 Annual Meeting Four Sessions: (1) Closed Session on Josh 8:30-35; (2) Closed Session on Judges and Historiography; (2) Open Joint Session with the Intertextuality Section on Judges, Gender, and Intertextuality. Accepting paper proposals that focus on intertextuality and gender in the Book of Judges. Topics may include violence, broadly construed; war; heroism; nationalism; queer readings, etc. Papers should include a significant intertextual component, whether construed narrowly (inner-biblically) or broadly (cultural media in any category); and (3) Open Session on any topic relating the interpretation of Joshua-Judges.

Tags:

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: 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/

Tags:

Korean Biblical Colloquium

John Ahn
Kang-Yup Na
Sun Myung Lyu
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: The Korean Biblical Colloquium welcomes scholarly papers in biblical studies and related fields. In accordance with the purposes of KBC, papers that deal with Korea or Koreans are especially welcome.

Tags:

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:

Tags:

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: This section is planning on holding three sessions at the 2016 Annual Meeting: The first session will look at how LDS writings on Jesus fit within the broader quest(s) of the historical Jesus in the guild, particularly after the 100th anniversary of Talmage’s Jesus the Christ. Some papers will be invited, but proposals on this topic will be considered. The second session is an open session on any topic, but greater consideration will be given to paper proposals related to human nature, agency, conscience, gender, relationships, and personhood. Proposals from both LDS scholars and those doing comparative work that relates to the LDS tradition are welcome. The third session, Sabbath in Jewish, Protestant, and Latter-day Saint Tradition, will be a joint-session with the Sabbath in Text and Tradition section. This joint session provides the opportunity for scholars to reflect and compare the history and role of the Sabbath in each tradition. It will include invited papers and respondents from each section, but proposals on the following topics will be considered: The biblical and historical basis for Sabbath observance; the application of the biblical text to the day of rest; the nature of Sabbath observance; the Protestant and/or LDS use of Jewish ideas of Sabbath; the relationship between Protestant and LDS ideas on the Sabbath; and other related topics.

Tags:

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: We are calling for papers that demonstrate the contribution of modern methodologies and heuristics to the study of the letters of Peter, James, and Jude, as well as papers setting these letters within the context of Second Temple Judaism.

Tags:

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 2016. The unit welcomes proposals for a session on the topic of the interrelation between priests and other non-priestly religious specialists 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.

Tags:

LGBTI/Queer Hermeneutics

Joseph A. Marchal
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 the following sessions: 1) Disability Studies, Queer Theory, and Biblical Texts. We welcome papers that explore the intersections of disability, gender, class, and race; requisite social performative dimensions of intersex, transgender and persons with disabilities; the "disabled" person as queer other, among other potential topics in relation to disability studies and queer theories. 2) Queer Futures and Pasts in Biblical Text and Interpretation. Much has been written about queer identity and time, so we invite papers exploring how these temporal associations and affects relate to and interrogate biblical texts and traditions. Among other questions, proposals could address: If queerness is marked by a rejection of future thinking, symbolized by reproduction and children, how does this intersect with biblical traditions that imagine future existences? What are the ways in which queer forms of nostalgia and backwards feeling mimic or challenge biblical remembering? Is biblical time queer time? How are queer utopias different from or consistent with those envisioned in biblical traditions? 3.) In addition to these themes, we also welcome papers on any other topics related to LGBTI/Queer biblical hermeneutics. Aside from these open calls, we will also be organizing a session, by invitation only, on the theme of Queering Paul. Questions or further inquiries about these sessions can be directed to the co-chairs, Lynn Huber, at lhuber@elon.edu, or Joseph Marchal, at josephamarchal@gmail.com.

Tags:

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: Call for Papers: This unit will host two panels in the 2016 IQSA Annual meeting: 1. LITERARY ANALYSES OF SURAT AL-KAHF (Q18). This panel seeks to explore different thematic and stylistic aspects of surat al-Kahf, whether in part or as a whole. Possible papers could examine the sura’s themes, structure, vocabulary, argumentative tools, interplay between sound and meaning, or intertextuality with other Qur'anic or non-Qur'anic texts. 2. RHETORIC OF PERSUASION IN THE QUR'ANIC DISCOURSE.

Tags:

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 four joint sessions. The first session (co-sponsored with Biblical Hebrew Poetry) is entitled “Linguistic Features of Biblical Hebrew Poetry.” This session will examine the question of whether poetry and prose in the Hebrew Bible have different linguistic features, what those features are and how they should be described. At one end of the spectrum are scholars who believe that prose and poetry are distinct linguistic systems; at the other end of the spectrum are scholars who believe that prose and poetry comprise one linguistic system. We are also interested in analyses that account for (give reasons for) the linguistic variation and/or differences between prose and poetry. The second session (co-sponsored with NAPH) is entitled “Mitigation and Intensification in Biblical Hebrew.” Research in pragmatics and discourse studies have shown that speakers make use of a rich variety of mitigating and intensifying strategies in order to heighten the effectiveness of the conversational interaction. This session will explore mitigating and intensifying devices in Biblical Hebrew, including, for example, restrictive adverbs, modal expressions, deictic shifts, negative polarity items, rhetorical and conducive questions, conditionals, and oaths. The third session (co-sponsored with NAPH) is entitled “Interrupted Syntactic Structures.” This session will explore various syntactic phenomena that “interrupt” the sentence syntax including vocatives and terms of address, parenthetical remarks, sentence fragments, “scrambling” and ellipsis. The fourth session (co-sponsored with NAPH) is non-thematic and entitled “Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew.” 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.

Tags:

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 the Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah section by invitation and the second will be open session for which we are accepting paper proposals on any topic consistent with the parameters of the group.

Tags:

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: Themes for the 2016 meetings are: (1) Miriam traditions; (2) Our Lady of Guadalupe (Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe): History and Reception; and (3) other topics relevant to the Consultation. We are especially interested in attracting a wide variety of methodologies and perspectives in order to expand the research interests of this group, including implications for contemporary issues of leadership, authority, and inclusivity.

Tags:

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 for papers on two topics. First, "Do you not yet understand?" -- Perception and knowing in the Gospel of Mark. Mark presents a complex fabric of hiddenness and revelation, blindness and perception, divine activity and exhortations to people to act in such a way that they might be able to understand. For the Gospel of Mark, how does one come to recognize what Jesus presents? What sorts of divine and/or human activity are necessary to understanding? Or to put it another way, is there a Markan epistemology, a Markan way of knowing, and if so, of what does it consist? Second, “Purity/Impurity in the Gospel of Mark.” Purity is wide-ranging issue in Mark, with spirits called “unclean” or “holy” (e.g., 1:23; 3:28-30) and a large scale discourse (7:1-23) devoted to the subject, alongside implied purity concerns in other elements of the narrative. Papers may address any aspect of the purity issue, including for example a discussion of chapter 7, but should indicate what impact purity concerns have on the meaning of the Gospel of Mark as a whole. Format and submission: Proposals should contain the thesis to be argued and a basic outline of the case and methodology used. First time SBL presenters are asked to provide their paper in full along with their proposal. Proposals are submitted through the SBL website at http://www.sbl-site.org/. Applicants will receive a response within a week or so of close.

Tags:

Masoretic Studies

David Marcus
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).

Tags:

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 2016 Annual Meeting. We will host an invited session of papers that will present original contributions to the study of Matthew's Gospel centered on the theme of “Matthew within Judaism” in conversation with Matthias Konradt, Israel, Church, and the Gentiles in the Gospel of Matthew (Baylor, 2014). The invited papers will develop new lines of research emerging from the issues Konradt's arguments raise. Professor Konradt 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.

Tags:

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 planned three sessions for 2016: 1) Meal and Teaching - Open call! Meals in the ancient world were an important venue for discourse of various kinds, including teaching. This session will focus on the Greco-Roman banquet, including meals in Jewish and Christian contexts as a venue for instruction. Possible areas of focus include philosophical discourse at meals, meal and community at Qumran, Jesus traditions and meals, rabbinic meals, and monastic meals. 2) Dressing for Dinner: Meals, Clothing and Meaning - assigned papers This session focusses on the clothing of diners, servants, performers and other participants in ancient banquets. Attention will be given to material as well as literary evidence for clothing and to the connections between dress, role, status and other factors that shaped participation in meals as important social institutions in the Greco-Roman World. 3) Meal and Rhetoric - joint session with Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity Group

Tags:

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: We welcome proposals for our session on "You Are What You Eat: Meals and Identity" that address aspects of meals in the biblical text, as well as in the archaeology, iconography, and texts of the ancient Near East and Eastern Mediterranean related to questions of cultural identity.

Tags:

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 a number of areas. 1) Alternative Realities and Thinking Inside Out of the Biblical Studies Box This open session offers a venue for constructive and playful (and perhaps a bit mischievous) criticism of how biblical scholars construct and relate to the object of their interest, the limits of accepted methods, theories, and categorizations of academic research, and the nature of the guild of biblical studies itself. The session has various influences. Virtual History and the Bible (ed. J. Cheryl Exum, 2000) explored the contingency of ancient events and how historians reconstruct them by thinking through creative “what if” scenarios. In “Myth of Washington” (Sacred Narrative, ed. A. Dundes, 1984) Dorothea Wender pokes some fun at various well-known theories of folklore by showing how they support the view that Washington could not have been a real person. Science fiction and fantasy literature and film, of course, has offered telling commentary on human nature and politics in which, for example, an individual’s good and bad natures manifest in two versions of the person, or characters are thrust into an alternative reality. We welcome imaginative proposals that engage in theoretical play, hyperbole, counterfactuals, alternative realities, and inversions to tease out truths about the nature of our guild and the results of our scholarship. While we fully expect some contributors to play the role of the trickster, gadfly, or even satirist, we will not accept proposals that appear to bear grudges, or are otherwise mean-spirited towards any particular person or group. (2) Feminism and/as metacriticism. This sessions seeks papers that reflect on metacriticism and feminism. In what ways has feminism functioned as a metacritical discourse? When does a professed feminism abandon a metacritical role and instead lend support to traditional structures? How might feminist biblical studies undergo metacritical analysis? Sites of

Tags:

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 two sessions for the meeting in San Antonio. Our first session is a review session of Joseph Lam’s new book: Patterns of Sin in the Hebrew Bible: Metaphor, Culture, and the Making of a Religious Concept. Oxford University Press (2016). This session will consist of invited papers and a response by Joseph Lam. Our second session has an open call for papers on a theme of your choice within the field of metaphor theory and Bible. 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.

Tags:

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: We are sponsoring two sessions in San Antonio: We are seeking papers that focus on pedagogy and midrash (midrash as a teaching tool or the teaching of midrash). A second session will explore parshanut (medieval bible commentaries) and midrash. Additionally, we will consider outstanding paper proposals in other areas of midrash scholarship.

Tags:

Mind, Society, and Religion in the Biblical World

Istvan Czachesz
Jutta Jokiranta
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: For the 2016 Annual Meeting, (1) we welcome proposals that address any of the research foci stated in the description of the program unit. Furthermore, two sessions with invited papers are organized. (2) In a joint session with the Qumran Section, speakers will explore how cognitive science of religion theories and perspectives might shed new light on the Qumran texts and how the Qumran evidence might be incorporated into the larger enterprise of making sense of religious behavior in human history. (3) In a joint session with Ritual in the Biblical World Section, a book review session with invited panelists will discuss two new publications: Risto Uro, Ritual and Christian Beginnings, Oxford University Press, 2016 and Istvan Czachesz, Cognitive Science and the New Testament: A New Approach, Oxford University Press, 2016.

Tags:

Minoritized Criticism and Biblical Interpretation

Tat-siong Benny Liew
Fernando F. Segovia
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 focus on the theme of "Walls: Economics; Migration; Wars," which addresses, in the light of the biblical texts and contexts, the issue of barriers within and across "nations" in the framework of wars, economics, and migration. across the world in the light of wars, economics and migration.

Tags:

Mysticism, Esotericism, and Gnosticism in Antiquity

Grant Adamson
Kelley N. Coblentz Bautch
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: For its open session, the Mysticism, Esotericism and Gnosticism in Antiquity (MEGA) Section invites papers on any theme or text related to direct knowledge of the divine or God. Papers on the subject of amulets and inscribed religious objects are especially welcome for a special session on this topic. An invited book review session is also planned with the following books featured: April D. DeConick. 2016. The Gnostic New Age: How a Countercultural Spirituality Revolutionized Religion From Antiquity to Today (Columbia University Press); Frances L. Flannery. 2015. Understanding Apocalyptic Terrorism: Countering the Radical Mindset (Routledge); Andrei Orlov. 2015. Divine Scapegoats: Demonic Mimesis in Early Jewish Mysticism (SUNY).

Tags:

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 subject pertaining to the Nag Hammadi codices for its open session. We also encourage papers that examine Manichaeism, and papers on Eros and Ascent: Biblical, Classical and Philosophical antecedents, for a joint session with the Platonism and Neoplatonism AAR group. An invited book review session is planned, reviewing the following: James Robinson, The Nag Hammadi Story (2 vols.; Leiden: Brill, 2014); and Hugo Lundhaug and Lance Jenott, The Monastic Origins of the Nag Hammadi Codices (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2015).

Tags:

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 seven sessions and three co-sponsored sessions. I. Annual Meeting of Officers and Members. II., “Giving Back: A Session in Honor of Ziony Zevit” on the occasion of the publication of Lema`an Ziony: A Festschrift in Honor of Ziony Zevit (Wipf & Stock 2016). III, Theme:”Digital Teaching.” We invite papers related to internet/ digital course planning and instruction, geared toward Jewish history and culture, from the early biblical age to modernity. IV,Guides for Perplexed Biblicists: How To Read and Interpret Historical Dates Based on Carbon-14 and Bayesian Statistics. V., Theme: “Reading the New Testament as Second Temple Jewish Literature.” The session seeks to move beyond the standard backgrounds" discussion to consider how the New Testament is both reflective of and contributes to our understanding of Jewish life and thought in the days of the Second Temple. VI,Theme: “Prophetic Literature.” This session will focus on critical and theological studies of the prophetic literature of the Hebrew Bible, including the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve Prophets. VII, The Hebrew teaching methodology session invites theoretical and practical presentations on the theme: Using Bible Software to Understand Biblical Texts.Papers are solicited for three co-sponsored sessions with the “Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew” section: (1) “Mitigation and Intensification in Biblical Hebrew” (e.g. restrictive adverbs, modal expressions, deictic shifts, negative polarity items, rhetorical and conducive questions, conditionals, and oaths). (2) “Interrupted Syntactic Structures” (e.g. vocatives and terms of address, parenthetical remarks, sentence fragments, “scrambling” and ellipsis). (3) “Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew” (non-thematic session for papers applying linguistics to any topic in Biblical Hebrew). Contact Prof Jacobus Naudé (naudej@ufs.ac.za) for more information.

Tags:

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: The NTTC Section is sponsoring two open sessions in 2016: (1) A panel designed to reconsider the periodization of controlled versus fixed New Testament texts. Questions to be considered include: Is it accurate to assume that NT texts, which could be quite fluid early on, became more stable in the post-Constantinian period? Did the identification of particular texts as sacred scriptures impact the transmission of these texts? How? (2) An open panel that welcomes papers on all aspects of the textual transmission of the New Testament. Papers addressing second-century textual traditions, scribal habits, comparative book typology, and the impact of author attribution are especially welcome this year. The Section is also co-sponsoring an invited panel with the International Quranic Studies Association that will compare New Testament and Quranic textual criticism.

Tags:

Nida Institute

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

Call for papers: For information please contact: Kent Richards at kent.richards@strategypoints.org.

Tags:

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.

Call for papers: 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.

Tags:

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.

Call for papers: The unit presents the work on a comprehensive edition of the Greek New Testament in the making. New Testament scholars are invited to discuss achievements and goals.

Tags:

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: The Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds Section is sponsoring four sessions at the 2016 Annual Meeting: two open sessions and two panel sessions. For 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. The two invited sessions are as follows: (1) an invited panel on the Q Source, jointly sponsored with the Q Section, that will seek to explore questions relating to scribalism and the production of the Q Source; and (2) a panel on amulets and inscribed religious artifacts jointly sponsored with the Mysticism, Esotericism and Gnosticism in Antiquity Section. While this latter session on amulets and inscribed religious artifacts will include invited submissions, unsolicited proposals are also welcome. For questions contact lincoln_blumell@byu.edu.

Tags:

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 three sessions for the San Antonio meeting. We are seeking submissions only for the FIRST SESSION. For this session 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). We are currently organizing two other sessions. The SECOND SESSION, “Paul in Diaspora: Reading Paul with Migration, Postcolonial, and Diaspora Studies” focuses on the relevance of migration and diasporic realities (including forced migration and its epiphenomena, e.g., trauma and enslavement, under the Roman Empire) for interpreting Paul, the letters, and the communities he founded. It is co-sponsored with Poverty in the Biblical World. The THIRD SESSION, “Theorizing Borderlands with the Politics of Reading Paul,” examines contemporary “borderland” conversations (encompassing themes like migration, immigration, race and class relations, labor ethics, political status, etc.), posing a series of critical questions about the theoretical frameworks and political positions from which “Paul” has and might be brought into these conversations. The third session is co-sponsored with Bible and Cultural Studies, Space Place and Lived Experience, and Poverty in the Biblical World. Questions or further inquiries about these sessions can be directed to the co-chairs, Joseph Marchal, at josephamarchal@gmail.com, and Diana Swancutt at dmswancutt@gmail.com.

Tags:

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: There will be two sessions: 1) a joint session with Second Corinthians: Pauline Theology in the Making Seminar, composed of invited papers on the theological issues of, or in the composition of 2 Corinthians, starting from the hypothesis that Paul remained within and practiced Judaism; 2) a session with invited papers on the Antioch Incident as reported by Paul in Galatians 2, including interpretation of the text elements in historical context, such as possible inter- and intra-Jewish as well as Jewish-Roman-Greek communal dynamics, relationship to the Jerusalem meeting report, what is implied about the practice of Jewish dietary customs at the meals in Antioch and about Paul's views thereof, how Paul sought to use this narrative within Galatians, and other related topics.

Tags:

Pauline Epistles

Paula Fredriksen
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: We are accepted papers for three open sessions.

Tags:

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: Newly renamed the Pauline Theology Section, this unit invites papers for an open session addressing ecological questions and concerns in relation to Paul. Applicants are particularly encouraged to pay attention to the undisputed letters plus Colossians and Ephesians, and to texts in addition to Romans 8 and Colossians 1.

Tags:

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 is accepting proposals for one or two open sessions at the 2016 Annual Meeting. 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. For the 2016 Annual Meeting we are also particularly interested in proposals for papers that consider issues of gender in or related to the Pentateuch.

Tags:

Performance Criticism of Biblical and Other Ancient Texts

Jin H. Han
Lee A. Johnson
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: The Performance Criticism of the Bible and Other Ancient Texts section will hold two sessions at the 2016 meeting. The FIRST SESSION is an open session, with a call for papers that focus on the formative influence of performance on the production of texts, the performance of such texts in ancient contexts, the representation of oral performance in written texts, and performance-related features embedded in biblical and other ancient texts. We are particularly interested in papers that examine the role of HUMOR in biblical and other ancient texts. The papers may also explore related rhetorical exercises including irony, satire, or sarcasm. The SECOND SESSION, a joint session of the Performance Criticism of the Bible and Other Ancient Texts section with the Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Studies section, issues a call for papers that focus on HUMOR in cognition and performance.

Tags:

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 2016 Annual Meeting, our seminar is planning sessions on three topics. First, we invite scholars at all levels to submit proposals on Philo’s view of the knowledge of God. Selected participants will join invited speakers to address this topic. Second, we plan to hold a session with invited participants on the future of the individual, including ideas of life beyond death, in Philo and his Umwelt. Third, we will have a session, also with invited participants, devoted to Michael Cover's commentary-in-progress on Philo's De mutatione nominum for the Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series.

Tags:

Philology in Hebrew Studies

Jeremy Hutton
Jacqueline Vayntrub
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 2016, the Philology in Hebrew Studies section invites papers for an open session. Proposed papers should either (a) reflect self-critically on the nature of philology as a discipline, including how we develop and maintain rigorous methods of philological study; or (b) model and apply such reflection in the study of some aspect of the Hebrew Bible and related literature. In addition to this open call for papers, we are planning one invited session on the role of intellectual history in philological study and one review panel of E. Mroczek's The Literary Imagination in Jewish Antiquity (Oxford: OUP, forthcoming 2016).

Tags:

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 unit 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 2016 is the city of Rome and its environs. There will be two sessions, one open, the other by invitation. The latter session will focus on the groundbreaking book of Peter Lampe on the Christians of the city of Rome, almost 30 years after its initial publication.

Tags:

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 three sessions at the 2016 Annual Meeting. (1) The first session, co-sponsored with the African Biblical Hermeneutics Section and the African Association for the Study of Religion, will address the theoretical and practical intersections between postcolonial theory, religion, and biblical studies in Africa. The session will consist of both invited papers and open submissions. Proposals are welcome on any aspect of the question as long as they focus squarely on contemporary practices in Africa. (2) The second session, co-sponsored with the Rhetoric and the New Testament Section, will focus on analyzing the connections and distinctions between the discourses, methodologies, and terminologies of "liberationist," "postcolonial," and "empire-critical" biblical scholarship." Papers that deal with these topics from the vantage point of New Testament studies are preferred, but proposals pertaining to the Hebrew Bible will also be considered. (3) The third session, co-sponsored with the Bible and Contextual Studies Section, is titled "Scriptural Colonialism: Rethinking the Conjunction of Missionary Activities, Colonialism, and the Bible." Given the location of the 2016 meeting in San Antonio and the prominent remains of Spanish colonial missions as well as the Alamo, we invite papers that examine how scriptures (iincluding specific scriptural texts) have been deployed in, taken up into, transformed by, or informed missionary activities and missionary colonialism. We are especially interested in papers that rethink scriptures in colonial religious projects around the world, including Spanish missionary colonialism and U.S. Manifest Destiny, but we also welcome papers that (a) use missionary colonial histories and practices to rethink and reinterpret Jewish and Christian biblical texts or (b) attend to colonial legacies in more recent and contemporary practices of scriptural interpretation.

Tags:

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: We will host four sessions and an off-site event at the San Antonio meeting. SESSION 1 INVITES PAPERS examining aspects of “Jubilee” as articulated in Hebrew Biblical (e.g., Lev 25; Is 61) and New Testament texts (e.g., Luke 4), including cancellation of debts, release of debt-slaves, return to the land, etc. Venerable scholars have long argued that “Jubilee” was an ideal not practiced in Israel, but recent studies suggest that Jubilee themes echo through Major Prophets, select DSS, and the Jesus movement, and that some Jubilee traditions were practiced, esp in Second Temple and post-ST Judaism and emergent Christianity. What new methods, questions, and explorations can illuminate the importance of “Jubilee” in these periods? SESSION 2 INVITES PAPERS analyzing the reception history of “Jubilee”, esp. focusing on contemporary movements that embrace it (e.g., Howard Thurman, the “Jubilee” Bible, post-Occupy debt forgiveness, Jubilee Project). How and why do these practitioners define and enact “Jubilee”? What cultural and political realities undergird “Jubilee” so conceived? What methods of analysis best illuminate the historical contexts in which it is practiced? SESSION 3: “Paul in Diaspora: Reading Paul with Migration, Postcolonial, and Diaspora Studies," explores import of migration and diaspora (including forced migration and its epiphenomena, trauma and enslavement, in the Roman Empire) for interpreting Paul, the letters, and communities. Co-sponsored by Paul and Politics. SESSION 4: “The Global Climate Crisis, Global Capitalism, and Poverty.” Planned with and co-sponsored by Ecological Hermeneutics. OFF-SITE EVENT NOV 18: On Nov 18, We, The Poverty Consortium, and other organizations will co-sponsor a 2/3rds day immersion into poverty-related challenges facing San Antonio residents. Questions or further inquiries about these sessions can be directed to co-chairs, Diana Swancutt, at dmswancutt@gmail.com and Matthew Coomber at coombermatthewjm@sau.edu

Tags:

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 and the Religious Experience Section announce a call for papers dealing with Curses in Antiquity. We especially welcome papers that treat the relationship between curses and material remains--such as amulets, binding curses, or curse texts—or the various functions of imprecation and how it was experienced in antiquity. Methodological papers that also consider how curses relate generally to the experience of prayer are also welcome. All proposals should examine the phenomenon from the perspective of curses as religious experience. The Prayer in Antiquity Consultation will hold a second session that is open to any paper on prayer that fits within the general goals of the unit. Please note that this includes prayers from the ancient Near East and the Greco-Roman world

Tags:

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: This is the second year in which 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.

Tags:

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 four sessions at the Annual Meeting in San Antonio. The first session, ”Interaction and change in scribal cultures in the Persian and Hellenistic periods,” is jointly organized with the Hebrew Scriptures and Cognate Literature section. This will be an invited session. The second session, “The Textual History of the Bible: The Deutero-Canonical Scriptures,” will also be an invited session. We will examine various linguistic, literary, exegetical, historical, and canonical aspects of a number of deutero-canonical books. The volume will appear with Brill in 2017. The third session, titled ”Violence,” is an open session. We invite papers that deal with violence in all of its aspects, exploring the various uses, functions, and contexts of violence in pseudepigraphical texts. The fourth session will be an open session. Young scholars and new voices in Pseudepigrapha Studies are especially encouraged to submit abstracts.

Tags:

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. 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. This year, we are calling for papers on the theme of “Neighbors, Strangers, and Enemies: Loving the Other in the Bible.” Jesus called Leviticus 19:18’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself” the greatest commandment, along with loving God. Freud called it impossible to fulfill. Leviticus also commands the Jews to love “the stranger” as yourself (Lev 19:34), and Jesus entreats his followers to “love your enemies and do good to them that hate you” (Matt 5:44). Today, the prospect of loving the stranger and the enemy may seem even more psychologically impossible than the neighbor, yet in many ways these three commands make up the core of the Bible’s moral calling. We invite papers that examine the psychological functions and conflicts that arise out of these commands to love the Others in our midst.

Tags:

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 2016 Annual Meeting, the Q Section will organize three sessions. (1) Open Session. In this session, paper proposals are welcome on any topic related to Q. (2) A joint session with the Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds Section on the question of scribal activities in the origins and transmission of Q. Participants will be invited. (3) A panel discussion on two recent books on Q: Sarah Rollens, Framing Social Criticism in the Jesus Movement: The Ideological Project in the Sayings Gospel Q (WUNT II.374, Mohr Siebeck, 2014); Giovanni Bazzana, Kingdom of Bureaucracy: The Political Theology of Village Scribes in the Sayings Gospel Q (BETL 274, Peeters, 2015). Participants will be invited.

Tags:

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 has three goals. (1) It provides a forum for scholarly discussion of any aspect of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the material culture of Qumran, and the history, literature, and worldviews of the people associated with them. (2) It encourages new discussions and new approaches in the field of Dead Sea Scrolls studies. (3) It strives for integrating the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls with other fields of biblical and related studies. In 2016 the Section will host an invited session covering different aspects of the Damascus Document in the Second Temple period and in the Genizah. We will also co-sponsor an invited session with the Mind, Society, and Religion in the Biblical World Program Unit. This session will explore how theories and perspectives of the Cognitive Science of Religion might shed new light on the Qumran texts, and how the Qumran evidence might be incorporated into the larger enterprise of making sense of religious behavior in human history. We welcome papers for two open call sessions, and encourage proposals on the Damascus Document. We commit ourselves to balance senior with junior voices. 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.

Tags:

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: 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 the interpretation of the Qur'an, the Bible and related traditions; the Qur’an in the context of Late Antiquity; critical approaches in Qur'anic and Biblical Studies; translating the Qur'an and the Bible; gender and sexuality in comparative perspective; inter-religious dialogue; sectarian polemics; comparative hermeneutics (traditional or contemporary); and pedagogy (engaging the Qur’an in the classroom). Prearranged panels with a set topic and invited participants will be given full consideration. An invited panel on al-Kisa’i’s “Stories of the Prophets” that will be co-sponsored by the International Qur’anic Studies Association has already been arranged.

Tags:

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 2016 meeting in San Antonio, 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: o Passage 1: Q. XXVII, 45-58 (Narratives) o Passage 2: Q. XXXIII, 28-37 (Women/Contemporary events) • Panel n. 2: o Passage 3: Q. XLIX (Contemporary events) o Passage 4: Q. LXXXIII (Eschatology) 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 February) 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 San Antonio, 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, who will have the possibility to ask questions on topics and issues emerging from the panelists’ discussion.

Tags:

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: This year the Methodology and Hermeneutics unit invites proposals for a panel describing the emergent hermeneutics that are used to examine the text of the Qur'an. What are the emergent hermeneutics in, for example, apologetic, feminist, conservative, and scholarly methods of reading the Qur'an? Do emergent hermeneutics force meaning into to the Qur'an, consider the text outside of its historical context and/or stretch its interpretations beyond what is linguistically bearable? How are tensions between fidelity to the text and changing contexts negotiated in various approaches to Qur'anic hermeneutics? Are there traces of historical, critical, and earlier linguistic studies in these emergent hermeneutics? We especially welcome papers that deal with new trends in minority Muslim communities. The unit will additionally host a pre-arranged round-table discussion entitled 'The Qur'an as a Violent Text?' The panel will be divided into two parts: one examining violent images in the Qur'an, whether eschatological violence (apocalyptic visions, images of God as vengeful, violence in the afterlife), or human, 'divinely' sanctioned, violence (jihad and qital, 'verbal violence'/curses, sexual slavery, qisas, spousal violence), and one exploring the methods and hermeneutics of the study of violence in the field of Qur'anic studies. Panelists will be asked to explore and explain the violent images that occur in the text and to address the following questions: how does violence appear in Qur'anic narratives? Is violence in the Qur'an a means of attaining justice/order (as in Q. 2:191, al-fitnatu ashaddu min al-qatl)? Are violent images and themes reflective of earlier scriptural precedent, or of the Qur'an's original historical context and environment? How should we as scholars study the issue of violence in the Qur'an, particularly considering the way that Qur'anic passages may have been cited to legitimate actual physical violence? How can we in the field of Qur'anic studies

Tags:

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 will host two sessions in 2016. The first will focus on eco-critical interventions in biblical studies. Papers with a strong theoretical grounding are especially welcome. We are less interested in animal studies and traditional environmental approaches than in what the recent Oxford Handbook of Ecocriticism calls ‘the historicization of ecology and the ecologization of history.’ Papers theorizing the (natural) materiality of biblical texts or offering a biblical studies perspective on the environmental contexts of labor would also be of interest. The second session is open and proposals are welcome for papers that engage contemporary theory for purposes of biblical interpretation. Papers deploying digital humanities tools/methods are welcome, but they should emphasize research implications (rather than just introduce the tools/methods) in conversation with other contemporary theoretical concerns. 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.

Tags:

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: Women Interpreters through the Ages. Session 1) We invite proposals for papers on women interpreting the Bible through various media, including art, literature, music, speeches, as well as more traditional written interpretive genres before World War I. Papers may deal with a specific female interpreter or may compare several women's interpretations of a specific biblical text or theme. Session 2) Women of War and Women of Woe. Invited panelists will respond to Marion Ann Taylor and Christiana de Groot's new book Women of War, Women of Woe: Joshua and Judges Through the eyes of Nineteenth-Century Female Biblical Interpreters (Eerdmans, 2016) from the perspective of their own academic specialties. For more information, contact Marion Taylor at m.taylor@utoronto.ca.

Tags:

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: Our theme for the 2016 meeting will be: “Redescribing Christian Origins as a Textual Event: Communities, Schools, Networks.” We will devote two sessions to redescribing “Christian identity” as a product of the practices and social aspects of writing in antiquity. One session will feature the work of invited guests, while the other has an open call. We seek to move beyond traditional models that assume literary production to be a secondary inscription of belief, experience, and communal identity, and we therefore welcome proposals that explore writing itself as a formative factor in the composition of Christian belief, identity, and experience. 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)

Tags:

Religious Competition in Late Antiquity

Gregg E. Gardner
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: This year the Religious Competition in Late Antiquity Unit is planning two open sessions. The first session, “Competitive Giving,” will explore the various religious demands that the ancients faced regarding their finances. Jews, Christians, Greeks, and Romans, were faced with competing claims over their assets – from supporting the local cult to financing the construction of a new synagogue or church to one’s religious duty to support the poor. For this session, we welcome papers on charity; euergetism (civic benefaction); sacrifice; temple, church, and synagogue building; and other modes of religious giving that competed with one another over scarce resources. Topics could include motivations and rewards for giving, giving in the biblical and post-biblical tradition, individual vs. communal giving, private vs. divine ownership, religious approaches to wealth, etc. In our second open session we will accept papers discussing any aspect of religious competition in Late Antiquity.

Tags:

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 is planning one joint session with the Prayer in Antiquity consultation on the topic of Curses in Antiquity. We especially welcome papers that treat the relationship between curses and material remains--such as amulets, binding curses, or curse texts—or the various functions of imprecation and how it was experienced in antiquity. Methodological papers that also consider how curses relate generally to the experience of prayer are also welcome. All proposals for this joint session should examine the phenomenon from the perspective of curses as religious experience. Our second session will consist of invited papers commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Religious Experience in Antiquity section. Our third session will be an open session. We warmly invite proposals on any topic connected to Religious Experience, and we ask that you include a clear methodological perspective and specify the texts or other material artifacts under discussion.

Tags:

Religious World of Late Antiquity

Cynthia M. Baker
Ra'anan Boustan
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: We seek proposals on the following three topics: (1) Notions and Practices of Language in Late Antiquity. We seek papers that explore – through specific, detailed examples – notions and practices of language in late antiquity. What makes language or speech religious or sacred? Do practices of language differ across different realms of thought and action (legal, magical, liturgical, political)? How do linguistic features demarcate particular identities or categories? (E.g., are there Jewish, Christian, divine, demonic, animal, angelic, human, female, male languages?) How did developments in language interact with other cultural developments of this period? (2) Race in Late Antiquity: The View from the East. For this session, cosponsored with AAR’s Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity Group, we seek papers that explore ideas about “race” in the traditions of the Sasanian and Roman East. Is “race” an appropriate and fruitful category for understanding elements of social practice and worldview in Eastern Late Antiquity? Does recent scholarship on “race” in Greco-Roman antiquity hold promise for illuminating corresponding dynamics further east? (3) Aramaic Magic Bowls: Language, Ritual, and Context. For this session, cosponsored with the SBL Aramaic Studies Section and the AAR Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity Group, we seek papers that address questions such as: How can language experts help clarify the nature of the practices associated with these artifacts? How can those who study the societies and subgroups that used such bowls help clarify the meaning of obscure Aramaic or Syriac terminology? How can the study of the cultures in which the bowls were produced shed light on their use, significance, and meaning? How can study of the bowls shed light on the usefulness of the categories of syncretism, hybridity, and bricolage? RWLA will also sponsor an invited session highlighting recent work on urban space and ritual in Late Antiquity.

Tags:

Rhetoric and the New Testament

Davina C. Lopez
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: We invite paper proposals dealing with various aspects of the intersection of the study of rhetoric and the New Testament. Especially welcome are proposals that address the rhetorical configuration of theological tropes and themes in the New Testament, including those that examine: A) the argumentative texture of theological conceptions and expressions in the NT; B) the ideological nature, intertextual threads, and/or socio-cultural backgrounds informing the rhetorical configuration of NT theological themes or theological articulations in specific NT texts; and C) larger methodological reflections on the intersection of NT configurations of divinity and ancient and/or modern rhetoric. ADDITIONAL PAPER PROPOSALS are welcome for a co-sponsored session with the Postcolonial Studies and Biblical Studies section that will focus on analyzing the connections and distinctions amidst the discourses, methodologies, and terminologies of “liberationist,” “postcolonial,” and “empire-critical” New Testament scholarship.

Tags:

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 Seminar holds three sessions at the annual meetings according to three research tracks, and, occasionally, a fourth special topics seminar. Track 1 (New Horizons in Sociorhetorical Interpretation) will be a joint session with the Ecological Hermeneutics Section and will present four invited panelists to review Elaine M. Wainwright, An Ecological Reading of the Gospel of Matthew, Earth Bible Commentary Series, Sheffield Phoenix, forthcoming; Wainwright will respond. Track 2 (An Analytical Seminar showcasing the use of sociorhetorical interpretation) will be on the Gospel of Luke and will be presented by Bart B. Bruehler. This seminar encourages participation and discussion by all attendees. Track 3 (Refining Sociorhetorical Interpretation) will mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of Vernon K. Robbins’s foundational Exploring the Texture of Texts, with a review of Foundations for Sociorhetorical Exploration: Topos, Spatiality, Rhetorolect, and Rhetography, Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity Commentary Series, SBL Press, forthcoming . Four invited panelists will review Foundations, Vernon K. Robbins will respond. For 2016, as part of an occasional exploration of various topoi salient to the world of antiquity, the Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity Seminar and the Meals in the Greco-Roman World Section are sponsoring a joint session exploring the topos of meals. Presenters will investigate the role of meals as a topos in developing argumentation, as an organizing frame for argumentation, and/or a rhetorical setting. This session will consist of four invited papers as well as a respondent.

Tags:

Ritual in the Biblical World

Ada Taggar-Cohen
Jason T. Lamoreaux
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: The Ritual in the Biblical World section will have two planned sessions of papers at the 2016 Annual Meeting. 1) The first session will be an open session inviting papers on the topics of Incantations and Curses and the theory and methods utilized in analyzing such rituals. Incantations and curses are ritualized speech forms that intend to affect certain outcomes. As such, they have intriguing similarities to other ritual speech forms, and like other rituals, they can fail or go awry. 2) The second section will include invited papers from established ritual scholars to explore the theoretical framework of ritual failure. The topic of Ritual Failure is less explored because analysts tend to consider rituals in terms of what they are supposed to do and how they are meant to achieve their results. There is a tendency toward idealism in the analyses. Ritual Failure is, however, an integral part of many ritual systems, seen in their larger context. The topic deserves careful scrutiny but has been largely neglected, even by scholars in our unit. We intend to bridge that gap in this session. Submission for papers on this topic are also invited for the open session, as the section intends to deal with this topic for several meetings, including the coming International Meeting in Seoul.

Tags:

Sabbath in Text and Tradition

Edward Allen
Denis Fortin
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 three topics. 1) The Sabbath and Environment Issues. Observance of Sabbath has recently been seen as an important response to environmental issues. In his recent encyclical Laudato Si, Pope Francis mentioned the observance of a day of rest (Sunday) as a reminder of human concern for nature and the environment. Issues that might be addressed in this session include: The Genesis Creation, Sabbath, and care for the earth; The relationship between the observance of a day of rest and conservationist ideology; How the observance of Sabbath might have a positive impact on the global environment; The relationship between Sabbath and nature; and other related topics. We invite paper proposals expressing a range of theological, religious and practical views from across faith traditions. 2) Archaeological findings in the Land of Israel and the Diaspora preserve Sabbath practices mentioned in ancient literature. This session will consist primarily of invited papers but proposals on evidence of Sabbath and Sabbath observance related to any ancient archaeological endeavor will be considered. These might include ancient inscriptions, daily and fine ware artifacts, architecture, clothing and footwear, in addition to tracing literary traditions that describe these items. 3) Sabbath in Jewish, Protestant and Latter-Day Saints Traditions. This joint session provides the opportunity for scholars to reflect and compare the history and role of the Sabbath in each tradition. It will include invited papers and respondents from each section, but proposals on the following topics will be considered: The biblical and historical basis for Sabbath observance; the application of the biblical text to the day of rest; the nature of Sabbath observance; the Protestant and/or LDS use of Jewish ideas of Sabbath; the relationship between Protestant and LDS ideas on the Sabbath; and other related topics.

Tags:

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:

Tags:

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: The Second Corinthians: Pauline Theology in the Making Seminar will hold two sessions at the 2016 meeting. (1) A joint session with Paul within Judaism composed of invited papers on the theological issues of, or in the composition of 2 Corinthians, starting from the hypothesis that Paul remained within and practiced Judaism; (2) A session on sections of, or on the whole of, 2 Corinthians 11 along the lines of the goals of the seminar, for which there is an open call for papers. We are especially interested in how the conceptions of human achievements are evaluated. Other themes of interest include: Paul's bodily versus epistolary presence; the biblical imagery employed in 2 Cor 11; Paul’s conceptions of his 'opponents'; chapter 11 and its genre, as well as its historical roots. The complete texts of the accepted papers are due by October 31, 2016.

Tags:

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 open sessions in 2016 and will accept proposals for both panels. First: With the Speech and Talk in the Ancient Mediterranean World program unit, we invite paper proposals for a joint session on the theme of Silence and the Senses Within the Ancient Mediterranean World. Papers could treat the definition, nature, and symbolism of silence as expressed in the OT/HB, the NT, other texts in the biblical world, or in their reception history. Paper proposals may address, among other topics, externally-imposed silences as punishment (including examples of mutilation, such as cutting out the tongue or off the ear of a slave); metaphorical uses of silence as punitive sense-deprivation; the relationship among silence, speech, and other senses or gestures; specific motifs regarding silence and their significance (e.g., silence as repentance, divine judgment, reverence, or helplessness); the reception of biblical perspectives on silence. Second: We invite paper proposals on the topic Synesthesia in the Biblical World. Defined as the automatic convergence or interpenetration of two or more senses, the physiological phenomenon of synesthesia gives rise to literary or symbolic synesthesia, which M. H. Abrams defines as "descriptions of one kind of sensation in terms of another." We are interested in papers that identify instances of synesthesia (physiological or symbolic) in texts, rituals, or practices from the biblical world and show how a sensory analysis contributes meaningfully to the interpretation of the example(s). Papers that address questions of method in the study of synesthesia are also welcome, though all papers should be grounded in specific texts or other examples. For both panels, the abstract should state the paper's thesis, outline the approach that will be taken, and identify the primary texts and examples to be discussed.

Tags:

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.

Tags:

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 2016 we are planning three sessions. The first will be a pre-arranged session on Larry Hurtado’s book, Destroyer of the Gods: Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World (forthcoming from Baylor University Press). For the two other sessions, we seek proposals on the following topics: 1. The Environment. We welcome proposals that address any aspect of environmental engagement in formative Judaism and Christianity. These might include discussions of natural resources, the utility of “waste” lands, transhumance, agriculture, natural disasters, insects and animals, as well as the use of environmental imagery by teachers, preachers, artists, and writers. 2. Roman Law and Politics. We are interested in proposals that address how Christian and Jewish leaders or communities responded to imperial legislation (by compliance, resistance, negotiation, or avoidance) or reacted to political events (such as imperial visits, the creation or destruction of monuments, taxation, riots, and military presence). We particularly welcome proposals that engage the fields of legal history and political theory.

Tags:

Social Sciences and the Interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures

Jeremiah W. Cataldo
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 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. Two sessions are planned: the first will be open, and the second will focus on the theme of difference within the Hebrew Scriptures.

Tags:

Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament

Sarah E. Rollens
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 2016 meeting, we will have one open session, and one invited Book Review Panel of Volume 3 of J.H. Elliott's _Beware the Evil Eye_. We invite papers for the open session that, in terms of framework, explicitly engage social-scientific theories and models, or are richly socially descriptive, and in terms of subject matter, relate to the New Testament writings or period.

Tags:

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: Teaching Ancient Mediterranean Religion. Teaching about ancient Mediterranean religions occurs in a wide variety of course settings at different colleges, universities, and seminaries. This paper session seeks to explore this variety by considering different pedagogical models, presenting innovative techniques, and sharing best practices. 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 teaching of ancient Mediterranean religions. Potential topics include, but are not limited to: categorization and organization of subject matter; effective texts and instructional materials; notable uses of new technologies; the pros and cons of engaging students at all levels in the study of theory; and the interconnection of ancient Mediterranean religions with related subjects (e.g. History, Philosophy, Hebrew Bible, Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism, Christian origins, Late Antiquity and Islamic origins). Proposals should be submitted electronically through the SBL website. The deadline is Tuesday, 1 March, 2016. 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.

Tags:

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: In 2016,SCRIPT will host a panel of invited papers.

Tags:

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: We are seeking proposals for papers to be presented at the Society for Pentecostal Studies meeting that will be held in association with the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. The meeting will take place in San Antonio, Texas from November 19-22, 2016. Preference is given to proposals that relate to the interests of both Societies. Ideally, papers presented at the meeting will explore a topic relevant to Pentecostal studies that address issues at the intersection of biblical/theological studies or Pentecostal hermeneutics. Proposals must be submitted by no later than March 1, 2016. Proposals should be submitted through the SBL website (www.sbl-site.org); however, proposals may also be sent directly to Blaine Charette (blaine.charette@northwestu.edu), the SBL Annual Meeting Program Unit Chair for the Society for Pentecostal Studies.

Tags:

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 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.

Tags:

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: The Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity invite papers for two sessions that will be co-sponsored with other sections. The first, sponsored with the Speech and Talk in the Ancient Mediterranean World unit, will explore the confluences of speech, space, and gender. What kinds of gendered expectations governed spaces (conceived as conceptual, literary, or physical), and the kinds of discourse that could occur or flourish in those spaces? What places were forbidden, accepted, or especially fecund for women's speech, men's speech, or speech that was otherwise particularly gendered? Did space govern speech, or did speech govern space? Papers using queer theory to think about these questions are welcome. The second session, co-sponsored with the Early Jewish and Christian Relations section, is an open session focused on space and place. The Space, Place and Lived Experience will also be planning a "theorizing in place" session at the Alamo. Information will be provided in the program book.

Tags:

Speech and Talk in the Ancient Mediterranean World

Benjamin Lappenga
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: Speech and Talk in the Ancient Mediterranean World is planning TWO joint sessions for 2016. -- CFP ONE #1: The Speech and Talk and Senses and Culture in the Biblical World program units invite proposals for a joint session on the theme of silence and the senses within the ancient Mediterranean world. We invite proposals for papers on the definition, nature, and symbolism of silence as expressed in the OT/HB, the NT, and other texts in the biblical world, as well as in the reception history of these materials. Paper proposals may address, among other topics, instances of externally-imposed silences as punishment (including examples of mutilation, such as cutting out the tongue or off the ear of a slave); metaphorical uses of silence as punitive sense-deprivation; the relationship among silence, speech, and other senses or gestures; specific motifs regarding silence and their significance (e.g., silence as repentance, divine judgment, reverence, or helplessness); or the reception of biblical perspectives on silence. The abstract should state the paper's thesis, outline the approach that will be taken, and identify the primary texts and examples to be discussed.---- CFP TWO #2: The Speech and Talk and Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity Program Units invite papers for a joint session exploring the confluences of speech, space, and gender, including (but not limited to) questions like: What kinds of gendered expectations governed spaces (conceived as conceptual, literary, or physical), and the kinds of discourse that could occur or flourish in those spaces? What places were forbidden, accepted, or especially fecund for the women's speech, men's speech, or speech that was otherwise particularly gendered? Did space govern speech, or did speech govern space? Was there a dialectical relationship between space and speech in antiquity, and did gender participate in that dialectic? Papers using queer theory to think about these questions are welcome.

Tags:

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 J. R. Daniel Kirk's book A Man Attested by God: The Human Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels (Eerdmans).

Tags:

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 2016 meeting in San Antonio we welcome papers for three joint and one or more open sessions. 1) For a joint session with the SBL Aramaic Studies section, we invite contributions on any relevant topic at the intersection of our two fields of study. 2) In collaboration with the SBL Ethiopic Bible and Literature Section we welcome proposals for papers that show intersections between Ethiopic and Syriac or Syriac-Arabic exegetical, literary, or historical traditions. We are especially interested in papers that deal with the reception of biblical traditions, papers that address apocryphal or hagiographical texts, and papers that are focused on any historical period or theological theme that can shed light on the Council of Chalcedon and its legacy. 3) In collaboration with the AAR Middle Eastern Christianity Group we seek proposals for contributions that shed light on Middle Eastern Christians during the 7th and 8th centuries CE. Here we also welcome work that critically and productively engages the recently published books by Richard Payne and Michael Penn. 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. Papers that address, with theoretical and methodological rigor, the intersections between the Bible, the Qur'an, and their interpretive traditions through the lens of Syriac authors are very welcome.

Tags:

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: We invite proposals for a session discussing the ways biblical studies, as a humanities field, remains an appropriate field of study in a higher education system that is increasingly focused on maximizing the career potential of its undergraduates. How can we move beyond the default argument that biblical studies and the other humanities fields are relevant because they teach students “critical thinking”? What more can we offer? We also invite proposals for an open session, especially proposals suggesting various creative ways instructors of biblical studies courses might assess the full range of student performance. What techniques might best gauge and evaluate improvement in student skills and abilities beyond mastery of the subject content of the course?

Tags:

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 partner the Extent of Theological Diversity in Earliest Christianity Group to host a review session of Prof. Judith Lieu’s important new book “Marcion and the Making of a Heretic” (Cambridge University Press, 2015). In addition, we will offer a second session, 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 under-explored 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

Tags:

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 the 2016 meeting is on the Antiochian Text: what are its characteristics, what ought it to be called? are there different layers in the Antiochian Text? When do date these layers? What is the relation between the Antiochian Text and the other witnesses, such as MT, OG, Qumran, VL, Josefus, etc. Papers can deal with not only Samuel and Kings but also with Ruth, Chronicles, Joshua and Judges. If your paper does not deal with the Antiochian text, you can still submit it--we will create a separate Sam - Kings general session.

Tags:

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 one invited session in San Antonio: The Character and Nature of Citations and Allusions in 1QS and related compositions.

Tags:

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:

Tags:

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 2016 meeting in San Antonio, we plan to offer three sessions. 1) We invite papers on interactions between the biblical and qur'anic traditions for an open session. 2) Together with the SBL Biblia Arabica consultation, we invite papers for a joint session on "New developments in the study of Karaite Bible exegesis and the Islamic and Christian Oriental contexts." We are looking for papers that focus on aspects of Karaite Bible commentaries and / or Karaite Bible translations that engage with Islamic and / or Christian sources, overtly or indirectly, either by way of polemics or in order to promote agreement. 3) In collaboration with the SBL Bible and Qur'an section and the IQSA Methodology & Hermeneutics unit, we are organizing a prearranged session on al-Kisa’i’s Qisas al-anbiya’.

Tags:

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: 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 general 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. 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 are all of interest. Topics relating to pre-Islamic inscriptions that might have a bearing on the later formulation of the text of the Qur’an would also be welcome.

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

Tags:

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 2016 the Theological Interpretation of Scripture Seminar will hold three sessions. Two will have invited papers: (1) a session on “The Ascension and the Ascended Christ in the Book of Acts,” co-sponsored by the Book of Acts Section; and (2) a review panel of Benjamin Sommers, Revelation and Authority: Sinai in Jewish Scripture and Tradition (Yale, 2015). For the third session we are accepting paper proposals for the topic “Spirit Christology and the Gospels.” Spirit Christology—used broadly to refer to projects in which the identity and mission of the Holy Spirit figure prominently and indispensably in one’s articulation of the person and work of Jesus Christ—is becoming more commonplace in the work of biblical scholars and theologians. This session of the Theological Interpretation of Scripture unit seeks to examine particular moments presented in the canonical Gospels (Jesus’ conception, baptism, temptation, ministry, passion, or resurrection) in order to examine fruitful ways of examining the identity of Jesus by means of his relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Tags:

Theological Perspectives on the Book of Ezekiel

Madhavi Nevader
Stephen L. Cook
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: The Theological Perspectives on the Book of Ezekiel will hold three sessions in San Antonio 2016. For the Open Session, we invite paper proposals on any aspect of the book of Ezekiel. For the two other, the section will continue work on its three-year project, “Perspectives on Land, Landscape, and Cosmic Geography in Ezekiel.” The topic for discussion in San Antonio will be the actual and imagined landscapes of the book of Ezekiel, specifically how the book represents space and/or land across several dimensions and expressions, and the role these representations play in advancing the meaning and interpretation of the book. One session will be an invited session coordinated with the Israelite Prophetic Literature section, the other is open for proposals.

Tags:

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 Hebrew Scriptures section plans three sessions in 2016. One session, co-sponsored with the Biblical Law section, will be devoted to the topic “Theodicy and Biblical Law”; invited panelists will participate. We issue an open call for papers for two additional sessions: one focusing on the character(ization) of G-d in the Hebrew Bible and the other open to varied explorations of the theological ideas, themes, and/or motifs within the Hebrew Bible. For both open sessions, we encourage presenters to employ diverse forms of presentation and to engage substantive discussion. The unit 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. Questions may be addressed to Julia O’Brien or Marvin Sweeney, program unit co-chairs.

Tags:

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 2016: (1) A session on the sociolinguistics of multilingual texts, 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.

Tags:

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 also planning to hold two joint sessions. The first is will focus on the reception of Daniel, and will be held jointly with the “Book of Daniel” section: we invite papers on any aspect of the reception of the Book of Daniel. The second, “Scriptural Colonialism: Rethinking the Conjunction of Missionary Activities, Colonialism, and the Bible” will be held jointly with the Bible and Cultural Studies section, and take advantage of our location in San Antonio and the prominent remains of Spanish colonial missions as well as the Alamo. We invite papers that examine scriptures or specific scriptural texts as they have been deployed in, taken up, transformed by, or informative of missionary activities and missionary colonialism. While we are especially interested in papers that rethink scriptures in colonial religious projects around the world but also including Spanish missionary colonialism and U.S. Manifest Destiny, we also welcome papers that use missionary colonial histories and practices to rethink and reinterpret Jewish and Christian biblical texts.

Tags:

Violence and Representations of Violence in Antiquity

Cavan Concannon
Kimberly Stratton
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: Violence and Representations of Violence in Antiquity is sponsoring the following panels in 2016: 1) Violent Spectacles and Religion. (Co-sponsored with AAR’s Comparative Approaches to Religion and Violence group) Papers might address spectacles ranging from Assyrian battle murals to Christian martyr narratives and their depictions in art, to war and atrocity memorials to contemporary ISIL beheading videos. Analyses should reflect religious and historical imagination and conceivably awareness of cogent theories in art history, sociology, or psychology. 2) Frames of Violence at the Intersections of Ancient and Modern. This panel draws on ancient materials to think about and engage with the pressing problem of violence in the contemporary world, focusing especially on the use of violence as propaganda, framing of violent acts to define some victims as more human or worthy of attention than others, the invocation of older traditions or texts as a frame for violence, and the use of violence to disseminate ideologically constructed realities. 3) Gender and Violence in Antiquity. (Co-sponsored with the Women in the Biblical World group). From the masculinizing of martyrs to the metaphoric rape of feminized nations in Roman art and biblical prophets, gender and violence often coalesce in ancient religion. This panel invites papers to investigate the intersection of these two themes in ancient religious artifacts (textual and material).

Tags:

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.

Call for papers: 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.

Tags:

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 session invites papers on any topic related to warfare and violence in ancient Israel and ancient West Asia, but is particularly interested in papers relating to genocide and mass killing. Paper proposals exploring genocidal violence as a historical phenomenon will be considered, as will proposals dealing with the role of this type of violence in biblical sources and other texts from the region. Proposals addressing the reception of genocidal texts are also welcome. The section is especially interested in papers featuring interdisciplinary approaches.

Tags:

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.

Tags:

Wisdom and Apocalypticism

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 three sessions for the 2016 meeting. The first is a joint session with the Economics of the Biblical World section. This will be an invited session on sapiential and apocalyptic texts in relation to the theme of economics, entitled “Financial Instruction and Poverty in Wisdom and Apocalypticism.” The second will be an invited session entitled “Philo vis-à-vis Wisdom and Apocalypticism” that will explore topics in Philo that resonate with the sapiential and apocalyptic traditions. Our third session is open. For this session we welcome papers on any topic relating to wisdom and/or apocalypticism, but we encourage papers that engage Maccabean literature and/or texts in which the theme of martyrdom is prominent.

Tags:

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 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.

Tags:

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 four sessions: 1) Gender and Violence in Antiquity. From the masculinizing of martyrs to the metaphoric rape of feminized nations in Roman art and biblical prophets, gender and violence often coalesce in ancient religion. This panel invites papers to investigate the intersection of these two themes in ancient religious artifacts (textual and material). [Co-sponsored with Violence and Representations of Violence in Antiquity]; 2) Women’s Agency in Antiquity: Uncovering women’s agency within male-authored texts has been a common concern of feminist scholarship. More recently, however, some scholars have challenged the usefulness of agency as a category by historicizing it as a product of secular modernity. This session invites papers that continue to explore questions of women’s agency in ancient texts and artifacts, or that question the centrality of agency as a primary focus of inquiry. 3) Innocence: Interpreters sometime use the term “innocent” to describe certain biblical characters based upon the character’s age and gender. However, innocence is a social construct often applied to biblical characters, such as children, without critical analysis. Factors such as race and class affect who is automatically assumed to be “innocent” and who is not “innocent.” This session invites papers that address how race, ethnicity, gender, and age influence how readers and the texts themselves evaluate characters and their innocence, especially woman and children. [Co-sponsored with Children in the Biblical World] 4) Open session

Tags:

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 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. The theme of the 2016 sessions will be The book of Jeremiah in intertextual perspective. We welcome papers that unfold intertextuality both within and beyond the Hebrew Bible, such as intertextual links between Biblical/non-Biblical literary personae, textual, poetical and narrative features or lines of thought.

Tags:

zTest Program Unit

Christopher J. O'Connor
Description: Here is where the description would appear. Updating the description here.

Call for papers: testing cfp info as scm and making an update. and here's another update

Tags:
 
JOIN SBL   |  DONATE TO SBL   |  CONTACT SBL   |  BIBLE ODYSSEY   |  REVIEW OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE   |  SBL TWITTER   |  BIBLE ODYSSEY TWITTER

© 2017, Society of Biblical Literature. All Rights Reserved.