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Congresses

2017 International Meeting

Berlin, Germany

Meeting Begins: 8/7/2017
Meeting Ends: 8/11/2017

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: 11/9/2016
Call For Papers Closes: 2/22/2017
Requirements for Participation

Program Units

 

Allusions in the Gospels

Dennis R. MacDonald
Wooil Moon
Description: This unit is to foster literary-critical and inter-textual approaches to the canonical Gospels. The approaches include: (1) uncovering allusive fragments of Greco-Roman, Hellenized-Jewish, and Christian texts in Gospel passages; (2) discussing whether the fragments reflect accidental confluences, non-opposite appropriations of poetic langue, or Christian emulations against anterior texts and traditions; (3) interpreting Christian meanings generated by resonances between anterior and posterior contexts of those allusions.

Call for papers: The program unit Allusions in the Gospels for the International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature requests three time slots, two of which will be available for would-be participants who respond to our call for papers. Having two such sessions allows for sorting the proposals into more or less common topics. The third session will be devoted to intertextual allusions in Luke-Acts. Dennis MacDonald, one of the organizers, has nearly completed a book manuscript on Luke-Acts and the politics of Homeric imitation, especially such imitations in Vergil's Aeneid. He is willing to participate but this session need not focus exclusively on his work. Depending on the response to this topic in a call for papers and targeted invitations, the session could be a series of independent papers on the subject or a panel.

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Analyzing the Metatextuality of the Biblical Tradition Literature (EABS)

Raik Heckl
Lars Maskow
Description: The panel discusses and uses an alternative approach for understanding and decoding the literary history of Biblical texts alternative to that used in the philological methods of exegesis (source criticism and redaction criticism). The problems of these methods are well known and discussed since the end of the 20th century. However, the research that explicitly deals with the literary history does not discuss its methodological basis and the resulting problems. These problems often lead to contradicting results. On the basis of the results of a project about the methodology a discourse analytical concept gives a new perspective for the literary historical questions. Because biblical texts are mostly fragments of ancient discourses the literary history is of utmost importance in order to understand the ancient Israelite culture and religion. During the discourses in which the biblical texts emerged it was presupposed that the intended addressees knew the Vorlagen that were used. In that way the Biblical texts emerged over generations, texts were rewritten and transformed and during all these stages of a text it displays hermeneutical means to persuade the readers of the innovations made. If we take this into account the consideration of the communicative processes during the emergence of the texts provides us with valuable cultural historical information. The literary history of the biblical texts grants an insight into the processes of communication across generations with texts which are not available to the same extent in any other ancient cultural context. Not only the intention of the texts but the ancient reception and the effects they had, become apparent. Thus, it becomes clear how texts were to be understood and how they were understood in ancient contexts.

Call for papers: Because biblical texts emerged as parts of ancient discourses and were transmitted as such the 2017 workshop will be based on a discourse analytical approach to the literary history. It follows the current discourse linguistics with its basis in the views of M. Foucault (with regard to its use see Heckl, Neuanfang und Kontinuität, FAT 104, Tübingen 2016, 6-26). The panel invites contributors to discuss exemplary texts in which hermeneutical strategies show how the biblical authors tried to persuade their readers to accept their new texts instead of their prestages (Vorlagen). In this first panel of the research unit the focus will be on the question of the authority of narrating contexts, on how texts were given authority against their literary Vorlagen. Examples are attempts to establish the fiction of a particular origin (for instance the alleged author in early pseudepigraphical notes) or to show the superiority of the text against its Vorlagen. Such hermeneutical strategies are accessible because each and every text contains presuppositions to the intended readers. Via these presuppositions it is possible to determine the discourses to which the biblical texts originally belonged. The testimony of texts to which parallel traditions exist (esp. the books of the Chronicles and the books of Samuel and Kings) enables us to understand the specific connections between the hermeneutical strategies and the literary transformations which were their results. There will be two sessions: one session specifically dealing with metatexuality in narrating contexts and another joint session with the workshop “Metacriticism: On Methodological Problems of Biblical Exegesis”. While the aim of that workshop is a metacriticism from within the classical Source- and Redaction Criticism, the joint session will be an opportunity to reevaluate the models of the emergence of the biblical texts.

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Ancient Near East

Stephen C. Russell
Description: The ancient Near East section explores the texts and material culture of the ancient world, especially Egypt, the Levant, Anatolia, and Mesopotamia from the birth of writing through the Hellenistic period. Our aim is to study the ancient world with a variety of methods and from a variety of perspectives—anthropological, archaeological, art-historical, economic, legal, literary, philological, sociohistorical, etc. We welcome work that reads the literature or material culture of one region against another, as well as work that is more limited in scope. Each year, we anticipate hosting two panels: one devoted to any aspect of the study of the ancient Near East, and one focussing on a more narrowly defined theme, region, approach, or time period.

Call for papers: The ancient Near East section explores the texts and material culture of the ancient world, especially Egypt, the Levant, Anatolia, and Mesopotamia from the birth of writing through the Hellenistic period. Our aim is to study the ancient world with a variety of methods and from a variety of perspectives—anthropological, archaeological, art-historical, economic, legal, literary, philological, sociohistorical, etc. We welcome work that reads the literature or material culture of one region against another, as well as work that is more limited in scope.

Tags: Anatolian (Hittite, Luwian, Hurrian) (Ancient Near Eastern Literature - Region), Ancient Near East - Bronze Age (History & Culture), Ancient Near East - Hellenistic Period (History & Culture), Ancient Near East - Iron Age (History & Culture), Ancient Near East - Late Antiquity (History & Culture), Ancient Near East - Neo-Assyria (History & Culture), Ancient Near East - Neo-Babylonia (History & Culture), Aramaic (Philology / Linguistics (incl. Semiotics)), Comparative Approaches (Interpretive Approaches), Egyptian (Philology / Linguistics (incl. Semiotics)), Hebrew (classical) (Philology / Linguistics (incl. Semiotics)), Latter Prophets - Ezekiel (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Northwest Semitic - Canaanite (Phoenician, Punic, Moabite, Ammonite) (Ancient Near Eastern Literature - Region), Social-Scientific Approaches (Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology) (Interpretive Approaches), Torah/Pentateuch - Genesis (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint))

Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible

Christopher B. Hays
Izaak J. de Hulster
Description: This section, formerly titled Iconography and the Bible, examines the ways that ancient pictorial material informs interpretations of biblical texts and vice-versa. 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 ISBL program unit ‘Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible’, in collaboration with the EABS research unit ‘Iconography and Biblical Studies’, invite you (1) to submit an abstract for our open session, presenting your research on iconography or iconographic exegesis of the Hebrew Bible (given the collaboration with the EABS we also welcome contributions on the New Testament). (2) Besides our open call we organize a session in cooperation with the Vorderasiatisches Museum and welcome papers that interact with items from the collection of this world-renowned museum (most probably the focus of this session will be on the Aramaean material, especially from Zincirli and Tell Halaf). (3) We consider a review session on the 2015 published textbook on iconographic exegesis of the Old Testament by de Hulster | Strawn |Bonfiglio 2015 (including practical reflections, as it has meanwhile been used in courses). If you have used this book for teaching, feel free to volunteer for reviewing and contact Chris Hays (ISBL) or Florian Lippke (EABS).

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Anthropology and the Bible (EABS)

Anne Katrine Gudme
Emanuel Pfoh
Description: The aim of this unit is to foster ethnographic readings of biblical stories, both Old and New Testaments, and anthropological perspectives on the archaeology, the history and the literature of ancient Palestine in its Near Eastern context. Relevant topics for discussion are:-Political and historical anthropology of ancient Palestine (city-states, urbanization, state-formation processes, ethnogenesis).?-Mediterranean anthropology in biblical narrative (patronage, hospitality, feud, honour and shame, food).?-Sociology and anthropology of religion and ancient Palestinian cultic and ritual data (aniconism, iconography, burial, cultic places, etc.).?-Sociology and anthropology of biblical studies (the production of academic knowledge and its impact on society).?-Comparative analysis of Biblical and Eastern Mediterranean literature from an anthropological perspective.

Call for papers: In 2017 we are planning two sessions: one thematic session that sets out to explore and evaluate the concept of shamanism in the Bible (mostly invited papers) and one session that is open to papers on anthropological perspectives in biblical literature and in the biblical world in general (cf. the description of the research unit above).

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Apocalyptic Literature

Lorenzo DiTommaso
Description: The Apocalyptic Literature Section provides the International Meeting’s only general forum for studies related to apocalyptic literature. The Section welcomes papers that engage the wide range of apocalyptic texts, that provide analysis of the history and conventions of apocalyptic literature, and that employ diverse methodological perspectives.

Call for papers: The Apocalyptic Literature Unit invites papers in the following areas: [1.] We welcome paper proposals on all topics related to "Apocalyptic Literature in Early Judaism and/or Early Christianity." Depending on the number and nature of the proposals accepted, we might run two sessions, one or both on more specific topics defined by either text(s) or chronology. [2.] For our second session, we invite paper proposals on the topic of "Religion, Politics, and Apocalyptic Speculation." "Religion and Politics" is one of the major themes identified by the hosts of ISBL 2017 Berlin. Their overlap very much informs the production of apocalyptic literature, particularly in view of its functions and social settings and as it informs ideas of group identity and justice. [3.] For our third session, we welcome paper proposals on the topic of "Slavonic Translations of Second Temple Texts." This session is convened in celebration of the inclusion into ISBL of the Rethinking Biblical Written Tradition through Slavonic Interpretations Unit, and is held in conjunction with it and also with the Hellenistic Judaism Unit of the ISBL and the Slavonic Apocrypha Unit of the EABS. [4.] Our fourth session, "Dead Sea Scrolls and the Genre Apocalypse," is convened jointly with the Dead Sea Scrolls unit. The Scrolls have contributed greatly to our understanding of apocalyptic speculation in the Second Temple era, from the recovery of the earliest manuscripts of the Enochic and Danielic writings to the discovery of many new apocalyptic texts. With the full corpus of Scrolls now available, it is time to reconsider questions related to genre and definitions of apocalyptic literature, including those that inform wider issues, such as apocalyptic rhetoric, social setting, and eschatology. We welcome paper proposals on topics related to the the theme of this session (a few papers will also be invited).

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Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha

Janet Elizabeth Spittler
Julia Snyder
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 traditions along lines of class and gender.

Call for papers: For the 2017 meeting, we welcome papers that address the following discussion question: "Is this a 'text'?" In scholarly writing about the ancient world, it is still conventional to employ capitalized (and often italized) phrases such as _The Acts of John_, _The Apocalypse of Peter_, and _The Gospel of Thomas_. But what are we referring to when we write that way, or when we publish "translations" and "critical editions" with those "titles" on the cover? Do these scholarly practices adequately capture the dynamic, fluid nature of ancient verbal communication, which comes to light when one compares individual manuscripts? What do we gain or lose by labelling stories about John, sayings of Jesus, or tours of Hell with what sound like "titles" of "texts"? How else might we write about verbal communication in the ancient world that would be more helpful in our quest to appreciate extant written artifacts? We invite proposals for papers that specifically address this topic, and which combine methodological reflection with detailed textual case studies (of Jewish or Christian literature). Proposals are also welcome for an additional open session that will highlight creative, well-developed personal research projects on extra-canonical Jewish and Christian literature. NB: Those with papers on the Apostolic Fathers, Septuagint, or Qumran (unless they directly relate to the discussion question described above), are encouraged to sumbit to those other sections. Please do not submit the same proposal to more than one section.

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Apostolic Fathers and Related Early Christian Literature

Paul A. Hartog
Description: This unit fosters academic discourse focused upon the “Apostolic Fathers” and supplemental literature, as transmitters of earlier traditions; as reflections of theology, ethics, and worship; as means of identity and community formation; and as subjects of literary and social-theory investigations.

Call for papers: This unit fosters academic discourse focused upon the “Apostolic Fathers” and supplemental literature, as transmitters of earlier traditions; as reflections of theology, ethics, and worship; as means of identity and community formation; and as subjects of literary and social-theory investigations. This year, topics related to ethics in the so-called "Apostolic Fathers" and related literature are especially invited. Beyond this particular focus, the unit also welcomes other proposals that critically examine any topic within early Christian literature (up to the year 250).

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Archaeology and Diaspora Judaism

Nóra Dávid
Description: This unit augments archaeology-related sessions organized at the International Meeting by providing focus on diaspora Judaism.

Call for papers: Archaeology provides a great amount of data about Judaism both in- and outside of Judea. For the history of ancient diaspora Judaism archeological finds are among our most important sources. There is a great and increasing amount of scholarly literature on diaspora Judaism. As ancient diaspora Judaism is being studied in different parts of the world and publications on it are written in many cases in the respective local languages and/or published in national journals this literature is neither easily accessible for the members of the Society nor even known. The aim of this panel is to bring together scholars researching different areas of ancient diaspora Judaism in the Roman Empire. Besides the already widely researched regions and groups (such as e.g. the Jews in ancient Egypt and in the city of Rome) the panel intends to target diaspora communities not as well known to a broader scholarly public (e.g. North-Africa, Western-Europe, etc.). Besides the invited speakers we are happy to accept papers as well!

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Authority and Influence in Ancient Times

Jan G. van der Watt
Description: The aim of this seminar is to investigate the nature of authority and leadership language as it is used in Biblical documents (both Old and New Testament). Since definitions of what leadership really is vary widely, the seminar uses a functional approach. Contributors will be asked to focus on the texts of the Old and New Testaments (each according to his or her expertise) and to investigate how authority is expressed and handled, but also how a group is convinced to move along with a leader to a common goal. Especially the dynamics of language, expression, rhetorics, etc. will be focused on.

Call for papers: The aim of this seminar is to investigate the nature of authority and leadership language as it is used in Biblical documents (both Old and New Testament). Since definitions of what leadership really is vary widely, the seminar uses a functional approach. Contributors will be asked to focus on the texts of the Old and New Testaments (each according to his or her expertise) and to investigate how authority is expressed and handled, but also how a group is convinced to move along with a leader to a common goal. Especially the dynamics of language, expression, rhetorics, etc. will be focused on.

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Bethsaida Excavations Project

Richard Freund
Description: The Bethsaida Excavations unit reports on the current progress of the dig and on topics related to the history and traditions of Bethsaida.

Call for papers: The Theme for our 2017 meeting is: "Galilee and its Environs." This call invites papers from the history, traditions and excavations of sites in Galilee.

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Bible and Empire

Ana T. Valdez
Christopher M. Hays
Description: A unit examining the influence of imperial political powers on the development of the Bible in its historical context as well as the Bible’s use and reception throughout subsequent history.

Call for papers: At the 2017 International SBL Meeting, the Bible and Empire group will address two themes, each poignant because of our present historical moment. First, in accordance with the fact that the conference will take place in Germany and given that 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, we will dedicate attention to the topic of the Reformation. Second, given the current refugee and displacement crises unfolding around the world, we devote a session to the theme of migration. One session will be entitled “Bible and Empires in the Reformation”. We invite proposals that explore the interface between the reception of the Bible and the various European empires during the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter Reformations. Another avenue that can be explored is the effect of the Reformation on the formation of subsequent Protestant Empires. Additionally, we will host a session entitled “Migration, the Bible, and Empire”. We welcome proposals either about the biblical text itself or with an emphasis on reception history. In the former sense, we invite papers which explore how the biblical texts discuss themes of migration in relation to major ancient empires. In the latter sense, we encourage proposals that examine how the Bible has played a role in post-biblical migratory events, either as a tool of empire or in response to empires. Potentially relevant migratory events can include both international migration and forced internal migration, as well as either recent crises (e.g. Syria, Colombia) or historical events (e.g. North American westward migration). Finally, papers are invited for an open session on empires and imperialism in the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint, the New Testament, and in subsequent reception history. Analyses of from any number of critical and interpretive perspectives are welcome. Potential contributors may contact the session organizer with any questions. Christopher M. Hays: cmhays@gmail.com

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Bible and Its Influence: History and Impact

David Tollerton
Jo Carruthers
Description: This unit offers a forum for papers on both the theory of reception studies and critical analysis of historical and contemporary case studies related to the Bible’s use and influence, in spheres ranging from art, literature and music to religion, society and culture.

Call for papers: For the joint SBL/EABS meeting in Berlin in 2017, “Bible and Its Influence: History and Impact” (SBL) will be meeting together with “The Biblical World and Its Reception” (EABS). The combined seminar will be holding three/four sessions. 2017 marks the 350th anniversary of the publication of John Milton’s Paradise Lost and the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War, and so we especially invite papers which take as their focus the use and reception of the Bible in Milton’s epic poem or the interfaces between Bible, conflict, and identities in the modern Middle East. In addition, given the location of our meeting, we also invite papers which engage with the Bible in relation to figures in the German intellectual tradition. These papers might wish to situate the Bible within the work of a particular philosophical or political thinker, or use theories from the German tradition in the analysis of the Bible’s reception more broadly. A final session will be open and thus may include any topic that is relevant to the seminar’s general interests.

Tags: History of Interpretation (Interpretive Approaches)

Bible and Syriac Studies in Context

Cornelia Horn
Description: This unit offers a forum for scholars of Syriac and related languages and literatures (including Arabic) to explore the intimate connections between Syriac biblical interpretation, historiography, hagiography, and culture in Oriental Christianity, Judaism, Manichaeism, Zoroastrianism, and Islam.

Call for papers: For the meeting in Berlin, we invite papers on all aspects of the intersection between Syriac Studies and the areas of biblical literature and interpretation, historical, literary, philological, cultural, and social studies. We are interested in contributions that consider Oriental Christianity in its interactions with religions, traditions, and cultures throughout the centuries. Addressing questions of transmission, integration, adaptation, and differentiation is particularly relevant. Papers that contribute towards developing the space of Syriac and Arabic Christianities in the realm of the Digital Humanities are likewise very welcome. In addition, we plan to have at least one open-topic session.

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Bible and Visual Culture

Caroline Vander Stichele
David Shepherd
Description: The Bible and Visual Culture is premised on the recognition that some of the most engaging and creative interpretations of biblical texts are to be found in visual media from antiquity to the present. Further encouragement to attend to visual interpretations of the Bible is offered by our awareness that such readings have often captured the collective and especially popular imagination to a far greater extent than have many written interpretations and in doing so, these visualizations have shaped and influenced our reading and understanding of the biblical texts themselves. The section offers an academic space for the critical exploration and discussion of biblical texts, characters, motifs and themes as they are represented in visual media including (but not limited to) painting, sculpture, print making, illustration, moving pictures (including film, television and gaming), advertising, street art and other expressions of visual culture. The section welcomes efforts to situate visual interpretations of the Bible within a wider hermeneutical context and to explore the ways in which such interpretations challenge or support other non-visual readings of biblical texts. The nature of the subject explored in this section demands an openness to the insights of a range of different approaches disciplines beyond biblical studies, including (but again, not limited to) art history, psychology, film, theatre as well as studies in gender and postcolonialism.

Call for papers: Five-hundred years ago this October, in Wittenberg, Germany, Martin Luther nailed 95 theological theses on the cathedral door. A seemingly quotidian event for a university town, that small gesture unleashed one of the greatest theological revolutions in Christian history. It was a sea change that not only upset the religious realm, but its effects also rewrote the political allegiances of Europe while redefining the continent’s culture. In that redefinition, Sacred Scripture played a determining role. In the intervening years between Luther and now, Berlin has grown from a minor market town to one of the most exciting and vibrant capital cities in the world. Its rise from the ashes of World War II and its reunification after the fall of its infamous wall is itself a redemptive narrative of biblical proportions. While the Bible and Visual Culture invites papers and presentations on any aspect of the visual interpretation of the Bible, for our meeting in Berlin we particularly welcome those which explore: a) distinctively Protestant or Catholic visual interpretive traditions/themes, and b) works of visual interpretation displayed or produced in Berlin and the wider German-speaking world.

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

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 unit 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 will have 3-4 sessions, planned jointly with the EABS Research Unit The Bible in Arabic in Judaism, Christianity and Islam and with the participation of IQSA members. Sessions 1 and 2 are invited panels: 1. Scriptures in Arabic: Hebrew Bible, New Testament and Qur'an - Intertextual Approaches. 2. Mutual Borrowings: Islamic Elements in the Arabic Bible - Christian and Jewish Elements in the Qur'an and in Post-Qur'anic Islamic Literature. Proposals are sought for 1-2 additional, open sessions on the general topic of Scriptures in Arabic: Hebrew Bible, New Testament and Qur'an – Approaches to Translation and Interpretation. These sessions will be joint EABS/SBL sessions as well.

Tags: Commentary (Text and Translation), Tradition History/Tradition Criticism (Interpretive Approaches), Translation and Translation Theory (Text and Translation)

Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Law

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

Call for papers: We welcome proposals for one open session and one themed session. In comparative research relating to biblical law, biblical scholars often turn to ancient Near Eastern law collections and international treaties. While this approach has borne much fruit, there is another rich source of comparative legal material in Greek inscriptions and legal collections that offers useful parallels with biblical texts from the 7th to the 3rd century B.C.E. This themed session invites scholars to compare aspects of biblical ritual law both with relevant ancient Near Eastern texts (including Egypt) and with relevant legal texts (leges sacrae) from ancient Greece.

Tags: Law (Comparative Religion / History of Religion), Law Codes & Legal Documents (Ancient Near Eastern Literature - Genre)

Biblical Characters in Three Traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)

John Tracy Greene
Description: This seminar approaches biblical literature through its most famous and pivotal characters, for it is around them that the subsequent biblical story is organized and arranged. Moreover, these characters have come to enjoy a life and fame that extends well beyond the basic Old Testament, Miqra, and New Testament, and even into the Qur’an and Islamic oral and written texts. As was demonstrated at the recent Tartu seminar, Samaritan texts and traditions (unfamiliar to many) have a contribution to make to the seminar as well. Our work seeks, among other goals, to facilitate a meaningful and informed dialogue between Jews, Christians, Muslims and Samaritans—foregrounded in the academic study of the treatment of characters across texts and traditions—by providing both an open forum at annual conferences, and by providing through our publications a written reference library to consult. A further goal is to encourage and provide a forum in which new scholarly talent in biblical and related studies may be presented.

Call for papers: This seminar approaches biblical literature through its most famous and pivotal characters, for it is around them that the subsequent biblical story is organized and arranged. Moreover, these characters have come to enjoy a life and fame that extends well beyond the basic Old Testament, Miqra, and New Testament, and even into the Qur’an and Islamic oral and written texts. As was demonstrated at the recent Tartu seminar, Samaritan texts and traditions (unfamiliar to many) have a contribution to make to the seminar as well. Our work seeks, among other goals, to facilitate a meaningful and informed dialogue between Jews, Christians, Muslims and Samaritans—foregrounded in the academic study of the treatment of characters across texts and traditions—by providing both an open forum at annual conferences, and by providing through our publications a written reference library to consult. A further goal is to encourage and provide a forum in which new scholarly talent in biblical and related studies may be presented.

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Biblical Interpretation in Early Christianity

D. Jeffrey Bingham
Description: This program unit explores the interpretative structures, methodologies, and concerns of patristic exegesis and the various assumptions underlying it.

Call for papers: This year, the unit especially invites proposals on the sayings of Jesus in early Christian interpretation. Proposals on other topics related to biblical interpretation in early Christianity will also be considered.

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Biblical Theology

Carey Walsh
Stephen E. Fowl
Description: The unit explores the hermeneutical innovations and theological implications of the location of critical biblical interpretation within the confessional communities of the various traditions. Particular attention is given to the relationship between systematic theology, practical theology, philosophical theology, and biblical studies, with respect to their nature and status as discrete disciplines.

Call for papers: For the 2017 International Meeting we are looking for papers for the following sessions: 1. Scenes of Reconciliation in the Old Testament 2. Forgiveness and Reconciliation in the New Testament 3. Biblical reflections on German Reunification

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Bodies of Communication (EABS)

Karin Neutel
Lieve M. Teugels
Peter-Ben Smit
Description: Bodies of Communication is a research unit fostering conversations on the body as a location of religious expression. As the study of religion moves away from religious doctrines and institutions towards an increasing interest in the lived experience of religion, the human body takes up a more central place. In Biblical and related texts, issues in which the body is inevitable bound up, such as food and sexuality, birth and death, are never far away. While bodies are often policed in religious settings, they also offers a site for resistance and deviance, and a means of opposing traditional norms. Both the abstract and idealized body and the concrete body that exists and lives in time and space can be understood to express religious narratives and structures. This session aims to increase understanding of the body as a significant site in the period of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, as well as in contemporary interpretations and resonances. It especially encourages engagement with issues that are relevant for contemporary culture and society.

Call for papers: The 2017 session will have the theme "The physical dimensions of ritual," focusing on the many ways in which bodies are involved in ritual practices. The body is always more than "just" a body: it is inscribed with meaning. One of the ways in which bodies become meaningful is through ritual. For ritual, in turn, the body is essential. This observation poses a challenge to biblical scholars: is the physical dimension of ritual life in ancient Israel, early Judaism and early Christianity taken into account sufficiently? Or are the texts that emerge from, and address, ritual settings seen mainly as noetic, disembodied reflections on supposed meanings of ritual, rather than as part of ritual practices themselves? This session invites contributions that consider the bodily nature of ritual in relation to biblical texts. It is open to multi-disciplinary approaches and encourages connecting ancient sources to contemporary concerns. We welcome papers on the 2017 topic of "The physical dimensions of ritual," both in relation to biblical and related texts, as well as to the reception of these texts.

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Canonical Approaches to the Bible (EABS)

Prof. Dr. Georg Steins
Johannes Taschner
Matthias Millard
Description: The research group »Canonical Approaches to the Bible« focusses on the role of the Bible as canon, an aspect long considered by mainstream historical-critical scholarship to be marginal and preliminary to the actual task of exegesis. The canonical approach considers it necessary to explore both the different shapes of the canon (diachronically and synchronically) as well as the relationship between different communities of faith and practice that emerge from the different shapes of canon. The »canonical quality of the Bible« is not a secondary attribute; it is a factor intrinsic to the literature itself. As biblical texts came into existence they were from the outset canonical, i.e. highly relevant for a community. For the recipients of these texts, »canon was and is the primary context for interpretation« (Georg Steins). The concept of canon thus encompasses literary, sociological and theological aspects of the biblical text. Historical questions are also not ignored; quite to the contrary: they play a vital role, as each aspect of canon has a historical dimension.

Call for papers: Title of the meeting: "The endings of biblical books as a hermeneutical key." In the biblical manuscripts the various books are separated by clear markers, for example blank lines, head lines or final remarks made by the Masoretes. Beneath the opening the ending is therefore the most prominent part of a book. Often they are composed with special care: the plots of the book come to an end, so it could be worth to compare an ending with the beginning of a biblical book. Often also the view is widened at the end to other books. We are calling for papers to delineate the means by which the endings of biblical books were composed in order to create intertextual connections. The variety of their shapes and functions should be investigated with the aim of a classifying them and creating a foundation for engaging in a Biblical Theology that is conscious of the Bible as canon. We expect exegetical contributions from the fields of Old and New Testament scholarship but also contributions concerning the history of interpretation from the fields of Jewish studies and Church history. The panel is open for the entire spectrum of relevant questions, from literary composition to the function of book endings, from reflection upon the material conditions for the production of books to insights from hermeneutics and cognitive science concerning the interpretation of books and the means by which that interpretation is guided.

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Catholic Epistles

Dr. Darian Lockett
Kelly Liebengood
Description: This unit provides a forum for sharing original research regarding all aspects of and approaches to the interpretation of the Catholic Epistles (James, 1–2 Peter, 1–3 John, and Jude) as a collection or individual letters, including a variety of critical methodologies and especially welcome studies demonstrating interdisciplinary approaches.

Call for papers: We invite original research on the interpretation of the Catholic Epistles (James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, and Jude) either as a collection or as individual letters. We welcome a variety of methodologies and encourage interdisciplinary engagement. For 2017 (and the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation), we are particularly interested in receiving paper proposals that explore the following themes: revisiting the priesthood of all believers in 1 Peter, or the impact of the Protestant Reformation in the history of interpretation of the Catholic Epistles (and in particular the Epistle of James).

Tags: Hebrews and Catholic Epistle (Biblical Literature - New Testament), Hebrews and Catholic Epistles - 1 John (Biblical Literature - New Testament), Hebrews and Catholic Epistles - 1 Peter (Biblical Literature - New Testament), Hebrews and Catholic Epistles - 2 John (Biblical Literature - New Testament), Hebrews and Catholic Epistles - 2 Peter (Biblical Literature - New Testament), Hebrews and Catholic Epistles - 3 John (Biblical Literature - New Testament), Hebrews and Catholic Epistles - Hebrews (Biblical Literature - New Testament), Hebrews and Catholic Epistles - James (Biblical Literature - New Testament), Hebrews and Catholic Epistles - Jude (Biblical Literature - New Testament)

Concepts of Leadership in the Hebrew Bible (EABS)

Katharina Pyschny
Sarah Schulz
Description: The research group focuses on the different conceptions of leadership in the Hebrew Bible. By analyzing the diverse and sometimes even contradictory concepts of leadership in the Old Testament it aims at reconstructing the history of religious and/or political “authorities” in Israel and Early Judaism. Various functions and aspects of human leadership like “judge”, “priest”, “prophet” and “king” will be examined in a literary, (religious and tradition) historical and theological perspective with special emphasis on conceptual changes, developments and shifts. In methodo- logical respect, the unit appreciates multiple approaches (e. g. from literary studies, sociology, cultural studies) and seeks to combine synchronic and diachronic perspectives. It will be asked, which aspects and functions are portrayed positively or negatively and how the relation between human and divine leadership is described and evaluated. Moreover, the respective literary and theological contexts of the different human leadership concepts and their relation to Ancient Near Eastern traditions will be analyzed. A further important aspect concerns changes or discrepancies within the biblical illustration of leadership: Can the alternation or transformation of leadership concepts be linked to the phenomenon “innerbiblical exegesis/ interpretation”? How can discrepancies between the texts be explained? Do changes in the attitude towards certain aspects and functions of human leadership follow a linear development throughout the biblical history? Are there any hints at the “Trägerkreise” behind the texts? By addressing these questions the research group seeks to contribute not only to biblical theology, but also to the relation between the history of Israel/Early Judaism and the literary history of the Hebrew Bible.

Call for papers: "At its second meeting in Berlin the research group will host a session of invited speakers on the topic “Concepts of Leadership in Prophetic Literature” with a special emphasis on the books of Jeremiah, Haggai and Zechariah. The focus will be on the question of how the depiction and characterization of human leadership evolves during the early post-exilic time. Based on the results of the first meeting the session(s) aim at outlining continuities and discontinuities in the conceptualization of leadership: How consistently were the ideas of leadership available before the exile been followed in early post-exilic times? To which degree and how have they been adapted? How have they been integrated into emerging theological concepts? etc. The session of invited speakers will be complimented by an open session. Papers in English dealing with the years’ guiding theme or any other aspect related to the intersection between biblical and historical “authorities” in prophetic literature or connected methodological challenges are cordially invited. In addition to diachronic approaches the research group appreciates papers from multiple (synchronic) perspectives (e. g. from literary studies, sociology, cultural studies) and papers with synchronic as well as diachronic perspectives."

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Contextual Interpretation of the Bible (Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and New Testament)

Athalya Brenner-Idan
Archie C. C. Lee
Gale A. Yee
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. We are especially interested in seemingly “marginal” (from the geographical, gender, faith, class, age, communal and so forth) aspects and in community.

Call for papers: The aim of this Seminar is to underline the significance of contextual interpretation and the contribution of contextual awareness to biblical studies. Issues of different strategies (including “inculturation,” inter(con)textualization, and reading with “ordinary” readers) and methodological justifications are to be seriously explored. We are especially interested in the “marginal” (from the geographical, gender, faith, class, age, communal and so forth) aspects of interpretation of the Bible. Proposals are invited for 4 planned sessions: 1. On the Books of Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah. 2. On the Psalms. 3. On any books of the New Testament. 4. Since this is a joint Meeting with the EABS, a joint session with the EABS research project group, 'Politization of Bibles and Biblization of Politics', is being planned and proposals invited, All sessions will be a combination of solicited and proposed papers. We welcome papers that examine the biblical text from within a reader’s explicitly articulated context, personal as well as communal, while firmly anchored in clear methodology. Acceptance of papers for the sessions is a first step toward, but does not guarantee, publication in the corresponding volume of the ongoing contextual series Texts@Contexts (Now at Bloomsbury Publishing; see http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/samuel-kings-and-chronicles-i-9780567671158/ for the latest, and fifth, volume in the Hebrew Bible Texts@Contexts series).

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Deconstructive Poetics (EABS)

Francis Landy
Hannah M. Strommen
Description: In the 1980s there was an efflorescence of books on the poetics of the Hebrew Bible, such as Adele Berlin Poetics and Interpretation of Biblical Narrative; Robert Alter’s two books on the art of biblical narrative and poetry; and Meir Sternberg The Poetics of Biblical Narrative. Since then, however, there has been rather little. More recent work on poetics, moreover, has tended to be formalistic, to separate structure and style from questions of meaning and interpretation. The Deconstructive Poetics research group has two objectives: i) to investigate how the biblical writers constructed their literary works through the intricate interplay of sound, sensation, argument, and symbolism; and ii) how the biblical writers simultaneously deconstructed their poetic worlds, through phenomena such as ambiguity and word-play. Deconstruction evokes the playfulness and uncontrollability of writing, the tendency of every whole to fragment, to impart the incoherence of the world. It also implies an openness to a variety of post-structuralist approaches and agendas. Structuralism was an heroic attempt to reduce all human cultural productions to a limited set of logical operations and issues. Post-structuralism is both more subjective, in that it calls attention to the plurality of readers and reading communities, and less so, since the subject him/herself is in question. Post-structuralism engages with the strangeness of the text, its resistance to interpretation, its diverse voices, the text as performance, for example of gender. Approaches to be engaged with in the group may include parapoetics, the poetics of reception, as well as stylistics and rhetorics.

Call for papers: For the 2017 meeting of the EABS/SBL we propose two open sessions. We encourage proposals for papers on topics related to deconstruction, post-structuralism, gender theory, aesthetics, or reception exegesis, on texts either from Old or New Testaments.

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Developing Exegetical Methods (EABS)

Raik Heckl
Thomas Wagner
Description: This unit aims is to reach a more detailed and precise description of the processes of literary history in the Hebrew Bible. The main interest of the group is to develop exegetical methods by analyzing the synergy effects which will appear by combining various methodological perspectives on the text. In the first year we will concentrate on the literary history and tradition criticism, in the following on form criticism and tradition history, as well as on textual and literary history. One intention in the discussion of relations between different methodological approaches is to encourage also a discussion between different exegetical traditions. To each respective topic we will open a two-part session. In the first part we will start with detailed textual analyses and in the second part open methodological reflections by papers and a final panel discussion. All sessions will be open for papers for scholars on all levels; student member’s papers are also warmly welcome especially when presenting results from PhD studies.

Call for papers: Harmonization in Textual and Literary History: Within various textual transmissions texts were harmonized. The same phenomenon is also visible within redactional processes when similar texts due to content (within the same book or different books) as well as within re-written texts (f.i. Books of Samuel/Kings vs. Chronicles) were harmonized. This points to a widespread tendency of harmonization in Literary and Textual History and questions the idea of a border between the analysis of literary and textual transmission processes. The session will refer to phenomena in both parts of exegetical investigations. It aims to describe the occurrences due to content and form and to drew conclusions concerning exegetical methods. All sessions will be open for papers for scholars on all levels; student members' papers are also warmly welcome especially when presenting results from PhD studies.

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Diachronic Poetology of the Hebrew Bible and Related Ancient Near Eastern and Ancient Jewish Literature (EABS)

Reinhard Müller
Urmas Nõmmik
Description: The research group focuses on historical developments in the use of poetic figures during the creation, editing and transmission of the Hebrew Bible. It is based on the assumption that the stylistic figures used by the authors of ancient Hebrew poetry did not remain completely unaltered during the long history of the Hebrew Bible, but were modified and changed in the course of time, and also new poetic figures were created. The large number of diversified poetic forms that we find in the transmitted texts of the Hebrew Bible is, at least in part, due to a complex development of form and style. In order to deepen the diachronic perspective, and in dialogue with genre history, the research group will also investigate in a comparatistic perspective related literature from the Ancient Near East and Early Judaism, e.g., from the Ugaritic corpus or from the Dead Sea scrolls.

Call for papers: In 2017, the research unit of diachronic poetology welcomes any paper that refers to poetological questions in a diachronic (i.e. historical) perspective. Papers can deal with poetological and stylistic issues in specific texts, text corpora or genres in the Hebrew Bible, ancient Jewish or ancient Near Eastern literature, with the change of some poetic figure through the time, or any other poetological observations which help us to better understand and define the history of poetic devices in the Hebrew Bible.

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Digital Humanities in Biblical Studies and Early Jewish and Christian Studies (EABS)

Claire Clivaz
David Hamidovic
Peter Phillips
Description: This research group focuses on the transformation of Biblical studies, early Jewish and Christian studies in the emerging digital culture. Initiated in the forties by Fr. Roberto Busa, the field of the Digital Humanities has been so called since 2001. This label is linked to several research centers, with PhD, master and bachelor degrees and qualifies the computing transformation of Humanities and Social sciences. Biblical studies, Early Jewish and Christian studies are integrating progressively the digital culture to their fields, and the purpose of this seminar is to make visible and to stimulate this topic in EABS.

Call for papers: This research group will hold its sessions jointly with the Digital Humanities in Biblical, Early Jewish, and Christian Studies Section (SBL). The Digital Humanities in Biblical Studies, Early Jewish Studies and Early Christianity Studies research group chairs cordially invites the submission of proposals for papers and/or panel discussion topics for the forthcoming EABS meeting in Berlin. We encourage proposals covering the entire spectrum of Digital Humanities topics applied to Biblical Studies, Early Jewish Studies and Early Christianity Studies. This year, we particularly expect papers on: Biblical culture online : Bible is used, read, rewritten, narrated in multiple forms on social networks and websites such youtube. We invite for this sessions papers analyzing this phenomenon, with a particular attention of the transformation of textuality in multimodal literacies (text-image-sound together). Digitized manuscripts : this session welcomes papers on all projects related to the digitization of the manuscripts, with all the topics related to the experience. We will also organize a PhD training workshop: you can propose short presentations of projects for it (10 minutes).

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Digital Humanities in Biblical, Early Jewish, and Christian Studies

David Hamidovic
Daniel Machiela
Description: The unit focuses on the transformations of Biblical, Early Jewish and Christian studies in the emerging digital culture. We propose to study interactions between Digital Humanities and Biblical, Early Jewish and Christian studies (literature, manuscripts, art, archaeology, epigraphy, methodology).

Call for papers: At this 2017 meeting, sessions will be in common with the Digital Humanities in Biblical Studies and Early Jewish and Christian Studies (EABS) research group. The Digital Humanities in Biblical Studies, Early Jewish Studies and Early Christianity Studies research group chairs cordially invites the submission of proposals for papers and/or panel discussion topics for the forthcoming EABS meeting in Berlin. We encourage proposals covering the entire spectrum of Digital Humanities topics applied to Biblical Studies, Early Jewish Studies and Early Christianity Studies. This year, we particularly expect papers on: Biblical culture online : Bible is used, read, rewritten, narrated in multiple forms on social networks and websites such youtube. We invite for this sessions papers analyzing this phenomenon, with a particular attention of the transformation of textuality in multimodal literacies (text-image-sound together). Digitized manuscripts : this session welcomes papers on all projects related to the digitization of the manuscripts, with all the topics related to the experience. We will also organize a PhD training workshop: you can propose short presentations of projects for it (10 minutes).

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Doing Biblical Masculinity Studies as Feminist Biblical Studies? Critical Interrogations (EABS)

Hanna Stenström
Susanne Scholz
Description: This research unit promotes the feminist study of biblical literature with a focus on epistemological, hermeneutical, and methodological questions, through a critical exploration of the relation between “masculinity studies” and “feminist studies” in Hebrew Bible studies. The goals are: (1) to inject innovative, creative, and challenging ideas from newly emerging area of critical masculinity studies into the field of feminist biblical studies; (2) to create a scholarly conversation about the contributions of biblical masculinity studies to the gendered study of the Hebrew Bible and interpretation histories in its intersectional appearances; (3) to foster collaboration among variously located scholars working in the field of feminist and masculinity biblical studies in the European and global contexts; (4) to interrogate biblical masculinity studies as an area of feminist biblical discourse and the current institutional and socio-political dynamics of feminist and gendered approaches to biblical texts, characters, and issues.

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Early Christianity (EABS)

Michael Labahn
Outi Lehtipuu
Description: The constitutive idea of this seminar is to treat Early Christianity as a multivalent phenomenon, characterized by a fundamental diversity. The focus is on interchanges and interactions between various groups and movements in the ancient Mediterranean world that had an impact on developing Christianity, including the interrelations between various Christian groupings. Papers offered to this seminar may focus on both canonical and non-canonical writings as well as other source materials and may apply a variety of methods. We highly encourage interdisciplinary approaches and particularly welcome contributions that cross boundaries between traditional disciplines.

Call for papers: Healing and Medical Practices in the Early Christian World In the ancient world, illness and disability were sometimes explained by material causes but more frequently they were believed to be inflicted by gods and demons. These two aspects were seldom wholly separated as religious and medical insights went hand-in-hand. From about the 5th century BCE onwards, medicine in Greece began to develop as critical science but in addition to more or less well-trained doctors, “charlatans”, magicians and exorcists offered their services to the sick. Illness did not only affect body and spirit but also the social and religious status of a person suffering from it. In the New Testament and other early Christian literature, ideas concerning illness and healing appear in many forms. Illness can be explained as a result of sin and healing often takes the form of exorcism. There are magical attitudes to illness but also some elements from popular medicine (e.g., spittle in John 9:6). Illness and recovery can also be used as metaphors and later on, Christ was called a doctor and a healer of the soul who has the power to restore both body and soul. The 2017 seminar is looking for contributions that deal with questions such as: How illness and healing are represented in early Christian texts? How did illness affect those who suffered from it? How did it change their lives? Where could they find a cure? How knowledge of healing and cures are reflected in the interpretation of biblical stories? We welcome proposals for papers dealing with any of these or related aspects. We especially encourage interdisciplinary approaches using insights from anthropology, philosophy, cultural theory and other relevant fields.

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Early Christianity and the Ancient Economy

David Hollander
Thomas R. Blanton, IV
Description: The unit 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). The unit welcomes papers addressing the economy in its broadest sense, including both mercantile and non-mercantile transactions. Paper proposals for all three projects are welcomed, especially those that make use of papyri, inscriptions, and other realia. Those submitting a proposal should designate in the Abstract the project for which the paper should be considered. In recognition of the meeting’s host city, the program unit also welcomes proposals treating any aspect of the economic history of Berlin or of Germany more broadly, as well as theological reflections on or responses to the economy of the city or country.

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Editorial Techniques in the Hebrew Bible in light of Empirical Evidence (EABS)

Juha Pakkala
Reinhard Müller
Description: The research group focuses on the editorial techniques applied by ancient scribes during the creation and transmission of the Hebrew Bible. It investigates ancient editorial techniques in light of empirical or documented evidence provided by parallel versions in different books or divergent textual traditions. What can be learned from this evidence about the factual scribal techniques or ancient methods of editing, and how do they relate to the classic methodological assumptions made in redaction criticism which seeks to reconstruct redaction history without empirical evidence? Leading questions of the research group are: How do the editorial changes that are empirically observable relate to the respective older text, how do they impact its form and message? Would the changes we observe by comparing parallel versions and divergent manuscript traditions be detectable also in the case that such documented evidence would be unavailable? What methodological conclusions need to be drawn from these observations?

Call for papers: Papers proposed for the open session should deal with the question, what can we know about the growth of the texts in light of the textual history or other documented evidence (such as manuscript evidence, variant editions, parallel texts etc.).

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Emotions and the Biblical World (EABS)

Françoise Mirguet
Dominika A. Kurek-Chomycz
Description: The last few decades have witnessed a growing interest in the study of emotions among scholars of antiquity, reflecting a more general interest among scholars of various disciplines in how different societies throughout the centuries have conceptualised and represented emotions. The Emotions and the Biblical World research group explores the role that emotions play in biblical writings, and in Early Judaism and Early Christianity more generally. This includes but is not limited to patterns of articulating emotions, their significance in worship and broadly understood religious experience, the role of emotions in strategies of persuasion, the vocabulary used to describe emotions and their manifestations, translating emotions discourse, as well as the social and cultural factors that influence their expression, suppression or repression, with a particular focus on the relationship between emotions and gender, and between emotions and the construction of otherness. The literary corpora that we consider are not limited to the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, but include also other Early Jewish and Early Christian writings.

Call for papers: For the 2017 joint EABS and SBL IM meeting in Berlin we invite paper proposals on a broad theme of “Emotions and Material Objects.” While there is no agreement as to how to define emotions, few scholars would now conceive of emotions as entirely subjective, individual, and even fewer would think of them as immaterial. But even though it may be broadly recognised that emotions are embodied, and materiality may be acknowledged as an indispensable context in which they function, are culturally constructed, expressed and interpreted, the relationship between emotions and materiality remains elusive. This is even more so in our attempts to conceptualise ancient emotions, given the fragmentarity of our evidence. Materiality includes both the physicality of the bodies and the material objects surrounding bodies. In our 2017 session we plan to focus on the latter, that is material objects, or material reality more generally, which may evoke, witness to, mediate, inspire, or intensify, emotions. We invite contributions which analyse emotions and images, statues, altars, and other material objects, including both actual archaeological material, and objects as depicted in ancient literary sources. Papers may likewise discuss buildings (such as temples, houses, etc.), including their destructed parts and their repurposing into new structures (spolia), but also space and its organisation, similarly both in existing archaeological sites, and as attested in literary and other textual evidence. This may include references to objects or buildings as notions, ideals, and imaginations, evoking emotional responses (for example, the Jerusalem Temple). Finally, inscriptions may be discussed both in terms of their content, and how their material qualities relate to emotions.

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Epigraphical and Paleological Studies Pertaining to the Biblical World

Annalisa Azzoni
Robert Deutsch
Description: The unit focuses on inscriptions and icons bearing on the Bible world, with special concentration on the meaning and analysis of seals, ostraca, magic bowls, inscriptions, and scripts from the ancient Near East.

Call for papers: The unit focuses on inscriptions and writings on a variety of material objects (seals, ostraca, magic bowls, papyri, stelae, etc.) from the Biblical World, with special concentration on the analysis, interpretations, and meaning of the epigraphic data from the Ancient Near East

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Epistle to the Hebrews

David M. Moffitt
Eric F. Mason
Description: This unit is designed to encourage conversation about the historical, hermeneutical, and theological issues raised in Hebrews. Special attention will be given to papers that engage topics relevant to the portion of the Epistle under consideration each year.

Call for papers: We invite papers that focus on Jesus's priesthood and ministry in Hebrews (especially in Heb 5, 7) and the book's warning passages (especially in Heb 6, 10, and 12). Proposals may also be submitted for papers on other subjects related to study of the book.

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Europe Contested: Contemporary Bible Readings Performed by "Ordinary" Readers in a European Context (EABS)

Gitte Buch-Hansen
Sharon Jacob
Description: Building on the success of our inaugural workshop at the 2015 annual meeting, we have now established a 3-year research unit to begin a thorough investigation into the following: • How “ordinary” Europeans read and interpret biblical texts; • How the unique contextual realities of present-day Europe impact upon the readings produced by “ordinary” European readers; • How to meet the methodological challenges experienced when undertaking such research in a European setting. In this context, we use “European” to refer solely to Europe’s geographical borders, as opposed to appealing to definitions derived from ethnicity or history. Similarly, “ordinary” refers to any pre-critical reader of the Bible (i.e. someone that does not have knowledge of Hebrew, Greek or Latin, or the higher-critical methods of biblical interpretation). Once a prominent player in global affairs, and the birthplace of Western culture, Europe now finds itself on the cusp of great political, economic, and cultural change. With an increased movement between people from within the borders of Europe and a growing influx of migrants and refugees from other continents (caused partly by war and partly by economic and ecological crises), the notion of “European-ness” has become fluid and contested. This research group therefore seeks to analyse the way in which “ordinary” European readers engage with biblical texts as a means of investigating this changing nature of Europe and European identity. This unit ultimately therefore seeks to ask: Who are “Europeans” today? Which kind of values should be seen as “European”? How do “ordinary” Europe readers engage with biblical texts? Does a “European” reading of the Bible even exist? And how do these “Europeans” engage with the Bible in order to clarify European identity issues?

Call for papers: SESSION ONE: Ethical problems related to the academic study of real readers’ engagement with the Bible. The academic study of real or ’ordinary’ readers’ engagement with the Bible has demonstrated a high potential for policymaking. This situation highlights the ethical responsibility that (after all: every) scholar faces. We are interested in papers that reflect on the various ethical challenges that accompany this kind of scholarship: e.g. some traditions within fieldwork recommend feedback from the participants on the findings/data and on the scholarly analysis. But is feedback an ethical obligation or (just) another set of data? How are we to use and conceptualize feedback? Scholars contributing to this session must draw upon case-studies from their own fieldwork and address the ethical challenges they have experienced whilst completing their research. SESSION TWO: Refugees, migrants and the Bible The goal of this session is to provide a formal yet supportive platform upon which scholars working within the field of contextual biblical interpretation in a European context can present and share their fieldwork findings. Whilst preference will be given to papers that address the present situation in Europe with refugees and migrants, this session also welcomes any contextual readings of biblical texts produced by groups of ‘ordinary’ readers from faith, interfaith or non-faith perspectives, so long as such papers explore readings which somehow engage with ‘Europe’ as a geographical, historical and political phenomenon. Thus, we also welcome papers that engage in the response to Europe and European culture and politics in a post-colonial context.

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Exile and Identity in the Hebrew Bible and Related Literature (EABS)

Frederik Poulsen
Jesper Høgenhaven
Description: With this group we wish to encourage papers and discussions that move away from an understanding of "the Exile" as a monolithic historical reality that lies behind the texts of the Hebrew Bible. Instead we welcome a literary, critical and comparative approach to motifs of estrangement and belonging in the Hebrew Bible and related literature. The experience of exile, deportation and return is a recurring theme in the Hebrew Bible and therefore the exile following the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BCE is frequently put forward by biblical scholars as the main explanatory factor for the religious and literary developments that can be found in the Hebrew Bible. In many ways, the Babylonian exile has become the one event around which most scholarly interpretations of the Hebrew Bible revolve. In recent years, however, it has become clear that the biblical accounts of exile and return are far removed from what can be reconstructed about the historical exile and the lives and experiences of the inhabitants of Jerusalem and their descendants in the latter half of the first millennium BCE. This discrepancy confirms that the theme of exile in the Hebrew Bible should not be viewed as an echo of a traumatic historical event, but rather as a literary theme that is taken up and reworked in a variety of ways by the biblical authors in order to build specific identities and to express ideology.

Call for papers: For our 2017 session we welcome paper proposals that explore the language and images used to describe the state of exile in biblical literature. We are particularly interested in papers that look at this theme in the prophetic books. In light of the overall topic of the group, we prefer literary, thematic and metaphor-theoretical approaches rather than e.g. historical, sociological or post-colonial.

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Expressions of Religion in Israel

Prof. Dr. Antje Labahn
Jeffrey Stackert
Description: Formerly titled "Israelite Religion," this program unit focuses on the broad scope of Israelite religion and cult beginning with the first temple period. It provides a forum for scholars to explore rapidly expanding conceptions of "Israelite religion." Contributors interpret biblical traditions and artifactual discoveries in Israel in the light of comparable traditions and material evidences in neighboring countries.

Call for papers: The research unit "Expressions of Religion in Israel" invites paper proposals for two sessions at the Berlin meeting. The first will focus on Religion and the Jewish Colony at Elephantine. Under this heading, we welcome engagement with a wide array evidence and employment of various methodological approaches. Topics of interest may include specific religious issues addressed in the Elephantine papyri, the relationship between the Elephantine Jewish community and surrounding Egyptian communities, religious syncretisms, and comparisons between the Elephantine community and other contemporary expressions of Judaism (e.g., Levantine, Mesopotamian). The second session is an open session. Papers for this session may treat any expression of religion in or related to ancient Israel.

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Families and Children in the Ancient World

Jeremy Punt
Louise Tsui-yuk Liu
Description: This unit provides a forum for presenting and discussing issues related to families, children and biblical literature. The section is open to presentations on the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Testament and early Christian, Rabbinic and Greco-Roman material from a variety of perspectives and using a variety of methods.

Call for papers: Families and Children in the Ancient World section plans to host two sessions in 2017. The first will be an open session. We encourage paper proposals on a broad range of topics relating to families and children in the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Testament, early Christianity, or the Greco-Roman world in general. Submissions from a variety of perspectives, such as gender, medicine, archaeology and literature, are welcomed. The second session calls for papers on the roles of families and children in apocalyptic expressions or post-war writings.

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Fan Fiction and Ancient Scribal Cultures (EABS)

Frauke Uhlenbruch
Mette Bundvad
Sonja Ammann
Description: This unit brings together scholars and practitioners to investigate scribal culture in biblical and para-biblical literatures in comparison and contrast with the practice of writing fan fiction. Writers of fan fiction are well-versed in specific canons, for example a book or TV series. They engage with their canons in depth and create literature either set in the same fictional world as their canonical material or featuring the same characters. The material produced by fans, known as fan fiction, is a way of engaging with perceived canonical material that is intuitive and emotional, and can also be subversive. This research unit investigates possible intersections of fans’ ways of creating material based on a canon and (post-) biblical interpreters’ or redactors’ ways of compiling commentary or supplementary material on biblical canons in antiquity. The unit invites constructive and critical engagement with discontinuities (as well as continuities). For example, fan fiction is a contemporary phenomenon whose increased visibility is due to the Internet; put more generally, production and distribution is based on infrastructure different from ancient writings; therefore one may also expect different power relations and institutional contexts. Fan fiction can be compared to the practices of groups of interpreters who have impacted the Bible and biblical interpretation in significant ways. This comparison can raise and answer questions about group identity, power, subversion, and impact of derivative works upon the canon. Fan fiction as a heuristic model allows us to study historical responses to antique corpora of texts, expressions of identities couched in derivative works, subversive manipulations of a canonical status quo, and emotional reactions to a canonical work.

Call for papers: This research group uses fan fiction as an interpretative model to study ancient texts, especially biblical and parabiblical texts from the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the pseudepigrapha, the New Testament, the Christian apocrypha, and Rabbinic literature. At the 2017 conference in Berlin, we invite papers that investigate how writers of derivative works perpetuate the authority of the canonical material – or subvert it. By re-writing authoritative texts, writers of re-written Bible, midrash, or fan fiction take a degree of power over the canonical material. In contemporary contexts, producers of “canonical material” (e.g., a TV series) show a range of different reactions towards fan works, some of them even embracing collaborative authorship with the fans. We welcome papers about the complex power dynamics in the interplay between fan fiction and canonical material. Papers may investigate the processes of reception and rewriting in an ancient context or focus on modern case studies. We would like presenters to focus on concrete text examples and case studies. We encourage participants to make their contributions in an interdisciplinary environment and to engage with canonical and fan material from a variety of cultures.

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Feminist Interpretations

Lilly (SJ) Nortje-Meyer
Marianne Bjelland Kartzow
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 Interpretations unit will organize the following sessions. 1) Open call: We invite papers on methodological and hermeneutical issues specifically relating to exegesis in feminist and gender studies. In this session papers are invited to focus on different methodologies (e.g., historical critical, narratology, intertextuality, decoloniality, interreligious and transnational studies …) and their relevance for gender studies. 2) Invitations will comprise a session on feminist exegesis and cultural studies, specifically on the reception history of gender relevant themes and texts of the Bible. 3) Open call: Junior section of gender relevant exegesis of biblical texts. In this section we expect papers of young researchers presenting their research. We welcome papers that examine the biblical text from a gender perspective, firmly anchored in clear methodology. 4) In this session we invite papers to contribute to the following topic: “Retrieving the Voices of Female Sages in the New Testament and Early Christianity”.

Tags: Gender and Sexuality Criticism (incl. Feminist, Womanist, Masculinity Studies, Queer Theory) (Interpretive Approaches)

Food as Concept / Symbol / Metaphor

Alexey Somov
Claudia D. Bergmann
Description: This unit will invite contributions that discuss biblical and extra-biblical texts, in which food takes on symbolic or metaphoric value. It will explore the role of food (and drink) in rituals, in the creation and definition of communal and religious identity, and in the lives of individuals. It will also invite contributions about texts that use food terminology and imagery when imagining life in the world to come or otherworldly realms.

Call for papers: Consuming food and drink nourishes our physical bodies and keeps us alive. Eating (and drinking) is thus both a necessity and an activity that is most familiar to human beings from their first day of life until their last. Because of this familiarity and the repetitive nature of eating and drinking, food also takes on symbolic value. As it accompanies us throughout our lives, it bears memories of the past and connects us in the most physical way with what once has been, to who we once were and to the people we once knew. Moreover, the sheer materiality of physical food makes it a mediator between this world and the transcendent one. In Year 1 of this consultation, we invite contributions on Jewish and Christian biblical and extra-biblical texts in the following areas: a) Texts that use food terminology and imagery when imagining life in the world to come or in otherworldly realms, especially in regard to identity formation and conflict between different forms of identity, b) texts that use food and meal symbolism in the representation of the otherworld, and c) texts that connect descriptions of the messiah with descriptions of food.

Tags: Hebrew Bible (Ideology & Theology), New Testament (Ideology & Theology), Religious Traditions and Scriptures (History of Interpretation / Reception History / Reception Criticism)

Global Education and Research Technology

Nicolai Winther-Nielsen
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.

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Gospel of Mark

Elizabeth Shively
Geert Van Oyen
Description: Our aim is to provide a forum for scholars and graduate students to explore all aspects of and approaches to the research, hermeneutics, and interpretation of the Gospel of Mark, including (but not limited to) historical, exegetical, theological, methodological, and literary studies. We are especially interested in the investigation of new questions, new areas of inquiry, and new strategies for reading Mark.

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Graeco-Roman Society (EABS)

Birgit van der Lans
Ekaterini Tsalampouni
Description: The research group focuses a) on various aspects of the social life of the Graeco-Roman world in which Jews and Christians operated (e.g. household networks and religion, kinship, friendship and other relationships, slavery, prostitution, social and geographical mobility, social groups, everyday life in Graeco-Roman cities etc.) that are part of the socio-historical context of the New Testament texts and therefore provide insight into them, and b) on artifacts from the Graeco-Roman world (e.g. inscriptions, papyri and archeological findings) that can shed light into the life of Jewish and Christian groups of this time. Papers that present interdisciplinary approaches to the topics under discussion and offer new insights and fresh interpretations of Jewish and Christian sources placing them within their socio-historical context are welcome.

Call for papers: Christianisation and Religious Change in Asia Minor and Greece Two sessions are scheduled for the meeting in Berlin: an open session where papers on any topic within the range of the interests of the research group are welcome. a thematic session focused on ‘Christianisation and Religious Change in Asia Minor and Greece’. In this session there will be invited speakers from the research project Topoi and of the Inscriptiones Graecae in Berlin, but we also welcome paper proposals.This year we invite papers on the growth and development of early Christianity in Greece and Asia Minor, as well as on other processes of religious change in this region. While the study of major religious changes between the first and the fifth centuries could already draw on a relatively rich literary, archaeological and epigraphic record, new advances are possible now that Christian inscriptions are being made more readily accessible thanks to the recent collection and online publication of the Berlin-based Inscriptiones Christianae Antiquae (ICA). Potential subjects and perspectives include, but are not restricted to: urban and rural religion, funary religious networks, religious interaction, religious entrepeneurs, Christ-groups among other associations, philosophies and cults, the visibility of religious change in material culture and in the physical environment, sanctuaries and church building.

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Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World

Rebecca Raphael
Laura M. Zucconi
Description: The unit seeks to foster scholarship related to disability in all fields of biblical studies. Major areas of concern include medical history of the Ancient Near East and Greco-Roman worlds; the religious, legal, and cultural status of people with disabilities in the biblical and formative Jewish and Christian periods; the representation of disability in biblical and cognate texts, biblical theology of the same, and disability in the history of biblical interpretation.

Call for papers: The unit plans to have two sessions at the 2017 meeting. Both are open sessions, welcoming paper proposals on any aspect of the study of health and disability related to the ancient Near East and Greco-Roman worlds. Major areas of concern include medical history; the religious, legal, and cultural status of people with disabilities or healthcare providers; the representation of disability in biblical and cognate texts, and biblical theology. Papers with a similar theme may be grouped together in one session.

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Hellenistic Greek Language and Linguistics

Peter Spitaler
Description: Hellenistic Greek forms the basis of studies relative to both testaments as well as much of the ancient world. This section welcomes papers on any aspect of the Greek found in the Septuagint, New Testament, or other Hellenistic literature. Linguistic, grammatical and lexical studies are particularly encouraged.

Call for papers: Hellenistic Greek forms the basis of studies relative to both testaments as well as much of the ancient world. This section welcomes papers on any aspect of the Greek found in the Septuagint, New Testament, or other Hellenistic literature. Linguistic, grammatical and lexical studies are particularly encouraged.

Tags: Greek - Attic (Philology / Linguistics (incl. Semiotics)), Greek - Koine (LXX, NT, Patristics) (Philology / Linguistics (incl. Semiotics))

Hellenistic Judaism

Ljubica Jovanovic
Stephen Herring
Description: This section is dedicated to the study of all aspects of Judaism related to Hellenistic times. The Hellenistic period includes its chronological, cultural, and linguistic dimensions.

Call for papers: In modern European history, Berlin has been compared to Alexandria in the Hellenistic times. Besides papers on any aspect of Hellenistic Judaism, we especially welcome proposals on the role of major urban centers in determining the authority of biblical interpretations and the canon of the scriptures. Another session will be convened in honor of Berlin’s historical leadership in the European Avant-Garde. For this session paper proposals that represent experimental research, innovative projects, and novel methodologies in research, not only of Hellenistic Judaism but also of biblical scholarship in general, are very welcome. Last, we invite papers for a session on the topic “Slavonic Translations of the Second Temple Texts.” This session will be convened in celebration of the inclusion into ISBL of the “Rethinking Biblical Written Tradition through Slavonic Interpretations” Unit, and held in conjunction with it, the “Apocalyptic Literature” Unit and “Slavonic Apocrypha” Unit (EABS).

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Historical Approaches to the Bible and the Biblical World (EABS)

Emanuel Pfoh
Katharina Pyschny
Lukasz Niesiolowski-Spano
Description: This research unit provides a forum on historical method when dealing with the history of Palestine/Israel ("Geschichte Israels") and the relevant media mainly in the second and first Millennium BCE. We seek to foster scholarly and open-minded discussions integrating archaeology, history of media (incl. literary theory) and cultural studies. Beside a core-panel with frequent presence, invited papers are scheduled as well as open sessions.

Call for papers: There are a few available slots for papers in the discussion panel “What have we learnt from the so-called minimalists?” Please contact Florian Lippke (florian.lippke@unifr.ch). For the open session, we invite proposals dealing with any aspect and period of the history of ancient or biblical Israel. We are particularly interested in innovative approaches and encourage early career and independent scholars to offer papers. Please send queries to Philippe Guillaume (philippe.guillaume@gmail.com).

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History of Biblical Scholarship in the Late Modern Period

Paul Michael Kurtz
Shani Tzoref
Description: This unit provides a forum for critical inquiry into the history of biblical scholarship in the late modern period. It encourages analytical investigation of biblical scholarship in the 19th and 20th centuries within the framework of knowledge production, the history of the humanities, institutional history, and cultural history. Biographical portraits, textual analyses, and surveys of scholarly trends are treated as first-order data supporting second-order analyses. Given the interest of biblical scholars in the history of the discipline, in light of the necessity for sustained reflection on the epistemological apparatuses and methodological proceedings undergirding it, and in view of the increased attention granted to the history of the human sciences more broadly, it supports a thorough historicization of research into the biblical literature.

Call for papers: [[__General Session__]] This session invites papers in alignment with the broader aims of the Consultation, as indicated in the Unit Description. [[__Themed session: Jewish biblical scholarship in Berlin__]] In the 19th and 20th centuries, Berlin was a hub not only for a transnational but also for the German-speaking network of Jewish scholars of biblical history and literature. Apart from academic debates related to the Hebrew Bible (which themselves were not disconnected from Protestant ones in particular), several generations of Jewish scholars discussed, inter alia, the very enterprise of Jewish biblical scholarship: from its relationship to theology and ultimate purpose through its proper institutional setting to its contribution to Jewish life more broadly. Given the ISBL host city for 2017 as well as the recent revival of Jewish biblical scholarship in Berlin – with formal representation through such institutions as Abraham Geiger College, the School of Jewish Theology at the University of Potsdam, the Moses Mendelssohn Center, and the Berlin–Brandenburg Center for Jewish Studies – this themed session concentrates on the significant figures, works, and controversies that shaped Jewish scholarship especially in Berlin from the 19th century up until the Shoah. By encouraging an accent on subjects of debate and diversity of views, this session aims to uncover depth and richness of this tradition.

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Iconography and Biblical Studies (EABS)

Florian Lippke
Izaak J. de Hulster
Description: Why iconography? Archaeology provides Biblical Studies with information essential for understanding the biblical text in its historical context. An important branch of archaeology is iconography. Ancient Near Eastern iconography provides the (scholarly) community not only with information about the world in which the Bible emerged and was written, but also evidence relating to the perception, symbol systems, and so forth of the people who inhabited this ‘world’. Studying pictorial material contemporary to the biblical documents (Hebrew Bible and New Testament) affords insight into the historical context of the text and facilitates an awareness of how the people contemporaneous with the text thought, imagined, and observed reality. Thus, iconography merits sustained attention and effort to gain a more nuanced and more complete picture of many aspects of Biblical Studies. Papers presented in this programme will deal with methodological issues and/ or address case studies in the common area of ancient Near Eastern iconography and Biblical Studies. Papers can be presented in the field of exegesis or history of religion (Israelite, Judaist, early Christian and pre-Islam). Because of methodological interests, occasionally papers can address topics of later date or cover larger time periods in presenting iconological overviews (history of a motif).

Call for papers: The EABS research unit ‘Iconography and Biblical Studies’, in collaboration with the SBL program unit ‘Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible’ invite you to submit an abstract for our open session, presenting your research on iconography or iconographic exegesis of the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament. Besides our open call we organize a session in cooperation with the Vorderasiatisches Museum and welcome papers that interact with items from the collection of this world-renowned museum. We consider a review session on the 2015 published textbook on iconographic exegesis of the Old Testament by de Hulster | Strawn |Bonfiglio 2015 (including practical reflections, as it has meanwhile been used in courses). Please contact the chairs for details.

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International Syriac Language Project

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

Call for papers: 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 twenty-first century and to lay the foundations for a new comprehensive Syriac-English lexicon. The group and its invited contributors are interdisciplinary and collaborative. Participants include specialists in related fields.

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Intersections: A Forum for Research on Ancient Israel, Hebrew Bible, and Cognate Topics (EABS)

Diana Edelman
Miriam J. Bier
Description: "Intersections" provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and discussion of the full range of methods and interdisciplinary investigations currently being applied to the study of the Hebrew Bible, ancient Israel, and cognate topics, including their contemporary receptions. It celebrates diversity and encourages presentations by scholars working in less-trodden areas/approaches. "Intersections" aims at countering current tendencies toward the fragmentation of our field into separate mini/micro-fields and at furthering interactions among scholars using various approaches and working in different areas in order to stimulate new insights through cross-fertilization.

Call for papers: This session is open for all paper proposals related to studies concerning the Old Testament, Hebrew Bible, and Ancient Israel which do not fit in any of the other seminars or workshops.

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Israel and the Production and Reception of Authoritative Books in the Persian and Hellenistic Period (EABS)

Prof. Dr. Maria Haeusl
Susanne Gillmayr-Bucher
Description: The goal of this research programme is to explore the social processes, ideological matrices, and matters of identity formation involved in the production and use of authoritative texts in the Persian and Early Hellenistic periods. Papers (and thematic sessions) may deal with: • How the various books in the Hebrew Bible have been shaped in order to serve as guidelines and authoritative illustrations for behaviour for the emerging Jewish communities in Yehud or in the diaspora in the Persian and early Hellenistic periods; • How some books were intended to socialize their readers by constructing shared images of the past; • How authoritative books shaped and reflected a system of shared sites of memory that contributed to self-understanding and social cohesion; • How and why books became authoritative and what ‘authoritative’ may mean in this regard; • Anything related to the production and reception of authoritative books in the Persian and Early Hellenistic period, from socio-political considerations to studies of the discursive environment within which the books emerged or read and reread. • Thematic sessions may deal with individual books, collections of books; or may focus on some aspect of the production and reception of the relevant books.

Call for papers: For the Berlin meeting 2017 we invite submissions focussing on “vulnerability and resilience in the production and reception of authoritative biblical texts in the Persian and Hellenistic Period”. In the past years, a discourse on vulnerability has been evolving in several disciplines. E.g. in anthropology: describing vulnerability as a human condition, in ethics: looking for corresponding options for action, but also in theology: providing appropriate images of God. In our sessions we want to trace the implications of a discourse on vulnerability for understanding biblical texts of Persian and early Hellenistic times. Assuming that the conquest of Israel and Juda and the following exile revealed the vulnerability of the people in an existential way, we ask how authoritative texts process the experience of vulnerability. Literary strategies might include repression of vulnerability and strengthening of concepts of security as well as emphasising the fundamental vulnerability of all human beings or creating textual resources of resilience. Furthermore, a discourse on vulnerability also affects the images of God – ranging from compassionate or even distressed to powerful and inviolable. To address these issues, a methodological discussion is necessary in order to clarify in which ways authoritative texts treat vulnerability and whether different genres have developed specific ways of dealing with vulnerability. We welcome papers focusing on aspects like the following: • Construction of vulnerability in narrative texts, poetry or law texts • The role of vulnerability, assurance mechanisms, and resilience in constructions of identity • Correlations between vulnerability, trauma and resilience • Appreciation or avoidance of vulnerability in the process of (inner-biblical) reception and interpretation • Avoidance of vulnerability in theological concepts • Concepts of resilience.

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Israel in the Ancient Near East (EABS)

Anna Elise Zernecke
Noga Ayali-Darshan
Description: Ancient Israel was in all phases of its history embedded in the different cultural frameworks of the ancient Near East. The research group aims at creating a common forum for scholars investigating issues of religion, language and culture in the ancient Near East and welcomes participants from across the range of subjects and time periods.

Call for papers: Shared Mythologems in the Ancient Near East Since the beginning of the study of the ancient Near East, parallel traits in mythological texts have been in the focus of scholarly attention. With more and more material available and more differentiation in the methodological tools, the study of mythologems is changing and requires an interdisciplinary approach. The chairs invite papers on all aspects of mythologems shared between different cultures of the ancient Near East (including Mesopotamia, Egypt, Hatti, Ugarit, West-Semitic and ancient Israel) and the study of their ways of transmission and borrowing. Additionally, there will be a joint session with ‘Judaeans in the Persian Empire’ on Continuity and Innovation in First Millennium Imperial Rule: The first three empires of the first millennium BCE are often treated together in discussions of Near Eastern Empire, with practices and cultures from one used to explain the others. But how similar or different in practice were the Neo-Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian, and Persian forms of rule? We invite papers which compare the three empires on specific topics for a joint session discussing these issues. Other papers addressing topics covered under the rubric ‘Israel in the ancient Near East’ are also welcome. Please note that abstracts longer than 250 words will not be accepted.

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Johannine Literature

Richard K. Min
Dirk G. van der Merwe
Description: The unit promotes the study of the Johannine literature, a major component of the Christian Scripture; addressing the issues and concerns having to do with the analysis and interpretation of the literature.

Call for papers: The unit promotes the study of the Johannine literature, a major component of the Christian Scripture; addressing the issues and concerns having to do with the analysis and interpretation of the literature.

Tags: Gospels - John (Biblical Literature - New Testament)

Judaeans in the Persian Empire (EABS)

Anne-Mareike Wetter
Caroline Waerzeggers
Jason M. Silverman
Description: This research group seeks to treat the Persian Empire as a significant social and historical context for the development of Second Temple Judaism rather than just a chronological time frame. The emphasis is more on historiographic than literary questions, with a strong commitment to interaction with cognate disciplines (e.g., Assyriology, Achaemenid studies, Iranology, social sciences).

Call for papers: JPE invites submissions for two themes for 2017, "Translation, Language Appropriation, and Control in the Achaemenid Empire" and "Continuity and Innovation in First Millennium Imperial Rule." The first panel is Translation, Language Appropriation, and Control in the Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire was a decidedly multilingual entity, despite the imperial adoption of an administrative language. In this context, the use of a particular script, medium, and language implied choices. These choices in turn imply both pragmatic and status-related considerations. In a number of contexts, continuity of practices can be observed across linguistic boundaries, as well as texts which utilize multiple languages that are not translations of each other. This theme invites an interdisciplinary perspective to explore the status of texts and contexts which utilize multiple languages. We seek to understand how these choices reflect the transmission of cultural knowledge in terms of particular cultural practices and scribal training. JPE will invite speakers for this panel, but abstract submissions are also welcome. The second panel is organized jointly with the Israel in the Ancient Near East group. Continuity and Innovation in First Millennium Imperial Rule The first three empires of the first millennium BCE are often treated together in discussions of Near Eastern Empire, with practices and cultures from one used to explain the others. But how similar or different in practice were the Neo-Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian, and Persian forms of rule? We invite papers which compare the three empires on specific topics for a joint session discussing these issues.

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Judaica

Elad Filler
Shamir Yona
Description: The unit draws together scholars from around the world to explore diverse issues that are related to Hebrew Scripture in its relationship to ancient, medieval, and modern Judaisms: medieval lexicography and poetics, musical exegesis, philosophy, and the study of the Talmud in the Far East.

Call for papers: The unit draws together scholars from around the world to explore diverse issues that are related to Hebrew Scripture in its relationship to ancient, medieval, and modern Judaisms: medieval lexicography and poetics, musical exegesis, philosophy, and the study of the Talmud in the Far East.

Tags: Ancient Near East - Iron Age (History & Culture), Apocalyptic Literature and Related Works (Early Jewish Literature - Jewish Pseudepigrapha), Art, Film, Music, and Literature (History of Interpretation / Reception History / Reception Criticism), Babylonian Talmud (Early Jewish Literature - Rabbinic Literature), Biblical Interpretations (Early Jewish Literature - Dead Sea Scrolls), Biblical Texts (Early Jewish Literature - Dead Sea Scrolls), Comparative Approaches (Interpretive Approaches), Dead Sea Scrolls (Early Jewish Literature - Dead Sea Scrolls), Expansions of the Old Testament and Other Legends (Early Jewish Literature - Jewish Pseudepigrapha), Hebrew (classical) (Philology / Linguistics (incl. Semiotics)), Hymns and Prayers (Early Jewish Literature - Dead Sea Scrolls), Jerusalem Talmud (Early Jewish Literature - Rabbinic Literature), Jewish (Ideology & Theology), Jewish Pseudepigrapha (Early Jewish Literature - Jewish Pseudepigrapha), Josephus (Early Jewish Literature - Other), Legal Writings (Early Jewish Literature - Dead Sea Scrolls), Lexicography (Text and Translation), Literary Criticism (incl. poetics, new criticism, formalism, close reading, narratology) (Interpretive Approaches), Mishnah (Early Jewish Literature - Rabbinic Literature), Nonliterary Texts (lists, contracts) (Early Jewish Literature - Dead Sea Scrolls), Other Jewish Compositions (e.g., 1 Enoch) (Early Jewish Literature - Dead Sea Scrolls), Other Rabbinic Works - Exegetical Midrashim (Early Jewish Literature - Rabbinic Literature), Other Rabbinic Works - Haggadic Midrashim (Early Jewish Literature - Rabbinic Literature), Other Rabbinic Works - Halakic Midrashim (Early Jewish Literature - Rabbinic Literature), Other Rabbinic Works - Homiletical Midrashim (Early Jewish Literature - Rabbinic Literature), Other Texts (Early Jewish Literature - Other), Philo (Early Jewish Literature - Other), Prayers, Psalms, and Odes (Early Jewish Literature - Jewish Pseudepigrapha), Rabbinic Literature (Early Jewish Literature - Rabbinic Literature), Rule Documents (Early Jewish Literature - Dead Sea Scrolls), Sectarian Texts (Early Jewish Literature - Dead Sea Scrolls), Targumic Texts (Early Jewish Literature - Rabbinic Literature), Testaments (Early Jewish Literature - Jewish Pseudepigrapha), Tosefta (Early Jewish Literature - Rabbinic Literature), Wisdom and Philosophical Literature (Early Jewish Literature - Jewish Pseudepigrapha)

Law and Narrative (EABS)

Christoph Berner
Harald Samuel
Description: The amalgamation of law and narrative is not only a key feature in the formation of the Narrative Books of the Hebrew Bible, but proves to be a dominant aspect of Early Jewish literature as well. The research group aims at illuminating the complex interplay between legal and narrative material in both areas by bringing together redaction criticism with a focus on reception history. In this way, it aspires to enhance the understanding of continuities and discontinuities in the development of Biblical and Early Jewish texts.

Call for papers: “Deuteronomistic Histories in and beyond the Former Prophets” At the 2017 meeting in Berlin, the EABS research group “Law and Narrative” will host a session of invited papers on “Deuteronomistic Histories in and beyond the Former Prophets”. Our intention is to explore the strikingly inconsistent application of Deuteronomy’s laws in Josh – 2 Kgs in contrast to later compositions like Chronicles or the Temple Scroll, which place much more emphasis on the legal material from Deut (and beyond). By comparing the different compositions, we hope to gain new insights into the compositional history of ‘biblical’ and early Jewish literature and the development of deuteronomistic historical thinking.

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Literary Features – Fact or Fiction (EABS)

Elizabeth R.Hayes
Karolien Vermeulen
Description: The research group aims at providing a forum for scholars with an interest in “literary features” in the Hebrew Bible and other ancient Near Eastern texts. Features include widely found phenomena such as alliteration and paronomasia, but also the typical biblical parallelismus membrorum and other structurally embedded features such as chiasm and inclusio. In addition, also devices that exploit the double or multiple meanings of words are included, such as Janus parallelism and double entendre. The group is interested in the functionality of all of these features in textual corpora of the ancient Near East and in particular the Hebrew Bible. We welcome a broad variety of methodological approaches to tackle the following questions: what does a particular feature do in a text (from as small as a line to a large corpus of texts)? How does it affect the reading experience? How does it shape the meaning of a text? And finally, how do the feature, the reader, and the text produce meaning together?

Call for papers: For the Berlin meeting in 2017 we will organize two sessions: one thematic session and one open session. The first session will focus on the theme “Up in the Hebrew Bible.” We invite papers that address literal as well as metaphorical or conceptual spaces of height and elevation. Spaces can include, but are by no means limited to, mountains, temples, thrones, Jerusalem, spaces of happiness, and divine spaces. Abstracts should indicate which spaces will be discussed in the paper, which methodology will be used, and what insights the paper offers in the stylistics of high spaces in the Hebrew Bible. This session will be a joint session with the SBL Unit Stylistics and the Hebrew Bible. A selection of papers will be peer reviewed for publication. A second session will be open to all who address the main research aim of the session as described on the website. When in doubt, please feel free to contact the chairs at biblicalstylistics@gmail.com, or alternatively at erussell.hayes@gmail.com and karolien.vermeulen@uantwerpen.be.

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Medicine in Bible and Talmud (EABS)

Lennart Lehmhaus
Markham Geller
Description: The group focuses on medical ideas and healing practices as attested in the Hebrew Bible and Rabbinic traditions, as well as in the New Testament and in apocryphal texts. Furthermore, one may suggest that all these sources have adapted and appropriated earlier and contemporary medical knowledge that prevailed in their surroundings, be it from ancient Babylonian, Egyptian, Graeco- Roman or Syriac knowledge systems. The group will address the complex and often subtler processes of reception, adaptation and production of medical knowledge in the transformative period of (Late) Antiquity. Particular attention will be paid also to the interplay between form and content. In which way did specific hermeneutics and forms of representation not only serve as a ‘channel’ for transmission or a seal for authority but also as a method for acquiring knowledge? Analyzing specific ways of appropriation of medical ideas and practices will help to grasp the particular cultural or religious character of the epistemologies and the knowledge generated through these exchanges. It will allow for assessing Jewish and Talmudic medical knowledge within a broader history of ancient knowledge cultures and for carving out their particular Jewishness. Furthermore, synchronic and diachronic perspectives may highlight processes of transmission, transfer, rejection, modification and invention of the issues under discussion. Addressing the interaction between various medical discourses, one may consider different strategies (borrowing/ camouflage/ negation etc.) which may relate to questions of the transcultural history of science(s) and knowledge in (Late) Antiquity.

Call for papers: (For the complete text of the 2017 CfP, see https://eabs.net/site/medicine-in-bible-and-talmud/.) Papers are invited on the comparative theme “Literary and discursive framing and concepts of (medical) knowledge in (Late) Antiquity”, from biblical and apocryphal texts, into later Jewish, Rabbinic-Talmudic traditions and beyond. The organizers explicitly welcome papers by scholars working on these questions as in neighboring or adjacent traditions (ancient Babylonia or Egypt; Graeco-Roman culture(s); Iranian traditions, early Christianity; Syriac traditions; early Islam etc.). Recent studies into ancient scientific traditions have emphasized the craft and artifice of those texts. On the one hand, these works can be characterized by a rather astonishing degree of literary expertise, discursive versatility and rhetorical sophistication. Ancient scientific authors were well versed not only in their very field of expertise but deployed compositional techniques from their respective cultural milieu. On the other hand, one notices also the complex framing of scientific knowledge in texts whose primary focus was religious, poetic, historiographic, or literary. Based on this, we welcome presentations on the representation and embedding of medical (and other) knowledge in particular texts and contexts. Papers may address the special design of such knowledge discourses. How does the use of rhetoric strategies, literary structures, or genres in `scientific texts’ affect the ideas conveyed? Could a specific hermeneutic (Listenwissenschaft/ encyclopaedism/ linguocentrism) not only serve as a ‘container’ but also as a method for knowledge acquisition? One might ask further: who constructs this discourse for whom, and with which (implicit/explicit) intention? How can the adoption of certain textual strategies and compositional techniques rather be seen as a vital venue for (structural/discursive) knowledge transfer, rather than the actual content of the passage?

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Metacriticism: On Methodological Problems of Biblical Exegesis (EABS)

Friedrich-Emanuel Focken
Joachim J. Krause
Walter Buehrer
Description: Working towards a theory of exegesis, the workshop sets itself to critically reflect on modes and methods of biblical criticism. More to the point, we aim to focus on premises and presuppositions of exegetical work that generally tend to remain implicit and/or unconscious. The first and most fundamental goal is to bring them to mind explicitly. In view of widely varying analyses of one and the same text supposedly employing the same method, we thereby suggest to explore how certain models of textual development are predetermined by their underlying presuppositions. Such metacriticism, however, is no end in itself. Rather, it is meant to enable dialogue and genuine cooperation among biblical scholars of different schools as well as with representatives of neighboring disciplines. At the end of the day, it aims at critically assessing the validity of the said presuppositions, thus helping to lay a more solid foundation for actual exegetical work. In the 2017 workshop, we shall focus on problems and perspectives of what could be called the redaction-critical paradigm in present-day biblical scholarship (see Call for Papers 2017). One out of two sessions will be a joint session in cooperation with the workshop “Analyzing the Metatextuality of the Biblical Tradition Literature”.

Call for papers: “Economical Criteria” in Redaction Criticism: The 2017 workshop applies Umberto Eco’s concept of “economical criteria” to redaction criticism, thus seeking to foster reflection on methodological problems in this approach. “Economical criteria” as suggested by Eco help evaluating competing textual interpretations of varying complexity. In application to redaction criticism, the concept affords the possibility to compare and evaluate competing results of redaction-critical analysis. The following general problems call for critical attention: - Certain presuppositions of redaction-critical analysis tend to remain implicit and/or unconscious although they predetermine the results in a considerable manner. Having been brought to explicit attention, these presuppositions and the results arrived at by employing them can and should be compared. The evaluation likely will indicate that some analyses and respective models of the redaction history of a given text are more economical than others. - There are cases in which textual development is perceptible due to a plurality of indicators of different type. Such diverse indicators can either support or neutralise each other. In the current methodological discussion, this problem tends to pass unheeded. - In this context it shall be evaluated in which cases synchronic interpretations of tensions in form, content and pragmatics of biblical texts result in overall simpler models of textual interpretation or rather in more difficult ones. (Please note that this is a shortened version of the 2017 Call for Papers. For the complete text, see https://eabs.net/site/metacriticism-on-methodological-problems-of-biblical-exegesis-workshop/.)

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Metaphor in the Bible (EABS)

Prof. Dr. Antje Labahn
Reimund Bieringer
Description: This seminar understands itself as continuing the tradition of the longstanding and prolific EABS seminar “Metaphor in the Hebrew Bible.” The new factor is the expansion of the subject unto the study of the New Testament. It is the goal of this research program to foster a dialogue and mutual enrichment between the study of metaphors in the areas of the interpretation of the Hebrew Bible and of the New Testament. The seminar will focus both on the aspect of metaphor theories and on using multiple theories for the interpretation of metaphors in the Bible. In the comparison of the presence or absence of metaphors and their role and function in Biblical texts, we shall be looking for the specifics of the use of metaphor in particular time periods, genres, contexts or other traditions.

Call for papers: For the 2017 conference this seminar plans two sessions: In session 1 we welcome paper proposals in the general area of metaphor studies concerning Old Testament, either Hebrew Scriptures or Septuagint, and New Testament. In session 2 we especially welcome paper proposals on metaphors concerning any kind of agriculture including the use of metaphors in the area of harvest. Old Testament papers, either on the Hebrew Bible or on Septuagint, are as welcome as New Testament studies or proposals in Early Jewish writings. Agriculture provides a rich field of various metaphors worth to be addressed with a close reading.

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Methodological Pluralism in the Study of Genesis

Annette Schellenberg
Prof. Michaela Bauks
Description: The unit provides space for scholarly exchanges on the book of Genesis and encourages a diversity of methodological perspectives. In particular, it is interested in approaches that emphasize (a) cultural (ANE) comparisons, (b) oral and written origins and transmission history, (c) inner-biblical interpretation, and (d) reception history, ancient and modern.

Call for papers: At its inaugural meeting in Berlin, the unit will host 2 session(s) of invited speakers on the topic. We are not accepting uninvited proposals this year.

Tags: Ancient Near East - Iron Age (History & Culture), Religious Traditions and Scriptures (History of Interpretation / Reception History / Reception Criticism), Torah/Pentateuch - Genesis (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint))

Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism

Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta
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 and translation; analysis and interpretation of the tractates; codicological analysis; background and provenance of the manuscripts; studies relevant to the larger social and religio-historical contexts of the Nag Hammadi texts, especially their relation to Jewish, Christian and Greco-Roman religious traditions.

Call for papers: Session 1: At the cross roads of East and West, Egypt was for centuries the meeting point of Oriental and Occidental cultures. Alexandria’s strategic position increased the traditional import and export of cultural innovations to such an extent that during the Hellenistic period it already radiated the whole Mediterranean with new ideas regarding science, religion, philosophy, astronomy, astrology, and magic. In this stimulating environment Gnosticism found its natural habitat: Greek philosophy at Alexandria and Egyptian religion provided the innovative and traditional aspects that transpire this dynamic revolutionary worldview. We invite contributors to present papers exploring the role Egypt played in the genesis of Gnostic thought and the manifold aspects that may have influenced its development and the formation of the Nag Hammadi library: namely Egyptian religion, Greek philosophy at Alexandria, the archeological findings of Nag Hammadi, the Corpus Hermeticum and its relationship to Nag Hammadi, the Coptic language of the manuscripts, papyrology, etc.

Session 2: As a result of the important studies of the end of 19th and beginning of the 20th century, and the foundation of the Theosophical Society and the Église gnostique, the first years of the 20th century saw a rising interest in ancient esotericism and Gnosticism. Philosophy, literature, art and film of last century widely echo this interest. A second session will be devoted to the analysis of the reception of Gnostic themes, mythemes, figures, and motives in philosophical, literary, artistic and cinematographic expressions of the 20th century. We invite contributors to the SBL IM in Berlin to present papers on Gnosis in the intellectual discourse until 1945 (art and literature: f.e. G. Meyrink, P. Wegener, T. Mann, F. Pessoa, J.L. Borges; analytical psychology: C.G. Jung; existential philosophy: M. Heidegger and H. Jonas; Albert Camus) and its impact on later popular culture.

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Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship at the American Bible Society

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

Call for papers: 1) Nida looks forward to working directly with the German Bible Society (Deutsche Bibelgesellschafton) around the theme of Issues in 21st Century German Translations.
2) Issues in Russian Bible Translation. Papers in any specific translation projects (past or present) or methodological and theoretical issues will be considered. A subset of this session, if others are interested, would be a review and discussion of a 2016 monograph on Alexander Vladimirovich Men (22 January 1935 – 9 September 1990), a Russian Orthodox priest, theologian, and writer, entitled Russia’s Uncommon Prophet by Wallace L. Daniel. Thinking of translation as more than a linguistic transaction but a cultural transaction make works by and on people such as Men central to translation.
3) Issues in Global Translation has become a focus of Nida sessions over the last several years at the International Meeting. Hoping to encourage discussion across the globe please make proposals regarding specific translations. These papers need not focus only on Bible translation but on other texts as well as method and theory.

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Northwest Semitic Epigraphy Related to the Biblical World (EABS)

Robert Deutsch
Regine Hunziker-Rodewald
Description: The objective of the present research group is to advance the Ancient Near Eastern research by integrating the constantly growing corpus of epigraphic material from the 1st millennium BC. Northwest Semitic inscriptions, found mainly on ostraca, seals and seal impressions are important prime sources, contemporary with the formation of the biblical texts. Equally important for our epigraphical research are all the relevant fields of study in the material culture of the 1st millennium BC from the southern Levant. According to EABS’ policy, only papers dealing with material from controlled excavations will be considered.

Call for papers: We look forward for a wide international participation with a multiplicity of approaches. We invite scholars to present their most recent research in the field.

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Orality and Literacy in Early Christianity (EABS)

Ma. Marilou S. Ibita
Sandra Huebenthal
Simon Butticaz
Description: Exegetes and historians of Early Christianity are gradually rediscovering the importance, principles and functions of orality in ancient communication. Although this discovery has led to some excesses and simplifications (cf. the recent criticism by L. Hurtado, 2014), the status and interaction of orality and writing within the cultures of the Greco-Roman world as well as the Christian subculture deserve being taken seriously and analyzed in depth. This inquiry, involving a strong hermeneutic and methodological potential, is nowadays being led (almost) exclusively in the English speaking world and in (South) Africa. Our research group proposes to fill in the blank within European exegesis and bring its own contribution to the debate. Its intention is, to start with, to describe the status and role of orality in the context of the cultures of the 1st century Mediterranean world, especially of the Christian subculture, its interactions with written texts and the degree of literacy in the proto-Christian microcosm. Once this cultural background has been set, we aim to explore two different cases and forms in the ancient Christian communication – the Pauline letters and the Gospel of Mark – and the interface of orality and writing in them.

Call for papers: After investigating the status and role of ancient media and technologies of communication within 1st century Mediterranean cultures (Leuven 2016), in 2017 the research group “Orality and Literacy in Early Christianity” will focus on the oldest Christian documents that have come down to us, namely the correspondence of Paul. In the context of the first Christian generation – a mainly “non-literary” movement –, this well-known exception deserves partic-ular attention. Presenters will conduct these investigations in three main directions; they will explore: (1) The apostle’s degree of literacy, his status as the first Christian author and/or as a figure of the oral tradition and the role of the apostle’s secretaries, collaborators and tabelarii in the composition, transmission and reception of his letters; (2) Reasons why the Pauline Christianity of the first generation has chosen to write letters and their status as well as functions in the face of the “living voice”; (3) The “textualization” of the (oral) Jesus’ memory in this context, its literary and social mechanisms as well as its new rhetorical function(s). The research group is open to various methodologies and approaches to address these issues, particularly the use of historical, anthropological, sociological, literary and papyrological methods. In 2017, there will be both a session with invited speakers and other sessions with contributions from this call for papers.

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Paul and Pauline Literature

Kathy Ehrensperger
Kar-Yong Lim
Description: The unit provides a forum for presentation and discussion of original scholarly research on all facets of the interpretation of the Pauline Corpus in the New Testament. This includes consideration of exegetical, socio-historical, history of religions, theological, literary, history of interpretation, and methodological questions.

Call for papers: The unit provides a forum for presentation and discussion of original scholarly research on all facets of the interpretation of the Pauline Corpus in the New Testament. This includes consideration of exegetical, socio-historical, history of religions, theological, literary, history of interpretation, and methodological questions. Papers that focus on how the cultural experiences of present-day readers contribute to a fuller understanding of texts are also encouraged.

Tags: Pauline Epistles (Biblical Literature - New Testament), Pauline Epistles - 1 Corinthians (Biblical Literature - New Testament), Pauline Epistles - 1 Thessalonians (Biblical Literature - New Testament), Pauline Epistles - 1 Timothy (Biblical Literature - New Testament), Pauline Epistles - 2 Corinthians (Biblical Literature - New Testament), Pauline Epistles - 2 Thessalonians (Biblical Literature - New Testament), Pauline Epistles - 2 Timothy (Biblical Literature - New Testament), Pauline Epistles - Colossians (Biblical Literature - New Testament), Pauline Epistles - Ephesians (Biblical Literature - New Testament), Pauline Epistles - Galatians (Biblical Literature - New Testament), Pauline Epistles - Philemon (Biblical Literature - New Testament), Pauline Epistles - Philippians (Biblical Literature - New Testament), Pauline Epistles - Romans (Biblical Literature - New Testament), Pauline Epistles - Titus (Biblical Literature - New Testament)

Pauline Literature (EABS)

Dominika A. Kurek-Chomycz
Ma. Marilou S. Ibita
Reimund Bieringer
Description: The research group “Pauline Literature” has a historical-critical focus, including material evidence from the first century world of Paul. At the same time, we want to foster dialogue between historical and contemporary perspectives, between exegesis and contemporary discussions in theology and religious studies. In both the historical and contemporary perspectives we are particularly interested in the traces of Paul’s theology in the making that we can discover in the texts of his letters.

Call for papers: Historical-critical scholarship has as a goal to interpret ancient texts in their historical contexts. In his letters Paul frequently quotes the Jewish Scriptures, sometimes in crucial places of his letters. In order to know how Paul understood these texts, a historical-critical interpretation of the meaning intended by the author may not be very helpful. The more important question is, how these texts were interpreted by other Jewish readers at the time of Paul in the middle of the first century, and in ancient Jewish writings of the Hellenistic and Roman periods more generally. We propose to devote our 2017 session to the interpretation and reception in Second Temple Judaism of select scriptural texts which Paul quotes. We shall study some of the most significant biblical quotations in Romans, not from the perspective of the Pauline letters, but from ancient Judaism perspective. While there is a significant body of literature on Paul’s use of the Scriptures, often including discussion of ancient Jewish interpretation of the same texts, the focus is usually on Paul, and work is done mainly by New Testament scholars. For this panel we plan to invite specialists in ancient Jewish literature as presenters, and Pauline scholars as part of the dialogue. Please note that there is also an ISBL section devoted to Paul and the Pauline Literature, and that this year the EABS Orality and Literacy in Early Christianity group will also be focusing on the Pauline letters, so if you are interested in presenting a paper on a topic unrelated to the above theme, we suggest that you consider submitting your abstract to one of these units.

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Pentateuch (Torah)

Michael Hundley
Stephen Herring
Description: The unit provides a forum for presentation and discussion of research on the Pentateuch / Torah, with a particular focus on transmission-historical issues and linkage of that area of inquiry with other more synchronic methodologies.

Call for papers: 1) We invite proposals on the Pentateuch / Torah, with a particular focus on transmission-historical issues and linkage of that area of inquiry with other more synchronic methodologies. 2) We also welcome presentations comparing the religious expressions in the Pentateuch with those of analogous cultures, whether ancient or modern.

Tags: Torah/Pentateuch (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Torah/Pentateuch - Deuteronomy (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Torah/Pentateuch - Exodus (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Torah/Pentateuch - Genesis (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Torah/Pentateuch - Leviticus (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Torah/Pentateuch - Numbers (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint))

Persian Period

Christine Mitchell
James Nogalski
Richard Bautch
Description: This seminar focuses on the history and literature of Yehud in the context of the Persian period, 539-333 BCE. We have particular interests in imperialism and its effects, pluralism within the period, practices of religion within the household, and the development of temple, cult, and canon.

Call for papers: This year's sessions will focus on two thematic topics: 1) a session on Persian Period temples in the ANE and 2) a session on the changing role of attitudes toward kingship in Persian Period texts. Paper proposals on these topics and an open session will be considered.

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Place, Space, and Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean World

Gert T. M. Prinsloo
Karen Wenell
Description: Investigates the inherent spatiality of human existence and how it affects human behavior, ideology, identity, and orientation. Ancient Mediterranean texts and societies are studied from a decidedly spatial perspective. Different approaches to spatiality will enrich investigations, e.g. narratological space, critical spatiality, sociological theories on space, space and identity, space and body.

Call for papers: Investigates the inherent spatiality of human existence and how it affects human behavior, ideology, identity, and orientation. Ancient Mediterranean texts and societies are studied from a decidedly spatial perspective. Different approaches to spatiality will enrich investigations, e.g. narratological space, critical spatiality, sociological theories on space, space and identity, space and body.

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Political Biblical Criticism

Fernando F. Segovia
Jeremy Punt
Description: The unit seeks to pursue, on the one hand, the task of criticism, its vision and mission, in the contemporary world and, on the other hand, the development of a political approach, globalsystemic in orientation, to focus on major crises of the world—migration, inequality, climate—bringing together thereby, in interdisciplinary fashion, Biblical Studies and such other fields as Migration Studies, Economic Studies, and Climate Studies.

Call for papers: For the first year of the unit, there is a twofold focus. The first is on the crisis of migration, encompassing all of its dimensions (e.g., refugees, diaspora), and its bearing on interpretation. Here, therefore, we welcome papers that bring together, in some way, Biblical Studies and Migration Studies, whether in terms of texts or trajectories of interpretation. The second is on political/liberationist criticism of the Bible. Here, consequently, we welcome papers that deal with the dynamics and mechanics of this type of criticism, whether in historical or contemporary perspective.

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Postcolonial Studies

Mark G. Brett
Monica J. Melanchthon
Philip Chia
Description: This unit explores the diversity of postcolonial studies and their relevance in particular contexts, encompassing critical accounts of reception history, postcolonial theory, and fresh proposals for reading biblical texts.

Call for papers: In 2017 we are planning two sessions: One session will explore the application of postcolonial concepts, methods, and ideas to the study of biblical texts in any colonial context, ancient or modern. A second session will reflect on the legitimacy of studying biblical texts through a postcolonial lens in order to address contemporary issues of immigration and asylum.

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Prophecy and Foreign Nations (EABS)

Hannes Bezzel
Dr. Matthijs J. De Jong
Uwe Becker
Description: In the course of the last decades, research in the prophetic books of the Hebrew Bible has undergone a major change: The phenomenon of the prophetic book as a literary genre sui generis has drawn more and more attention – regarding both its so-called final form and its literary history. In this context, especially for those interested in diachronic research, the comparison with the extra-biblical Ancient Near Eastern prophecies has become an important issue not least for the questions of the origins of the prophetic books and the emergence of a theologically reasoned prophecy of doom. Thus, it has been especially the interrelation between salvation prophecy and a theology of judgment that has become the focus of scholarly attention. Compared with that, the oracles concerning foreign nations have passed a little bit from view, even though they take up a large part of the Biblical prophetic tradition. Therefore, in a recent publication on the topic (Holt et al. [eds.], Concerning the Nations, 2015), Martin Sweeney regards it as a worthy task to try an “attempt at stimulating research on the Oracles concerning the Nations” (xvii). The proposed research unit wants to contribute to this field of research and intends to approach the current discussion of the literary history of the prophetic books from this angle. The leading questions are: What is the literary and theological interrelation of the oracles concerning foreign nations with the Ancient Near Eastern salvation prophecy on the one hand and the Israelite prophecy of doom on the other? Was there a fixed genre of “prophecy concerning foreign nations”, and if so, where was its Sitz im Leben? How can the intertextual relationship between the respective passages of the several Biblical books be determined? Which processes of re-reading and actualising of tradition finally lead to a kind of uniform prophetic image which is reflected by the so-called tripartite eschatological pattern of the prophet

Call for papers: The 2017 meeting of the research unit “Prophecy and foreign nations” will address “foreign nations in the Book of Jeremiah”. Having discussed the foreign nations in the Book of Isaiah in 2016 – with regard to the Book Jeremiah the main questions are: How can the existence of oracles against the foreign nations in the Book of Jeremiah be explained? Is there a connection with other prophetic books? Of course the question whether the position of the OAN in the MT or rather in the LXX is the older one will be part of the discussion, too. Contributions addressing the role of the “foreign nations” in Jeremiah beyond the OAN are welcome as well.

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Prophets

Johanna Erzberger
Tyler Mayfield
Description: This unit 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: Papers will be accepted for two open sessions on any topic relevant to ancient Israelite prophecy.

Tags: Former Prophets (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Former Prophets - 1-2 Kings (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Former Prophets - 1-2 Samuel (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Former Prophets - Judges (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Former Prophets -Joshua (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets (not including The Twelve) (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - Ezekiel (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - Isaiah (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - Jeremiah (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - The Twelve (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - The Twelve - Amos (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - The Twelve - Habakkuk (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - The Twelve - Haggai (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - The Twelve - Hosea (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - The Twelve - Joel (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - The Twelve - Johah (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - The Twelve - Malachi (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - The Twelve - Micah (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - The Twelve - Nahum (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - The Twelve - Obadiah (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - The Twelve - Zechariah (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - The Twelve - Zephaniah (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint))

Prophets and Prophecy (EABS)

Yisca Zimran
Prof. Elie Assis
Description: This unit 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. All approaches to prophetic literature are welcomed, including historical, literary, rhetorical and theological. We invite paper proposals through the open call for papers.

Call for papers: This year we plan to focus on theological aspects of prophetic literature. We invite submissions of papers that discuss the worldviews of specific prophets or theological concepts expressed within a particular prophetic work. We aim to foster discussion about definitions of concrete concepts; discussions of historical development of concepts within and between individual books; the relationship between different theological perceptions in one or more prophetic books; synchronic analysis of theological concepts that appear in a single prophetic book; and related ideas.

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Psychological Hermeneutics of Biblical Themes and Texts

Linda Joelsson
Eben Scheffler
Description: Psychological Criticism complements approaches that consider texts and their impact/s from the perspective of the reader, alongside literary, rhetorical and theological approaches, identifying how texts operate within the minds of their readers, or portray thoughts and motivations of the characters in their narratives.

Call for papers: The psychological aspects of human life are integral to our existence, but they represent an under-examined area in Biblical Studies. Bible authors show great interest in people's capacity to cope psychologically with their circumstances, in their interpretations of life situations and in effecting change – both internally and externally. This SBL section therefore invites papers on the psychological aspects of biblical themes and texts, with the psychological interest which may be found behind the texts, in the texts themselves, and in the textual reception up to the present day. This section furthermore intends to explore what the potential would be of an examination of biblical texts towards the promotion of psychological health in societies today. For 2017 we welcome especially papers on trauma, psychological coping, encouragement, the psychological components of exile and on eco-psychology (e.g. psychological reactions to climate change). These areas may be studied by exploring symbols and archetypal images from the Bible, unconscious factors in biblical motifs and practices, psychodynamic factors related to the Bible, personalities in the Bible, religious experience and the psychology of biblical ethics. We would prefer papers which make clear use of existing psychological theories. With reference to Berlin as a multireligious city (Judaism, Christianity, Islam and secularism), family sytem theory (Murray Bowen) and peace psychology (Herbert Blumberg) have specific relevance. The intersection between biblical theology and psychology is an additional meeting of two disciplines in their own right – each with their specific questions and areas of expertise, but which also stand in a complementary relationship.

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Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Jutta Jokiranta
Matthew Goff
Description: The unit provides 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 and the Dead Sea Scrolls unit plans four sessions: 1. “Dead Sea Scrolls and the Genre Apocalypse” will be convened jointly with the Apocalyptic Literature program unit. This session will reconsider questions related to genre and definitions of apocalyptic literature, in light of the full publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls, exploring issues such as apocalyptic rhetoric, social setting, and eschatology. Some papers are invited but we also welcome proposals. 2. “Tracing and Facing Possibility of Forgeries: Methodology, Ethics, Policies” is an open session on the status of unprovenanced material in Qumran studies. SBL has recently announced a new policy on unprovenanced materials. In summer 2016, the controversy over the “Gospel of Jesus's wife” fragment was traced to Berlin by Ariel Sabar. Around that time, Qumran scholars began to express skepticism about the authenticity of some fragments attributed to Qumran which have surfaced since 2002. We invite papers to engage one or more of the following topics in a cooperative and collegial spirit: • Developments and discussion on post-2002 DSS fragments/other recent material: What has happened and what can we learn from these processes? • Methodology: How to identify forgeries? Which technological/material/paleographical analyses are available/most important? • Ethics: Whose responsibility is it to look into the nature of the material in collections? To what extent can their history and provenance be traced? How are discovery narratives constructing reality? • Policies: To what extent is the new SBL policy helpful? What implications can be expected? 3. The third session is an invited interdisciplinary session that will explore intersections between the Dead Sea Scrolls and Manichean literature, in particular the Turfan collection, which is kept in Berlin. 4. For our final session we welcome proposals on any issue pertaining to the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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Quran and Islamic Tradition in Comparative Perspective

John Kaltner
Zohar Hadromi-Allouche
Description: This unit seeks to foster comparative research on the Quran and Muslim culture, discourse, and devotional life. We encourage papers and panels that examine the Quran and Islamic tradition in the wider context of the history of the Western monotheisms; explore Islam’s profound historical relationships with Judaism, Christianity, and the biblical heritage; and promote comparative inquiry and intercommunal dialogue more generally.

Call for papers: The Quran and Islamic Tradition in Comparative Perspective unit of the ISBL welcomes proposals for both individual papers and pre-arranged panels at the international meeting in Berlin, August 7-11, 2017. Suggested topics might include, but are not limited to, the Quran and Islamic tradition in the wider context of the history of the Western monotheisms; Islam’s profound historical relationships with Judaism, Christianity, and the biblical heritage; and comparative inquiry and intercommunal dialogue more generally. For the 2017 meeting, we particularly welcome papers concerning spirits and spiritual beings in the Quran and Islamic tradition in comparative perspective. Proposals for panels or individual papers can be submitted online at http://www.sbl-site.org/meetings/Internationalmeeting.aspx. We plan to co-sponsor a prearranged session with the International Qur'anic Studies Association (IQSA). The deadline for submission of proposals is February 22, 2017. Please note that membership in the Society of Biblical Literature is required in order to submit a paper proposal. For more information please contact the program unit chairs: John Kaltner, Religious Studies, Rhodes College (kaltner@rhodes.edu); Zohar Hadromi-Allouche, Divinity and Religious Studies, University of Aberdeen (zohar@abdn.ac.uk).

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Rethinking Biblical Written Tradition through Slavonic Interpretations

Anissava Miltenova
Ljubica Jovanovic
Description: Some of the lost Second Temple texts are found in the DSS, but for still unknown reasons many are preserved only in centuries later Slavonic versions. Along the studies of the Vorlage and transmission of Slavonic versions, we welcome papers that address their appropriation and adaptation in receiving Slavic cultures.

Call for papers: In honor of the host city, Berlin, which lies at the crossroads between East and West, we call for presentations on all traditions and aspects of Slavonic sacred texts in the Middle Ages. We also welcome paper proposals on German biblical scholarship of the Slavonic readings of the Bible. The second session will be hosted on the current state of digitization of Slavonic manuscripts and of the publication of the critical editions of Slavonic sacred literature. In celebration of our inclusion into ISBL, we invite papers for a third session on the topic “Slavonic Translations of the Second Temple Texts,” to be held jointly with the program units “Apocalyptic Literature (ISBL),” “Hellenistic Judaism (ISBL),” and “Slavonic Apocrypha” (EABS).

Tags: Art, Film, Music, and Literature (History of Interpretation / Reception History / Reception Criticism), Biblical Texts (Early Jewish Literature - Dead Sea Scrolls), Intertextuality (Interpretive Approaches), Law and Politics (History of Interpretation / Reception History / Reception Criticism), Oral Traditions (History of Interpretation / Reception History / Reception Criticism), Popular Culture (History of Interpretation / Reception History / Reception Criticism), Religious Traditions and Scriptures (History of Interpretation / Reception History / Reception Criticism)

Ritual in the Biblical World

Ada Taggar-Cohen
Daniel Belnap
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 offer at least two planned sessions of papers at the 2017 International Meeting in Berlin, Germany. 1) The first session will be an open session inviting papers on the role of ritual experience, including the formation, maintenance and dissolution of ritual structures, in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and material culture from the entire Ancient Near East. 2) Continuing the ongoing discussion from the 2016 International Meeting in Seoul and the Annual Meeting in San Antonio, the second session will focus on ritual failure and the strategies utilized to compensate for these failures as described in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament and the Ancient Near Eastern material. Though the biblical texts as well as ANE material tend to focus on the idealized performance of successful ritual, ritual failure reflected the reality of experience and thus is an important component of the biblical world's ritual life. We invite all who are interested in participating to submit their proposal.

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Septuagint Studies

Kristin De Troyer
Description: This unit is open to all papers devoted to the Old Greek text and related versions.

Call for papers: Germany is where the Septuagint critical edition is being produced. Berlin is the place where many of the Coptic texts can be found. Therefore, all papers which deal with either the work of an edition or the Coptic daughter-version of the Septuagint are especially welcome. We are of course also open to hear any other brilliant Septuagint paper.

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Slavonic Apocrypha (EABS)

Basil Lourié
Ljubica Jovanovic
Description: This intentionally broad research unit provides a forum for discussion for both biblical scholars and Slavicists. It includes both the traditionally understood Slavonic Apocrypha, i.e. translations of Hellenistic pseudepigrapha, as well as diverse sacred literature in Slavonic, such as theological discourses, historiographies, hagiographies, liturgical texts, and folk tales that are intertwined with biblical texts in both manuscripts and religious practices. Slavonic Apocrypha are studied as biblical reception history. Because the mechanism of intertextuality in Slavic religious literature was more powerful and longstanding than the assessment of marginality and the differentiation of the texts according to canonical/noncanonical, our forum aims to contribute to the ongoing search for a comprehensive term for apocalyptic, pseudepigraphical, and apocryphal literature. This unit addresses the pressing need for a platform where European scholars of “Slavonic Apocrypha” can express their concerns, discuss solutions, and set mutual goals. It promotes the publication of critical editions of “Slavonic Apocrypha” and discusses the concerns over the digitization project of Slavonic manuscripts. While the name “Slavonic Apocrypha” is inadequate for this corpus of literature, we will wait and allow the scholarly consensus in the field to lead us to a better one.

Call for papers: This year’s theme is the study of Slavonic Apocrypha in the European context. We welcome interdisciplinary approaches and will include a variety of papers on subjects ranging from the manuscripts’ condition and availability to specific European interpretations of Slavonic Apocrypha and their reception history. Because of the joint meeting in Berlin with ISBL, and the presence of other units on Slavonic biblical and parabiblical interpretations, we will dedicate a session to a specific theme: the Legacy of Cyril and Methodius, the translators of the biblical texts into Slavonic and the creators of the Slavonic script. We welcome proposals from Slavicists, biblical scholars, and scholars of cognitive fields, and look forward to the debates over the significance of Cyril and Methodius’ mission among the Slavs at the first decades of 21st centuries. In recognition of our joint meeting with ISBL, we invite papers for a session on the topic “Slavonic Translations of the Second Temple Texts,” to be held jointly with the ISBL program units: “Rethinking Biblical Written Tradition through Slavonic Interpretations,” “Apocalyptic Literature,” and “Hellenistic Judaism.”

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Slavonic Parabiblical Traditions (EABS)

Anatoly Alexeevich Alexeev
Anna–Maria Totomanova
Florentina Geller
Description: The appreciation of apocryphal apocalypses, as well as other early pseudepigrapha preserved in Slavonic, goes far beyond their significance for Slavonic studies. Even though the Slavonic texts themselves date from a relatively late period, they are considered to be translations or re-workings of much earlier texts (written not only in Hebrew and Aramaic, but also in Greek, as well as Syriac and Latin). For many of these compositions, their Vorlagen may be dated to the early Second Temple period. Hence these Slavonic parabiblical writings can contribute significantly to a better understanding of Judaism of the Hellenistic age and thus of the roots of Rabbinic Judaism, early Christianity, Gnosticism, and later mystical thought. The present GIF (German-Israel Fund) project proposes a case study of one overarching thematic cluster of narratives concerning ascents from earth to Heaven and descents from Heaven to earth, with Slavonic cultural heritage as the primary focus of the research. The topoi of “visitors to and from Heaven”, for which there is an extensive but well-defined literature in Jewish and Christian sources, presents a challenging case. Christian traditions for the theme of the journeys to the Beyond are well-known in the Byzantine Commonwealth, but these are usually not compared to contemporary rabbinic accounts or later vernacular Slavonic stories. The cluster of narratives concerning not just the dialogue but the “exchange” of inhabitants of the two realms can be roughly divided into two different but interconnected clusters: (1) the celestial ascents of humans and (2) descents of celestial beings. The celestial journey became a central motif for early Jewish apocalypticism and proved to be highly significant for the birth of the Christianity. Apocalyptic literature is among the most influential ancient genres representing innovative thought in the field of imagining immaterial space in its connection with the physical and historical reality. Medie

Call for papers: Papers are invited on various aspects of parabiblical traditions, with special emphasis on Slavonic apocryphal writings, oral tradition and iconography. The aim will be to compare and contrast Slavonic texts with others (extant in Hebrew / Aramaic, Greek, Syriac, Latin, Romanian, Armenian, etc.) but scholars working in all of these fields are welcome to apply. This year’s panel is in cooperation with the Topoi Excellence Cluster, FU-Berlin.

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Society for Pentecostal Studies

Adam White
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 International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. 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 February 22, 2017. Proposals should be submitted through the SBL website; however, proposals may also be sent directly to Adam White (adam.white@ac.edu.au), the SBL International Meeting Program Unit Chair for the Society for Pentecostal Studies.

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Sociological and Anthropological Approaches to the Study of the Evidence of the Mishnah (EABS)

Jack Lightstone
Simcha Fishbane
Description: What can we know of the society and culture of Jews of Roman Palestine generally or of the early rabbinic movement specifically at the end of the second and beginning of the third centuries? While we have relevant archaeological evidence and some writings (primarily of non-Jews), there is arguably only one major literary source produced by Palestinian Jews themselves of the era. It is the early rabbis’ Mishnah (and arguably, perhaps some of Mishnah’s companion sources, notably in Tosefta).

Call for papers: Papers are invited that consider the sociological and anthropological treatment of the evidence of the Mishnah—its value and limitations, on its own and in conjunction with other evidence, literary or material—that address any of the following themes: • the better understanding of social and cultural patterns of contemporary Palestinian Judaism and Jewish society; • the reconstruction of major aspects of the sociology and culture of the early rabbinic movement itself; • the better understanding of the sociology and culture of the “world” defined by and in Mishnah’s substance, even if that world does not mirror any contemporary, historical Palestinian Jewish world. Each participant will have a maximum of 25 minutes to present, followed by a minimum of 5 minutes of discussion. It is intended that one or more edited volumes of published papers will result from the three-years of sessions, subject to appropriate peer review.

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Status of Women in the Profession

April D. DeConick
Description: The Committee holds sessions each year exploring the nature of the profession as experienced by women biblical scholars. The goal of the sessions are to provide a forum for open discussion, networking, and the sharing of ideas.

Call for papers: The Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession will offer two sessions: Session one: A networking session offering the opportunity for dialogue regarding women in the profession. Session two: We invite proposals for an open session that addresses issues related to and/or recognizing the contribution of women scholars to biblical studies from particular contexts or social location (national, denominational, religious, etc.). Proposal may also include attention to innovative trajectories, novel paradigms, and visionary approaches to biblical studies and related fields

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Study of the Historical Jesus (EABS)

Cristiana Facchini
Fernando Bermejo-Rubio
Description: The research group is devoted to study of the historical Jesus. In 2012-2014, the group ran a three-year programme on Jesus and the Scriptures, while last year was dedicated to Jesus and the politics of his day. However, the group is interested in any areas relating to the study of the historical Jesus.

Call for papers: For some decades, the history of Jesus research has been often described through the so-called “three-quests” model, with its threefold (or fourfold) division in “Old Quest” (“No Quest”), “New Quest”, and “Third Quest”. This historiographical model, however, has been subjected, at the beginning of this century, to devastating criticisms, according to which its assertions and assumptions are built on arbitrary grounds and are refuted by literary evidence and sound reasoning, thereby unveiling its incapacity of convincingly explaining the history of the research; some of these criticisms have even argued that this historiographical construct could serve theological interests. And it is generally affirmed that the research on the historical Jesus begins with H. S. Reimarus, but this contention has also been challenged by several scholars, with different approaches and backgrounds, who have compellingly pointed out that the attempt to reconstruct an image of Jesus independently of the theological interpretations of the churches is already attested much earlier. Therefore, there is a growing awareness in the field that one of our pressing tasks is the design of a new and more accurate interpretive paradigm of the history of this discipline. This year we will accordingly consider papers aimed at rethinking in an innovative and critical way the history of Jesus research. Some possible topics follow: Which authors previously to Reimarus (and English Deists) should be taken into account in this history, and why? When and in which contexts was a historical research of Jesus born? Should a purely diachronic approach in phases be complemented (or rather replaced) by another approach? Is it possible to write a history of Jesus research without ideological agendas lurking beneath the surface?

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Stylistics and the Hebrew Bible

Elizabeth R.Hayes
Karolien Vermeulen
Description: The unit will offer a forum for scholars interested in stylistics and the Hebrew Bible. The goal is to explore the relation between form and meaning of the text drawing on a variety of approaches (rhetorical, narratological, cognitive, ideological…).

Call for papers: For the Berlin meeting in 2017 we will organize two sessions: one thematic session and one open session. The first session will focus on the theme “Up in the Hebrew Bible.” We invite papers that address literal as well as metaphorical or conceptual spaces of height and elevation. Spaces can include, but are by no means limited to, mountains, temples, thrones, Jerusalem, spaces of happiness, and divine spaces. Abstracts should indicate which spaces will be discussed in the paper, which methodology will be used, and what insights the paper offers in the stylistics of high spaces in the Hebrew Bible. This session will be a joint session with the EABS Research Group Literary Features: Fact or Fiction. A selection of papers will be peer reviewed for publication. A second session will be open to all who address the main research aim of the session as described on the website. When in doubt, please feel free to contact the chairs at biblicalstylistics@gmail.com, or alternatively at erussell.hayes@gmail.com and karolien.vermeulen@uantwerpen.be.

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Synoptic Gospels

J. R. C. Cousland
Sakari Häkkinen
Description: The Synoptic Gospels, which have formed a coherent unit since antiquity, have played an important role in modern scholarship. This section provides an open forum for the presentation of papers, from a variety of perspectives and using a variety of methods, on these seminal religious texts.

Call for papers: Study of the Synoptic Gospels is critical for a literate understanding of religious discussions and imperatives in today's world. This year, three sessions will be organized, and proposals are welcome for each one of them. The themes of the sessions are: 1. Memory theory and its relation to the Synoptic Gospels. 2. Oralcy and Illiteracy in relation to the Synoptic Gospels. 3. Special Themes on the Synoptic Gospels. All topics are welcome. Please indicate in your proposal which session your paper would fit best.

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Textual Criticism of the New Testament, the Old Testament and the Qur’an (EABS)

Alba Fedeli
Theodora Panella
Description: This research group focuses on the textual study and criticism of sacred texts from the ancient Eastern Mediterranean world that later had a global influence; the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Qur’anic text. All three have similarities and differences. They have influenced other writings and at the same time have themselves undergone external influence bearing on questions of interrelationship, orality, textuality and language. Not only the aforementioned characteristics, but also their preservation and the copying as well as the proliferation of manuscripts are of particular interest to textual scholars. The sine qua non of this research unit for Textual Criticism is the study of the major witnesses to the text of the Old Testament – the Hebrew Bible, the texts from Qumran, the Septuagint, the Masoretic Text – as well as the Aramaic Targumim, the Syriac translations, the Vulgate, Commentaries and others. Of course, also the study of the Critical and the Majority Text, of the versions of the New Testament, as well as the Patristic citations and commentaries, but also Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha and others. And finally, the research unit includes the textual criticism of the Qur’an, standard text or authoritative text, and the qira’at tradition (that corresponds to different readings); the cultural milieu and context in which the Qur’anic text has been transmitted and used and the tradition of the commentaries.

Call for papers: Two sessions are scheduled for the meeting in Berlin: An open session where papers on any topic within the range of the interests of the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, the Old Testament and the Qur’an research group are welcome. A thematic session “Scribal habits” where we will attempt to explore the field trying to answer questions such as: what is a scribal habit? Are scribal habits personal or general? Are they just mistakes, dropped words, idiosyncratic spellings? Are they corruptions and deliberate interpolations? Are they related with variant readings? But also considering whether scribal habits contribute or are part of an editorial work (adding, embellishing, reordering). Whether later scribes copy in the text earlier reader’s notes in their exemplar? Do scribes omit more often than they add? And about the scribes themselves, are they copyists, correctors, interpreters or editors? Finally, do scribal habits contribute to Textual Criticism? Is there (any) space for scribal habits in an apparatus criticus? The “Textual Criticism of the New Testament, the Old Testament and the Qur’an” research group cordially invites the submission of proposals for papers for the forthcoming joined EABS-SBL meeting in Berlin. We welcome paper proposals that focus on the above mentioned topics and related aspects.

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The Bible and Ecology (EABS)

Ekaterini Tsalampouni
Ma. Maricel Ibita
Ma. Marilou S. Ibita
Description: Ecological crisis is one of the main challenges in need of combined response in the last decades. In the critical discussion regarding its roots, biblical scholars have turned to the biblical text and its interpretation through the ages, searching for possible misinterpretations that supported ideologically the environmental exploitation and degradation. They also developed different methodological models for reading the biblical text from an ecological perspective. In light of the pressing global ecological crisis, the research unit would like to continue the critical and inter/trans-disciplinary exploration of the Bible and ecology. The research unit aims to: The research unit aims to: explore and employ various methodological trends in reading well-known and uncharted biblical and early Christian texts from ecological perspective; analyze the use of these texts from the perspectives of various stakeholders including but not limited to biblical scholars from all over the world; to promote dialogue with various groups from different global locations, within and beyond biblical exegesis and theology, that can improve the ecological biblical interpretation and contribute to other areas of knowledge while enhancing knowledge distribution.

Call for papers: Peripheral Voices on Bible and Ecology The articulation of major trends on the development of hermeneutical approaches and methodologies has been the focus of the preliminary workshop on ecological hermeneutics. The focus of the first year will be on critical and peripheral theological readings of the biblical texts and on critical voices on environmental issues deriving either from non-European contexts or from other areas of environmental ethics in order to enrich the discussion with their voices. One of the main questions that this session will attempt to address is the possible gain for biblical studies from the new insights that these other aspects can offer and vice versa, whether and how the biblical text could contribute to an ethos of sustainability and respect of the environment particularly for those who are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. For 2017, there will be a session with invited speakers and an open call for papers.

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The Bible in Arabic in Judaism, Christianity, Islam (EABS)

Camilla Adang
Meira Polliack
Description: Shortly after the expansion of Muslim rule in the 7th and 8th centuries CE, Christians, Jews, and Samaritans living in the Muslim world began to translate their sacred texts– the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and the Samaritan Pentateuch– into Arabic. Many of these translations, from languages such as Hebrew, Greek, Syriac and Coptic, have come down to us in a vast corpus of manuscripts and fragments hailing from monasteries, synagogues and libraries, especially in the Middle East. Compared to other translation traditions of the Bible throughout its history, the Arabic versions in manuscript and later on in print are the most numerous and reveal an unusually large variety in stylistic and didactic approaches, vocabulary, scripts and ideologies. Although originally intended for internal consumption by the different denominations that produced them, the translations were also quoted and adapted by Muslim writers, who were familiar with many biblical episodes and characters through the Qur’an. The study of Arabic translations of the Bible has only recently started to come into its own, but much remains to be done. We invite papers on the various aspects of the production and reception of the Arabic Bible outlined above.

Call for papers: At the 2017 meeting in Berlin, two invited panels are planned, to be held jointly with the SBL Biblia Arabica Consultation and the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA). The titles of these panels are: (1) Scriptures in Arabic: Hebrew Bible, New Testament and Qur’an – Inter-textual approaches (conceived as a plenum) and (2) Mutual Borrowings: Islamic Elements in the Arabic Bible – Christian & Jewish Elements in the Quran and Post-Qur’anic Islamic Literature. For the open session we invite contributions on Approaches to Translation and Interpretation. Papers dealing with any aspect of Arabic Bible translation as outlined above in the General agenda will be considered, as well as papers discussing Arabic commentaries on (parts of) the Bible, produced by members of the different religions and denominations.

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The Bible in the Iberian World: Fundaments of a Religious Melting Pot (EABS)

Ana T. Valdez
Ricardo Muñoz Solla
Description: That the Iberian Peninsula represents a key hub between Christianity, Judaism and Islam is widely known. However, theologians and historians have been studying these phenomena as isolated events and not as part of a much larger Iberian world characteristic, one that should be understood regarding the broader Western thought. This session's goal, though experimental, is to provide a space for discussion for those of us who work with biblical themes in the context of the Iberian world. This world includes not only the peninsular area but also its colonial spaces, e.g., American, African and Asian places where Portuguese and Spaniards played an influential role starting in the Early Modern period. Moreover, the subjects to discuss are not limited nor to a particular time frame nor a specific chronological period for this first phase. Our initial objectives are to underline the importance of the Iberian world as a space of communication, or not, between the different religions of the Bible, of biblical interpretation, and how the Iberian world was prone to be influenced by the Bible.

Call for papers: In 2017 we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the publication of Luther’s 95 Thesis, and consequently the events that led to the different movements of religious reformation. This research group plans to join the celebrations of such an important event by organizing a series of sessions on the topic of the Reformations within the Iberian World, envisaging the publication of a volume that thoroughly explores the topic within the Iberian spaces. We plan to hold three sessions in Berlin, a generic, one on the topic of women and the Reformations, and a third exploring how religious minorities lived the aftermath of the Council of Trent. For the first thematic session we would like to invite papers analyzing the role of women in the development and circulation of Protestantism in early modern Iberia. We welcome papers emphasizing the sociology of the women convicted because of Protestant practices; their access to texts produced by Reformation; and how women have embodied the principles of Reformation within this heavily Catholic-influenced world of Iberia. For the second thematic session we would like to invite papers exploring how Jews, Muslims, and other minorities were influenced by the Reformation and the following Council of Trent, and how they have managed (or not) to maintain their regular religious practices and beliefs.

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The Bible in the Twenty-First Century: Politization of Bibles and Biblization of Politics (EABS)

Athalya Brenner-Idan
Jeremy Punt
Description: Biblical Interpretation today is characterized by a variety of different concerns and approaches. The focus of this program unit is on the use and misuse of biblical texts in past and present politics, in the broadest sense; and conversely, on the use and misuse of politics in biblical interpretation and transmission. The scope may include analysis of the biblical and related texts and contexts, questions of method and theory, and especially attention to interpretations- interpreters and their contexts. Papers are welcome from such perspectives as psychology and psychoanalysis, philosophy, postcolonial studies, gender studies, social studies, economic studies, racial-ethnic studies, and queer studies.

Call for papers: “Bibles, Politics, Ideologies and Contexts: Case Studies” In recent years we have focused on various ways and means used by communities for adapting “their” bibles for political ends, in the widest signification of “political”, the past as well as the present. Continuing our project of investigating how bibles are conceived today, and how they are defined and enlisted for shaping societies and for remembering the future, be those societies religious or secular, in previous years we examined notions and methodologies employed for reading biblical families, fraternity and sorority, and most recently, genealogies. We now go back to a more general definition, which is how this research group started. Under the heading, “Bibles, Politics, Ideologies and Contexts: Case Studies”, we invite papers on and around these themes, both in the Hebrew Bible and in the New Testament. When papers are in dialogue with postcolonial discourse, queer studies, empire studies, international relations studies, subaltern studies, and related methodological-theoretical approaches, they will be particularly welcome. One session at least will be a joint session with the SBL Contextual Biblical Interpretation Seminar. For this session Proposals on the Five Scrolls or the Historical Books (Samuel-Kings-Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah) are especially but not only sought, with view for publication in the Texts@Contexts series.

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The Biblical World and Its Reception (EABS)

Christopher Meredith
Matthew A. Collins
Description: This seminar aims to provide a forum in which participants can engage in the theoretical issues pertaining to the reception of the ‘biblical world’ throughout the last 2,500 years and/or present specific examples of how biblical and chronologically-related texts have been appropriated within later cultural, political, and artistic contexts. Insights drawn from a wide range of disciplines are encouraged and the reception history of any relevant text from the biblical period will be considered suitable material for presentation and discussion.

Call for papers: For the joint SBL/EABS meeting in Berlin in 2017, “Bible and Its Influence: History and Impact” (SBL) will be meeting together with “The Biblical World and Its Reception” (EABS). The combined seminar will be holding three/four sessions. 2017 marks the 350th anniversary of the publication of John Milton’s Paradise Lost and the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War, and so we especially invite papers which take as their focus the use and reception of the Bible in Milton’s epic poem or the interfaces between Bible, conflict, and identities in the modern Middle East. In addition, given the location of our meeting, we also invite papers which engage with the Bible in relation to figures in the German intellectual tradition. These papers might wish to situate the Bible within the work of a particular philosophical or political thinker, or use theories from the German tradition in the analysis of the Bible’s reception more broadly. A final session will be open and thus may include any topic that is relevant to the seminar’s general interests.

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The Core of the Book of Deuteronomy and its World (EABS)

Kåre Berge
Philippe Guillaume
Description: Whereas the framework of Deuteronomy has received much attention (for instance the SBL consultation chaired by Cynthia Edenburg and Reinhard Müller) this new workshop is attentive to the core of the Book of Deuteronomy, the so-called legal collection (Deuteronomy 12—26/28). Rather than the relation of this ‘law code’ with other biblical ‘codes’ or with ancient Near Eastern treaties, we want to explore the internal coherence of these prescriptions and to take a close look at the world that is imagined to be regulated by them. We also want to explore how this legal core relates to the notion of ‘Israel’ presented in the framework of the book.

Call for papers: For the Berlin conference, we invite presentations in English dealing with the apparent tension between the utopian character of the society that is imagined in these ‘laws’ and their focus on down-to-earth politics and economics, and on the relation of this ‘utopian’ society to the ‘Israel’ of the book’s framework. We also welcome papers dealing with the society envisioned when the ‘legal’ core is read as a part of Deuteronomy as a whole. As swift publication of accepted papers presented in the sessions is planned, we expect potential authors to supply final versions within a month after the conference. To enhance the benefit of congenial exchange during the conference, drafts will be circulated in advance among all the presenters and to interested of the audience (please request drafts from the chairs in the weeks preceding the conference).

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The Dead Sea Scrolls (EABS)

Mika Pajunen
Jeremy Penner
Description: The Research Group provides a forum for discussing the Dead Sea Scrolls, with a particular emphasis on worship in the Scrolls and in other sources from the late Second Temple period, such as, some of the late books of the Hebrew Bible (e.g., Chronicles, Daniel, and some Psalms), the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, as well as available inscriptions and archaeological evidence.

Call for papers: For the 2017 meeting in Berlin we invite proposals for two different sessions. The first is a partly invited thematic session that will focus on the topic of ritual and method as it relates to worship. For the second session we invite papers dealing with any aspect of the Dead Sea Scrolls. All proposals related to these two overall topics are welcome, but preference is given to papers that bring the Scrolls into a dialogue with other available sources from the late Second Temple period.

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The Greek of Jews and Christians Through the Pax Romana (EABS)

Albert L. Lukaszewski
Paul Danove
Peter Spitaler
Description: The writings of Jews and Christians in the Second Temple and early Christian periods form the basis of all later discussions on Judaism and Christianity. The dynamics of language used by these authors is necessarily pertinent to understanding what they sought to convey. This research unit therefore focuses on the linguistic and exegetical study of Koine Greek up to the death of Marcus Aurelius.

Call for papers: Open call for papers. All topics that meet the vision of the Research Unit will be considered.

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The Language of Colour in the Bible: From Word to Image (EABS)

Lourdes García Ureña
María Rodríguez de Velasco
Description: The study of the language of colour has generated great attention since the 19th century in several fields, especially philology and art; exploring the great civilizations considered the bedrock of Europe: Greece and Rome. Surprisingly the Bible, the other pillar on which European culture is founded, has been left on the sidelines of this research, creating a primordial void. This research project aims to bridge this gap and provide a more complete picture of the language of colour in a book that has inspired both literary and artistic works: the Bible. An interdisciplinary study of the biblical text in its original languages can certainly shed new light on the interpretation of the image and vice versa. The objectives pursued in the field of philology are to determine the chromatic lexicon of the biblical text, the sensory perception it reflects and the symbolic dimension from which it emanates. In this sense, we believe that the Apocryphal literature and the early Christian literature can shed light on the meaning of colour in the biblical texts both with regard to sensorial perception and symbolism. Concerning the field of artistic representations which have been inspired by the Bible, the objective of the research is to study how the artist uses chromatic language to reflect the biblical scenes, as well as analysing how the biblical language is used and reinterpreted. The period chosen to be studied is that covering the 10th-12th centuries. During that period, many Illuminated Bibles were produced, containing both the passages of the Old and New Testaments.

Call for papers: Given that the Bible was both created and evolved in various contexts, the study of colour in biblical and apocryphal texts as well as early Christian literature the use of colour terms colours by neighbouring peoples cannot be ignored. For this reason, this year, we are also welcoming papers which study the language of colour not only in biblical texts but also in literature that has developed in the nearby regions: Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome. Of particular interest is the examination of which hues indicate the terms, in what contexts they appear, what symbolism do they contain etc. in order to make a comparative study between the texts. Since literature and painting are inextricably linked, as evidenced in the development of the medieval miniature, two parallel avenues of research regarding the development of biblical manuscripts between the X and XII centuries open. On the one hand, following the iconographic method, the impact of literary sources in the illumination of the codices may be assessed, taking into account the writings within the Christian tradition and the artistic treaties that served as guidance for painters. Moreover, case studies of miniatures contained in Romanesque biblical codices will be admitted, in order to establish the key criteria for the selection of the colour palette and if is symbolic or purely aesthetic readings.

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The Roman Forum: New Testament, Early Christianity, and Early Rabbinics (EABS)

Jorunn Økland
Katja Kujanpää
Description: ‘The Roman Forum’ is a forum for the exchange of ideas concerning methods and interdisciplinary investigations applied to the study of the New Testament, Judaism and early Christianity in their various forms, their respective textual corpora in the Roman period (Rabbinics, patristics), and their contemporary receptions. It celebrates diversity and encourages presentations by scholars working in less-trodden areas and approaches. The Forum aims at countering current tendencies toward the fragmentation of our field into separate micro-fields. It furthers interaction among scholars who use various approaches and work in different areas, thus stimulating new insights through cross-fertilization.

Call for papers: For the 2017 meeting in Berlin, we invite papers that match these ideals. We encourage the presenters to use visual aids while presenting.

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Wisdom in Israel and in ANE Wisdom Literature (EABS)

Katharine J. Dell
Tova Forti
Description: This unit seeks to provide a forum for the exploration of current and emerging approaches to and methodologies in the study of Wisdom Literature. The primary focus is on Biblical wisdom – Proverbs, Job, Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes, and the Wisdom Psalms, as well as Qumran wisdom texts and Deutero-Canonical works such as Ben Sira and the Wisdom of Solomon. The secondary focus is on wisdom literature from elsewhere in the Ancient Near East, insofar as these bear on our understanding of biblical wisdom texts. Our unit will hold two sessions each year, one of invited papers and the other of offered papers.

Call for papers: Paper proposals are welcome on the Ways of Acquiring Wisdom in Israel and in ANE Wisdom Literature (Listening, Memorizing, Writing). This unit is interested in the process by which wisdom is acquired as revealed by wisdom texts in Israel and the ANE. Listening, memorization and writing are three key areas. Interest might also focus on the role of the different parts of the body that are engaged in the process of internalizing wisdom. The wider question is also raised: What is the identity of the teacher/sage and the pupil/student? This is also to include social setting – family, school, courtly, scholastic, administrative – and the identity of the teacher/sage in such contexts. EABS Invited Papers Allegory in Proverbs and Other Biblical and Apocryphal Wisdom Books and Qumran. This unit focuses on the use of allegory in the book of Proverbs and beyond. The Wisdom/Folly figures of Proverbs 1-9 are obvious contenders, but the net will be cast wider than this into other parts of the wisdom literature. This is an area that is underdeveloped in wisdom study and will provide fascinating fresh insight into a key feature of this primary wisdom text.

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Wisdom Literature in the Bible and in the Ancient Near East

Nili Shupak
Description: The unit seeks to encourage an ongoing discourse on new ideas and methodologies in the study of Wisdom Literature. The primary focus is on Biblical wisdom - Proverbs, Job, Qoheleth, the Wisdom Psalms and other texts influenced by wisdom ideas, as well as Ben Sira and Wisdom of Solomon. The section is also concerned with the relationship between biblical wisdom literature and cognate texts of the ancient Near East.

Call for papers: Call for papers: SBL-EABS’ Joint Session Paper proposals are welcome on the Ways of Acquiring Wisdom in Israel and in ANE Wisdom Literature (Listening, Memorizing, Writing). This unit is interested in the process by which wisdom is acquired as revealed by wisdom texts in Israel and the ANE. Listening, memorization and writing are three key areas. Interest might also focus on the role of the different parts of the body that are engaged in the process of internalizing wisdom. The wider question is also raised: What is the identity of the teacher/sage and the pupil/student? This is also to include social setting – family, school, courtly, scholastic, administrative – and the identity of the teacher/sage in such contexts.

Tags: Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) (Biblical Literature - Deuterocanonical Works), Wisdom (Ancient Near Eastern Literature - Genre), Wisdom and Philosophical Literature (Early Jewish Literature - Jewish Pseudepigrapha), Wisdom of Solomon (Biblical Literature - Deuterocanonical Works), Writings - Ecclesiastes (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Writings - Job (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Writings - Proverbs (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint))

Working with Biblical Manuscripts (Textual Criticism)

Ronald van der Bergh
Timothy B. Sailors
Description: This program unit is devoted to the text of “biblical” writings, as understood in the broad sense of the term: This includes the Jewish Bible, early Jewish literature, and the Old Testament (in Hebrew and Aramaic, Greek, and other ancient languages), as well as early Christian literature and the New Testament (in Greek, Latin, and other ancient languages). We offer a forum for the investigation of all types of material witnesses related to the text of this literature—tablets, manuscripts, ostraca, inscriptions—and for the consideration of the textual form of this literature reflected in its citation and use by ancient authors and in writings from antiquity through the Middle Ages. This consists not only of contributions that deal with the Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin textual witnesses, but also those that engage evidence in Ugaritic, Arabic, Syriac, Ethiopic, Coptic, Armenian, and other linguistic traditions. A wide variety of additional issues related to textual criticism are also addressed, including epigraphy, manuscript studies, papyrology, codicology, paleography, scribal habits and the production of texts, the history of transmission (and its cultural, social, and religious settings), the practice of textual criticism from antiquity to modern times, restoration and conservation, the use of modern technology in studying this material, the production of critical editions, and discussions of particular passages.

Call for papers: On the occasion of the 2017 International Meeting of the SBL in Berlin, Germany, the “Working with Biblical Manuscripts (Textual Criticism)” program unit will devote most of its sessions to projects based in Germany that produce editions of biblical and related literature. Indeed, many of these editions have long served as fundamental resources for scholarship worldwide. We also hope to organize some special excursions to manuscript collections in Berlin. Sessions will highlight and provide up-to-date reports on the status of the following projects: The Biblia Hebraica Quinta (BHQ), the Göttinger Septuaginta, the Vetus Latina, Nestle-Aland’s Novum Testamentum Greace and the Editio Critica Maior (ECM), and projects producing editions of early Christian Literature. There will also be an open session for papers concentrating on any aspect of the textual criticism of the Bible and/or other early Jewish or Christian writings.

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Writings (including Psalms)

Donald R. Vance
Description: The aim of the unit to promote all aspects of and approaches to the study of the texts commonly referred to as the Writings (Ketuvim) in the Hebrew Bible.

Call for papers: Papers are welcome on any of the Writings, particularly those that apply newer interpretive methodologies to specific passages. Moreover, papers that address more general matters, such as the formation of the Psalter, the connection of wisdom and apocalyptic, statecraft and warfare in Chronicles/Ezra-Nehemiah, or the poetics of Classical Hebrew poetry are acceptable.

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