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Congresses

2017 Annual Meeting

Boston, MA

Meeting Begins: 11/18/2017
Meeting Ends: 11/21/2017

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: 12/19/2016
Call For Papers Closes: 3/8/2017
Requirements for Participation

Program Units

 

Academic Teaching and Biblical Studies

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

Call for papers: ATBS offers 4 sessions(2-4 accept proposals). Session 2: “Teaching texts that trigger responses.” We welcome presentation proposals demonstrating methods and learning activities for opening effective classroom dialogue and learning around the study of texts that refer to mental and social well-being (despair, anxiety, suicide, depression, domestic violence, etc.)--texts that trigger responses. Pedagogical examples applicable across the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, and texts that inform these, are all welcome. 20-min. interactive presentations, followed by 5 min. of group conversation and feedback. Session 3: “Games, interactive fiction, and simulation in the classroom.” Just-in-time learning, self-directed exploration, complex problem solving, finding and evaluating information: that kid in the next room playing Dungeons & Dragons, Minecraft, or Oculus Rift Dirt Valley is embodying them all. How about adult learners? Can games and simulations help our students gain understanding in our courses? This session welcomes papers on games and simulations in learning. Presentations involving hands-on component are especially welcome. "Games" includes board/tabletop games, interactive fiction, other digital/video games, and VR-type simulations. (We are NOT asking for "gamification" of course designs, for example "levelling up" from one course unit to the next.) Session 4: “Best practices in online teaching.” An increasing number of faculty members are teaching all or part of their courses online. What are best practices in online teaching? This session will focus on techniques and approaches that have proven to be fruitful in online education. Presentations will be 20 min. and should focus have an explicit focus on demonstrating the approach. Preference will be given to presentations that could be utilized by participants without having to purchase expensive proprietary equipment or software and that may be applicable to different global settings.

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African Association for the Study of Religions

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

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

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African Biblical Hermeneutics

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

Call for papers: 1) African Biblical Hermeneutics and the MIT’s: Research in the fields of Africana studies, cultural studies, gender studies, anthropology, economics, cognitive science, and political science among others, provide opportunities for new methods in African biblical hermeneutics. We invite papers that explore innovative methodological approaches to Biblical studies in Africa, approaches that are multi-disciplinary and/or inter-disciplinary and/or trans-disciplinary (MIT). 2) Protest and Social Justice and Movements in Africa: Protest and Social Justice movements have been a feature of the colonial and postcolonial Africa for years. The movements (cf. the Arab Spring in the North and the #FeesMustFall movement in South Africa, among others) denote an enduring search for justice amidst enormous challenges. This section welcomes papers that engage issues at the intersections between biblical texts, protest movements, identity formation and social justice. 3)Gender and Family: Papers that address the complex dimensions of Gender and Family in the Bible and in Africa and its Diaspora are invited. They can address the deep entrenchment of patriarchy; the enduring power of matriarchy; the dysfunctionality and the resilient creativity of the family structure in the African socio-cultural, religious, economic, and political context. Papers offering a biblically-based liberative treatment of gender roles in addition to the challenges facing marriage, celibacy, family life and the roots of identity formation in relation to constructions of gender and family identities, are encouraged. 4) Migrations and Diasporas: Migration and Diaspora have historically and contemporaneously defined Africa – politically, geographically, culturally, and religiously. This section welcomes papers on the broad theme of biblical studies on the one hand and migration and diaspora on the other, migrations caused by famine, inter-ethnic and inter-racial conflicts, etc

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African-American Biblical Hermeneutics

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

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

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Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative

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

Call for papers: The Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish narrative section is planning two open sessions. We invite proposals on any topic relevant to the group's focus, but for the 2017 meeting we are particularly interested in papers that address one of the following three texts/topics: 1) testamentary literature; 2) Joseph and Aseneth; 3) natural history and/or the natural world in ancient narrative.

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Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible

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

Call for papers: For the 2017 Meeting, the Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible Section, along with the Biblical Law Section, will co-sponsor a session of invited papers on the topic of "The Divine Image and Its Prohibition: Textual and Iconographic Considerations." This session will focus on the biblical prohibition to make images of the deity and the reality evident in the iconographic record. All aspects of the subject are acceptable, e.g. ways in which the image appears, reasons for the prohibition, the interplay between the law and reality, and reasons for the contradiction. It is possible that this session will include proposed, not just invited papers. Beyond this co-sponsored session, we invite papers for one or perhaps two other open sessions on topics that fall within the general parameters of the section, which deals with all aspects of ancient Near Eastern iconography and the Hebrew Bible.

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Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars

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

Call for papers: The 2017 meeting of the Anglican Association will be held on November 17 off site in Boston. All are welcome to join us from 4:00 to 9:00 pm for fellowship, Holy Eucharist, dinner (reservations required online in the fall at www.aabs.org), and an invited speaker.

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Animal Studies and the Bible

Arthur Walker-Jones
Lidar Sapir-Hen
Description: This unit seeks to make the insights of animal studies available to biblical scholars by promoting interdisciplinary and intersectional analysis of biblical animals, animality, and the ethics of human relationships with other animals.

Call for papers: This unit seeks to make the insights of animal studies available to biblical scholars by promoting interdisciplinary and intersectional analysis of biblical animals, animality, and the ethics of human relationships with other animals.

Tags: Cultural Criticism (Interpretive Approaches)

Aramaic Studies

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

Call for papers: The Aramaic Studies Section invites papers on any aspect of Aramaic language, texts, and culture. Topics may include Targumim, Qumran Aramaic texts, Syriac biblical versions and exegesis, Samaritan papyri, and Elephantine Aramaic, among others. In addition to one open session, we are planning three thematic sessions for 2017 and especially invite papers on these subjects. One thematic session will focus on the topic of language transfer and contact (the relationship of Aramaic to Greek, Iranian languages, etc.). A second thematic session will be dedicated to Papyrus Amherst 63. Finally, we invite papers for a special session on "Aramaic Magic Texts Through the Ages", organized jointly with the SBL Assyriology and the Bible Section; this session will explore the Mesopotamian roots of the Aramaic magic tradition as well as later developments.

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Archaeology of Religion in the Roman World

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

Call for papers: The Archaeology of Religion in the Roman World section invites papers for two sessions: (1) Material Culture, Agency, and Religion and (2) Ritual and Religion on the City Streets of the Empire.

For (1): Recent work in the study of agency, identity, and landscape has changed our understanding of the material culture of religion in the ancient Mediterranean world. Drawing on archaeological and anthropological theories, there is an increasing trend in scholarship to consider the role that material culture plays in societies as central: objects are now seen not just as final outputs of human agency, but as subjects of far more complex interactions between human beings and the surrounding environment. This panel is interested in case studies that illustrate how new, innovative and theoretically-grounded approaches to material culture move beyond the idea of “artifact as (passive) object” to take account of material culture as “(active) subject” in influencing and even changing social behaviors. We welcome papers on any city, region, object or collection of artifacts, related with any context or group, which discuss relationships between material culture and Roman religions.

For (2): It is a commonplace that ancient urban life was lived in public, often time in the streets of the city. How does the study of religious ritual interact with the idea of public performance? How does the activity of daily life in a Roman city affect and shape the ritual practice of specific individuals and groups living in that same space? Is there conflict; and if so, how? Is there evidence of neighbors and citizens accommodating people’s religious beliefs; and if so, what is it? By looking more specifically at how cities themselves determine, frame, engage with rituals, we hope to explore the complexities of religious action and behavior in urban landscapes, outside traditional boundaries of religious behavior (“churches, synagogues, temples").

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Archaeology of the Biblical World

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

Call for papers: In 2017 Archaeology of the Biblical World will host an invited panel on synagogues and Early Judaism and at least one open session. Broadly construed, the "Biblical World" includes the time periods and geographies associated with the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. The unit welcomes proposals that use archaeology in conjunction with biblical studies in order to explicate a historical context, a particular passage, or some cultural element associated with the biblical world. Additionally, we welcome studies and results from archaeological projects that are concerned with sites or material culture related to the biblical world. All submissions must be in accordance with the SBL Policy on Scholarly Presentation and Publication of Artifacts. Specific questions regarding submissions for which these issues are relevant should be brought to the chairs. - See more at: https://www.sbl-site.org/assets/pdfs/SBL-Artifacts-Policy_20160903.pdf

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Art and Religions of Antiquity

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

Call for papers: For the 2017 Annual Meeting in Boston, the Art and Religions of Antiquity Program Unit is offering three paper sessions organized by the following themes. 1) Art and Religion of the Greece and the Aegean Region: For this session we seek papers that address the role of art and material culture as it relates to the Greek East/Aegean region, broadly construed, in antiquity or late antiquity. Presentations that emphasize regionally distinctive monuments, artifacts, of different mediums, structures, manuscripts, and rituals are most welcome, along with recently discovered materials. 2) Ritual and Corpses: For this session, we seek papers that address art and material culture as it relates to death, the body, and related rituals broadly construed. Papers that address necromancy, necrology as well as sarcophagus imagery, relics and reliquary devotion, and funerary rituals are most welcome. 3) Religion Underground: For this session, we seek papers that address art and material culture as it relates to the catacombs and funerary environments. Papers that address imagery in such a setting, including frescoes, sculpted sarcophagi, glass, inscriptions, graffiti, funerary and other objects are desired. Papers that treat rituals that occur in such a funerary environment are also encouraged.

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Asian and Asian-American Hermeneutics

Monica J. Melanchthon
Henry W. Morisada Rietz
Description: The unit promotes Asian and Asian American biblical scholarship, highlighting the broad range of diversity that makes up the different Asian and Asian American communities. It also aims to contribute to diversifying biblical scholarship and expanding biblical studies in terms of topics, approaches and discourses.

Call for papers: The Asian and Asian American Hermeneutics group invites proposals for the following sessions: 1. Papers relating to reading the Bible and other sacred texts in, from, as well as to Asian and Asian American contexts and communities. We welcome papers that examine issues involved in interpretation and hermeneutics, as well as papers that offer readings of specific texts and passages from the Asian or the Asian American perspective. 2. In collaboration with the Program Units on Contextual Biblical Interpretation, Bible and Cultural Studies, and Islands, Islanders, and Scriptures we invite papers for a session on "Contextual Biblical Methodologies" (either methods shaped by a given context or theory-framed methods). Both veteran and first-time presenters are encouraged to submit proposals.

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Assyriology and the Bible

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

Call for papers: In Boston, the Assyriology and the Bible Section will host a special invited session on “The Perils of the Past and the Past in Peril: Ancient History in Modern Near East Politics,” as well as at least two open sessions in which we accept proposals on any subject related to the study of Assyriology and the Bible. Additionally, we invite papers for a special session on “Aramaic Magic texts through the Ages,” organized jointly with the SBL Aramaic Studies Section (to whom proposals should be submitted); this session will explore the Mesopotamian roots of the Aramaic magic tradition as well as later developments.

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Bible and Cultural Studies

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

Call for papers: This year Bible and Cultural Theory seeks papers that deal specifically with globalization and globalization theory as reading strategies for biblical texts—both Hebrew Bible and New Testament. Three main categories emerge from the broad field of globalization: economic, cultural, and technological globalization. How can biblical texts refract under such a lens (or lenses)? The intersection between globalization and postcolonial theory or the transition from postcolonial theory to globalization in biblical studies is of particular interest. We are also collaborating with Contextual Biblical Interpretation, Asian and Asian-American Hermeneutics, and Islands, Islanders, and Scriptures on an open call for papers for a session on “Contextual Biblical Methodologies” (either methods shaped by a given context or theory-framed methods). Finally, we will jointly sponsor, with several other SBL program units, two sessions on the topic, "The Present and the Future of Biblical Studies" to mark and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the journal, Biblical Interpretation (Brill). Speakers/panelists for both sessions have been invited.

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Bible and Emotion

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

Call for papers: The Bible and Emotion Group will host two sessions in 2017. One session will feature a panel of invited papers and respondents focusing on "Emotional Responses to Human Sin and Suffering in the New Testament and Related Literature: Exploring the Limits of Forgiveness, Repentance, and Compassion." The second session is OPEN. We invite proposals related to critical study of the Bible and emotion across the full range of biblical literature. We are interested in papers that explore methodological questions and that examine divine and/or human emotions in a biblical text, set of texts, book, or genre.

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Bible and Film

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

Call for papers: We invite papers for one or two open sessions dealing with the critical analysis of Bible and Film. Broadly construed, such analysis may take multiple forms and use diverse approaches (e.g., examining the use of the Bible in Film; constructing a critical dialogue between film(s) and biblical texts; utilizing film theory to enrich our understanding of films and/or biblical texts). For our additional sessions we seek papers that explore one of these four themes: (1) Race/Ethnicity in Bible and Film. These papers may examine the role/function of race in biblical texts and films and/or address recent films (Moonlight, Birth of a Nation, Fences, 13th) that focus on race/ethnicity. (2) Neglected biblical texts (e.g., pastoral epistles; "minor" prophets; apocryphal or extra-canonical texts). (3) Gender/Sexuality in biblical texts and films; (4) "Unusual" films such as film shorts, student films, or non-Hollywood cinema. Presenters usually have 40 minutes so that they may include 10 minutes of film clip(s) in their presentations.

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Bible and Popular Culture

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

Call for papers: This unit explores and analyzes the relationship between the Bible and popular culture. It focuses on materials designed for everyday life: comic strips, advertisements, theme parks, popular music, etc. Drawing from a variety of disciplines and analyzing both the printed and visual media, presenters will explore the interaction between biblical text and popular culture. We especially seek papers that address theoretical approaches to interpreting the Bible and popular culture, specific pedagogical practices on the Bible and popular culture that are working well for presenters in the classroom, as well as hands-on demonstrations of material culture (such as games or museum exhibits). In addition, we invite proposals related to any other aspect of the Bible and popular culture.

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Bible and Practical Theology

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

Call for papers: We invite paper proposals for one open session and two themed sessions. Open session: We invite papers on any issue emerging out of the intersections of biblical interpretation and practical theology (liturgy, formation, education, administration, pastoral care, and public theology) that encourages relational and interactive readings of both human situations and biblical texts. Interdisciplinary collegial presentations are encouraged but not required. Themed Session: We invite papers that engage biblical texts and practical theology that focus specifically on moral injury, soul repair and strategies for healing; (for example in the context of war, migration, immigration, race relations, and family violence). Interdisciplinary collegial presentations are encouraged but not required. Themed Session: Informing Post Modern Life: Dialogues Between Practical Theology and Biblical Studies We invite scholars to explore the relationship between practical theology as a discipline and pedagogy with the reading of the Bible in dialogue with issues of today. Suggested questions to explore (but not exclusive) might be the hermeneutical and epistemological lenses that practical theology might bring to reading biblical texts and/or how these lenses differ from other theological biblical interpretations. Interdisciplinary collegial presentations are encouraged but not required.

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Bible and Visual Art

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

Call for papers: (1) an open session dealing with any form of visual art (e.g. painting, sculpture, stained glass, book illustration, film, popular culture). In keeping with the section’s overall aim of exploring biblical works of art in the venue where the SBL takes place, we particularly encourage topics that relate to art, sculpture or other forms biblical art in public spaces in Boston. (2) We invite papers for a joint session with the Gender, Sexuality, and the Bible program unit on the theme ‘Gender Instability in Biblical Art and its Implications for Interpretation’. (3) A third session, co-sponsored with the Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity Seminar, will bring art historians and biblical scholars together to discuss the mutually illuminating interpretation of images and biblical texts.

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Bible in Ancient and Modern Media

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

Call for papers: Bible in Ancient and Modern Media highlights the mediation of biblical texts and traditions (both Hebrew Bible and New Testament) through multiple communicative media throughout history, spanning from antiquity to the present. In 2016, BAMM will host four sessions. The first session welcomes paper proposals on any aspect of “the Bible” (Hebrew Bible/Old Testament; New Testament; related literatures) in either ancient or modern media (memory, oral tradition, performance, written and/or printed text, art, music, iconography, graffiti, numismatics, electronic media, etc.). BAMM is especially interested in papers that offer critical analyses of the function of media in the construction of meaning. The second session will introduce the Dictionary of the Bible in Ancient Media (Bloomsbury T&T Clark) and will survey the status quaestionis of the Bible and ancient media culture. The third session will be a joint session with the Performance Criticism program unit (PCBOAT) that features the work of Richard Schechner, noted performance theorist from the New York University Tisch School of the Arts. Professor Schechner will be in attendance and formally respond to two invited papers on performance theory from members of the respective sections, followed by an open discussion in which all three participants invite questions and comments from those in attendance. The fourth session will be co-sponsored with the “Book History” and “Digital Humanities” program units and will feature an invited panel discussing Jeffrey Siker’s book Liquid Scripture: Bible in a Digital World (Fortress Press, forthcoming in 2017).

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Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory

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

Call for papers: Welcoming submissions for two thematic and one open session. 1)Myth in Ancient Mediterranean Religion: What role did myth or discrete myths play in specifically religious contexts in the ancient Mediterranean world? How might the Bible and other Ancient Near Eastern literatures inform our understanding of the role of myth in Greco-Roman religions, and vice versa? In what sense, if any, can mythological literature from the Greco-Roman and Ancient Near Eastern world be considered scriptural? This session is especially open to papers that foreground comparative and/or interdisciplinary research, including to those that employ non-philological methodologies (archaeology, art-history, etc.). 2)For a session on “Utopian Myth-Making and Social Formation,” we invite proposals that analyze how religious and philosophical communities imagine their Utopias and ideal communities. How did various religious communities generate utopian myths, competing for “correct” interpretations and contesting alternatives? How were such utopian ideals applied in actual communities? We aim to include papers that cover a range of methodologies and critical theories: textual and literary criticisms, philology, archaeology, art history, social and anthropological theories, and cognitive science. This session is co-sponsored by the Religious Competition in Late Antiquity and the Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory units. 3)Open call: We welcome proposals on myth and myth theory in both HB and NT biblical studies, including Greco-Roman and ANE contexts. We encourage participants from diverse specializations—including ANE literature and Greco-Roman religions—and a range of methodologies: textual and literary criticism, archeology, anthropology, etc.

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

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

Call for papers: The Biblia Arabica Consultation is planning two sessions for the AM in   Boston, under the general Heading, 'Bible Translations in the  Mediterranean and the Near Eastern worlds, from Medieval to Modern Times'. We invite papers on Bible translations not only into Arabic  but also into other languages--for example Aramaic, Syriac, Greek,  Latin, Coptic, Persian and Ethiopian Languages, and from all religious   traditions--in order to broaden the view of cultural and religious contexts against which our work of studying Bible translations into  Arabic can be discussed. The sessions will be a combination of solicited papers and open proposals. We would like to encourage  established scholars in the field of Bible translation, alongside advanced PhD students and beginning scholars, to propose papers about their current work.

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Biblical Ethics

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

Call for papers: This year we will have one methodological session (on “The Use of Older Biblical Traditions Related to Ethical Topics by Later Biblical Authors”) and a thematic session on “(Social) Justice and Equality: Is Equality a Central Element of (Social) Justice in the Bible?”. In addition, there will be a joint session with the section "Bible and Ethical Interpretation" on the topic "Ethics and Election: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Interpretations of ´Chosenness´ in the Bible." We invite paper proposals for all three sessions. For the first two sessions, potential presenters are expected to include an analysis of (a) specific biblical text(s) and not only focus on a discussion of various interpretative theories or other scholars´ interpretation of the relevant material. Regarding the session on "(Social) Justice and Equality," the presenters are also encouraged to look at similarities and differences between OT and NT or between one of the two Testaments and relevant extra-biblical material. The joint session on "Ethics and Election" addresses the following questions: What does it mean to be God's "chosen" and what are the moral implications, if any? What are the implications for the "enemies" of God's chosen people? Does a commitment to election inevitably result in violence toward the non-chosen? In his new book, Putting God Second, Donniel Hartman, president of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, explores the positive and negative moral implications of chosenness. His book asks, in part, "Why are the great monotheistic faiths ... chronically unable to fulfill their own self-professed goal of creating individuals fused with moral sensitivity and societies governed by the highest ethical standards?" We invite proposals that address the moral implications of election especially (but not exclusively) when election results in power inequality and even violence. All proposals should engage scriptural texts in dialogue with theological and/or ethical concerns.

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Biblical Exegesis from Eastern Orthodox Perspectives

Athanasios Despotis
James Buchanan Wallace
Description: This consultation will foster interpretation of biblical texts through engagement with Eastern Orthodox interpretive tradition. Such engagement might include critical reflection on Eastern patristics, Orthodox liturgical tradition, and modern Orthodox theologians to stimulate theological interpretation. The consultation will bring Orthodox perspectives to bear on contemporary exegetical issues.

Call for papers: This consultation will foster interpretation of biblical texts through engagement with Eastern Orthodox interpretive tradition. Such engagement might include critical reflection on Eastern patristics, Orthodox liturgical tradition, and modern Orthodox theologians to stimulate theological interpretation. The consultation will bring Orthodox perspectives to bear on contemporary exegetical issues.

Tags: Religious Traditions and Scriptures (History of Interpretation / Reception History / Reception Criticism)

Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics

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

Call for papers: This section aims to promote and discuss ongoing research into biblical Greek language and linguistics, covering the Septuagint and particularly the New Testament. While traditional language studies are welcome, methods derived from modern linguistic theories and their applications are encouraged.

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Biblical Hebrew Poetry

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

Call for papers: Biblical Hebrew Poetry will be holding four sessions. The first session addresses Reception History of the Poetry of the Hebrew Bible. Susan Gillingham will participate in this session, which addresses the reception history of Biblical Hebrew poetry. As demonstrated by her recent volume ‘Psalms Through the Centuries’, Gillingham concentrates upon the reception history of the Psalms. It is expected that others will engage with Gillingham’s methodology, or another well-defined methodology, to examine the array of contexts and manners of interpretation for discrete units of BH poetry. These might include the use of OT poetry in the NT, liturgical use of BH poetry over the ages, and commentaries, homilies, musical scores and artistic representations that address sections of BH poetry. The second session will explore lyric poetry in the Hebrew bible. Papers on topics such as linguistic features of lyric poetry, how lyric poetry utilizes descriptive or narrative elements, voicing in lyric poetry, the relationship between lyric poetry and other forms of poetry in particular biblical corpora, the saliency of lyric poetry, unique methodological approaches to the study of lyric poetry, or theology in relation to lyric poetry are welcome. Other approaches to lyric poetry may also be addressed. The third session includes an open call for papers. Papers on parallelism and literary features such as metonymy and metaphor are particularly welcome. The fourth session is a joint session with the section of Book of Psalms: Metonymy and Metaphor in the Poetry of the Book of Psalms. Metaphor has long been identified as a key element within biblical Hebrew poetry, but in recent years the understanding and significance of metonymy (closely related to metaphor) has grown. We are utilizing the book of Psalms as a test case for further examining metonymy and its relation to metaphor and poetry. We welcome all papers that deal with metaphor and/or metonymy in the poetry of the Psalms.

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Biblical Law

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

Call for papers: The Biblical Law section invites proposals for two open sessions on any aspect of the study of biblical law, including work related to cuneiform documents, the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Second Temple Literature, questions of pentateuchal criticism, legal history, gender analysis, social-scientific analysis, and newer methodologies. Together with the Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible section, we will be co-sponsoring a session of invited papers on the topic of "The Divine Image and Its Prohibition: Textual and Iconographic Considerations." Copies of papers are distributed in advance through our section's Web site (biblicallaw.net).

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Biblical Lexicography

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

Call for papers: The Section brings together those working on lexicography and lexicology of ancient biblical languages. The discussions seek to bring the theoretical to bear on the practical task of dictionary making and encourage research in the area of historical lexical analysis. The Biblical Lexicography Section is seeking proposals on relevant topics for the 2017 Annual Meeting. We welcome paper proposals for our open sessions on subjects of relevance to the lexicography and semantics of Hebrew, Greek or other biblical languages.

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Biblical Literature and the Hermeneutics of Trauma

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

Call for papers: This section will receive paper proposals for two sessions, each with its own topic. Papers may explore any dimension of trauma, including the following: individual, collective, and intergenerational experience; events or ongoing situations that traumatize; effects of traumatization; and strategies for recovery from and resilience against traumatization. Avenues of inquiry may include the ancient contexts from which the biblical texts emerged and in which they were appropriated, the history of their appropriation up to the present, as well as possibilities for their appropriation in the future. We encourage papers that address New Testament texts as well as those that address Old Testament texts. All papers should explicitly define the aspect(s) of trauma being employed and offer some evaluation of the usefulness of that definition for interpreting the biblical text. Proposals should indicate which of the following two topics will be addressed: (1) This session invites papers that give particular attention to the relationships among individual, collective, and intergenerational dimensions of trauma. (2) This session invites papers that address the polarizing effects of the "trauma narratives" that collectives adopt, especially to the extent that these narratives assign to certain groups blame for collective suffering. The work of Jeffrey Alexander and of Vamik Volkan offer useful points of departure for this discussion.

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Book History and Biblical Literatures

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

Call for papers: This section investigates how insights from Book History illuminate scriptural literatures. We consider the culturally contingent concepts of text, authorship, readership, publication, and materiality, marshaling scholars of Hebrew Bible/ANE, Judaism, Early Christianity, Nag Hammadi, Syriac studies, and other sub-fields within the SBL to encourage collaborative and comparative work. We will host three special sessions in 2017: a review panel on L. Lied and H. Lundhaug's Snapshots of Evolving Traditions, a joint session with Digital Humanities and Bible in Ancient and Modern Media on J. Siker's Liquid Scriptures, and a panel on reading cultures featuring classicist William Johnson. We will also host one open session in 2017.

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Book of Acts

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

Call for papers: For the 2017 annual meeting the Book of Acts Section is planning three sessions with attention to the theme “Acts and Embodiment.” The recent corporeal turn in the humanities has inspired an impressive array of new questions and fresh approaches to bodies and embodiment in early Christian literature. Yet, the complexities involved in understanding various kinds of corporeality in ancient texts like those in the New Testament are far from resolved. Session 1 is a co-sponsored session between the Gospel of Luke and Book of Acts Sections. This session will consist of invited panelists who will present on a range of topics related to corporeality in Luke-Acts, focusing in particular on questions that relate to bodily experience and bodily difference. Session 2 is a co-sponsored session between the Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity Seminar and the Book of Acts Section. This session will consist of invited panelists addressing the topic "Bodies and Embodiment as Rhetorical Topoi in Acts." Topoi are elastic and culturally located networks of elements that provide pictorial and rhetorical resources for persuasion in all kinds of discourse, including narrative. The panelists will investigate the rhetorical function of topoi related to bodies and embodiment in Acts. In particular, papers will focus on how topoi related to personal bodies in specific texts connect rhetorically with aspects of religious, social, ethnic, and/or cultural aspects of embodiment in Acts. Session 3 is an open session. The Book of Acts Section encourages a wide range of proposals that suggest fresh approaches to existing problems or that explore new strategies for interpreting Acts. Proposals that address questions related to embodiment in relation to the Acts of the Apostles will be particularly welcome.

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Book of Daniel

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

Call for papers: For the 2017 Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, the Book of Daniel Section invites proposals dealing with any topic or issue in the critical interpretation of Daniel, including the MT, the LXX, the Additions to Daniel, and pseudepigraphal materials related to Daniel. The best proposals will indicate a distinctive contribution to a current problem in the study of Daniel, or will bring a promising theoretical framework to a particular issue, or will raise new questions about an overlooked problem in the understanding of Daniel. All proposals must go through the SBL proposal submission link on the website.

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Book of Deuteronomy

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

Call for papers: At the 2017 meeting we will be holding four sessions: an open session, and three invited sessions. Two invited sessions are jointly sponsored with the Deuterononistic History and the Pentateuch sections. One session will deal with Deut 1-3 and its relation to a Deuteronomistic History, and the other with the two versions of the Decalogue. We will also hold an invited session on the question of the extent and provenance of the original core of Deuteronomy - the so-called Urdeuteronomium. For our open session we welcome proposals on any aspect of Deuteronomy, particularly on its literary history and development. We particularly encourage submissions on the topics we will cover in our invited sessions.

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Book of Psalms

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

Call for papers: For the Annual Meeting in 2017, the Book of the Psalms Section will organize the following three sessions: Open session: For the open session we invite papers investigating issues related to any text or texts within the Psalms. Body and Embodiment in the Book of Psalms: Exploration of body/embodiment in the Psalms may include (but are not limited to) questions regarding God’s figurative or literal embodiment as described in the text, the ANE understanding of body/body parts as it relates to Psalms, the connection between the physical body and senses, the unhealthy/unwell/broken body, or body/embodiment in/through worship. (Invited papers) Metonymy and Metaphor in the Poetry of the Book of Psalms (Joint session with Hebrew Poetry): We welcome all papers that deal with metaphor and/or metonymy in the poetry of the Psalms, but we are particularly interested in papers that address any of the following matters: (1) how metonymy and metaphor work in tandem and how they function differently, (2) how poetry is uniquely utilized in conjunction with metonymy and metaphor, (3) how the use of metonymy and metaphor in the Psalms may differ in its usage in other forms of biblical poetry, and (4) poetic analyses of metaphor and metonymy in specific psalms that bring fresh exegetical insights. (Invited papers--although an exceptional submission will be considered.)

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Book of Samuel: Narrative, Theology and Interpretation

David G. Firth
Rachelle Gilmour
Description: Utilising critical and literary methods, this unit focuses on the literary and theological interpretation of the Book of Samuel. The consultation promotes the integration of multiple methodologies in interpretation, including dialogue between specialists in synchronic and diachronic approaches.

Call for papers: Utilising critical and literary methods, this unit focuses on the literary and theological interpretation of the Book of Samuel. The consultation promotes the integration of multiple methodologies in interpretation, including dialogue between specialists in synchronic and diachronic approaches.

Tags: Former Prophets - 1-2 Samuel (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint))

Book of the Twelve Prophets

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

Call for papers: For the Annual Meeting in 2017, the Book of the Twelve Prophets Section will organize three sessions: an open session, an invited session about the book of Amos and an invited session about “Exile in the Book of the Twelve”. For the open session we invite papers investigating issues related to any text or texts within the Minor Prophets, with preference given to papers that address the formation or interrelatedness of the Minor Prophets as a literary corpus.

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Children in the Biblical World

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

Call for papers: The Children in the Biblical World section plans to host three sessions in 2017. The first will be an open session. We invite submissions on any topic related to children and the Bible, the ancient world, or how biblical texts affect children in the post-biblical world. The second session will present the work of the project “Tiny Voices from the Past: New Perspectives on Childhood in Early Europe” (Univ. of Oslo/Norwegian Research Council), and the publications which have resulted from this four year long examination of children in the ancient world (see http://www.hf.uio.no/ifikk/english/research/projects/childhood/index.html). The committee will invite the presenters for this session. The third session will be a joint session with the Women in the Biblical World and LGBTI/Queer Hermeneutics sections. Proponents of so-called "traditional" family values often appeal to biblical texts to implicitly or explicitly exclude families, or some people from families, that don't conform to a certain model. Yet, biblical texts often prove to be notoriously tricky analogues or preludes for such claims. This panel invites papers that consider strategies that build upon such disconnections or non-correspondences, as an opening onto critical, creative, or constructive uses of the context, content, or interpretation of the Hebrew Bible or New Testament.

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Christian Apocrypha

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

Call for papers: The Christian Apocrypha program unit will hold four sessions in 2017. The first of these is a joint session with the Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism program unit on the theme of “Coptic Apocrypha at Nag Hammadi and Beyond.” This session is intended to think about Coptic apocryphal literature more broadly than—but inclusive of and in conversation with—the Nag Hammadi Library. This session will have several invited participants, but submitted abstracts are very welcome. The second session will be a review of the newly-published anthology New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures (edited by Tony Burke and Brent Landau; Eerdmans, 2016) with invited panelists. The topics of the third and fourth sessions are open at present, though the steering committee has indicated interests in apocryphal epistles, and in the representation of the Christian Apocrypha in art and other facets of material culture.

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Christian Theology and the Bible

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

Call for papers: (1) The Christian Theology and Bible section is issuing an open call for papers for the second session of a four-year series exploring biblical figures who appear in both Testaments and their significance for Christian Theology. This year we will focus on the figure of Elijah. We invite papers that demonstrate how Elijah has influenced Christian theology in the past, that explore how theologians have interpreted Elijah in either Testament or both Testaments, and/or that describe Elijah’s role in constructive Christian theology today. (2) The Christian Theology and Bible section is also issuing an open call for papers as part of a four-year series on Christian theologians and their interpretation of the Bible. In honor of our New England location in 2017, the session invites papers on Jonathan Edwards and his theological interpretation of a specific text or set of texts in the Old or New Testament. The session is interested not only in Edwards as a historical theologian but also for his role in constructive Christian theology today. (3) The Christian Theology and Bible section will also be hosting a review panel (with invited panelists) of Dale B. Martin’s new book In a Sense: Theology WITH the New Testament (Yale University Press, 2017)

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Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah

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

Call for papers: The Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah section will run four sessions in 2017. The first session is an open session; we invite papers on any aspect of research on Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah. The second session will be a joint session with the Literature and History of the Persian Period Section, with invited papers. The third session will be on the topic of Gender Studies and Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah. Panelists will be invited, but we also welcome proposals on this topic. The fourth session will be an invited panel on recent and in-progress commentaries on Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah.

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Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Interpretation

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

Call for papers: The Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Interpretation section will hold two opens sessions at the 2017 meeting. Proposals over the past several years provide evidence that many biblical scholars are using diverse cognitive tools to engage biblical and cognate texts in new ways. These open sessions are intended to highlight the diversity and creativity of scholarship using various aspects of cognitive linguistics. The abstracts for these sessions should state the paper's thesis and explicitly describe the cognitive linguistic approach that will be taken.

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Construction of Christian Identities

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

Call for papers: In 2016, the SBL Seminar on the “Construction of Christian Identities” began a collaborative project designed to take stock of “Christian identity” research to date and to pilot generative ways forward for our common scholarly endeavor. If you are interested in receiving the Project Summary and 2017 Call for Papers, or in joining our email list, please contact Julia Snyder. We are accepting project-relevant paper proposals for the 2017 meeting. Papers will be circulated in advance of the meeting.

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Contextual Biblical Interpretation

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

Call for papers: We welcome papers that examine biblical texts or discuss methodology while making explicit the role that a reader’s contemporary context plays/played in the interpretation (whether the contemporary context of one’s own interpretation or the particular contexts of interpreters who are presented). We plan to have four very different sessions, two of which are joint. Papers presented will be considered for publication in an ongoing series Texts@Contexts (Bloomsbury T&T Clark). First, a session on “Contextualized Readings of Demons and Spirits” (informed by the scholars’/readers’ contexts): either (a) reading biblical texts with communities for which the spirit world (e.g. ancestors, evil/restless spirits, spirits in the natural world, shamanic contexts) is significant; or (b) contextual approaches (vs. demythologization) of biblical texts on spirits/demons/evil powers. Second, a text-centered session on Revelation and Paul’s Letters. Third, we are collaborating with Asian and Asian-American Hermeneutics, Bible and Cultural Studies, and Islands, Islanders, and Scriptures on an open call for papers for a session on “Contextual Biblical Methodologies” (either methods shaped by a given context or theory-framed methods). Fourth, we will jointly sponsor, with several other SBL program units, two sessions on the topic "The Present and the Future of Biblical Studies" to mark and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the journal, Biblical Interpretation (Brill). Speakers/panelists for both sessions will be invited.

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Contextualizing North African Christianity

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

Call for papers: This year we have an open call for two sessions. The first is entitled Exploring the Meaning of African Identity Among Christians in Roman Africa, and this session will continue our unit's contextualizing focus on the meaning and significance of distinctively African social and cultural expressions for the formation of Christian identities in Roman Africa. The second session is entitled Gospel Narratives in Christian Africa. This will be a history of interpretation session devoted to various Gospel narratives as found in the writings of Christians from North Africa, such as Tertullian, Cyprian, Lactantius, Optatus, the Donatists, and Augustine. These early Christian North African writers are important witnesses to the Vetus Latina and other versions of the scriptures, and they represent some of the most influential voices in the early Latin tradition of biblical interpretation and theology.

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Corpus Hellenisticum Novi Testamenti

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

Call for papers: In 2017, the CHNT Section invites papers for two sessions. The first will focus on Religion and the Home in the Roman World. The second will focus on conceptions, treatment, and styles of hair in antiquity with special consideration given to essays on 1 Corinthians, 1 Timothy, and 1 Peter. A third pre-arranged session is also planned with the title "Dangerous Acts."

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Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature

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

Call for papers: For the 2017 meeting, the Deuterocanonical Literature Program Unit would like to focus in two sessions on the theme of the reception of "Torah" in Deuterocanonical literature. Paper proposals are welcome! In two further sessions, the theme will be the Book of Sirach, with its theology and textual complexity. Paper proposals for this section are also welcome! Thus, start writing, as we are looking forward to reading your proposals and starting a discussion!

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

Deuteronomistic History

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

Call for papers: The open session in 2017 invites contributions on the historiography of the Books of Samuel. Over the last several decades, historiographical considerations together with debates regarding the "Deuteronomistic History" have led to a reevaluation of historiography in 1-2 Samuel. Recent discussion has centered on the retention (or not) of such concepts as the "Succession Narrative" and the "History of David's Rise," the nature of the relationship between Samuel and Kings, and the possible parallels between 1-2 Samuel and extra-biblical historiographical literature. For this session, we especially welcome papers that address how the concept of a Deuteronomistic History both impacts the understanding of 1-2 Samuel as historiography and its use as a source for the "history" of Israel and Judah.

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Development of Early Christian Theology

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

Call for papers: For 2017 we are accepting proposals for one session (in addition to a planned review discussion and a session on the Diatessaron):

Monogenes in Early and Late-Antique Christian Theology. Not only were the meaning and referent of the Johannine term Monogenes contested in early and late-antique Christianity theology, but the term also functioned variously in different Christological, soteriological, and Trinitarian logics and argumentative contexts. For this session we welcome papers that examine the early and late-antique Christian debate over Monogenes and especially how it was specifically deployed in theological argumentation.

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Digital Humanities in Biblical, Early Jewish, and Christian Studies

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

Call for papers: All our sessions are open to paper proposals and will also welcome invited papers. 1) The Impact of Digital Humanities on the Study of Non-Canonical Texts: One Digital Humanities session will be co-sponsored with the SBL “Pseudepigrapha” and AAR “Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity” program units. All papers should explore the influence of the Digital Humanities in general, and the ongoing digitization of manuscripts in particular, on the study of non-canonical texts. These texts must either fall into the broad category of “pseudepigrapha” or stem from or have been influential in Eastern Late Antiquity ; but they need not fall into both categories. The session will provide opportunities for comparison between Digital Humanities projects in these subject areas even if individual papers focus on one category or the other. 2) Liquid Scripture: Bible in a Digital World: One Digital Humanities session will be co-sponsored with the SBL “Book History” and “Bible in Ancient and Modern Media” program units. After a panel on Jeffrey Siker’s book Liquid Scripture: Bible in a Digital World (Fortress Press; forthcoming in 2017), we will welcome papers related to this general topic. 3) Digital Rabbinic Literature: One Digital Humanities session will be co-sponsored with the SBL “Rabbinic Literature section”. It will demonstrate and discuss digital resources for the study of rabbinic literature and cognate fields, and is envisioned as a digital poster session. Interested participants with questions should contact the unit co-chairs. 4) “Code(s) in the Digital Age”: One Digital Humanities session will be devoted to the important question of the “code”, according to the full meanings of the term. We will welcome papers on the importance of encoding knowledge in our fields, open-code and code sharing in digital projects, as well as papers on all the ethical issues related to the digital culture, including gender, ecological, or economical issues.

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Disputed Paulines

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

Call for papers: The Disputed Paulines Section will offer two sessions in 2017, for which we invite papers exploring historical, sociological, literary (including rhetorical), and theological matters that bear upon the interpretation of one or more of the Disputed Paulines (or a discreet section thereof). This year, we would especially welcome papers that explore the theme of grace in one or more of those letters.

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Early Christianity and the Ancient Economy

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

Call for papers: The Early Christianity and Ancient Economy program unit sponsors three research areas that explore the increasing, and timely, turn to the economic in the study of ancient social, cultural, and intellectual history. The first research area involves a study of all the major aspects of the economy in the ancient world, especially the Roman Empire. The second research area examines early Christianity from the first to the fifth centuries CE both in relationship to the ancient economy and in regard to its own economic aspects. The third research area focuses on issues of method and theory in the study of ancient economies. Both synchronic and diachronic studies are encouraged, as are contributions focused on specific issues (such as money, texts, authors, themes, and events). Paper proposals for all three research areas are welcomed, especially those that make use of papyri, inscriptions, and other realia. At least two sessions are planned for the Boston meeting. The first is an open session consisting of papers submitted in response to the call for papers in any of the three research areas. The second session will consist of papers exploring a particular issue of method and theory in the study of ancient economies: New Institutional Economics (NIE), the regnant paradigm for the study of the ancient economy, tends to focus on activities and policies related specifically to market activity. However, extra-mercantile transfers of currency, goods, and services (e.g., tribute, taxation, looting, banquets, patronage, & other forms of euergetism) must have amounted to a substantial proportion of the wealth in circulation in the imperial period, perhaps rivaling the scale of mercantile activity. This session aims to press historians not only to consider the significant role of the extra-mercantile economy but also to problematize the conceptual separation of mercantile from extra-mercantile exchanges—a separation with the potential to reduce “economics” to the market economy.

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Early Exegesis of Genesis 1

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

Call for papers: In 2017, the focus of the session will be the exegesis of Genesis 1 after Origen up through the Cappadocian Fathers. Therefore, papers may be submitted that deal with Athanasius of Alexandria, Eusebius of Emesa, Eusebius of Caesarea, Ephrem the Syrian, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa or related topics. The question whether the Arian controversy is based on an exegetical discourse about Genesis 1 may also be addressed.

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Early Jewish Christian Relations

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

Call for papers: The Early Jewish Christian Relations section is planning three sessions. The first will be an invited panel on the legacy of Krister Stendahl, to coincide with the annual meeting's location in Boston. The other two will be open sessions, and we are especially eager to receive proposals dealing with one or more of the following: gender and sexuality, material culture, affect theory, the holy land or other considerations of space and place, critical race theory, and pedagogical concerns in the teaching of early Jewish Christian relations. Inquiries should be directed to Shira Lander (slander@mail.smu.edu) or Eric Smith (ecsmith@iliff.edu).

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Ecological Hermeneutics

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

Call for papers: In 2017, there will be a special session which will focus on “Ecology and the End.” “The End” (glossed with terms such as eschatology and apocalyptic) looms large in biblical interpretation and biblical literature. What shadows does this cast over an ecological hermeneutics? What response can be given to the simplistic, but pervasive, notion that ecology does not matter, since the Bible tells us that God will wrap up the world in due course? The scope of the term “the End” is deliberately left vague, to allow for a proposals to take an innovative slant in their approach to a biblical passage or motif. / Proposals on any biblical text are also invited for inclusion in an open session. Proposals are encouraged to engage with the principles of ecological hermeneutics - suspicion, identification, retrieval (Habel and Trudinger, Exploring Ecological Hermeneutics, SBL 2008) and/or the methodology of the Exeter project (Horrell, Hunt and Southgate, Greening Paul, Baylor 2010). / There will also be a joint session with the AAR Christian Spirituality Group with contributors to the book Planetary Solidarity: Global Women's Voices on Christian Doctrine and Climate Justice (Fortress Press, Spring 2017) reflecting on the intersection of climate and gender injustice and resources for a spirituality that is rooted in and nurtured by a deep planetary solidarity. This is an invited session, however, proposals that develop such themes in relation to biblical material are invited for the open session.

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Economics in the Biblical World

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

Call for papers: The "Economics in the Biblical World" program unit is planning two sessions for the 2017 annual meeting. One session will be an invited panel of contributors for an upcoming volume with Fortress Press on wealth and poverty in the biblical world. The second session will be an open call with the theme of "Land and the Common Good." In Israel and Second-Temple Judea, as in other agrarian societies, the people and state were almost completely dependent on the land for their livelihood. People possessed and worked land in various arrangements, and “property" and "ownership" of land are debated concepts in our field. Questions remain about the use of the land and its produce and the extent to which land was ever a common resource for villages and the larger society. We invite proposals that wrestle with the concept of land, property ownership, and survival in the subsistence-based economy of ancient Judea. Papers that address key biblical texts in this regard (e.g., Nehemiah 5, Leviticus 25, parables in the Synoptic Gospels) are welcome, as are presenters who wish to explore extra canonical evidence.

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Egyptology and Ancient Israel

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

Call for papers: The Egyptology and Ancient Israel section invites papers for two sessions of the 2017 meetings. The first session is OPEN, accepting papers dealing with any topic relating to ancient Egypt, Israel, and/or the Hebrew Bible. The second session invites papers with a general focus on Egyptology and prophets, prophecy, and the prophetic corpus in the Hebrew Bible and/or ancient Israel.

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Ethics and Biblical Interpretation

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

Call for papers: For the 2017 Annual Meeting, the Biblical Ethics and the Bible and Ethical Interpretation sections will co-host a session on Ethics and Election: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Interpretations of "Chosenness" in the Bible. What does it mean to be God's "chosen" and what are the moral implications, if any? What are the implications for the "enemies" of God's chosen people? Does a commitment to election inevitably result in violence (including indifference) toward the non-chosen? In his new book, Putting God Second: How to Save Religion from Itself, Rabbi Donniel Hartman, the president of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, explores the positive and negative moral implications of chosenness, among other subjects. His book asks, in part, "Why are the great monotheistic faiths--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--chronically unable to fulfill their own self-professed goal of creating individuals fused with moral sensitivity and societies governed by the highest ethical standards?" Our program units invite proposals that address the moral implications of election especially when election results in power inequality and even violence. All proposals should engage scriptural texts in dialogue with theological and/or ethical concerns.

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Ethiopic Bible and Literature

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

Call for papers: We plan three sessions. The THEOT (Textual History of the Ethiopic Old Testament Project): The THEOT project has analysed large sets of Ethiopic manuscripts dating from the 14th-20th centuries CE for several books, including Deuteronomy, Judges, Ruth, 1-4 Kings, Esther, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Hosea, Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, Malachi, and the Biblical Canticles. Analysis is developing a picture of textual families, their defining features , and a picture of the key factors influencing the development of the text. Papers presenting the current state of research, or that synthesize data and develop the picture of the textual history are invited. Papers are welcome from those involved with the THEOT project, or from others working on Ethiopian manuscripts who can present research that builds the picture of the textual history, in particular those with an interest in the relevance of this work to the study of the Septuagint. Alongside this we plan a panel discussion on the application of digital technology in the study of textual history. Secondly, Ideology, Sociology and Literary Formation in the Ethiopic Tradition. The Ethiopic tradition bears as many marks of originality as it does marks of external influence. Influences come from Christian traditions—such as Greek, Syriac, and Armenian—but also from Jews and Muslims in the Horn of Africa, Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula. Ethiopian theologians and community leaders developed their own sense of identity and expressed these in their form of the biblical text (unique in form and extent) and in various works of literature. Proposals on any aspect are welcomed. We also plan to continue our fruitful joint sessions with the Syriac Literature and Interpretations of Sacred Texts Section, so we invite contributions that show intersections between Ethiopic and Syriac or Syriac-Arabic exegetical, literary, or historical traditions. We are especially interested in papers that deal with hagiographical traditions on asceti

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Ethnic Chinese Biblical Colloquium

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

Call for papers: The first official meeting of ECBC was held at Andover Newton Theological School in January of 1995. Rarely if ever have we explicitly and self-consciously examined the role of our ethnicity in our work as biblical scholars. In a series of three eclectic presentations we will examine this theme in this year’s session presented by three of our members, one born in Hong Kong, one a third generation Chinese American and one born in mainland China - and all women!

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Exile (Forced Migrations) in Biblical Literature

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

Call for papers: We will hold two panels, both of which involve a mix of papers selected from an open call and invited papers. We welcome paper proposals for the following topics: 1. Forced Migrations in the Long Sixth Century This session explores the social, political, and religious structures and practices that facilitated and profited from the forced migrations from the end of the Assyrian period through the sixth century BCE. Special attention will be paid to the interaction of texts and material culture as evidence for the ways in which migrations both reflected imperial commitments and reshaped the very structures of the empires involved. 2. Involuntary Migration and the Joseph Narrative (Gen 37–50). Joseph, the protagonist of Gen 37–50, is an involuntary migrant. He is captured by his brothers, trafficked into Egypt, and imprisoned. The denouement of the Joseph story finds him reunited with his family, which would not have happened were they not environmentally induced involuntary migrants fleeing to Egypt to survive famine in Judah. This session will explore these aspects of Gen 37–50 and others employing interdisciplinary methods to analyze these texts.

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Feminist Hermeneutics of the Bible

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

Call for papers: The Feminist Hermeneutics of the Bible invites colleagues to offer papers for three sessions. The first is an open session on any topic in feminist hermeneutics. The second is a session of paired papers reading the same passage of Scripture from two different points of view (e.g., feminist & womanist perspectives; different methodologies). Colleagues choosing to offer paired papers should indicate in their proposal the other paper with which their paper is paired. The third session is offered jointly with the Paul and Politics Group, and is a session for papers that interrogate the Pauline texts, adoption, and reproductive justice in ancient and contemporary politics. We welcome proposals for papers on adoption in Pauline texts with particular attention paid to the presenters' theories of reading adoption in Paul. In addition, the section is organizing an invited panel reviewing the volumes edited by Susanne Scholz, Feminist Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Retrospect (Sheffield Phoenix Press). In addition to these regular sessions, we will jointly sponsor, with several SBL program units including the Bible and Cultural Studies and the Reading, Theory and the Bible units, two special sessions on the topic “The Present and Future of Biblical Studies” to mark and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the journal, Biblical Interpretation (Brill). Speakers/panelists for both sessions have already been invited.

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Formation of Isaiah

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

Call for papers: The Formation of Isaiah group will offer three sessions in 2017, consisting of both invited and accepted papers. 1. We invite proposals for a session on Babylon and the Making of Isaiah. What does the book's presentation of Babylon tell us about Isaiah's formation? How is Babylon remembered and presented in this prophetic book? How has the memory of Babylonian involvement in the affairs of Judah served as a generative force in the preservation, expansion, and transmission of material now found in the book of Isaiah? How have Babylonian political, economic and/or religious concerns impacted the formation of the book? 2. We invite proposals for a session on Persia and the Making of Isaiah. What does the book's presentation of Persia and its representatives tell us about Isaiah's formation? How is Persia remembered and presented in this prophetic book? How has the memory of Persian involvement in the affairs of Judah served as a generative force in the preservation, expansion, and transmission of material now found in the book of Isaiah? How have Persian political, economic and/or religious concerns impacted the formation of the book? 3. Finally, we invite proposals for a session on the Making of Isaiah and Methodological Questions. How have scholars of Isaiah raised questions of methodology in the study of the book’s formation in recent years? What newer methodologies have been used in the study of the book’s composition and development? What questions about Isaiah’s composition and formation have newer methods surfaced? How have questions posed by newer methodologies impacted more traditional methods of understanding Isaiah’s composition (e.g., literary criticism, redaction criticism, etc.)? What role do traditional methods continue to play in understanding the book’s formation? Presenters are invited to reflect on such questions in relation to any passage or section of the book or the book as a whole.

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Gender, Sexuality, and the Bible

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

Call for papers: Our FIRST SESSION is an open session, welcoming proposals on any element of research related to gender, sexuality, and the body in the study of the bible and/or antiquity. Our SECOND SESSION is a jointly sponsored session with the Bible and Visual Art program unit on Gender Instability in Biblical Art and its Implications for Interpretation. Additionally, we will jointly sponsor, with several other SBL program units, two sessions on the topic, "The Present and Future of Biblical Studies" to mark and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the journal Biblical Interpretation (Brill). Speakers/panelists for both sessions have been invited. Please email Gwynn Kessler at kessler@swarthmore.edu or Rhiannon Graybill at graybillr@rhodes.edu with questions.

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Genesis

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

Call for papers: The Genesis Section invites submissions on any aspect of the study of the book of Genesis for two open sessions for the 2017 meetings. Papers addressing food, meals, and sacrifices are particularly encouraged this year for the third Genesis section.

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Global Education and Research Technology

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

Call for papers: The Global Education and Research Technology (GERT) section invites proposals for the following 3 sessions: (1) Open Session. We invite proposals on any topic relevant to the use of information and communication technology for biblical scholarship and teaching worldwide. Preference will be given to proposals that involve the use of free and open software and data and that are potentially applicable to different global settings. (2) Best Practices in Online Teaching (co-sponsored with the Academic Teaching and Biblical Studies section). An increasing number of faculty members are teaching all or part of their courses online. What are best practices in online teaching? This session will focus on techniques and approaches that have proven to be fruitful in online education. Presentations will be 20 min. and should focus on demonstrating the approach. Preference will be given to proposals that do not involve the purchase of expensive proprietary equipment or software and that may be applicable to different global settings. (3) Open Collaborative Annotation Workshop. This workshop-style session is designed to examine what you can do now with bleeding edge open collaborative annotation tools like hypothes.is. Each presenter will offer a brief, 5-10 min. overview of some collaborative classroom or research project where open collaborative annotation is being used. They will then have about 20 min. to lead attendees in hands-on exploration. All attendees are encouraged to bring their own web-enabled devices, so that everyone can do close reading together and comment with their own web browsers. There will also be open discussion about the limitations of these tools and about how they could be extended to better support the kind of workflows needed in the biblical studies domain.

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Gospel of Luke

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

Call for papers: The Gospel of Luke Section plans to offer three sessions in 2017. Our first session will focus, as before, on one of the major features of the Gospel of Luke. This year we will explore the role of the Spirit in the Gospel of Luke. This session on Luke and the Spirit will feature papers by invited panelists. A second session, sponsored jointly with the Book of Acts Section, will focus on the body and embodiment in Luke-Acts. This session will consist of invited panelists who will present on a range of topics related to corporeality in Luke-Acts, focusing in particular on questions that relate to bodily experience and bodily difference. For our remaining session, we welcome paper proposals dealing with any aspect of the interpretation of the Gospel of Luke.

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Greco-Roman Religions

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

Call for papers: The Greco-Roman Religions Section invites papers for two open sessions. The first session focuses on the ongoing work towards the book project, “Redescribing Cult Formation in the Early Imperial Era. Discourse, Invention, Material Religion.” For the 2017 session, the project coordinators encourage proposals that bring together theoretical perspectives and case studies in an integrated systemic analysis and critique, while also exploring the benefits and potential of the strategies developed in the course of the project to help make the intended volume more impactful and provocative of further research. Successful proposals will interact with the theoretical topoi as set out in the project description, including diasporic identity formations, spatial conceptions of the sacred and social positionality and New Religious Movements, and construct “thick” redescriptive theorizing of ancient cult formations in accordance with the theoretical framework set out above. Please consult the full project description at http://greco-romanreligion.blogspot.co.za/2014/12/redescribing-cult-formation-in-early.html. For the second session, “Interpreting ‘Religion’ in the Mediterranean World: Issues in Historiography of Greco-Roman Religious Discourses,” papers are invited that that explore, investigate, and/or theorize the contribution from material evidence, artefactual remains, and material contexts for our understanding of religions in the Greek and Roman worlds; especially focusing on contextual practices as they relate to wider encompassing social, cultural and religious discourses, encouraging a “thick” description and analysis of specific cults (inter alia in terms of spatial orientation, architecture, cult economics, polis-connections, organization, practice, ritual paraphernalia, myth) as comparanda in a comparative exploration of the continuities and discontinuities between cultic institutions. Younger scholars, PhD candidates, and post-doctoral researchers are particularl

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Greek Bible

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

Call for papers: For any open sessions, Greek Bible invites proposals that focus on how later writers use the Septuagint (see section description above). Our themed session in 2017 welcomes papers on Septuagint lexicology, including semantics, lexical innovation in the Septuagint, such as "unconventional," or "inventive" use of the Greek language in ancient Hebrew-Greek translation literature (Greek Bible) and its subsequent adoption (or non-adoption) by later authors (Jewish, Christian or pagan). Cameron Boyd-Taylor offers the following clarification: Attention may be paid, not only to calques, loan-words and neologisms, but subtler phenomena as well which departed from current lexical convention, such as novel (or at least hitherto unattested) collocations, distributions, associations, register of use, extensions, tropes etc. For instance some of the divine epithets in the Septuagint are unexpected, but are not simply translation phenomena, as they make their way into the Sibylline literature. This topic lends itself to the "pre-Barr post-Barr" divide as well, since it speaks to the debate between Barr and Hill over semantic transfer. Readers of the Septuagint have long noted its quirky use of language. The trick is to account for its origin and trace its impact on later authors. This of course requires the sort of methodological strictures that Barr argued for. Yet it also involves the investigator in more recent approaches to lexical semantics and language contact. The tendency recently has been to re-affirm Deismann's work, stressing the affinities between Septuagint usage and the evidence of the papyri etc. But there is a place for Hatch as well, which is to say, there is authentic transformation in our literature, and some of it would be of lasting significance. Moreover such phenomena undoubtedly open up a window on the times.

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Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World

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

Call for papers: The unit plans to have at least three sessions at the 2017 meeting. 1) At least one open session, welcoming paper proposals on any aspect of health and disability related to the Bible. 2) The Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World Section, in collaboration with the working group ReMedHe (Religion, Medicine, Disability, and Health in Late Antiquity), invites early career scholars to submit a dissertation prospectus or first book proposal for a rotating round table workshop. We welcome projects that address or reveal connections between ancient religion and disability, medicine, or health including rudimentary proposals for dissertations or first monographs, dissertation prospectus materials, and projects-in-progress from later stages of dissertation or monograph work that could still benefit from feedback on project shape and aims. Each accepted proposal will be pre-circulated to receive formal comments from at least one colleague who works in a relevant field. At the workshop presenters will give a short presentation that introduces a small group to their work, which will be followed by one formal response (approximately 10 minutes for presentation and response, depending on the number of proposals). Following the formal response proposals will be workshopped by participants who will rotate to hear each proposal presentation and offer constructive feedback. Proposals should include an abstract (250-500 words), and name at least two sub-fields in which presenters anticipate that their project will make an impact. Abstracts should describe the main argument or insights of the project, and might also describe the methods of inquiry, and the key evidence to be explored. 3) An invited session focused on reviewing two books: Candida Moss and Joel Baden's Reconceiving Infertility: Biblical Perspectives on Procreation and Childlessness and Sarah Melcher, Mikeal C. Parsons and Amos Yong's Disability and the Bible: a Commentary.

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Hebrew Bible and Political Theory

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

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

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Hebrew Bible, History, and Archaeology

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

Call for papers: The Hebrew Bible, History, and Archaeology program unit invites papers for open sessions. Papers should fit broadly with the mission of the program unit, reflect critically upon the relationship between the biblical literary materials, history of ancient Israel and Judah, and material culture, and to develop and model theoretical positions on the relationship between these corpora and disciplines. One invited session is planned on the topic of forgery and provenance in writing histories of ancient Israel and Judah.

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Hebrew Scriptures and Cognate Literature

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

Call for papers: The Hebrew Scriptures and Cognate Literature Section offers a wide-ranging forum for new research on specific points of contact between the Bible and the literatures of Israel's neighbors, with the goal of understanding biblical texts as they relate to the broader production of ancient scribes. We welcome submissions on all relevant topics, emphasizing that papers must incorporate both biblical and non-biblical material. There will be either one or two open sessions, depending on the decision of the committee regarding paper submissions. In 2017, there will be a joint session with the Pentateuch Section with invited papers on Empirical Models Challenging Biblical Criticism.

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Hebrews

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

Call for papers: The Hebrews section is planning two sessions for 2017. (1) In view of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, one session will focus on the role and interpretation of Hebrews within the wide range of issues debated during the Reformation. Papers for this session will be invited. (2) The other session will be open to any papers directly related to the interpretation of Hebrews, though we particularly welcome proposals that consider aspects of the interpretation of Hebrews from the medieval period through the sixteenth century.

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Hellenistic Judaism

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

Call for papers: For the 2017 SBL Annual Meeting, the Hellenistic Judaism section proposes three sessions. First, we are planning an invited panel engaging with, and celebrating, the contributions of Tessa Rajak to the study of Hellenistic Judaism (co-sponsored by the Philo of Alexandria seminar and the Josephus group). Second, we are planning an open session focusing on Jewish philosophy in the Hellenistic period, discussing Jewish engagement, apart from and around Philo of Alexandria, with Greek philosophy as well as other philosophies / forms of thought. We encourage proposals on works such as late canonical and deuterocanonical books (Qohelet, Sirach, Wisdom of Solomon), Aristobulus, the Letter of Aristeas, 4 Maccabees, Flavius Josephus, and even the Mishnah, among others. Third, we invite papers for an open session on any aspect of the study of Hellenistic Judaism during the Hellenistic-Roman period.

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Historical Jesus

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

Call for papers: For the 2017 meeting we are again planning for one or two open sessions with short papers and a fair amount of time for discussion. We accept a wide range of topics, but papers must address issues relevant for the study of the HISTORICAL Jesus. Proposals are evaluated through a blind review process. Abstracts should offer a clear thesis and method, and they must provide supporting arguments showing how the paper furthers the present state of historical Jesus studies. We are also planning one session on the historical Jesus and slavery and one session on the historical Jesus and exorcism and spirit possession; in both cases papers will be mainly invited, but some offered papers may be included as well.

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Historiography and the Hebrew Bible

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

Call for papers: The Historiography and Hebrew Bible Program Unit is once again accepting paper proposals that engage contemporary debates regarding the theories and methods of history writing (including, but not limited to, space, cultural/social memory, frontier studies, feminist theory, post­colonialism, diaspora studies, literary theory, and ideological criticism) and which discuss how these perspectives matter for the use of particular Hebrew Bible texts for historical study.

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History and Literature of Early Rabbinic Judaism

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

Call for papers: For 2017, History and Literature of Early Rabbinic Judaism is organizing an invited panel entitled "Beyond Law: Rethinking the Study of Rabbinic Texts as Legal Literature." Additionally, we are planning two co-sponsored sessions. The first is a session that demonstrates and discusses digital resources for the study of rabbinic literature and cognate fields, to be co-sponsored with the Digital Humanities in Biblical, Early Jewish, and Christian Studies unit. This is envisioned as a digital poster session; interested participants with questions should contact the unit co-chairs. The second, co-sponsored with the Augustine and Augustinianisms unit of the AAR, will be on discourses of self-control in Augustine and/or Rabbinic Jewish texts. The session will seek to put these two distinct textual bodies in conversation with each other to see how they might shed light on each other. Papers need not be comparative, but rather should engage an aspect of self-control (e.g., refusing temptation) in Augustine or Rabbinic texts. We are interested in papers that explore the extent to which and the nature in which vulnerability persists, and what it means for people to attain self-control, even if only momentarily. Are there activities that may or may not promote self-control? An invited respondent will then help put these papers in conversation with each other. Finally, we are issuing an open call for papers on any aspect of rabbinic literature, with preference given for those that engage questions of medicine, health, and disability.

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History of Interpretation

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

Call for papers: In 2017 there will be three sessions: the first is a closed session on the legacy of JB Lightfoot's New Testament commentaries; the second is an invited session on the Reformation and what was distinctive about its biblical exegesis, with reference to the Reformation Bible Commentary series, published by IVPUSA. The third will be an open session and for this we particularly welcome papers on medieval Jewish interpretation and medieval Christian exegetical responses to it.

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Homiletics and Biblical Studies

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

Call for papers: The Homiletics and Biblical Studies Section issues an open call for papers for the 2017 meeting in Boston. The papers can concern various topics in the intersection between homiletics and biblical studies. In addition to the open call, we will sponsor invited panels on Lutheran Hermeneutics in honor of the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation in Germany and on the Sermon on the Mount as Resistance Literature. We will not accept proposals for these panels, but will issue invitations.

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Ideological Criticism

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

Call for papers: This Section approaches the Bible through critical philosophical perspectives and explores how power shapes and is shaped by the Bible and its reception. We embrace various definitions of ideology and approaches to uncovering the political stakes of the Bible and of its uses and influences. We will jointly sponsor, with several other SBL program units, two sessions on the topic, “The Present and the Future of Biblical Studies,” to mark and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the journal, Biblical Interpretation (Brill). Speakers/panelists for both sessions have been invited. We invite submissions of papers for a session on how the theoretically sophisticated work with the Bible that our group explores becomes impactful outside of the academy. How does ideological criticism of the Bible shape radical praxis beyond the academy? Finally, we will host a review panel of papers on the forthcoming book by Roland Boer and Christina Petterson, *Time of Troubles: Christianity in the Context of Greco-Roman Economics* (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2017).

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Institute for Biblical Research

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

Call for papers: The Institute of Biblical Research holds an Annual Lecture each year on the Friday night prior to SBL. This lecture is invited and this coming year (2017) will be delivered by John Walton. There are, however, opportunities for involvement in IBR in research groups which take place on Friday afternoon. For the Call for Papers as well as purpose and plans for these research groups please go to https://www.ibr-bbr.org (and click on Research Groups). For further information about IBR and the IBR program please go to https://www.ibr-bbr.org or contact Mark Boda at mjboda@mcmaster.ca.

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International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies

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

Call for papers: The year 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS). We invite papers on any aspect of LXX and cognate literature as a celebration of this event. Proposals for the Boston meeting should be submitted through the SBL Annual Meetings website. Please direct any queries to Leonard Greenspoon at ljgrn@creighton.edu.

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International Qur’anic Studies Association

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

Call for papers: The International Qur’anic Studies Association fosters scholarship on the Qur’an, its context, its relationship to other scriptural traditions, and its influence upon literature and culture. IQSA facilitates the broad and open discussion of the Qur’an from a variety of academic perspectives.

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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 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.

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Intertextuality and the Hebrew Bible

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

Call for papers: Our theme for 2017 is “Art, Literature (including Scripture), and Religion” with special focus on Julia Kristeva. While all papers in broad areas of “Intertextuality and HB” are welcome, special consideration will be given to proposals that address any aspect of the work of Julia Kristeva or its impact in the fields of art, literature (including Scripture), and/or religion.

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Intertextuality in the New Testament

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

Call for papers: The Intertextuality in the New Testament Section seeks paper proposals for three sessions, two themed and one open. 1) The first themed session will focus on ancient Jewish exegetical methods and the New Testament. We seek papers which give a description of ancient Jewish exegetical practices (e.g., rabbinic or midrashic techniques, methods from Hellenistic Jewish exegetes as Philo, and exegetical practices from any other ancient Jewish author) and which explain how a given New Testament author employs or modifies the same method in their own intertextual readings of the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, or other ancient texts. 2) The second themed session invites papers that focus on the intertextual use and interpretation of the Pentateuch by New Testament authors. 3) The third session is open and invites papers on all elements of intertextuality and New Testament interpretation.

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Inventing Christianity: Apostolic Fathers, Apologists, and Martyrs

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

Call for papers: In 2017, the unit invites papers for two sessions. The first will focus on early Christian apologists. Special consideration will be given to papers that focus on Aristides. The second session, “Inventing Christianity in the Media,” asks how early Christians used various media to spread their cause (e.g., via book production).

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Islands, Islanders, and Scriptures

Fiona C Black
Nasili Vaka’uta
Description: This section is a platform for island and islander views, languages, peoples, swaggers, rhythms and more. It engages interests and realities of islanders from and between the Caribbean and Oceania, and how those condition the reception, translation and interpretation of scriptures.

Call for papers: The Islands, Islanders and Scripture Section encourages presenters to submit proposals for three sessions this year. The first, a combination of open call and invited papers, will address the themes of mobility and migration. A second, open session will address the impact of the environment on islands and island readings, with particular attention paid to the ecological health and future of islands and seas. Third, we are collaborating with Asian and Asian-American Hermeneutics, Bible and Cultural Studies and Contextual Biblical Interpretation on an open call for papers for a session on “Contextual Biblical Methodologies” (either methods shaped by a given context or theory-framed methods).

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Israelite Prophetic Literature

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

Call for papers: Israelite Prophetic Literature will sponsor three sessions at the 2017 Annual Meeting. (1) Reading Prophetic Literature as Aesthetic Artifacts. We accept proposals that examine what it means to read prophetic literature as aesthetic artifacts, using various methodologies, including performance theory. With an understanding of prophetic oracles as literary artifacts, papers may examine questions such as what does it mean to experience these oracles as poetic performance? In the process of reading/hearing such poetry what new questions should be brought to the interpretation of these texts? Further aspects can be explored, such as the experiences of the reader as well as the impact of play, multivalence, and polyphony upon the reader. Papers can delve into the question of what it means that an oral event has been textualized, or even that speech that could have originally been prose has been recorded in poetic form. (2) An Open Session. We accept proposals for papers on a broad range of topics dealing with prophetic literature. Papers that fall within the scope of other thematic sessions may also be presented here. (3) A Joint Session on Prophetic Studies. This umbrella session for all SBL sections on prophetic studies will involve presentations and workshops around the theme "Old Texts. New Methods. New Questions." Presentations on the theme will be given by invited presenters.

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Israelite Religion in Its West Asian Environment

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

Call for papers: We welcome papers by all scholars, junior as well as long-established and mid-career. Proposals are easier to accept when they indicate how the presentation will interact with and differ from prior scholarship. This year we will also host a prearranged panel on "Reconstructing Religion," which will feature an archaeologist, a philologist, a sociologist/historian, and a respondent from theory of religion, who will discuss historical and theoretical aspects of reconstructing ancient religion in and around ancient Israel and Judea.

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Jesus Traditions, Gospels, and Negotiating the Roman Imperial World

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

Call for papers: This year we will have two open sessions. For both of these sessions, we are particularly interested in papers that focus on the exercise of power exerted from above and/or negotiated from below. Proposals are especially encouraged that engage this theme by using theoretical concepts that offer nuanced understandings of how gospel authors and audiences negotiated the broader ideological and material practices of the Roman Empire. The first half of the first session will be devoted to discussion of Dorothy Jean Weaver's book, The Irony of Power: The Politics of God within Matthew's Narrative (Wipf and Stock, 2017), with two invited respondents. The remainder of that session and our entire second session will be open to proposals related to the more general theme of the exercise of power.

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Jewish Christianity / Christian Judaism

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

Call for papers: This year's sessions will concern the topic of "Jewish-Christianity between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam." We invite proposals for papers revisiting themes related to "Jewish-Christianity" and early Islam, including historical and historiographical perspectives as well as more methodological reflections on the profits and perils of this rubric of comparison. An invited panel will focus on the function of "Jewish-Christianity" as well as Jewish converts in 18th, 19th, and early 20th scholarship on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In addition to these two themed sessions, there will also be an open panel; proposals are thus also welcome for papers on any topic pertaining to "Jewish-Christianity" and "Christian Judaism," broadly conceived.

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Jewish Interpretation of the Bible

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

Call for papers: The Jewish Interpretation of the Bible consultation plans on two sessions for 2017. The first session is an invited panel on Jews, Biblical Interpretation and the Arts. The second session, co-sponsored with The History of Interpretation, invites papers on medieval Jewish interpretation and medieval Christian exegetical responses to it.

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Jewish-Christian Dialogue and Sacred Texts

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

Call for papers: Our section is sponsoring two sessions for Boston. One is an open session; all relevant proposals are welcome. The other session is titled “Will We Meet in Heaven? Jewish and Christian Beliefs about the Afterlife and Their Impact on Interreligious Relations." Please address any queries to Joel Lohr at jlohr@PACIFIC.EDU or Leonard Greenspoon at ljgrn@creighton.edu.

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Johannine Literature

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

Call for papers: We are accepting proposals for two open sessions on the Gospel and Letters of John, analyzing various features of these works from any number of methodological perspectives. We will also be hosting two invited panels: (1) co-sponsored with the Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds entitled “The Gospels of John: New Perspectives from Textual Criticism and Papyrology” exploring recent manuscript research and its implications for interpreting Johannine literature; and (2) “Anatomies of Johannine Rhetoric” focusing on the various rhetorical features, perspectives, and persuasive effects in the Gospel of John.

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John's Apocalypse and Cultural Contexts Ancient and Modern

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

Call for papers: We invite submissions for an OPEN SESSION on John's Apocalypse and Cultural Contexts, Ancient and Modern. While we welcome proposals on all aspects of the Book of Revelation, we especially invite papers that offer new perspectives on the text, including papers that approach the text from specific hermeneutical contexts, employ innovative approaches to the Apocalypse, and/or offer new perspectives on enduring questions. We will also offer a joint session with Second Corinthians: Pauline Theology in the Making and Mysticism, Esotericism, and Gnosticism in Antiquity on "Ascent, Visionary Experience, and Theology in Early Judaism and Christianity." Invited papers will concentrate on 2 Corinthians 12, and the ascent motif as it appears in the Apocalypse of John and other early Jewish and Christian texts, as they illumine questions of literary/rhetorical form, religious experience and theology. A third session of invited papers will discuss intercultural interpretation of the book of Revelation.

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Josephus

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

Call for papers: Two sessions are planned for the 2017 annual meeting. One session will be devoted to papers related to the Brill Josephus project and is by invitation only. The second session is an open call for proposals relating to the reception of Josephus. We are particularly interested in papers addressing the reception of Josephus in early Christianity and the reception of Josephus in later textual traditions (e.g. Josippon, Pseudo-Hegesippus).

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Joshua-Judges

J. Cornelis de Vos
Zev Farber
Description: The Joshua-Judges Section will seek to reach a synthesis of all genuinely pertinent information and insight needed to interpret Joshua and Judges responsibly and competently. Specialists will contribute to understanding contents, background, text, structure, and interpretation of these books.

Call for papers: 2017 Annual Meeting Two Sessions: (1) Open Session on the topic "Land and Identity in Joshua 22." Accepting papers that explore the themes of territorial limitations of official religion, the role of religious memory and the relationship between the tribes east and west of the Jordan River over the construction of an altar outside of Shiloh. Papers may explore a range of themes including the date of composition, the social, political and religious aspects of the account, as well as the function of the chapter in the larger context of the book of Joshua. (2) Open Session on any topic of research related to the books of Joshua and Judges.

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Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion

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

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

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Korean Biblical Colloquium

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

Call for papers: KBC's 2017 call for papers are on all areas of ane, biblical, and interestamental literature. We especially welcome papers that explore Korean and/or Korean American approach to interpreting text, though this is not a requirement.

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Latino/a and Latin American Biblical Interpretation

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

Call for papers: "The Role of Biblical Scholars as Public Intellectuals": This panel will be a joint session of the Latino/a and Latin American Biblical Interpretation, African American Biblical Hermeneutics, and the Minority Criticism and Biblical Studies sections. In light of significant current events in the political, social and cultural scenes of the country and the world, we are inviting papers that explore the role of the biblical scholar as a public intellectual. How does and should biblical interpretation of our ancient religious texts address the political challenges of our day? For instance, a few of these concerns around the world may include the impact of migration and immigration on so many lives from around the global south and east, or the economic upheaval that results in so much income inequality. Moreover, how should such scholarly and public activity be viewed in our professional academic societies and institutions of higher learning? Participants in this session will share from their own reflection and experience on the best practices for biblical studies engaged in the public sphere.

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Latter-day Saints and the Bible

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

Call for papers: Papers for the 2017 Annual Meeting in Boston are invited on any topics directly pertinent to Latter-day Saints and the Bible including the translation or interpretation of passages in the Old or New Testament, the LDS reception of the Bible, Joseph Smith Translation emendations, or inter-textual studies between the Bible and restoration scriptures. Papers exploring the notion of what is scripture or the role of scripture in North American history are encouraged. Also interested in papers exploring what is LDS Bible hermeneutics. Comparisons with other Christian denominations or non-Christian traditions—in interpretation or methods of scripture study—are also welcome.

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Letters of James, Peter, and Jude

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

Call for papers: We invite paper proposals representing original research on the Letters of James, Peter, and Jude which focus especially on the reception of these texts whether as individual epistles or as a collection. Papers that focus on ideological or theological reception of these letters through history are especially welcome.

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Levites and Priests in History and Tradition

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

Call for papers: The Levites and Priests in History and Tradition Section welcomes all proposals on the social and historical roles of cultic personnel in ancient Israel and early Judaism or on the literary presentation of those figures in early scriptural traditions. For the 2017 meeting, we have a particular interest in proposals on gender and on cultic personnel in the wider ancient Near East. See more at: https://www.sbl-site.org/Meetings/Congresses_Admin_CallForPapers.aspx?VolunteerUnitId=472&MeetingID=31#sthash.1sIkoOVU.dpuf

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LGBTI/Queer Hermeneutics

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

Call for papers: The LGBTI/Queer Biblical Hermeneutics program unit invites papers for sessions on the three following topics: The FIRST SESSION is co-sponsored with Children in the Biblical World and Women in the Biblical World on the theme of “family values.” Proponents of so-called “traditional” family values often appeal to biblical texts to implicitly or explicitly exclude families (or certain family members) that don't conform to a certain model. Yet, biblical texts often prove to be notoriously tricky analogues or preludes for such claims. This panel invites papers that consider strategies that build upon such disconnections or non-correspondences, as an opening onto critical, creative, or constructive uses of the context, content, or interpretation of the Hebrew Bible or New Testament. The SECOND SESSION is co-sponsored with Queer Studies in Religion (AAR), and we seek papers for a possible panel on the relevance of Lee Edelman’s work for the study of religion, theology, and sacred texts. For the THIRD SESSION, we welcome papers on any other topics related to LGBTI/Queer biblical hermeneutics. Aside from these open calls, we will also be jointly sponsoring, with several other SBL program units, two sessions on the topic, “The Present and the Future of Biblical Studies” to mark and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the journal Biblical Interpretation (Brill). Speakers/panelists for both sessions have been invited. Questions or further inquiries about these sessions can be directed to the chair, Joseph Marchal, at josephamarchal@gmail.com.

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

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

Call for papers: Surah Titles: Connections to Structure, Themes, and Rhetoric of Revelation. Many Muslim and non-Muslim students of the Qur’an assume that there is little connection between surahs and their titles, since most surahs are titled after words or themes that seem peripheral to their major themes. Moreover, manuscripts show that surah titles were probably a later addition to the Qur’anic text. Nevertheless, the connection between surahs and their titles deserves more scholarly attention, as it seems relevant to questions such as the unity of the surahs, their structure, and their possible central theme (common thread). Titles may also relate to the act of “providing a name for (a part of) the Revelation”, an act that has high hermeneutical connotation – and in this regard, much can be inferred from the study of several works by medieval and early modern scholars. The Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qur’anic Corpus Unit invites proposals for papers that explore the connection between Qur’anic surahs and their titles, or any other aspect related to surahs titles.

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Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew

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

Call for papers: Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew solicits papers for four sessions. The first session (co-sponsored with NAPH) is non-thematic/open and entitled “Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew.” Papers that address the study of Biblical Hebrew using a well-articulated linguistic method are welcome, and those that apply linguistics to particular Biblical Hebrew constructions or corpuses are especially encouraged. The second session is thematic and is entitled “Linguistic Theories and the Study of Anaphoric Pronouns in Biblical Hebrew.” This session will critically examine and compare five main theories that are current in linguistic study (for example Minimalist, Cognitive, Optimality, Typological, Information Structure, etc) and the ways in which they analyse anaphoric pronouns. The third session (co-sponsored with Qumran) is entitled “Biblical Hebrew Linguistics and Qumran Hebrew”. The intersection of the linguistic study of Biblical Hebrew with Qumran Hebrew raises a number of important questions: (1) Is Qumran Hebrew distinct from Biblical Hebrew and if so, in what way(s)? (2) Does the Hebrew from Qumran reflect a homogeneous language system (allowing for internal variation) or diverse dialects? (3) What is the role of Qumran Hebrew in the historical linguistic trajectory of Biblical Hebrew and later varieties of Hebrew? (4) What is the sociolinguistics of Qumran Hebrew? Papers should ideally focus on all levels of grammar. The fourth session (co-sponsored with Philology in Hebrew Studies) is entitled “The Relationship between Linguistics and Philology for the Analysis of Biblical Hebrew”. Given the fundamentally distinct genealogies (histories of the fields), objectives (universalist vs. particularist), and constituencies participating in these two fields, what might one learn from the other, particularly in application to Biblical Hebrew? Papers should address any aspect of the relationship between linguistics and philology for the analysis of Biblical Hebrew.

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Literature and History of the Persian Period

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

Call for papers: For the 2017 AM, the Literature and History of the Persian Period Group is sponsoring two invited sessions and one (or two) open sessions. For the open session(s), we are especially interested in research and papers examining the correspondence and archival sources of the period.

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Mark

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

Call for papers: The Mark Seminar invites papers that investigate gender as a factor in Jesus’ teachings on discipleship and the kingdom of God and his interactions with men, women, and children in the gospel. What social norms does the Gospel confirm, challenge, negotiate or ignore? Papers must set the analysis in historical and cultural context and make explicit their method and understanding of gender. First time SBL presenters are asked to provide their paper in full along with their proposal. Proposals are submitted through the SBL website at http://www.sbl-site.org/. Applicants will receive a response within a week or so of close.

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Masoretic Studies

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

Call for papers: Masoretic Studies will hold an Open Session at the 2017 Annual Meeting. Papers pertaining to Masoretic Studies or related topics are welcome. Anyone interested in presenting should contact David Marcus at damarcus@jtsa.edu. Masoretic Studies seeks to clarify the translation and interpretation of the Hebrew Bible text through the use of the Masorah, to further the understanding of the history of the Masorah, and to explore related fields (e.g. grammar, Rabbinic Studies).

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Matthew

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

Call for papers: The Matthew Section is seeking proposals on Matthean topics for the 2017 Annual Meeting. We will host an invited session of papers that will present original contributions to the study of Matthew's Gospel centered on the theme of “Matthew and Texts from the Judean Desert.” The open session welcomes papers on any Matthean topic, though papers related to “Matthew and the Protestant Reformation” will be prioritized. Submissions will be evaluated in a blind review process on the basis of originality and clarity of the thesis proposed as well as the overall contribution it makes to Matthean studies. Please note that papers lacking a clear thesis and explicit references to the scholarly context of the proposed paper will not be considered.

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Meals in the Greco-Roman World

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

Call for papers: There are three topics: 1) We invite scholars working on meals in cross-cultural perspective, or in particular cultural settings (historical or contemporary) to reflect on how communal meals and related rituals function in comparison to those the Greco-Roman world. The work of the seminar has focused on meals as key to ancient social formation (Taussig, Hal and Smith, Dennis E. (Eds.). 2012, Taussig, Hal and Marks, Susan (Eds.). 2014). Scholars who are considering the way meals serve as a vehicle for beliefs and values, contribute to social formation, and relate to issues of power, are invited to propose papers considering some aspect of meal practice or ideology germane to their own research, with some degree of comparison (or consideration of method for how to begin comparison) with the banquets of Greco-Roman antiquity and to meals in ancient Jewish and Christian settings in particular. 2) We also invite scholars to propose papers on meals and violence. Those studying topics involving meals in the New Testament, Judaism, Hellenistic and Roman religions, as well as early Christianity and Rabbinics, are welcome to submit papers on violence. Violent meal settings, but also the representation of violence during the meals, are of interest. How is violence represented in the texts? Does violence alter the practice of the meal? Who is acting violently before, during or after the meal? 3) The joint session with the Ritual in the Biblical World section is an open call and deals with the meal as ritual negotiation in the New Testament. We invite scholars to elaborate their theoretical framework and their methods. How does ritual theory affect your exegesis of the New Testament? Which parts of the meal are best analyzed with the help of ritual theories? Members of both groups invite junior scholars to present new studies in that field and offer their responses as experts of ritual. See also our Statement opposing the Muslim Ban http://enipolatio.hypotheses.org/705

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Meals in the HB/OT and Its World

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

Call for papers: The section Meals in the HB/OT and its World will host two sessions in 2017. One session will feature questions related to philological terms for food and drink under the topic “Strange Foods or Just Weird Words? Food and Philology in the HB/OT.” We especially welcome papers that combine insights from philology, cultural anthropology and biology. The second session on “Gluttony, Intoxication, and Feasting” focuses on food and beverages consumed within special contexts (ritual, feast, life-cycles etc.) that influences physiological or psychological processes. We especially welcome investigations that engage with material culture or interpretations of specific biblical and comparative ancient texts. Papers for both sessions are to be twenty minutes in length with ten minutes of discussion afterwards.

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Megilloth

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

Call for papers: For SBL Boston, 2017, the Megilloth group will be hosting 3 sessions, the primary theme of which is Reception and Reception history. One session will be a panel discussion on the book of Esther, hosting authors of recent volumes on the book of Esther in which an outline of their research is followed by an open discussion. Two more sessions will be organized around the topic of reception. One will be given over specifically to the book of Ecclesiastes and its reception. The second will be an open session and which invites any paper that deals with the reception of any book within the Megilloth. Priority will be given to papers that also situate their reading of a text within the broader framework of the Megilloth.

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Metacriticism of Biblical Scholarship

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

Call for papers: The Metacriticism Unit seeks proposals on the following topics: (1) Doing Secular Study of the Bible: Principles, Techniques, and Considerations. Secular study of the Bible requires training. The theological infusion into the biblical studies academy often leaves scholars seeking to do biblical studies from a secular perspective in a quandary as to how a secular approach differs not just in what it doesn't do (assume the existence of God, for instance) but also in what it does do that is different. We seek papers from scholars who are actively engaged in secular biblical studies, detailing their approaches and techniques and talking about ways to treat both the text and secondary material from this perspective. (2) Hate speech and Biblical Studies. In what ways can the contemporary category of “hate speech” be put into dialogue with biblical studies method(s)? How can our teaching and scholarship about biblical and related ancient Mediterranean texts be, or avoid, hate speech? How is the category of hate speech in contemporary rhetoric about the Bible employed to advance or to undermine claims to authority? What are the connections or disconnections between hate speech about (groups of) people and that about texts? In what ways does contemporary neglect or magnification of potential hate speech in these texts relate to the construction or deconstruction of textual authority? (3) Open Session. We will consider all proposals that engage with the unit’s mission, and we particularly welcome proposals that engage recent disciplinary controversies and questions of institutional practice.

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Metaphor Theory and the Hebrew Bible

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

Call for papers: We are planning two sessions for the meeting in Boston. Our first session has an open call for papers on a theme of your choice within the field of metaphor theory and Bible. The second session is a workshop for graduate students working on dissertations on metaphors in the Hebrew Bible. The session aims to provide an opportunity for students to showcase their work and receive feedback from more senior scholars in the field as well as from their fellow students. Paper proposals should follow the standard procedure of other SBL sessions. Those who are accepted for the session will have to submit a written presentation of their work by October 1, 2017. The paper can be 1) the prospectus of your thesis, 2) a draft of a chapter, or 3) a standard paper. Each student will have 15 min in the session for a presentation of their work. The presentations will be followed by a planned response and open discussion. More senior scholars in the field of metaphor studies are encouraged to contact the chair to volunteer as respondents and to participate in the open discussions. All proposals for our sessions should state the author's main thesis, the methodological approach followed, and the specific examples studied. All papers must incorporate current metaphor theory and engage the Hebrew text.

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Midrash

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

Call for papers: The Midrash Section will sponsor two sessions in Boston: 1) An open session pertaining to any aspect of the study of Midrash and related literature; 2) A session entitled "Food in Midrash" focusing on ritual, spiritual, and religious aspects of food and eating.

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Mind, Society, and Religion in the Biblical World

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

Call for papers: For the 2017 Annual Meeting, the program unit (1) accepts proposals to open sessions related to cognitive science of religion, social cognition, role of emotions in biblical literature, and evolutionary foundations of morality. (2) We organize a thematic session on costly signaling theory, with the keynote speaker Richard Sosis of the University of Connecticut. We also welcome paper proposals with special attention to applications to ancient history and biblical literature. (3) We organize a joint session on the historical Jesus, exorcism and spirit possession together with the Historical Jesus and the Religious Experience in Antiquity program units. The papers will be mainly invited, but some proposed papers may be included.

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Minoritized Criticism and Biblical Interpretation

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

Call for papers: Under the Trump era, the deployment of political hate rhetoric has found support in various conservative Christian circles throughout the United States. In many ways, this pervasive rhetoric has biblical overtones, which imply a mode of interpretation. Indeed, a retooling of the biblical interpretive enterprise with an activist impulse comes to fore not only as a viable response to the current political climate but also as an ethical imperative for the discipline. (1) The Scriptures of Freedom Movements: The first session on activist hermeneutics of liberation aims to reread the Scriptures that gave rise to radical freedom movements in places like Africa, Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Here the notion of Scriptures has in view any religious or non-religious texts, oral traditions, symbols, or artistic expressions that were used to give impetus to a revolution, a political uprising, a decolonization movement, or any other mass freedom movement by an oppressed group. This open session invites papers that interrogate and harness liberating tactics or hermeneutical strategies inscribed in past freedom movements in effort to reinvigorate activist engagement. (2) Social Activist Hermeneutics: The aim for the second session is to forge a lasting dialogue between minoritized biblical scholars and present day sociopolitical activists. Among the topics of discussion is the Bible and the Public Square as well as the ethics of socially and politically engaged biblical scholars. Participants will include an array of individuals that range from minoritized biblical scholars who are engaged in activism or who read biblical texts through an activist movement (i.e. Black Lives Matter, etc.) to local leaders of an activist movement. This session will be an invited panel.

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Mysticism, Esotericism, and Gnosticism in Antiquity

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

Call for papers: As part of a five year study on rituals and mysticism, esotericism, gnosticism in antiquity, we invite papers especially related to the theme of 1) ascent and visionary experience and 2) ritual creativity. One session will be hosted along with John's Apocalypse and Cultural Contexts Ancient and Modern and Second Corinthians: Pauline Theology in the Making sections on the theme of “Ascent, Visionary Experience and Theology in Early Judaism and Christianity.” Papers for this session will explore ascent in early Jewish and Christian texts, especially as the motif relates to ritual and questions of literary/rhetorical form, religious experience and theology. Another session will be jointly sponsored with Western Esotericism (AAR) on the development of new ritual practices, as the development attends in particular to the processes by which practitioners construct new rituals- the discourses they draw upon from inside their own tradition and from outside them, as well as from other, non-sacred discourses and practices. Finally, we will feature a session on ritual experts in antiquity, with reviews of Heidi Marx-Wolf, Spiritual Taxonomies and Ritual Authority: Platonists, Priests, and Gnostics in the Third Century C.E. (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016) and Heidi Wendt, At the Temple Gates: The Religion of Freelance Experts in the Roman Empire (Oxford, 2016).

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Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism

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

Call for papers: This Section has an open call for papers on any topic related to the Nag Hammadi Codices for an open paper session. Three special joint sessions also are planned, so papers that deal with wisdom literature from Nag Hammadi, Coptic apocrypha, and eros and ascent are especially welcome for those sessions.

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National Association of Professors of Hebrew

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

Call for papers: NAPH is sponsoring five sessions and two co-sponsored sessions. I. Annual Meeting of Officers and Members. II, Theme, “Shema in the Synoptic Gospels.” Hermeneutical and theology papers are invited to explicate differences in the wording of, believing in, and doing “The Great Commandment." III, Theme: "Constructive Engagement Between Diverse Approaches to the Formation of the Pentateuch." Wellhausen's classical Documentary Hypothesis, still presented in most textbooks, addresses both literary and historical matters. It has been challenged by two groups of scholars: those who have developed a Neo-Documentarian approach and those who have developed a Transmission-Historical approach. Scholars from each group will present, analyze, and discuss some major disagreements that could lead to a partial, constructive synthesis of their approaches. IV. The Biblical and Rabbinic Literature session is to be held jointly with the SBL Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures Section. It is open to all papers on Biblical and Rabbinic Literature. Preferred papers include those on theophany, especially those concerned with visionary experience of G-d.V.Theme: “Indebted to a Master: A Session in Honor of Stephen A. Kaufman” on the occasion of the publication of “Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?” A Grammatical Tribute to Professor Stephen A. Kaufman.” VI. Methodology Session: A review of the "communicative" method and grammar for elementary biblical Hebrew.VII, NAPH and Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew Session. Papers are invited for a joint non-thematic/open session with the Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew Seminar of SBL entitled “Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew.” Papers are invited that address the study of Biblical Hebrew using a well-articulated linguistic method are welcome, and those that apply linguistics to particular Biblical Hebrew constructions or corpuses are especially encouraged. Contact: Jacobus Naudé (naudej@ufs.ac.za)

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New Testament Textual Criticism

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

Call for papers: The NTTC Section welcomes papers on all aspects of the textual transmission of the New Testament for two open panels to be held in 2017. The Section is also co-sponsoring two invited panels: a panel co-organized with the Editio Critica Maior Section on the occasion of the publication of the ECM volume on the Acts of the Apostles and a second panel updating scholars on the transmission of the Gospel of John, organized in cooperation with the Johannine Literature and Papyrology Sections.

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Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship at the American Bible Society

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

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

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North American Association for the Study of Religion

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

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

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Novum Testamentum Graecum: Editio Critica Maior

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

Call for papers: The ECM of Acts

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Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds

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

Call for papers: The Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds Section is sponsoring four sessions at the 2017 Annual Meeting: two papyrology sessions and two cosponsored sessions. One of the papyrology sessions will be an open session that invites proposals that seek to explore how the ancient papyri illumine the world of early Christianity and that elucidate paleographic, linguistic, and textual questions, as well as larger questions relating to the social and cultural history of early Christianity. The other papyrology session will be themed around the topic of forgeries, both ancient and modern. While some papers for this latter session are invited, unsolicited proposals are also welcome. One of the joint sessions will be cosponsored with the Social History of Formative Christianity and Judaism Section. This session welcomes proposals that address any aspect of letters and their use in Early Christianity and/or Rabbinic Judaism and that might discuss individual papyri, describe types or genres of letters, or explore how letters illuminate larger questions relating to social and cultural history. The other joint session will be held with the Johannine Literature Section. This session will explore recent manuscript research and its implications for interpreting Johannine literature. For both joint sessions unsolicited papers are welcome. For questions contact lincoln_blumell@byu.edu.

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Paul and Politics

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

Call for papers: Call For Papers: The Paul and Politics Section proposes four sessions at the 2017 Annual Meeting in Boston. Two of these sessions include calls for papers. The FIRST SESSION is an open session inviting proposals for papers on any element of research related to the relationship(s) between "Paul" and "politics" (in the broadest sense of both of these terms). The SECOND SESSION, co-sponsored with the Poverty in the Biblical World Section, will focus on the historical and political underpinnings of class in Paul’s writings and the communities to which they were written. Papers will explore the ways that Paul utilizes class rhetoric, the methods by which we might analyze and evaluate class conflict in and/or around early Christian communities, and the intersections of socio-economic class with gender, ethnicity, or legal status in these communities. The THIRD SESSION will be an open call session, co-sponsored with Feminist Hermeneutics of the Bible on the theme of adoption. Recognizing that reproductive justice is an issue in today’s society, this session invites papers that interrogate the Pauline texts, adoption, and reproductive justice in ancient and contemporary politics. We welcome proposals for papers on adoption in Pauline texts with particular attention paid to the presenters' theories of reading adoption in Paul. The FOURTH SESSION will be an invited review panel examining Sandra Joshel and Lauren Hackworth Petersen's *The Material Life of Roman Slaves*, which examines how one can use archaeological materials and ancient architectural spaces to reconstruct the everyday lives of enslaved persons in the Roman imperial period. The panel will focus on the implications of Joshel and Hackworth's methodologies for biblical studies, early Jewish and Christian histories, and histories of enslaved resistance.Questions or further inquiries about these themes may be directed to either of the Co-chairs, Angela N. Parker, at aparker@theseattleschool.edu or Katherine A. Sh

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Paul Within Judaism

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

Call for papers:

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Pauline Epistles

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

Call for papers: The Pauline Epistles section aims to stimulate critical analysis of the letters of Paul by offering a platform for new research. The section maintains a historical orientation and typically focuses on situating the undisputed Pauline letters in their immediate social, political, religious, and intellectual contexts. The Pauline Epistles section welcomes papers on any topic that presents original and critical research in these areas. We will have two session with invited papers and two open sessions at the annual meeting in November 2017. Paper proposals for the open sessions will only be considered if they are submitted on the SBL website. - See more at: https://www.sbl-site.org/Meetings/Congresses_Admin_CallForPapers

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Pauline Theology

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

Call for papers: The Pauline Theology Section invites papers exploring the theme of participation in Paul and his ubiquitous "in Christ" motif. The Section is especially interested in the theological dynamics and implications of this key phrase. Submissions proposing analyses informed by diverse ecclesial traditions and/or by a close reading of key specific texts are particularly encouraged.

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Pentateuch

Angela Roskop Erisman
Nathan MacDonald
Description: The Pentateuch Section provides a forum within the SBL for presentation and discussion of research on the Pentateuch, with a particular focus on transmission-historical issues and linkage of that area of inquiry with other more synchronic methodologies.

Call for papers: The Pentateuch section is accepting proposals for one or two open sessions at the 2016 Annual Meeting. We encourage proposals focused on textual composition and transmission and on the intersection of historical-critical and literary or sociological methods. All proposals should demonstrate an engagement with the larger scholarly discussion, whether synchronic or diachronic. For the 2017 Annual Meeting we are also particularly interested in proposals on the Decalogue and on archaeological method in relation to the Pentateuch.

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Performance Criticism of Biblical and Other Ancient Texts

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

Call for papers: The Performance Criticism of the Bible and Other Ancient Texts will hold three sessions at the 2017 meeting. The FIRST SESSION is an open session, with a call for papers that relate to the notion of “presence and performance,” with potential foci of: perceived “presence” of the author(s) of the text, “presence” as it relates to the performer of the text, and “presence” of the audience as participants in the experience of the text. The SECOND SESSION is a joint session with the Bible in Ancient and Modern Media (BAMM) that features the work of Richard Schechner, noted performance theorist from the New York University Tisch School of the Arts. Professor Schechner will be in attendance and formally respond to two invited papers on performance theory from members of the respective sections, followed by an open discussion in which all three participants invite questions and comments from those in attendance. The THIRD SESSION consists of a panel of four invited papers from scholars who will address the theoretical framework of performance criticism. Each scholar will present his or her work followed by intra-panel discussion and concluding with invited questions and comments from the session attendees.

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Philo of Alexandria

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

Call for papers: For 2017, our seminar is planning three sessions. We will host a panel of invited speakers to respond to Maren Niehoff’s forthcoming book, “Philo of Alexandria: An Intellectual Biography” (Yale University Press). We will devote another session, also with invited speakers, to a Philonic treatise to be featured in the Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series. And we will join with the Hellenistic Judaism and Josephus sections in co-sponsoring a session to honor the work of Tessa Rajak. Although this year’s sessions all have invited speakers, we look forward to having an open-call for papers next year for 2018 meeting in Denver.

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Philology in Hebrew Studies

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

Call for papers: For 2017, the Philology in Hebrew Studies section invites papers for open sessions. This program unit aims to take up the dual challenge of reflecting self-critically on the nature of philology as a discipline and developing rigorous methodologies of philological study, particularly as may pertain to the Hebrew Bible and related literature. In addition to a general call for papers whose topics fit broadly with the mission of our program unit, we also invite papers for a special joint session with the Linguistics in Biblical Hebrew program unit. This special joint session is entitled “The Relationship between Linguistics and Philology for the Analysis of Biblical Hebrew”. Given the fundamentally distinct genealogies (histories of the fields), objectives (universalist vs. particularist), and constituencies participating in these two fields, what might one learn from the other, particularly in application to Biblical Hebrew? Papers should address any aspect of the relationship between linguistics and philology for the analysis of Biblical Hebrew. An additional invited panel is also planned for 2017 on embedded written documents in Jewish texts of the Second Temple period. Invited speakers will reflect upon the formal features of embedded documents and their paratextual frames, the material dimensions of composing new texts out of archival documents, the relationship between embedded documents and other forms of intertextuality, and the phenomenon of textual embedding as a strategy for exerting and resisting power in the context of imperial subjugation.

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Polis and Ekklesia: Investigations of Urban Christianity

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

Call for papers: This unit of the SBL investigates the expansion of early Christianity as an urban phenomenon from Jerusalem to Rome, from the perspective of Paul's letters and the Acts of the Apostles, in the context of the local documentary and archaeological evidence. The Consultation seeks to bring together scholars of early Christianity and Greco-Roman antiquity in the study of early Christian texts as primary evidence for the understanding of civic and religious life in the first and second century Mediterranean world. The wide range of methodologies and disciplines employed in this investigation aims at a more holistic approach than has been the case in the past. The focus of the consultation in 2017 is twofold. The first session will be an invited panel discussion of Early Christianity in Lycaonia and Adjacent Areas: From Paul to Amphilochius of Iconium by Cilliers Breytenbach and Christiane Zimmermann (Brill 2017); proposals are wlecome for a second session which will focus on Thessalonike from Late Hellenism to Late Antiquity, attending to the particular aspects of the Section’s objectives.

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Postcolonial Studies and Biblical Studies

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

Call for papers: The Postcolonial Studies and Biblical Studies Section is seeking papers for two open sessions at the 2017 Annual Meeting. (1) For the first session, we seek proposals on the theme of "Postcolonial Approaches to Biblical and Cultural (Mis)appropriation." What resources might postcolonial optics offer to the pervasive practices around dominant culture's adoption and adaptation of elements from minority cultures? How does appropriation of minority cultures intersect with understandings and interpretations of biblical narratives and religious phenomena, across time and cultures? Examples might be drawn from popular culture and media, online and social-media trends, body-modification practices (e.g. tattooing, branding, piercing), and so on. (2) For the second session, we seek proposals on the theme of "Postcoloniality, Gender Identity, and Sexuality in Theory, Praxis and Biblical Interpretation." What productive conversations and readings might be possible and desirable from thinking complexly about the intersection of nation/state, colonialism, race/ethnicity, gender identity, and sexuality? What resources from postcolonial queer and trans encounters might be significant for biblical interpretation? How does the politics of bodily policing and management affect and shape our understandings and interpretation of biblical bodies and cultures, and vice versa?

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Poverty in the Biblical World

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

Call for papers: We will host three sessions, a joint session with Paul and Politics, and an off-site poverty tour, led by local community organizers, at the Boston meeting. SESSION 1: "Causes and Effects of Poverty in the Ancient World" is an open session that will explore poverty, and its contexts, in the 1st Testament, 2nd Testament, and Apocrypha. Imperial/domestic extraction, prostitution, slavery, hunger and other topics relating to either the causes or the effects of poverty in the ancient Near-East, Hellenist, or Roman societies are welcome. SESSION 2: "Poverty and Intersectionality" is an open session to examine how poverty interacts with the numerous ways in which we exist in the world and how Bible enters into these conversations. Presenters will illuminate how biblical texts either have--or might--address connections between poverty and how people are categorized (e.g. sex, race, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, class status, educational level, religion, military background, legal history). Presentations will be followed by a respondent and open discussion. SESSION 3: "Texts of Terror and Stereotyping: Poverty and Bible in US Politics" will be an invited panel session to discuss how aspects of US politics impoverish through both government policy and also the shaping of public attitudes. The panel will explore the deployment of 1st and 2nd Testament texts in US political and cultural discourses around poverty, labor, and intersectional problems of racial/ethnic and class discrimination. SESSION 4: This joint session with the Paul and Politics section will explore relationships between socioeconomic class and Paul’s writings through the following questions: In what ways and to what ends does Paul utilize class rhetoric? By what methods might we detect and evaluate class conflict in and/or around Paul’s communities? How do Paul and/or the communities respond to such tension? Can a class analysis elucidate Paul’s language of identity and economics (Gal 3:28; 2

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Prayer in Antiquity

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

Call for papers: The Consultation will have one planned Session on “Problems in Defining Prayer.” Papers for this session will be invited. The presentations will explore the difficulty of defining prayer, especially in relationship to religious practices or phenomena that seem to be closely related to prayer, such as incantation, blessing, curse, doxology, hymn, liturgy, tefillin, and sacrifice. In addition, the unit invites papers for an open session, which may address any issue related to the examination of ancient prayer.

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Prophetic Texts and Their Ancient Contexts

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

Call for papers: For the Annual Meetings in 2017-2018, Prophetic Texts and Their Ancient Contexts Group will be focusing on the persistence, transformation, and textualization of revelation. We will organize one invited panel each year. The aim is to ask how, why, and for whom did texts become the locus of revelation. The sessions aim at making a new contribution concerning the nature of varieties of revelation.

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Pseudepigrapha

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

Call for papers: The Pseudepigrapha Section will organize four sessions at the 2017 Annual Meeting in Boston. The first session in an open session. We invite any paper proposal relevant to the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. The second session is entitled “Pseudepigrapha and Gender”. We invite papers that explore gendered language, motifs and discourses broadly conceived. We particularly encourage paper proposals that either discuss gendered framing and formatting of key figures in the Pseudepigrapha, or explore the ways in which increased attention to gender may change and add to current debates on pseudonymous attribution to figures. The Pseudepigrapha Section will organize two sessions entitled “The Impact of Digital Humanities on the Study of Non-Canonical Texts”, co-sponsored with the Digital Humanities in Biblical Studies Consultation and the Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity (AAR). We invite papers that discuss how the Digital Humanities in general, and the ongoing digitization of manuscripts in particular, are influencing the study of non-canonical texts. These texts must fall into the broad category of Pseudepigrapha, or stem from or have been influential in Eastern Late Antiquity, but need not fall into both categories. Important questions to explore include: what new opportunities does digitization provide for the study of non-canonical texts/texts from Eastern Late Antiquity, and does digitization and online availability confirm or challenge canonical divides and academic assessment schemes? Are canonical texts privileged or treated differently than non-canonical texts? Are earlier Western texts prioritized over Eastern Late Antique texts? How does digitization affect the imaginations of literary categories?

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Psychology and Biblical Studies

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

Call for papers: We always welcome proposals for papers that address Biblical texts, themes, figures and/or readers using the concepts and interpretive tools of any field of psychology. We urge the use of the original Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic, especially when the argument of your paper rests on the meanings of specific words or phrases. We also welcome any papers that highlight methods, models, and approaches in the interface between psychology and Biblical studies, including from the emerging fields of neurotheology, brain physiology and religious experience, and evolutionary psychology.
   This year, we expect to feature sessions on two themes:
1.Celebrating the Past, Embracing the Future: This session will be in honor of the 25 years of the unit’s existence. Over the last two decades psychological interpretations of biblical studies has evolved from a new and unusual approach to being well-integrated into many types of scholarship throughout the academy. This session will focus on what the approach means currently and where active scholars expect it may go. The papers for this session will all be solicited and include some of the founders of the unit as well as established scholars who have used a psychological lens in approaching the biblical texts
2. Psychological Perspectives of “Memory Works” Or “Memoir” in the Bible Many of the narratives and books of the Bible, in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament, effectively function as “memory works” or memoirs (including "collective" memoirs) Applying this genre category to texts such as the Gospels, Ecclesiastes, “Zakar” in Deuteronomy, Numbers, Ezra and Nehemiah and then introducing psychological theories of individual and collective memory promises to open many aspects of these texts to new and revealing re-readings.

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Q

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

Call for papers: For the 2017 Annual Meeting, the Q Section will organize four sessions. (1) Open Session. For this session, paper proposals are welcome on any topic related to Q. (2) Demons and Spirit Possession in Q. Some participants will be invited, but relevant proposals are also welcome. This session is jointly offered by the Q Section and the Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament Section. (3) Global Directions in Q Studies. This panel session examines whether and how distinctively different approaches to Q have developed and are developing in different academic regions. Participants will be invited. (4) Review Session. This session, jointly sponsored by the Synoptic Gospels Section, will be a panel discussion of two recent books: Alan Kirk’s Q in Matthew (2016) and Chris Keith’s Jesus’ Literacy: Scribal Culture and the Teacher from Galilee (2013). Participants will be invited.

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Qumran

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

Call for papers: The Qumran Section has three goals. (1) It provides a forum for scholarly discussion of any aspect of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the material culture of Qumran, and the history, literature, and worldviews of the people associated with them. (2) It encourages new discussions and new approaches in the field of Dead Sea Scrolls studies. (3) It strives for integrating the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls with other fields of biblical and related studies. In 2017 the Section will host a session on topics related to time, broadly conceived. These may include papers on calendrical time (including ritual, liturgy, festivals, and seasons); historical time and chronology; end-time expectations; time and material culture (e.g., tefillin and other ritual objects); time in critical theoretical perspective (e.g., in relation to space, embodiment, trauma, or the sacred); or close textual studies with attention to scripture, time, and sectarianism. We will also co-sponsor a session with the Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew section, dealing with the intersection of the linguistic study of Biblical Hebrew with Qumran Hebrew. Questions that may be tackled are (1) Is Qumran Hebrew distinct from Biblical Hebrew and if so, in what way(s)? (2) Does the Hebrew from Qumran reflect a homogeneous language system (allowing for internal variation) or diverse dialects? (3) What is the role of Qumran Hebrew in the historical linguistic trajectory of Biblical Hebrew and later varieties of Hebrew? (4) What is the sociolinguistics of Qumran Hebrew? Papers should ideally focus on all levels of grammar and not only syntax. We encourage proposals for both of the topical sessions, and welcome proposals for two additional open call sessions. We commit ourselves to balance senior with junior voices. In order to maximize opportunities for presenters, scholars should not present more than two years in succession. This restriction does not apply to invited papers.

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Qur'an and Biblical Literature

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

Call for papers: Call for papers: Suggested topics include but are not limited to: the Qur’an and its exegesis in comparative perspective, with particular attention to literary and historical connections between the interpretation of the Qur'an, the Bible and related traditions; the Qur’an in the context of Late Antiquity; critical approaches in Qur'anic and Biblical Studies; translating the Qur'an and the Bible; gender and sexuality in comparative perspective; inter-religious dialogue; sectarian polemics; comparative hermeneutics (traditional or contemporary); and pedagogy (engaging the Qur’an in the classroom). Prearranged panels with a set topic and invited participants will be given full consideration.

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Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics (IQSA)

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

Call for papers: In the 2017 meeting, the IQSA Methodology and Hermeneutics unit will hold two panels. We invite proposals for a panel entitled ‘Minority Tendencies in Qur’anic Hermeneutics.’ We welcome papers that address how different minority Muslim sects and communities (for instance: Qur’anists, Ismailis, Alawis, Ahmadis) interpret the Qur’an, with a focus on their hermeneutical approaches. Are certain methods of interpretation specific to minority groups? How are minority hermeneutics justified? Do minority hermeneutics result in substantially different content in interpretations? The second panel will be a prearranged roundtable discussion on the diverse sources of authority that mediate the believer's understanding of the Qur’an. This roundtable will particularly focus on the methods by which authority is constructed, invoked, and disputed.

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Racism, Pedagogy and Biblical Studies

Tat-siong Benny Liew
Shelly Matthews
Description: This consultation will focus on strategies for addressing racism in the process of teaching and learning biblical studies. Presentations and discussions will deal with racist assumptions and practices at curricular, institutional, disciplinary, and meta-theoretical levels, as well as with respect to reading or use of specific biblical texts.

Call for papers: This consultation will focus on strategies for addressing racism in the process of teaching and learning biblical studies. Presentations and discussions will deal with racist assumptions and practices at curricular, institutional, disciplinary, and meta-theoretical levels, as well as with respect to reading or use of specific biblical texts.

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Reading, Theory, and the Bible

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

Call for papers: Reading, Theory and the Bible will jointly sponsor, with several other SBL program units, two sessions on the topic, "The Present and the Future of Biblical Studies" to mark and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the journal, Biblical Interpretation (Brill). Speakers/panelists for both sessions will be invited. We also will offer up to two additional sections whose topics are open; we welcome proposals for papers that engage contemporary theory for purposes of biblical interpretation. We would particularly encourage, for 2017, papers that address the work of Benjamin, Adorno and others of the Frankfurt School and their relationship to biblical literature or its interpretation. Reading, Theory and the Bible sponsors innovative, experimental work on Bible (Bible being interpreted in the broadest sense to include all commentaries and intertexts). We exist to accommodate work that pushes the boundaries of scholarship, and we work on the assumption that questions of provenance, philology, and history are amply accommodated by other groups in the SBL. We also encourage innovative presentation.

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Recovering Female Interpreters of the Bible

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

Call for papers: Session 1) "Women Interpreters Through the Ages." We invite proposals for papers on female biblical interpreters before the twentieth century. Papers may deal with a specific female interpreter or may compare several historical women's interpretations of a specific biblical text or theme. Session 2) "Women Preachers Through the Ages." We invite proposals for papers on women who preached, including those who preached with their pens before the twentieth century. Papers may deal with a specific female interpreter or may compare several women's sermons on a particular text or character.

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Redescribing Early Christianity

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

Call for papers: The Redescribing Seminar continues its inquiry into the intellectual and writing culture of antiquity as a context for Christian origins in 2017 with two sessions devoted to the topic of “anti-, pseudo-, and lying intellectuals.” Similarly, how do accusations or claims of lying, dishonesty, or pretense function in ancient discourses, and with what implications for ancient Christian literature? The seminar invites paper proposals that deal creatively with intellectual practices of deception among ancient philosophers, historians, religious figures, and other writers, with a view to identifying analogous features of ancient Christian writings, whether canonical or not. Papers will only be summarized, not presented, at the two sessions, so those making proposals should be prepared to submit their completed papers by the end of October. Questions or requests to be on the mailing list for pre-circulated papers may be sent to William Arnal (william.arnal@uregina.ca) or Erin Roberts (erinroberts@sc.edu).

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Religious Competition in Late Antiquity

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

Call for papers: The first session, “Theorizing Forms of Competition in Galatians,” examines how Paul’s letter describes an attack against his apostleship stemming from a new gospel that competes with his own. We invite papers that apply methodological approaches that highlight competitive discourses over community formation, conversion, Jewish law, and other ritual praxes in Galatians. We aim to explore how competition between the diverse socio-cultural realia of ancient Mediterranean religions shaped this epistle. Contributors should analyze how ritual, social, cognitive, or other theories elucidate intersections between parallel religious and philosophical communities. For the second session, “Utopian Myth-Making and Social Formation,” (co-sponsored by the Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory unit), we invite proposals on how religious and philosophical communities imagine their ideal communities. How did various religious communities generate utopian myths, competing for “correct” interpretations and contesting alternatives? How were such utopian ideals applied in actual communities? We seek papers that cover a range of methodologies (e.g. textual and literary criticisms, philology, social and anthropological theories). The third and fourth sessions will be dedicated to the “fate” of the vessels associated with the First and Second Jerusalem Temples (e.g. ark of the covenant, menorah). The papers will examine how they concretize religious expression, foster connections between otherwise distant peoples, embody memories, and served as media for competing claims over the biblical past. The third session, “Loss and Recovery of Temple Vessels in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East,” invites papers (open call) on the literary and ideological roles of the vessels within their biblical and ancient near eastern contexts. The fourth session, “The Temple Vessels in Late Antique Religious Competition,” will consist of invited papers on late-antique Jewish and Christian sources.

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Religious Experience in Antiquity

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

Call for papers: The Religious Experience in Antiquity section invites paper proposals for the 2017 SBL meeting. Our first session is a joint session with the Senses and Culture Unit on Synesthesia and Religious Experience. Distinct from multisensory experience, synesthesia describes the perception of sensory blending. We welcome papers that examine physiological or metaphorical synesthesia, especially those that relate sensory blending to embodied cognition and lived bodily experience. Proposals may engage foundational methodological questions, such as: evidence for sensory blending (e.g., texts, art, material remains); the function of synesthesia in accounts of transcendent, esoteric, ecstatic, or revelatory experiences; the inducement, cultivation, or management of synesthesia through religious practices; the relationship between descriptions of sensory blending and the lived experiences of individuals and groups in antiquity. Papers for this joint session should give a clear statement of the paper's thesis, outline the approach that will be taken, and identify the primary texts and examples to be discussed. Our second session is on the special topic of Dreams and Visions. We welcome papers that investigate the relationship between texts about dreams and/or visions and the experience of dreams and/or visions; the role of rituals and practices that are associated with these experiences; or papers that examine these experiences as embodied cognitive, neurological, or sensory experiences. Our third session is jointly hosted with the Historical Jesus and the Mind, Society, and Religion sections on the topic of the historical Jesus, exorcism and spirit possession. Some papers will be invited for this session but proposals are also welcomed. Our fourth session will be an open session. We warmly invite proposals on any topic connected to Religious Experience. All proposals must include a clear methodological description and specify the texts or other material artifacts under discussion.

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Religious World of Late Antiquity

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

Call for papers: For 2017, the Religious World of Late Antiquity Program Unit is planning four sessions. The first, co-sponsored with Social History of Formative Christianity and Judaism, will be a pre-arranged session on David Frankfurter’s book, Christianizing Egypt: Syncretism and Local Worlds (forthcoming from Princeton University Press). The second session will be a pre-arranged panel on Todd Berzon’s recently published, Classifying Christians: Ethnography, Heresiology, and the Limits of Knowledge in Late Antiquity (University of California Press, 2016). The third session, also pre-arranged, will focus on the post-human. The panel will discuss ideas of nature, geology, topography, animals, and sound. The final panel is a completely open call; we invite proposals on any aspect of the religious world of late antiquity. We particularly encourage graduate students to apply for this final session.

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Rhetoric and the New Testament

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

Call for papers: The Rhetoric and New Testament Section acknowledges that, given our current socio-political climate, the study of rhetoric and biblical literature is as highly relevant and urgent as ever. To this end, we call for proposals centering on several themes at the 2017 annual meeting. All approaches to the study of rhetoric and the New Testament will be considered, and we especially encourage papers that feature explicit methodological reflection. FIRST: we seek proposals about “Pedagogical dimensions and contours of rhetorical criticism.” How, to whom, and on what terms, do we teach rhetoric? How are New Testament scholars responsible for understanding and engaging discourses of power in the ancient and modern worlds, and how does this play out in the classroom? What resources have we found helpful for teaching rhetoric, and why are they helpful? SECOND: we seek proposals concerning “Rust-belt rhetoric and the New Testament in American public discourse.” What role(s) does “rhetoric (and the New Testament)” play in the current political landscape? What can we learn about studying the New Testament from such articulations? THIRD: we seek proposals concerning “Discourses of identity, power, and violence in the New Testament and in New Testament scholarship.” ALSO: We will host a review session of Alexandra Gruca-Macaulay’s Lydia as a Rhetorical Construct in Acts (2016). We will also jointly sponsor, with several other SBL program units, one and possibly two sessions on “The Present and the Future of Biblical Studies” to mark and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the journal, Biblical Interpretation (Brill). Panelists for these sessions have been invited. FINALLY, as usual we invite proposals dealing with various aspects of the intersection of the study of rhetoric and the New Testament. Proposals that focus on the question of why the study of rhetoric and the New Testament matters now will be particularly welcome.

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Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity

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

Call for papers: The Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity Seminar provides a forum for collegial work exploring religious text using sociorhetorical interpretation as an analytical framework, and in dialogue with other scholars whose work engages facets of sociorhetorical exploration. In 2017, we will be holding four sessions. We continue on Track 1 (New Horizons in Sociorhetorical Interpretation) with a session on "Emerging Structures in and from Early Christian Discourse," which will examine two generative issues: the return of Jesus from the New Testament to the Qur'an and gender and virginity from the New Testament into the Apocrypha. Next, we will hold a special session on "Retrospect and Prospects for Sociorhetorical Interpretation" that both celebrates twenty years of sociorhetorical work with the publication of Foundations for Sociorhetorical Exploration and looks at the contributions of sociorhetorical interpretation from a variety of fresh perspectives. (This will take the place of the Track 2 analytical seminar for 2017). In Track 3 (Refining Sociorhetorical Interpretation), we will engage art historians and biblical scholars together to discuss the mutually illuminating interpretation of images and biblical texts. Finally, the Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity Seminar and the Book of Acts Section will hold a joint session of the topoi of bodies and embodiment in the Book of Acts.

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Ritual in the Biblical World

Ada Taggar-Cohen
Jason T. Lamoreaux
Description: The Ritual in the Biblical World Section focuses on the nature, meaning and function of ritual found in textual sources (HB, NT, non-canonical) in the larger context of the material culture of the ancient world, employing insights and methods of the field of ritual theory and enthnography.

Call for papers: The Ritual in the Biblical World steering committee will have two planned sessions of papers at the 2017 Anual meeting. 1) The first will be an open session on all parameters of meaning and function of ritual found in textual and iconographic sources in the larger context of the cultures of the ancient world, employing insights and methods from the field of ritual theory. 2) The second will include papers on the theme of Rituals and Processions, covering issues such as the function of rituals performed during processions; the place of processions in the religious-political sphere of a specific religion and culture of the region; the representation of ritual performers and paraphernalia within processions; the place of the divinity in processions; all papers must demonstrate a methodological approach toward ritual.

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Scripture and Paul

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

Call for papers: Papers for 2017 will explore Paul's Christological Use of Scripture in Romans.

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Second Corinthians: Pauline Theology in the Making

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

Call for papers: For the 2017 annual meeting the Second Corinthians: Pauline Theology in the Making Seminar is planning two sessions. (1) A session co-sponsored with the John’s Apocalypse and the Mysticism, Esotericism and Gnosticism in Antiquity Sections on “Ascent, Visionary Experience and Theology in Early Judaism and Christianity.” Invited papers will concentrate on 2 Corinthians 12, and the ascent motif as it appears in the Apocalypse of John and other early Jewish and Christian texts, as they illumine questions of literary/rhetorical form, religious experience and theology. (2) A session on sections of, or on the whole of, 2 Corinthians 12, along the lines of the goals of the Seminar, for which there is an open call for papers. In this session, our focus will be on the role of revelatory experiences in creating knowledge and understanding, and related to this, how authority and power can be claimed based on this knowledge. We also welcome papers on how the weakness and power motif functions in 2 Corinthians 12, regarding especially, but not limited to, the question of knowledge, and on the use of the term “signs, wonders, and mighty works.”

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Senses and Culture in the Biblical World

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

Call for papers: We plan to hold two joint sessions in 2017, both of which are open. First: With the Speech and Talk in the Ancient Mediterranean World program unit, we invite proposals for a joint session on The Sense of Speech. This panel explores the relation of speech and sense as expressed in the HB, NT, and other texts in the biblical world, as well as in the reception history of these materials. Paper proposals may address such topics as: what it means to think of speaking as a sense (like seeing, touching, smelling); what other senses are implicated in speaking (hearing, tasting/eating, etc.); the proper role of the mouth or tongue; the connection between disciplined speech and sensory disciplining; the question of sensory disability and the inability to speak; or the portrayal of nonhuman things (e.g., idols) that have no senses but are believed to speak. Second: With the Religious Experience program unit, we invite proposals for a joint session on Synesthesia and Religious Experience. Distinct from multisensory experience, synesthesia describes the perception of sensory blending. We welcome papers that examine physiological or metaphorical synesthesia, especially those that relate sensory blending to embodied cognition and lived bodily experience. Proposals may engage foundational methodological questions, such as: evidence for sensory blending (e.g., texts, art, material remains); the function of synesthesia in accounts of transcendent, esoteric, ecstatic, or revelatory experiences; the inducement, cultivation, or management of synesthesia through religious practices; the relationship between descriptions of sensory blending and the lived experiences of individuals and groups in antiquity. For both panels, the abstract should state the paper's thesis, outline the approach that will be taken, and identify the primary texts and examples to be discussed.

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Slavery, Resistance, and Freedom

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

Call for papers: Slavery, Resistance & Freedom will jointly sponsor three sessions in Boston in 2017. With Bible and Cultural Studies and Reading, Theory, and the Bible, two sessions will focus on the topic, “The Present and the Future of Biblical Studies” to mark and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the journal, Biblical Interpretation (Brill). Speakers/panelists for both sessions will be invited. Our third co-sponsored session will be an invited review panel examining Sandra Joshel and Lauren Hackworth Petersen’s *The Material Life of Roman Slaves,* which examines how one can use archaeological materials and ancient architectural spaces to reconstruct the everyday lives of enslaved persons in the Roman imperial period. Invited panelists will focus on the implications of Joshel and Hackworth’s methodologies for biblical studies, early Jewish and Christian histories, and histories of enslaved resistance.

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Social History of Formative Christianity and Judaism

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

Call for papers: For the 2017 Annual Meeting, we are planning four sessions. The first, cosponsored with Religious World of Late Antiquity, will be a pre-arranged session on David Frankfurter’s book, Christianizing Egypt: Syncretism and Local Worlds (forthcoming from Princeton University Press). For the three open sessions, we invite proposals on the following themes: 1. Letters (to be co-sponsored with the Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds Section). We welcome proposals that address any aspect of letters and their use in Early Christianity and/or Rabbinic Judaism. These might discuss individual papyri, describe types or genres of letters, or explore how letters illuminate larger questions relating to the social and cultural history of early Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism. 2. Natural disasters. We invite proposals that engage with any aspect of plagues, catastrophes, epidemics, etc. These might include descriptions of specific calamities, efforts (both practical and ritual) aimed at disaster remediation, as well as attempts at rationalization and the derivation of meaning. We particularly welcome proposals that engage with disaster theory. 3. Garbage. We invite proposals that engage with the topic of refuse and/or waste in its manifold material forms as well as in its conceptualization. We especially welcome proposals that reflect upon the category of the disposable or rejected.

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Social Sciences and the Interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures

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

Call for papers: The section is a dynamic program segment of the SBL that provides a welcoming forum for investigation of the social world of ancient Israel. The section particularly encourages papers utilizing methods and theories from the social sciences for the interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures. Two sessions are planned: the first will be open, and the second will focus on the themes of revolutionary identities within the Hebrew Scriptures.

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Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament

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

Call for papers: The Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament Section program encourages the self-conscious employment of recognized models, methods, or theories of the social sciences in order to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the texts and social world of the New Testament. For the 2017 meeting, we will have one Open Session, for which we warmly invite proposals, one session co-sponsored with Q on the topic of Demons and Spirit Possession for which we are accepting proposals, and one closed session of invited papers on the category of “Class." The session on "Class" will focus on the usefulness of the category of class for explaining the representations of social distinctions in the canonical and extracanonical gospels. Its papers will explore the ways that the gospels portray the social, economic, and cultural distinctions between people in different economic positions and the relations between them, the significance of these distinctions for understanding the purposes and intended audiences of these texts, and the prospects and limitations of the category of class for analyzing these differences.

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Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions

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

Call for papers: Gods of our fathers: restoration, archaism and nostalgia in Greco-Roman religions. What are the historical, social functions of the return to ancient tradition – real or imagined – in ancient Mediterranean religions? The re-materialization of the archaic is a familiar phenomenon in a range of Greek and Roman rituals, including the religious reforms of Augustus, Hellenistic archaizing, and the antiquarian enthusiasms of the second sophistic (Alcock 2001; Nasrallah 2005; Spawforth 2011). Theoretical frameworks emphasize the challenges and potential of these fabrications, for both the ancient participants who lived the cultures we study and for the scholars who seek to understand these phenomena. Significant theoretical foundations have come from Hobsbawm and Ranger, who explored the significance of fabricated pasts for the emic realities of national and cultural self-identity (Hobsbawm and Ranger 1983; Linnekin 1991; Babadzan 2000; Briggs 1996). Bourdieu’s work among the Kabyle famously examined how generations of cultural change transformed the ‘pure’ Kabyle house into an object of ‘structural nostalgia’ - simultaneously receding from, and created by, the investigator’s lens (Goodman 2009; McCutcheon 1997; Silverstein 2004). Studies of religion and cultural memory have explored ritual practices through the lens of memory as a social phenomenon (Assman 2005; Galinsky 2016). This panel invites papers which ground these theoretical questions in specific case studies from ancient Mediterranean contexts, including Greek, Roman, Near Eastern, Jewish, Christian, or Islamic. We are especially interested in papers which employ comparative approaches, and which integrate the study of material and textual sources. For further information and references, see the SAMR blog: https://samreligions.org.

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Society for Comparative Research on Iconographic and Performative Texts

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

Call for papers: In 2017, SCRIPT invites paper proposals on any aspect of iconic and performative texts, and especially on the production and use of miniature books.

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Society for Pentecostal Studies

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

Call for papers: We are seeking proposals for papers to be presented at the Society for Pentecostal Studies meeting that will be held in association with the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. The meeting will take place in Boston, Massachusetts from November 18-21, 2017. Preference is given to proposals that relate to the interests of both Societies. Ideally, papers presented at the meeting will explore a topic relevant to Pentecostal studies that address issues at the intersection of biblical/theological studies or Pentecostal hermeneutics. Proposals must be submitted by no later than March 2, 2017. Proposals should be submitted through the SBL website (www.sbl-site.org); however, proposals may also be sent directly to Blaine Charette (blaine.charette@northwestu.edu), the SBL Annual Meeting Program Unit Chair for the Society for Pentecostal Studies.

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Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies (SARTS)

Cindi Beth Johnson
Description: The Society was organized to provide a forum for scholars and artists interested in the intersections between theology, religion, and the arts, to share thoughts, challenge ideas, strategize approaches in the classroom, and to advance the discipline in theological and religious studies curricula. The goal of the Society is to attract consistent participation of a core group of artists and scholars of theology and religion in order to have dialogue about the theological and religious meaning of the arts, and the artistic/aesthetic dimension of theological and religious inquiry.

Call for papers: The Society was organized to provide a forum for scholars and artists interested in the intersections between theology, religion, and the arts, to share thoughts, challenge ideas, strategize approaches in the classroom, and to advance the discipline in theological and religious studies curricula. The goal of the Society is to attract consistent participation of a core group of artists and scholars of theology and religion in order to have dialogue about the theological and religious meaning of the arts, and the artistic/aesthetic dimension of theological and religious inquiry.

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Søren Kierkegaard Society

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

Call for papers: Session name: “Biblical Interpretation in Kierkegaard and Luther.” The Søren Kierkegaard Society welcomes proposals for a session exploring the intersection of Kierkegaard and Martin Luther on biblical interpretation. Proposals should engage one of the following categories: the influence of Luther on Kierkegaard’s reading of Scripture, Kierkegaard’s critical engagement with Luther on Scripture, a comparison of their hermeneutical approaches or interpretive themes, or a constructive appropriation of Kierkegaard and Luther for contemporary readings of Scripture.

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Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity

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

Call for papers: We invite proposals on any aspect of space, place, and lived experience in antiquity, but especially for papers centered on one or more of three focal areas. 1) The idea of sanctuary in antiquity, particularly as it relates to the spatial intersections of religion (temple spaces, statuary of the gods or humans, other religious spaces) and power (imperial demands, imperial spaces, religious authority structures, etc.). We are especially interested in proposals that take account of contemporary parallels to or ramifications of ancient ideas about sanctuary. 2) Conceptions of centers and peripheries as they organize and structure human activity. 3) New and emerging theories and methods for understanding space and spatiality. Spatial studies recently has been dominated by figures like Henri LeFebvre and Edward Soja; what new ways of construing, constructing, and understanding space can contribute to the conversation?

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Speech and Talk in the Ancient Mediterranean World

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

Call for papers: Speech and Talk in the Ancient Mediterranean World is planning two sessions for 2017. ——————————————— CFP #1: The Senses and Culture in the Biblical World and the Speech and Talk in the Ancient Mediterranean World program units invite paper proposals for a joint session exploring the relation of speech and sense as expressed in the OT/HB, the NT, and other texts in the biblical world, as well as in the reception history of these materials. Paper proposals may address such topics as: what it means to think of speaking as a sense (like seeing, touching, smelling); what other senses are implicated in speaking (hearing, tasting/eating, etc.); the proper role of the mouth or tongue; the connection between disciplined speech and sensory disciplining; the question of sensory disability and the inability to speak; or the portrayal of nonhuman things (e.g., idols) that have no senses but are believed to speak. The abstract should state the paper’s thesis, outline the approach that will be taken, and identify the primary texts and examples to be discussed. ——————————————— CFP #2: The Speech and Talk in the Ancient Mediterranean World program unit invites paper proposals for a session exploring speech and talk as marker of difference in the OT/HB, the NT, and other texts in the biblical world, as well as in the reception history of these materials. Various kinds of difference may be explored (gender, status, ethnicity, etc.), but proposals should be focused on ancient discourse about how speech is used to mark difference. For example, proposals might address the significance of the Gileadites exposing the Ephraimites by their mispronunciation (Judges 12), the way Peter was identified by his accent (Matthew 26), the way slave speech was perceived as untrustworthy, or the way loquacity was expected of the elderly. The abstract should state the paper’s thesis, outline the approach that will be taken, and identify the primary texts and examples to be discussed.

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Student Advisory Board

Erin Walsh
Krista Dalton
Description: SAB functions as a Board within the Society’s governance structure, and as such is composed of appointed individuals, both student members of the Society and a faculty liaison, who work to advise the SBL Council regarding issues and opportunities relating to student membership and participation in the Society as a whole. SAB also has as its core mandate the coordination of student participation across all Society activities, committees, and programs in an effort to foster opportunities for student participation and leadership development. In order to achieve this mandate, SAB works to encourage student attendance and active participation at regional, national, and international congresses, with a focus on paper presentations and professional skills development; to link SBL student membership to effective, working resources for skills advancement, facilitated through the development and maintenance of communication tools such as a webpage and newsletter (look for it in January 2012!); and to provide support in the development, review and evaluation of SBL policies and procedures as relating to student membership and participation and to make recommendations, where appropriate, to SBL Council on these matters. See more at https://www.sbl-site.org/SBLcommittees_SAB.aspx.

Call for papers:

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Synoptic Gospels

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

Call for papers: The Synoptic Gospels section invites proposals for papers for its open sessions on the content or formation of any of the Synoptic Gospels, and we especially are interested in papers that address the relationship between two or more of the Gospels or deal with themes that touch on multiple Gospels. The Synoptic Gospels section also invites proposals for an open session for papers that deal with how research in ancient media or social memory influences an understanding of the form and content of the Synoptic Gospels. We welcome paper proposals that address the role of ancient media or social memory in the composition of one or more Synoptic Gospels. In addition, there will be one invited session, co-sponsored with the Q Section, examining two books: Alan Kirk’s Q in Matthew (2016) and Chris Keith’s Jesus’ Literacy: Scribal Culture and the Teacher from Galilee (2013).

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Syriac Literature and Interpretations of Sacred Texts

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

Call for papers: For the 2017 meeting in Boston we invite papers that present, analyze, and discuss research on Syriac literature and the Syriac Bible, its versions, transmissions, exegesis, and relevance for understanding religion, culture, history, and society in Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the modern world. We are very interested in papers that address the intersections between the Bible, the Qur'an, and other sacred sacriptures, and their interpretive traditions through the lens of Syriac authors. We invite papers that speak to questions of migration and integration of texts, traditions, and people. Papers that promote work on editions and translations of Syriac and related texts are very welcome as well.

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Teaching Biblical Studies in an Undergraduate Liberal Arts Context

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

Call for papers: For 2017 the Teaching Biblical Studies in an Undergraduate Liberal Arts Context section will offer two sessions. For the first session we invite papers on any aspect of pedagogical objectives, strategies, and assessment for teaching biblical studies in undergraduate liberal arts institutions. For the second session we invite papers that address the various ways that biblical studies can and should contribute to the liberal arts mission of helping students to become well-informed, intellectually curious democratic citizens, even as other ideas about the purpose and goals of higher education gain greater public attention. Papers for this session may address such topics as collaboration across departmental boundaries; meeting the needs of students who question the value of required biblical studies courses; teaching the literature of the Bible to students who do not seem to have any interest in either reading or literature; modeling biblical virtues of welcome, dialogue, and hospitality in the classroom; and incorporating diverse views of meaning and interpretation into class discussions.

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Textual Criticism of Samuel – Kings

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

Call for papers: The theme of the 2017 sessions of the Text Criticism of Samuel and Kings Program Unit is: "The Influence of the Hexapla in Textual Transmission." We are looking forward to reading your proposals and having more brilliant discussion during the sessions! Paper proposals which deal with this specific topic will be first considered. If however you have another paper related to Text Criticism of Samuel-Kings (and the books with similar problems, such as Ruth, Chronicles, Joshua and Judges), please also submit your proposal.

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Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible

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

Call for papers: In 2017, the Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible section will host or cohost three sessions. (1) An open session where papers dealing with any aspect of the Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible are invited. (2) A closed session with invited papers which will continue a series of sessions on the textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible based quotations and allusions in Second Temple period Jewish Literature. In 2017 the focus will be on quotations and allusions in the Hebrew text of Ben Sira. (3) A review panel dedicated to the first volume of the new reference work Textual History of the Bible.

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The Historical Paul

Heidi Wendt
Ryan S. Schellenberg
Description: This consultation seeks to reinvigorate the study of the historical Paul by working to conceptualize him as a plausible human person, a social actor with comparanda both in the Roman world and in other societies.

Call for papers:

Tags: Pauline Epistles - 1 Corinthians (Biblical Literature - New Testament)

The Qur’an and Late Antiquity (IQSA)

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

Call for papers: For the 2017 IQSA Annual Meeting in Boston, the Qur’an and Late Antiquity program unit invites proposals for one open panel. We seek papers that utilize various types of evidence, whether literary, documentary and epigraphic, or material/visual/archaeological, to illuminate the historical context in which the Qur’an was revealed and the early Islamic polity emerged. We are especially interested in papers that utilize comparative methodologies to contribute to a better understanding of the Qur’an’s place in its cultural, political, social, and religious environment.

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The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition (IQSA)

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

Call for papers: For the 2017 meeting in Boston, we invite papers on interactions between the Biblical and Qur'anic traditions for an open session.

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

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

Call for papers: We invite papers that deal with all eras and regions of the Qur’an’s manuscript tradition, as well as the variety of palaeographic, art historical, codicological, philological, historical issues, and textual criticism issues one encounters in this discipline. For example, a paper topic may focus on presenting a particular manuscript or collection of manuscripts, on exploring a feature of the Qur’anic arts of the book, of orthographic development, of a particular script style, the dating of manuscripts, issues of textual criticism, systems of qira’at represented in manuscripts, or papers dealing with issues of the qira'at as found in Islamic literature. We will also consider a feature of Qur’anic manuscript studies and the qira’at not listed here but that fits the general parameters listed in the description of the program unit. Proposals should include a title and an abstract of approximately 400 words.

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The Qur’an: Surah Studies (IQSA)

Marianna Klar
Shawkat Toorawa
Description: The program unit “Surah Studies” seeks to bring different perspectives and scholarship on a given Qur’anic surah into dialogue with one another.

Call for papers: The Surah Studies Unit of IQSA invites proposals for individual papers on any aspect of Surat al-Ahzab (Q 33). Proposers may, for example, wish to explore the surah's textual history, its reception, its structure, its surah-ness, its relationship to other surahs, its composition, its lexicon, its rhetorical features, its style, or indeed any other aspect of the surah inviting analysis. As the raison d'etre of the panel (and the Unit) is to bring different perspectives and scholarship on a given surah into dialogue with one another, the unit chairs will aim to select a methodologically diverse set of papers.

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Theological Interpretation of Scripture

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

Call for papers: In 2017 the Theological Interpretation of Scripture seminar will sponsor two sessions. Our first session entitled “Paul and Justification: Reading Galatians 500 Years Later” will have invited papers representing distinct traditions (e.g., Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant [including a Lutheran]). For our second session, “Reading Deuteronomy Theologically,” we invite papers that reflect theologically on the significance of the book of Deuteronomy for Christians and/or Jews. Papers may (1) focus on the theological significance of a particular text; (2) consider the way in which specific theological loci are, have been, or could be informed by the reading of specific texts or themes from Deuteronomy; or (3) explore the effects of theological readings of the book of Deuteronomy on particular communities of faith. For both sessions, papers will be 20 to 25 minutes in length, which will be read in their entirety. Persons interested in announcements regarding the work of this unit, or with ideas for future sessions, should contact the chairs, Stephen Fowl (SFowl@loyola.edu) and Tom Holsinger-Friesen (tholsing@arbor.edu).

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Theological Perspectives on the Book of Ezekiel

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

Call for papers: The Theological Perspectives of the Book of Ezekiel will hold three sessions in Boston 2017. For the Open Session, we invite paper proposals on any aspect of the book of Ezekiel. For the two other, the section will continue work on its three-year project, “Perspectives on Land, Landscape, and Cosmic Geography in Ezekiel.” The topic for discussion in Boston will be the stance taken by the book and/or the prophet on the environment, ecology and created world broadly conceived. One session will be invited, the other is open for proposals.

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Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures

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

Call for papers: For 2017, we are planning a panel session on the Embodiment of G-d. Most panelists for this session will be invited, but we are open to proposals from others. For our open sessions, we are especially interested in proposals related to the experience of theophany, especially the visionary experience of G-d; proposals for papers on other topics concerning the theological interpretation of the Hebrew Bible are also welcome. Questions may be addressed to the Co-Chairs, Marvin A. Sweeney and Soo J. Kim.

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Theta Alpha Kappa

Eric F. Mason
Description: Theta Alpha Kappa exists to encourage, recognize and help maintain excellence within the academic study of religion and theology. It does this primarily by recruiting and chartering local chapters in appropriate, qualified institutions of higher learning which chapters, in turn, exist to pursue these same purposes in a local context through their various activities and the induction of qualified students. Secondly, through its Journal and other programs, TAK seeks to pursue these purposes within a national and (hopefully in future) an international context.

Call for papers:

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Transmission of Traditions in the Second Temple Period

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

Call for papers: The section will host two sessions in 2017. One session will feature invited papers on the “Transmission of Psalms: Navigating between Form, Function and Editing.” The second will be an open session where we invite proposals dealing with specific empirical evidence of transmission mechanics, like case studies on the use of editorial techniques, or more conceptual papers discussing the wider processes of transmitting traditions in the Second Temple period.

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Ugaritic Studies and Northwest Semitic Epigraphy

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

Call for papers: The Ugaritic Studies and Northwest Semitic Epigraphy section plans to hold two sessions in 2017: (1) A session on the social and political history of Ugarit, which will include invited papers, but for which unsolicited submissions will also be considered; and (2) an open, non-thematic session consisting of papers on any topic relevant to Ugaritic and Northwest Semitic studies.

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Use, Influence, and Impact of the Bible

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

Call for papers: We welcome papers dealing with commentary traditions, with the Bible in art, music, literature, television or film, or with the Bible in culture or politics. For the 2017 meeting, we are especially interested in papers that treat the use and appearance of the Bible in the current global and national political landscapes (alt-right use of the Bible, the Bible as a resource for thinking about immigration, the Bible and conservative politics etc).

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Violence and Representations of Violence in Antiquity

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

Call for papers: Violence and Representations of Violence in Antiquity is sponsoring two panels in 2017. 1) Blasphemy (Co-sponsored with AAR's Comparative Approaches to Religion and Violence group): Religious violence is often facilitated by the discursive constructions of "Others." A classic mechanism for constructing Others is the charge of blasphemy, in which the Other is said to have spoken or acted in a way that is deemed sacrilegious. We invite papers that explore charges of blasphemy in religious discourse, particularly those that pay attention to the work that such charges perform in the context of (inter)religious violence, competition, or conflict. 2) Precarity and Violence in Antiquity: Recent scholarship on violence has focused on the means by which people or groups are rendered as legitimate subjects of violence (for example, Butler’s notion of precarity or Agamben’s theorization of bare life). While a modern concept, precarity offers a helpful lens through which to investigate the varying degrees and types of violence ancient people might have experienced. Literary and documentary texts as well as other material objects reveal how women, slaves, “barbarians,” and others, who were precariously situated in relation to local and imperial governance, lived with violence. We invite submissions that explore the ways in which ancient people, groups, or things were framed as legitimate targets of violence. Papers could focus on legitimations in a number of different contexts: incitements to violence by ecclesiastical figures, local authorities, or state actors; constructions rooted in group competition; the fantasies and erotics of violence, etc.

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Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion

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

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Warfare in Ancient Israel

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

Call for papers: The Warfare in Ancient Israel Section is sponsoring two sessions in 2017: (1) the steering committee invites 25-minute papers that offer interdisciplinary explorations of genocide (and mass violence) and its representations and realities in the Hebrew Bible and ancient Near East; (2) the steering committee invites 20-minute papers that explore the emerging field of “moral injury” and its relationship to the representations and realities of warfare in the Hebrew Bible and ancient Near East. For additional information, contact Brad E. Kelle (bradkelle@pointloma.edu).

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Westar Institute

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

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

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Wisdom and Apocalypticism

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

Call for papers: The Wisdom and Apocalypticism program unit will be holding three sessions for the 2017 SBLAM. • The first will be open for submissions. We welcome submissions on all topics that relate to wisdom and/or apocalypticism or possible intersections between them. • Our second session will be an invited session that will be jointly held with the Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism group. • Our third session will be an invited session devoted to a new issue of the journal Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel. This issue, edited by Carol Newsom and Konrad Schmid, is entitled “Seeking Knowledge: The Intellectual Project of Apocalypticism.” The articles in this issue in various ways examine apocalyptic literature, not with the focus on genre as in Semeia 14. Rather, apocalyptic texts are interpreted against the backdrop of and as embedded within various intellectual currents of the Hellenistic world.

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Wisdom in Israelite and Cognate Traditions

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

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

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Women in the Biblical World

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

Call for papers: Call for papers: Women in the Biblical World invites proposals for papers in three sessions: 1). Proponents of so-called "traditional" family values often appeal to biblical texts to implicitly or explicitly exclude families (or certain family members) that don't conform to a certain model. Yet, biblical texts often prove to be notoriously tricky analogues or preludes for such claims. This panel invites papers that consider strategies that build upon such disconnections or non-correspondences, as an opening onto critical, creative, or constructive uses of the context, content, or interpretation of the Hebrew Bible or New Testament. [Co-sponsored with Children in the Biblical World and LGBT/Queer Hermeneutics]; 2). Hypermasculinity, Biblical Interpretation and “A New Pharaoh”: Religious political rhetoric, ostensibly fueled by biblical interpretation, continues to inform the political landscape in the United States. When that rhetoric is laced with (hyper)masculinity, sexism, and misogyny, as it was in the 2016 presidential election, women pay the cost in attacks over the control of their bodies and lives. This panel invites papers that investigate the intersection of (hyper)masculinity, biblical texts, and political-religious discourse, especially with concern for women and girls, in light of the 2016 presidential election outcome; 3). “You have stept out of your place”: Reading the Bible in honor of Anne Hutchinson is a panel focused on the interpretative work of New England religious leader Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643) within a larger contextual continuum on women reading the Bible in the American colonial era. Papers are appreciated that explore the intersection of political, theological, and gender issues that influenced her trial and banishment from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

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Writing Social-Scientific Commentaries of the New Testament

J. Brian Tucker
Petri Luomanen
Description: The goal of the seminar is to develop and test theoretical approaches suitable for writing social-scientific commentaries on the New Testament, in particular in the series T&T Clark Social Identity Commentaries in the New Testament

Call for papers: The goal of the seminar is to develop and test theoretical approaches suitable for writing social-scientific commentaries on the New Testament, in particular in the series T&T Clark Social Identity Commentaries in the New Testament

Tags: Social-Scientific Approaches (Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology) (Interpretive Approaches)

Writing/Reading Jeremiah

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

Call for papers: In concordance with the name of the Writing/Reading Jeremiah group, the 2017 sessions will focus on aspects of writing in the Book of Jeremiah such as: How is the act of writing configuring and configured in the scrolls? Does writing shape a specific theological meaning? What is the connection between writing and re-writing in the book of Jeremiah and beyond? How do modes of writing influence modes of reading – and vice versa? Was Roland Barthes correct when he declared the death of the writer and the birth of the reader? The group will host two sessions: 1) a panel discussion of Nathan Mastnjak, Deuteronomy and the Emergence of Textual Authority in Jeremiah, (FAT 2. Reihe 87), Mohr-Seibeck 2016 (invited), and 2) an open session.

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zTest Program Unit

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

Call for papers: Test-2017 CFP

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