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Congresses

2018 Annual Meeting

Denver, CO

Meeting Begins: 11/17/2018
Meeting Ends: 11/20/2018

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: 12/18/2017
Call For Papers Closes: 3/7/2018
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: Session 1: 10-minute Teaching Tips for Teaching Biblical Studies What tricks and techniques for the Biblical Studies classroom do you have? Propose an engaging 10-minute presentation that models teaching and learning practices based on research and experience, engages the members in learning, and show promise of helping learners develop desirable Biblical study skills, knowledge, and attitudes. Session 2: “More than you bargained for . . . Teaching outside your area of expertise.” What do you do if you’re a Leviticus specialist who has to teach “Introduction to World Religions;” or a reception history class, such as “Interpreting Biblical Creation”; or a “Religion and. . . .” class (such as “Religion and Film” or “Religion and Sports”)? How can you capitalize on your scholarly expertise in this new sort of venue? Bring your syllabi and experiences to discuss how you have tackled these sorts of issues, to share what worked and what didn’t, and to help one another. Session 3: Effective use of Social Media in Teaching Biblical Studies How may students use social media effectively for learning? How can social-media assignments be aligned well with learning goals? We seek proposals for 20-minute demonstrations of effective use of social media in teaching biblical studies. Preference will be given to proposals engaging contextual matters and addressing these in terms of specific assignments and activities. Session 4: Innovative Approaches to Teaching Biblical Languages (co-sponsored with the Global Education & Research Technology section). In this session, we will identify one or more specific lessons to be taught, with a language objective, a text, and a content objective related to that text, and ask all presenters to show how they would teach that lesson in their environment, and how they would assess. Teachers of biblical languages who use living language, corpus-driven, SIOP, or any other innovative approaches are invited to submit a proposal.

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African Association for the Study of Religions

Esther Acolatse
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: Scripturalization and Orality in/as African Spirituality: A Preface to African Hermeneutics The African Biblical Hermeneutics and the African Association for the Study of Religion invite papers that theorize on scripturalization, orature, and orality as a cultural way of life in African and African Diasporic cultures. Papers can address specific themes including the epistemological, philosophical, socio-cultural, genre, linguistic and performative aspects of orality; or even its relation to the general life styles and rhythms of the earth. Since these themes are also available for exploration from the biblical side, scripturalization provides that entry point. We would like contributions that develop the ontological and existential realities of African cultures as bases that generate fundamental theories for African and African Diasporic hermeneutics and heuristics. We strongly urge interactions with African scholars such as Chinua Achebe, Ousseina Alidou, Ezra Chitando, Afe Adogame, Solomon Iyasere, Helen Mugambi, Isidore Okpewho, Ngugi Wa-Thiongo, etc.

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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: Multi-, Inter- and Trans-disciplinary Approaches (MIT’s): Research in the fields of African studies, cultural studies, gender studies, anthropology, psychology, political science, cognitive science, trauma, and economics among others, provide entry points to innovative methods in African biblical hermeneutics. In this session, papers are invited that will explore innovative methodological approaches to African Biblical Studies in the context of multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches (MIT’s). 2)Biblical Responses to “The Strong Man Syndrome” in Africa: This session invites papers that reflect on biblical responses to the emergence of "strong men" governing philosophies in post independence Africa. Papers should address any of the following: (a) the ideology and phenomenon of strongmen rulership and fascism in postcolonial Africa; (b) African strongmen phenomenon in the context of global politics; and (c) new futures for nationalized, internationalized, and Diasporized African populations. 3).Scripturalization and Orality in/as African Spirituality: A Preface to African Hermeneutics: The African Biblical Hermeneutics and the African Association for the Study of Religion invite papers that theorize on scripturalization, orature, and orality as a cultural way of life in African and African Diasporic cultures. Papers should address any of the following: biblical, epistemological, philosophical, socio-cultural, genre, linguistic and performative aspects of Africana orality, and their relation to forms and practices of African spirituality. 4). Bible and gender-Based Violence in Africa and the African Diaspora: The African Biblical Hermeneutics and Feminist Hermeneutics sections invite papers that engage the theme of gender- based violence in specific biblical texts and/or in varying contexts of (female) reception in the quest for justice and transformation within present day Africana communities and cultures.

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African-American Biblical Hermeneutics

Herbert R. Marbury
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

Christy Cobb
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 at the 2018 annual meeting: 1) The Greek Novel. Returning to our section's roots, we seek proposals that engage directly with the five extant Greek novels (by Chariton, Xenophon of Ephesus, Achilles Tatius, Longus, and Heliodorus) or novel fragments. 2) Speech in Ancient Narratives. For a joint session with the Speech and Talk in the Ancient Mediterranean World section, we invite proposals that examine the narratological dimensions of speech in ancient narratives. What role, for example, does dialogue play in narrative functions like plot, focalization, or characterization? Does speech (portrayed through direct or indirect discourse) emphasize important narrative themes, create irony, increase suspense, etc.? How are different speech modes (e.g., highly stylized public speech versus everyday talk) employed in a given narrative? We welcome diverse methodological and theoretical perspectives, as well as focused case studies regarding specific ancient narratives. As always, we also welcome proposals on any topic relevant to the group's focus.

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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: 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.

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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 2018 meeting of the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars will be held on Friday, November 16 off site in Denver. 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. In addition, we will meet for Holy Eucharist in the conference venue on Sunday morning, November 18.

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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: The Animal Studies and the Bible consultation has a number of invited papers for the 2018 Annual Meeting but is open to additional proposals on any topic relating Animal Studies to biblical interpretation. As the Annual Meeting will be in Colorado, we are particularly interested in paper proposals examining species adapted to mountainous regions, like sheep and goats, and the biblical and archaeological evidence of the role of these species in niche construction. Zooarchaeological studies from the Iron Age and later will be given preference. We are planning two joint sessions. For the first joint session with the AAR Animals and Religion section, we are especially interested in proposals that relate biblical literature to the works of Donovan Shaefer or Aaron Gross. The second joint session is with the Islands, Islanders and Scriptures Section. Scientific studies are showing that marine species have capacities for language, intelligence, culture and sentience that Europeans once considered the sole preserve of humans, and activists are working to end the captivity of cetaceans like Orcas. What unique perspectives do Islandic people have on marine mammals that might blur the human/animal binary? Or what unique perspectives do Islanders have on other-than-human animals and birds that might inform the reading of the Bible?

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. We welcome presentations on Targumim, Qumran Aramaic texts, Syriac language and literature, Samaritan papyri, Egyptian Aramaic, magical texts, and other topics. In addition, we are planning two thematic sessions for the 2018 meeting and especially invite papers for these. First, a joint session with the SBL Egyptology and Ancient Israel Section will highlight new research on Aramaic texts from Egypt. A second special session will focus on the origins of Targums, such as the provenance of particular Targums, the purpose of their composition, their relation to parallel rabbinic literature, and the wider interpretative background.

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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) Text, Travel, and Materiality We seek papers that explore the intersections between texts, travel, and material culture. Possible topics include (but are not limited to): texts on travel, texts that travel, traveling texts (translation and reception), material texts (e.g. inscriptions) on travel, the infrastructure of travel. All papers proposals related to the theme will be considered, but those that directly address materiality and focus on religious practice are highly encouraged. (2) Open session A session that includes focused analyses of various topics related to religion and archaeology of the Hellenistic, Roman, and/or Late Antique eras. Papers dealing with household religion or with religion and work are of particular interest. If your paper for either session involves the interpretation or consideration of archaeological artifacts, please ascertain that they have been previously published in a peer-reviewed scholarly publication. If they have not, please submit documentation of their country of origin, and evidence of permission from the excavators or other relevant authorities to publish these items.

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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: 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.

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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 2018 Annual Meeting in Denver, the Art and Religions of Antiquity Program Unit is offering two sessions, including one OPEN SESSION. We are co-sponsoring a review session with the Early Jewish-Christian Relations Program Unit discussing Robin Jensen's, The Cross: History, Art, Controversy, and Steven Fine's, The Menorah: From the Bible to Modern Israel. The session will include panelists as well as a response and discussion with both authors. We also a sponsoring an open paper session organized by the theme Ritual and Sacred Space. For this session, we ideally seek papers that discuss ways that architecture, spatial features, or any religious environment channel ritual movement or ritual stages, or demarcate audiences from principal performers. Papers that address liturgical development through the lens of material culture are welcome as well.

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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 Seminar 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 Asian or Asian American perspectives. 2. We hope to have a special session dealing with gender and the Bible in Asian and Asian American contexts. We welcome theory driven or empirical papers that go beyond only description to analyzing biblical texts through the lens of gender as it plays out both within the Bible and within Asian and Asian American contexts. Both experienced and first-time presenters are encouraged to submit proposals to both sessions.

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Assyriology and the Bible

Jeffrey L. Cooley
Rannfrid Irene Thelle
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 Denver, the Assyriology and the Bible Section will host a special invited session entitled "Revisiting the Amorites," as well as two open sessions in which we consider proposals on any subject related to the study of Assyriology and the Bible. Additionally, we invite papers for a special session "Inclusion and Exclusion among Cultic Personnel” organized jointly with the SBL Cultic Personnel in the Biblical World section (to whom proposals should be submitted). Submissions to this joint session should focus on the ancient Near East and should, ideally, be comparative in nature. The session will be dedicated to rules and boundaries governing cultic officiants broadly construed (e.g., gender considerations, exclusive/excluding behaviors, etc.).

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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 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.

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Bible and Emotion

Amy Cottrill
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 2018. One session will feature a panel of invited papers and respondents focusing on methodological issues raised by the study of emotion as constructed by and represented within ancient texts, with particular application to compassion. How does one study emotion generally and specific emotions like compassion in ancient texts and contexts? What are generative methodological approaches and possible pitfalls in this type of study? The second session is OPEN. We invite proposals related to critical study of emotion across the full range of biblical literature and closely related literature. We are interested in papers 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: For the 2018 meeting, the Bible and Film section invites papers for one or two open sessions that will focus on our general interest in the critical analysis of Bible and Film. Broadly construed, such papers can take multiple forms and use diverse approaches/methods (e.g. analyzing the depiction of biblical texts, characters, or themes in film; or constructing some type of critical dialogue between films and biblical texts). Such papers should illustrate how films can illuminate biblical texts, and/or how biblical texts might illuminate films. We also invite papers for themed sessions on one or more of the following topics: (1) Monsters (or the Monstrous) in the Bible and Film; (2) Directors/Auteurs (e.g. the Coens; del Toro; Iñárritu; Aronofksy; Scorsese; Tarantino); (3) Recent Bible Films (such as the 2018 films Mary Magdalene and Paul, Apostle of Christ); (4) Resistance to Oppression (broadly construed) in biblical texts and films. Presenters are given 40 minutes so that they may include 10 minutes of film clip(s) in their presentations.

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Bible and Popular Culture

Dan W. Clanton Jr.
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: The Bible and Popular Culture Unit will host two sessions in 2018. The first is a joint session with the AAR’s Religion and Popular Culture Unit exploring interactions between the Bible, Religion, and Popular Culture that involve material or people in or from the Global South. We invite innovative and interdisciplinary proposals for this joint session. Our second session looks backwards and forwards, as we celebrate the retirement of Drs. Linda Schearing and Valarie Ziegler, co-founders of this Unit. Invited speakers will cogitate and ruminate on how the study of the Bible and Popular Culture has evolved since the Unit began. The session will conclude with a conversation with Drs. Schearing and Ziegler. Our third session is an open session, and we invite proposals for papers focusing on any aspect of the reciprocal relationship between 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: Themed Session - Practical Theology and Praxis: Some possible foci; How might biblical texts provide healing tools for the polarized political climate, within contexts of sexual abuse, harassment, and dysfunctional power dynamics? Where can biblical texts function as a theology of resistance and/or how do biblical texts provide tools for self-care in the midst of communal chaos/violence? Themed Session - Creating biblical models for inclusion and healthy human relations: How do biblical texts embrace communities by building bridges between groups often described as “other/outsider” with those often considered “insiders”? (Examples include: issues of race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, undocumented versus citizens, consumption of recreational drugs versus abstemious, conservative versus liberal, or the like?) 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.

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Bible and Visual Art

Christine Joynes
Heidi J. Hornik
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: The Bible and Visual Art section plans to host the following sessions in 2018: (1) We invite papers for a joint session with the Exile (Forced Migrations) in Biblical Literature program unit on the theme of ‘Exile in Biblical Art’. (2) We would also welcome papers for a themed session on ‘Gender and Biblical Art’. (3) Finally, for an open session, we invite proposals that fall within our broad purpose: 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. We particularly encourage topics that relate to art, sculpture or other forms of biblical art in public spaces in Denver, Colorado.

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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: We welcome proposals on the use of myth and myth theory in biblical studies, both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, including their Greco-Roman and ancient Near Eastern contexts. We especially encourage papers that explore various definitions and conceptions of 'myth' and what it means to employ this category in the context of biblical studies. We encourage participants from diverse specializations, including Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Ancient Near Eastern literature, and Greco-Roman religions. We aim to include studies covering a range of methodologies and critical theories: textual and literary criticisms, philology, archeology, art history, social and anthropological theories, and cognitive science.

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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 two methodological sessions on “The Reception and Use of Ethical Traditions by Biblical Authors”, and a thematic session devoted to the topic of “(Social) Justice”. One of the two methodological sessions will be co-hosted with the section "Biblical Exegesis in Orthodox Perspectives". We invite paper proposals for all three sessions. In the methodological sessions, an analysis of both intra- and inter-testamental reception of earlier (biblical) ethical traditions is possible. The presenters are also invited to discuss whether their analysis of innerbiblical appropriation of ethical traditions could provide a model for relating the Bible to current ethical issues. In the thematic session on “(Social) Justice”, papers are invited that cover various aspects of the social dimensions of justice chosen by the presenters. A focus on the relationship between equality and justice and on the question as to how biblical texts can inform, modify or critique current secular concepts of “Social Justice” is welcome, but not compulsory. The presenters are also invited to look at similarities and differences between the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, or between one of the two Testaments and relevant extra-biblical material.

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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 have two sessions in 2018. For one session, we invite papers on the theme: “Fresh Approaches to Theosis in the New Testament.” An increasing number of monographs and articles discuss relevant NT texts from the perspective of the patristic concept of theosis. In this session, we are calling for papers that will foster dialogue on theosis in the NT by providing original exegesis, as well as critical reflections regarding the hermeneutics and ethos of theosis. Therefore, proposals should offer not only overviews of patristic reception or current bibliography but also historical-critical approaches to the NT. A particular point of interest for this year is the discussion of aspects of theosis in the Johannine literature. However, the session may also include papers discussing other books of the NT canon. We also invite papers for a second session, which will be co-hosted with the section “Biblical Ethics” and will be a methodological session on the theme, “The Reception and Use of Ethical Traditions by Biblical Authors.” An analysis of both intra- and inter-testamental reception of earlier (biblical) ethical traditions is possible. The presenters are also invited to discuss whether their analysis of innerbiblical appropriation of ethical traditions could provide a model for relating the Bible to current ethical issues. Presenters for this co-hosted session may engage patristic and/or Orthodox interpretation of the relevant texts or draw on Orthodox traditions when evaluating how their work might inform contemporary discussion of ethics.

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: The Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics Section invites members to present a paper that utilizes linguistics to study the biblical text, and to submit their proposal through the online system before the call deadline of March 7, 2018. Proposals are to consist of a 1-2 page description of the paper, should include bibliographic resources, and make clear the theoretical framework that is being employed in that paper. In addition, proposers (both full- and student-members) who have not previously presented in this section of the SBL Annual Meeting must submit their full paper to the program unit co-chairs by February 17, 2018. Please note that papers must be of such a length that they can be presented within 25 minutes, so as to allow for 5 minutes of response and discussion after each presentation. This section will have at least one themed session, on a topic currently being specified. However, any other papers that further contribute to the discussion of the Greek of the Bible and using a clearly articulated theoretical framework will be considered for the open session.

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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 three sessions. One invited session will be devoted to showcasing the exciting new project: DNI Bible, i.e., Dictionary of Nature Imagery of the Bible (http://dni.tau.ac.il/), led by Dalit Rom-Shiloni and involving collaboration between researchers of natural sciences, archaeologists, and biblical scholars. Our remaining two sessions are an open call for papers with invited respondents that will promote and direct discussions (drafts are required to be submitted by Oct 15).

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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 Metaphor Theory and the Hebrew Bible section, we will be co-sponsoring a session of invited papers on the topic of "Metaphor in Law and Law in Metaphor" that will explore how law makes use of metaphoric language as well as how law itself becomes the basis for metaphoric discourse. 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 2018 Annual Meeting. We will host an invited joint session with the Qumran Section on lexicographic issues pertaining to Qumran. We welcome paper proposals for two further 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 studies methods for employing trauma as a concept for interpreting biblical and extra-canonical texts in their origins and their reception. Papers may interpret biblical or extra-biblical texts through the lens of various dimensions 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. This year the section will receive proposals for three sessions, each focusing on one of the following topics: (1) Trauma and RESILIENCE: RESILIENCE may be understood broadly as the capacity to progress in recovery from traumatic experiences or to withstand to some degree potentially overwhelming experiences. How might resilience be more precisely defined as a productive lens for interpreting or appropriating the biblical text? (2) Trauma and GENDER: We encourage papers on trauma and GENDER to interact with the notion of "insidious trauma" – a term coined by the feminist psychotherapist Maria Root to describe the ongoing violation experienced by individuals and groups based on gender, race, sexual orientation and class that includes the long-term effects of systemic sexism, racism and classism. (3) Trauma and ECOLOGY: This will be a joint session with the ECOLOGICAL HERMENEUTICS section. We invite papers that explore the following questions. How might the discussion of trauma be extended beyond the human to include the land, trees, animals, and other non-human members of creation in dialogue with the biblical material? What does it mean to talk of “traumatization of the land (or oceans, etc)?” How does the non-human manifest and communicate trauma? What principles are helpful? Proposals should indicate which of the three topics is being addressed. Proposals should also define the aspect(s) of trauma being employed, and papers should include some evaluation of the usefulness of the definitio

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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 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.

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Book of Acts

Eric D. Barreto
Matthew L. Skinner
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 2018, the Book of Acts Section is planning two sessions. The first is an invited session on "Paul within Judaism in the Book of Acts,” a topic which provides a much needed follow-up to the section’s recent explorations of ethnicity in Luke-Acts, especially with an eye toward the ways in which Paul’s characterization in Acts has influenced notions of ethnicity, early Christian identity formation, exclusion, and supersessionism within Christian theology. Given recent scholarship on the historical Paul's Jewish identity, this session also seeks to clarify the persistent questions that surround “the Lukan Paul." In addition, we invite submissions for an open session covering any aspect of research related to the Acts of the Apostles, including (e.g.) textual, theological, narratival, historical, reception-historical, exegetical, social-scientific, and ideological approaches. Proposals that address questions related to Paul and Judaism in Acts 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 2018 Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, 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 pseudepigraphical 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: 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.

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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 2018, the Book of the Psalms Section will organize the following three sessions: Open session: For the open session we invite proposals investigating issues related to any text or texts within the Psalms. Psalms Commentaries for the 21st Century: This session will highlight four new/forthcoming Psalms commentaries. In addition to presentations by the commentary authors, invited respondents will present will review the works. Preaching the Lament Psalms: This joint session with the Homiletics Section will focus on preaching laments generally or the experience of preaching specific lament psalms. (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: At the 2018 meeting we invite papers for two sessions: 1) 1 Samuel 13-15 is filled with text-critical, literary-critical, theological and ethical issues. In this session we seek papers that integrate narrative criticism to address one or more of these issues. 2) An open session with papers on any aspect of narrative, theology or interpretation in the book of Samuel.

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 2018, the Book of the Twelve Prophets Section will organize three sessions: an open session, an invited session about “The Character of the Prophet in the Book of the Twelve” and an invited session regarding new insights into the Formation of 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 two sessions in 2018. The first will be an open session. We invite submissions on any topic related to children and the Bible, the ancient world, or how biblical texts affect children in the post-biblical world. The second session will be a joint session with the Economics in the Biblical World section. We invite papers that address how issues of class and labor intersect with children in the ancient world and biblical texts.

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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 welcomes papers on a diverse array of topics and texts for the 2018 Annual Meeting. We will hold one joint session with the Religious Competition in Late Antiquity program unit. For this joint session, we invite papers that focus on competition in apocryphal Christian writings; for example, around issues of authority, interpretation, cult practice, etc. Furthermore, given the heightened cultural awareness of sexual assault and toxic masculinities, we are particularly interested in the ways that competing understandings of these concepts find expression in the Christian Apocrypha. We will also hold a session devoted to the comparison of canonical and apocryphal gospels; we are inviting proposals that place these gospels in a common intertextual field, exploring their theological and ideological convergences and divergences. In addition to these two planned sessions, the steering committee welcomes submissions on any topic pertaining to the Christian Apocrypha, broadly construed.

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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: The Christian Theology and the Bible section invites papers for three different sessions on the following three themes: 1) The Christian Theology and Bible section is finishing the last of a four-year series on biblical figures who appear in both Testaments and their significance for Christian theology. For this session, we welcome papers on any (or all) of the women from Matthew’s genealogy:  Tamar (1:3), Rahab (1:5), Ruth (1:5), and Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah (1:6). We are seeking papers demonstrating how one or more of these women have influenced Christian theology in the past, that explore how theologians have interpreted them in either Testament or both Testaments, and/or that describe their role in constructive Christian theology today.    2) Our section is also finishing a four-year series on Christian theologians and their interpretation of the Bible. This final session invites papers on Karl Barth and his theological interpretation of a specific text or set of texts in the Old or New Testament. The session is particularly interested in his role as a biblical interpreter for constructive Christian theology today.   3) In recognition that our 2018 host city is in the mountainous West, we invite papers on any aspect of Biblical topography (mountains, the wilderness or desert, trees, the sea, rivers, streams, etc.) and its relevance for Christian theology during any past period as well as today.

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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 Program Unit will have three sessions in 2018. 1) An open session for which we invite proposals on any topic or approach related to Chronicles and/or Ezra-Nehemiah. 2) An invited panel on recent and forthcoming commentaries on Chronicles. 3) A panel on the reception of Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah. We invite proposals on any relevant topic, though we are particularly interested in presentations on the reception of Nehemiah and/or presentations that reflect on the methods and aims of the field of reception history.

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Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Interpretation

David Parris
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 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.

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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: At the 2018 meeting, we will explore social categorization and boundary drawing discourse in second-century narrative texts. Our seminar is keen to move beyond traditional analysis of texts in terms of pre-formed scholarly categories like "Christian and non-Christian." We want to begin by asking which categories are invoked in the texts themselves: gender, marital status, slave status, age, hair color, obsession with bananas? We encourage proposals for papers that begin with close attention to these sorts of textual dynamics, and include theoretical and methodological reflection on the implications of the results for the stories we tell about the ancient world. Papers might also reflect on the phenomenon of multiple identities and the way that categorization functions as a discursive tool to accomplish larger ends. NB: For the purposes of this session, any narrative text that the presenter feels has roots in the second century is fair game, even if it is difficult to establish a second-century form of the text. These could include Acts, the Shepherd, texts commonly considered Jewish or Christian "Apocrypha," martyrdom accounts, and comparative studies of texts not generally attributed to "Jewish" or "Christian" authors.

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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 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 three very different sessions. First, we will discuss the book Romans: Three Exegetical Interpretations and the History of Reception: Volume 1: Romans 1:1-32, by Daniel Patte (Bloomsbury T&T Clark, London and New York, 2018). As it contextualizes three significant and significantly different ways of reading Romans 1, the book brings issues of contextual interpretation to the fore. A diverse panel of scholars has been invited to respond to the book, with discussion to follow. Second, we are collaborating with the “Latino/a and Latin American Biblical Interpretation” group in a joint session on the book of Revelation, to be considered from readers’ different contexts or social locations (e.g. geographical, geopolitical, racial/ethnic, socio-political, socio-economic, gendered, spiritual-psychological, etc.). While we have invited some presenters, we also welcome submissions for this session. Third, a session on “Contextualized Readings of Demons and Spirits” (informed by the 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. We welcome submissions for this session.

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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. Session 1: “Exploring the Meaning of African Identity among Christians in Vandal Africa,” which will focus on the nature and significance of Punic and Romano-African cultural expressions during Vandal rule in North Africa. We are particularly interested in how these distinctively African identities influenced both the cultivation of and resistance to the Vandal’s Christian kingdom. Session 2: “Interpretations of Apocalyptic Texts in Christian North Africa,” which will be devoted to the reception and employment of such Scriptural texts among the writings of North African Christians, such as Tertullian, Cyprian, the Martyr Acts, Donatists such as Tyconius, Optatus, 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

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: This year, we particularly invite papers focusing on (a) "Ancient Atheism (real or imagined)," (b) "Dead Women Speak: Inscriptional Evidence" and (c) "Choice, Change and Conversion (celebrating the scholarship of A. D. Nock)."

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Cultic Personnel in the Biblical World

Madhavi Nevader
Sarah Shectman
Description: This section comprises a forum for the investigation of the social and historical roles of cultic personnel in the biblical world broadly conceived, including ancient Israel, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Asia Minor. Sessions will cover textual, iconographic, and archaeological evidence and may take a variety of methodological approaches.

Call for papers: Cultic Personnel in the Biblical World (formerly Levites and Priests in History and Tradition) will host four sessions in 2018: an invited session on masculinity and cultic personnel; an open session on any topic related to the aim of the program unit; and two joint sessions, for which we also welcome submissions. Joint session with Assyriology and the Bible: Inclusion and Exclusion among Cultic Personnel. Submissions should focus on the ancient Near East and should, ideally, be comparative in nature. The session will be dedicated to rules and boundaries governing cultic officiants broadly construed (e.g., gender considerations, exclusive/excluding behaviors, etc.). Joint session with Greco-Roman Religion and Hellenistic Judaism: Making Priests: Intersections of Discourse and Practice in the Hellenistic and Greco-Roman Eastern Mediterranean. This open call seeks proposals focusing on discourses and practices that embed cultic personnel and their functions in particular social and political contexts. It is interested in studies of the various agents involved in the making of cults, including ruler cults, such as cultic personnel, paracultic role players like freelance religious experts, or entrepreneurial, smaller-scale cultic practitioners. How do cultic personnel derive and perpetuate their position? What influences and borrowings, and what appeals to traditional authority, played a role in the authority claimed by or attributed to cultic personnel in the Hellenistic and Roman periods? How did the institutionalization of the ruler cults and the appointment of their personnel interfere and/or intersect with traditional local practices? Proposals should move beyond the merely descriptive, toward a comparative theorizing of discourses, practices, and institutions. Proposals on Asia Minor, the Levant, and ancient Egypt are welcome. Papers will be available beforehand, and can be requested from Gerhard van den Heever, vdheega@unisa.ac.za.

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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: The Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature section and the Prayer in Antiquity section are hosting a joint session on any topic that highlights the role of prayer in the Deuterocanonical corpus of books. Some papers will be invited for this session, but proposals on the topic are also welcome. One session will focus on the Book of Ben Sira with its theology and textual complexity; this year’s core theme of the Ben Sira session will be on the Praise of the Ancestors (Sir 44-50), but any other inspiring proposal will be welcome.

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

Mahri Leonard-Fleckman
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 Deuteronomistic History unit will hold one open session and one invited session in 2018. For our open session, we welcome any and all papers that pertain to the Book of Judges. We are open to a wide range of topics and approaches, though we ask that participants engage with concepts of Deuteronomistic composition in some fashion. Our invited session will be held jointly with the Transmission of Traditions in the Second Temple Period unit on the Book of Joshua; please see that unit for a detailed description.

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Development of Early Christian Theology

Mark DelCogliano
Matthew R. Crawford
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:

In 2018 we will explore the close connections between Biblical Exegesis and the Development of Christological Doctrine. It has become increasingly recognized in patristic scholarship that exegetical disputes were one of the driving forces of the period’s theological debates and developments. The early Christological debates are primary sites for investigating the biblical dimension of early Christian doctrine, since in the controversies over the correct theological account of Christ opponents offered rival interpretations of key passages of scripture whose meaning was disputed. But recognition of the fact that rival interpretations were fundamental to Christological debates raises other interrelated questions. What criteria could be used to evaluate whether one interpretation was superior to another? Could opponents even agree on these criteria? Are we in a position today to assess whether competing readings were more or less in keeping with the Christologies present in the biblical texts themselves? Were there different assumptions about hermeneutics, epistemology, language, etc., that informed biblical exegesis and led to rival interpretations? How useful is it to continue to speak of “schools” with clear exegetical and Christological frameworks (e.g., Antioch vs. Alexandria), and to employ existing scholarly paradigms (e.g., Logos-sarx vs. Logos-anthropos)? And so, biblical exegesis and the development of Christological doctrine constitute two mutually-illuminating subjects of study: focusing on the biblical dimension of Christological doctrine clarifies early beliefs about Christ and sheds light on the forces that shaped Christological development, and analyzing the Christological application of biblical texts in early Christian argumentation increases our understanding of the details of early Christian exegetical theory and practice. We call for papers that explore such issues and questions in authors and texts from the 1st to 3rd centuries CE.



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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: We welcome papers in sessions 1,2 and 3. 1) Medium Matters: The Challenges of Editing the New Testament in the Liminal Space between Digital and Print Cultures This session welcomes both invited and proposed papers that examine, by way of specific test-cases, the advantages and disadvantages of paper and digital editions. We are particularly interested to explore issues arising from the ongoing editing of the editio critica maior, other editorial projects related to the versions or manuscripts of the New Testament, and media-specific studies that analyze user experiences of critical editions. 2) Online Resources and Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity This joint session with the AAR section Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity will include both a selection of invited papers and proposals. We are accepting papers that explore online resources relating to traditions and literature in Syriac, Hebrew, Aramaic, Iranian, etc. We are especially interested in proposals that analyze these resources with an eye toward imagining the discipline in a digital age. We are also interested in papers exploring the use of social media for contemporary group identity among communities and diasporas that stem from Eastern Late Antiquity (such as Parsi, Mandaean, and Yezidis, as well as Jews and Christians in and from Iraq and Iran), and how they represent themselves and their traditions online. 3) Open Session This session welcomes proposals for papers on any subject related to the Digital Humanities as it related to biblical studies, early Judaism, and early Christianity. We are especially interested in reports of new projects of various scales, reflections on innovative methodologies and theoretical developments, solutions to new challenges that continue to face the humanities, and pedagogical explorations of the use of digital tools in the modern university. 4) Digital Biblical Studies (Brill series). This panel welcomes the presentation of a new DBS volume.

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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 or three sessions in 2018. One session, co-sponsored by the Pauline Theology Section, will consist of invited papers applying insights from John M.G. Barclay, Paul and the Gift (Eerdmans, 2015) to some of the shorter Pauline letters. For the other session(s), we invite papers exploring any historical, sociological, literary (including rhetorical), and/or theological matters that bear upon the interpretation of one or more of the Disputed Paulines (or a discreet section thereof).

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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. Three sessions are planned for the Denver meeting. The first is an open session consisting of papers submitted in response to this call for papers in any of the three research areas. The second session will consist of papers continuing our 2017 exploration of extra-mercantile transfers of currency, people, goods, and services (especially tribute, taxation, looting, and enslavement). The third session will focus on the economic life of particularly important commodities (e.g., wine, olive oil, and fish) within and beyond the market.

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Early Exegesis of Genesis 1-3

Christoph Markschies
Volker Henning Drecoll
Description: The Impact of the Exegesis of Genesis 1-3 for the development of Christian and Jewish Theology is at the center of the program unit. Important issues are the integration of philosophical concepts(especially for cosmology and anthropology), the methods of exegesis, and the different literary strategies (commentaries, sermons, theological works, catenae) in various contexts from the 1st to the 6th century.

Call for papers: The Impact of the Exegesis of Genesis 1-3 for the development of Christian and Jewish Theology is at the center of the program unit. Important issues are the integration of philosophical concepts(especially for cosmology and anthropology), the methods of exegesis, and the different literary strategies (commentaries, sermons, theological works, catenae) in various contexts from the 1st to the 6th century.

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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 book review panel on Steven Fine, _The Menorah: From the Bible to Modern Israel_ (HUP 2016) and Robin Jensen, _The Cross: History, Art, Controversy_ (HUP 2017) co-sponsored with the Art and Religions of Antiquity consultation. The OPEN SESSIONS should address the following topics: 1. JEWISH-CHRISTIAN VIOLENCE IN WORD AND DEED: What is the relationship between violent language and the use of force in encounters between Jews and Christians? We invite papers that examine the vocabulary of violence, speech about violence, and rhetoric of violence in interactions between Christians and Jews in antiquity, real or imagined. What is the role of violence in relations between Jews and Christians, and how does the language of violence relate to their actual interactions? 2.NEW WAYS OF STUDYING JEWISH-CHRISTIAN RELATIONS: This open session seeks papers that propose new ways of talking about “Jews” and “Christians” in the context of early Jewish-Christian relations and the delayed partings of the ways. Given the spectrum and multiplicity of practices, beliefs, and group affiliations among individuals whom scholars have historically labeled “Jews” and “Christians,” as well as the (frequent) futility of identifying texts as either “Jewish” and “Christian,” what new typologies and methodologies might be employed to better understand the matrix and relations between groups who understand themselves as heirs to Israelite traditions? What role should “Samaritans,” “Manichaeans,” “Valentinians,” among others, play in this new framework?

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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 2018, there will be a two joint sessions and an open session. One joint session will be on Trauma and Ecology in conjunction with the Biblical Literature and the Hermeneutics of Trauma Section: How might the discussion of trauma be extended beyond the human to include the land, trees, animals, and other non-human members of creation in dialogue with the biblical material? What does it mean to talk of “traumatization of the land (or oceans, etc)?” How does the non-human manifest and communicate trauma? What principles are helpful? (See, further, the Call in Hermeneutics of Trauma.) The second joint section will be on Ecology, Economy and Bible Translation in conjunction with The Bible Translator journal, which is planning a special edition in 2019 this topic. Proposals are invited that explore this topic, for instance: how do translation choices foster anthropocentrism, promote an awareness of the non-human other in the text, or give the non-human voice? How is the natural world portrayed in translation of specific passages and how might this impact the ways readers treat it? In what ways might translation choices alert readers to the ecological implications of the text? How might new translations (in either majority or minority languages) respond ethically to the critical moment at which we stand, while remaining faithful to their sources? What can (English) translations learn from the idioms of other languages? Proposals on any biblical text are also invited for inclusion in an open session. All proposals are encouraged to engage with the principles of ecological hermeneutics - e.g., suspicion, identification, retrieval (Habel and Trudinger, Exploring Ecological Hermeneutics, SBL 2008) or the methodology of the Exeter project (Horrell, Hunt and Southgate, Greening Paul, Baylor 2010).

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Economics in the Biblical World

Richard A. Horsley
Roger S. Nam
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: For the 2018 SBL we will sponsor three sessions. The first will be a joint session with the Children in the Biblical World Section. For this session, we are inviting proposals that address how issues of class and labor intersect with children in the ancient world and biblical text. Inquiries should be addressed to rnam@georgefox.edu or SBetsworth@okcu.edu In the second session, we are inviting proposals for critical presentations on women's economic roles in the biblical world. Proposals should build on the foundational work of Phyllis Bird, Carol Meyers, Gale Yee, and others, then also take into account more recent (archaeological and legal) investigations of the household as the fundamental unit of production by scholars such as Susan Ackerman, Jennie Ebeling, and Zipporah Glass. We will attempt to set up communication to enable cooperative learning among presenters and respondent(s). Inquiries should be addressed to cmurphy@scu.edu or murph5kj@cmich.edu. The third, arranged session will be focused on the collection of critical foundational articles by Marvin Chaney, Peasants, Prophets, and Political Economy (Cascade Books, 2017). Inquiries should be addressed to richard.horsley@umb.edu.

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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 2018 Annual Meeting. The first session is OPEN, accepting papers dealing with any topic relating to ancient Egypt, Israel, and/or the Hebrew Bible. The second will consist of INVITED PAPERS in a joint session with Aramaic Studies.

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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: The Ethics and Biblical Interpretation Group is an interdisciplinary partnership between biblical scholars, theologians, and ethicists. The work of our group focuses on the methods, texts, and principles for using the Bible in ethical deliberation. Toward that end, the Ethics and Biblical Interpretation group invites proposals for a session on the theme “The Bible, Ethics, and the Body.” Proposals can address one of any number of topics that bring together ethical reflection, sacred texts, and contemporary issues regarding the body. Here are some possible avenues for exploration: the intersection between disability studies, eschatology, and ethics- how do eschatological expectations shape our expectations of the redeemed body and, thus, our treatment of the present body?; transhumanism and ethics- how does technology expand the boundaries of what it means to be human? How might biblical texts be brought to bear on this expanding use of technology?; eugenics programs, past and present: how do biblical texts speak to the subtle and not so subtle use of eugenics?

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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): project has analysed large sets of Ethiopic manuscripts dating from the 14th-20th centuries CE for a selection of OT 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 distinctive readings, and a picture of the key factors influencing the development of the text. Papers presenting the current state of research, or that synthesize data and develop the picture of the textual history are invited. This session also welcomes papers 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, or the Syriac-Arabic biblical textual traditions. Secondly, we plan a session covering ideology, sociology and literary formation in the Ethiopic Tradition. This 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 and asceticism.

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Ethnic Chinese Biblical Colloquium

Chloe Sun
Kevin Chau
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.

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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: 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.

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Feminist Hermeneutics of the Bible

Carolyn J. Sharp
Dr. Margaret Aymer
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: Call for Papers For 2018, Feminist Biblical Hermeneutics invites papers on the following subject areas • Any paper using feminist, womanist, mujerista or other cognate ideological frames to read biblical texts, broadly defined. • Gender-Based Violence and African Feminist Hermeneutics: (co-sponsored with African Biblical Hermeneutics) The patriarchal world within which the Bible was produced gave birth to violent stories in which men subject women to multiple forms of violence, including ideological and physical violence, in exchange of male safety. This picture and reality continue to be a distressing part of women’s lives in global Africana contexts where the female gender continues to be marginalized by patriarchally masculine subjectivities, with endorsements from certain biblical texts. This section invites papers that engage the theme of gender- based violence in specific biblical texts and/or in varying contexts of (female) reception in the quest for justice and transformation within present day communities. • Surrogacy in Paul (co-sponsored with Paul and Politics): an invitation for papers discussing issues of surrogacy, whether sexual, political, or theological, in any aspect of the study of communities to which Paul wrote, Paul’s letters, the Pauline legacy, and/or contemporary communities. In addition, Feminist Biblical Hermeneutics will host an invited panel on Feminist Biblical Hermeneutics and White Supremacy: This seeks to spark a conversation between feministbiblical interpreters regarding the ways in which feminist biblical hermeneutics has and continues to support and/or challenge white supremacy. We will also co-sponsor invited panels reviewing Wilda Gafney’s (with Women in the Biblical World) Womanist Midrash: A Review Panel; and celebrating the 25th anniversary of Delores Williams’ Sisters in the Wilderness.

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Formation of Isaiah

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

Call for papers: The Formation of the Book of Isaiah invites proposals for three sessions at the 2018 annual meeting. Session 1: The Book of Isaiah enjoyed wide readership and use–reception–in the period after its completion as a book. For this session we invite proposals that explore the book's reception in early Jewish literature, particularly the so-called Pseudepigrapha and non-biblical scrolls from Qumran. We invite presenters to explore how the book or texts from the book were received, interpreted, and/or re-appropriated in these textual contexts. We are interested in what the book's use may say about its impact, but also interested in what the book's reception tells us about its formation where possible. Session 2: Over the past two decades in Isaiah studies, scholars have employed both diachronic and synchronic approaches to understand the book. Many students of Isaiah have adopted one of these approaches to the exclusion of the other, with the result that the two approaches to the book are only rarely brought into conversation with each other. For this session, we invite proposals for papers that explore how diachronic and synchronic approaches to Isaiah might work together to help us understand the book–both its final form and its history. How can synchronic and diachronic approaches work together to illumine what we know about the book's history and final product? How can these approaches mutually or simultaneously help us understand the book better? Session 3: For this open session we invite papers that explore current research on any aspect of the Book of Isaiah. Newer approaches and scholarly voices are especially welcome in this session.

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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 an invited panel on trans biblical interpretation, cosponsored with LGBTI/Queer Hermeneutics. Our THIRD SESSION is an invited panel on "Philology of Gender" cosponsored with Philology in Hebrew Studies. Our FOURTH SESSION is a review panel on "The Bible and Feminism," ed. Yvonne Sherwood (Oxford 2017). 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 Program Unit will have three sessions in 2018. We welcome proposals on any topic related to the interpretation of Genesis for two open sessions. For the third session, we welcome proposals for papers that focus on issues related to race, class, and gender in Genesis. For information about SBL travel awards for members outside North America, see https://www.sbl-site.org/assets/pdfs/2Travel-Awards-Flyer.pdf. Applications period for the travel grants closes 1 March, 2018.

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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 is planning 3 sessions for the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado. To coincide with its upcoming official launch to the general public, we are planning a session to evaluate the Tiberias Project (A Web Application for the Stylistic Analysis and Categorization of the Hebrew Scriptures) by Joshua Berman (Hebrew Bible) & Moshe Koppel (Computer Science) of Bar-Ilan University. We invite proposals for the following 2 sessions: (1) Open Session. We invite proposals on any topic relevant to the use of modern technology for biblical studies research and teaching worldwide. Preference will be given to proposals that involve open source software, open data, open scholarship, &/or application to global settings, but all innovative proposals are welcome. (2) Innovative Approaches to Teaching Biblical Languages (co-sponsored with the Academic Teaching and Biblical Studies section). Living Language, Corpus-Driven, and Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) approaches all agree on this: language instruction should be immersive and requires focused instruction in specific language tasks. In this session, we will identify one or more specific lessons to be taught, with a language objective, a text, and a content objective related to that text, and ask all presenters to show how they would teach that lesson in their environment, which may be face-to-face or online, and how they would test to ensure that students have met the objectives. Teachers of biblical languages who use living language, corpus-driven, SIOP, or any other innovative approaches are invited to submit a proposal to apply to join this theme session.

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Gospel of Luke

Brittany E. Wilson
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: For the 2018 Annual Meeting, the Gospel of Luke Section, together with the New Testament Textual Criticism Section, will present one session of invited papers on Luke and Textual Criticism. In addition, we invite paper proposals on any topic related to Luke (exegetical, theological, narrative or theory) for Fall 2018 for an open session (s).

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Gospel of Mark

Kelli S. O'Brien
Vicki Cass Phillips
Description: The Gospel of Mark Section 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.

Call for papers: The Gospel of Mark section invites papers on reading Mark in the ancient world. How would the gospel have been literally read by or to its initial audience? By whom would it have been read and in what manner? Who would have been present and for what purpose? What impact does this manner of reading or hearing the gospel have on its interpretation? The Mark section also extends an open call for papers on any topic advancing scholarship on the Gospel of Mark. 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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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 three open sessions. The first, “Twilights of Greek and Roman Religions" co-sponsored with the Religious World of Late Antiquity Section and Society of Ancient Mediterranean Religions. Papers are invited that investigate the varied and multiple afterlives of Greek and Roman religions in the Mediterranean world into Late Antiquity. A special emphasis is placed on the different trajectories into a post-classical religious world, in terms of continuities and discontinuities as part of broader processes, as well as intersectionalities, that is, not only a focus on individual cultic formations and discourses, but also the intersection of these processes with larger cultural shifts, and demographic changes. The second session is co-sponsored with the Cultic Personnel in the Biblical World Section and the Hellenistic Judaism Section on the topic, “Making Priests: Intersections of Discourse and Practice in the Hellenistic and Greco-Roman Eastern Mediterranean.” This open call for papers seeks proposals focusing on discourses and practices that embed cultic personnel and their functions in particular social and political contexts. It is interested in studies of the various agents involved in the making of cults, including ruler cults, such as cultic personnel, para-cultic role players like freelance religious experts, or entrepreneurial smaller-scale cultic practitioners. For the third session, “Interpreting Greek and Roman ‘Religions’ in Context in the Mediterranean World,” papers are invited that that interpret the material evidence and material contexts towards understanding religions in the Greek and Roman worlds; especially focusing on contextual practices as they relate to wider encompassing discourses, encouraging a “thick” description and analysis of specific cults. Papers will be available beforehand from Gerhard van den Heever, vdheega@unisa.ac.za. See full call for papers at https://greco-romanreligion.blogspot.

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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: 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.

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Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World

Chris de Wet
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 open sessions (all accepting papers) at the 2018 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 and the Speech and Talk in the Ancient Mediterranean World program units invite paper proposals for a joint session focused on the intersections of speech, health, and disability in the ancient Mediterranean world. Paper proposals may address, among other topics, questions such as: How are differently-abled bodies connected with speech practices (including silence) in the ancient imagination? How do portrayals of different speech abilities reflect or contribute to ancient conceptions of health, illness, power, or authority? We welcome various conceptualizations of speech and bodies in antiquity (e.g., social, medical, educational, religious, cultural models, etc.). 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. 3)The Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World and the Women in the Biblical World program units invite paper proposals for a joint session focused on childbirth, menstruation, menopause, menarche, fertility, breastfeeding, and other concerns relating to the female reproductive system with particular attention to the health rather than the regulation of the female body in the biblical world and contemporary interpretation.

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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 that reflect upon prophets as political actors and prophecy as a political institution within Ancient Israel, Judah, Yehud, and Judea.

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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: 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.

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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 ancient Near Eastern literatures, with the goal of understanding biblical texts as they relate to the broader production of ancient scribes. We welcome submissions on all relevant topics, emphasizing that papers must incorporate both biblical and non-biblical material. There will be either one or two open sessions, depending on the decision of the committee regarding paper submissions.

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Hebrews

Amy Peeler
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 to hold two sessions in 2018. (1) A session of invited papers dedicated to critical issues in interpreting Hebrews. This session will focus particular attention on commentaries old and new. (2) A session open to any proposals on topics directly relevant to interpreting Hebrews.

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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 2018, Hellenistic Judaism is planning three sessions: 1) An invited review panel on Erich S. Gruen, The Construct of Identity in Hellenistic Judaism (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2016). 2) “Making Priests: Intersections of Discourse and Practice in the Hellenistic and Greco-Roman Eastern Mediterranean.” This OPEN call session, co-sponsored with Religion in the Greco-Roman World and Cultic Personnel in the Biblical World, seeks proposals focusing on discourses and practices that embed cultic personnel and their functions in particular social and political contexts. It is interested in studies of the various agents involved in the making of cults, including ruler cults, such as cultic personnel, paracultic role players like freelance religious experts, or entrepreneurial, smaller-scale cultic practitioners. How do cultic personnel derive and perpetuate their position? What influences and borrowings, and what appeals to traditional authority, played a role in the authority claimed by or attributed to cultic personnel in the Hellenistic and Roman periods? Proposals on Asia Minor, the Levant, and ancient Egypt are welcome. Papers will normally be circulated beforehand. 3) Another OPEN call session on “The Impact of the Hellenistic and Roman Empires upon Israel: A Comparative Perspective”: The history of the people of Israel is a history of encounters with empires. Ancient historians have emphasized continuities between the Hellenistic kingdoms and the Roman empire, but how did the Jews themselves, both in Judea and the diaspora, perceive these imperial powers? How much continuity did they see between them? And in what ways were the Jewish answers to the challenges posed by these different imperial contexts similar or dissimilar? We welcome studies pertaining to material culture as well as studies focusing on literary sources, such as apocalyptic literature. Relevant topics include, inter alia, calendars, rituals, law, historiography, theological and political thought.

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Historical Jesus

Cecilia Wassen
James Crossley
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: The Historical Jesus section welcomes proposals for three sessions. 1) The itinerancy of Jesus and his disciples. This session focuses on Jesus’ itinerancy in a broad sense, e.g., practicalities, geography, gender, hospitality, and history of research. 2) Synagogue and the historical Jesus. We invite papers on the role of the synagogue in Jesus’ ministry as well as on the function, forms of institution, or archaeology of synagogues at the time of Jesus. These two themed sessions will include a few invited papers. 3) The third session is an open session and welcomes proposals on topics related to the research on the historical Jesus.

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Historiography and the Hebrew Bible

Daniel Pioske
Ian D. Wilson
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 the Hebrew Bible Program Unit is accepting paper proposals that examine specific historical questions or topics as these pertain to the writings of the Hebrew Bible. Papers that engage contemporary debates surrounding the theories and methods of history writing within their research are especially welcome.

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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 the 2018 meeting we are interested in four areas. 1) Animals and animality in rabbinic Judaism. This invited session engages with Beth Berkowitz's _Animals and Animality in the Babylonian Talmud_ (CUP, forthcoming). 2) Separated by a common scripture? Jewish and Christian exegesis in late antiquity. We seek pairs of scholars presenting brief (likely 10 minute) papers on late antique Jewish (not necessarily rabbinic) and Christian (not necessarily patristic) approaches to the same passages in the Hebrew Bible. Because of the unusual structure of this session, we expect to invite participants, but we welcome proposals as well. Questions about format or proposals can be sent to the unit co-chairs. 3) Emotions in rabbinic literature and culture. What are the emotions? What role do they play in definitions of humanity, understandings of maturation, distinctions between genders, individual well-being, or in the social order? Are contemporary discourses of emotional inner life suitable for understanding the worlds of the rabbis? We seek papers that explore representations or deployment of emotions in rabbinic texts and cognate literatures and social practices. 4) Sexual violence and coercion in ancient Judaism. Developments in the Fall of 2017 have given visibility to the pervasiveness of sexual violence and the gendered deployment of power in contemporary society. We seek presentations that explore the topic of sexual violence and coercion in ancient Jewish contexts. These may include narratives, imagery and thematics in homiletical or liturgical texts, law as constructed within rabbinic or other Jewish communities, relationships to imperial and local authorities or other social orders, and day-to-day relations among Jews or between Jews and others. Papers could explore topics related to ancient notions of “consent” and agency; affective, psychic, and physical kinds of “harm;” legal and cultural histories of “rape;” political coercion and sexual violence.

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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 Denver we anticipate three sessions. Two will be invited. The first: 'The idea of interpretation' and the second 'How essential is Wirkungsgeschichte for New Testament--and biblical--exegesis?' The third session will be open and will particularly welcome papers on Post-Reformation Early Modern Thought and the Bible (roughly 1600-1750). Any queries, please contact Michael or Mark.

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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 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.

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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 its uses and influences. For the 2018 meeting in Denver, Ideological Criticism will sponsor four sessions. The first is an open session of papers on ideological criticism in an age of terror. Terrorism continues to frame contemporary events and the study of religion. What are the consequences of this for the Bible and its interpretation? We also invite submissions for two, co-sponsored sessions with the Poverty in the Biblical World section. These will offer critical engagement with the relationship between the Bible and land both in contemporary and historical settings. For the first, open session, possible topics include—but are not limited to—the Discovery Doctrine, Jerusalem, colonialism (ancient and modern), Eusebius’s Onomasticon, and land-administration in Palestine. A second session, also co-sponsored with the Poverty in the Biblical World section, will focus on "The Doctrine of Discovery and the Impoverishment of Native Peoples: Biblical Colonization and Its Present Day Legacies." This session will explore the legacies of the Doctrine of Discovery (including the Papal Bull of 1453 and critical biblical interpretations buttressing territorial colonialization of the Americas and the Indigenous inhabitants of the land). Papers on recent religious rebuttals to the Doctrine of Discovery (e.g., by UMC, TEC, etc.) and the religious nature of the stand-off at Standing Rock are also welcomed. Finally, we will host an invited session on Judaea and Judaism in the early Hellenistic period. The panel will discuss and present significant new research that challenges the conventional tendency to treat the Ptolemaic period as a period of relative continuity in Judaea.

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Institute for Biblical Research

S. Aaron Son
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. On Saturday morning there will be another session of IBR Unscripted. Suggestions for this session can be directed to Holy Beers (hollybeers@gmail.com). There are 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). Questions related to research groups can be directed to Lissa Wray Beal (lissa.wray.beal@prov.ca). 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 2018 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 Denver meeting should be submitted through the SBL Annual Meetings website. All presenters and panelists must be members in good standing of IOSCS. 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: ISLP welcomes proposals for papers dealing with various aspects of Syriac language, lexicography, and Syriac Bible. As an interdisciplinary effort, ISLP also welcomes proposals dealing with similar areas of Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic studies, especially when these areas are relevant to Syriac studies. Please submit your proposal as early as possible.

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Intertextuality and the Hebrew Bible

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

Call for papers: We are planning to have three sessions for 2018: There will be TWO joint-sessions (invited papers, but we are accepting a few paper proposals) with the Joshua/Judges section on the theme of “Judges, Gender, and Intertextuality." The primary focus is on intertextuality and gender in the Book of Judges. Papers should address a significant intertextual or inner-biblical component in juxtaposition with a pertinent issue on gender. Papers should focus on female (e.g., Caleb’s daughter, Othniel’s wife, the woman who kills Abimelech, Manoah’s wife, Samson’s first wife, his lover, Delilah, Micah’s mother, the women of Jabesh-Gilead, the women dancing at Shiloh, etc.) and/or male (e.g., the angel and the crying, Ehud, Gideon, Abimelech, the short judges section, etc.) characters. Papers that address issues of gender fluidity or the questionable borders of gender for characters in Judges are also encouraged. The THIRD session is an OPEN session (we are accepting paper proposals) on “Intertextuality and the Hebrew Bible” with preference given to proposals related to this year’s theme.

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Intertextuality in the New Testament

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

Call for papers: The Intertextuality in the New Testament Section has three planned sessions, one is closed and two are open. 1) The first closed plenary session features invited papers on Ancient Exegetical Methods in Greco-Roman Discourse and the New Testament. 2) The second themed session is open and likewise seeks papers from scholars who interact with Greco-Roman discourse and could examine in what ways New Testament authors quote, allude, or reconcontextualize these sources, traditions, or concepts in their writings. 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

Paul Middleton
Taylor G. Petrey
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 2018, Inventing Christianity invites papers for two sessions. First, we invite proposals relating to the life, work, legacy and reception of the second-century figure Marcion. For our second session, we are open to receiving papers on any other aspect of the themes of the Unit, including Apostolic Fathers, martyr literature, or apologists in the second and third centuries CE. We will also be holding a joint session with Religious Experience in Antiquity with invited papers on the Shepherd of Hermas.

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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: We are holding two sessions this year. The first—co-sponsored with Latino/a and Latin American Biblical Interpretation—will be a combination of invited papers and open call on movement and dispersion. We are interested in the following questions: What does it mean for islands and island identities when islanders find themselves displaced, either by choice or by exigence? How do such movements influence our interpretation of scriptural texts? How do memories of home help to shape the construction of diasporic identity? How might islanders who are descendants of navigators respond to the anxieties with movement in the biblical (e.g., into the wilderness and exile) and contemporary (e.g., due to climate displacement) worlds? Do islanders whose forebears were enslaved and forced to move respond similarly, and/or differently? The second session is co-sponsored with Animal Studies. Scientific studies are showing that marine mammals have capacities for language, intelligence, and sentience that Europeans once considered the sole preserve of humans, and activists are working to end the captivity of cetaceans like Orcas. What unique perspectives do Island people have on marine mammals that might blur the human animal binary? Or what unique perspectives do Islanders have on other than human animals and birds that might inform the reading of the Bible?

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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: The Israelite Prophetic Literature section will sponsor three sessions in 2018 and now invites proposals for two of those sessions. (1) We invite papers that explore notions of hope within prophetic literature. What are the promises and problematics of hope in the prophetic literature? Papers could address any of the following questions: Is hope as a concept and definable impulse in prophetic literature an intentional delusion and deception of people or one that represents sincere theological struggle to articulate a new society? Are prophetic utopias liberative? If they are liberative, then whose liberation do they promote or prescribe? If not, do they then reinscribe hierarchies that promote oppression? How do prophetic utopias work when in the hands of different actors? (2) An open session with papers on a broad range of topics dealing with prophetic literature. Papers that fall within the scope of the other thematic session may also be presented here. (3) This third session will be a joint session with other prophetic studies units.

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Jesus Traditions, Gospels, and Negotiating the Roman Imperial World

Arthur Wright
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 sessions combining invited papers and an open call. For one of these sessions, we welcome papers focusing on gospel evidence for the negotiation of subaltern or subject community identities vis-à-vis each other under the pressure of imperial hegemony. That is, what impact does Roman imperial ideology/practice have on Jewish communities' shifting allegiances and community boundaries in relation to each other or to Gentile communities? For the second session, we welcome critical explorations of visual rhetoric in the gospels and Jesus traditions that depend upon specific examples of Roman imperial art and iconography. A brief bibliography on this topic, along with topics and abstracts from prior years, is available on our website: https://webpages.scu.edu/ftp/cmurphy/sbl/jesus-traditions.

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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: For the 2018 SBL Annual Meeting, the "Jewish-Christianity/Christian Judaism" section invites proposals on the topic of "Hybrids, Converts, and the Borders of Jewish and Christian Identities." In addition, we welcome proposals for an open session on "Jewish-Christianity" and "Christian Judaism," encompassing any ancient, medieval, or modern materials related to our section's theme. The section's programming for 2018 also includes invited sessions, such as a book-review panel on Daniel Boyarin, Judaism (Keywords in Jewish Studies; Rutgers UP, in press).

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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 open sessions for 2018. The first session, following upon the recent publication of "Yehezkel Kaufmann and the Reinvention of Jewish Biblical Scholarship," calls for proposals that consider the legacy of Yehezkel Kaufmann in biblical studies. The second session calls for paper proposals that explore any aspect of Jewish biblical interpretation.

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Johannine Literature

Alicia D. Myers
Lindsey M Trozzo
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: The Johannine Literature Section will have four sessions this year. (1) A Panel commemorating the 50th anniversary of J. Louis Martyn's History and Theology in the Fourth Gospel: The panel will consist of invited papers focusing on Martyn's landmark study of John's Gospel, which was published fifty years ago. Topics will include the nature of Martyn's work and its influence on Johannine studies over the past half century. (2) An Open Session featuring current studies of John 9. Fifty years ago Martyn's History and Theology in the Fourth Gospel offered an important reading of John 9 as a two-level drama. That approach has remained influential, yet new perspectives on John 9 continue to emerge. Paper proposals are welcomed, which consider John 9 using various interpretive approaches. The session will provide a multidimensional look at this key Johannine text. (3) An invited Panel co-sponsored with the Theological Interpretation of Scripture Seminar discussing the publication of Jörg Frey’s volume The Glory of the Crucified One (Baylor University Press, Forthcoming 2018). (4) The final session is an Open Session welcoming any papers discussing Johannine Literature, whether the Gospel or Letters 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 host a session of invited papers honoring the 20th anniversary of David Aune's landmark Revelation commentaries.

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Josephus

Chris Seeman
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: 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.

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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: 2018 Annual Meeting Three Sessions: There will be two joint-sessions with the Intertextuality and the Hebrew Bible Section on the theme of “Judges, Gender, and Intertextuality.” These sessions will feature invited papers but will be accepting some paper proposals. The primary focus is on intertextuality and gender in the book of Judges. Papers should address a significant intertextual or inner-biblical component in juxtaposition with a pertinent issue on gender. Papers should focus on female (e.g., Caleb’s daughter, Othniel’s wife, the woman who kills Abimelech, Manoah’s wife, Samson’s first wife, his lover, Delilah, Micah’s mother, the women of Jabesh-Gilead, the women dancing at Shiloh, etc.) and/or male (e.g., the angel and the crying, Ehud, Gideon, Abimelech, the short judges section, etc.) characters. Papers that address issues of gender fluidity or the questionable borders of gender for characters in Judges are also encouraged. The third session is an open Session on any topic relating the interpretation of Joshua (not Judges in 2018).

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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

Jae Won Lee
John Ahn
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: Papers that deal with biblical studies in general, especially those that have connections with global-Korea issues, are welcome. We have one slot of graduate school students. Please submit the full paper for consideration.

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La Comunidad of Hispanic Scholars of Religion

Loida I. Martell
Description: Our organization was founded in 1989 at the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature to advance the interests and scholarship of Latinas and Latinos in biblical, theological, and religious studies. Although originally created to bring together Latino/a Catholic and Protestant scholars, today we are interdenominational and interreligious in nature and welcome scholars from across all disciplines who share our vision and mission, and who are interested in scholarly work on Latino/a religions. We regularly sponsor panels, host annual events, engage in advocacy for Latino/a scholars, and seek to provide networking and mentoring opportunities. For more on our mission and goals, please review our "Mission" and "Objectives" pages.

Call for papers: Our organization was founded in 1989 at the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature to advance the interests and scholarship of Latinas and Latinos in biblical, theological, and religious studies. Although originally created to bring together Latino/a Catholic and Protestant scholars, today we are interdenominational and interreligious in nature and welcome scholars from across all disciplines who share our vision and mission, and who are interested in scholarly work on Latino/a religions. We regularly sponsor panels, host annual events, engage in advocacy for Latino/a scholars, and seek to provide networking and mentoring opportunities. For more on our mission and goals, please review our "Mission" and "Objectives" pages.

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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: Given the current political, social, and religious environment, texts (however one defines these) and their transmission, particularly through the instant use of social media, have begun to be “elastic” in their meaning. As such, their veracity and value have begun to be questioned in new ways. The terminology of “fake news”—begun as a self-serving means to justify illicit behavior—has now entered the popular lexicon and led to the need to discern the veracity of heretofore unquestionable, or at the very least, valued source material. As we approach religious material and especially biblical texts, how do we as biblical and theological scholars provide the hermeneutical and scholarly basis for readings and transmissions of Scripture that is truly evangelion (good news) in a world faced with fake news of intolerance, hate, and violence? We invite proposals that engage with these issues from a Latinx religious perspective such as but not limited to: • The legitimacy of applying ancient religious texts (such as OT or NT) to understanding popular culture, or political debates on immigration, etc. • Ideological criticism, patriarchy and liberative ethics • The nature of “truth” in light of postcolonial/decolonial hermeneutics vs. traditional propositional approaches to Scripture • The use of technology for the transmission of textual readings and the legitimacy of (non)peer-reviewed scholarly interactions (through social media) This will be a joint session with La Comunidad of Hispanic Scholars of Religion and Latino/a and Latin American Biblical Interpretation.

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Latter-day Saints and the Bible

Jill Kirby
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: The Latter-day Saints and the Bible section invites presentation proposals for two sessions. One session will be an open forum in which presenters may engage any aspect of the Bible or its reception within the wider LDS tradition. Among the timely topics that might be considered are responses to books or articles published in the last two or three years by LDS authors or about LDS biblical studies. The other session will focus on readings of sexual or sexualized violence in the Bible. Approaches that consider these “texts of terror” for reception, relevance or teaching insights for an LDS audience are particularly 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: The Letters of James, Peter, and Jude section invites paper proposals considering interpretive methodologies, perspectives, and/or reception-historical insights into these letters from a global/majority world perspective for the Denver meetings in 2018. One session will be devoted to global/majority world perspectives and a second session will be open to paper proposals that consider any aspect of research into these largely neglected letters.

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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: 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.

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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: 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.

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Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew

Jacobus A. Naude
Tania Notarius
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 a thematic session entitled “Did the Israelites think differently? Revisiting the relationship of language and cognition in the light of linguistics.” The question of Hebrew versus Greek thinking has long been debated (e.g. by James Barr and Thorlief Boman), but the linguistic debate goes back to Sapir and Whorf. Papers that address the question of the relationship between ancient Hebrew language and culture using linguistics are welcome. The third session, co-sponsored with Masoretic Studies, is entitled “Similarities and Differences in Biblical Hebrew: Linguistic and Masoretic Perspectives.” Papers should address either linguistic or masoretic perspectives on topics such as consonantal doubling, the accusative particle, homonyms, hapax legomena, etc. or general similarities and differences in the language of the Hebrew Bible from the point of view of both Masorah and linguistics. The fourth session, co-sponsored with Philology in Hebrew Studies, is entitled “Issues in Language Change and Language Contact – Linguistic and Philological Perspectives”. Papers should address the topics of language change or language contact from a linguistic and/or philological perspective, with preference given to papers that address both perspectives.

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Literature and History of the Persian Period

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

Call for papers: The Literature and History of the Persian Period Group 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.

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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 three sessions at the 2018 Annual Meeting. One of these sessions will be a joint one with the Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew and Linguistics section entitled: “Similarities and Differences in Biblical Hebrew: Linguistic and Masoretic Perspectives.” The joint session of the Masorah and the Biblical Hebrew & Linguistics sections is looking for papers on specific topics, relevant for a linguistic and masoretic view of the Hebrew Bible text.  We are particular interested in papers that would address either linguistic or masoretic perspectives on such specific topics as consonantal doubling, the accusative particle ?? , homonyms, hapax legomena, or other areas on that are relevant for both fields of study. Also welcome are papers addressing general similarities and differences in the text and language of the Hebrew Bible from the point of view of both Masorah and linguistics. The second session is entitled: "The Relevance of the Masorah for Biblical Exegesis". In this session we are looking for papers that utilize the Masorah for biblical exegesis in its widest sense including clarification, translation,and interpretation of the Hebrew text. The third session will be an open one, and in this session we extend an invitation for all papers pertaining to Masoretic Studies or related fields (e.g. grammar, Rabbinic Studies). Papers that assist in educating non-specialists with regard to the tools and skills essential for understanding the Masorah are especially welcome. Anyone interested in presenting in any of the above three sessions should contact David Marcus at damarcus@jtsa.edu

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Matthew

Anders Runesson
Catherine Sider Hamilton
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 2018 Annual Meeting. We will co-host an invited session of papers centred on the contribution and impact of Richard Burridge’s seminal work What are the Gospels? on the occasion of the publication of the updated and expanded 25th anniversary edition. In addition, we will have two open sessions. Both sessions welcome papers on any topic in Matthean studies, though the first session will prioritize topics dealing with Matthew in relation to other Second-Temple or rabbinic interpretive trajectories, exploring commonalities and contrasts in texts chronologically pre- and postdating the First Gospel. 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

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

Call for papers: We have planned three sessions: 1) The Economics of Meals (open call); 2) Transformative Ritual and the Textual Transmission of Early Christian Meal Texts (invited papers only); and 3) The Archeology of Ancient Meals (invited papers only). 1) The Economics of Meals: We invite scholars to propose papers on the economics of meals. In focusing on the social interactions around meals we must also think about what resources it takes to make a meal. Possible topics include: What is the role that economics plays in ancient discourses on meals? What sources provide evidence for minimum food intake and how does this impact our understanding of meals? How do economics relate to various laws about early meals? Are there models from the social sciences that are helpful for interpreting source materials on meals and economics? 2) Transformative Ritual and the Textual Transmission of Early Christian Meal Texts: Changes in the ritual practice of Christian meals have influenced the transmission of New Testament and early Christian meal texts. This is the working hypotheses of the network “Mahl und Text” of eight doctoral and post-doctoral researchers in Europe, funded by the German Research Foundation. The aim of the network is to investigate correlations between transformation processes from Symposium to Eucharist on the one hand, and variants in the manuscript tradition of New Testament and early Christian meal texts, or the larger editorial phenomena attested by the manuscripts of those texts, on the other. The aim of this session is to present and discuss the work of this research network. 3) The Archeology of Ancient Meals - in Honour of Dennis E. Smith: A co-sponsored session, details to follow.

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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: This year the "Meals in HB/OT" section is planning two sessions. The first will be a joint session on “Sensing Food” with the Senses and Culture in the Biblical World unit. This joint panel focuses on sensory aspects of the consumption and preparation of meals in the cultures of the ANE, Hebrew Bible, and Second Temple Judaism. Taste and smell may feature most prominently, but other sensory modalities are also implicated by the visuals, textures, sounds, and the like, that comprise meal experiences. Meals really are multisensory affairs. We welcome papers that use various approaches (anthropological, philological, archaeological, etc.) to investigate the role of the senses in meal practices. How are the senses and food practices in these cultures mutually influential and constitutive? The abstract should state the paper's thesis, outline the approach that will be taken, and identify the primary sources and examples to be discussed. The second session is an open session that will focus on “Royal Feasts”. We especially welcome investigations that engage with material culture or interpretations of specific biblical and comparative ancient texts. This session will conclude with a respondent; therefore, drafts of accepted papers need to be sent to the section chairs one month prior to the meeting.

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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: 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.

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Metacriticism of Biblical Scholarship

Edward Silver
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: 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).

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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: The Metaphor Theory and the Hebrew Bible section invites proposals for two sessions in Denver. Our first session is offered in cooperation with the Dictionary of Nature Imagery of the Bible project (dni.tau.ac.il). It consists of an open call for papers that address issues related to the topic of nature imagery in the Hebrew Bible, including metaphors that pertain to the biology and ecology of the biblical world (plant and animal life, landscape characteristics, weather phenomena, topography, etc.). Papers should demonstrate engagement with issues of metaphor theory and/or methodological considerations pertaining to the study of the metaphors/imagery at hand. Our second session is a joint session co-sponsored by the Biblical Law section. The topic of this section is "Metaphor in Law and Law in Metaphor" and consists of invited papers that explore how law makes use of metaphorical language as well as how law itself becomes the basis for metaphorical discourse. All proposals for our sessions should state the author's main thesis, the methodological approach followed, and the specific examples studied.

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Midrash

W. David Nelson
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 invites submissions for two sessions it will sponsor at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the SBL: 1) An open session devoted to any aspect of the study of Midrash and related literature; 2) A session devoted to the theme "Boundaries and Borders of Land, Space and Time in Midrash."

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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: The program unit now runs as a seminar. Papers are both invited and accepted upon proposal; all papers are circulated prior to the meeting and only summarized at the meeting. If you wish to receive any of the papers, please contact Istvan Czachesz (istvan.czachesz@uit.no). We encourage presenting thought experiments or a hypothesis for joint discussion, as well as seeking suitable cognitive theories and adapting existing ones. In 2018, we arrange three sessions: (1) The first session, “Materiality and the senses in the study of religion,” will explore the role of materiality and the senses in ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern religion. We welcome papers that apply cognitive archaeology and cognitive science of religion in an attempt to illuminate sensory, material, and embodied aspects of ancient religious practices and texts, as well as presentations from non-cognitive disciplines but seeking to complement or engage a cognitive approach. We encourage all presenters to make explicit in their abstracts their theoretical foundations and methods.(2) The second session is invited and will focus on the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7), using cognitive and social scientific theories to explore its effects and persistent appeal. How do these approaches help to explain the sometimes difficult claims and injunctions in this discourse? In what ways do cultural specifics interact with the transcultural claims of these theories? To what extent and why does the Sermon inspire empathy, moral behavior, reciprocity, risk taking, trust and commitment to a social identity? Papers in this session will be available before the meeting for those who wish to read them and summarized in the session itself. Discussion will follow, exploring the potential of the theories to shed new light on this biblical text.(3) The third session is open for any paper that uses scientific explanations of human thought and behavior to understand religious thought, experience, and practice.

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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: The unit will continue with the themes of the Bible in liberation movements and social activism at the 2018 SBL Annual Meeting. (1) The first session on “Tyrannical Regimes and the Bible” seeks to address the use of Christian Scriptures to legitimate or resist imperial, totalitarian, or dictatorial regimes. In interpreting the biblical texts, panelists will engage contemporary thinkers critical of their respective tyrannical governments or powers. (2) The topic for the second session is “An Activist Approach to Teaching Bible.” Among the topics of discussion is teacher as activist and the Bible as a source for social activism. The four panelists will discuss important pedagogical underpinnings of their teacher activism and how these influence their teaching of the Bible. Panelists for both sessions will be invited, but if anyone is interested in, or has worked on, these topics, please feel free to contact the co-chairs (gcuellar@austinseminary.edu; jchoi@crcds.edu).

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Mysticism, Esotericism, and Gnosticism in Antiquity

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

Call for papers: The MEGA Group has an open call for papers on any topic related to mysticism, esotericism, or gnosticism in antiquity for an open paper session. A second panel on the concept of the divine twin is planned, with papers and reviews of books on divine twinship by Stang and Orlov. A third panel on ritual practices and epiphanies also is planned jointly with the Religious Experience in Antiquity group. For the second and third panels, proposals on divine twinship or ritual practices and epiphanies are sought.

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Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism

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

Call for papers: The Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism Section is issuing an open call for papers on any topic related to the Nag Hammadi Codices for an open paper session. Advanced graduate students and women scholars are especially invited to submit abstracts for consideration. There will also be a second session with the AAR Platonism section on the topic of eros and ascent, for those wishing to submit a paper abstract for this.

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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 four sessions and two co-sponsored sessions. I. Annual Meeting of Officers and Members. II, Theme, “The Institution of the Lord’s Supper.” Papers are invited to explicate ethical, theoretical, and theological questions related to “eat this passover” (Luke 22:15) and the Seder ritual (m. Pesahim 10:1-8). III. Theme: “ The Neo-Documentarian, and Transmission-Historical Approaches to the Formation of the Pentateuch: Continuing Last Year’s Questioning and Conversation.” Proposals are welcome, particularly comparative studies that provide the audience with sufficient background to follow analyses. Suggested general topics: historical backgrounds; language/linguistic issues; literary, supplementary, editorial techniques; historical and theological assumptions; etc. IV. The SBL Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures Section and the Biblical and Rabbinic Literature session of NAPH are inviting papers for a session entitled: “Studies in the Theology and Literature of the Hebrew Bible.” V. The Methodology Session invites papers, demonstrations and reviews on the subject of teaching Hebrew to students whose native language (L1) is not English. VI. 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: Tania Notarius (tnotarius@gmail.com).

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New Testament Textual Criticism

Jennifer Knust
Stephen C. Carlson
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, evaluation of their textual variation, restorations of texts, and the investigation of the history of its transmission—in its cultural and historical contexts. SBL has had a group dedicated to this topic as far back as 1946.

Call for papers: The NTTC Section is co-sponsoring two sessions in 2018: (1) A joint session with the Digital Humanities Section entitled, “Medium Matters: The Challenges of Editing the New Testament in the Liminal Space between Digital and Print Cultures.” This session welcomes both invited and proposed papers that examine, by way of specific test-cases, the advantages and disadvantages of paper and digital editions. We are particularly interested to explore issues arising from the ongoing editing of the Editio Critica Maior, other editorial projects related to the versions or manuscripts of the New Testament, and media-specific studies that analyze user experiences of critical editions. (2) An invited joint session with the Gospel of Luke Section that will focus on the impact of text critical issues, particularly the “Western Non-Interpolations,” on the exegesis of Luke. The Section will also sponsor a panel review of Jennifer Knust’s and Tommy Wasserman’s forthcoming book, To Cast the First Stone: The Transmission of a Gospel Story (2018). For our open panels, the Section will particularly welcome papers that address the multiplicity of recent editions of the New Testament text (e.g., the Editio Critica Maior, the Tyndale House edition, the SBL edition, the Nestle-Aland 29th Revised Edition, currently in preparation).

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Nida Institute

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

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

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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: Call For Papers: 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. The unit also welcomes proposals that interact with the ECM edition.

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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 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.

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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 2018 Annual Meeting in Denver. 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 by Speech and Talk in the Ancient World, will be a session investigating Paul, the communities to which Paul wrote, and the Pauline legacy within the context of civic and/or public discourse, both ancient and contemporary. Proposals that consider this complex of issues within conversations about the political nature of public civil speech (both ancient and contemporary) will be especially welcome. The THIRD SESSION, co-sponsored by Feminist Hermeneutics of the Bible, is a panel discussing issues of surrogacy, whether sexual, political, or theological, in any aspect of the study of communities to which Paul wrote, Paul’s letters, the Pauline legacy, and/or contemporary communities. The FOURTH SESSION will be a session considering the implications of slavery, whether metaphorical or material, in relationship to the sexual politics of Paul’s letters, the communities to which Paul wrote, and/or the Pauline legacy.

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Paul Within Judaism

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

Call for papers: There will be three sessions: 1) a joint session with the Pauline Epistles group on the question of the audience of Romans with invited papers and respondents; 2) a open call session on Paul, early Christ-followers and the Temple in Jerusalem; and 3) an open call session on any aspect of Paul within Judaism

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Pauline Epistles

Paula Fredriksen
Matthew V. Novenson
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. For the 2018 Annual Meeting in Denver, we are planning one book review panel (invited papers only), one joint session with the Paul within Judaism Section (invited papers only), and two open-call sessions.

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Pauline Theology

Alexandra R. Brown
Douglas Harink
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 The Resurrection and/as Salvation in Paul. The saving work of God in Christ according to Paul is often associated primarily with Christ’s death and with belief in its saving efficacy. For this session, we invite papers that consider (1) how, for Paul, God’s resurrecting of Christ is itself an integral part of God’s saving act and/or (2) how Paul understands resurrection as an integral part of humanity’s past, present, or future experience of salvation.

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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 2018 meeting. We encourage proposals focused on textual composition and transmission, and on the intersection of historical-critical and literary or sociological methods. For the 2018 meeting, we are particularly interested in papers that address (a) issues relating to place and geography, especially mountains; and (b) papers that focus on the questions of what constitutes a sign of diachronic development, how we know, and what effect (if any) the fractures have on interpretive possibilities. All proposals should demonstrate an engagement with the larger scholarly discussion.

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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 (PCBOAT) section will hold two sessions at the 2018 meeting. The FIRST SESSION is an open session, with a call for papers that relate to the notion of “repeated performance.” Preference will be given to papers that address such issues as: repeated performances before the same audience, repeated performances adapted for particular audiences, repeated performances and varied interpretations, and repeated performances shaped by alternative performers.The SECOND SESSION is a joint session with the Bible in Ancient (and Modern) Media (BAMM) section that features the work of Richard Schechner, noted performance theorist from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. The session will feature two invited papers on performance theory from members of the PCBOAT and BAMM respective sections, but welcomes submissions from others whose work features the scholarship of Richard Schechner.

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Philo of Alexandria

Maren Niehoff
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: CALL FOR PAPERS: For the 2018 Annual Meeting, we first extend a general call for papers on current research in Philonic studies, encouraging proposals from scholars at all levels on any aspect of research on Philo. Second, we will hold a session, whose participants will be invited, devoted to Justin Rogers commentary-in-progress on De Sacrificiis Abelis et Caini for the Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series. Third, we are also planning another session with invited speakers to discuss writing commentaries on ancient authors and texts.

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Philology in Hebrew Studies

David Lambert
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: Philology in Hebrew studies seeks to address matters of intellectual history (how operative categories of language and its products were generated and shaped over time), and critically engage methods of the major aspects of philology, such as but not limited to poetics, translation theory, lexicography, and textual criticism. This program unit is especially interested in the examination of these methods and their underlying conceptual frameworks, with an eye towards determining how contemporary scholars might better understand ancient texts. For 2018, Philology in Hebrew Studies will sponsor three invited panels. FIRST SESSION: "Philology of the Self," in which invited speakers will analyze differences in the conceptualization of the self from the world of ancient Israel to early Judaism. An emphasis will be placed on clarifying the nature of the language used to describe the self and its various aspects in these periods. SECOND SESSION: "Philology of Gender," co-sponsored with Gender, Sexuality, and the Bible. THIRD SESSION: A book review panel of A. Tugendhaft, Baal and the Politics of Poetry (Routledge 2017), co-sponsored by Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory program unit and the Ugaritic and Northwest Semitic Epigraphy program unit. We invite general submissions that engage the stated mission of our group. We also INVITE PROPOSALS for a FOURTH SESSION, co-sponsored with Linguistics in Biblical Hebrew entitled “Issues in Language Change and Language Contact – Linguistic and Philological Perspectives”. Papers should address the topics of language change or language contact from a linguistic and/or philological perspective, with preference given to papers that address both perspectives.

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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 2018 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 2018); two further sessions invite papers on the region of Galatia and the Galatian churches 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

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: 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.

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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: This year Poverty in the Biblical World will host three sessions. SESSION 1 (PARTIALLY OPEN CALL): "The Doctrine of Discovery and the Impoverishment of Native Peoples: Biblical Colonization and Its Present Day Legacies." This session will explore the legacies of the Doctrine of Discovery (including the Papal Bull of 1453 and critical biblical interpretations buttressing territorial colonialization of the Americas and the Indigenous inhabitants of the land). Papers on recent religious rebuttals to the Doctrine of Discovery (e.g., by UMC, TEC, etc.) and the religious nature of the stand-off at Standing Rock are also welcomed. SESSION 2 (OPEN CALL): "Who Is My Neighbor?" With an eye to Lev. 19.18 and it’s reception in the Jesus movement, this session encourages presenters to explore just who the "neighbor" is in ancient and modern contexts. We ask that primary foci be in relation to ancient and modern contexts of solidarity in resistance to poverty, or it's use in aiding the creation of systemic poverty through the exclusion of the "other." SESSION 3 (PARTIALLY OPEN CALL): This working group round-table session (25-40 people) will focus on “Resident Aliens” in the Hebrew Biblical and New Testament materials, as well as emergent Judaism and Christian Judaism/Christianity.

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Prayer in Antiquity

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

Call for papers: The Prayer in Antiquity section will be sponsoring three sessions in Denver. The first is a joint session with the Transmission of Traditions in the Second Temple Period that will look at the later reception of Second Temple prayers into early Christian and early Jewish contexts. This session will investigate matters of continuity and discontinuity in prayers and their transmission from 500 BCE to 500 CE. Proposals that attend to the physicality of prayer texts (this may include matters of formatting, the kind of apparatus used for transmission, or other matters that attend to the materiality of prayer and its transmission) are especially encouraged but not required. The second joint session will be with the Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature section on any topic that highlights the role of prayer in this corpus of books. Some papers will be invited for this session, but proposals on this topic are also welcome. The third session will be an open session.

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Prophetic Texts and Their Ancient Contexts

Christopher B. Hays
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. In 2018, PTAC will have a second, joint session with invited papers in collaboration with Economics in the Biblical World.

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Pseudepigrapha

Jacques van Ruiten
Kelley N. Coblentz Bautch
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 highlights in 2018 the reception and afterlife of Pseudepigrapha in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The Section invites proposals for an open session and especially encourages papers that treat the reception of pseudepigraphal traditions, including how these are mediated through art. There will be a session with invited papers that take up the rich afterlives of pseudepigraphal texts as well.

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Psychology and Biblical Studies

Heather A. McKay
Description: The objectives of the Psychology and Biblical Studies Seminar are (i) to provide a forum for developing the future agenda of "psychological criticism" within Biblical Studies; (ii) to assess the significance of these approaches for ongoing Biblical research, exegesis, and interpretation, and (iii) from time to time to to present an historical-critical overview of "psychological" approaches to scripture. As always, we request that reference to the biblical languages be included where relevant.

Call for papers: Our current long-term theme is Facing Life's Crises: Reading Biblical Texts from a Psychological Perspective, and this year's particular focus is issues around Birth and Childhood. As always, we request that reference to the biblical languages be included where relevant and that a named psychologist or psychological theory be included in the paper and the abstract. Anyone on our emailing list (Friends of PsyBibs) will be circulated with the accepted papers in advance of the Meeting, where they will be briefly summarised and then discussed in earnest by all present. Anyone else wishing to receive the papers should email the Chair in order to join the emailing list.

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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: The SBL Q Section has planned three sessions for the 2018 Annual Meeting: (1) Open Session. Paper proposals on any topic related to Q or the Double Tradition material are welcome. (2) The Socio-Political Vision of Q. For this panel, we invite papers that explore how the socio-political vision of Q has been understood both in ancient and modern contexts. “Socio-political vision of Q” should be interpreted broadly, encompassing the ideal social world imagined by Q and/or the political interests that are promoted by the authors. We are especially interested in hearing from speakers who explore how Q could be subject to different social/religious/political interpretations today, particularly outside of dominant European and North American contexts of interpretation. Some panelists will be invited, but paper proposals are welcomed. (3) The Parables of Q: Book Review Panel. In this session, two new books will be featured: Ernest Van Eck, The Parables of Jesus the Galilean: Stories of a Social Prophet (Matrix; Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2016), and Dieter T. Roth, The Parables in Q (Library of New Testament Studies; London: T & T Clark, 2018). This session is jointly sponsored with the Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament Section. Panelists will be invited.

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Qumran

Daniel Machiela
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 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 2018 the Section will host one invited session on topics related to Authority and Leadership in the Dead Sea Scrolls, broadly conceived. Invited papers will be devoted to Leadership in the Dead Sea Scrolls; Priestly Authority; Sapiential Authority; and Social Scientific Perspectives on Authority and Leadership in the Scrolls. We will also co-sponsor an invited session with the Biblical Lexicography section, dealing with the intersection of the lexicographical study of Biblical Hebrew with Qumran Hebrew. In addition, we welcome proposals for two additional open call sessions on any topic related to the Dead Sea Scrolls, including those relevant to the invited sessions. We commit ourselves to balance senior and 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’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics (IQSA)

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

Call for papers: This 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.

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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: For 2018, our consultation will have two sessions; presenters for both sessions will be invited.

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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 sponsor two themed sessions this year. The first is a call for papers on the theme of "Blasphemy." The second is a review of the Bible and the work and influence of Margaret Atwood. Despite the high public visibility of ‘blasphemy’, there is a lack of careful and nuanced work on blasphemy in the Bible and post-biblical traditions. Too often scholars working on later periods assume that once-upon-a-biblical-time, blasphemy was ‘a simple and well-defined act’. We invite close-readings of biblical texts that have been or may be related to blasphemy; theorisations of what ‘blasphemy’ and loosely related verbs mean in different biblical and post-biblical traditions (what does it mean that the root blasphemeo can be used of insults against people, as well as God, for example?); and studies of ‘blasphemous’ texts, artworks and events that have played with biblical themes and tropes. Comparative studies between the Bible and Qur’an are also welcome. Our second session is on the theme of "Margaret Atwood and the Bible." We invite papers that engage all aspects of Atwood’s work, including fiction, poetry, short stories, nonfiction, and cinematic and television adaptations, as it relates to the Bible (Hebrew Bible, New Testament, noncanonical texts). More than simply reception history, we seek contributions that engage Atwood’s work in playful, provocative, and theoretically innovative ways. 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: 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.

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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 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.

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Religions of Israel and Judah in Their West Asian Environment

Isabel Cranz
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: The “Religions of Israel and Judah in their West Asian Environment” Section welcomes a wide variety of questions, perspectives, periods, disciplines, methods, and kinds of data: textual, epigraphic, archaeological, iconographic, art-historical, sociological, gender-focused, comparative, and more. Proposals are easier to accept when they indicate how the presentation will interact with and differ from prior scholarship.

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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, co-sponsored with the Social-Scientific Criticism of the New Testament Unit, addresses the topic of "Social Network Theory and Competition." We invite proposals for papers that consider the mechanisms and processes that make early religious groups successful and competitive on the religious landscape of the Roman Empire. Preference will be given to papers that explicitly engage with Social Network Theory. For our second session and in collaboration with the Christian Apocrypha Unit, we invite papers that focus on competition in apocryphal Christian writings; for example, around issues of authority, interpretation, cult practice, etc. Furthermore, given the heightened cultural awareness of sexual assault and toxic masculinities, we are particularly interested in the ways that competing understandings of these concepts find expression in the Christian Apocrypha. Our third session examines the topic of asceticism in religious competition. We invite papers that look at how ascetic behavior functioned as a competitive practice for various Jewish, Christian, and other Mediterranean religious traditions. We are especially interested in papers that utilize sociological or psychological theories of asceticism to redescribe texts, practices, or material evidence for such practices.

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Religious Experience in Antiquity

Catherine Playoust
Frederick S. Tappenden
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 two of its three sessions at the 2018 SBL meeting.  Our first session is an open call in which we invite proposals on any topic connected to Religious Experience in Antiquity.  We ask that you specify the texts or other material artifacts under discussion and include a clear methodological perspective.  Innovative approaches are most welcome.  Our second and third sessions will be jointly hosted with two other SBL units.  The second session, planed together with Mysticism, Esotericism, and Gnosticism in Antiquity, will focus on Ritual Practices and Epiphanies; we warmly invite proposals for this panel.  The third session will consist of invited papers on the Shepherd of Hermas, and will be hosted jointly with the Inventing Christianity unit.

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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: This year the Religious World of Late Antiquity will host four sessions. The first, co-sponsored with the Greco-Roman Religions section, will be on the theme “Twilights of the Greco-Roman Religions.” Papers are invited that investigate the varied and multiple afterlives of Greek and Roman religions in the Mediterranean world into Late Antiquity. A special emphasis is placed on the different trajectories into a post-classical religious world, in terms of continuities and discontinuities as part of broader processes, as well as intersectionalities, that is, not only a focus on individual cultic formations and discourses, but also the intersection of these processes with larger cultural shifts, and demographic changes. The second, a pre-invited panel called “Late Antiquity: Five Fragments” will offer close readings of a range of secondary or technical sources outside the field, in order to investigate provocative problems, ideas, and disciplinary techniques for scholars who study the late ancient world. The third, an invited session, will focus on experts and expertise in late antiquity. The final session is an OPEN CALL for graduate students who are currently writing dissertations about any dimension of late antiquity. We are specifically interested in papers that discuss how students are thinking with and about theory and method in their own research: How do you distinguish theory from method in your work? Do you engage with theory implicitly or explicitly in your work? Does any one work of theory stand out for you, and why? The session will function as a forum in which graduate students can discuss not only “what” they are writing about, but also “how” they are doing so. Presenters will be given 15 minutes and be paired with a respondent.

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Rhetoric and the New Testament

Lillian I. Larsen
Davina C. Lopez
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: 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.

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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 texts of the ancient Mediterranean using sociorhetorical interpretation as an analytical framework. We value input from those familiar with sociorehtorical interpretation and active engagement with scholars from a variety of content areas and interpretive approaches. In 2018, we will be holding three sessions. In Track 1: New Horizons in Sociorhetorical Interpretation, we will consider the notion of the sublime as part of ancient rhetoric. While most rhetorical treatises focus on practical forms of persuasion, the rhetoric of the sublime moves people to apprehend beauty and the numinous in ways that transcend logic. In Track 2: Refining Sociorhetorical Interpretation, several presenters will consider key features of the religious texture (or rhetorolect) of apocalyptic in the New Testament. Track 3 is the Sociorhetorical Analytical Seminar, which demonstrates in-depth commentary work using the sociorhetorical analytic, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the approach. Roy Jeal will lead an exploration of Colossians for this session.

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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 section will offer this coming meeting three sessions, one open session and two solicited sessions. 1) For the open session, we encourage those of you working on rituals in texts and iconography to consider proposing to this session which will offer a forum for discussing theory and methods in the field of ritual studies in the world of the Bible (i.e. OT/NT/DSS/ Christianity and Judaism in Late Antiquity). 2) Book Review session on the volume: "Early Christian Ritual Life" Edited by R. E. DeMaris, J. T. Lamoreaux and S. C. Muir (Routledge, 2017). 3) A solicited session on the topic: “In the footsteps of Catherine Bell’s theoretical studies: How we apply Bell’s theories in our current research of rituals in texts from the Biblical World.”

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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: 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.

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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 2018 Annual Meeting the Second Corinthians: Pauline Theology in the Making Seminar is planning two sessions. (1) A panel on sections of, or on the whole of, 2 Corinthians 13, along the lines of the goals of the seminar. Themes of interest include, but are not limited to, “Kreuzestheologie” in vv. 3-4; the significance of vv. 11-13 for the Literarkritik of 2 Corinthians; the question of the number of visits at the beginning of chapter in relation to the issue of the interim visit and the evidence for it in the letter; the notion of Christ speaking “in Paul” (v. 3) and thus Paul’s role as a medium of communication between God and the Corinthians. (2) A panel on the reception history of Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians throughout the centuries, including 20-21 century appropriations of the letter. In this session our interest is in particular in how the history of reception of the thought of 2 Corinthians sheds light on Paul’s theological endeavour. For all panels, the abstract should state the paper's thesis and outline the approach that will be taken. We encourage paper proposals which make use of contemporary methods and approaches to biblical interpretation.

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Senses and Culture in the Biblical World

Dr. Rabbi Barat Ellman
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 three panels in 2018, all of which are open. First, with the Meals in the HB/OT and Its World program unit, we invite papers on the theme Sensing Food. This joint panel focuses on sensory aspects of the consumption and preparation of meals in the cultures of the ANE, Hebrew Bible, and Second Temple Judaism. Taste and smell may feature most prominently, but other sensory modalities are also implicated by the visuals, textures, sounds, and the like, that comprise meal experiences. Meals really are multisensory affairs. We welcome papers that use various approaches (anthropological, philological, archaeological, etc.) to investigate the role of the senses in meal practices. How are the senses and food practices in these cultures mutually influential and constitutive? Second, with the Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity program unit, we will host a joint session on Sensescapes. We invite papers that consider texts that inform discussions of how people in antiquity use their senses to create or destroy space; how physical, imagined, and social spaces stimulate senses; or any topic which demonstrates a link between sense and space. Finally, we invite papers for a panel on Sensory Impairment. How do primary sources mark senses as non-functional? What and how did such impairments "mean" in the larger culture? What do such cases tells about the construction of the human in these cultures? For all panels, the abstract should state the paper's thesis, outline the approach that will be taken, and identify the primary sources and examples to be discussed.

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Slavery, Resistance, and Freedom

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

Call for papers: Our session is an open call for proposals reflecting the author’s choice and research interests in slavery, resistance, and freedom in any area of Biblical, Near Eastern, Rabbinic, Early Christian, and Mediterranean Studies in antiquity. We welcome research on texts, material culture, economies, medicine, and theory. We also encourage proposals on the ongoing legacies of ancient slavery or that utilize comparative approaches to challenge the predominant ancient slave owner or master discourses by bringing into clearer view the suppressed yet complex humanity of enslaved persons in antiquity. While any comparative approach is welcome toward this end, one such example would be to show how the rich legacy of enslaved African-American men and women speaking for themselves as complex subjects in autobiographies can help us better imagine the gendered humanity and lives of enslaved laborers in antiquity.

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Social History of Formative Christianity and Judaism

Chris de Wet
Philippa Townsend
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: Our program unit is planning three sessions for the 2018 Annual Meeting. 1) Incarceration in Late Antiquity: This session invites papers that engage with late antique notions, discourses, and practices of incarceration and criminalization, including but not limited to: various types of prisons, ancient policing mechanisms, interactions between prisoners and disciplinary personnel, being a criminal or a prisoner in late antiquity, and also how discourses and practices of incarceration operate metaphorically and/or symbolically in late ancient culture and religion; 2) Syncretism: This session invites papers engaging with the concept of syncretism in antiquity, including but not limited to: looking at syncretism’s conceptual relevance, usefulness, and possible redescription within the study of late antiquity, case studies of ancient syncretistic formations and processes, and the intersections between syncretism and notions of, for example, geography, ethnicity, gender, and material culture; 3) “Not-So-Happy Endings”: The discipline of late antiquity is premised significantly on narratives of innovation or continuity – with the Roman Empire, with Judaism or Islam, with Greco-Roman philosophy and culture, etc. And yet late antiquity, much like any other era, was also a period of endings, including abrupt and infelicitous ones: theological compromises that failed, elaborate building projects that fell victim to invasion or natural disaster, political alliances that came to nought, or indeed other stories of failure and frustration, on the grandest or smallest scale. While these do not usually draw attention in their own right, this session invites contributions focusing specifically on engagement with such “not-happy endings.”

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Social Sciences and the Interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures

Jon L. Berquist
Dr. Katherine Southwood
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.

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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 Unit is happy to offer four panels in 2018: 1. One panel will review the Bible Odyssey website through the lens of the social sciences; participants will be invited. 2. A second panel (co-sponsored with the Q Unit) will review two recent books on parables: _The Parables in Q_ by Dieter Roth and _The Parables of Jesus the Galilean_ by Ernest van Eck; participants will be invited. 3. A third panel (co-sponsored with the Religious Competition in Antiquity Unit) will concern the topic of Social Network Theory and Competition; we gladly invite proposals for papers that consider the mechanisms and processes that make early religious groups successful and competitive on the religious landscape of the Roman Empire. Preference will be given to papers that explicitly engage with Social Network Theory. 4. And as always, we will feature an Open Session for which we invite any proposals relevant to the social scientific study of the New Testament.

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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: "Ritual Matters: Materiality in Ancient Religion". Materiality is raising new paradigms in the study of religions, informing regional studies from Southeast Asia to the American west, and embracing questions in cognition, linguistics, the economics of religion and the body-culture interface in healing cults. Its potential for ancient Mediterranean religion informs the collected essays in Ritual Matters: Material Remains and Ancient Religion, ed. Claudia Moser and Jennifer Knust (University of Michigan Press, 2017). We invite papers to engage with the key proposals of the volume, including: How might a focus on materiality shape new methodologies in the study of ancient religion? How do these framework converge with or challenge established heuristic pathways? Do these frameworks effectively bridge the various categories of materiality, from bones and waste to temple reliefs? What new light can these innovations offer to text-centered approaches to ritual in ancient contexts? How do comparative studies, both within the ancient Mediterranean and beyond, take on new energy because of the book’s approaches? We are especially interested in papers that offer new reports from the field - archaeological or iconographic - or from literary studies, that engage with the methodologies and strategies in this edited volume. Proposals should be submitted electronically through the SBL website. The deadline is Tuesday, 6 March, 2018. You must be a member of the SBL or seek a waiver in order to deliver a paper. Papers should last between 15 and 20 minutes. Abstracts should contain a title and a word count, but should not have any information regarding the identity of the submitter. All abstracts will be reviewed anonymously. Please direct all queries to SAMR at socamr@gmail.com.

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Society for Comparative Research on Iconographic and Performative Texts

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

Call for papers: 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/.

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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: The Søren Kierkegaard Society (SKS) welcomes proposals for papers on the topic of Kierkegaard and biblical parables. Areas of focus might include (though not limited to): Kierkegaard's use of parable(s) from one or more of the Gospels, how biblical parables might inform Kierkegaard's own imaginative creation of parables, and the extent to which his engagement with parables help us articulate how the Bible informs his religious and theological imagination.

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Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity

Eric Smith
Jaime L. Waters
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: For the 2018 annual meeting in Denver, the Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity program unit invites proposals for three sessions. One session, to coincide with the meeting's location in the host city of Denver and its proximity to the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, will concern mountains. We welcome proposals on any aspect of mountains as real, literary, or imagined space, and we especially encourage proposals that engage with critical spatial theory to make sense of mountains' roles in ancient texts and narratives. A second session, Sensescapes, will be jointly organized with Senses and Culture in the Biblical World. We invite papers that consider texts that inform discussions of how people in antiquity use their senses to create or destroy space; how physical, imagined, and social spaces stimulate senses; or any topic which demonstrates a link between sense and space. Finally, we invite proposals for an open session on any aspect of space, place, or lived experience in antiquity, but especially proposals that use critical theories to understand the function of space and place.

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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: In 2018, we are co-hosting three joint sessions: CFP #1: With the Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative unit, we invite proposals examining the narratological dimensions of speech in ancient narratives. What role, for example, does dialogue play in plot, focalization, or characterization? Does speech (direct or indirect discourse) emphasize narrative themes, create irony, increase suspense, etc.? How are different speech modes (e.g., highly stylized public speech versus everyday talk) employed in a given narrative? We welcome diverse methodological and theoretical perspectives, as well as focused case studies regarding specific ancient narratives. CFP #2: With the Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World section, we invite proposals focused on the intersections of speech, health, and disability in the ancient world. Proposals may address questions such as: How are differently-abled bodies connected with speech practices (including silence) in the ancient imagination? How do portrayals of different speech abilities reflect or contribute to ancient conceptions of health, illness, power, or authority? We welcome various conceptualizations of speech and bodies in antiquity (e.g., social, medical, educational, religious, cultural models, etc.). The abstract should state the paper’s thesis, outline the approach, and identify the primary texts to be discussed. CFP #3: The Paul and Politics and Speech and Talk in the Ancient Mediterranean World units invite proposals for a session investigating Paul, the communities to which Paul wrote, and the Pauline legacy within the context of civic and/or public discourse, both ancient and contemporary. Proposals that consider this complex of issues within conversations about the political nature of public civil speech (both ancient and contemporary) will be especially welcome. NOTE: PLEASE INDICATE THE SESSION (1, 2, or 3) FOR WHICH YOU WISH TO BE CONSIDERED.

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Student Advisory Board

Erin Walsh
Joshua Matson
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: 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.

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Study of Religion Across Civilizations

Younus Mirza
Description: The Study of Religions Across Civilizations was created in order to foster the exchange of cultural and religious learning between the English and Arabic speaking worlds. Based out of the Department of Theology at Georgetown University, we have helped scholars of religion and theology travel between the United States and Morocco in order to help build intercultural understanding regarding various religious groups. In the past, before we were incorporated, we were funded by various other private and governmental organizations. At this time, we arranged two trips to bring young American and European scholars to the Islamic world, and also on one occasion brought young Arab scholars to the United States. Frank and open discussions of our various religious traditions were given in both English and Arabic, in hopes of encouraging understanding and friendship, if not always agreement. Right now, we are starting to work to find funding for future trips. In the foreseeable future, these will be trips between Western students of religion and theology with application open to students from both American and European universities” - and their counterparts at Muhammad V University in Rabat, Morocco. As these programs have thus far been quite successful, in the less immediate future we will be looking for opportunities to conduct similar programs with other cultural and religious scholars from other universities. For more information on our present and future plans, please visit our website at religionsacrosscivilizations.org.

Call for papers: The Study of Religions Across Civilizations was created in order to foster the exchange of cultural and religious learning between the English and Arabic speaking worlds. Based out of the Department of Theology at Georgetown University, we have helped scholars of religion and theology travel between the United States and Morocco in order to help build intercultural understanding regarding various religious groups. In the past, before we were incorporated, we were funded by various other private and governmental organizations. At this time, we arranged two trips to bring young American and European scholars to the Islamic world, and also on one occasion brought young Arab scholars to the United States. Frank and open discussions of our various religious traditions were given in both English and Arabic, in hopes of encouraging understanding and friendship, if not always agreement. Right now, we are starting to work to find funding for future trips. In the foreseeable future, these will be trips between Western students of religion and theology with application open to students from both American and European universities” - and their counterparts at Muhammad V University in Rabat, Morocco. As these programs have thus far been quite successful, in the less immediate future we will be looking for opportunities to conduct similar programs with other cultural and religious scholars from other universities. For more information on our present and future plans, please visit our website at religionsacrosscivilizations.org.

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Synoptic Gospels

Elizabeth Shively
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. 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 readings of the Synoptic Gospels that interact with contemporary politics, both in North America and beyond. In addition, there will be one invited, co-sponsored session examining the new edition of Richard Burridge’s seminal book What are the Gospels (Baylor, 2017).

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Teaching Biblical Studies in an Undergraduate Liberal Arts Context

Jocelyn McWhirter
Dr. Sylvie Raquel
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 2018, The Teaching Biblical Studies in an Undergraduate Liberal Arts Context section will offer two sessions. Session 1: Bible Teaching and Diversity in the Undergraduate Classroom - Teaching the Bible to a diverse group of undergraduate students presents a unique set of challenges.In such a context, students share a vast array of views on the issues of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender roles, gender identity, socioeconomic status, cultural background, and religious preferences. To them, the Bible projects religious authority and evokes responses ranging from affirmation and internalization to questioning, detachment, and resistance. How can one create and manage a meaningful and engaging environment in such an intricate setting? This committee welcomes papers on pedagogical approaches and proven strategies that respond to the complexity of teaching the Bible in a diverse undergraduate liberal arts context. Session 2: Using Bible Odyssey and Other Online Resources to Teach Biblical Studies in an Undergraduate Liberal Arts Context - In 2014, the Society of Biblical Literature launched Bible Odyssey, a website on which the “world’s leading scholars share with the general public the latest historical and literary research on the Bible” (https://bibleodyssey.scholasticahq.com/). Although addressed to a general audience, the site is now being used by instructors in liberal arts classrooms around the world. We issue an open call to instructors for papers that reflect on creative uses of Bible Odyssey in the classroom. Papers may focus on Bible Odyssey itself or put the website into conversation with other online resources.

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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: 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.

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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: For the 2018 annual meeting in Denver the TCHB invites papers for one open session related to theme of “Redactions – Variant Literary Editions – Rewritten Scripture.” Papers should engage with the question of how biblical redactions relate to or are different from variant literary editions as attested in the biblical manuscripts and/or versions or how variant literary editions distinguish themselves from rewritten scripture.

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The Bible in Ancient (and Modern) Media

Raymond F. Person, Jr.
Rafael Rodríguez
Description: The Bible in Ancient (and Modern) Media Section provides opportunities to analyze the relationship between the original media world of Jewish and Christian communities and the functions and interpretations of biblical (and related) texts. Approaches using modern media must emphasize how the approach significantly influences the understanding of biblical literature in its ancient context.

Call for papers: We will have three organized sessions (one on Resurrection and Collective Memory in Second Temple Literature, one on Scribes as Performers, and one on the work of Richard Schechner [jointly sponsored with Performance Criticism of the Bible and Other Ancient Texts]) and one open session, to which we invite proposals on the Bible in its ancient media context.

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The Enoch Seminar

Gabriele Boccaccini
Description: The Enoch Seminar is an academic group of international specialists in Second Temple Judaism (Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Origins), who share the results of their research in the field and meet to discuss topics of common interest. The Enoch Seminar was founded in 2001 at the initiative of Gabriele Boccaccini, University of Michigan. Members of the Enoch Seminar are university professors and specialists in Second Temple Judaism, Christian Origins, and early Islam.

Call for papers: The Enoch Seminar is an academic group of international specialists in Second Temple Judaism (Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Origins), who share the results of their research in the field and meet to discuss topics of common interest. The Enoch Seminar was founded in 2001 at the initiative of Gabriele Boccaccini, University of Michigan. Members of the Enoch Seminar are university professors and specialists in Second Temple Judaism, Christian Origins, and early Islam.

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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: The Historical Paul consultation will continue in 2018 with two sessions of invited papers. The first will address Paul’s means of sustenance. The second seeks to shed light on Paul’s activity by comparing him with analogous figures both from the ancient Mediterranean world and from contemporary societies. As this consultation continues to refine its aims and approach, the organizers welcome comments and suggestions for future sessions.

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

The Qur’an and Late Antiquity (IQSA)

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

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

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The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition (IQSA)

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

Call for papers: 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.

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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: 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.

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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 program unit “Surah Studies” seeks to bring different perspectives and scholarship on a given Qur’anic surah into dialogue with one another.

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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: For our first session this year, we have invited a set of papers and responses discussing the relationships between post-colonial biblical criticism and theological interpretation of Scripture. For our second session, “Wisdom Literature Across the Canon,” we extend a call for papers that seek to engage specific texts or themes in Wisdom Literature that bear directly on central aspects of Christian theology and/or practice. Texts and/or topics can be drawn from the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job), Deuterocanonical writings (Sirach, Wisdom of Solomon), as well as the New Testament (including but not limited to the Epistle of James, and wisdom material in the Gospels). Finally, in our third session, we will be having a panel discussion of Jörg Frey's collection of essays on the theological interpretation of John (The Glory of the Crucified One). This is co-sponsored with the Johannine Literature section.

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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 Denver 2018. For the Open Session, we invite paper proposals on any aspect of the book of Ezekiel, theologically oriented or otherwise. The two other sessions will be closed. One will review Stephen L. Cook’s Anchor Bible Commentary on Ezekiel 40-48. A second will be devoted to the issues and iconography surrounding Death and the Dead in Ezekiel.

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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: The Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures Section plans to offer four sessions for the 2018 SBL Annual Meeting in Denver. One session will be an invited panel on Asian Biblical Theology. One session will focus on the theological interpretation of the Book of Jeremiah from historical-critical perspectives. One session will be an open session on biblical literature and theology co-sponsored with the National Association of Professors of Hebrew. One session will be an open session on the theological interpretation of the Hebrew Bible. TOTHS is open to all proposals, although those on Asian Biblical Theology and on Jeremiah are especially welcome.

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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.

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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 three sessions in 2018. A joint session with the Deuteronomistic History section will feature invited papers on the “Transmission of Joshua Traditions in the Late Second Temple Period.” The papers will address different versions of the Book of Joshua and their interconnections, including manuscript evidence from Qumran and currently apocryphal traditions concerning Joshua. Another joint session will be held with the Prayer in Antiquity section where we welcome proposals looking at the later reception of Second Temple prayers into early Christian and early Jewish contexts. This call investigates matters of continuity and discontinuity in prayers and their transmission from 500 BCE to 500 CE. Proposals that attend to the physicality of prayer texts (this may include matters of formatting, the kind of apparatus used for transmission, or other matters that attend to the materiality of prayer and its transmission) are especially encouraged but not required. For the third open session 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 the following sessions in 2018: (1) A review panel on Aaron Tugendhaft’s Baal and the Politics of Poetry (Routledge, 2018), co-sponsored by the Philology in Hebrew Studies and Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory units and involving invited panelists; (2) a session dealing with Aramaic language, epigraphy, and history, which will include invited papers, but for which unsolicited submissions will also be considered; and (3) an open, non-thematic section 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: At this year's conference, the Use, Influence, and Impact of the Bible section will offer four sessions. The aim of one of these is to foster a conversation about the state of the field of reception. We therefore invite papers that consider the ways that the work of the Use, Influence, and Impact section intersects with and departs from other units treating the afterlife of the Bible, that identify or analyze trends in biblical reception, or that highlight overlooked areas in reception or propose new directions that reception studies of the Bible might take. A second session will consist of a panel discussion focused on books about Bible and reception. This session will have some invited participants but scholars who are at work on or have completed a book on biblical reception and who would like to be on the panel are invited to submit proposals that describe their project and indicate what they would bring to the panel discussion. The remaining two sessions will be open. While we welcome proposals that explore any aspect of the Bible's impact on religions, society and culture, art, literature and music, this year we are particularly interested in paper proposals that treat one of the following topics: 1) the appearance of the Bible in so-called "low" culture (advertisements, pop music, comic books, children's books or toys, etc.); 2) the use of the Bible by interpreters who are "other" to the biblical heritage or by religious interpreters or communities outside the Jewish, Protestant, or Catholic mainstream (eg. Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Mormon, Rastafarian, Native American, Santeria, etc. etc. engagement with the Bible); or 3) ways the Bible is used as a tool or aid in communicating with another or "The Other."

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Violence and Representations of Violence in Antiquity

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

Call for papers: Violence and Representations of Violence in Antiquity is sponsoring the following panels in 2018: 1) Hegemonic Anxieties: This panel invites papers that explore fears or anxieties held by members of a dominant culture, race, or group about being Othered, attacked, persecuted, or otherwise harmed by marginalized or subaltern groups. In other words, hegemonic anxieties refers to situations where the oppressor comes to fear the oppressed, where the majority fears a (powerless) minority. Papers for this panel can examine either ancient texts/events or the ways in which ancient texts/events have been used in modernity in contexts of hegemonic anxiety. 2) Religious Violence, Trauma, and Humanity’s Search for Security (Co-sponsored with AAR’s Comparative Approaches to Religion and Violence group): Theological ideas, rhetoric, and symbolism are frequently harnessed to justify violent efforts to secure human life and/or to secure a particular group of humans’ desired lifestyle(s). Religious violence can likewise erupt as both a cause and a consequence of the traumas – including, but not limited to, emotional violations, socio-cultural oppressions, and political injuries (both real and imagined) – experienced by individuals, groups, and even entire societies. Yet experts in trauma studies and security studies rarely convene to discuss the impact of religion on their respective fields together. This panel aims to inspire such a discussion, and is particularly interested in the ways that the categories of “trauma” and “security” are complicated, interrogated, and challenged by the complexities of religious violence. Proposals may discuss historical as well as contemporary concerns, and may be constructed from the perspective of either trauma studies or security studies, or both fields collectively. Broad and creative thinking about the multivalent meanings and representations of “trauma,” “security,” and “religious violence” – as both concrete and existential phenomena - is

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Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion

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.

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

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Westar Institute

David Galston
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 hold three sessions at the 2018 SBLAM. The first will be an invited session that focuses on Reynolds and Stuckenbruck, The Jewish Apocalyptic Tradition and the Shaping of New Testament Thought (2017) and how this book contributes to on-going scholarship on the influence of Jewish apocalypticism on the New Testament. The title of this session is "After 'the Initial Foray': Jewish Apocalyptic Tradition and the Shaping of New Testament Thought." The second session is entitled “The Wisdom of Solomon at the Crossroads of Wisdom, Apocalypticism, and Philosophy.” It will look at this Jewish Hellenistic text and its plurality of influences in order to explore how these diverse strains of thought interact and are implemented in the text, and also how this unique confluence of ideas was then later received. The session will primarily consist of invited papers, but we also welcome proposals that closely fit the theme. The third session is open and we welcome submissions on any topics that relate to the sapiential and/or apocalyptic traditions.

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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: 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.

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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 seminar will organize three sessions in 2018, two based on invited papers and one session with open call. For the open call session we welcome papers that apply the social identity approach or related social and cognitive approaches on any New Testament writing. The papers will be pre-distributed and only summarized in the sessions.

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

Writing/Reading Jeremiah

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

Call for papers: The Writing/Reading Jeremiah unit seeks to create space for innovative readings and constructions of meaning that employ a variety of contemporary exegetical approaches as well as interdisciplinary engagements. We welcome strategies of reading Jeremiah that seek to reconfigure, redeploy, and move beyond conventional readings of Jeremiah. In 2018, the Writing/Reading Jeremiah unit will have three sessions. Two of these sessions, one with invited speakers and one as an open session will focus on the theme of “Reconsidering Violence in the Book of Jeremiah.” The theme of violence has long since been an important line of inquiry in the book of Jeremiah that has seen the light of day in an exceedingly violent context of military invasion and displacement. In recent years, violence has been shown to be a greatly complex, multifaceted phenomenon that often erupts at the intersection of gender, race, class, culture etc, and that can be said to include beyond direct forms of violence also structural, cultural and what has most recently been described as slow violence. We invite papers that (a) consider such complex permeations of violence that highlight the intersectional nature as well as multi-faceted nature of the way in which violence has been written into the text, and (b) reflect upon the distinct implications such portrayals of violence have for contemporary readers who find themselves in contexts permeated by violence. A third session will be a joint session together with the Israelite Prophetic Literature group with some invited speakers on a theme to be confirmed shortly.

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