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Congresses

2019 International Meeting

Rome, Italy
Rome, Italy

Meeting Begins7/1/2019
Meeting Ends7/5/2019

Call for Papers Opens: 10/31/2018
Call for Papers Closes: 1/30/2019

Requirements for Participation

Program Units

 

Allusions in the Gospels and Acts

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

Call for papers: For 2019, the Allusions in the Gospels and Acts section offers two open sessions: (1) One open session will be devoted to a panel discussion on the inter-textual approaches to the canonical Acts of the Apostles. (2) The second open session invites paper proposals on inter-textual approaches to canonical and non-canonical gospels and apostle narratives and their terms, motifs, ideas, traditions, typologies, characterizations, contextualizations, narrative orders, literary skills, and/or rhetorical tactics.

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Ancient Near East

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

Call for papers: The ancient Near East section explores the texts and material culture of the ancient world, especially Egypt, the Levant, Anatolia, and Mesopotamia from the birth of writing through the Hellenistic period. Our aim is to study the ancient world with a variety of methods and from a variety of perspectives—anthropological, archaeological, art-historical, economic, legal, literary, philological, sociohistorical, etc. We welcome work that reads the literature or material culture of one region against another, as well as work that is more limited in scope. In 2019, we anticipate hosting several sessions. One invited panel will be dedicated to examining the ways in which the biblical literature has appropriated, adapted, and transmuted ritual spaces and ritual objects in the ancient Near East to the realm of a textual space. We also anticipate hosting one or more open sessions devoted to any aspect of the study of the ancient Near East.

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

Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible

Christopher B. Hays
Joel M. LeMon
Description: This section, formerly titled Iconography and the Bible, examines the ways that ancient pictorial material informs interpretations of biblical texts and vice-versa. We welcome papers that explore the relationships between iconographic and textual materials as well as papers that deal exclusively with iconographic issues.

Call for papers: This section examines the ways that ancient pictorial material informs interpretations of biblical texts and vice-versa. We welcome papers that explore the relationships between iconographic and textual materials as well as papers that deal exclusively with iconographic issues.

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Apocalyptic Literature

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

Call for papers: The Apocalyptic Literature Section provides the International Meeting’s only general forum for studies related to apocalyptic literature. As usual, the Section welcomes paper proposals on all topics that engage the wide range of apocalyptic texts and their reception from the biblical world to modern times. In addition, the Apocalyptic Unit for Rome 2019 welcomes paper proposals for two special Open Sessions. (1) On the theme of dualism and dualistic ideas in apocalyptic speculation, broadly considered. (2) Cyril-Constantine arrived in Rome with his brother Methodius in 868 CE. He died there a year later, and was buried in the city, because the pope of that time, Adrian II, had embraced their mission to the Slavic peoples and endorsed the use of Slavic languages in Christian worship. In honour of Cyril, Methodius, and their mission, we welcome proposals for an Open Session held jointly with the program unit, “Rethinking Biblical Written Tradition through Slavonic Interpretations” on the topic of biblical interpretations historically specific to Slavic cultures, including apocalyptic, apocryphal, and dogmatic literature.

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Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha

Janet Elizabeth Spittler
Julia Snyder
Description: The Section fosters ongoing study of extra-canonical texts, as subjects of literary and philological investigation; as evidence for the history of religion, theology, and cult practice; and as documents of the socio-symbolic construction of traditions along lines of class and gender.

Call for papers: Proposals are invited for creative, well-developed personal research projects on extra-canonical Jewish or Christian literature. NB: Those with papers on the Apostolic Fathers, Septuagint or Qumran should submit directly to those other sections.

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Apostolic Fathers and Related Early Christian Literature

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

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

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Bible and Empire

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

Call for papers: For the 2019 International Meeting, the Bible and Empire group will convene three distinct sessions, two of which will be thematic. First, given the conference’s location in Rome, we invite papers for a thematic session focused on the use of the Bible in and in response to the various empires rooted in the Italian peninsula, from Ancient Rome up to the present. Second, in recognition of this meeting’s originally scheduled location in Bangalore, India, we will also hold a thematic session on the use of the Bible in British and Portuguese imperialism in Asia (not exclusively to be focused on India, but also including surrounding nations, just as Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, et cetera). Presenters are encouraged to examine both how the Bible was used by the British and Portuguese empires, and how Asian people in the colonial and post-colonial periods engaged and continue to engage with the Bible as part of their response to colonialism. Presenters are also encouraged to consider the possibility of a comparative examination of how Catholic (Portuguese) and Protestant (British) empires engaged with the Bible in the processes of colonization and decolonization. Additionally, papers are invited for an open session on empires and imperialism in the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint, the New Testament, and in subsequent reception history. Analyses of from any number of critical and interpretive perspectives are welcome. In particular, proposals are encouraged which consider how ancient empires provide models or cautionary tales for the modern imperialism, post-colonialism, and pluralism in modern nations.

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Bible and Its Influence: History and Impact

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

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

Tags: History of Interpretation (Interpretive Approaches)

Bible and Visual Culture

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

Call for papers: For the meeting in Rome we are especially interested in papers that relate to the Bible and the visual culture of Italy, Rome (including but not limited to art held in the city's collections and galleries) and the Roman Catholic tradition. For the Rome meeting, we also welcome proposals for papers which consider the use of visual culture in the classroom.

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Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Law

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

Call for papers: The purpose of the Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Law Section is to promote interdisciplinary research on ancient Near Eastern, biblical, and post-biblical law. Methodological perspectives include historical-critical, literary, legal-historical, feminist, and social-scientific approaches. For the 2019 meeting we are planning two session: Next to an open one we especially encourage the submission of papers addressing comparative aspects with Greek and Roman Law as well as various aspects of Biblical Law in the context of the Mediterranean

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

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

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

Call for papers: Animals have been part of the religious landscape of the Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions since the very beginning. However, the humanimal relationship can take a variety of forms. For example, Genesis 1 has humans govern over animals; In Genesis 2 God creates animals as help mates for the human, hence equal?; and in Genesis 3 one animal, the snake, proves superior to humans, at least in terms of knowledge. Throughout the three traditions, the enduring tension between humans and animals endures, as the divine, animal, and human realms encroach onto one another: Whereas in the Torah God makes Balaam’s she-ass speaks in a human tongue, in the gospels pigs are possessed by demons; and in the Quran humans become apes and pigs. The place of animals in the three traditions, their status, functions, and relationship with humans on the one hand and God on the other, will be discussed in the seminar this year.

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Biblical Interpretation in Early Christianity

Paul A. Hartog
Description: This program unit explores the interpretative structures, methodologies, and concerns of patristic exegesis and the various assumptions underlying it.

Call for papers: With this international meeting's location situated in Rome, we especially encourage papers that examine the reception of Paul's Romans within early Christianity. Such studies may investigate how Romans entered into doctrinal disputes, ecclesiastical discussions, and theological formation. We will also consider other proposals which contribute to our understanding of the structures, methodologies, concerns and assumptions functioning within patristic readings of biblical texts

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Catholic Epistles

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

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

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

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

Jaqueline S. du Toit
Wei Huang
Description: The goal of this Consultation is to explore the interest in developing a SBL seminar or section on Contextual Biblical Interpretation, its different strategies (including “inculturation,” inter(con)textualization, and reading with “ordinary” readers) and its methodological justifications, and the extent to which all interpretations are contextual. We are especially interested in seemingly “marginal” (from the geographical, gender, faith, class, age, communal and so forth) aspects and in community.

Call for papers: This Seminar aims to underline the significance of contextual interpretation and its contribution to biblical studies. We plan the following four sessions (proposed and solicited papers): (1) 1-2 joint session/s with the “Writings (including Psalms)” unit on the contextual interpretation of the Book of Psalms, or individual psalms, in the everyday lives of ordinary readers and communities. This includes investigation of how marginalized and ordinary readers interpret the psalms in context and community. Additional questions: How does my own position as bible scholar in a community impact my reading of a psalm or collection of psalms? How does the psalm impact a specific community? Contributions on similarities between the context of the editors of the Psalms and modern day marginal individuals/groups are welcome. Acceptance of papers is a first step toward, but does not guarantee, publication in the series Texts@Contexts (Bloomsbury Publishing) on the Book of Psalms. (2) A joint session with the “Families and Children in the Ancient World” unit on children’s Bibles welcomes contributions that explore how children’s Bibles have used context in the interpretation of a biblical character or book, aimed at children and/or infantilized “marginal” audiences (e.g. women, semi-literate adults, converts). Consideration of the interplay between visual and textual interpretation is encouraged. (3) An open session on the interpretation of a biblical text from within a reader’s explicitly articulated context, personal as well as communal. We invite contributors to, e.g., explore the different strategies of contextual bible interpretation (including "enculturation", inter(con)textualization, and reading with "ordinary" readers), its methodological justifications, and the extent to which all interpretations are contextual. We are interested in the seemingly “marginal” (e.g., geography, gender, faith, class, age) aspects of biblical interpretation, lodged in a clear methodology.

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Digital Humanities in Biblical, Early Jewish, and Christian Studies

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

Call for papers: The Digital Humanities in Biblical Studies research group chairs cordially invite the submission of proposals for papers and/or panel discussion topics for the forthcoming ISBL meeting in Rome. We encourage proposals covering the entire spectrum of Digital Humanities topics applied to Biblical Studies. This year, we particularly welcome papers on: • Biblical culture online: how the Bible is used, read, rewritten, narrated in multiple forms on social networks such YouTube, Facebook and Twitter as well as on websites. We invite for this session papers analyzing this phenomenon, with a particular attention of the transformation of textuality in multimodal literacies (text-image-sound together). • Working digitally with manuscripts: this session focuses on projects related to how research on biblical manuscripts evolves with digital technologies. All the topics related to the experience are welcome (e.g. digitization of the manuscripts, tools, virtual research environment, databases, epistemological issues) • We will also organize a PhD training workshop: you can propose short presentations of projects for it (10 minutes)

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Early Christianity and the Ancient Economy

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

Call for papers: The Early Christianity and Ancient Economy program unit sponsors three projects. The first project involves a study of all the major aspects of the economy in the ancient world, especially the Roman Empire. The second project examines first-century early Christianity both in relationship to the ancient economy and in regard to its own economic aspects. The third project does the same for Christianity in the second to the fifth centuries. Both synchronic and diachronic studies are encouraged, as are contributions focused on specific issues (such as money, texts, authors, themes, and events). The unit welcomes papers addressing the economy in its broadest sense, including both mercantile and non-mercantile transactions. Paper proposals for all three projects are welcomed, especially those that make use of papyri, inscriptions, and other realia.

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Epistle to the Hebrews

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

Call for papers: In 2019, this unit will offer two sessions. For the first, we welcome papers on the reception of Hebrews throughout history, with a particular focus on in the arts (e.g. music, literature, film, other visual mediums). For the second session, we welcome papers on any subject related to the study of Hebrews.

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Families and Children in the Ancient World

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

Call for papers: For 2019, the Families and Children in the Bible unit will host both an open as well as a joint session (with the Contextual Bible Interpretation unit) on Children’s Bibles. (1) For the open session, we invite papers that address families and children in the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Testament and ANE, early Christian, Rabbinic and Greco-Roman material from a variety of perspectives and using a variety of methods. (2) For the joint session, we welcome contributions that explore how children’s Bibles have used context in the interpretation of a biblical character or book, aimed at children- and/or infantilized “marginal” audiences (e.g. women, semi-literate adults, converts). Consideration of the interplay between visual and textual interpretation is encouraged.

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Feminist Interpretations

Lilly (SJ) Nortje-Meyer
Marianne Bjelland Kartzow
Description: The aim of this unit is to provide a forum for research in issues and questions relating to feminist methods of interpretation. While specifically focused on methodological concerns, we are also concerned to ground that reflection in the reality of engagement with specific texts.

Call for papers: The Feminist Interpretations unit will organize the following sessions. 1) Methodological and hermeneutical issues specifically relating to exegesis in feminist and gender studies. In this session papers should focus on different methodologies (e.g., historical critical, narratology, intertextuality, decoloniality, interreligious, Intersectional and transnational studies ...) and their relevance for feminist/gender studies. 2) Feminist exegesis and cultural studies, specifically on the reception history of feminist/gender relevant themes and texts of the Bible. 3) Emerging scholars: We particularly invite emerging scholars to present their research from feminist, gender and/or sexuality perspectives, firmly anchored in clear methodology. 4) In this session we are particularly interested in papers discussing current biblical feminist theory and practices in Italy and other Southern Europe/Mediterranean countries and the issues faced by women scholars in these contexts.

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

Food as Concept / Symbol / Metaphor

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

Call for papers: In Year 3 of this consultation, we invite contributions on the symbolic value of food in Jewish and early Christian written sources in the following areas: a) Food and Gender, b) Food and Religious Identity in Rituals, and c) Food and Community in Rituals. Papers that utilize theoretical approaches in the fields of Ritual, Identity, and / or Gender Studies are welcome.

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

Gospel of Mark

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

Call for papers: The Gospel of Mark section is a forum for scholars and graduate students exploring all aspects of and approaches to research and interpretation of the Gospel of Mark, including (but not limited to) historical, exegetical, theological, and literary studies, but especially the investigation of new questions, new areas of inquiry, and new strategies for reading Mark. For the 2019 international meeting, the Gospel of Mark Section is planning three sessions, two of which will focus on Mark 5:21-43: (1) three invited papers on this text, followed by full discussion by presenters and audience; (2) four short (15-minute) papers focusing on this text chosen from responses to this call, followed by full discussion by presenters and audience; and (3) an open session for 30-minute papers on any aspect of the Gospel of Mark.

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Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World

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

Call for papers: The unit seeks to foster scholarship related to disability in all fields of biblical studies. Major areas of concern include medical history of the Ancient Near East and Greco-Roman worlds; the religious, legal, and cultural status of people with disabilities in the biblical and formative Jewish and Christian periods; the representation of disability in biblical and cognate texts, biblical theology of the same, and disability in the history of biblical interpretation. Given our 2019 location in Rome, we are particularly interested in papers that engage Roman medicine; Jewish and Christian medical beliefs or practices on the Italian peninsula or in dialogue with Greco-Roman medical thought; and the archaeology and history of disability in Roman religion and culture.

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Hellenistic Greek Language and Linguistics

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

Call for papers: We welcome all sorts of scholarly papers based upon original research that contribute to the study of Hellenistic Greek. Linguistic, grammatical, and/or lexical studies are particularly encouraged.

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

Hellenistic Judaism

Julian Petkov
Silviu N. Bunta
Description: This section is dedicated to the study of all aspects of Judaism related to Hellenistic times. The Hellenistic period includes its chronological, cultural, and linguistic dimensions.

Call for papers: For the 2019 meeting we welcome paper proposals on any aspect of Hellenistic Judaism, including the reception history and the enduring legacy of Hellenistic Jewish literature. Also we are pleased to invite proposals for a joint session which we will co-host with the research unit “Rethinking Biblical Written Tradition through Slavonic Interpretations.” This joint session will be dedicated to the dissemination of popular Hellenistic texts (such as the Alexander Romance) in the Slavic world.

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History of Biblical Scholarship in the Late Modern Period

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

Call for papers: The consultation unit for the History of Biblical Scholarship in the Late Modern Era invites the submission of abstracts for one open session, and one themed sessions on Scholarship in Italy in the modern era. The open session welcomes submissions that examine the contributions of 19th and early 20th century scholars to critical study of the Hebrew Bible, in keeping with the unit's critical analytical approach (outlined in the description of the unit). Note that while biographical portraits, textual analyses, and surveys of scholarly trends are appreciated as components of historical approaches, they are to be treated as first-order data supporting second-order analyses. For the themed session on late modern biblical scholarship in Italy, we would especially welcome submissions that relate to Catholic biblical scholarship, particularly within the frame of the half-century between 1893 (Providentissimus Deus) and 1943 (Divino afflante Spiritu).

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Johannine Literature

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

Call for papers: We invite submission of papers on any topic related to Johannine literature, encompassing the Fourth Gospel and the three Johannine letters. One session will focus on Johannine spirituality.

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

Judaica

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

Call for papers: The Judaica section welcomes paper proposals related to Hebrew Scripture in its relationship to ancient, medieval, and modern exegesis and Philosophy. For 2019, papers dealing with Biblical philology, as well as, early Jewish and Christian exegesis of the Bible especially Philo of Alexandria and early church fathers are especially welcomed.

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

Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism

Dylan M. Burns
Hugo Lundhaug
Description: The Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism Section provides a forum for current international research on the Coptic codices discovered at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1945. Research areas include: issues of text and translation; analysis and interpretation of the tractates; codicological analysis; background and provenance of the manuscripts; studies relevant to the larger social and religio-historical contexts of the Nag Hammadi texts, especially their relation to Jewish, Christian and Greco-Roman religious traditions.

Call for papers: The ISBL Section Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism invites papers on any topic related to the study of Nag Hammadi and Coptic Gnostic literature, particularly the following two themes, which will serve as our focus in separate sessions at the 2019 meeting. The first is the transmission of apocrypha in Egypt; this topic will be explored in a session co-sponsored by the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha Program Unit. Second, we call for papers that explore the context of the Nag Hammadi (and related) manuscripts, whether as regards Egyptian Christianity, Manichaeism, Hermetism, ancient magic, etc. Papers dealing with other issues in the study of Nag Hammadi may be included in an open session.

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Paul and Pauline Literature

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

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

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

Pentateuch (Torah)

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

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

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

Place, Space, and Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean World

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

Call for papers: At the 2019 International meeting in Rome Italy, The Place, Space, and Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean World unit will have three sessions. The first is engaged with the spatial history of Rome, Italy, one of the most influential ancient Mediterranean cities. Suggested topics might include, but are not limited to, City Rome as the witness of spatial claims for the politically, religiously, and culturally unique identities, from the antiquity to the contemporary world. We welcome studies of spatiality from texts as well as from artworks or architectures. The second will be a joint session with the Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls section. We welcome both the spatial conceptions of the Qumran community and the reflected spatial identities in the discourses (narrative or poetic spatiality) of the Dead Sea Scrolls or related second temple texts. The third session will be an open session that we invite proposals on any aspect of Place, Space, and Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean World, but especially proposals that use critical theories to understand the function of space and place in establishing the community identity. In all three sessions, places and cities in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament (i.e., Jerusalem and other cities) are basically welcome; papers make a comparison of those cities with Rome or places of the Qumran community by employing critical spatial theories including Heterotopia or Thirdspace are also welcome.

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Political Biblical Criticism

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

Call for papers: For 2019, the unit welcomes proposals in all dimensions of political criticism. Proposals may thus address this type of criticism as such: what is political criticism and what does it do? Proposals may also bring into critical dialogue the field of Biblical Studies with other fields of studies dealing with contemporary political problematics, whether national, regional, or global: for example, Global Studies, Migration and Refugee Studies, Economic Studies, Climate Studies. With the conference moving to Rome in 2019, papers which attempt to explore connections between ancient “politics” and modern politics in biblical interpretation, or such connections which biblical interpreters have been making, are particularly welcome.

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Postcolonial Studies

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

Call for papers: This year the Postcolonial studies unit is planning two sessions: Session 1: “Postcolonial and Decolonial Readings” We welcome papers on postcolonial methodologies in the study of biblical discourses and colonial histories – beginning with doctrines of discovery and extending to the neo-colonial reach of capitalism. Session 2: "Postcolonialism, Empire, and the Dead Sea Scrolls" The Qumran and Dead Sea Scrolls program unit and the Postcolonial Studies program unit are hosting a joint session, for which we welcome papers on any aspect of postcolonialism as it might relate to the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Topics might include relevant aspects of the larger discourse surrounding the episteme of empire such as the bifurcation into separate essentialized components (viz., "empire" and "colony"), the sociological aspects of Scrolls scholarship as they relate to power dynamics, and papers that introduce reading strategies like contrapuntal analysis.

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Prophets

Alphonso Groenewald
Johanna Erzberger
Description: This unit aims to provide an open forum for scholars to present papers on a variety of topics germane to the study of ancient Israelite prophecy and prophetic literature.

Call for papers: The Prophecy unit welcomes proposals for papers on prophecy and prophetic texts in the Bible. Four sessions are planned for the unit. Two sessions will focus on the role of biographic elements in prophetic literature. Whereas the prophetic biography in the books of Ezekiel and Jeremiah plays an important role regarding the message and the structure of the book, its role in other prophetic books might be a more subtle one. In none of the books the figure of prophet is totally absent. Papers may explore the role of biographic elements from either a diachronic or a synchronic or a combined perspective. The other two sessions will focus on the book of Haggai and will include a few invited papers as well as a selection of proposed papers. We would like to especially invite proposals concerning the more general questions of the book’s composition, literary development, and use of older traditions, but contributions dealing with any individual aspects of the book are welcome as well.

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

Psychological Hermeneutics of Biblical Themes and Texts

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

Call for papers: Abstracts for papers on “Potential Psychological Health or Harm Inherent in Biblical Texts or Themes" are now invited for the International SBL Meeting in Rome 1-5 July 2019. Our title's relevance becomes clear when texts are either neglected by professional health practitioners or exploited by militants. The link to research units dealing with Biblical Ethics will also be established and the application of empirical measurements from psychological theories to biblical texts will be emphasised. Such approaches will bring this year's theme into the realm of "hard" science (what is psychologically healthy) but also morality, and so exemplify this study-unit's socio-politico-economic value. The intention is to invite neither attacks on, nor apologetic defences of, biblical texts but to evaluate them against specific psychological theories. The psychological aspects of human life are integral, but they represent an under-examined area in biblical studies. Biblical authors show great interest in people's capacity to cope psychologically with their circumstances, in their interpretations of life situations and in how to effect change, both internal and external. This section invites papers on the psychological aspects of biblical themes and texts, since psychological interest may be found behind the texts, in the texts themselves, and in their reception up to the present day. Papers that make explicit use of existing psychological theories are preferred. The intersection between biblical studies and psychology provides a meeting between two disciplines in their own right, each with their specific questions and areas of expertise but very much complementary to each other. Papers can afterwards be converted into peer-reviewed book chapters to be published collectively within the near future by this Study-Unit.

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Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Angela Kim Harkins
Matthew Goff
Description: The unit provides forum for presentation and discussion of views relating to the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Qumran settlement, and the people of that place and of those documents.

Call for papers: The Qumran and Dead Sea Scrolls program unit will have three sessions at the 2019 International SBL meeting. The first is entitled “Postcolonialism, Empire, and the Dead Sea Scrolls." It is a joint session with the Postcolonial Studies program unit. For this session we welcome papers on any aspect of postcolonialism as it might relate to the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Topics might include relevant aspects of the larger discourse surrounding the episteme of empire such as the bifurcation into separate essentialized components (viz., "empire" and "colony"), the sociological aspects of Scrolls scholarship as they relate to power dynamics, and papers that introduce reading strategies like contrapuntal analysis. Our second session is a joint session with the Place, Space, and Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean World program unit. Papers on any aspect of critical spatiality and the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls or related Second Temple texts are welcome. Our third session is an open session, for which we solicit papers on any topic relating to the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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Quran and Islamic Tradition in Comparative Perspective

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

Call for papers: The Quran and Islamic Tradition in Comparative Perspective unit of the ISBL welcomes proposals for both individual papers and pre-arranged panels at the international meeting in Rome, July 1-5, 2019. Suggested topics might include, but are not limited to, the Quran and Islamic tradition in the wider context of the history of the Western monotheisms; Islam’s profound historical relationships with Judaism, Christianity, and the biblical heritage; and comparative inquiry and intercommunal dialogue more generally. Proposals for panels or individual papers can be submitted online at http://www.sbl-site.org/meetings/Internationalmeeting.aspx. The deadline for submission of proposals is January 31, 2019. Please note that membership in the Society of Biblical Literature is required in order to submit a paper proposal. For more information please contact the program unit chairs: Abdulla Galadari, Khalifa University / Al-Maktoum College (aigaladari@gmail.com); John Kaltner, Religious Studies, Rhodes College (kaltner@rhodes.edu).

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Rethinking Biblical Written Tradition through Slavonic Interpretations

Anissava Miltenova
Ljubica Jovanovic
Description: Some of the lost Second Temple texts have been found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, but, for reasons still unknown, a number have been preserved only in Slavonic version, from centuries later. These Slavonic manuscripts have been used to restore the lost Greek originals and to fill in the gap in the textual tradition. While welcoming these classical text critical approaches, this program unit focuses more strongly on the appropriation and adaptation of these texts in the Slavic cultures that received them and looks for papers that study the Vorlage and transmission of Slavonic versions as well as Slavic interpretations of the Bible.

Call for papers: We are calling for presentations on all traditions and aspects of Slavic texts on sacred themes and characters as it is laid out in the unit’s description. In addition, an open-call joint session with the program unit, “Hellenistic Judaism,” will be dedicated to the dissemination of popular Hellenistic texts in the Slavic world, such as the “Alexander Romance.” Cyril-Constantine arrived in Rome with his brother Methodius in 868 CE. He died there a year later, and was buried in the city, because the pope of that time, Adrian II, had embraced their mission to the Slavic peoples and endorsed the use of Slavic languages in Christian worship. In honour of Cyril, Methodius, and their mission, we welcome papers for a joint session with “Apocalyptic Literature” on biblical interpretations historically specific to Slavic cultures, including apocalyptic, apocryphal, and dogmatic literature.

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Ritual in the Biblical World

Daniel Belnap
Pekka Pitkänen
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 ethnography.

Call for papers: The Ritual in the Biblical World section will offer at least two planned sessions of papers at the 2019 International Meeting in Rome, Italy. 1) We invite papers for an open session on all aspects of ritual activities, with their textual, as well as archaeological and iconographical expressions, in the larger context of their cultural and religious functions in the ancient Near East and in the ancient Mediterranean area. 2) A second session will focus on the topic of ritual and liturgy. This can include reflection on what liturgy is and how ritual action becomes liturgy. We invite all who are interested in participating to submit their proposal.

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Septuagint Studies

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

Call for papers: For the 2019 SBL International Meeting in Rome, priority will be given to Septuagint papers addressing the question of localities of and in the translation, localities of manuscripts, or studies in which prominent manuscripts in Rome and Vatican play a major role.

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Status of Women in the Profession

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

Call for papers: The Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession invites papers for a panel discussion about the challenges women scholars face in their research and about the impact of their scholarship in the field of biblical studies. We expect a conversation among women scholars whose research and publications take seriously feminist and/or gender studies, as well as those who engage scholarship from other perspectives.

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Stylistics and the Hebrew Bible

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

Call for papers: For the Rome meeting in 2019 we will organize two sessions: one thematic session and one open session. The first session welcomes papers discussing directionality in the horizontal and vertical dimensions, i.e. the directions: up-down, left-right, east-west, north-south, forward-backward, and a general movement in a path, as well. The discussions may employ diverse methodological approaches, such as rhetorical, narratological, cognitive, literary, ideological etc. The second session will be open to all who are interested in stylistics and the Hebrew Bible, including semantic, structural, grammatical, phonetic or other features. The goal is to explore the relation between form and meaning of the text drawing on a variety of approaches (rhetorical, narratological, cognitive, literary, ideological…).

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Synoptic Gospels

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

Call for papers: This year’s primary focus will be on the parables in the Synoptic tradition. The Synoptic Gospels Section will have three sessions: i) a session for invited papers only on the parables; ii) a general invitation for papers related to the parables in the synoptic tradition, with particular focus on matters of material culture and methodologies; and iii), a general invitation for papers on the Synoptic Gospels. Questions about the open sessions may be directed to either of the chairs (robert.cousland@ubc.ca or john.harrison@oc.edu). There are plans to publish a selection of studies on the parables.

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Wisdom Literature in the Bible and in the Ancient Near East

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

Call for papers: SBL Roma 2019 Call for papers: This unit is interested in new ideas and methodologies in the study of Wisdom Literature. This time the focus will be on Biblical and ancient Near Eastern Speculative Wisdom.

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

Working with Biblical Manuscripts (Textual Criticism)

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

Call for papers: On the occasion of the 2019 International Meeting of the SBL in Rome, the “Working with Biblical Manuscripts (Textual Criticism)” program unit is, as usual, seeking proposals for papers that concentrate on any aspect of textual criticism, particularly those that deal directly with manuscripts, i.e., papers that work with material witnesses to the text — tablets, ostraca, inscriptions, papyri, majuscules, minuscules, lectionaries. Given the venue for the 2019 meeting, papers are particularly welcome that investigate textual witnesses housed in Rome or at the Vatican (e.g., at Grottaferrata, the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, the Biblioteca Angelica, the Biblioteca Vallicelliana, and of course the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana).

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Writings (including Psalms)

George Athas
Prof P. J. Botha
Description: The aim of the unit to promote all aspects of and approaches to the study of the texts commonly referred to as the Writings (Ketuvim) in the Hebrew Bible.

Call for papers: Papers are welcome on any part of the Writings, especially papers applying newer interpretive methodologies to specific passages. Papers addressing more general matters, such as the formation of the Psalter, the connection of wisdom and apocalyptic, migration and identity development in Chronicles/Ezra-Nehemiah, external influences in Qohelet, or the poetics of Classical Hebrew poetry are also acceptable. In 2019, we will also be holding a joint session with the Contextual Interpretation of the Bible section. This will be looking at the contextual interpretation of the Book of Psalms, or individual psalms, in the everyday lives of ordinary readers and communities. This includes investigation of how marginalized and ordinary readers interpret the Psalms in context and community. Additional questions: How does my own position as bible scholar in a community impact my reading of a psalm or collection of psalms? How does the psalm impact a specific community? Contributions on similarities between the context of the editors of the Psalms and modern day marginal individuals/groups are welcome. Acceptance of papers is a first step toward, but does not guarantee, publication in the series Texts@Contexts (Bloomsbury Publishing) on the Book of Psalms.

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