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Congresses

2020 International Meeting

Adelaide, Australia

Meeting Begins7/5/2020
Meeting Ends7/9/2020

Call for Papers Opens: 10/23/2019
Call for Papers Closes: 1/29/2020

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 the 2020 Adelaide meeting, the Allusions in the Gospels and Acts section plans to organize two sessions. One session will explore the parables recorded in the canonical and extra canonical gospels that Jesus spoke (hereafter "Jesus' parables"). Proposals concerning allusions of ante-texts in Jesus' parables transmitted by the gospels, and allusions of Jesus' parables in the gospels are particularly welcome. The “ante-texts” include Jewish, Hellenistic Jewish, Greco-Roman, and Christian literature. The other session is open to all paper proposals devoted to allusions in the gospels and acts and their innovative meanings.

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Ancient Near East

Alice Mandell
Lisa J. Cleath
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: At iSBL 2020, the Ancient Near East unit will hold two sessions: 1) an open session and 2) a session focusing on gender and identity in the ancient Near East. Papers in both sessions should engage with theory in related disciplines (e.g., the study of religion, sociolinguistics, and anthropology), which offer new insights into the study of the ancient world. We encourage underrepresented scholars in the field to apply, in particular (but not limited to) those from regions less represented in ANE studies. The open session solicits papers that engage with texts, languages, and material remains from the ANE, including but not limited to the study of ancient Anatolia, Arabia, Egypt, Iran, the Levant, and Mesopotamia. Scholars may want to consider ecological approaches to the ANE in coordination with the larger iSBL 2020 theme. The session focusing on gender and identity in the ANE will prioritize papers that seriously take into account the theoretical foundations of Gender Studies. The intellectual aim of this session is to facilitate a conversation about the critical application of Gender Studies methodologies to the ancient world.

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

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

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

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

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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 year we especially invite proposals related to the general theme of the conference, ecology and ecological hermeneutics. Beyond this particular focus, the unit also welcomes contributions that critically examine other topics within the writings of the Apostolic Fathers and related early Christian literature (up to the year 250).

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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 2020 International Meeting in Australia, the Bible and Empire group will convene a thematic and an open session. The thematic session will explore the subjects of the forced migration of indigenous peoples in the 15th to 21st centuries, as well as resistance to migration by indigenous peoples. Presenters are encouraged, for example, to examine how the Bible was used by modern empires to justify or facilitate the migration of indigenous peoples, or to inquire how indigenous people interpreted their experiences in light of the biblical texts or used the biblical texts to foster resistance to imperial or neo-imperial forces that sought to displace them. The location of the conference in Adelaide suggests attention especially to the displacement of aboriginal people in Australia, but proposals will also be welcomed which explore the use of sacred scriptures in the forced migration of indigenous peoples elsewhere, such as native groups in the Americas, or the Rohingya people in Myanmar. 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.

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Bible and Its Influence: History and Impact

Jo Carruthers
Lesleigh Cushing Stahlberg
Robert J. Myles
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 politics. Papers engaging the reception of the Bible in Australasian art, music, literature and culture, and exploring colonialism, politics, ecology or society more generally, are especially encouraged for this meeting.

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: 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.

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Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Law

Anselm C. Hagedorn
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 Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Law Section invites the submission of papers on all aspects that promote interdisciplinary research on ancient Near Eastern, biblical, and post-biblical law (including the Graeco-Roman world). Methodological perspectives include, but are not limited to, historical-critical, literary, legal-historical, feminist, and social-scientific approaches. This year we are especially inviting papers that address the interpretative setting of law within the context of Australasia as well as comparative perspectives on first nations legal interpretation.

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

Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Wisdom

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: Papers on any topic related to biblical and ancient Near Eastern wisdom are welcome for open sessions. Papers may discuss texts, ideas and traditions related to wisdom, from the biblical, extra-biblical or post-biblical world.

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))

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: Indigenous Characters in the Three Traditions This year’s seminar will examine those characters — humans, animals and vegetation — of the “pre-“ eras. These might include, but are not limited to, plants and animals of the pre-human world (during days 1–5 of creation); plants and living creatures of the pre-transgression period; pre-deluge peoples, species and characters; pre-Tower of Babel humans; pre-settlement seven peoples of Canaan; pre-Islamic so called "natural monotheism" (hanifiyya); pre-Muhammadan Arab prophets; and so on. The seminar will examine their presentation and treatment in scripture and reception history, in primordial times and later times (e.g., Hittites during King David’s kingship); as a group or as individuals (e.g., Cain’s family; Uriah; Og King of Bashan; Mamre, Eshkol and Aner; The Gibeonites; Sisera; Aravna; etc.); their relationship with later nations; and other aspects of such characters. Papers are invited that examine the presentation of these indigenous characters through one, or more, of the Three Traditions, using a single or several perspectives, such as theology, literature, history, archaeology, art, or other disciplines.

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Biblical Hebrew Language and Linguistics

Matthew P. Anstey
Cynthia L. Miller-Naude
Nili Samet
Description: This unit focuses on Biblical Hebrew language and linguistics. We welcome papers on all aspects of Biblical Hebrew, such as grammar, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, linguistic theory etc. We are also interested in papers that emphasize the contribution of the analysis of Biblical Hebrew to the understanding of the biblical text and exemplify the importance of linguistic analysis as an exegetical tool.

Call for papers: The “Biblical Hebrew Language and Linguistics” unit is a new consultation in 2020. We invite paper proposals for one open session on any topic pertaining to Biblical Hebrew, and for two thematic sessions. Thematic Session 1: “Linguistic Analysis of Biblical Hebrew and Its Impact on Interpretation.” Many interpretive matters in the Hebrew Scriptures hinge on linguistic analyses of various sorts. We welcome papers that investigate the interpretive implications of such analyses and exemplify the interrelation between biblical interpretation and linguistic analysis of Biblical Hebrew. Thematic Session 2: “The Study of Biblical Hebrew in Light of the World’s Languages.” Typological approaches to the study of languages have shed significant light on Biblical Hebrew. We welcome papers that investigate features of Biblical Hebrew within a contemporary typological framework.

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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 Seminar is to explore the interest in Contextual Biblical Interpretation, its different strategies (including "inculturation", inter(con)textualization, and reading with "ordinary" readers), 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 of Biblical interpretation.

Call for papers: This Seminar underlines the significance of contextual interpretation and its contribution to biblical studies. We invite contributions to 4 sessions (proposed and solicited papers): 1. The Book of Psalms, or individual psalms, in the everyday lives of ordinary readers. Including how marginalized and ordinary readers interpret the psalms in context and community. Conversely, how does your position as bible scholar in a community impact a reading? Contributions on similarities between the context of the editors of the Psalms and modern-day marginal groups are also welcome. Acceptance of papers is a first step toward, but does not guarantee, publication in Texts@Contexts (Bloomsbury Publishing) on the Book of Psalms. 2. The bible and South East Asian cultures, with emphasis on China and India. This includes interpreting the bible in South East Asian contexts; translation of the bible; cross-textual readings in local contexts; the bible and contemporary issues in South East Asia; as well as the bible among translocated communities of South East Asian origin. Contributions should reflect the significance of contextual interpretation and the contribution of non-Western scholars to biblical studies. (3) Reading the bible's secondary characters in the cultures of Oceania and Pasifika. We invite papers that propose critical and creative readings of a biblical text about a secondary or "second-rate" character (Enoch/Idris, Zuleika, Orpah, Gershom, Judas, plants, animals, etc.) in the culture and contexts of Oceania, especially indigenous Australia and the Pasifika Islands. We will also consider proposals that are queer, cross-scriptural or emphasizes orality. (4) We invite contributions to an open session on the interpretation of a biblical text from within a reader's explicitly articulated context, personal as well as communal, while firmly anchored in clear methodology.

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Digital Humanities in Biblical, Early Jewish, and Christian Studies

Peter Michael Phillips
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)

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Early Christianity and the Ancient Economy

Jinyu Liu
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 2020, this unit will offer two sessions. For the first, we welcome papers with a particular focus on the interpretation of Hebrews 1–2. 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 2020, the Families and Children in the Bible unit will host an open session. We invite papers that address families and children in the ANE, 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. Proposals that seek to investigate the roles of families and children, and the portrayal of such roles, in relation to the natural environment are particularly welcome.

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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 eco-feminism and ecological 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 Australia, New Zealand and the Greater area of Oceania and the issues faced by women scholars in these contexts.

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

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 2020 international meeting in Adelaide, the Gospel of Mark Section is planning three sessions: one session of two invited papers on Mark 5:1-20, followed by discussion by the presenters and audience; and two open sessions of 20-minute papers, each followed by 10 minutes of discussion, on any aspect of the Gospel of Mark, although this might include various approaches to Mark 5:1-20.

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Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World

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.

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Hellenistic Greek Language and Linguistics

Jermo van Nes
Paul Danove
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 2020 meeting we welcome paper proposals for two sessions. For the first session we invite papers on any aspect of Hellenistic Judaism, including the reception history and the enduring legacy of Hellenistic Jewish literature. Because Australia is a unique ecological system that tries to survive in today’s global economy, we also invite papers to a joint session, together with “Apocalyptic Literature” and “Rethinking Biblical Written Tradition through Slavonic Interpretations” on ecological themes and ecological hermeneutics in Apocalyptic, Apocryphal, and Hellenistic Jewish literature.

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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. Two sessions will focus on Johannine symbolism and metaphors as well as their 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 2020, 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 related themes, which will serve as our focus in separate sessions at the 2020 meeting. The first is ecology and ecological hermeneutics, in keeping with the theme for the conference as a whole. What understandings of ecology and the natural world do the Nag Hammadi and related literature presuppose? In what ways is the natural world represented or interpreted in this literature, and what does this tell us about competing views of the cosmos? And from a synchronic perspective, what sort of ‘ecological hermeneutics’ can we perform with reference to this literature? Second, we call for papers that explore the material contexts of the Nag Hammadi Codices and related manuscripts, particularly as undertaken from the perspective of Greek and Coptic papyrology, as well as the study of Coptic Manichaica. Papers dealing with other issues in the study of the Nag Hammadi Codices and their texts are also welcome, and 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. In addition, papers related to the 2020 International Meeting theme of ecology and ecological hermeneutics are particularly welcomed.

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: 1) We welcome proposals on the Pentateuch / Torah from multiple angles, including historical-critical, comparative and more contemporary methodologies. 2) We especially encourage proposals related to Oceanic and ecological interpretations of the texts and traditions.

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))

Performance Criticism of the Bible: Texts, Tradition, and Identity

Jin H. Han
Lee A. Johnson
Description: The Performance Criticism of the Bible: Texts, Tradition, and Identity unit seeks to provide a creative space for scholarly discussion that focuses on performance as a formative dynamic that shaped biblical texts. The insights from the various socio-cultural settings of the International SBL meetings will provide contexts for explorations of performance from arenas disparate, yet relatable to the context of biblical and other ancient texts.

Call for papers: The Performance Criticism of the Bible—Texts, Tradition, and Identity unit is hosting TWO OPEN sessions at the 2020 meeting. The FIRST session will focus on indigenous communities whose traditions customarily include storytelling and the transmission of myths. The performance-critical discussion is expected to take up insights applicable to interpretation of the biblical texts that observation of indigenous rituals from Australia and the Pacific can evoke, including ritual and identity from the perspective of a minority people; preservation of cosmological perspectives through storytelling; and adaptation of ancient oral traditions to interpret new cultural experiences. The SECOND session invites papers that focus on the formative influence of performance on the production of biblical texts, the performance of such texts in ancient contexts, the representation of oral performance in written texts, and performance-related features embedded in biblical and other ancient texts.

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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: In Adelaide 2020, the Place, Space, and Identity section is planning two open sessions: (1) The first will focus on social aspects of place, space, and identity in biblical texts. What is implied by being “in” or “out” a society, being part of "this world" or "other worlds"? Most welcome are papers relating to the background of the history of colonialization. The second session welcomes exegetical papers referring to place, space, and identity in a more general way. Here we will prefer papers dealing with the exegesis of one or several biblical texts either from the Old or New Testament.

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Political Biblical Criticism

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

Call for papers: For the 2020 meeting, papers for an open session are invited that fit into the unit’s goal 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 particular studies on the climate and natural environment. Other sessions are planned, on “Political Theology in the Hebrew Bible” as well as on “Biblical Discourse in Political Theology”, and also on "#MeToo and Jesus", in which invited scholars will present papers.

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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. Six 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. One session will focus on “Isaiah and its “Unity”: Promises and Challenges”. A growing scholarly trend in Isaiah studies has engaged the concept of “unity” for reading this prophetic mega corpus holistically. Interestingly, such unified readings have taken recourse to a diversity of methodologies and approaches including, for instance, redactional-historical, canonical critical, or reader-oriented approaches. With an aim to continue the lively scholarly exchange that 2019 ISBL, Rome facilitated on the said topic, Isaiah and its “Unity”: Promises and Challenges session invites papers that critically build on scholarly pursuits in holistic readings of Isaiah in order to outline new directions in the “unity” movement and, in the process, bring under critical gaze the very concept of “unity” for elucidating their attendant promises as well as challenges. One session will focus on the book of Haggai. 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. Papers will be accepted for two open session on any topic relevant to ancient Israelite prophecy.

Tags: Former Prophets (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Former Prophets - 1-2 Kings (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Former Prophets - 1-2 Samuel (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Former Prophets - Judges (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Former Prophets -Joshua (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets (not including The Twelve) (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - Ezekiel (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - Isaiah (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - Jeremiah (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - The Twelve (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - The Twelve - Amos (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - The Twelve - Habakkuk (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - The Twelve - Haggai (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - The Twelve - Hosea (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - The Twelve - Joel (Biblical Literature - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets - The Twelve - 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: “Psychological perspectives on the Bible as dialogical partner in identity issues in a pluralistic world.” This theme is open for the ongoing struggles with racism, family constellations and even ecological challenges, to name just a few. We prefer papers that make explicit use of existing 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, but also to envision the good life, and paths to get there. This section invites papers on the psychological aspects of the 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. It intends to explore what the potential would be of an examination of Biblical texts to the promotion of psychological health in individuals and in the societies today. The intersection between biblical theology and psychology is a meeting between two disciplines in their full right – each with their specific questions and areas of expertise, but very much complementary to each other.

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Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Angela Kim Harkins
Hanna Tervanotko
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: For the 2020 meeting in Adelaide, Australia, the Qumran and Dead Sea Scrolls program unit is inviting proposals for four sessions: two special topics sessions, one joint session, and one open session. The first special topic is entitled, "The Demons, Monsters, and Magic in the Qumran Scrolls." Proposals should specify the Qumran texts under examination and the specific methodological approach that will be used to analyze those texts. The second special topic is "Archaeology and the Material culture of Qumran and Masada." We welcome papers that make a concerted effort to bring the study of archaeology and material culture to bear on the analysis of the texts from either site. Special preference will be given to papers that integrate the analysis of material culture with the texts discovered at those sites. This archaeology session will have an invited respondent. The Qumran and DSS program unit is sponsoring a third session which will be a joint session with the Ritual and Biblical World unit. For this joint session, we invite papers that investigate divinatory practices, ritual cultic activities, or any aspect of communication between people and deity. The fourth session is a totally open session. All submitted proposals should be well-articulated, clearly specify the texts or artifacts under discussion, and identify the approaches used in the study.

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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 Adelaide, July 5-9, 2020. Suggested topics might include, but are not limited to, the Quran and Islamic tradition in the wider context of its history from Late Antiquity to the Modern period. Special attention is given to Islam’s profound historical relationships with Judaism, Christianity, and the biblical heritage; and comparative inquiry and intercommunal dialogue more generally. Therefore, it is imperative that all papers have some comparative approach with biblical literature. This year, it is especially encouraged to submit proposals related to the ecology and/or ecological hermeneutics. Proposals for panels or individual papers can be submitted online at http://www.sbl-site.org/meetings/Internationalmeeting.aspx. 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 of Science & Technology (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 we welcome papers on any biblical interpretations past and present produced in the Slavic lands, or on topics related to Slavic culture. Because Australia is a unique ecological system that tries to survive in today’s global economy, we invite papers to a joint session, together with “Apocalyptic Literature” and “Hellenistic Judaism” on ecological themes and ecological hermeneutics in Apocalyptic, Apocryphal, and Hellenistic Jewish literature.

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Return Migration in Biblical Literature

John Ahn
Description: Return is a literary trope and social phenomenon in the Hebrew Bible, Intertestamental, Dead Sea Scrolls, New Testament, and other literary cultures. In Homer’s Iliad, Odysseus returns home. As a new field (1980s), return migration studies offer new critical insights on historical, literary, and sociological matters related to biblical and extra-biblical studies.

Call for papers: In 2020, we invite papers dealing broadly with two running themes in “return (migration) from the wilderness.” First, papers that help (re)define or (re)address historical, social, or political readings of the wilderness – in various textual and intertextual traditions. Second, what purpose might (re)turning from the wilderness serve? We welcome papers from broad methodologies and reading approaches.

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Ritual in the Biblical World

Giancarlo Voellmy
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 2020 International Meeting in Adelaide, Australia, plus a joint session. 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. Papers with a focus on any aspect of ritual theory would be especially welcome. 2) A second session will focus on the topic of how ritual is/can be seen as performative from a theoretical perspective and how the issue links with ritual in the biblical world. 3) The Ritual in the Biblical World program unit is sponsoring a third session which will be a joint session with the Qumran and DSS unit. For this joint session, we invite papers that investigate divinatory practices, ritual cultic activities, or any aspect of communication between people and deity. We invite all who are interested in participating to submit their proposal.

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Septuagint Studies

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

Call for papers: For the 2020 meeting, we are especially happy to receive suggestions that are tied to the ecology and ecological hermeneutics theme of the meeting; e.g., nature and creation imagery in the Septuagint. All abstracts are expected to name the most important source texts, methodology, and a concrete research question. In addition, the abstract should explain how the proposed paper is connected with previous research and current developments in the field of Septuagint studies.

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Status of Women in the Profession

Christl M. Maier
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: SBL's Status of Women in the Profession Committee invites papers for a discussion about the impact of current global challenges on biblical studies as viewed from the perspective of women scholars. Given the major flux in geopolitical policies and upheaval, and especially in relationship to such issues as immigration, war and hunger refugees, and climate-induced challenges, we would like to assess how these issues impact scholarship and research in specific regions and/or scholarly communities. We invite women scholars whose work is informed by feminist, gender studies, or other current perspectives, to talk about their commitments and goals of research with regard to these challenges.

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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 Adelaide meeting in 2020 we will organize two sessions: one thematic and one open session. The first session welcomes papers discussing suspense creation in biblical narrative. The Bible like all good literature, aims at captivating the reader. The session will deal with methods used by the biblical authors for building tension and drama in the narrative in order to interest the reader in the literary work. The session is open to different methodological approaches with a special interest in narratology. Insights into literary elements building suspense or curiosity on the part of the reader, both in relation to formulation, structuring and ordering of the narrative or any other literary aspect contributing to the suspense and drama of the narrative are desirable. 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

Thomas Goud
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 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. In particular, we invite papers on the realia (material, social, political) of the parables in the Synoptic Gospels. Of course, other proposals are warmly welcomed.

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Textual Criticism: Manuscripts & Methods

Ronald van der Bergh
Timothy B. Sailors
Description: This program unit is devoted to the textual criticism of early Jewish and early Christian writings: 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: Given that Australia is home to one of the world's centres of academic Coptic Studies (namely, Macquarie University), as well as two Coptic Orthodox theological colleges, for the 2020 International Meeting at the University of Adelaide we are issuing a call for papers that deal with biblical (Old Testament or New Testament), early Christian, or potentially early Jewish writings preserved in Coptic. Particularly welcome are paper proposals on papyrological, codicological, or scribal issues regarding Coptic material (including ostraca), as well as those investigating text-critical matters, whether entirely within the Coptic tradition itself or for which the Coptic is an important witness among others. In addition, there will also be, as usual, open sessions for papers concentrating on any aspect of the textual criticism of the Bible and/or other early Jewish or Christian writings (in any classical language).

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Ugarit and Its World

Shamir Yona
Shirly Natan Yulzary
Description: The unit explores the ancient city of Ugarit, its culture, cult, texts, history, and material culture. We also have interest in research that uses Ugaritic Studies to shed new light on different aspects of the Hebrew Bible and other ancient Near Eastern texts.

Call for papers: The “Ugarit and its World” section explores the religions, languages, literature, social structure, and economy of the Late Bronze Age kingdom of Ugarit. Situated on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean between Egypt and Hatti, Ugarit was subject to ever-shifting political dynamics. Its location also allowed Ugarit to evolve into a cosmopolitan kingdom. Ugarit is perhaps most famous for its texts that preserve everything from mundane land transactions to lofty mythological literature. The epic and mythological texts, in particular, have drawn a great deal of attention for the thematic and poetic similarities to both contemporary literature and literature in the Hebrew Bible. Therefore, we welcome papers that focus on Ugarit and its contemporaneous context as well as comparative papers that contribute to the field of Hebrew Bible studies. In this section’s inaugural year, we intend to focus somewhat broadly on the interpretation of texts and on cultural aspects of Ugarit.

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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. Since the local committee has decided on a theme of ecology and ecological hermeneutics as a particular focus for the meeting, papers on the biblical perspective on creation, cosmology, divine kingship and the just, responsible, and sustainable use of resources according to the Writings, especially the Psalms, will get preferential treatment. The issue at stake is how the texts found in the Writings can help to change a human culture of exploitation towards one of responsible use, renewal and preservation. Other papers on the Writings are, however, also welcome.

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Christopher Hooker
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Tags: Autobiographical Criticism (Interpretive Approaches), Disability Studies (Interpretive Approaches), Historical Criticism (Interpretive Approaches)
 
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