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Congresses

2020 Annual Meeting

Virtual Meeting

Meeting Begins11/29/2020
Meeting Ends12/10/2020

Call for Papers Opens: 1/7/2020
Call for Papers Closes: 3/11/2020

Requirements for Participation

Program Units

 

Academic Teaching and Biblical Studies

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

Call for papers: Session 1:"Tips for Teaching Biblical Studies Online." We seek brief papers (15 minutes) that provide clear, actionable suggestions for improving online pedagogy. Topic suggestions include: building community online, increasing social presence, making online lessons impactful, and assessments in online education. Special consideration will be given to proposals that model or demonstrate the suggested teaching practice. Session 2: “Best Practices in Teaching Issues of Race and Racism.” We call for papers on best practices in teaching race and racism in biblical studies. We invite presentations pointing attendees to valuable articles, book chapters, and other current scholarship that facilitate student learning on race and racism in biblical studies. Presentations that model a specific approach as opposed to a lecture (e.g., "show us," not "tell us") are also encouraged. Presentations will be 20 minutes. Session 3:“Effective Assessments for Teaching Biblical Studies.” We invite presentations or demonstrations (20 minutes each) on best practices for using learning outcomes-based assessments. In your proposal identify the targeted learning outcomes, a rationale for the effectiveness of your particular assessment providing evidence that the targeted learning outcome has been met, describe or share examples of your assessments, and explain the best practices or innovative ways for using your suggested assessment, including how much time is required to design, build, implement and grade these assessments. Session 4:"10-minute Teaching Tips for Teaching Biblical Studies." What best practices for the Biblical Studies classroom do you have? Propose an engaging 10-minute presentation that models teaching and learning practices based on research and experience, engages the attendees in learning, and shows promise of helping learners develop desirable biblical literature study skills, knowledge, and attitudes. Preference is given to tips for the first day of class.

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African Biblical Hermeneutics

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

Call for papers: 1) Reflections on African Biblical Hermeneutics in Society of Biblical Literature. “For over twenty years, African Biblical Hermeneutics has brought rigorous scholarship to the work of the Society of Biblical Literature. This session will host an invited panel to reflect on the history of this work and propose directions forward. Panelists will be encouraged to engage the contributions of John Mbiti and/or Justin Ukpong in shaping the field of ABH; both of whom have transitioned into the world of ancestors and are now a cloud of witnesses to the work of ABH.”   2) Biblical and African Constructions of Bodies in Light of Human Trafficking issues in Africa. Human trafficking is a phenomenon of historical and contemporary trauma in Africa. This session invites papers on the roles of the Bible and African cultures in identifying, describing and addressing human trafficking in Africa. Particular focus should be on the relation between human trafficking and ideological constructions of bodies, through linguistic nomenclature, stories, division of labour, gendered roles, ethnic and racial stereotypes, etc., in African cinema and other forms of media. 3) Disabilities Studies, the Bible, and African Understandings of Health and Wholeness. This session invites a spectrum of papers on African conceptions of disability. Discussions are welcome on methodological, theological and hermeneutical analyses of the role of the Bible, African cultural myths, stigmatization, and religion in defining and responding to notions of abled, disabled, or differently-abled bodies, as well as mental impairments.  4) African Intertextual Readings of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the New Testament. Intertextuality is now in its “Second Wave” – having begun with inner-biblical intertextuality, it has extended to postbiblical intertextuality. This session invites intertextual and intercontextuality readings of canonical texts within or between the Testaments, from African perspectives.

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African-American Biblical Hermeneutics

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

Call for papers: The African American Biblical Hermeneutics section welcomes proposals for papers on various aspects of engagement with the Bible from the perspective of African American culture, history, literature, or politics. Three (3) sessions are planned for the section in 2020. The first session, “Have Not Our Weary Feet: Reflections on the Work of Randall C. Bailey,” is an invited panel in which scholars present papers treating the many ways the work of Randall C. Bailey, a pioneer in African American Biblical Studies, helped shape the intellectual contours of the guild. This session is co-sponsored with the Minoritized Criticism and Biblical Interpretation committee. The second session welcomes paper proposals on the work of Cain Hope Felder (1943-2019), renowned New Testament scholar, editor of Stony the Road We Trod: African American Biblical Interpretation, and long-time member of the faculty at Princeton Theological Seminary and Howard University School of Divinity. The third session is an open call for paper proposals taking up interdisciplinary discussions advancing the study of African American hermeneutics.

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Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative

Christy Cobb
Eric Vanden Eykel
Description: The Section on Ancient Fiction and Early Jewish and Christian Narrative fosters methodologically diverse analyses of these ancient narratives, including: their interplay and interconnections; socio-cultural contexts; representations of reality, including religion; and narrative form, including plot, character, style, voice, etc.

Call for papers: The Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative section is planning three sessions at the 2020 Annual Meeting. The first will be co-sponsored with the AAR Religion, Affect, and Emotion Unit and will feature invited responses to Maia Kotrosits’s forthcoming monograph, The Lives of Objects: Material Culture, Experience, and the Real in the History of Early Christianity. For the second, we invite proposals that expand upon the theme of material culture, especially as it relates to Greco-Roman, Christian, and/or Jewish narrative. For the third session, we invite proposals on any topic related to the interests of the Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative section. For this session we are particularly interested in papers that address the topic of sexual violence in Early Christian Literature.

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Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible

Izaak J. de Hulster
Joel M. LeMon
Description: This section examines the ways that ancient pictorial material informs interpretations of biblical texts. We welcome papers that explore the relationships between iconographic and textual materials as well as papers that deal exclusively with iconographic issues.

Call for papers: We continue our collaboration with 'Nature Imagery and Conceptions of Nature in the Bible' on the theme 'Conceptions of Nature in Literature and Iconography: Methodological Considerations'. Next to invited papers, we have an open call - some papers might be accepted to the topical session. We also organize an open session and welcome all paper proposal in the area of our program unit for review.

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Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars

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

Call for papers: Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the AABS 2020 program will be held virtually (online by Zoom) on Saturday, November 14, 2020, according to this schedule (all times are given in Eastern Standard Time, EST, e.g., New York; please calculate your local time): 12:30 am – 1:00 pm Meet and Greet; 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Program: Presentations, Response, and Discussion on the topic “Revising Prayer Books with the Bible’s Expansive Language for God”; 2:00 pm-2:15 pm Brief prayer service from a prayer book of the Anglican Communion. There will be no charge for this event, but we appreciate payment of dues. See the AABS website, https://aabs.org/, for more information, to register this fall for our annual meeting (and receive the Zoom link), to read our blog, and to pay dues. Without the constraints of travel, we are looking forward to wider participation than is ordinarily possible. Contact Elizabeth Struthers Malbon (malbon@vt.edu) in the meantime if you have questions or to be added to the AABS email list.

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Apocalypse Now: Apocalyptic Reception and Impact Throughout History

Ana T. Valdez
Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte
Description: Apocalypse Now is conceived as an interdisciplinary research group aiming to analyze the effective history of biblical and related apocalyptic literature (Daniel, Revelation, Enoch etc.) in the creation, establishment, and development of eschatological groups from antiquity to the present within the Abrahamic traditions, and in particular those of apocalyptic nature. It is of much interest to our work to observe how those groups developed networks of eschatological nature throughout history that can be found today at the basis of some social and political movements. By analysing in tandem the nature of the different groups over the centuries and how eschatological hope circulated among them at different moments, this research unit aims to foster and develop new interpretation theories that can lead to a better understanding of the use of apocalyptic expectations in the 21st century, and in particular, of the processes that led apocalypticism to take peaceful and/or violent forms.

Call for papers: In the second year of this seminar (2020), the focus will be on evil protagonists (or: antagonists) in eschatological scenarios, eschatological figures, such as the Antichrist, the Lamb, the Mahdi, the two martyrs, the emperor, et cetera. How are these figures shaped in the sources at our disposal? What is the role they play in the eschatological narrative-building process? The methodology of this seminar intends to focus on the interplay of three elements in particular: 1) authoritative texts and/or traditions used by a particular group in particular texts; 2) the ways in which existing materials are combined and harmonized; 3) the relation to the perceived crisis depicted in the text(s) under scrutiny. This methodology leads to questions such as these: Which existing traditional apocalyptic materials are incorporated in the description(s) of the occurrence of such an antithetical-figure? How does the harmonization of existing traditions lead to a renewal of eschatological motifs? What is the function of these figures in the rhetoric of the eschatological discourse in which they play a role? In 2020, the seminar will organise two sessions: one closed session for which the presenters will be invited, and one open session where scholars may apply for participation. Please make sure to focus on antichrist-figures and look for the roots of the incorporated traditions, for their rhetorical function, and for the way(s) in which their figures are contextualized in the eschatological setting that the group under scrutiny assumes.

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Aramaic Studies

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

Call for papers: The Aramaic Studies Section invites papers on any aspect of Aramaic language, texts, and culture. We welcome presentations on Targumim, Qumran Aramaic texts, Syriac language and literature, Samaritan papyri, Biblical Aramaic, Elephantine Aramaic, magical texts, and other topics. In addition, for the 2020 meeting we especially invite papers on Aramaic inscriptions (ranging from Old Aramaic to Palmyrene, Hatrene, Nabatean, and Old and Classical Syriac). We also invite contributions for a session on the subject of code-switching, which will be hosted jointly with the SBL program unit on History and Literature of Early Rabbinic Judaism.

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Archaeology of Religion in the Roman World

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

Call for papers: The Archaeology of Religion in the Roman World (ARRW) welcomes any paper proposal that substantially addresses material culture and religious activity. ARRW is also interested in papers that address the following themes: 1. Epigraphy and Religion: for this session we seek innovative investigations of the various interactions and relations between epigraphy and religion in the Roman world. Papers might examine the role of epigraphy as evidence for religion, the role of epigraphy in religion, or perhaps the ways that epigraphy complicates or contradicts our understanding of ancient religions from other sources. 2. Translating Archaeology: for this session, we seek papers that tackle the difficult problem of understanding and translating technical architectural and other building terms from various ancient languages. 3. Minoritized Criticism and the Archaeology of Religion in the Roman World: for this session we seek papers that address the archaeology of religions in the Roman world from the perspective of minoritized criticism—including the evaluation and assessment of the discipline of the archaeology of religion or critiques of the understandings of ancient religions built from archaeological evidence from a minoritized perspective, broadly construed.

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Archaeology of Roman Palestine

Dennis Mizzi
Matthew J. Grey
Description: This program unit explores the socio-political, economic, cultural, and religious history of Roman Palestine (ca. first century BCE to fifth century CE) through its material remains. The goal is to emphasize the importance of archaeology as an independent source of evidence for the study of early Judaism and Christianity.

Call for papers: This program unit explores the socio-political, economic, cultural, and religious history of Roman Palestine (ca. first century BCE to fifth century CE) through its material remains. The goal is to emphasize the importance of archaeology as an independent source of evidence for the study of early Judaism and Christianity.

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Archaeology of the Biblical World

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

Call for papers: In 2020 Archaeology of the Biblical World will host an invited panel and at least one open session. Broadly construed, the "Biblical World" includes the time periods and geographies associated with the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. The unit welcomes proposals that use archaeology in conjunction with biblical studies in order to explicate a historical context, a particular passage, or some cultural element associated with the biblical world. Additionally, we welcome studies and results from archaeological projects that are concerned with sites or material culture related to the biblical world. All submissions must be in accordance with the SBL Policy on Scholarly Presentation and Publication of Artifacts. Specific questions regarding submissions for which these issues are relevant should be brought to the chairs. - See more at: https://www.sbl-site.org/assets/pdfs/SBL-Artifacts-Policy_20160903.pdf

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Art and Religions of Antiquity

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

Call for papers: The Art and Religions of Antiquity is planning three open sessions for the 2020 Annual Meeting:

The Art of the Assemblage: Altars, Mixtures, and Other Odd Juxtapositions (session co-sponsored by Greco-Roman Religions)
We invite papers that discuss juxtapositions of images, objects, and features at focal points of religious activity—altars bedecked with votives, candles, and saints’ images; combinations of symbols in mosaics and paintings; bricolages in gems and amulets; lararia and reliquaries; combinations in ritual performances. We invite exploration of juxtaposition, the mutual influencing of images, and the gaining of meaning (and even agency) through relationship to other things. We also welcome proposals and papers that engage with some particular theoretical reading.

Art at the Boundaries: Heresy, Apocrypha, and the Margins in Material Religion
We invite papers examining visual art and material culture indicative of practices, theologies, or traditions that have been classed as socially/religiously marginal. Papers should be mindful of whose viewpoint defines the “margins,” and address how the material examined performs such functions as asserting socio-religious identity, constructing/contesting orthodoxy and heresy, or forming canon and community.

Depictions of Animals and Other Zoomorphic Creatures in the Art of Religions of Antiquity
We invite papers that explore the artistic depictions of animals, hybrid animals, monsters, sea creatures, demonic animals, or zoomorphic angels—beings that may fit into the categories of natural, supernatural, mythological, or metaphorical. They may also be defined by their function: decorative, beneficial, terrifying, evil, symbolic, etc. We intentionally leave open other questions and parameters in order to welcome a wide variety of paper proposals.

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Asian and Asian-American Hermeneutics

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

Call for papers: The Asian and Asian American Hermeneutics Seminar invites proposals for papers relating to reading/interpreting the Bible and other sacred texts in, from, as well as to Asian and Asian American contexts and communities. We welcome papers that examine issues involved in interpretation and hermeneutics, as well as papers that offer readings of specific texts and passages from Asian or Asian American perspectives. We are especially interested in papers dealing with family, race, nationalism, migration, and sexuality. Both experienced and first-time presenters are encouraged to submit proposals. There will be two further sessions: 1. "Talk with the President", an invited panel to respond to the 2019 presidential address by Gale Yee (forthcoming in the Journal of Biblical Literature). This will be a joint session with 'Contextual Biblical Interpretation', 'Islands, Islanders, and Scriptures', 'Minoritized Criticism and Biblical Interpretation' and 'Postcolonial Studies and Biblical Studies'. 2.This program unit cosponsors an invited panel reviewing "Minoritized Women Reading Race and Ethnicity: Intersectional Approaches to Constructed Identity and Early Christian Texts," edited by Mitzi Smith and Jin Young Choi. This will be a joint session with 'Feminist Hermeneutics of the Bible,' 'Latino/a and Latin American Biblical Interpretation,' and 'Minoritized Criticism and Biblical Interpretation' program units.

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Assyriology and the Bible

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

Call for papers: In Boston, the Assyriology and the Bible Section will co-host an invited session together with Hebrew Scriptures and Cognate Literature. Invited speakers will address the question of the contribution of biblical studies to Assyriology, with attention to the history of research, methodology (historical, literary, text critical), and specific case studies. Additionally, Assyriology and the Bible will host open sessions, for which we accept proposals on any subject related to the study of both Assyriology and the Bible.

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Bible and Emotion

Amy Cottrill
Kathy Barrett Dawson
Description: This section focuses on understanding the spectrum of emotions displayed throughout the Bible in their literary and cultural contexts, informed by the burgeoning cross-disciplinary study of emotion in contemporary philosophy, psychology, literary theory, linguistics, neuroscience, politics, economics and other fields.

Call for papers: The Bible and Emotion Group will host two sessions in 2020. First, the Bible and Emotion and the Prayer in Antiquity sections are hosting a joint session on the topic of prayer and emotion in antiquity. Relevant questions of interest include: How are emotions described and expressed in prayers? What role do emotions have in the experiencing of prayers at the individual or group level? What are the best approaches for examining prayer and emotion in antiquity? What role do emotions play in how a prayer might participate in the formation of the self? Proposals should move beyond a strictly form-critical understanding of prayers and give an explicit description of the approach being used. Papers evaluating and assessing one or more methods to use for studying prayer and emotion are especially welcome. Selected papers will have an invited respondent. The second session is OPEN. We invite proposals related to critical study of emotion across the full range of biblical literature and closely related literature. We are interested in papers that examine divine and/or human emotions in a biblical text, set of texts, book, or genre.

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Bible and Film

Rhonda Burnette-Bletsch
Description: This unit focuses on the critical analysis and interpretation of the multiple intersections between Bible and Cinema. Our focus is broad, giving attention to “Bible films” (“Bible on Film”), the use and treatment of biblical texts in films (“Bible in Film”), how films and biblical texts can function in analogous ways (“Bible as Film” / “Film as Bible”), and how Bible and Film can be placed into mutually critical dialogue. We explore how biblical texts can enhance our understanding of cinema, and how films can offer lenses for helping us (re)interpret biblical texts. In short, we welcome papers that seek to illuminate our understanding of Bible, Film, or both. (This unit was titled Scripture and Film through 2013).

Call for papers: We invite papers for one or two open sessions on any subject pertaining to Bible and Film (both broadly construed). The presentations should speak to biblical reception in film. While we welcome papers on popular and blockbuster films, we are particularly interested in non-Hollywood films and films that might expose political/social corruption or provoke political/social action. For a joint session with the Use, Influence, and Impact of the Bible Unit, we especially welcome papers that consider theoretical approaches to biblical reception in film, constructively compare different cinematic receptions of particular texts, or engage with films outside of the Hollywood mainstream. All proposals should make clear how the presenter will establish a dialogue between a given film and biblical text as well as how this dialogue enriches our interpretation of each. Please note that we expect presenters to incorporate film clips into all presentations. We are also committed to insuring diversity among our presenters as well as diversity of subject matter in terms of global cinema.

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Bible and Popular Culture

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

Call for papers: The Bible and Popular Culture Unit will host four sessions in 2020. Our first session is a joint session with the AAR’s Religion and Popular Culture Unit exploring the influence, artistry, and cultural impact of Kanye West. We invite analyses of West (through, for instance, his lyrics/music/albums, videos, religious services, and branding) and his international cultural impact through a range of methodologies, including textual criticism; biblical reception studies; ethnography; ritual and media studies; and other approaches that critically examine West’s use of Bible and biblical/religious imagery and the impact of his oeuvre on contemporary religion and popular culture. Our second session is co-sponsored with the Biblical Literature and the Hermeneutics of Trauma Program Unit, and is an open session on the intersection between biblical texts, popular culture, and trauma. Topics could include, but are not limited to, embodied trauma in biblical and popular texts, the reception history of biblical texts of trauma in popular culture, or the inter-generational imprint of trauma in biblical and popular texts. Our third session is an invited session on rape culture and the Bible entitled "The Bible and the Violent Weight of Whiteness," organized with the Shiloh Project and co-sponsored by the Gender, Sexuality, and the Bible Program Unit. Our fourth session is an open session, and we invite proposals for papers focusing on any aspect of the reciprocal relationship between the Bible and popular culture.

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Bible and Practical Theology

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

Call for papers: Session I- A Joint Session with AAR Evangelical Group- "The intersection of Bible and the United States 2020 Politics": We invite papers that intersect (a) biblical readings, (b) American religious life, and (c) USA 2020 politics. Acknowledging that religion and, particularly, Evangelicalism has a significant role in the USA elections and also that biblical readings have fostered the political aspirations of the Evangelical church theological imaginary, we invite papers that address this tripartite intersectionality. Session II- Themed Session: "Moral Injury and/or Trauma, the Bible, and Practical Theology": Papers may include but are not limited to military ethics, gender politics, or racial economic injustice. Interdisciplinary collegial presentations are encouraged but not required. Session III- Open session: We invite papers on any issue emerging out of the intersections of biblical interpretation and practical theology (liturgy, formation, education, administration, pastoral care, and public theology) that encourages relational and interactive readings of both human situations and biblical texts. Interdisciplinary collegial presentations are encouraged but not required.

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Bible and Visual Art

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

Call for papers: The Bible and Visual Art section welcomes submissions for the following three sessions at the Annual Meeting in 2020: (1) We invite proposals on topics that relate to paintings, sculpture, and other forms of biblical art in public spaces in the Boston area, especially the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Harvard Art Museums. (2) For our open session, we invite proposals that fall within our broad purpose: to explore historical, hermeneutical, theological, iconographic and/or theoretical aspects related to the interpretation of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures in visual art through the centuries. (3) Our third session will be a joint session with the Gospel of Luke section. This session will include both invited papers and some selected through the call for papers. We therefore invite proposals exploring Lukan characters, scenes, or motifs in visual art. In addition to these three sessions, we will also be hosting a joint session with the Wisdom in Israelite and Cognate Traditions section, with invited speakers only.

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Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory

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

Call for papers: Myth as a category is sometimes opposed to history (a narrative purporting to relate past events). Yet myth can be written in a variety of genres, including historiography. Our first session invites papers that reflect upon myths written in historiographical form, or myths purporting to relate events that “really happened” in the past. We are especially interested in the rhetorical and ideological import of these “historiographical myths” and encourage deep theoretical reflection on how myths sometimes function as history and how history can at times function as myth. We encourage participants from diverse specializations—including ANE literature and Greco-Roman religions—who employ a range of methodologies. Our second session, co-sponsored by the Nag Hamaddi and Gnosticism section, solicits papers that study extant Gnostic literature (including but not limited to works attributed to Classic or Sethian Gnostics, Valentinians, and related alternative Christian movements) using methodologies conventionally employed in the study of ancient myth. Paper proposals might be comparative in scope, bringing specific aspects of Gnostic myth into dialogue with other classical or ancient near eastern myths. Alternatively, they might engage in deep theoretical reflection on Gnostic myth as myth. Complementary and divergent approaches are possible as well, of course, provided they focus on myth as a key feature of Gnostic religion and literature.

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Biblical Archaeology Society

Robert R. Cargill
Description: The Biblical Archaeology Society (BAS) was founded in 1974 as a nonprofit, nondenominational, educational organization dedicated to the dissemination of information about archaeology in the Bible lands. BAS educates the public about archaeology and the Bible through its bi-monthly magazine, Biblical Archaeology Review, an award-winning web site, books and DVDs, and tours and seminars. Our readers rely on us to present the latest that scholarship has to offer in a fair and accessible manner. BAS serves as an important authority and as an invaluable source of reliable information.

Call for papers: The Biblical Archaeology Society (BAS) was founded in 1974 as a nonprofit, nondenominational, educational organization dedicated to the dissemination of information about archaeology in the Bible lands. BAS educates the public about archaeology and the Bible through its bi-monthly magazine, Biblical Archaeology Review, an award-winning web site, books and DVDs, and tours and seminars. Our readers rely on us to present the latest that scholarship has to offer in a fair and accessible manner. BAS serves as an important authority and as an invaluable source of reliable information.

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Biblical Ethics

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

Call for papers: The Biblical Ethics unit aims to bring together exegetes of both the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and New Testament to explore ethical issues as they relate to both Testaments. In this space, exegetes can discuss the similarities, differences, and intertextual connections between the various ethical traditions in biblical literature and their respective contexts. The Biblical Ethics unit will have two sessions at the 2020 meeting in Boston, of which one will be an open session on the theme of the “ethics of peacemaking”. Peacemaking is arguably an important value and ethic in both the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and New Testament. This topic is also of vital importance in our contemporary global, inter-religious world. The focus of this session is to explore ethical foundations, strategies and examples of peacemaking in Scripture. Papers should address specific examples of strategies of peacemaking and non-violent conflict resolution as well as engage intertextual connections of the theme within the biblical canon.

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Biblical Exegesis from Eastern Orthodox Perspectives

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

Call for papers: We welcome proposals on the following topics: 1. Image of God in Paul, Middle-Platonism, and the early Fathers (joint session with the Pauline Letters Unit): References to the concept of creation "according to the image of God" in the Septuagint translation of Gen 1:26 and its reception by Hellenistic-Jewish authors presuppose a broad cultural discourse between biblical and Hellenistic philosophical traditions. This session will focus on the way Paul and the Pauline school draw on this discourse and create new concepts by interpreting the "eikon theou" notion against new Christological backgrounds. The research papers will be expected also to consider the voices of ancient philosophers and exegetes of Paul. 2. Fresh Perspectives on John Chrysostom as Biblical Exegete: John Chrysostom is the most celebrated exegete in Eastern Orthodox traditions. An increasing number of scholars describe John Chrysostom's profile as that of a son of both 4th century Christianity and Hellenism who conceives of exegesis as a kind of care for the soul. This session invites papers that consider current scholarly debates on John Chrysostom and reconstruct his exegetical background, techniques, and strategies. 3. Divine Plurality in the Hebrew Bible/Septuagint and its Christian interpreters: We invite abstracts on the identification of Jesus with the God of the Hebrew Scriptures, not only in theological treatises and exegetical texts, but especially in hymnography and iconography. How does this “liturgical exegesis” express the relationship between the Father and the Son on the basis of Scripture? 4. On the occasion of the recent critical edition and German translation of short chronographic Paleia (Die Kurze Chronographische Paleja, Gütersloh 2019), we solicit proposals which examine the impact of these Slavonic literary traditions on the study of the Pseudepigrapha and Eastern Orthodox Hermeneutics (Joint Session with the Pseudepigrapha Unit).

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

Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics

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

Call for papers: The Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics Section invites members to present a paper that utilizes linguistics to study the biblical text, and to submit their proposal through the online system before the call deadline of March 11, 2020. Proposals are to consist of a 1-2 page description of the paper, should include bibliographic resources, and make clear the theoretical framework that is being employed in that paper. In addition, proposers (both full- and student-members) who have not previously presented in this section of the SBL Annual Meeting must submit their full paper to the program unit co-chairs by February 14, 2020. Please note that papers must be of such a length that they can be presented within 25 minutes, so as to allow for 5 minutes of response and discussion after each presentation. This section will have at least one themed session, on a topic currently being specified. However, any other papers that further contribute to the discussion of the Greek of the Bible and using a clearly articulated theoretical framework will be considered for the open session.

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Biblical Hebrew Poetry

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

Call for papers: Our section will be holding four sessions: (1) Blessings and Curses, (2) Reading Poetic Texts Disruptively (cosponsored by Biblical Hebrew Poetry & Feminist Hermeneutics of the Bible), and (3-4) two general sessions. Session (1): Blessing and cursing are performative speech acts and vehicles of communication. Blessing and cursing speak life and death into the ears of the objects thereof. Blessing and cursing saturate a large swath of poetry in the Bible. The session on blessing and cursing in ancient Hebrew poetry and beyond will consist of two invited papers, two submitted papers, followed by a prepared response and a Q&A. Accepted papers must be submitted in final draft by August 31, 2020. Session (2): Reading Poetic Texts Disruptively: Moving beyond simple appreciation of the artfulness of Hebrew and NT poetic texts, how might we read biblical poetry disruptively in the context of the twenty-first century globalized world? Which features of poetic signifying may be fruitfully deconstructed, resisted, or refigured in transgressive ways in arenas having to do with agency, borderlands, diaspora, embodiment, gender, indigeneity, interiority, marginality, memory, sexuality, suffering, or social hierarchy? This invited panel will explore the possibilities afforded by radically disruptive readings of biblical poetry. Sessions (3-4): General papers regarding any aspect of biblical poetry. All papers are welcome, but we are particularly interested in the topic of how space is represented in poetry whether figurative or literal.

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Biblical Law

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

Call for papers: The Biblical Law section invites proposals for two open sessions on any aspect of the study of biblical law, including work related to cuneiform documents, the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Second Temple Literature, questions of pentateuchal criticism, legal history, gender analysis, social-scientific analysis, and newer methodologies. Together with the Deuteronomy section, we will be co-sponsoring a session of invited papers on the topic of "Is Deuteronomy Law?"

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Biblical Lexicography

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

Call for papers: The Section brings together those working on lexicography and lexicology of ancient biblical languages. The discussions seek to bring the theoretical to bear on the practical task of dictionary making and encourage research in the area of historical lexical analysis. The Biblical Lexicography Section is seeking proposals on relevant topics for the 2020 Annual Meeting. We will host an invited session on "Practical Lexicography" which will explore new avenues and sources for Greek and Hebrew lexicography We welcome paper proposals for two further open sessions on subjects of relevance to the lexicography and semantics of Hebrew, Greek or other biblical languages.

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Biblical Literature and the Hermeneutics of Trauma

David G. Garber, Jr.
LeAnn Snow Flesher
Description: This unit studies methods for employing various definitions of trauma to interpret particular sets of biblical and extra-canonical texts, giving attention to the relationship between personal and communal dimensions of trauma, and to applying biblical interpretation in other theological disciplines.

Call for papers: The topics for 2020 are: 1) Session 1 is an OPEN joint session developed with the “Book of Daniel” program unit and will explore the interpretive intersections of Daniel traditions and trauma studies. Papers may use any Daniel tradition—canonical, pre-canonical, or non-canonical—as a departure point for exploring how the materials relate to historical moments of trauma in specific times, places, and locales or speak into ongoing experiences and perceptions of trauma in lives and communities. The thematic session will conclude with an invited respondent. 2) Session 2 is an OPEN joint session developed with the "Bible and Popular Culture" program unit. We are inviting paper proposals on the intersection between biblical literature and popular culture from the perspective of trauma. Topics could include, but are not limited to: comparative approaches to embodied trauma in biblical literature and popular texts (e.g., film, television, music, graphic novels, theater, fan culture, etc.), the reception history of biblical texts of trauma within popular culture, or the inter-generational imprint of trauma in both biblical literature and popular texts. 3) The third session will consist of invited papers. This session will be a roundtable discussion of recently published works on moral injury that interface with biblical and theological studies. The authors of the books will briefly discuss their works, two scholars of trauma from outside biblical studies will offer responses, and there will be time for panel and audience open discussion.

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Book History and Biblical Literatures

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

Call for papers: This unit investigates how insights from Book History illuminate scriptural literatures. We gather scholars of Hebrew Bible/ANE, Judaism, Christianity, Nag Hammadi, Syriac studies, and modernity in a theoretical and historical conversation about the culturally contingent concepts of text, authorship, readership, publication, and materiality. In 2020, we will host one invited panel in collaboration with the scholars participating in the Oslo Centre for Advanced Study year-long project, "Books Known Only By Title." Participants will share the preliminary findings of their research into the postulated books of the first millennium library, exploring questions of literary imagination, transmission, ascription and gender. The second session will be held with the sections on Philology in Hebrew Studies and Masoretic Studies. Questions to be addressed are: what were the Masoretes and later medieval annotators doing with the Bible as a text through their use of marginalia, and what sort of product were they producing and for what purposes? There will be a few invited participants, but the session will be open to additional papers as well. Our third panel is also a mix of invited and submitted papers. This is a book review panel of Sidnie White Crawford's Scribes and Scrolls at Qurman. We are particularly interested in hearing from scholars in related areas reflect on how Crawford's insights have sparked new trajectories in their own research. Our final open panel will be on the theme of the archaeology of book history. Building on the themes of previous years, we are looking for papers that treat book history as an aspect of material culture and an archaeology of knowledge. What do the stories we tell about finding texts have to teach us about the practices of reading and writing in antiquity--and even our own practices, as well? How do the ways we have narrativized the archaeology of texts shape the ways in which we read them?

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Book of Acts

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

Call for papers: The Book of Acts section invites submissions for an open session covering any aspect of research related to the Acts of the Apostles, including (e.g.) textual, theological, narratival, historical, reception-historical, exegetical, social-scientific, and postcolonial approaches. Proposals for papers that engage in reading Acts with new, minoritized, or multiperspectival approaches are especially welcome. The section also plans to host two additional sessions composed of invited papers, respondents, and open discussion: (1) "Wealth and Poverty in Luke-Acts, Revisited," sponsored jointly with the Economics in the Biblical World and Gospel of Luke sections, and (2) “Characterization in Acts.”

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Book of Daniel

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

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

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Book of Deuteronomy

Bill T. Arnold
Harald Samuel
Description: This unit provides a forum for the discussion of Deuteronomy as a book, its origins and growth, as well as its reception by different groups of readers in antiquity.

Call for papers: At the 2020 meeting the Biblical Law and Book of Deuteronomy Program Units will host a joint session of invited papers: “Is Deuteronomy Law?” The session explores the ways in which law and narrative interact in the Book of Deuteronomy. The laws themselves draw attention to their narrative qualities as they describe cases and prescribe outcomes. At times, they refer to national history. More broadly, how does consideration of the narrative context affect our understanding of what appears to be legislation? Indeed, in context, can it be called legislation at all? Furthermore we will host one to two open sessions. For this we welcome proposals on any aspect of Deuteronomy, particularly on its literary history and development. We especially encourage submissions which touch upon similar topics to the invited session.

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Book of Psalms

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

Call for papers: The Book of Psalms Unit invites proposals for the following sessions: Enemies in the Reception History of the Psalms – four or five papers accepted. The Re-telling of the Samuel Narratives in the Psalms – a joint session with the Book of Samuel Unit exploring David in the Samuel Narratives and the Book of Psalms (including but not limited to Psalms 51-70). Likely, up to two papers accepted by the Book of Psalms unit (with two accepted by the Book of Samuel unit). Open Session – up to five papers accepted. Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Prayer Book of the Bible After 80 Years – a joint session with the AAR “Bonhoeffer: Theology and Social Analysis” program unit exploring aspects of Bonhoeffer’s book on the eightieth anniversary of its publication.

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Book of Samuel: Narrative, Theology, and Interpretation

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

Call for papers: At the 2020 meeting, the following sessions are planned: 1. Open sessions with papers on any aspect of narrative, theology or interpretation in the book of Samuel; there is an open call for papers for this session and submissions are welcome; 2. A joint session with Biblical Ethics exploring ethical, feminist, and theological approaches to sexual violence against women in the Book of Samuel; 3. A joint session with Book of Psalms exploring intertextual readings of Samuel and the Psalter.

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

Book of the Twelve Prophets

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

Call for papers: For the Annual Meeting in 2020, the Book of the Twelve Prophets Section will organize three sessions: an open session, an invited session about “The Book of the Four: Revisiting the Consensus,” and an invited session on the theological / ideological presentations of God in the Book of the Twelve. For the open session we invite papers investigating issues related to any text or texts within the Minor Prophets, with preference given to papers that address the formation or interrelatedness of the Minor Prophets as a literary corpus.

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Children in the Biblical World

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

Call for papers: The Children in the Biblical World section will sponsor three sessions in 2020. The first will be an open session. We invite submission on any topic related to children and the Bible, the ancient world, or how biblical texts affect children in the post-biblical world. Papers in the second session will explore the role of children in religion, specifically within the context of worship, the domestic cult, the Temple, synagogue, or church life. Papers may focus on children as members of an Israelite or Jewish community, an early Christian community, a diaspora community, or other migrant community. Finally, there will be joint-sessions with the “Israelite Prophetic Literature” section (these sessions will include some invited papers, but additional proposals are welcomed). “Violence against Women and/or Children within the Prophetic Texts”: This joint-session will focus on violence against women and/or children, particularly within the prophetic texts of the Hebrew Bible. Especially welcomed are papers that give voice to the silent or silenced victims, or objects of violence in the texts. Papers pertaining to the relevant interdisciplinary issues are welcomed as well.

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Christian Apocrypha

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

Call for papers: The Christian Apocrypha program unit will host four sessions on a diverse array of topics and texts for the 2020 Annual Meeting. Two sessions will be invited panels: The first will be co-sponsored by "Beyond Canon: Heterotopias of Religious Authority in Ancient Christianity." This session will feature fellows from the institute and their work on literary and material traditions beyond the biblical canon, especially concerning their significance in the ritual life of churches. The second session will be a discussion panel on the second volume of Tony Burke's New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures (Eerdmans, 2020) and showcase a number of lesser-known apocryphal texts and their place in biblical history. For the third session, co-sponsored by the Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism program unit, we invite proposals on any topic on Coptic Apocryphal texts. For our fourth session, we invite proposals on any topic pertaining to the study of apocryphal texts.

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Christian Theology and the Bible

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

Call for papers: The Christian Theology and the Bible section will be hosting three sessions. 1. The first is an invited panel co-sponsored with the Matthew section, and it will focus on interpreting the women in Matthew, with a special emphasis on women interpreting the women in Matthew, especially from a theological perspective. 2. Our second session is an open session co-sponsored with the Postcolonial Studies and Biblical Studies section. This session continues our series exploring the significance of geography in the Bible by reflecting on Boston as a colonial site, and calls for paper proposals on the role of the Bible in Christian theology’s colonial impulse, as well as how postcolonial interpretations of the Bible do (or can) intersect with Christian theology. 3. The third session is an invited book review panel of Garrett Green’s book Imagining Theology: Encounters with God in Scripture, Interpretation, and Aesthetics (Baker Academic, Spring 2020).

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Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah

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

Call for papers: The Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah program unit will be running three sessions in Boston in 2020. First, we will have an invited panel on Chronicles and memory. Second, we will have an invited review panel for Israel Finkelstein’s book Hasmonean Realities Behind Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles. Third, we are accepting proposals for an open panel on any topic relevant to the critical study of Chronicles and/or Ezra-Nehemiah. We especially encourage early-career scholars to submit proposals to the open session.

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Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Interpretation

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

Call for papers: For the Annual Meeting in Boston 2020 we will host two sessions: an open session on cognitive linguistics and biblical interpretation in general, and an open, themed session on cognitive linguistics and Bible translation. Both sessions seek to apply findings from cognitive linguistics to biblical interpretation. In particular, our focus is on how various methodological approaches from cognitive theory enable contemporary scholars to understand and interact with ancient texts. 

Call for Papers for the Open Session: Papers should use and explore at least one cognitive linguistic method to study a biblical text or corpus. Possible approaches include, for example, conceptual metaphor theory, prototype theory, frame semantics, construction grammar, or viewpoint analysis. Papers are required to go beyond methodological reflection by including exegetical and linguistic results. 

Call for Papers for the Themed Session 'Cognitive Linguistics and the Translation of Biblical Texts': This session focuses on how cognitive resources (for example: frames or constructions) can enhance the study of translation issues in a discrete biblical text. 

Successful proposals indicate which cognitive linguistic models and/or method(s) are used. They should include a bibliography, and they should reveal the author’s assessment of both the payoffs and the challenges of using the chosen methods for analyzing biblical material. Scholars and students new to the field of Cognitive Linguistics are encouraged to submit proposals for papers.

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Comparative Method in Biblical Studies

Amy L. Balogh
Tammi J. Schneider
Description: Comparative Method in Biblical Studies (CMBS) is designed to develop the skill set and critical attention necessary for intellectually and ethically robust approaches to comparison. CMBS examines and critiques approaches to comparative methodology, explores ethical questions, and offers practical suggestions for improving comparison within biblical studies and to other literatures and scriptural traditions.

Call for papers: Since 2020 marks the inaugural year of the Comparative Method in Biblical Studies session, all papers will be given by invitation only. Starting with the 2021 Call for Proposals, we look forward to receiving abstracts from all areas of Biblical (and related) Studies. For more information, please contact Dr. Amy Balogh using the link above.

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Contextual Biblical Interpretation

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

Call for papers: We welcome papers that examine biblical texts or methodology while explicitly engaging a reader’s contemporary context. (1) An open session invites papers that explore how LGBTQIA+ contextualized readings are being used to foster community engagement and activism. This includes LGBTQIA+ bible studies and community textual readings, activist engagements with texts, uses of contextualized readings to respond to violence and trauma experienced by LGBTQIA+ communities, the use of texts in broader activist contexts, etc. (2) A joint session with Ecological Hermeneutics, “Land and Home as Threatened,” welcomes proposals on ecologically oriented, contextually informed interpretations rooted in the impact on human, plant and animal habitat (“home”) of matters such as residence, migration/immigration (broader than occupation), along with the structures, human and natural, that drive these movements, and contemporary threats, such as “climate change,” “natural” disasters, or power/economic interests.  Of particular interest are the ways texts are used to resist or validate destruction and violence against parts of creation, both human and non-human. (3) An open session exploring “unexamined contexts” - those contexts taken for granted even when readers try to make explicit their contemporary contexts. We are particularly interested in intersectional aspects of interpreter’s contexts and how they navigate them in interpretations. How are gender expression, sexuality, race/ethnicity, white privilege, socio-economic status, geographic location, political position, etc. present in interpretations and where are certain contexts erased? Why is there resistance to contextualizing these contexts? What are the pitfalls of doing intersectional contextuality? How might our (lack of) response to hidden contexts expand/limit scholarship? (4) We join other program units in a "Talk with the President” session. See Asian and Asian American Hermeneutics Call for Papers for more information.

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Contextualizing North African Christianity

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

Call for papers: This year, we are sponsoring three sessions. We invite proposals for the session entitled Prophets and Prophecy in North African Christianity. Submissions may examine either the reception of biblical prophets (books or individuals) or the phenomenon of prophecy then current in North Africa. Papers may focus on a single text or author, or trace a character or theme through a variety of sources. The second session will continue our professional seminar series designed to better equip scholars of North African Christianity and Religion in Late Antiquity more broadly in the use of material culture in their research and teaching. This year’s session will focus on epigraphy. It will feature invited papers by experienced scholars in the epigraphy and material culture of North Africa, concluding with a panel discussion and Q&A. Our final session is co-sponsored with the AAR Augustine and Augustinianisms Unit. This will be an interview with James K. A. Smith on the questions raised by his bestselling On the Road with Saint Augustine: A Real-World Spirituality for Restless Hearts (Brazos, 2019). Smith takes Augustine as his guide to problems that perplexed Augustine and still challenge us such as ambition, sex, friendship, faith, freedom, justice, parenting, and death. While explaining his own journey in the footsteps of Augustine, Smith will also explore further how others may do the same in our time. Papers are not invited for this session.

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Corpus Hellenisticum Novi Testamenti

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

Call for papers: For the 2020 Annual Meeting, the Corpus Hellenisticum Novi Testamenti Section is planning invited sessions on the following topics: (1) Choice, Change, Conversion: a continuation of the celebration of the scholarship of A. D. Nock begun in Denver (2018) and San Diego (2019); (2) The Quran and Early Christian Literature: Overview and Critical Questions; and (3) Celebrating Harold Attridge. In addition, (4) CHNT will cosponsor a session on Ancient Gynecological Theories with the Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World Section (see its call for papers).

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Cultic Personnel in the Biblical World

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

Call for papers: The Cultic Personnel in the Biblical World section will be sponsoring two sessions at the 2020 annual meeting. The first will be on asceticism and cultic personnel. This session will include a mix of invited and submitted papers on the subject of asceticism from the perspectives of economics and poverty. The second will be an open session; proposals may be on any topic related to cultic personnel in the biblical world, broadly construed.

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Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature

Barbara Schmitz
Frank Ueberschaer
Description: The unit provides a forum for the deuterocanonical writings. The goal is to foster academic research, stimulate discussions among scholars, and promote interest in these texts.

Call for papers: The Experience of the Other: Inclusion, Exclusion, and Judeophobia: In two of the 2020 sessions, we want to explore the dynamics of inclusion, exclusion, and Judeophobia as represented in Deuterocanonical and cognate literature. Papers that deal with either one or both of the following perspectives are encouraged to be submitted: 1. Papers that deal with texts that describe how members of Jewish communities have defined their own distinctive identity in opposition to “others,” with whom they shared a common context and may have interacted in social processes. 2. Papers that bring the perspective of the “others” to the foreground and deal with the evidence for either the inclusion of Jewish communities in pagan societies or their rejection, whether through stigmatization, for instance, or the use of violence. 3. Finally, papers in which the tension between inclusion and exclusion can be seen both from an internal or external perception. One session will be a joint session with the “Philo of Alexandria” unit, and one session will be open for papers on further research on Deuterocanonical and cognate literature.

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

Deuteronomistic History

Jeremy Hutton
Mahri Leonard-Fleckman
Description: This unit is a forum for scholarship pertaining to the books of Deuteronomy and the Former Prophets (Joshua–Kings). Papers may treat material in one or more of these books or in the collection as a whole. Relevant foci include literary history and compositional techniques; theological trends exemplified in the texts; the social and historical milieu or milieus in which they were produced; as well as connections among one or more of these books, whether topical, chronological, or linguistic.

Call for papers: The Deuteronomistic History section invites abstracts for papers pertaining to the books of Deuteronomy and the Former Prophets (Joshua–Kings). Papers may treat material in one or more of these books or in the collection as a whole. Relevant foci include literary history and compositional techniques; theological trends exemplified in the texts; the social and historical milieu or milieus in which they were produced; as well as connections among one or more of these books, whether topical, chronological, or linguistic. In addition to one or more open session(s), the Deuteronomistic History section will be organizing two special sessions, both of which will be populated by invited papers: (1) The first, organized by the DtrH section, will explore issues of kinship and state formation, as they emerge from the Deuteronomistic History. (2) The second, organized in cooperation with the Historiography and the Hebrew Bible section, will explore the use of terms such as “core,” “kernel,” “original,” and “older traditions” in diachronic studies of the Bible.

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Development of Early Christian Theology

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

Call for papers:

In 2020 our program unit is sponsoring two open-call sessions:

1. Biblical Exegesis & the Development of Christological Doctrine. The early Christological debates are primary sites for investigating the biblical dimension of early Christian doctrine, since opponents offered rival interpretations of key passages of scripture whose meaning was disputed. But recognition of the fact that rival interpretations were fundamental to Christological debates raises other interrelated questions. What criteria could be used to evaluate whether one interpretation was superior to another? Could opponents even agree on these criteria? Were there different assumptions about hermeneutics, epistemology, language, etc., that informed biblical exegesis and led to rival interpretations? And so, focusing on the biblical dimension of Christological doctrine sheds light on the forces that shaped Christological development, and analyzing the Christological application of biblical texts in early Christian argumentation increases our understanding of the details of early Christian exegetical theory and practice. We call for papers that explore such issues and questions in 5th century authors and texts.

2. Gen 1-3 & Christological Controversy.The importance of biblical exegesis for the Christological controversies of the 5th century can be taken as granted, especially those passages about Christ from the NT. In a joint session of with the program unit "Early Exegesis of Gen. 1-3" we aim to broaden this approach, raising the question whether Gen 1-3 was important for the Christological controversies of the 5th century too. Since Gen 1-3 was important for early Christian cosmology, anthropology, and even for Trinitarian thought, the use of these extraordinarily important texts from the OT should be taken into consideration also within this context. Any proposal for this topic is welcome, independently of the status or background of the proponent.



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Digital Humanities in Biblical, Early Jewish, and Christian Studies

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

Call for papers: We welcome papers for three sessions. Two sessions are open calls for proposals within the broad remit of the group, welcoming proposals for papers on any subject related to the Digital Humanities as it related to biblical studies, early Judaism, early Christianity, or religious studies. We are especially interested in reports of new projects of various scales, reflections on innovative methodologies and theoretical developments, solutions to new challenges that continue to face the humanities, and pedagogical explorations of the use of digital tools in the modern university. Our third session is a joint session with the Novum Testamentum Grarcum: Editio Critica Maior seminar, entitled "Digital Editions of the New Testament and Early Christian Literature": Over the past 20 years, numerous digital tools have emerged to cover different aspects of the editing process, from enhanced imaging, transcription and markup, paleographic toolkits, collation, to the construction of manuscript stemmata. Some of these are standalone tools, while others are integrated into an environment such as the New Testament Virtual Manuscript Room. The challenges of designing and implementing a workflow for the creation of both digital and print editions is a challenge for individual scholars and editorial teams. Proposals are invited on all aspects of navigating this emerging landscape of digital editing. Papers might present about ongoing or completed projects drawing on these resources, or highlight specific benefits (and costs) involved in using one or more of these tools, especially as compared to traditional print editions. Reflections on the current publication infrastructure, including its limitations and potential, will also be considered.

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Disputed Paulines

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

Call for papers: Depending on the number and quality of proposals received, the Disputed Paulines Section will offer one or more open sessions for which we invite papers exploring historical, literary (including rhetorical), and theological matters that bear upon the interpretation of one or more of those letters (or a discreet section thereof). For 2020, we especially welcome papers that explore the theme “Unity in Diversity" in any part of the Disputed Paulines. Additionally, two themed sessions will be offered, each with an invited panel. One of these sessions, in collaboration with the “Paul Within Judaism” Section, will offer a panel discussion on the Status Questionis. The other themed session will consist of a review of Christopher R. Hutson’s commentary on First and Second Timothy and Titus (Baker Academic, 2019).

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Documentary Texts and Literary Interpretation

Bronson Brown-deVost
James D. Moore
Description: Studies often rely on documentary sources to interpret the Bible, but is this done responsibly? This program unit will explore examples of, approaches to, and teaching perspectives on the interdisciplinary use of documentary texts, especially in the digital age, for the study of biblical literature.

Call for papers: Studies often rely on documentary sources to interpret the Bible, but is this done responsibly? This program unit will explore examples of, approaches to, and teaching perspectives on the interdisciplinary use of documentary texts, especially in the digital age, for the study of biblical literature.

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Early Christianity and the Ancient Economy

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

Call for papers: The Early Christianity and Ancient Economy program unit examines economic aspects of early Christian groups from the first to the fifth century CE, understood within the broader context of the economies of the Roman Empire and its provinces. “Economy” is construed broadly to consist of the production, transmission, and consumption of goods and services, as well as the social, political, and ideological conditions associated with particular economic systems. We invite papers exploring aspects of the economic organization of early Christian assemblies and Rome and its provinces, as well as those critically assessing the theoretical frameworks (e.g., economic anthropology, régulation theory, New Institutional Economics) and concepts (e.g., class, labor, exploitation, gender, ethnicity) used in the study of the economic history of the Mediterranean basin in antiquity. For the 2020 annual meeting, papers that focus on labor are particularly welcome.

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Early Exegesis of Genesis 1–3

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

Call for papers: In 2020 the seminar will have three sessions: 1) a joint session with the „Development of Early Christian Thought“-seminar: The importance of biblical exegesis for the Christological controversies of the 5th century can be taken as granted, especially those passages about Christ from the NT. A joint session of the program units "Early Exegesis of Gen. 1-3" and "Development of Early Christian Theology" aims to broaden this approach, raising the question whether Gen 1-3 was important for the Christological controversies of the 5th century too. Since Gen 1-3 was important for early Christian cosmology, anthropology, and even for Trinitarian thought, the use of these extraordinarily important texts from the OT should be taken into consideration also within this context. Additionnally two further sessions will take place: 2) a session about poetic texts and hymns that are based upon Gen.1-3 (in Greek and Latin literature, up to the 7th century), e.g. Romanos Melodos, Georgios Pisides, Prudentius, Claudius Marius Victorius or Cyprian the Poet; 3) a session about the Jewish exegesis of Gen.1-3 from Late Antiquity (from Bereshit Rabba onwards). All sessions are accepting proposals now, independently of the status or background of the proponent. Invited papers will be added.

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Early Jewish Christian Relations

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

Call for papers: We plan three sessions, and invite proposals for the first two. Session 1: Recent years have seen multiple appraisals and reappraisals of the relationship(s) between Judaism and Christianity in antiquity. Recent scholarship has provided multiple models to think with—some complementary, and some competing. Thirty years after this program unit was inaugurated, this session invites papers that assess the state of the field, suggest points of contact and points of departure, and elicit conversations about future directions for the study of early Jewish Christian relations. Session 2: Ancient Polemics and Modern Manifestos. Modern manifestos--the kind often left behind by those who perpetrate acts of terrorism or hate crimes--sometimes bear striking resemblances to ancient polemical or heresiological writings, such as those by Justin Martyr, John Chrysostom, or Irenaeus. We invite papers exploring the similarities and differences between ancient and modern manifestos, and the kinds of arguments they employ. How do differentiating from others, demonization of others, deployment of scriptural texts, appeals to purity, and metaphorical violence function across ancient and modern texts? Is there value in the comparison? Session 3: Joint Session with the International Catacomb Society. From a modern perspective, these underground burial complexes appear as stages on which to perform religious and ethnic affiliations using iconography, inscriptions, and rituals. Some catacomb shrines combine motifs traditionally associated with biblical narratives and Roman mythology. Others reflect greater homogeneity. This panel seeks papers that explore what can be learned about Jewish and Christian relations from the material and literary remains of catacomb burial practices and sites. Did burial rituals and funerary remains provide loci for Jews and Christians to compete, cooperate, and/or clash? How should scholars interpret finds whose associations are ambiguous or polysemic?

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Ecological Hermeneutics

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

Call for papers: In 2020 there will be three thematic sessions and an open session. (1) A joint session with the Paul and Politics unit, “Paul and Ecology,” which will engage questions of ecology and politics in any aspect of the study of communities to which Paul wrote, Paul’s letters, the Pauline legacy, and/or contemporary communities using these texts. The papers should explore the resources and/or challenges Pauline texts offer for ecological conversations. Papers that engage the intersections of gender, race, and economics in these conversations are particularly sought. (2) A session, “Land: Occupied,” which will explore an ecological view of the relationship between humans and land in occupied territory, with both humans as long term residents and as occupiers, in the context of the Biblical material (with keywords including, but not limited to Palestine, Canaan, Israel, Davidic Kingdom, conquest, exile, Rome, Canaanites, Israelites, relocated peoples, returnees). (3) A joint session with Contextual Biblical Interpretation unit, “Land and Home as Threatened,” welcomes proposals on ecologically oriented, contextually informed interpretations rooted in the impact on human, plant and animal habitat (“home”) of matters such as residence, migration/immigration (broader than occupation), along with the structures, human and natural, that drive these movements, and contemporary threats, such as “climate change,” “natural” disasters, or power/economic interests. Of particular interest are the ways texts are used to resist or validate destruction and violence against parts of creation, both human and non-human. (4) An open session on any biblical text or theme. All proposals are encouraged to engage with the principles of ecological hermeneutics - e.g., suspicion, identification, retrieval (Habel and Trudinger, Exploring Ecological Hermeneutics, SBL 2008) or the methodology of the Exeter project (Horrell, Hunt and Southgate, Greening Paul, Baylor 2010).

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Economics in the Biblical World

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

Call for papers: The Economics in the Biblical World program unit will host three sessions at the 2020 annual meeting. The first continues a series of sessions begun at the 2019 annual meeting on the temple in the political economy of Judah. As 2019’s session focused on the Persian period, this year’s session (2020) will focus on the early Hellenistic/Ptolemaic period. We are interested in papers that explore Ptolemaic political/administrative policies and practices and their impacts on Judaea, scribes, the temple, temple personnel, other local elites, etc. What is the role of the temple in the overall political-economic structure and dynamics of Judaea under the Ptolemaic empire? When did this structure emerge? How was it maintained? What were the social, political, and economic relations between the inhabitants of Jerusalem/Judaea and the neighboring peoples/places (e.g., Samaria, Transjordan, Idumea, Maresha)? Our second session is "Wealth and Poverty in Luke-Acts, Revisited.” This session is jointly sponsored with The Gospel of Luke and The Book of Acts program units. Our third session is co-sponsored with the Poverty in the Biblical World program unit. It will focus on Sharing Goods in Common, featuring presentations on the Qumran Community (key passages from DSS), the holding "all things in common" in the Jerusalem koinon, according to the accounts in Acts 2 and 4, and the exhortations in the Didache that addressees share their goods with the needy as well as with prophets.

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Egyptology and Ancient Israel

Shirly Ben-Dor Evian
Bernd U. Schipper
Description: The principal goal of the Egyptology and Ancient Israel Section is to promote collaboration between biblical scholars and Egyptologists in their comparative examination and analysis of historical and literary connections between ancient Israel, the Hebrew Bible, and the history and literature of ancient Egypt. Where appropriate, the section joins with other related program units to foster interdisciplinary conversation across the wider ancient Near East.

Call for papers: The Egyptology and Ancient Israel section will hold three sessions at the 2020 Annual Meeting in Boston, MA. The first session is OPEN, accepting papers dealing with any topic which deals with the relations between ancient Egypt and Israel or Egypt and the Hebrew Bible. The second will consist of INVITED PAPERS in a joint session with Prophetic Texts and their Ancient Contexts. The third session will consist of INVITED PAPERS in a joint session with Wisdom in Israelite and Cognate Traditions.

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Ethics and Biblical Interpretation

Lisa Bowens
Safwat Marzouk
Description: The aim of the Ethics and Biblical Interpretation section is to study the way the various projects of biblical interpretation and hermeneutics intersect with the concerns of ethics. This consultation will engage ethicists, theologians, and biblical scholars in interdisciplinary conversations.

Call for papers: The Ethics and Biblical Interpretation section is planning two sessions at the 2020 Annual Meeting: 1) A joint session with The Forum on Missional Hermeneutics section with the theme Reparations/Reparational Ethics, the Bible, and the Missio Dei. We invite papers on reparations discourse and the biblical text. Questions for consideration: How might reparations be rooted in the Bible, and what contributions might a biblical account of reparations make to debates about reparations and ethics? How might biblical readings be informed by questions from religious communities complicit in racial injustice and challenged by possible reparations? How might biblical texts call for reparations as part of God’s mission? How have historically distorted understandings of mission created a need for reparations (for example, reparations to African American and Native American communities), and how may this harmful history be addressed in light of hermeneutics, ethics, and biblical interpretation? How does the contemporary question of reparations speak to communities’ participation in God’s mission, understood in terms of communal self-understanding and purposiveness? 2) An invited panel on the theme of Museums and the Bible which aims to examine the intersection between museum constructions, biblical interpretation, and ethics. This session seeks to investigate how museums help to elevate the prestige and notoriety of scientifically based biblical scholars; how collecting practices work to reproduce the privilege of elite power structures; and how descriptions of biblical artifacts can reinforce racist ideas about ancient peoples. The session also seeks to examine how museums acquire, describe, and show artifacts;how ancient religious texts and peoples are constructed; what religious or political agenda does this representation serve; and the responsibility of the scholarly guild in constructing alternative encounters.

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Ethiopic Bible and Literature

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

Call for papers: We plan two sessions. One session will focus on the textual history of the Ethiopic Bible and Canon. Papers presenting the current state of research on or that synthesize data and develop the picture of the textual history of Ethiopia’s Bible or canon are invited. This session also welcomes papers on specific Ethiopic manuscripts or external traditions (e.g., Arabic, Coptic, Greek, Hebrew, Syriac) that contribute to our understanding of Ethiopia’s biblical transmission or canonical history. The second session broadly encompasses ideology, sociology, and literary formation in Ethiopic literature. This tradition bears many marks of originality, for Ethiopian theologians and community leaders developed their own sense of identity and expressed these in their form of the biblical text and in various works of literature, and bears marks of external influence, from Christian traditions—such as Greek, Syriac, and Armenian—and from Jewish and Muslim traditions in the Horn of Africa, Egypt, and the Arabian Peninsula. Proposals on any aspect are welcomed.

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Ethnic Chinese Biblical Colloquium

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

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

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Exile (Forced Migrations) in Biblical Literature

Mark Wade Hamilton
Description: This section examines exile, displacement, and migration (forced or involuntary) in biblical literature—its history, associated literature, and conceptualization from a wide range of methodological perspectives.

Call for papers: We will offer two sessions and co-sponsor a third. (1) The first session is an invited panel that investigates the impact of forced migrations on the legal and prophetic texts of ancient Israel, focusing especially on how the experiences of the deportations shaped the political reflections underlying those texts. (2) The second session is entitled Late Antique reception histories of biblical flight: Part II post-Constantinian period This pre-arranged panel, sponsored by the SBL program unite Exile (Forced Migrations) in Biblical Literature, is the second of two invitational sessions (the first in 2019) on the reception histories of biblical exile in the long late-antiquity. Many early Christian and non-Christian thinkers looked to biblical text(s) for types and models of flight. Invitees are asked to engage the topic of biblical exile and its reception in the late ancient period. This second session will engage the post-Constantinian period (the first session covered the pre-Constantinian period). Speakers are also encouraged to explore the various methodological approaches to studying exile such as discourse analysis, space/place theory, digital humanities, material culture, etc. A select number of papers will be published in an edited volume. (3) The third session will be cosponsored with Social History of Judaism and Christianity. It would be a book review session of Jennifer Barry's book Bishops in Flight.

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Feminist Hermeneutics of the Bible

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

Call for papers:

The Feminist Hermeneutics of the Bible (FHB) section will offer the following sessions at the 2020 meeting.

Open Call

FHB issues an open call for papers using feminist, womanist, Latina/x or other cognate ideological frames to read biblical texts, broadly defined. Special consideration will be given to papers that apply feminist hermeneutical methodologies to the question of gender and irony.

Latina/o and Latin American Biblical Interpretation and FHB invite papers that represent new directions in Latina/x/o studies of gender and the Bible. A few panelists will be invited, but we particularly issue a call for papers from previously underrepresented perspectives in Latina biblical studies, such as AfroLatina/x, AsianLatina/o/x, and/or LGBTQ perspectives.

Invited Panels

FHB and Biblical Hebrew Poetry present Reading Poetic Texts Disruptively. This invited panel will explore features of poetic signifying that may be deconstructed, resisted, or refigured regarding dimensions such as borderlands, embodiment, gender, indigeneity, marginality, memory, sexuality, and social hierarchy.

FHB and Women in the Biblical World present Teaching Intersectionality, an invited panel that is a follow-up to "Cultivating Womanist, Feminist, and Queer Relationships in this Neoliberal-Authoritarian Age" session at the 2019 San Diego meeting. This panel will focus on pedagogical approaches to cultivating students' awareness of intersectionality and empowering students in dialogic practices that foster relationships across perceived difference.

FHB joins Minoritized Criticism and Biblical Interpretation, Asian and Asian American Hermeneutics, and Latino/a and Latin American Biblical Interpretation to present a review of Mitzi Smith and Jin Young Choi, eds., Minoritized Women Reading Race and Ethnicity: Intersectional Approaches to Constructed Identity and Early Christian Texts.

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Formation of Isaiah

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

Call for papers: The Formation of Isaiah group will offer three sessions in 2020. All three sessions will consist of both invited and accepted papers. 1. Isaiah and Nature: The first session will consider “nature” in the book of Isaiah. The aim of this session is both to examine individual passages that touch on this theme as well as to trace its development throughout the entire book. Whether focused on a single passage or on the whole book, papers from a variety of perspectives and approaches are welcome—e.g., final form, source-critical, agrarian, ecological, poetical, rhetorical. Papers that consider this theme in the reception of Isaiah are also welcome. 2. The Exile in the Book of Isaiah: The second session will explore the meaning and understanding of “exile” in the different parts of Isaiah (Isa 1–39, 40–55, 56–66) from historical, redactional, and theological perspectives. Papers are particularly welcome that: a. highlight the diverse conceptions of exile in the different literary layers of the book; b. examine the questions raised by exile regarding identity—the “we” and the “others”—with focus on nationality, gender, ethnicity, etc. c. investigate the role of the historical and the religious-historical conditions of the early Persian period for understanding the concept of “exile” in Isaiah. 3. Micah-Zephaniah-Isaiah: The third session will investigate the relationship between the book of Isaiah on the one hand and the books of Micah and Zephaniah on the other. Many scholars have noted the affinity and textual overlap between individual texts in these books, a case in point being the correlation between Micah 4:1–5 and Isa 2:1–5. Papers from a variety of perspectives and approaches are welcome, ranging from redaction-critical studies to papers looking at matters of intertextuality and inner-biblical interpretations.

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Gender, Sexuality, and the Bible

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

Call for papers: We are planning three sessions for 2020. Our FIRST SESSION is an open session. We invite papers on all aspects of gender and sexuality as they relate to the Bible and other closely related ancient texts. We are especially interested in submissions that engage unconventional or unexpected biblical texts and those that attend to un- or underexplored aspects of gender and sexuality. In particular, we encourage innovative explorations of gender identity and sexuality, including transgender, agender, and non-binary identities and approaches, as well as asexuality and graysexuality. Our SECOND SESSION is on Critical Intersectionality. While some presenters will be invited, we also seek submissions reflecting on intersectionality as a method, practice, and intellectual category in biblical studies. Papers may be theoretical in nature or have practical application to a specific text. In addition to gender and sexuality, we encourage engagements with ethnicity, race, disability, and class, along with "intersectionality" itself as a category. Our THIRD SESSION is an invited session on rape culture and the Bible entitled "The Bible and the Violent Weight of Whiteness," organized with the Shiloh Project and co-sponsored by the Bible and Popular Culture program unit.

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Genesis

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

Call for papers: The Genesis Program Unit will host three sessions in 2020, two themed sessions and one open session, as follows. (1) Genesis and environmental studies. We invite proposals for this session that integrate particular Genesis passages or themes with environmental studies. In particular, we encourage submissions on other Genesis texts, besides the creation narratives, that are relevant to the study of environmental phenomena and issues. Since environmental studies is a multidisciplinary endeavor, papers should be grounded methodologically and present an integrated and innovative interpretation at the intersection of Genesis and environmental studies. (2) Sibling rivalry in Genesis. We invite proposals for this session that concentrate on the motif of sibling rivalry in Genesis. Papers may examine single narratives where the motif is involved, compare different versions of the motif, focus on the motif’s literary role in Genesis as well as its historical backdrop in the ancient Near East. (3) Open session. We welcome proposals on any topic related to the interpretation of Genesis for this open session.

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Gospel of Luke

Brittany E. Wilson
Michal Beth Dinkler
Description: The Gospel of Luke garners continued interest because of its distinctive narrative construction and its rhetorical, theological, and ethical emphases. The unit is interested in exploring Luke’s literary features and theology, and in encouraging new research on the gospel.

Call for papers: The Gospel of Luke section will offer three sessions in 2020. First, we invite submissions for an open session covering any aspect of Luke’s distinctive narrative construction and its rhetorical, theological, and ethical emphases. Proposals for papers that employ new, marginalized, or multiperspectival approaches to Luke are especially welcome. The section will also host “Early Reception of Luke in Visual Art,” jointly sponsored with the Bible and Visual Arts section. This second session will include both invited papers and some selected through the call for papers. We therefore invite proposals exploring Lukan characters, scenes, or motifs in visual art, and "Wealth and Poverty in Luke-Acts, Revisited," jointly sponsored with the Economics in the Biblical World and Book of Acts sections. This third session will be made up of invited panelists and is not accepting additional paper proposals.

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Gospel of Mark

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

Call for papers: The Gospel of Mark invites papers on any topic advancing scholarship on the Gospel of Mark and particularly on two themes: genre and spiritual powers. We seek proposals that engage contemporary genre research or offer new perspectives on perennial debates about Mark’s genre. We also seek proposals examining Mark’s invisible world of spiritual powers, including God, the Holy Spirit, unclean spirits, and Satan. Jesus and others debate these powers and interact with them in various ways, including exorcisms, commanding spirits, and entering the spiritual world to converse with Moses and Elijah. First-time presenters are asked to provide their papers in full along with their proposal. Proposals are submitted through the SBL website. Applicants will receive a response within a week or so of close.

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Greco-Roman Religions

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

Call for papers: The Greco-Roman Religions Sections posts two open calls for papers. The first call relates to the focus area, “Interpreting Greek and Roman ‘Religions’ in Context in the Mediterranean World.” Papers are invited that investigate, and/or theorize the contribution from material evidence, artefactual remains, and material contexts for our understanding of religions in the Greek, Roman, and broader Mediterranean worlds; papers that investigate religions and/or cults as social and cultural formations (including the history of interpretation of these), especially focusing on contextual practices as they relate to wider encompassing social, cultural and religious discourses, encouraging a “thick” description and analysis of specific cults as comparanda in a comparative exploration of the continuities and discontinuities between and across cultic institutions. The second call is for a session, co-sponsored with Art and Religions in Antiquity Section, on "The Art of the Assemblage: Altars, Mixtures, and Other Odd Juxtapositions". We invite papers that discuss juxtapositions of images, objects, and features at focal points of religious activity—altars bedecked with votives, candles, and saints’ images; combinations of symbols in mosaics and paintings; bricolages in gems and amulets; lararia and reliquaries; combinations in ritual performances. We invite exploration of juxtaposition, the mutual influencing of images, and the gaining of meaning (and even agency) through relationship to other things. We also welcome proposals and papers that engage with some particular theoretical reading. The Greco-Roman Religions Section will also host a closed session with invited papers on "The Complexity of Conversion. Intersectional Perspectives on Religious Change in Antiquity and Beyond." Younger scholars, PhD candidates, and post-doctoral researchers, female and minority scholars are particularly encouraged to submit proposals.

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Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World

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

Call for papers: The unit plans to have at least two open sessions at the 2020 meeting (both accepting papers). Please indicate the session of interest in your abstract. 1) At least one open session, welcoming paper proposals on any aspect of health and disability related to the Bible. 2) “Teaching Healthcare and Disability in the Undergraduate Classroom” The Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World section unit would like to invite proposals for a special pedagogy roundtable/workshop that addresses the teaching of healthcare and disability in antiquity, writ large. We welcome proposals that share your teaching experiences with innovative learning activities and approaches related to the themes of this unit. Of particular interest are proposals that a) demonstrate how recent publications in ancient Mediterranean medicine (e.g., sourcebooks, articles, monographs, digital media, etc. of the last 5 years) can be used in the undergraduate classroom; or b) reflect on your experiences teaching difficult topics in the classroom. Proposals should include: a description of your approach or activity and how it relates to the unit, listing the name of the publication (if relevant), and stating the name of the course you taught.

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Hebrew Bible, History, and Archaeology

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

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

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Hebrew Scriptures and Cognate Literature

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

Call for papers: The Hebrew Scriptures and Cognate Literature Section provides a major forum for research on points of contact between the Bible and the literatures of Israel's neighbours. We welcome contributions that establish new connections and shed fresh light on key problems.

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Hebrews

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

Call for papers: We welcome proposals on any topic pertaining to Hebrews for one open session. We also are planning two joint sessions with the Theological Interpretation of Scripture unit, including one with an open call. We invite papers that reflect theologically on the significance of the book of Hebrews for communities of faith. Papers may (1) focus on the theological significance of a particular text; (2) consider the way in which specific theological loci are, have been, or could be informed by the reading of specific texts or themes from Hebrews; or (3) explore the effects of theological readings of the book of Hebrews on particular communities of faith. Please submit proposals for this session through the Theological Interpretation of Scripture unit.

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Hellenistic Judaism

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

Call for papers: For the 2020 SBL Annual Meeting in Boston the Hellenistic Judaism section organizes three sessions. 1) “Travel and Movement between the Jewish Diaspora and the Land of Israel.“ In this open session, co-organized with the consultation "Jewish, Christian, and Graeco-Roman Travel", we deal with travel and movement between the Diaspora and the Land of Israel. Papers may relate to any aspect of the topic, but we particularly encourage presenters to explore the impact of movement and exchange between the Land of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora in the context of commonly held views on Judaism in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. 2) “On the Occasion of 50 years of the Journal for the Study of Judaism and 25 years of the Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism: What is Hellenistic Judaism?“ This panel, by invitation, asks a fundamental question for the field: What is to be understood by “Hellenistic Judaism”? Since Martin Hengel’s ground breaking Habilitationsschrift "Judentum und Hellenismus", published in its first edition 50 years ago, scholars in Jewish Studies, Classics, and Biblical Studies have intensely debated the relations of Hellenism and Judaism opening up a wide range of interpretations, from suggesting different labels (such as Jewish Hellenism) to questioning the very existence of something like Hellenistic Judaism. The panel will bring together a variety of different approaches to the question. 3) Book Review Panel, by invitation, of the "Historical and Theological Lexicon of the Septuagint" (HTLS). Volume 1. Ed. Eberhard Bons and Jan Joosten (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2020), in cooperation with the IOSCS.

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Historical Geography of the Biblical World

Chris McKinny
David Moster
Description: This unit provides a platform for scholars to present original research related to the historical geography of the biblical world. While we anticipate many studies related to both the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the New Testament, we welcome studies of related regions and texts as well.

Call for papers: This unit provides a platform for scholars to present original research related to the historical geography of the biblical world. While we anticipate many studies related to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the New Testament, we welcome studies of related regions and texts as well. We will be hosting two sessions at this year's SBL. "Historical Geography of the Biblical World" is open to any historical geographical issue related to the lands and peoples of the Bible. "Administration in the Levant in the Persian Period” is being held in conjunction with the journal Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel (HeBAI), which will be publishing an issue on the same topic in 2021.

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Historical Jesus

Cecilia Wassén
James Crossley
Description: Historical Jesus research is one of the oldest and most debated areas in Biblical Studies. We encourage critical analyses of historical methods, recent trends and contemporary reception, and we give scholars and students opportunities to present their latest Jesus research.

Call for papers: The Historical Jesus program unit organizes three sessions for the Annual Meeting. We are welcoming papers for a special session dedicated to answering the question of "Is the Third Quest Over?" Several scholars have pronounced the Third Quest over, but there has been no real resolution on the issue, which is complicated of course by arguments over the three-quest schema. We are inviting contributors to engage with this issue. In addition, a second session focuses on urban Galilee (Sepphoris, Tiberias, and Migdal in particular) in the time of Jesus. Invited speakers will relate the latest archaeological research on Galilean cities to the study of the historical Jesus. The third session is a review panel on Tucker Ferda’s book, Jesus, the Gospels, and the Galilean Crisis (T&T Clark, 2018). The panelists in this session are invited in advance.

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Historiography and the Hebrew Bible

Ian D. Wilson
Mahri Leonard-Fleckman
Description: This unit (formerly Current Historiography and Ancient Israel and Judah) explores how historians use the Hebrew Bible for purposes of historical research and writing.

Call for papers: The Historiography and the Hebrew Bible program unit is accepting paper proposals that examine specific historical questions or topics as these pertain to the texts of the Hebrew Bible. Papers that engage contemporary debates surrounding the theories and methods of history writing within their research are especially welcome.

In addition to general (open) sessions, we will also cohost a special session with the Deuteronomistic History unit. This session will feature invited papers. Diachronic studies of the Bible regularly use terms such as “core,” “kernel,” “original,” and “older traditions.” Historical studies also search for “older traditions,” as well as older “realities” and “memories.” Yet in both subfields, what do these terms actually mean, what kinds of biases or assumptions do they reflect, and how are we to engage with and utilize such terms in our work? Combining theoretical discussions and specific case studies, papers in this special session will engage with literary-historical and historical/historiographical discussions to consider these questions in light of what panel participants consider to be necessary methodological considerations. This session's goal is to improve our understandings of working at the intersection of literary history and the lived past.

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History and Literature of Early Rabbinic Judaism

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

Call for papers: The History and Literature of Early Rabbinic Judaism unit is planning three sessions for the 2020 meeting. In addition to an invited session on sexual violence in rabbinic literature, we are issuing two open calls. The first open call is for a session, co-sponsored with the Aramaic Studies unit, on code-switching in rabbinic literature. The second is a call for papers on any topic in rabbinic literature, with particular interest in papers dealing with emotion and affect.

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History of Interpretation

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

Call for papers: 1. Jews and Christians on the bible: 1880-1940. Papers could include those on Rosenzweig and Buber, not last their bible translation, H-J. Schoeps, Gershom Scholem and Walter Benjamin and possible E. Levinas. On the Christian side Franz Overbeck, Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer show unusual awareness of Jewish concerns. Then there is also Max Scheler and Edith Stein and possible Erik Peterson. Some of these figures will have more or less to owe to the bible. We might want to consider how some of them have inspired more recent thinking that sees the bible as a place of rapprochement and guidance. (OPEN SESSION) 2. 'Catholic' use of the Catholic Epistles: Papers on interpretation from the earliest to the recent interpreters on any of 1&2 Peter, James, 1-3 John, Jude. Did the apparently ‘late’ canonical inclusion give them a boost in the 3rd-5th centuries, or did it mean the opposite? Did they feature in Byzantine interpretation or in that of the Oriental Churches? Are they truly Catholic in that one sees an increased use of them in the era of the (Counter-) reformation on one side rather than the other, and even from that point on until recently? (OPEN SESSION: JOINT WITH EPISTLES OF JAMES, PETER AND JUDE) 3. The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonicals in the History of Interpretation: Reception of Old Testament Apocrypha is an area which has recently been attracting interest. Can one really explore the history of the interpretation of the Old Testament without knowing about how its 'fringe' books operated, even to the point of their being more like 'core' books? Any papers in this area, with or without reference to the project overseen by David Lincicum and Annette Yoshiko Reed, will be welcome. (OPEN SESSION)

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Homiletics and Biblical Studies

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

Call for papers: The Homiletics and Biblical Studies Section invites papers in our open call session for the 2020 meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Boston. The papers can address any topic related to the intersection between homiletics and biblical studies. We encourage papers from a variety of traditions and welcome inter-religious dialogue.

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Ideological Criticism

Christopher B. Zeichmann
Elaine James
Description: This Section approaches the Bible through critical philosophical perspectives and explores how power shapes and is shaped by the Bible and its reception. We embrace various definitions of ideology and approaches to uncovering the political stakes of the Bible and of its uses and influences.

Call for papers: OUR FIRST SESSION (a combination of invited papers and open call), and in co-sponsorship with include Islands, Islanders and the Bible and Reading, Theory and the Bible, will facilitate collaborative readings between indigenous and settler-aware readers of scripture on specific texts. The session provides a forum for indigenous readers to share and collaborate with settler scholars and allies, and encourages the latter to learn about the challenges and freedoms of bringing indigenous ways of knowing into the field of biblical studies. OUR SECOND SESSION is an open session discussing ideological criticism of the book of Psalms. While ideological perspectives have been fruitfully employed the interpretation of biblical texts, such approaches have not been as prevalent in Psalms scholarship. We welcome proposals related to the examination of ideological perspectives in the texts or in interpretive communities, especially with respect to race, class, gender, ability, and global location. OUR THIRD SESSION is an invited session exploring the incorporation of ideological concerns with socio-rhetorical interpretation of the Bible, attending to questions of hermeneutical positionality in the study of biblical rhetoric. This session is co-sponsored with the Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity seminar, and will operate as part of that seminar’s “New Horizons in Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation” track. IF you have any questions, please email Elaine James (etjames@stkate.edu) or Christopher Zeichmann (christopher.zeichman@mail.utoronto.ca).

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Institute for Biblical Research

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

Call for papers: Note that all paper proposals for IBR and Tyndale House Scripture Collective sessions must be submitted directly to the coordinator of the relevant session, not through the SBL system. See https://www.ibr-bbr.org/research-groups for details on each group.

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International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies

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

Call for papers: The International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS) is soliciting papers for its annual meeting in Boston, to be held in conjunction with SBL. We invite 20' papers on any aspect of LXX and cognate literature. One session will be devoted to the Göttingen Septuagint (and chaired by Felix Albrecht), but other topics are also very welcome. Proposals for the Boston meeting should be submitted through the SBL Annual Meetings website. All presenters and panelists must be members in good standing order of IOSCS. Please direct any queries to Reinhart Ceulemans at reinhart.ceulemans@kuleuven.be.

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International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA)

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

Call for papers:

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International Syriac Language Project

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

Call for papers: ISLP (International Syriac Language Project) especially welcomes proposals related to areas of Syriac language and lexicography. However, our group is interdisciplinary. We also welcome research that explores aspects of linguistics and lexicography in other ancient languages, such as Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.

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Intertextuality and the Hebrew Bible

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

Call for papers: We are planning to have three sessions for 2020: There will be TWO joint-sessions (invited papers) with the “Intertextuality in the New Testament” section. Our theme this year is “Human Violence in the Hebrew Bible, Early Jewish Writings, and the New Testament." Papers should ideally cross testamental or canonical boundaries: e.g., (a) examine intertextual connections in theological themes, rhetoric or rationales that sanction or prohibit human violence across the literary corpora; (b) look at intertextual connections in the depiction of the Other as the object of human violence; and/or (c) use contemporary or new methods of intertextuality to interpret texts across bodies of literature on the issue of violence. The THIRD session is an OPEN session (WE ARE ACCEPTING PAPER PROPOSALS) on “Intertextuality and the Hebrew Bible” with preference given to proposals related to this year’s theme stated above.

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Intertextuality in the New Testament

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

Call for papers: The Intertextuality in the New Testament (INT) Section has two open sessions during the 2020 annual meeting for which we are inviting papers. Proposals can focus on any aspect of intertextuality and New Testament interpretation but should articulate clearly the kind of intertextual work or method that is being employed. First-time presenters are welcome, and they should submit their proposal/abstract through the SBL website and send their full paper by email to the section co-chairs. INT is also planning two joint plenary sessions in collaboration with the Intertextuality and the Hebrew Bible Section. The joint sessions are by invitation only. They focus on the theme of Human Violence in the Hebrew Bible, Early Jewish Writings, and the New Testament and examine the intertextual connections (literary, rhetorical, theological, and other methods) that sanction or prohibit human violence across the literary corpora.

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Inventing Christianity: Apostolic Fathers, Apologists, and Martyrs

Paul Middleton
Taylor G. Petrey
Description: This unit focuses on the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, the apologists, and the authors of martyrdom accounts (AFAM) in the second and third centuries. The goal is to explore their role in the invention of “Christianity” and early Christian identities.

Call for papers: The Inventing Christianity Unit plans to run three sessions in 2020. (1) Baptism: Texts, Theologies, and Rituals. We invite papers on any aspect of baptism in early Christianity. Papers could explore controversies, texts, liturgies and rituals, material culture, or baptism used as metaphor. (2) Canons and Canonicity. Papers are invited on the general theme of canons and canonicity. Scholars tend to operate with more informal canons of texts (e.g. Martyr Acts; Apostolic Fathers); we invite papers that engage these canons or question their boundaries. Proposals might also explore the creations or receptions of canons, texts which fall outside of popular or scholarly canons, or questions arising from the process of canonisation, informal or formal. (3) We will be holding a panel of invited papers to mark the significant contribution of Professor Judith Lieu to the study of Early Christianity.

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Islands, Islanders, and Scriptures

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

Call for papers: This year, Islanders will sponsor two sessions. The first will be devoted to Caribbean pedagogies: Colonial heritage, Rastafarian Groundings, and Other Explorations in Community Lore. Papers are invited to discuss any of the residual colonial challenges and/or formal and informal island ways of learning and of sharing wisdom between generations and within communities as anti-colonial strategic and conceptual and possibilities for theological and biblical teachers and learners within and outside of the Caribbean. The third session ("Talk with the President”) is an invited panel, held in collaboration with Asian & Asian-American Hermeneutics, Postcolonial Colonial Studies & Biblical Studies, Contextual Biblical Interpretation and Minoritized Criticism & Biblical Interpretation. In response to the SBL tradition of not allowing questions and comments after an SBL President delivers her/his address, and by what are often lengthy pauses before the society substantially and formally engages with these important lectures, this session invites Gale Yee, along with a panel of biblical scholars and theologians to reflect on and respond to the 2019 presidential address. The panel will explore both helpful and challenging moments in Yee’s address, seeking to engage her in conversation and further reflection. Attendees are encouraged to read the lecture, published in the first issue of JBL (2020).

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Israelite Prophetic Literature

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

Call for papers: The Israelite Prophetic Literature section will sponsor three sessions in 2020 and now accepts proposals: (1) There will be joint-sessions with “Children in the Biblical World” section (these sessions will include some invited papers, but additional proposals are welcomed). “Violence against Women and/or Children within the Prophetic Texts”: This joint-session will focus on violence against women and/or children, particularly within the prophetic texts of the Hebrew Bible. Especially welcomed are papers that give voice to the silent or silenced victims, or objects of violence in the texts. Papers pertaining to the relevant interdisciplinary issues are welcomed as well. (2) Also “OPEN” session (we are accepting proposals) with papers on a broad range of topics dealing with prophetic literature. Papers that fall within the scope of this year’s theme in our joint-session may also be presented here.

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Jesus Traditions, Gospels, and Negotiating the Roman Imperial World

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

Call for papers: For 2020, we will have one open session and welcome papers on any aspect of this topic. We will also have two invited sessions, one of which will be co-sponsored with the Synoptic Gospels section for a strategic review of The Reception of Jesus in the First Three Centuries, ed. by Helen Bond, Chris Keith, Christine Jacobi, and Jens Schröter (Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, 2019).

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Jewish Christianity / Christian Judaism

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

Call for papers: For 2020, the "Jewish-Christianity/Christian Judaism” section welcomes proposals on papers on any topic related to our theme - with special interest in religious identity in the Didache, Didascalia Apostolorum, and Apostolic Constitutions. Planned sessions include a panel revisiting the Jewishness of the NT Book of Revelation and a review panel on Matt Jackson-McCabe’s Jewish Christianity (Yale UP 2020).

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Jewish, Christian, and Graeco-Roman Travel in the Hellenistic, Roman, and Early Byzantine Periods (300 BCE–600 CE)

Elisa Uusimäki
Pieter B. (Bärry) Hartog
Description: This unit explores Jewish, Christian, and Graeco-Roman travel and movement between 300 BCE and 600 CE. Developing an interdisciplinary approach to the theme, this unit aims to integrate the study of Jewish and Christian travel with the study of the ancient Mediterranean more broadly.

Call for papers: This consultation explores Jewish, Christian, and Graeco-Roman travel and movement between 300 BCE and 600 CE. In its third and final year, we will organize three sessions. (1) Travel in the New Testament and Early Christianity. This open session focuses on travel in New Testament writings, the New Testament apocrypha, and early Christianity within the context of the wider Roman world (broadly conceived). Presenters are encouraged to combine close readings of primary sources with reflection on the broader context of these passages as illustrated by, e.g., other Jewish, Christian, Greek, or Latin texts; epigraphy; and archaeology. (2) Travel and Movement between the Jewish Diaspora and the Land of Israel. In this open session, co-sponsored with the program unit Hellenistic Judaism, we deal with travel and movement between the Diaspora and the Land of Israel. Papers may relate to any aspect of the topic, but we particularly encourage presenters to explore the impact of movement and exchange between the Land of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora in the context of commonly-held views on Judaism in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. (3) Travel in Antiquity. This open session accepts papers dealing with any aspect of travel or movement, whether real or imagined, in the Hellenistic, Roman, and Early Byzantine periods. We particularly encourage the development of interdisciplinary approaches and the integration of Jewish and Christian travel into the broader study of the ancient Mediterranean.

Tags: Comparative Approaches (Interpretive Approaches), Religio-Historical Approaches (Interpretive Approaches), Roman Empire (History & Culture)

Johannine Literature

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

Call for papers: The Johannine Literature Section welcomes papers for the 2020 SBL annual meeting. We will have four sessions in 2020, one of which will be jointly sponsored with Rhetoric and the New Testament. Two sessions will include invited panelists and respondents: (1) Reading John within Judaism and (2) Johannine Rhetoric: Classical and New Approaches. We invite paper proposals for the two remaining sessions: (1) an entirely open session and (2) an open session based on the theme of “Teaching John,” which will explore creative classroom pedagogies or discipleship. As always, the papers for the open sessions may focus on the Gospel or the Letters of John, or a combination of the two, and use a variety of methodologies for reading, interpreting, and teaching these texts.

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John's Apocalypse and Cultural Contexts Ancient and Modern

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

Call for papers: We invite submissions for an open session on John's Apocalypse and Cultural Contexts, Ancient and Modern. While we welcome proposals on all aspects of the book of Revelation, we especially invite papers that offer new perspectives on the text, including papers that approach the text from specific hermeneutical contexts, employ innovative approaches to the Apocalypse, and/or offer new perspectives on enduring questions. We will also host a session of invited papers on John's Apocalypse and Ancient Material Culture.

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Josephus

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

Call for papers: Three sessions are planned for the 2020 annual meeting. One session will be devoted to topics related to the Brill Josephus project and is by invitation only. The second and third sessions are an open call for proposals on any aspect of Josephus' works.

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Joshua-Judges

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

Call for papers: At the 2020 Annual Meeting, we will have three sessions. -- 1. An open session on Joshua and Judges. Papers dealing with any topic related to either book are welcome. -- 2. Israel and foreign nations in Joshua and Judges: The status of Israel and its relationship with YHWH is often defined through Israel’s affairs with the foreign nations. Thus, analyzing the role of the foreign nations in Joshua and Judges may offer insights into the underlying “Israel” concepts and the authors’ perspectives on Israel’s “history.” Papers dealing with any aspect of this question are welcome. -- 3. The Book of Judges before the Judges (Judg 1:1-3:6): The first chapter of Judges tells stories of conquest and settlement outside the framework of most of the book, as the tribes here are not led by chieftains, and there is no one overarching narrative framework. Chapter 2 tells the story of the angel at Bochim (vv. 1-5), then the repeat of Joshua's death scene (vv. 6-10). Following this the text lays out "the Judges scheme" (vv. 11-23) and then lists the remaining peoples (3:1-6). Only at 3:7 do we arrive at a story of what can properly be called "a judge," that of Othniel (though even this is skipped over in the brief survey at the end of LXX Joshua 24, which jumps directly to Eglon). How are we to understand these opening units, their relationship to each other, to the rest of the book, and finally to the larger DtrH or Enneateuchal corpus? The session will be a mix of invited and open papers, with a respondent.

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Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion

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

Call for papers:

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Korean Biblical Colloquium

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

Call for papers: KBC’s 2020 Symposium is on: “Intersectionality” – the subject matter of 2019 SBL President Gale Yee’s presidential address. Intersectionality, coined by Kimberle Crenshaw (1989, 2020) and illuminated by Patricia Hill Collins (2019) has become a seminal and inclusive framework for new insights in biblical-historical-theological hermeneutics. In Boston 2020, we intersect SBL, AAR, and ASA on “intersectionality” with: presentations by Gale Yee, Episcopal Divinity School (SBL President, 2019 – first woman of color), “kyriarchy’s author” Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Harvard (first woman SBL president) and the author of intersectionality Patricia Hill Collins, University of Maryland (Former President of ASA). Although we are not accepting papers for this session, we are accepting paper proposals for possible publication. Should your abstract be selected, further information will be sent. We encourage proposals on intersectionality with your area of specialization in one of the following areas: Intersectionality and the Bible; Intersectionality and History; or Intersectionality and Theology/Culture.

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La Comunidad of Hispanic Scholars of Religion

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

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

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Latino/a and Latin American Biblical Interpretation

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

Call for papers: The Latino/a and Latin American Biblical Interpretation program unit will hold three sessions. The first session seeks to place Latinx and Latin American biblical studies in conversation with Latin American and Latinx studies. For this session, we invite proposals for interdisciplinary papers that integrate any aspect of Latin American or Latinx studies (broadly construed) with the analysis and interpretation of biblical and related texts, their reception history, or their intersection with contemporary Latin American or Latinx realities. We also welcome papers that employ biblical studies so as to speak to or challenge Latinx or Latin American Studies frameworks and approaches, particularly on religion. The second session will feature panelists invited to review Gregory L. Cuéllar’s Empire, the British Museum, and the Making of the Biblical Scholar in the Nineteenth Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019) and Resacralizing the Other at the US–Mexico Border: A Borderland Hermeneutic (Routledge, 2020). The third session will be a joint session with Feminist Hermeneutics of the Bible. We invite papers that represent new directions in Latina/x/o studies of gender and the Bible. A few panelists will be invited, but we particularly welcome papers from previously underrepresented perspectives in Latina biblical studies, such as AfroLatina/x/o, AsianLatina/o/x, and/or LGBTQ perspectives.

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Latter-day Saints and the Bible

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

Call for papers: The Latter-day Saints and the Bible section invites presentation proposals for two sessions. One session will focus on social justice narratives, themes and motifs in the Bible. A particularly timely example of engagement for this session might be the intersection of female characters or imagery and social justice. The other session will be an open forum in which presenters may engage any aspect of the Bible or its reception within the wider LDS tradition. Among the topics that might complement the focus of the other session are the reception of biblical social justice narratives, themes and motifs in the Book of Mormon as these are altered by their new context or biblical ideas about embodiedness and miracles, particularly in narratives with female characters.

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Letters of James, Peter, and Jude

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

Call for papers: The Letters of James, Peter, and Jude section invites paper proposals considering interpretive methodologies, perspectives, and/or reception-historical insights into these letters. A joint session with the History of Reception section seeks papers addressing the later canonical status (late acceptance) of the Catholic Epistles and its influence of their reception in the early church or Reformation, or the reception tradition of any of the particular interpretive cruxes of these letters. A second session will be open to paper proposals that consider any aspect of research into these largely neglected letters."

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LGBTI/Queer Hermeneutics

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

Call for papers: The LGBTI/Queer Hermeneutics Section invites proposals for several potential sessions in the 2020 annual meeting. At least ONE session will be an open session welcoming papers on any topics related to LGBTI/Queer biblical hermeneutics. We are also organizing at least two special sessions on the following topics. FIRST, in collaboration with several SBL and AAR program units, we welcome papers on any aspect of Hortense Spillers’ work. Proposals, for instance, can focus on how Spillers’ work on slavery and its many lingering racialized, sexualized, and gendered legacies could or should alter LGBTI/Queer biblical hermeneutics (though this suggestion hardly exhausts the possibilities). SECOND, we welcome proposals for creative presentations and demonstrations of queer biblical pedagogies. Is there a queer way to teach that? This session will be dedicated to demonstrations, reflections, and discussions of LGBTI/Queer pedagogical practices. At least some presenters will lead session attendees in an activity that models a queer pedagogical practice they employ in a biblical studies classroom. Proposals, then, should briefly describe the activity you could lead and how it embodies a LGBTI/Queer pedagogy. Questions or further inquiries about these sessions can be directed to the chair, Joseph Marchal, at josephamarchal@gmail.com.

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

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

Call for papers: For the 2020 meeting in Boston, the Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qur’anic Corpus Unit invites papers to an open session on any topic that engages linguistic, literary, or thematic features of the Qur’an.

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Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew

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

Call for papers: The Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew program unit solicits papers for four sessions: The FIRST SESSION, co-sponsored with NAPH, is open and entitled “Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew.” Papers that address the study of Biblical Hebrew using a well-articulated linguistic theory and/or apply linguistics to particular Biblical Hebrew constructions or corpuses are welcome. The SECOND SESSION is a thematic session entitled “Samaritan Hebrew and Dialectal Diversity in Second Temple Hebrew.” Papers which address linguistic features of Samaritan Hebrew and/or its relationship to other varieties of ancient Hebrew, such as the Tiberian tradition of Biblical Hebrew, are welcome. The THIRD SESSION is a thematic session entitled “Syntax of Late Biblical Hebrew.” Papers will bring together various linguistic and philological approaches and will present new findings in this field, discuss previous studies and methodologies, and explore the broader implications of LBH syntax for the understanding of the variety referred to as LBH and its place in the intricate fabric of Biblical and post-biblical Hebrew varieties. The FOURTH SESSION, co-sponsored with the Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible Section, is entitled “The Intersection of Text and Language in the Hebrew Bible: Innovative Tools and Methods.” It examines the juncture of linguistics and textual criticism, with an emphasis on the use of electronic tools. Especially welcome are papers that both demonstrate practical application of such tools and contribute to the unravelling of specific textual-linguistic issues.

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Literature and History of the Persian Period

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

Call for papers: The Literature and History of the Persian Period is accepting papers for an open session on any topic consistent with the group's description. We are also holding two additional sessions with invited panelists: one on Samaria and Judah and another focuses on how the Pentateuch's (superficially) apolitical legislation was used to reinforce priestly power (held jointly with Pentateuch).

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Lived Religiousness in Antiquity

David A. Creech
Julia Snyder
Description: This unit focuses on the lived experiences of individuals in antiquity who participated in activities or social networks they might have perceived as being “Jewish,” “Christian,” or an analogous affiliation. We discuss textual and archaeological evidence and explore embodied and cognitive experiences. Our goal is to develop best practices for scholarly writing about these phenomena, breaking with traditional scholarly categories and capturing the complexity of human experience in the early centuries, in which “religiousness” was only one of many factors shaping everyday life, and the boundaries between “Christianness,” “Jewishness,” “Romanness,” etc. were not always clear or meaningful.

Call for papers: We will have 3 sessions. (1) Session 1 will address the question: Does it make sense to distinguish between “Christian” and “pagan”? The session seeks to problematize the distinction regularly drawn in scholarship between “Christian” and “pagan” (or: “gentile,” “Roman”) persons, texts, practices, images, etc. Questions for reflection include: (a) How do scholars decide if a text is “Christian” or not? Is a shopping list or business letter written by a baptized person a “Christian” document? If a person who rejects traditional claims about Jesus writes a story about him, is that a “Christian” text? (b) How does one decide if a practice is “Christian”? If a baptized person is a vegetarian, does that make his or her avoidance of meat a “Christian” practice? If someone participates in a ritual in honor of Jesus only once a year, is that person a “Christian”? Is the practice “Christian”? (c) Does it make sense to discuss criteria that would define which ancient persons, texts, practices, images, etc., should be considered “Christian” for scholarly purposes? If not, what are some alternative approaches for determining which practices, texts, etc., are “worthy of scholarly attention” for those whose work ostensibly concerns “early Christianity”? Proposed papers in this session should discuss the strengths and weaknesses of possible criteria or approaches, illustrating methodological points with concrete examples from the ancient world. (2) A second session will be held jointly with the Religious Experience in Antiquity unit. The topic is “The Everydayness of Religious Experience.” Papers are invited that examine the intersection(s) of “religious experiences” (broadly understood) in the lived experiences and everyday lives of ancient peoples. This call is open to scholars working in all periods and geographical regions of antiquity. (3) Proposals are invited for an open session on “Lived Religiousness.” Papers should be well-developed and theoretically sophisticated.

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Mark Passion Narrative

Jocelyn McWhirter
Thomas R. Shepherd
Description: The Mark Passion Narrative Seminar approaches Mark 14-16 from a variety of methodological approaches in dialogue. The goal is twofold – to gain new insights into the Mark PN within the context of the entire Gospel of Mark and to illustrate how methods in dialogue can produce meaningful understandings of texts.

Call for papers: The Mark Passion Narrative Seminar will host two sessions in 2020, the first on “Gethsemane: Mark 14:26–42” and a second on “The Arrest and Jewish Trial: Mark 14:43–72.” Invited papers will be circulated in advance and then discussed among seminar members and session attendees.

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Masoretic Studies

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

Call for papers: The Masoretic Studies section is planning to have four sessions at the 2020 Annual Meeting. The first session, co-sponsored with National Association of Professors of Hebrew, is open and has the theme “Using the Masorah to Teach Hebrew.” Papers that address this theme are welcome. The second session, "Masoretes, Manuscripts, and Marginalia", will be held with Philology in Hebrew Studies, and Book History and Biblical Literatures sections. Questions to be addressed are: what the Masoretes and later medieval annotators were doing with the Bible as a text through their use of marginalia, and what sort of product were they producing and for what purposes? There will be a few invited participants, but the session will be open to additional papers as well. The third and fourth sessions will be open. The Masoretic Studies section invites submissions for all four of these sessions. Papers in the third and fourth sessions can address any topic pertaining to Masoretic studies, such as Masoretic notes, Hebrew manuscripts, biblical accents, etc. The presentation of the work of doctoral candidates and early career researchers are especially welcome.

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Matthew

Catherine Sider Hamilton
Nathan Eubank
Description: The Matthew Section sponsors invited and submitted papers, panels, reviews and welcomes submission on any topic related to Matthean scholarship.

Call for papers: The Matthew Section is seeking proposals on Matthean topics for the 2020 Annual Meeting in Boston. We will hold three sessions at this meeting. Two of these will be invited sessions. The first is co-hosted with Christian Theology and the Bible. This session continues our study of women in/on Matthew’s Gospel. This year the panel will focus on women in Matthew and women interpreting women in Matthew, especially from a theological perspective. The second is a panel discussion of Matthew within Judaism (Runesson and Gurtner, eds.) and Matthew within Sectarian Judaism (Kampen). The third session is open to any topic in Matthean studies. Submissions will be evaluated based on the originality and clarity of the thesis proposed, command of current and classic scholarship (author; year), quality and clarity of supporting evidence, and the overall contribution it makes to knowledge and the vision of SBL Matthew to present the best in Matthean scholarship. Please note that proposals lacking a clear thesis and explicit reference to the scholarly context of the proposed paper will not be considered. Ideally, abstracts should be less than 300 words.

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Meals in the Greco-Roman World

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

Call for papers: The MGRW seminar has planned three sessions for 2020: a) New studies on Meals and Water rites – (call esp. for PhD students) Water rites and meals were rituals marked by religious and social diversity and embodying an image of society. We are interested in discussing new studies that analyze the relationship between meals and rites involving water. The function of meals and water rites might be related to each other in terms of theology, context, participants, leaders, social representation, purpose, etc. We are also interested in asking what significance water rites and meals have for communities. PhD students will be given the opportunity in this session to present their work and discuss it with members of the seminar as well as the audience. b) Music and Sound during Ancient Meals (open call) We invite papers that explore the music and/or sounds of Greco-Roman meals. Perspectives from a variety of ancient communities are welcome. Questions to address include, but are not limited to, the following: Is sound/music an integral or excessive part of the ancient banquet? What are types of songs (e.g., drinking songs, econmia, hymns, etc.) and their roles in the banquet? How were sound and movement related at a meal? What role did Dance play? Are there special values or conventions relating to sound and musical activities at ancient meals? What is the relation of sound elements with other parts of the banquet (e.g., drinking, dancing, conversations, and other forms of entertainment, etc.)? c) Joint session: The Meals in the Greco Roman World group and the Religious Experience group would like to invite proposals for a joint session on Meals, Affect, and Religious Experience. Proposals should engage with the embodied and/or cognitive experience of emotion and emotional responses (collective or individual) that come about in the context of meals within a religious and/or ritual context.

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Meals in the HB/OT and Its World

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

Call for papers: In light of the COVID 19 pandemic, the Meals in the HB/OT and Its World unit will host a virtual panel and open discussion on meals/food in times of crisis in ancient Israel and the Hebrew Bible. Furthermore, we will reflect on how the current pandemic and our new houshold practices have changed our view on food in ancient Israel. It reflects the following issues: Do we have striking parallels between the current crisis and ancient ones when we look on the centrality of meals? How are virtual meals conceived off/experienced in contrast to face to face meals? Has staying at home and preparing/cooking/eating most of our food at home changed our understanding of food and household practices in the Hebrew Bible?

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Metacriticism of Biblical Scholarship

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

Call for papers: For the 2020 Annual Meeting, the Metacriticism of Biblical Scholarship unit will convene 3 sessions. The first is an open session for which we solicit proposals on the topic of the political use of the Bible in the 21st century. The recent resurgence of political evangelicals and their alignment with state power around the world has seen the Bible emerge as a potent symbol. How does the Bible function in political spaces? Does its substantive content influence that function? Or is its operation in such contexts strictly iconic? What opportunities are there to disrupt or complicate its adjacency to state power? Finally, how does the political invocation of the Bible and biblical language more generally influence recent debates on secularism? Continuing our concern to foster spaces in which the past and future of the SBL may be addressed, and its institutional commitment to inclusive scholarship may be furthered, we will convene a second panel on the subject of “Justice in the SBL.” Our focus will be to sponsor a forum in which recent, organization-led efforts toward addressing marginalized communities, including LGBTQ+ scholars, will be discussed. We will also convene an invited panel to discuss Richard Newton's book Identifying Roots: Alex Haley and the Anthropology of Scriptures (Equinox 2020). This panel focuses on Newton’s critical reexamination of the category “scriptures." How might we envision alternatives to presuming the intrinsic importance of familiar, historical canons? How does an expansive conception scriptures challenge our understanding of the relationship between culture and text?

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Metaphor Theory and the Hebrew Bible

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

Call for papers: The Metaphor Theory and the Hebrew Bible section will host two sessions in Boston. Together with the Theological Reflections on the Book of Ezekiel section, we will co-sponsor an open session on metaphorical language in the book of Ezekiel. We are seeking papers that explore a range of issues related to the selection, deployment, and interpretation of metaphors in Ezekiel, including the meaning of individual metaphors, the broader patterns of metaphor usage that emerge in the book, and the role metaphors play in the shaping of Ezekiel’s theological message. We especially welcome papers that focus on metaphors other than the often-considered JERUSALEM IS A WOMAN (Ezekiel 16, 23) and LEADERS ARE SHEPHERDS (Ezekiel 34) metaphors. Proposals can be submitted to either this section or the Theological Reflections on the book of Ezekiel section. The second session consists of a panel of invited papers that engage with the newly published volume, Networks of Metaphors in the Hebrew Bible (BETL, 2020) and the related topic of mixed metaphors.

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Midrash

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

Call for papers: The Midrash Section invites paper proposals for two sessions it will sponsor at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the SBL: 1) A session devoted to the theme "Emotions in Midrash" which will focus on how in midrashic literature emotions are represented, along with how the emotions of biblical characters are portrayed and interpreted; 2) An open session devoted to any aspect of the study of Midrash and related literature.

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Mind, Society, and Religion: Cognitive Science Approaches to the Biblical World

Jutta Jokiranta
Rikard Roitto
Description: This program unit draws on scientific explanations of human thought and behavior to understand cognitive processes behind religious thought, experience, and practice, in order to explain religion in the biblical world and develop approaches integrating cultural and cognitive studies.

Call for papers: In 2020, the program unit organizes three sessions: (1) "Cultural evolution and cognitive historiography" (co-sponsored with the Cognitive Science of Religion unit of the American Academy of Religion). We invite scholars to submit a proposal for a paper or panel session who are using cognitive approaches to identify cultural evolutionary processes (e.g., social change, gene-culture co-evolution, transmission of information via social learning, imitation, prestige-bias, etc.) throughout history, especially in antiquity and the Ancient Near East. (2) "Psychological and Cognitive Science of Religion (CSR) approaches to ageing, death and mourning in the Bible" (joint session together with Psychology and Biblical Studies seminar). We invite papers that apply at least one psychological theory or cognitive science of religion (CSR) theory or approach to the study of ageing, death and mourning as depicted in the Bible or biblical world. Relevant topics include but are not limited to research on the sense of self when ageing, perceptions of the agency and personhood of the deceased, commemorative practices and interactions with funerary spaces, places, and objects, and rituals of mourning and grief as coping and as responses to crises. Proposals should identify the text(s) and/or artefacts to be examined and state clearly how psychological and/or CSR theories and approaches are utilized in the presentation. Reference to the ancient languages should be included where relevant. (3) The third session is open for any proposal using explanations from cognitive science to understand religious thought, experience, and practice.

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Minoritized Criticism and Biblical Interpretation

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

Call for papers: This open session explores biblical interpretation and histories of racism and modes of racialization in the United States. We invite papers that engage in innovative and intersectional readings of the Bible and lived realities (present or past) of racism in the United States. This section particularly welcomes proposals engaging issues of racism and racialization as it pertains to the Bible and US White-Christianity, the Bible and US imperialism, the Bible and US political discourse, the Bible and US eugenics, or the Bible and US immigration. The MCBI section also holds an invited panel reviewing "Minoritized Women Reading Race and Ethnicity: Intersectional Approaches to Constructed Identity and Early Christian Texts," edited by Mitzi Smith and Jin Young Choi.

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Mysticism, Esotericism, and Gnosticism in Antiquity

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

Call for papers: MEGA welcomes papers on any topic related to mysticism, esotericism, and/or Gnosticism in antiquity for an open session that features the work of the group. We also will be holding a joint session with the AAR Western Esotericism group on New Antiquities, particularly how individuals and groups appeal to, reconceptualize, and reinvent the religious world of the ancient Mediterranean and use scholarship about it to legitimize developments in contemporary religious culture. Papers engaging themes of the impact of scholarship on religious life and the development of new religious movements are especially welcome. The third session will be a commentary panel discussion on Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World by Radcliffe Edmonds. Papers that critically engage or are inspired by Edmonds’ work are especially sought.

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Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism

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

Call for papers: The Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism Section is planning to hold four sessions at the Annual Meeting in Boston. There is an open call for the first session for papers on any topic related to the interests of the section. For the second session, we encourage proposals addressing the topic of Jesus, gospels, and the Nag Hammadi collection. In this session, we will also review volume 2 of The Reception of Jesus in the First Three Centuries, edited by Chris Keith, Helen Bond, Christine Jacobi, and Jens Schröter. Additionally, there will be two joint sessions: one with The Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory section, which welcomes proposals that study extant Gnostic and related literature using methodologies conventionally employed in the study of ancient myth; and the other with the Christian Apocrypha section that welcomes proposals on Apocryphal texts in Coptic. For all four sessions, advanced graduate students and women scholars are especially invited to submit abstracts for consideration.

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National Association of Professors of Hebrew

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

Call for papers: Call For Papers: NAPH is sponsoring four sessions and three co-sponsored sessions. I. Annual Meeting of Officers and Members. II. Book event, Zev Garber and Kenneth Hanson, Judaism and Jesus (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020). Halakhic and Theological issues related to the Jewish advocacy of Jesus then and now are featured. III. Theme: How Old Is the Hebrew Bible? — Where Do We Go from Here? This section, continuing that of 2019 meeting, invites research focusing on topics such as linguistic change, linguistic variation, textual change, and the significance of inscriptions addressed in How Old is the Hebrew Bible? (2018). IV. NAPH and SBL Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures Section are accepting papers for the characterization of YHWH and Moses in ethical conflicts (crises) in the Pentateuch. In this session, we ask how biblical texts assess/depict/deconstruct the ethics of the actions of deity/deities. Contact Soo J. Kim (sjkim@aeu.edu).V.Theme: Teaching Biblical Hebrew for Reading and Interpretation The 2020 pedagogy session of the National Association of Professors of Hebrew will consider the principles and methods of classroom instruction that promote proficiency in the reading and interpretation of biblical Hebrew texts. Contact: Robert Stallman (bob.stallman@northwesu.edu. VI. NAPH and Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew Session. Papers are invited for a joint non-thematic/open session with the Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew Seminar of SBL entitled “Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew.” Papers that address the study of Biblical Hebrew using a well-articulated linguistic method are welcome, and those that apply linguistics to particular Biblical Hebrew constructions or corpuses are especially encouraged. Contact: Jacobus Naudé (naudej@ufs.ac.za) or Tania Notarius (tnotarius@gmail.com). VII. NAPH and Masorah Studies are co-sponsoring a session on “Using the Masorah to Teach Hebrew.” Papers that address this theme are welcome. Contact Daniel Mynatt (dmynatt@umhb.edu)

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Nature Imagery and Conceptions of Nature in the Bible

Dalit Rom-Shiloni
Mark J. Boda
Description: This multi-disciplinary consultation focuses on the plethora of nature references in the Bible, discussed by scholars of Bible, archaeology, iconography, life and natural sciences, and more. Our common goals are to enable better exegesis of biblical nature imagery and to address the biblical authors’ conceptions of nature.

Call for papers: For Boston, we are planning three sessions, one thematic, one open, and one methodological. (1) The thematic session is devoted to “Tree Images (in the wild and in agriculture): Themes and Functions.” In an effort to deviate from previous work on tree imagery in the Bible, the session will be structured around the figurative use of parts of the tree: roots, branches, fruit, trunk/height, stumps, etc. We encourage co-operations with botanists and archaeobotanists according to the proposed topics, and may assist in drawing the connections between scholars. For (2) the Open Session, we call presenters to focus on specific trees, or flora formations, and the diverse themes and functions they carry, but other topics will also be considered. (3) The methodological study is an invited session joint with Ancient Near Eastern Iconography. We will continue the focus on “Conceptions of Nature in Literature and Iconography: Methodological Considerations” and discuss “Conceptions of Nature in Ancient Cultures” asking what would be considered as conceptions of nature in literary and pictorial ancient sources?

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New Testament Textual Criticism

Juan Hernandez Jr.
Stephen C. Carlson
Description: The New Testament Textual Criticism Section seeks to foster the study and criticism of the text of the New Testament—including examination of manuscripts and other sources, evaluation of their textual variation, restorations of texts, and the investigation of the history of its transmission—in its cultural and historical contexts. SBL has had a group dedicated to this topic as far back as 1946.

Call for papers: The New Testament Textual Criticism section invites proposals for its two open sessions on any aspect relating to the study and criticism of the text of the New Testament. We especially welcome papers that examine manuscripts and other sources, evaluate their textual variation, investigate their history of transmission, and reconsider the methods we use to analyze them. In addition, we will be hosting a joint session with the Mark Group on the scholarly legacy of Larry W. Hurtado (1943-2019), as well as planning an invited session on the writing and use of textual commentaries.

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Nida Institute

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

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

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Novum Testamentum Graecum: Editio Critica Maior

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

Call for papers: The ECM of the Gospel of Mark will be published in late 2020 or early 2021. The theme of the session at the Annual Meeting in 2020 will therefore be "The Text of the Gospel according to Mark". It is intended to provide participants whose papers are selected with an advance copy of data from the ECM of Mark in order to inform their papers. Proposals are also invited on other aspects of the ECM editions.

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Numismatic Evidence and Biblical Interpretation

David M. May
Michael P. Theophilos
Description: This Program Unit explores how ancient coinage illumines the interpretation of early Christianity and biblical literature. It will appeal to scholars interested in epigraphic, iconographic, and historical questions, as well as those who specialize in the social history of early Christianity.

Call for papers: This Program Unit explores how ancient coinage illumines the interpretation of early Christianity and biblical literature. It will appeal to scholars interested in epigraphic, iconographic, and historical questions, as well as those who specialize in the social history of early Christianity.

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Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds

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

Call for papers: The Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds Group will hold two sessions. For the first one, we welcome papers that examine how a known archaeological provenance impacts the interpretation of papyri relating to early Christians (e.g. sites such as Antinoupolis, Hermopolis, Karanis, Kellis, and Oxyrhynchus). The second session is open to papers engaging papyrology and early Christian backgrounds more generally.

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Paul and Politics

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

Call for papers: The Paul and Politics Section proposes four sessions at the 2020 Annual Meeting in Boston. All four sessions are open for paper proposals. The FIRST SESSION is call on “Public” Paul Specifically, as we think about the ramifications of the elections of 2020, how has an understanding of Pauline politics surfaced in the recent 2020 Presidential elections. Some overlapping lines of investigation may engage interpretation of the apostle Paul, his mission, his letters, and his longer-range impact on today’s electoral politics. The SECOND SESSION, co-sponsored with Ecological Hermeneutics Unit, “Paul and Ecology,” will engage questions of ecology and politics in any aspect of the study of communities to which Paul wrote, Paul’s letters, the Pauline legacy, and/or contemporary communities using these texts. The papers should explore the resources and/or challenges Pauline texts offer for ecological conversations. Papers that engage the intersections of gender, race, and economics in these conversations are particularly sought. The THIRD SESSION, in collaboration with several SBL and AAR program units, welcomes papers on any aspect of Hortense Spillers’ work and its relationships to Paul and politics. Proposals, for instance, can focus on how Spillers’ work on slavery and its many lingering racialized, sexualized, and gendered legacies intersect with conversations around Paul and politics found in Pauline communities. The FOURTH SESSION will be an open call inviting proposals for papers on any element of research related to the relationship(s) between "Paul" and "politics" (in the broadest sense of both of these terms)

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Paul within Judaism

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

Call for papers: There will be three sessions in 2020.1) a joint session with the Historical Paul group on Paul and the Pharisees; 2) a joint status quaestionis session with the Disputed Pauline and Paul and Politics group; 3) an open session dedicated to the topic 'Paul and the Rabbis'. For the latter we accept papers on ideas found in Paul’s letters and which resurface in rabbinic literature, as well as on Pauline ideas that the rabbis reject/argue against explicitly or implicitly.

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Pauline Epistles

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

Call for papers: For the 2020 Annual Meeting, the Pauline Epistles Section is planning two open-call sessions, for which we invite paper proposals on any topic that falls under the broad remit of our Section description. In addition, we are planning two jointly-sponsored, invited panel sessions: one with Pauline Theology on the problem of doing history and doing theology in the study of Paul, and another with Biblical Exegesis from Eastern Orthodox Perspectives on the eikon theou in Paul and his interpreters.

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Pauline Theology

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

Call for papers: Theme: Paul on Justice. What does Paul have to say about justice? The dik-stem words in the Pauline corpus (especially in Romans) minimally allow and maximally require us to address the question of justice in Paul’s thought. For its open session, the Pauline Theology Section invites proposals for papers which address any of the following questions (and others) around the theme of Paul and justice: What for Paul are the source, norm, power and practice of justice? How are Paul’s thoughts on justice determined by his fundamental theological commitments: God, Jesus as kyrios and christos, the Holy Spirit, sovereignty, Abraham, faith-trust-loyalty, Israel, law, cross-resurrection-exaltation, apocalyptic, messianism? How does Paul’s justice-discourse reflect, bear on, or challenge the justice-discourses in the Hebrew Bible, Second Temple Judaism, and the Greco-Roman world? What are the social, judicial, economic and political dimensions of Paul’s understanding of justice? Finally, how might Paul’s theology of justice be brought to bear on contemporary understandings of justice in its various dimensions (power-sovereignty-government, international relations, war, law, judiciary, equity, punishment, incarceration, oppression, revolution, restitution, reconciliation, restoration, peace)?

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Pentateuch

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

Call for papers: The Pentateuch Section provides a forum within the SBL for presentation and discussion of research on the Pentateuch, with a particular focus on transmission-historical issues and linkage of that area of inquiry with other more synchronic methodologies. For the 2020 Boston meeting we will have a particular focus on Theocracy with a co-sponsored session with the Literature and History of the Persian Period group. Paper proposals in all areas of Pentateuchal research are welcome, but proposals that address the subject of Theocracy in the Pentateuch are especially encouraged.

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Performance Criticism of Biblical and Other Ancient Texts

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

Call for papers: The Performance Criticism of Biblical and Other Ancient Texts unit will host two sessions at the Boston meeting. The first is a joint session with the Bible in Ancient (and Modern) Media unit that features the work of Richard Schechner, noted performance theorist from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts and pioneer of the discipline of Performance Studies. Dr. Schechner will open the session with a presentation regarding the roots and development of Performance Theory and will formally respond to two invited papers (including one performance of Paul’s letter to the Philippians) on performance theory from members of the respective sections. The session will conclude with an open discussion in which all three participants invite questions and comments from those in attendance. The second session of the Performance Criticism of Biblical and Other Ancient Texts unit is an OPEN session, and we seek submissions that examine the formative influence of performance on the creation of texts, the performance of such texts in ancient contexts, and the representation of oral performance in written texts. For this session, we encourage papers with a focus on the theoretical aspect of Performance Criticism of the Bible (PCB), that explore such issues as the definition of PCB and the boundaries of PCB.

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Philo of Alexandria

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

Call for papers: For 2020, the Philo Seminar is planning three sessions. The first is an open call on Philo and Gender. All aspects of gender are considered, from grammatical gender to Philo's sexuality constructs. The second session, with invited speakers, will treat Philo's two-volume "On the Life of Moses." This session will assist scholars currently at work on commentaries. The third will be a joint session with the Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature section covering "The Experience of the Other: Inclusion, Exclusion, and Judeophobia." This joint session will be an open call.

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Philology in Hebrew Studies

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

Call for papers: For the 2020 Annual Meeting, we invite proposals for open sessions. This program unit seeks to address matters of intellectual history (how operative categories of language and its products were generated and shaped over time), and critically engage methods of the major aspects of philology, such as but not limited to poetics, translation theory, lexicography, and textual criticism. The program unit is especially interested in the examination of these methods and their underlying conceptual frameworks, with an eye towards determining how contemporary scholars might better understand ancient texts. In addition to considering submitted proposals whose topics fit broadly with the mission of our program unit, Philology in Hebrew Studies will be sponsoring two special sessions with other program units for which we will invite papers but also welcome additional proposals in response to this open call. SESSION ONE: Masoretic Studies, Philology in Hebrew Studies, and Book History and Biblical Literatures are holding a joint session, "Masoretes, Manuscripts, and Marginalia," on what the Masoretes and later medieval annotators were doing to and with the Bible as a text through their use of marginalia. What sort of product were they producing and for what purposes? What sort of intervention in the history of the Bible as a book did they effect? SESSION TWO: Philology in Hebrew Studies and Senses, Cultures, and Biblical Worlds are holding a joint session, “The Philology of Sense Perception,” investigating the language used to describe sensory events in the Hebrew Bible. What terms are used for sense perception in the Hebrew Bible and what is their relationship to one another? Are there later perspectives on the senses that come to be imposed through the ancient and modern translations of the Hebrew terms? In general, what has been at stake in scholarship on the senses, and how much identity between ancient and modern experiences is generally presumed?

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Postcolonial Studies and Biblical Studies

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

Call for papers: Postcolonial Studies and Biblical Studies section will host three sessions for the 2020 Annual Meeting, including a joint session. The first session explores Wisdom traditions in Global Cultures and invites papers that examine wisdom tradition from around the world in conversation with biblical wisdom. In this regard, paper topics may be broadly construed focusing on any aspect of this theme. The second session is an open session co-sponsored with the Christian Theology and the Bible section. This session continues our series exploring the significance of geography in the Bible by reflecting on Boston as a colonial site, and calls for paper proposals on the role of the Bible in Christian theology’s colonial impulse, as well as how postcolonial interpretations of the Bible do (or can) intersect with Christian theology. The third session invites paper proposals on the theme of Loyalty as Resistance and Subversion. In this regard, loyalty may be broadly construed to include cultural, theological, biblical and ideological loyalty. But equally, loyalty shaped by biblical authority. Are there constraints and limitations to loyalty?

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Poverty in the Biblical World

Crystal L. Hall
Kelly Murphy
Description: This unit will examine poverty, servitude, and related issues in the Hebrew Bible, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity. While non-canonical texts and related materials will be included, primary focus will be on biblical texts. Innovative interdisciplinary methods as well as traditional exegesis are welcome.

Call for papers: This year the Poverty in the Biblical World Section will host one session. SESSION 1 (Open Call): Walls and borders in biblical texts function both materially and symbolically, having the potential to be in varying degrees life-affirming and/or death-dealing. Walls and borders might promise peace (e.g., Psalm 122, 147), yet conquering nations break down the wall surrounding Jerusalem (e.g., Nehemiah 1). Some texts declare God created nations and borders (e.g., Deuteronomy 32:8, Acts 17:26), but others dictate God wants people to care for those who are arrive from outside these walls and borders. Jesus, Mary and Joseph cross the border between Judea and Egypt fleeing the persecution of Herod (Matthew 2), while Revelation describes how a wall will again surround the New Jerusalem (e.g. Revelation 21). In short, the biblical texts attest to the many ways that walls and border can be places of particular vulnerability for the poor and marginalized. With a special focus on how walls and borders impact impoverished peoples, both ancient and/or contemporary, papers in this session will explore how to better understand these disparate texts, either in their ancient contexts or as they have been applied throughout their reception histories. Topics might address wall building or destruction, border establishment or crossing, with special attention on their implications for the poor and marginalized.

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Prayer in Antiquity

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

Call for papers: In 2020, the Prayer in Antiquity unit will host three sessions. The first is a joint session with the Bible and Emotion unit on the topic of prayer and emotion in antiquity. Relevant questions of interest include: How are emotions described and expressed in prayers? What role do emotions have in the experiencing of prayers at the individual or group level? What are the best approaches for examining prayer and emotion in antiquity? What role do emotions play in how a prayer might participate in the formation of the self? Proposals should move beyond a strictly form-critical understanding of prayers and give an explicit description of the approach being used. Papers evaluating and assessing one or more methods to use for studying prayer and emotion are especially welcome. Selected papers will have an invited respondent. The Prayer in Antiquity unit will also host a second session which is a special-themed session on Praying with Material Objects. Proposals should engage the topic of material objects as forms of prayer, material objects associated with praying, or the materiality of prayer texts. Submissions should highlight the text and the material object(s) that are being examined, and also the methodological approach that will be taken in the paper. The third session will be a totally open session for papers that fit the section description. Priority will be given to proposals that move beyond historical- and form-critical methodologies and understand prayer as some form of embodied practice.

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Prophetic Texts and Their Ancient Contexts

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

Call for papers:

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Pseudepigrapha

Jacques van Ruiten
Kelley N. Coblentz Bautch
Description: The goals of this section include: to provide a forum for scholarly discussion of Jewish and Christian pseudepigrapha; to encourage the broader study of pseudepigrapha for its relevance in understanding early Judaism and Christianity; to facilitate both cross-disciplinary interaction and further integration of the study of pseudepigrapha within biblical studies.

Call for papers: The Pseudepigrapha Section focuses on three distinct areas for the 2020 Annual Meeting of the SBL. On the occasion of the recent critical edition and German translation of short chronographic Paleia (S. Fahl, D. Fahl, Die Kurze Chronographische Paleja [Gütersloh, 2019]), we especially solicit proposals which examine the impact of these Slavonic literary traditions on the study of Pseudepigrapha; we co-sponsor this session with the Biblical Exegesis from Eastern Orthodox Perspectives section. For a second thematic session, we welcome proposals that concern the Christian ownership and transmission of Jewish texts. Finally, in light of the forthcoming publication of P. Ahearne-Kroll, A Jewish Narrative in Egypt: A Case for the Composition of “Joseph and Aseneth” (SBL, 2020), the Pseudepigrapha Section will feature a forum with invited panelists on the limitations of reconstructed texts, fabula, and Judaism in Hellenistic Egypt. ************************************************************************************************************************************** In light of the pandemic and move to an online program this year, the Pseudepigrapha Section has revised its program for 2020. This year we will host an open session and in light of the publication of Aseneth of Egypt: The Composition of a Jewish Narrative(SBL, 2020), will feature a forum with invited panelists on the limitations of reconstructed texts, Judaism in Hellenistic Egypt and trajectories in Aseneth studies.

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Psychology and Biblical Studies

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

Call for papers: Our long-term theme Facing Life's Crises: Reading Biblical Texts from a Psychological Perspective focusses this year on issues around Ageing, Death and Mourning as depicted in the Bible. As always, we a named psychologist or psychological theory or approach must be included in the paper and abstract and we request that reference to the biblical languages be included where relevant. As this is a Seminar unit, we remind proposers that full versions of the papers and the relevant seven-minute summaries will be required from presenters FOUR WEEKS in advance of the Annual Meeting. Our current plan is to compile the papers of the three years’ Seminars into a book published by SBL and ask presenters to bear that in mind. Our emailing list (Friends of PsyBibs) will be circulated with the accepted papers in advance of the Meeting, where they will be briefly summarised and then discussed in earnest by all present. Anyone else wishing to receive the papers should email the Co-Chairs in order to join the emailing list: mckayh@edgehill.ac.uk, licsoldanp@gmail.com. We are further creating a joint session with Mind, Society, and Religion: Cognitive Science Approaches to the Biblical World, titled : "Psychological and Cognitive. Here, we invite papers that apply at least one psychological theory or cognitive science of religion (CSR) theory or approach to the study of ageing, death and mourning as depicted in the Bible or biblical world. Relevant topics include but are not limited to research on the sense of self when ageing, perceptions of the agency and personhood of the deceased, commemorative practices and interactions with funerary spaces, places, and objects, and rituals of mourning and grief as coping and as responses to crises. Proposals should identify the text(s) and/or artefacts to be examined and state clearly how psychological and/or CSR theories and approaches are utilized in the presentation. Reference to the ancient languages should be included where relevant.

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Q

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

Call for papers: 1. The Q section invites paper proposals examining the presence of economic themes in Q, in particular in the parables included in the document. Potential papers may treat either the economic context of the composition of Q or the reflection of economic issues in Q. Some papers will be invited, but the section welcomes also proposals for this panel.

2. The Q section invites papers examining the material features of the production and circulation of Q with particular attention given to their socio-cultural implications and using parallels drawn from early Jewish and Greco-Roman archives. Some papers will be invited, but the section also welcomes proposals for this panel.

3. Finally, as always, we will reserve a third session as an open session, for which we invite proposals on any aspect of research on Q.

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Qumran

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

Call for papers: The Qumran Section has three goals: (1) It provides a forum for scholarly discussion of any aspect of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the material culture of Qumran, and the history, literature, and worldviews of the people associated with them. (2) It encourages new discussions and new approaches in the field of Dead Sea Scrolls studies. (3) It strives for integrating the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls with other fields of biblical and related studies. In 2020 the Section will host one invited session on the topic of New Commentaries, New Editions. Invited papers will be devoted to introducing and discussing a number of commentary projects in new and existing series, as well as new text-edition initiatives, including digital editions. Of special interest will be the principles behind new commentaries or editions, and how these principles are applied by authors and editors. A joint session of the Qumran and Formation of Isaiah program units will present invited papers on various ways in which the Qumran Isaiah manuscripts contribute to our knowledge of the formation and transmission of that book, and of transmission and editing processes more generally. In addition, we welcome proposals for two open-call sessions. We commit ourselves to balance senior and junior voices. In order to maximize opportunities for presenters, scholars should not present more than two years in succession. This restriction does not apply to invited papers.

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Qur'an and Biblical Literature

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

Call for papers: The Qur'an and Biblical Literature Unit is looking for innovative papers that critically address the interchange and interplay between the Bible, Biblical literature and the Qur'an and its interpretative tradition.

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Qur’anic Exegesis: Unpublished and Recently Published tafsir Studies (IQSA)

Shady Hekmat Nasser
Description: This exploratory panel is dedicated to exploring Qur?anic exegetical works (tafsir proper or otherwise) that were recently published or still in manuscript form. The goal of the panel is to shed light on these works of tafsir that have not got enough scholarly attention, and which fall outside the “familiar” canon of Muslim exegetical works often used in modern scholarship. This panel encourages scholars to consult and study these recent publications in order to enrich our understanding of Qur?anic exegesis and widen our perspectives with a more holistic and comprehensive view of tafsir studies that fall outside the traditional sources often used.

Call for papers: This exploratory panel is dedicated to exploring Qur?anic exegetical works (tafsir proper or otherwise) that were recently published or still in manuscript form. The goal of the panel is to shed light on these works of tafsir that have not got enough scholarly attention, and which fall outside the “familiar” canon of Muslim exegetical works often used in modern scholarship. This panel encourages scholars to consult and study these recent publications in order to enrich our understanding of Qur?anic exegesis and widen our perspectives with a more holistic and comprehensive view of tafsir studies that fall outside the traditional sources often used.

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Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics (IQSA)

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

Call for papers: This unit aims to understand and contextualize the methods and hermeneutics applied to the Qur’anic text, both historical and contemporary. The Methodology and Hermeneutics unit addresses questions that might implicitly govern other units, such as: What is Qur’anic Studies, and how does the study of the Qur’an differ from the study of its interpretation? What are the methodological differences between descriptive and normative approaches to the text? How does context (intellectual, social, ethical, historical) affect hermeneutical approaches to the text? The unit welcomes papers addressed to the hermeneutics and methods of particular schools of interpretation or thought, and also on hermeneutics as applied to specific subjects or concepts such as social justice and gender. This year the Methodology and Hermeneutics unit will feature a pre-arranged panel that surveys Muslim engagements with the Qur’an from the classical and post-classical periods that focus on different visions of the Qur’an as a revelatory discourse and its major themes. The Unit also invites submissions for a second panel on any aspect of Qur’anic interpretation, hermeneutics, and methodology. Proposals can focus on, among other topics, the following areas: • The overlaps and distinctions between tafsir and ta’wil in exoteric and esoteric Qur’an commentary literature as they have evolved historically; • The distinctive hermeneutical features of Qur’anic exegesis performed by minority Muslim communities including Sufi and Shi‘i (Twelver, Ismaili, Nusayri) commentators; • How the Muslim Peripatetics (falasifa), such as Avicenna, have engaged with the Qur’an through Aristotelian and Neoplatonic lenses; • The unique hermeneutical approaches of Muslim modernist thinkers in the 19th and 20th centuries; • Interpretative engagements with the Qur’an from thinkers in South Asia and Southeastern Asia. Any other topic that deals with Qur’anic hermeneutics is welcome

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Racism, Pedagogy and Biblical Studies

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

Call for papers: (Co-sponsored with Academic Teaching and Biblical Studies): “Best Practices in Teaching Issues of Race and Racism.”: We seek papers on best practices in teaching race and racism in biblical studies, focusing on “Good reads”. We invite presentations pointing attendees to valuable articles, book chapters, and other current scholarship that facilitate student learning on race and racism in biblical studies. Presentations that model a specific approach as opposed to a lecture (e.g., "show us," not "tell us") are also encouraged. Presentations will be 20 minutes.”

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Reading, Theory, and the Bible

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

Call for papers: Reading, Theory and the Bible sponsors innovative, experimental work on Bible (“Bible” being interpreted in the broadest sense to include all commentaries and intertexts). We foreground, but do not solely concentrate upon, biblical criticism that engages continental philosophy, critical theory, and reception; we exist to accommodate work that pushes the boundaries of scholarship and augments conventional hermeneutics, and we work on the assumption that traditional questions of provenance, philology, and history are amply accommodated by other groups in the SBL. We also encourage innovative presentation. For 2020, we are planning four sessions. The first is an “open call” session for general work that engages some aspect of critical theory but does not fit neatly into our other themed calls or those of other groups. Second, we are inviting papers that explore the work of Luce Irigaray and her influence (actual and potential) upon the discipline of biblical studies, broadly conceived. Third, for our third session, RTB is partnering with the Sacred Texts, Theory and Theological Construction section of the AAR for a panel celebrating the 30th anniversary of Deleuze and Guattari’s 1000 Plateaus, and we invite papers exploring the intersection of 1000 Plateaus and biblical studies. Finally, RTB will partner with the SBL sections Islands, Islanders, and Scripture and Ideological Criticism; the session will facilitate collaborative readings between indigenous and settler-aware readers of scripture on specific texts. It provides a forum for indigenous readers to share and collaborate with settler scholars and allies, and encourages the latter to learn about the challenges and freedoms of bringing indigenous ways of knowing into the field of biblical studies.

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Recovering Female Interpreters of the Bible

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

Call for papers: We seek paper proposals on the following topics: 1) "Race, Slavery, and Social Justice in Biblical Interpretation by Historical Women: Papers Commemorating Maria Stewart." Inspired by the Boston setting of the 2020 Annual Meeting, this program unit remembers the work of Boston orator and essayist Maria W. Miller Stewart (1803-1879), the first recorded African American female political writer. We invite papers on Maria Stewart, as well as other historical women (active prior to World War I) who interpreted the Bible to promote social justice by confronting racism, slavery, and sexism. Papers should include significant attention to the historical figures’ work as biblical interpreters and their approach to scripture. We especially welcome papers about historical women of color, including those who could be considered Womanist forerunners. 2) "Historical Women Interpreting Scripture through Music and the Arts." Through the ages, countless women interpreted scripture through their creation of hymns, poetry, literature, painting, textiles, and other artistic works. We invite papers on historical women (active prior to World War I) who interpreted the Bible through artistic activity. Papers should include significant attention to the historical figures’ work as biblical interpreters, with attention to specific works created by these artists and writers from Jewish, Christian, and other religious traditions.

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Redescribing Christian Origins

Matthew C. Baldwin
Robyn Faith Walsh
Description: The Seminar contributes to the study of Christian origins by problematizing current consensus views, unexamined assumptions, and categories. It recontextualizes and redescribes key data through comparative analysis. It accounts for (i.e., explains) the production and continued function of cultural artefacts (mainly texts but not entirely) in terms of social theory.

Call for papers: Imagining/Inventing Christian Origins | Intersections with Material Culture Redescribing Christian Origins invites paper proposals for two panels, broadly conceived. The first asks how the category of “origins” has played a role in the history of scholarship on Christianity. What social interests are served by origins-related discourses in early Christian social formations? The second seeks papers that explore how discourses in material culture— particularly in Rome—can contribute to our data sets, theories, and methods in the study of early Christianity. One area of particular interest is whether and how material culture as discourse has been under appreciated in the field. Panels at the SBL 2020 meeting will be comprised of a combination of invited papers and those selected from the CFP. Each panel will consist of 3 or 4 papers and a respondent. The structure of these sessions is in the tradition of a seminar, with each participant receiving constructive feedback from both the panel and the group as a whole. Papers should represent well-developed and high-level research projects and will be pre-circulated/made available to the Redescribing listserv no later than September 2020. If you wish to be added to our listserv, or for any other questions or concerns, please contact Robyn Walsh (robyn_walsh[at]miami.edu) or Matt Baldwin (mbaldwin[at]mhu.edu).

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Religion and Philosophy in Late Antiquity

Roshan Abraham
Todd Krulak
Description: This unit seeks to investigate how Christian, Jewish, and “pagan” intellectuals engaged with the concepts, questions, and writings of ancient philosophy in order to understand better the interconnections of “religion” and “philosophy” in late antiquity and to reassess the usefulness of those categories.

Call for papers: The Religion and Philosophy in Late Antiquity Seminar will be holding two sessions. The first session will be the seminar, featuring invited papers, which will be pre-circulated. The second session is an open call for any papers investigating the relationships and intersections of religion and philosophy across traditions, including Christian, Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism, Greco-Roman, and early Islam. We are particularly interested in papers that engage in questions of definition, theory, and methodology for the study of religion and philosophy, comparative work, specific case studies of individual authors, texts, or genres. If you have any questions please contact Todd Krulak at tckrulak@hotmail.com.

Tags: Church History and Ecclesiology (Other), Greece and Hellenism (History & Culture), Religio-Historical Approaches (Interpretive Approaches)

Religions of Israel and Judah in Their West Asian Environment

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

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

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Religious Competition in Late Antiquity

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

Call for papers: For the 2020 Annual Meeting, the Religious Competition in Late Antiquity program unit will host four sessions: (1) Our first session will be an invited panel, co-sponsored by the Religious World in Late Antiquity program unit, on “The Future of Late Antiquity.” This session will explore questions such as: “What do you want to see in the future from members of our field?” and “What interests you right now, a method, text, theoretical model, that you think has lasting purchase?” (2) The second session is co-sponsored with the Society of Ancient Mediterranean Religions (SAMR). For this session, we invite papers on the theme “Jesus meets Asklepios: Healing and Medicine in Ancient Mediterranean Religions.” Details can be found in SAMR's Call for Papers on the SBL site. (3) The third is an invited session on “Ecclesiastical Histories as Competitive Texts.” (4) For the fourth session, we invite proposals on the theme “Markets and Prophets: Religious Competition and Market Models.” This session focuses on the use of markets in discourse on religion in late antiquity. Possible topics include the use of markets and commerce as metaphors in late antique texts about religion; the use of the economic marketplace as a primary model in modern analysis of religious competition; the use of money in religious discourse; the role of religious sites or practices in local economies; among others. Proposals should highlight methodological and theoretical engagement with the session’s theme.

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Religious Experience in Antiquity

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

Call for papers: The Religious Experience in Antiquity unit will hold three sessions at the 2020 annual meeting, two with open calls for papers. Proposals for both calls are open to scholars working in all periods and geographical regions of antiquity. (1) We invite proposals for a session dealing with “Meals, Affect, and Religious Experience” (co-sponsored with the Meals in the Greco Roman World unit). Proposals should engage with the embodied and/or cognitive experience of emotion and emotional responses (collective or individual) that come about in the context of meals within a religious and/or ritual context. (2) We invite proposals that address the theme, “The Everydayness of Religious Experience” (session co-sponsored by the Lived Religiousness in Antiquity unit). Proposals should examine the intersection(s) of religious experiences (broadly understood) in the lived experiences and everyday lives of ancient peoples. In addition to these open sessions, (3) our unit will also host a session of invited papers that examines what is “religious,” “experiential,” and “antique” about “Religious Experience in Antiquity.”

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Religious World of Late Antiquity

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

Call for papers: This year the Religious World of Late Antiquity will host four sessions. The first, an invited, co-sponsored session with the Religious Competition in Late Antiquity Unit, is called “The Future of Late of Antiquity.” The roundtable discussion will ask a group of scholars a simple question: “what would you like to see in the future from members of our field?” The second panel will be a pre-arranged session on Dan-El Padilla Peralta’s forthcoming book Divine Institutions (Princeton University Press). The third panel will be a pre-arranged session on “Body Parts” in Late Antiquity. The final panel is a completely OPEN CALL for papers about any aspect of the religious world of late antiquity. We especially encourage graduate students and early-career scholars to apply.

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Rhetoric and the New Testament

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

Call for papers: The Rhetoric and New Testament Section fosters research centered on the arts of persuasion, broadly conceived, as they intersect with the study of the New Testament and early Christian worlds. This section acknowledges that, given our current socio-political climate and discursive landscape, the study of rhetoric and biblical literature is as highly relevant as ever. To this end, we call for proposals centering on several themes at the 2020 annual meeting. All approaches to the study of rhetoric and the New Testament will be considered. Proposals that focus on the question of why the study of rhetoric and the New Testament matters now will be particularly welcome. FIRST: We seek proposals concerning “rhetorics of lying, deception, and virtue.” How, on what terms, for whom, and to what ends do lies and deception intersect with conceptions of virtue? For this session, papers that consider the interplay of ancient and modern discourses, contexts, and deployments will be especially welcome. SECOND: We will co-sponsor an invited session with the Johannine Literature section focusing on the interplay of classical and new rhetorical approaches to Johannine discourses. THIRD: We will host a review session of L. Larsen and S. Rubenson, eds., Monastic Education in Late Antiquity: The Transformation of Classical Paideia (Cambridge, 2018); participants for this session have been invited. FINALLY, as usual we invite proposals dealing with various aspects of the intersection of the study of rhetoric and the New Testament.

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Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity

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

Call for papers: The Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity Seminar provides a forum for collegial work that employs any aspect of sociorehtorical interpretation. The Seminar also supports interpreters working on volumes in the Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity Commentary Series. Sociorhetorical interpretation is a broad and interactive interpretive analytic that welcomes engagement with a wide variety of interpretive perspectives and strategies that seek to explore the interpretation of biblical and cognate texts. Our first three sessions will be invited papers on the following topics. First, we will hold a joint session with the Ideological Criticism Section that explores how to incorporate ideological concerns with other interpretive approaches and strategies to formulate an integrated interpretation. Second, we will hold an analytical seminar that delves into sociorehtorical commentary on a particular book of the New Testament. Third, we will hold panel on the Creativity of Early Christian Discourse. These papers will deal with varieties of religious discourses in the Mediterranean world and how they were creatively blended in the texts of the New Testament and Early Christianity to generate rhetorically effective communication. In addition to these sessions, the Seminar is putting out an open call for papers that engage biblical and cognate texts within the broad scope of sociorhetorical interpretation. Sociorhetorical interpretation is a heuristic analytic that features the analysis of pictorial reasoning, the blending of various religious discourses, the multiple textures of a text, and the rhetorical force of emergent structures. Papers are welcome to employ a wide variety of classic and contemporary interpretive strategies (e.g., cognitive science, material culture, critical spatiality, topoi analysis, new institutional economics, etc.) within an interactive process that explores the social, rhetorical, cultural, ideological, and religious interpretations of texts.

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Ritual in the Biblical World

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

Call for papers: The Ritual in the Biblical World section will offer five sessions in the upcoming 2020 annual meeting. 1) The first session would continue our ongoing discussion on the relationship between ritual and epistemology. This is an open call and invite those who wish to explore this particular subject to submit a proposal. 2) The second session will be an open session. We encourage those of you working on rituals in texts as well as ritual acts and iconography to consider proposing to this session which will offer a forum for discussing theory and methods in the field of ritual studies in the world of the Bible, i.e. OT/NT/DSS/ Christianity and Judaism in Late Antiquity. 3) There will also be another session, that is open to all aspects of ritual study. 4) The fourth session is a joint session with the Senses, Cultures and Biblical Worlds section. It will continue the exploration of ritual and epistemology, with focus on the epistemological role of the senses on ritual praxis. This will be an open call. 4) The fifth session is an invited joint session with the Ritual in the Biblical World section to review Jesus and the Forces of Death: The Gospels’ Portrayal of Ritual Impurity within First-Century Judaism by Matthew Thiessen (Baker, 2020).

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Scripture and Paul

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

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Senses, Cultures, and Biblical Worlds

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

Call for papers: We plan to hold THREE sessions in 2020. (1): With Philology in Hebrew Studies, we invite papers investigating the actual language used to describe sensory events in the Hebrew Bible. What terms are used for sense perception in the Hebrew Bible and what are their relationships to one another? Are there aspects of modern thinking about the senses that is imposed through conventional translations? What insights regarding the Hebrew terms and the depiction of sensory events in the Hebrew Bible can we gain by studying ancient versions? In general, what has been at stake in scholarship on the senses, and how much identity between ancient and modern experiences is generally presumed? How are we to frame the question of difference or alternatives to modern perspectives that are potentially brought to light through biblical texts? (2): With Ritual in the Biblical World, we invite papers on how the sensory aspect of ritual behavior can be understood as an epistemological avenue to the experience overall. (3): For our standalone panel, we welcome paper proposals exploring the function and meanings ascribed to the sense of touch in biblical and other ancient sources. Questions to address include but are not limited to the following: The significance of touch in encounters with divine beings and other experiences of the divine; The role of touch in ritual and in interaction with other worshippers as attested in literature and material culture; How does touch relate to other senses in cult and everyday life? The dual nature of touch, namely that it provides information both about external objects coming into contact with one’s skin, and about one’s own body; To what extent sensory hierarchies and views on haptics prevalent in specific target cultures are reflected in translations (both ancient and modern)? For all panels, the abstract should state the paper's thesis, outline the approach that will be taken, and identify the primary sources and examples to be discussed.

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Slavery, Resistance, and Freedom

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

Call for papers: Our session is an open call for proposals that address any aspect of enslavement, resistance, and freedom from enslavement in the Bible and Ancient Near East; New Testament; early Christian history; early rabbinic literature; and ancient Mediterranean history; or later interpretations of biblical, rabbinic, or other classical texts. We also welcome comparative papers, e.g., on the Bible and the Qur’an or on early Christianity and contemporary slavery, or papers on the legacies of ancient slavery for trans-Atlantic slavery. We encourage papers that show the complex experience of slavery by taking into account such various dimensions as ethnicity, age, gender, or disability, as well as relationships among slavery, religion, and specific economies. Papers might also address the theological use of slavery as a metaphor and its consequences for children and people of various ethnicities in the ancient world. Time periods addressed may be ancient, contemporary, or any time in between.

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Social History of Formative Christianity and Judaism

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

Call for papers: This unit is planning four sessions for the 2020 annual meeting.1) This open session is interested in papers on making marriage religious in late antiquity (i.e. Christianizing or Judaizing marriage) and inviting discussion on documentary, ritual, and other under-studied sources. 2) Building on the 2019 annual meeting sessions’ discussions of literacy among ordinary people in antiquity, this invited session on Rethinking Literacy and Conversations across Cultures in Antiquity asks how thinking about religions in their regional context—one that extended across imperial borders between the Roman and Iranian worlds—helps us understand ancient Jews, Christians, Manicheans, polytheists and others. Moreover, how does decentering canonical texts and centering practice illuminate religions and their permeable boundaries? Using the synagogue of Dura Europos as a case study, contributors to this panel demonstrate what we can learn about ancient literacy, pedagogy, and cross-cultural interactions in antiquity. 3) An invited session centers on the study of Samaritans: the last three decades have seen a surge of scholarship on the Samaritans. From the study of the Persian Period, to the Dead Sea Scrolls, to Rabbinic literature and beyond, interest in the Samaritans has grown exponentially. Despite this upswing of attention, scholarly contributions have tended to remain within their own subfields, without broader conversation about the (potentially radical) consequences of Samaritan inclusion in the study of the Bible, late antiquity, Jewish Studies and the study of Religion generally. 4) Co-sponsored with the Exile (Forced Migrations) in Biblical Literature unit, this invited session is inspired by and responds to Jennifer Barry’s newly published book Bishops in Flight: Exile and Displacement in Late Antiquity (UC Press 2019) and invites contributors to reflect more broadly on its relevance to research on exile and migration in Late Antiquity.

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Social Sciences and the Interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures

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

Call for papers: Interdisciplinary approaches to death and the underworld. Death powerfully provokes the human imagination. It generates rituals, belief-systems, questions about identity, and it permeates across the boundaries of culture and time. Scholarship abounds in research concerning “beliefs” about post-mortem existence and resurrection, but how might contemporary research from the social sciences heuristically inform our reflection on the topic? How is death imagined? What is the meaning and significance of ancient underworlds? What is the meaning and significance of the metaphors that emerge concerning the “under”- “spirit”- “nether”- or “other”-world and death?

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Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament

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

Call for papers: The Social-Scientific Criticism of the New Testament unit is pleased to offer three sessions at the 2020 Annual meeting:

1. Early Christianity and Labor/Occupations (co-sponsored with the Ancient Economy section). Papers will be invited.

2. Book review session featuring two recent books on the sociological study of early Christianity: John S. Kloppenborg’s Christ’s Associations: Connecting and Belonging in the Ancient City and Anthony Keddie’s Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins. In this session, we will ask the invited reviewers not only to assess the book they’ve been asked to review, but also to think about the “so what?” or “what’s next?” questions that might follow from the book.

3. Open Session: As always, we enthusiastically invite submissions on all aspects of the social-scientific study of early Christianity.

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Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions

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

Call for papers: SAMR invites abstracts for 2 sessions: 1. "Jesus meets Asklepios: Healing and medicine in ancient Mediterranean religions." Greek and Roman traditions, Judaism, and Christianity were fundamentally concerned with health and healing. Rites at home and in sanctuaries were both the frontline of defense and a last resort. SAMR is collaborating with Religious Competition in Late Antiquity, seeking papers that investigate the blurry intersections of healing, medicine, magic, and religion in its various guises—amulets, prayers, miracles, incubation, even the religious aspects of medicine (i.e. Galen)—in innovative and theoretically informed ways. Papers could, for example, interrogate the categories “magic” and “religion”, investigate the ways material and textual evidence overlap and the ways they do not (and what that means), or examine both “patients” and the various types of ritual specialists that they consulted. 2. "Fur, feathers, paws, and gods: Animals in ancient Mediterranean religions." Animal sacrifice has long dominated the scholarly study of animals in ancient Mediterranean religions. Recent work developing out of animal studies and ecopoetics has shown, however, that relations between human and animal were more complex, perhaps even contradictory: ancient Christian rhetoric, for example, articulated human dominance over the animal, while also imagining intimate animal-human encounters and even the re-creation of a peaceable kingdom. Inspired by recent work, this session seeks papers that address the ways that religious relations between the human and the animal were constructed in texts and material culture: in addition to animal sacrifice, what other ways were animals significant in ancient Mediterranean religions (Greek and Roman traditions, Judaism, Christianity)? Were animals good to think with? Did animality play a role in ancient religious systems of thought and practice? How might one understand theriomorphic gods, animal masks, masquerades?

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Society for Comparative Research on Iconic and Performative Texts

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

Call for papers: In 2020, SCRIPT invites proposals for one panel on "digital sacred texts." With the digital turn, texts are encountered in new material forms that impact the ways they are read, recited, and interacted with. Questions we hope to think about include: What is gained or lost when a text is used in digital formats, as compared to print culture? How is personal, ritual, or scholarly engagement with sacred texts impacted by the digital turn? Proposals on any aspect of digital sacred texts are welcome. A second panel is open for papers that examine any aspect of iconic and performative texts in terms of their display as cultural artifacts, their ritual use in religious and political ceremonies, their performance by recitation and theater, their depiction in art, and/or display in museums.

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

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

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Søren Kierkegaard Society

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

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

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Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity

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

Call for papers: For the 2020 annual meeting in Boston, the Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity program unit invites proposals for three sessions. One session will focus on replica spaces. We are especially interested in papers on texts and spaces that have been replicated at modern attractions or museums, e.g. Ark Encounter, Nazareth Village, Museum of the Bible. We encourage proposals that will critically engage aspects of ancient and/or modern replica spaces. A second session will explore the intersections of space and material. We invite papers that put spatial theory into conversation with materialist theories of religion, as they relate to the field of biblical studies. What commonalities or overlaps are there between these approaches to the ancient world, and what areas of divergence are there? We welcome proposals that apply these questions to particular examples or case studies from any aspect of biblical studies or the study of late antiquity. Finally, we invite proposals for an open session, in which papers might explore any aspect of space, placed, or lived experience in antiquity. In all proposals, papers should critically engage spatial theory.

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Student Advisory Board

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

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Study of Religion Across Civilizations

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

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

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Synoptic Gospels

Elizabeth Shively
Stephen C. Carlson
Description: The Synoptic Gospels as a unit plays an important role in modern scholarship, including, but not limited to, generating debate about the relationships among the gospels. This section provides a forum for the discussion of papers from a variety of theoretical perspectives and critical methods on the content and formation of the Synoptic Gospels and what they reveal about the contexts of their composition.

Call for papers: The Synoptic Gospels section invites proposals for its open session on the content or formation of any of the Synoptic Gospels. We especially welcome papers that address the relationship between two or more Gospels or that deal with themes touching on multiple Gospels. We also invite proposals for an open session on pedagogy and the synoptic problem, that is, on clear and creative ways of teaching the synoptic problem in the classroom. In addition, we will co-sponsor two invited sessions: one with the Ritual in the Biblical World section to review Jesus and the Forces of Death: The Gospels’ Portrayal of Ritual Impurity within First-Century Judaism by Matthew Thiessen (Baker, 2020); and a second with the Jesus Traditions, Gospels, and Negotiating the Roman Imperial World section for a strategic review of The Reception of Jesus in the First Three Centuries, ed. by Helen Bond, Chris Keith, Christine Jacobi, and Jens Schröter (Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, 2019).

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Syriac Studies

Susan Ashbrook Harvey
Ute Possekel
Description: Syriac Studies invites papers on the Syriac versions of the Bible, on the interpretation and reception of biblical material in Syriac traditions, and on the literature and history of Syriac-speaking Christian communities and their interaction with neighbouring cultures (e.g., Greek, Armenian, Arabic) and religions (e.g., Jews, Manichaeans, Zoroastrians).

Call for papers: We invite proposals for one general session for which papers on any aspect of Syriac Studies are welcome. In addition, we invite papers for two thematic sessions: one on poetics, and the other on death and dying, which are described in further detail below. 1. Poetics: Scholars have recently given much attention to the two primary metrical forms of late antique Syriac literature, madrashe and memre. For example, scholars are asking how these literary modes developed over the course of late antiquity, in what specific contexts and for what particular performative uses, with what inflection or consequences for content, and how they relate to different poetical genres. Papers are invited to address this changing understanding of late antique Syriac poetry and its implications for the literary, social and cultural issues of late antique Christianity more broadly. 2. Death and Dying: Death is a topic of perennial interest for scholars. Scenes of death and dying in the Bible have generated rich and poignant work in biblical studies and in the history of interpretation. Scholarship on ancient Christianity has long focused on martyrdom as a lens for considering death. Recently, interest has turned to more personal and direct encounters. This emphasis on dying and death in the context of daily life is in part fuelled by the current discussion of emotions. However, death is also an important part of Christian moral exhortation (paraenesis), for example in the ample homiletical literature advocating care for the poor. Scholars are invited to submit proposals that address issues of death and dying as we see it presented in Syriac evidence. Papers are welcomed that address the topic through any extant evidence: literary, material, archaeological, documentary.

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Teaching Biblical Studies in an Undergraduate Liberal Arts Context

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

Call for papers: In 2020, the Teaching Biblical Studies in an Undergraduate Liberal Arts Context Unit will offer three sessions. Session 1: 10-minute Teaching Tips for Teaching Biblical Studies. What tricks and techniques for the Biblical Studies classroom do you have? Propose a 10-minute presentation that models teaching and learning practices based on research and experience, engages the attendees in learning, and shows promise of helping learners develop desirable biblical literature study skills, knowledge, and attitudes. Preference is given to tips for the first day of class. Combined session with the Academic Teaching and Biblical Studies Unit. Session 2: The Bible, the Liberal Arts, and Universal Design for Learning. What barriers hinder student learning in Bible courses? How can we implement UDL principles for teaching the Bible in an undergraduate liberal arts context? We welcome papers on proven strategies for implementing one or more of the three principles to help all students learn. Session 3: The Bible and Gen Z. Current undergraduate students have been characterized as competitive, independent, ethnically-diverse digital natives who are so used to multi-tasking that it takes only 8 seconds to lose their attention. We seek papers that address best practices for teaching the Bible to Gen Z students in a liberal arts context.

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Textual Criticism of Samuel – Kings

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

Call for papers: We will be happy to receive proposals featuring textual criticism of Samuel, Kings, or related Historical Books. In addition to text-critical papers in the strict sense, we will consider papers with a focus in: literary, redaction, or narrative criticism; linguistics, such as lexicography and syntax; or ancient versions beyond the Septuagint (Latin, Coptic, Syriac) etc. Papers in those areas should either take advantage of text-critical findings or demonstrate their usefulness to textual criticism.

In addition to general papers, there will be a special session encouraging joint papers by members of different editorial teams (esp. Hebrew Bible—A Critical Edition, Biblia Hebraica Quinta, Hebrew University Bible, Scripta Qumranica Electronica, Göttingen Septuagint, Coptic Old Testament, Vetus Latina, Hexapla Project) presenting fruits of their co-operation. Alternatively, individuals associated with two or more projects can present how their work contributes to or benefits from the different projects.

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Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible

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

Call for papers: The program unit encourages in particular applications from younger scholars and underrepresented groups. As always, the sole criterion for acceptance of papers will be their scholarly quality. For the 2020 annual meeting in Boston, the TCHB invites papers for one open session related to theme of “The Dead Sea Scrolls, the Cairo Genizah and the Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible.” Papers should engage with how the manuscript discoveries of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Cairo Genizah have impacted and continue to impact the textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible in all its versions. The program unit is also planning further invited sessions.

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The Bible in America

Claudia Setzer
Description: This group will examine the uses of both an abstract idea of "the Bible" and of particular biblical narratives by different groups, considering the Bible's utility for social control, resistance, identity and group formation. Our forum will bring together disparate discussions touching on the Bible

Call for papers: We invite papers for two sessions at the 2020 meeting: 1) The Bible and the Civil Rights movement, and 2) The Bible and Women's Suffrage.

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The Bible in Ancient (and Modern) Media

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

Call for papers: The Bible in Ancient (and Modern) Media Section provides opportunities to analyze the relationship between the original media world of Jewish and Christian communities and the functions and interpretations of biblical (and related) texts. Approaches using modern media must emphasize how the approach significantly influences the understanding of biblical literature in its ancient context. In addition to the session with an open call for papers, The Bible in Ancient (and Modern) Media section and the Performance Criticism of Biblical and Other Ancient Texts section will jointly sponsor a session that features the work of Richard Schechner, noted performance theorist from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts and pioneer of the discipline of Performance Studies. Dr. Schechner will open the session with a presentation regarding the roots and development of Performance Theory and will formally respond to two invited papers (including one performance of Paul’s letter to the Philippians) on performance theory from members of the respective sections. The session will conclude with an open discussion in which all three participants invite questions and comments from those in attendance.

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The Enoch Seminar

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

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The Forum on Missional Hermeneutics

John R. Franke
Michael Barram
Description: The Forum on Missional Hermeneutics fosters interdisciplinary scholarship at the intersection of critical biblical interpretation, contextual theology, and mission studies. The Forum gives special attention to the concepts and practices of Christian mission in their historical, postmodern, and postcolonial manifestations and to their significance for the reception, interpretation, and usage of biblical texts in a variety of social, cultural, ethical, theological, and religious contexts.

Call for papers: (1) Reparations/Reparational Ethics, the Bible, and the Missio Dei In collaboration with the Ethics and Biblical Interpretation Group, we invite proposals on reparations discourse and the biblical text. Questions to be considered: How might reparations be rooted in the Bible, and what contributions might a biblical account of reparations make to debates about reparations and ethics? How might biblical readings be informed by questions from religious communities complicit in racial injustice and challenged by possible reparations? How might biblical texts call for reparations as part of God’s mission? How have historically distorted understandings of mission created a need for reparations and how may this harmful history be addressed in light of hermeneutics, ethics, and biblical interpretation? How does the contemporary question of reparations speak to communities’ participation in God’s mission, understood in terms of communal self-understanding and purposiveness? (2) Hermeneutical Approaches Informed by the Positionalities of Women in Dialogue with Missional Hermeneutics This session focuses on forging a critical dialogue between missional hermeneutics and hermeneutical approaches informed by the positionalities of women. Questions to be considered: What questions and challenges do feminist approaches raise for missional hermeneutics? How might articulations of the Missio Dei change or expand in light of feminist interpretations of biblical texts that recount disregard of or violence against women? How do feminist reflections on biblical maternal imagery for the divine inform and shape the Missio Dei? How can the work of feminist scholars in missional theology and hermeneutics shape the future trajectories of missional theology and hermeneutics? We invite proposals that critically engage the intersections of missional hermeneutics and womanist, mujerista, white feminist, Asian feminist, or other approaches grounded in the positionalities of women.

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The Historical Paul

Heidi Wendt
Ryan S. Schellenberg
Description: This program unit aims to reinvigorate the study of Paul as a historical figure. Through attention to biographical detail and social context, careful consideration of historical method, and engagement with a diverse range of comparanda, it seeks to describe him as a contextually plausible social actor.

Call for papers: The Historical Paul section is planning three sessions for 2020, and welcomes proposals for the latter two: 1) A panel of invited papers on Paul as a Pharisee, cosponsored with the Paul within Judaism section. 2) “Epistolary Affects”: Recent scholarship on the affective language of Paul’s letters has generally pursued one of two approaches, focusing either on rhetoric (emotion as a means of persuasion) or philosophy (ancient theories of emotion), and thus has often treated emotions as tools or as concepts rather than embodied affects. For this session, we invite proposals that will reflect on Paul’s letters as affective technologies: How do these texts work to inscribe, evoke, regulate, and cultivate emotions, both the emotions of Paul and of his addressees? We particularly welcome papers that take up this question in conversation with affect theory, the history of emotions, or the broad field of affective science. 3) An open call for papers that address the section’s objective of providing a contextually plausible account of the historical figure Paul.

Tags: Pauline Epistles (Biblical Literature - New Testament)

The Qur’an and Late Antiquity (IQSA)

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

Call for papers: (Michael Pregill and Johanne Christiansen) The Qur’an and Late Antiquity program unit invites proposals that utilize various types of material or evidence—be that literary, documentary, or epigraphic—to illuminate the historical context in which the Qur’an was revealed and the early Islamic polity emerged. We are especially interested in papers that present and discuss comparative methodologies to contribute to a better understanding of the Qur’an’s place in the cultural, political, social, and religious environment of Late Antiquity. Additionally, for the 2020 Annual Meeting in Boston, we seek proposals for a themed session considering the state of the field on the Jews in the prophetic milieu and early Islam.

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The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition (IQSA)

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

Call for papers: The focus of this unit is the Qur’an’s relationship to the Biblical tradition in the broadest sense: the books of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament in the various languages of their original composition and later translations (regardless of a particular book’s status of canonization within specific Jewish or Christian groups), as well as the exegetical, homiletic, and narrative traditions of the Bible in written or oral form. For the 2020 meeting in Boston, the Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition unit welcomes proposals that engage any aspect of the relationship between the Bible and the Qur’an.

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

Alba Fedeli
Shady Hekmat Nasser
Description: The aim of the Manuscripts and Textual Criticism unit is to provide a cross-disciplinary setting for the exploration of the various interconnected issues that arise when questions concerning the Qur’an’s text are investigated through the prism of its manuscript tradition. This latter term encompasses the field of Qur’an manuscripts per se, but also alludes to such information regarding the history of the text that can be gleaned from the citations, marginal notes, and detailed analysis provided in other branches of the Islamic sciences, for example Qur’an commentaries and the qira’at literature. It is hoped that bringing together scholars from a variety of disciplines will serve to enrich and strengthen each of these fields. The Manuscripts and Textual Criticism unit seeks to create a forum for the application of textual criticism to the Qur’anic text attested both in physical manuscripts and within the wider Islamic tradition. It also aims to investigate palaeographic, codicological, and art historical features in the Qur’an’s manuscript tradition.

Call for papers: The aim of the Qur’an: Manuscripts and Textual Criticism unit is to provide a cross-disciplinary setting for the exploration of the various interconnected issues that arise when questions concerning the Qur’an’s text are investigated through the prism of its manuscript tradition. This latter term encompasses the field of Qur’an manuscripts per se, but also alludes to such information regarding the history of the text that can be gleaned from the citations, marginal notes, and detailed analysis provided in other branches of the Islamic sciences, for example Qur’an commentaries and the qira’at literature. It is hoped that bringing together scholars from a variety of disciplines will serve to enrich and strengthen each of these fields. The Manuscripts and Textual Criticism unit seeks to create a forum for the application of textual criticism to the Qur’anic text attested both in physical manuscripts and within the wider Islamic tradition. It also aims to investigate palaeographic, codicological, and art historical features in the Qur’an’s manuscript tradition. For the 2020 meeting in Boston, the unit welcomes papers on any topic within the range of the interests of the Manuscripts and Textual Criticism program unit.

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The Qur’an: Surah Studies (IQSA)

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

Call for papers: The Surah Studies Unit invites proposals for individual papers on any aspect of Surat al-An‘am (6, ‘Livestock’), which has attracted little attention in Western scholarship. One of the seven long ones (al-sab‘ al-tiwal), it is a polythematic Meccan surah of 165 verses. Proposals might explore: material relating to Abraham or to Moses; engagement with Biblical laws or the Decalogue; its devotional uses, especially in Shiite liturgy; its important passages on dietary law; its polemic and critique of pagan rituals; its legal minimalism; rhyme and acoustics; depictions of non-human animals; its architecture and traces of compositional procedures; its affinities with Medinan surahs; or much else besides. The Surah Studies Unit encourages and welcomes diverse methods and approaches. The raison d'etre of the Unit is to bring different perspectives on a given sura into dialogue with one another.

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Theological Interpretation of Scripture

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

Call for papers: In 2020 the Theological Interpretation of Scripture seminar will sponsor four sessions, one will accept paper proposals: 1) A panel review of Stephen Fowl’s Idolatry (Baylor, 2019); 2) A panel review of Darren Sarisky’s Reading the Bible Theologically (Cambridge, 2019) and Walter Moberly’s The God of the Old Testament (Baker, 2020); 3-4) Two joint sessions with the Book of Hebrews unit with be held, including one with an open call for papers. We invite papers that reflect theologically on the significance of the book of Hebrews for communities of faith. Papers may (1) focus on the theological significance of a particular text; (2) consider the way in which specific theological loci are, have been, or could be informed by the reading of specific texts or themes from Hebrews; or (3) explore the effects of theological readings of the book of Hebrews on particular communities of faith.

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Theological Perspectives on the Book of Ezekiel

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

Call for papers: The Theological Perspectives of the Book of Ezekiel will hold three sessions in Boston in 2020. (1) For the Open Session, we invite paper proposals on any aspect of the book. (2) Together with the Metaphor Theory and the Hebrew Bible section, we are co-sponsoring a session on metaphorical language in the book of Ezekiel. We are seeking papers that explore a range of issues related to the selection, deployment, and interpretation of metaphors in Ezekiel, including the meaning of individual metaphors, the broader patterns of metaphor usage that emerge in the book, and the role metaphors play in the shaping of Ezekiel’s theological message. We especially welcome papers that focus on metaphors other than the often-considered JERUSALEM IS A WOMAN (Ezekiel 16, 23) and LEADERS ARE SHEPHERDS (Ezekiel 34) metaphors. Proposals can be submitted to either this section or the Metaphor Theory and the Hebrew Bible section. (3) For the third session, we are meeting jointly with the Writing/Reading Jeremiah section on the topic "Jeremiah in Conversation with Ezekiel." We invite papers that reflect on the literary relationship between Ezekiel and Jeremiah. Beyond aspects of the historical sequence of these books, papers that explore textual, thematic, and imaginal relationships that pursue implications for reading these books separately or as a whole would be highly desired. Additionally, we encourage papers that pursue creative analyses of intertextual relationships and the payoff of these links in different contexts.

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Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures

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

Call for papers: Call for papers SBL 2020: Thematic topics of TOTHS at the 2020 national meeting include: the ethics of biblical scholarship as well as ethics in the Bible. It means we will discuss not only the ethical issues of the Bible but also do critical self-reflections on biblical scholarship in constructive directions. TOTHS will have four sessions. 1) The first session will be a panel discussion of John J. Collins’ book with invited panelists. 2) The second session will accept the papers in a joint session with NAPH (National Association of Professors of Hebrew) for the Characterization of YHWH and Moses in conflict (crisis) in the Pentateuch. In this session, we ask how biblical texts assess/depict/deconstruct the actions of God in relation to Moses. In other words, an ethical approach might note how we understand the role of Moses, who cultivates persistence, empathy for others, and the courage to defy divine wrath. 3) The third session will accept paper proposals on any ethical issues in biblical scholarship. Papers may deal with some or all of the following topics: an analysis of accounts in the Hebrew Bible; ethical reflections on the history of interpretations of a given passage. 4) The fourth session is an open session and will accept the papers for any topic in TOTHS, although the thematic topic of the year, the ethics of biblical scholarship, is especially welcome.

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Theta Alpha Kappa

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

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

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Transmission of Traditions in the Second Temple Period

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

Call for papers: The section will host three sessions in 2020, one session with invited speakers and two open sessions. The first session with invited papers will focus on how the traditions concerning the three “major” prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, developed and changed during the Second Temple period. The papers will address how the composition, reworking, and reception of the main literary works related to these prophets as well as other works associated with them or engaging with these figures changed the overall traditions. The second session is an open one where we ask for paper proposals that would investigate the interaction and relative importance of oral and textual transmission of traditions. The third session is also an open one, and we hope the proposed papers would deal either with specific empirical evidence of transmission mechanics, like case studies on the use of editorial techniques, or more conceptual matters related to the wider processes of transmitting traditions in the Second Temple period.

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Ugaritic Studies and Northwest Semitic Epigraphy

Christine Neal Thomas
Jimmy Daccache
Description: Our purpose is to foster the academic study of ancient Ugarit, the associated cuneiform alphabetic texts, and ancient Northwest Semitic epigraphic texts, especially in order to explore areas of commonality between these fields of study and Biblical literature.

Call for papers: The Ugaritic Studies and Northwest Semitic Epigraphy section plans to hold two sessions in 2020: (1) A session that considers Ugaritic literature and history and Northwest Semitic epigraphic and material culture through the lens of gender Papers may consider literary or iconographic constructions of femininity and masculinity, the experience of women as accessible in the historical or epigraphic record, or how gender inflects other categories of social, historical, and philological analysis, and (2) an open, non-thematic session consisting of papers on any topic relevant to Ugaritic and Northwest Semitic studies.

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Use, Influence, and Impact of the Bible

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

Call for papers: This year we are particularly interested in the performance of the Bible in different contexts. Proposals will be especially welcome on aspects of the Bible’s performance on stage, in theatre, opera and dance. We are planning a joint session with the Bible and Film Unit, for which we invite papers that consider theoretical approaches to biblical reception in film, constructively compare different cinematic receptions of particular texts, or engage with films outside of the Hollywood mainstream. We will also have at least one open session: proposals are welcome on any aspect of the Bible's reception history. For the open sessions our preference is for papers that do not focus on the narrower history of scholarship, but explore wider aspects of the Bible's impact on religions, society and culture, art, literature and music.

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Violence and Representations of Violence in Antiquity

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

Call for papers: 1) Religion, Violence, and Xenophobia: Fear of the “other” has been and continues to be a frequent contributor to violence. We seek papers addressing any intersection of xenophobia and violence from antiquity/late antiquity to our present moment. What constituted xenophobia in the past and/or in the present? Is xenophobia a form of violence? Or rather, does xenophobia lead to or exacerbate violence, and if so in what ways? Jointly sponsored with AAR's Comparative Approaches to Violence. 2)Violence in the Afterlife: This is an invited panel. Panelists will explore how violence and/or violent death shape the body's afterlife in various religious contexts. 3) The Afterlives of Trauma: affects and narratives in transmission: We invite papers that address how trauma, in its aftermath, is felt and narrated (or avoided), and how these responses shape its experience. How do the affective and/or narrative dynamics of trauma unfold on both the subjective and collective levels? How can the combination of our evidence and our interpretative frameworks best and most ethically address these complex processes of suffering? Papers that explore the methodology of such transmissions, and the coding and re-coding of these experiences are also invited.

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Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion

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

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

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Westar Institute

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

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

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Wisdom and Apocalypticism

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

Call for papers: The Wisdom and Apocalypticism program unit will hold three sessions at the 2020 SBL Annual Meeting in Boston. The first is an invited session, “Engagement with the Torah in the Wisdom of Solomon,” which will explore the ways in which the text interprets and utilizes the Torah in comparison to other Second Temple literature. The second, “Spiritual Exercise and Wisdom: Formation of the Subject II,” is also an invited session. Papers will consider new dimensions in the study of the subject in antiquity, highlighting discourses of asceticism, confession, therapy, and reading as a mode of self-examination. The third session is open and we welcome submissions on any topic that relates to sapiential and/or apocalyptic traditions in early Jewish and/or Christian literature. This year, papers that deal directly with the Wisdom of Solomon will be especially considered. Submissions are particularly encouraged from women and underrepresented minorities.

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Wisdom in Israelite and Cognate Traditions

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

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

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Women in the Biblical World

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

Call for papers: The Women in the Biblical World Program Unit plans to offer four sessions in 2020: 1) In recognition of the 100th anniversary (1920-2020) of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting U.S. women the right to vote, this is a call for papers that address issues of laws relating to women and girls in the biblical world. In particular, we are interested in papers that engage Cheryl Anderson's work around inclusive/exclusive laws in the Book of the Covenant and the Deuteronomic Law - laws that make no distinction between women and men and those that treat women differently, respectively, and work such as Clarice J. Martin’s on the Haustafeln (household codes) in the New Testament. 2) Invited panel that is a follow-up to "Cultivating Womanist, Feminist, and Queer Relationships in this Neo-liberal-Authoritarian Age" session at the 2019 Annual Meeting in San Diego. This session is organized by Susanne Scholz, SMU Perkins School of Theology and Ashley Bacchi, Starr King School for the Ministry. Last year’s panelists discussed how they integrate intersectional and other collaborative perspectives into their research and writing. This year’s discussion will focus on pedagogical approaches to cultivating students' awareness of intersectionality and empowering students in dialogic practices that foster relationships across perceived difference. This year's session will again be cosponsored with the Feminist Hermeneutics of the Bible Unit. 3) The year 2020 will be the 25th anniversary of the publication of Mayer Gruber’s Women in the Biblical World: A Study Guide, a resource for scholars, clergy, seminarians, undergraduates and others interested in studying biblical women. This invited panel will address pedagogical approaches for teaching the subject of women in the biblical world to the variously addressed constituents. 4) Open call for papers on women in the biblical world.

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Writing Social-Scientific Commentaries of the New Testament

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

Call for papers: In 2020, the seminar will organize invited sessions and one session with open call. For the open call session we welcome papers that apply the social identity approach or related social and cognitive approaches on any New Testament writing. In 2020, we especially welcome proposals also on the Second Temple Judaism and the Hebrew Bible. The papers will be pre-distributed and only summarized in the sessions.

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

Writing/Reading Jeremiah

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

Call for papers: The Writing/Reading Jeremiah group serves as a space for new readings and constructions of meaning with the book of Jeremiah "this side" of historicist paradigms and postmodernism. We welcome all strategies of reading Jeremiah that seek to reconfigure, redeploy, and move beyond conventional readings of Jeremiah. Our manifesto: not by compositional history alone, nor biographical portrayal alone, nor their accompanying theological superstructures; rather, we seek interpretation from new spaces opened for reading Jeremiah by the postmodern turn. In 2020, the Writing/Reading Jeremiah section will have two sessions. These sessions will consist of a combination of invited papers as well as papers selected in response to the Call to Papers. In the first session "Rage and Resilience,” we call for papers that explore anger as a survival strategy in the book of Jeremiah. This includes reflection on the various representations of divine and human anger throughout Jeremiah, considering notions such as the harmful effects of pent-up anger, the therapeutic or cathartic nature of anger, the relationship of anger to justice in a context of injustice, and finally, the association of anger with the hope for a better future. For the second session, “Jeremiah in Conversation with Ezekiel,” we will, together with the Theological Perspectives on the Book of Ezekiel section, co-sponsor an open session that reflects on the literary relationship between Ezekiel and Jeremiah. Beyond aspects of the historical sequence of these books, papers that explore textual, thematic, and imaginal relationships that pursue implications for reading these books separately or as a whole would be highly desired. Additionally, we encourage papers that pursue creative analyses of intertextual relationships and the payoff of these links in different contexts.

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Christopher J. O'Connor
Christopher Hooker
Paige Schmidt
Harsha Hammika
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