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Congresses

2023 Annual Meeting

San Antonio, Texas

Meeting Begins11/18/2023
Meeting Ends11/21/2023

Call for Papers Opens: 1/23/2023
Call for Papers Closes: 3/14/2023

Requirements for Participation

Program Units

 

Academic Teaching and Biblical Studies

John Hilton
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: For our 2023 SBL sessions we are accepting calls for paper in three specific areas:

Teaching difficult texts

Teaching for moral development

Best Teaching practices in 2023

For the complete call for papers, please visit:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MQAbwvDB0CKpLfcSERuV0Ik5pnTPl5rgL7Al8IrBzIQ/edit?usp=sharing

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African Biblical Hermeneutics

Alice Yafeh-Deigh
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) Methodologies and Epistemologies in African Biblical Interpretation- This session invites papers highlighting the relationship between epistemology and methodology and how both frameworks intersect and are used together; they provide distinct ways of reading the Bible within the Context of Africa. Papers utilizing both frameworks to read particular pericope/pericopae in either testament are especially welcome. 2) Reading the Bible in the Context of Ecological/Environmental Effects in the Aftermath of pandemics and climate change. The session invites papers that examine reading paradigms and methodologies generated in response to ecological effects on climate change and pandemics. Papers utilizing theories and methods from health, economics, ethnicity and race, religion and faith, ecology, spirituality, and work about the African context are especially welcome. 3) Children in the Bible and the African Context: This session welcomes papers that address issues surrounding representations of Children in the Bible and the African Contexts. Special consideration will be given to testamental, intertestamental, or trans-testamental representations of children in critical dialogue with representations of children in African literature, culture, spirituality, economics, church, and politics. Papers should address at least one of the following themes: disabilities, au pairs, parables, wisdom, etc. 4) African Biblical Hermeneutics and Formation of Isaiah (Joint Session):Theme: Africa in the book of Isaiah // Reading Isaiah in Africa. In this session, attention will be paid to the book of Isaiah from two possible perspectives, namely (1) the presence of Africa within the book of Isaiah and beyond, and (2) how the book of Isaiah was read in the past and is read today in the African context. The book of Isaiah contains references to Egypt and Cush, and the book of Acts tells the story of the Ethiopian who reads and interprets the book of Isaiah. Invited speakers only!

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African-American Biblical Hermeneutics

A. Francis Carter, Jr.
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 (AABHS) plans four sessions. Session One is an exploration of trends and approaches to African American biblical hermeneutics. This session welcomes proposals for papers whose content intersects with any of the following questions: 1) What is scripture and how is it understood? This question invites papers that explore the diverse ideological, signifying, and scriptural practices that inform current or past articulations of African American biblical hermeneutics and its approaches to scripture; 2) What does diversity look like within African American biblical hermeneutics? This question welcomes proposals that explore the presence, significance, and/or consequences of theological, ideological, political, and/or methodological diversity and difference within the traditions and practices of African American biblical interpretations and scholarship; 3) What do freedom, justice, liberation, peace, and/or salvation look like through the prisms of African American biblical hermeneutics? This question invites papers that explore the varied ways that African American biblical hermeneutics re-contextualizes these motifs through the prisms of African American life, history, struggle, resilience, and/or scholarship. Session Two is an open call for paper proposals taking up interdisciplinary discussions that advance the study of African American biblical hermeneutics. Session Three is an invited book review panel of Shively T. J. Smith’s Interpreting 2 Peter through African American Women's Moral Writings (SBL Press, Mar 2023). Session Four is an invited panel on the future of Doctoral Programs in Biblical Studies co-hosted with Asian and Asian American, Latino/a/e and Latin American, Minoritized Criticism and Biblical Interpretation, and the Racism, Pedagogy, and Biblical Studies.

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Ancient Education: Social, Intellectual, and Material Contexts

Jeremiah Coogan
Monika Amsler
Description: Ancient Education: Social, Intellectual, and Material Contexts invites conversation about the production and transmission of knowledge in the late ancient Mediterranean and Middle East. Rather than treating social networks, material artifacts, and curricular frameworks separately, we explore their manifold intersections and investigate their contexts and implications. The unit locates the production of religious knowledge within capacious social, intellectual, and material histories, crossing geographical, linguistic, and religious boundaries that often divide scholarly conversation.

Call for papers:

The program unit invites papers for two open-call sessions.

(1) Games in/as Continuing Education in Mediterranean Antiquity

Ancient Mediterranean texts are saturated with sayings, riddles, even mathematical puzzles. These are often attributed to pedagogical contexts, but we know that the ancients had a different concept of childhood and, accordingly, of what was “childish” or child-like. Even simple games such as hide-and-seek or knucklebones were played by adults. Mathematical and literary knowledge was displayed in drinking games at dinner tables. Alphabetic verses and mnemonics, although thought to be suitable to educate children, were expounded. Number games were woven into recreational and professional activities. For this session, we invite papers that discuss how games and playful interactions (both those accompanying early education and more sophisticated later ones) shaped ancient texts.

(2) Social Contexts of Education in Late Antiquity

Late ancient education was embedded in varied social networks, cultural institutions, and political hierarchies. Education reflects not only its “content” but also the social configurations of learning, from elementary education to advanced intellectual enterprises. For this session, we invite papers that explore the social contexts of late ancient education. How did the social, political, and economic conditions of education shape the societies and knowledges of the late ancient Mediterranean world? How can attending to social contexts help us reconceptualize intellectual projects that are often de-historicized? We particularly encourage papers that deploy innovative critical approaches and those that analyze overlooked sources (textual or otherwise).

The scope of both calls is capacious in terms of chronology, geography, religious context, language, and methodology. Papers will be fifteen minutes long, followed by ten minutes of discussion.



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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 four sessions at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the SBL. The first will be co-sponsored with the LGBTI/Queer Hermeneutics program unit and invites proposals that “queer ancient fiction.” The texts included in "ancient fiction" span a wide range of time and could include narratives/texts within Second Temple / Ancient Judaism, the New Testament, and other early Christian literature. Papers that utilize queer theory and/or queer hermeneutics are especially encouraged. The focus of the second session will be on “enslavement in ancient fiction.” For this session we invite proposals that examine various facets of enslavement found within ancient fiction including analysis of enslavement as metaphor, enslaved characters, enslavers, and manumission. For the final two sessions, we invite proposals on any topic related to the interests of the Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative section.

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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: As in previous years, we welcome paper proposals within the broad interdisciplinary framework of iconography and biblical studies. This year, we are particularly interested in papers that explore the use and significance of gestures in text and images. Additionally, there will be a joint session among the “Comparative Method in Biblical Studies,” “Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible,” and “Israelite Prophetic Literature” units. This session will exploring the theme: Divine Bodies in Sacred Texts, Iconography, and Traditions. We invite proposals that examine how divine bodies are constructed or represented in prophetic texts as self-presentations in comparison/contrast to how they function in ancient Near Eastern or various religious texts, iconography, or traditions, including as well as within contemporary contexts. This session will include both invited and proposed papers.

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Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars

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

Call for papers: The 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.

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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: 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.

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Aramaic Studies

Andrew D. Gross
Leeor Gottlieb
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 is planning to hold three sessions for the 2023 Annual Meeting. We invite proposals for two open sessions on various aspects of Aramaic language, texts and culture. These can include - among other things - topics on Targumim, Qumran Aramaic, Syriac, Biblical Aramaic, Samaritan Aramaic, and Elephantine. We also invite proposals for a joint session that we will be co-sponsoring with the Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible section, entitled “Scripture within Scripture: Textual Criticism and the Use of the Jewish Bible in Rewritten Scriptures and the Targumim”. Proposals for this joint session should consider the following discussion: The incorporation of secondary and tertiary base texts into rewritten Scriptures of the Second Temple period find a parallel in the use of secondary base texts in Targumic literature. For both literatures these base texts are not studied text-critically. For the rewritten Scriptures from the Second Temple period, their secondary and to a lesser extent their tertiary base texts preserve precious information about textual witnesses from a stage of textual plurality in the textual history of the Jewish Scriptures that is mainly lost. For the targumic literature of the Rabbinic and post-Rabbinic periods, its secondary base texts allow similarly precious insights into the textual transmission of the Jewish scriptures in a time from which almost no biblical manuscripts survive. In addition to such text-critical questions the (midrashic) employment of secondary base texts poses the question of overlap between the two literatures in the reception history of the Jewish scriptures.

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Archaeology of Religion in the Roman World

C. M. Thomas
Lynn R. Huber
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 Program Unit invites papers for the following sessions: 1) “Altar-ed States:” Across religious traditions in the Roman world, ritual experience was shaped by the physical places where rituals were performed. An omnipresent feature of these places is the altar, which served as a focal point of ritual and a potent symbol of cultic authority. We invite papers that explore the altar as a site for distinguishing religious and social identities and signifying religious practice in public and private spaces. Papers might address the placement, orientation, and form of altars including their “decorative” programs; ritual performance at and near altars including issues of access and participation; the role of altars in fostering civic and communal bonds; the use of altars in forging connections between the past and present. 2) “COVID, Contingency, Conflict and the State of the Field in Archeology and the Study of Material Culture:” Archeological research and the study of material culture, especially in situ, both require significant resources (money, time, the ability to travel) that distinguishes these forms of research from many other types of academic work. The emergence of travel restrictions due to COVID-19 has brought this reality into relief, as scholars have been forced to cancel, postpone, or radically alter their research agendas. However, COVID is not the only factor shaping research plans. Ongoing political, social, and economic conflicts, as well as the increasing numbers of academics unable to secure permanent teaching positions, have potential effects on the state of the field. We invite papers that explore how the realities impact the study of religion in the Roman world. Papers might examine the practical implications of these factors, discuss creative responses, and/ or address related ethical issues. 3) We welcome proposals for papers exploring other topics related to the archaeology of religion in the Roman

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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: Session I: The 2019–2023 Excavation Seasons at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee  In this session, staff members of the Huqoq Excavation Project (under the direction of Jodi Magness) will provide an update on the discoveries at Huqoq since 2019, including the repurposing of the Late Roman synagogue as a Late Medieval synagogue, and newly-discovered mosaics depicting the biblical stories of Deborah, Jael, and Barak from Judges 4.   Session II: Book Review Panel: Yonatan Adler, The Origins of Judaism: An Archaeological-Historical Reappraisal (Yale University Press, 2022)  Yonatan Adler’s recent monograph, The Origins of Judaism: An Archaeological-Historical Reappraisal (Yale University Press, 2022), challenges traditional assumptions regarding the emergence of Torah observance among ordinary Judeans by combining archaeological evidence and literary sources to argue that a commonly practiced Judaism (including the keeping of dietary and ritual purity laws, distinct approaches to figural art, and other Torah-based practices) is only attested from the Hasmonean period onward. This book review panel engages Adler’s provocative but significant thesis as well as considers its broader historical implications from a variety of archaeological and textual perspectives. 

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Art and Religions of Antiquity

David Frankfurter
Vasiliki M. Limberis
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: Forces of the Natural World
Art and Religions of Antiquity invite papers on “The Forces of the Natural World,” including iconographic depictions of animals (violent, monstrous, demonic, mysterious, or peaceful); trees and plants (sacred, healing, poisonous); and rivers, springs, and mountains as autonomous forces (rather than background features). Rather than as “decorative” or background themes we are interested in how flora, fauna, and natural features act or express agencies – both within the image itself and in the broader architectural or kinetic context of their depiction (e.g., floors, processions, walls, sarcophagi, amulets, etc.). “Forces of the Natural World” also extends to the ways that media (e.g. types of timber, stone, metal, ivory, parchment) and materials (e.g. particular pigments) drawn from the natural world are used with intent to conjure powers.

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Asian and Asian-American Hermeneutics

Janette H. Ok
Sharon Jacob
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: For our open session, the Asian and Asian-American Hermeneutics Seminar invites proposals for papers related to reading the Bible and other sacred texts in, from, as well as to Asian and Asian American contexts and communities. We welcome papers that examine methodological issues involved in interpretation and hermeneutics, as well as papers that offer readings of specific texts and passages. Both veteran and first-time presenters are encouraged to submit proposals. We will also be holding a joint-session of invited panelists on “Envisioning the Future of Doctoral Programs in Biblical Studies" with the Minorized Criticism and Biblical Interpretation, African-American Biblical Hermeneutics, Latino/a/e and Latin American Biblical Interpretation, and Racism, Pedagogy, and Biblical Studies units. Lastly, we will have a book review session of invited panelists: A Review of Ekaputra Tupamahu's monograph Contesting Languages: Heteroglossia and the Politics of Language in the Early Church (Oxford University Press, 2022).

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Assyriology and the Bible

Gina Konstantopoulos
Rannfrid I. Lasine 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 San Antonio, the Assyriology and the Bible Section will host an invited, joint session to review Cornelia Wunsch’s book Judeans by the Waters of Babylon: New Historical Evidence in Cuneiform Sources from Rural Babylonia Primarily from the Schøyen Collection, together with the Exile (Forced Migrations) in Biblical Literature Section. A second session will be a joint session between the Book of Ezekiel and Assyriology and the Bible on Ezekiel in Mesopotamian Contexts. We invite papers exploring the connections between the book of Ezekiel and its Mesopotamian contexts. Papers exploring ritual, literary, cultic, and historical themes are especially welcome. Proposals for this joint session should be submitted to the Ezekiel group. This year, the Assyriology and the Bible section also welcomes papers on the topic of emotions as expressed in ancient Near Eastern and biblical material. Potential papers may consider the role of emotions in literary, religious, and historical contexts. Assyriology and the Bible will also host an open session, for which we will consider proposals on any subject related to the study of both Assyriology and the Bible.

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Bible and Emotion

Ari Mermelstein
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 Section will host four sessions in 2023. The first session is OPEN. We invite proposals related to the 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. The theme of the second session is Positive Emotions in biblical literature and closely related literature. We are especially interested in proposals that focus on emotions such as love, joy, enthusiasm, peace, fulfillment, etc. and how these divine and/or human emotions were expressed and received in the ancient world. The third session will be an invited panel focusing on the interplay between cognitive approaches to emotions and affect theory. We will also host a joint session with the Book of Samuel Section. For this session we are accepting proposals on any aspect of the study of emotion as it relates to the narratives in the Book of Samuel.

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Bible and Film

Brandon R. Grafius
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 proposals for three open sessions on any subject pertaining to Bible and Film (both broadly construed). 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. We especially encourage proposals that pertain to recent releases such as Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, Damien Chazelle’s Babylon, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, or Jordan Peele’s Nope, as well as ongoing productions such as the crowd-funded series The Chosen directed by Dallas Jenkins. We also encourage proposals that engage horror both in the Bible and in film. 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 Practical Theology

Terry Ann Smith
Yolanda Norton
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: Bible and Practical Theology will host three sessions. The first session will be an open session: We invite papers on biblical interpretations and practical issues related to aging, including youth, elder care, elder abuse, and intergenerational concerns. The second session will invite papers that engage issues pertaining to the Beyoncé Mass. These papers can address a range of biblical interpretations, theologies of inclusion, issues of intersectionality, and practical approaches to liturgical studies, homiletics, and/or pastoral care. The third session is an invited panel that will interrogate biblical interpretations and their practical application in and for Black churches.

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Bible and Visual Art

Heidi J. Hornik
Meredith Massar Munson
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 two sessions at the Annual Meeting in 2023: (1) We invite proposals on the Bible and art of Indigenous North American and Latin American cultures, and especially encourage proposals related to biblical art in public spaces in the San Antonio area; (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) There will also be a third session, joint with the Intertextuality and the Hebrew Bible. We invite papers focusing on Genesis as the theme.

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Bible in America

Claudia Setzer
Mark A. Chancey
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 one session on "The Bible and Immigration." For our second session we invite papers on any aspect of the Bible's use and reception in America.

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Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory

Andrew Tobolowsky
M. David Litwa
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: This year, the Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory section will host three sessions, one of which is a joint production with the Comparative Methods section. Here, we invite papers that explore the question: WHAT NEW AND COMPARATIVE APPROACHES TO MYTH CAN HELP SHED LIGHT ON BIBLICAL TRADITIONS AND WHY? The second session is a special session on Myth and Material Culture. For this session, we invite papers that investigate myths and mythology in material culture, for instance in art, inscriptions, coins, objects, architecture, and so on. Proposals need not entirely exclude texts, but should aim to focus on material artifacts. Important questions here include: How does the representation of myth in material culture change how we understand mythological traditions as opposed to the study of texts alone? What kind of variety in myth is made visible in material artifacts as opposed to the study of texts? What special uses did myth have when presented in material medias? How do modern methods of engaging material culture change the study of myth generally and in specific instances? The third session will be an open session. Here, we welcome proposals on the use of myth and myth theory in biblical studies. We especially encourage papers that explore various definitions of myth and what it means to utilize this category within biblical studies. We welcome participants from diverse specializations, including Hebrew Bible, Ancient Near Eastern Literature, and Greco-Roman Religions. We aim to include studies covering a range of methodologies, critical theories, and types of data: textual and literary criticisms, philology, cognitive sciences, archeology, art history, and social and anthropological theories. We welcome scholars from a range of career positions (senior, mid-career, junior, as well as graduate students) and from a variety of personal and institutional backgrounds.

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Biblical Archaeology Society

Glenn Corbett
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’s flagship publication, Biblical Archaeology Review, is the only magazine that connects the academic study of archaeology to a broad general audience eager to understand the world of the Bible.

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’s flagship publication, Biblical Archaeology Review, is the only magazine that connects the academic study of archaeology to a broad general audience eager to understand the world of the Bible.

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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: For many years scholars have been exploring the role of the Bible in light of environmental ethics. Often the focus is on texts that provide positive exploration regarding human relationship with the created world, such as Genesis 1. However, what of texts that are more problematic, such as the apocalyptic texts? Texts which seemingly describe the destruction of creation? How do these texts contribute to a biblically founded understanding of climate ethics? The Biblical Ethics unit welcomes papers that discuss such challenging texts for environmental ethics. 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.

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Biblical Exegesis from Eastern Orthodox Perspectives

Leslie Baynes
Michael G. Azar
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: The unit welcomes proposals for three sessions: 1) A session focused on ancient and modern Eastern Orthodox perspectives on “divine inspiration” in the composition and exegesis of the Bible, including notions of the church fathers themselves as divinely inspired interpreters. 2) A joint session with the Eastern Orthodox Studies unit inviting both paper and panel proposals that analyze any aspect of the relationship between Orthodox mysticism and scripture. This may include but is not limited to the relationship between mystical theology and biblical/patristic hermeneutics; the uses of scripture in the liturgical context and mystical practices, affect, and embodied experiences; the historical study of Orthodox mystical practice and spirituality in the past and present; and the uses of art, music, and creative expression as they relate to Orthodox mysticism. 3) A joint session with the Development of Early Christian Theology unit inviting proposals for papers that deal with any topic related to the nature of exegesis in homiletic contexts from the apostolic period through the seventh century: for example, whether the exegesis in the context of preaching is decidedly different in tone, approach, or content to that found in the period’s other exegetical genres. Proposals focusing on any interpretive treatment of scripture in homilies are welcome. Jointly with the Gospel of Mark unit, we will also host a session of invited papers: In modern Gospels and historical Jesus research, the Gospel of Mark by far has taken priority over the other three. While the gospel was read in the patristic era, and dependence on its pericopes periodically surfaces, its presence in early Christian thought was overshadowed by Matthew, Luke, and John. In the first centuries of Christianity, it was the only gospel that received neither commentaries nor homily series. This invited session therefore asks "What happened to Mark in early Christian exegesis?"

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

Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics

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

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

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Biblical Hebrew Poetry

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

Call for papers: Biblical Hebrew Poetry will be hosting four sessions: The FIRST session will be “A Review of Francis Landy’s Poetry, Catastrophe, and Hope in the Vision of Isaiah.” The culmination of decades of research, one of the finest critics of biblical poetry writing today casts an eye on Isaiah that has a quality all of its own. Panelists for this session will be invited. This session will be co-sponsored with the Formation of Isaiah and Israelite Prophetic Literature program units. The SECOND session will be “Blessing and Cursing.” The nature and function of blessings and curses in biblical Hebrew poetry have been the focus of three previous sessions at SBL. This year’s session will bring this extended study to its conclusion. While papers on any aspect of blessing and cursing in biblical Hebrew poetry will be considered, those informed by biblical interpretation in an African context are particularly welcome. As a prepared response will conclude the session, accepted papers must be submitted in final draft by September 30, 2023. The THIRD session will be “War in Hebrew Poetry.” This session will focus on the topic of war in Hebrew poetry, exploring how the perspective of the reader affects their interpretation of the text. Papers that clearly demonstrate the perspective of the reader as located behind, within, or in front of a specific text or texts are particularly welcome. The FOURTH session will be a general open session: We invite general papers regarding any aspect of Biblical Hebrew Poetry.

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Biblical Law

Andrew D. Gross
Hilary Lipka
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 plans four sessions for the 2023 Annual Meeting. We invite 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. Our third session will be co-sponsored with the Gender, Sexuality, and Bible section and will consist of invited and proposed papers. It will focus on gender identity (beyond the binary opposition between man and woman) and legal status, and will consider the role that gender plays in conferring specific legal rights, obligations, and social statuses in Near Eastern and biblical law. We invite proposals that explore questions related to this theme, such as: How does (or doesn't) sexuality define the social/legal status of women, especially in the areas of marriage and adoption? How does gender define the institution of inheritance? Although it appears that patrilineal descent was considered the customary norm, what do texts reveal about the legal autonomy of women in such systems? Were gendered legal statuses (i.e., father/mother/brother/sister) based on biological or social definitions? Could people legally change their gender? Our fourth session will consist of invited papers on the topic "How God Became a Lawgiver." These papers stem from a recent ERC-funded project at the University of Zurich and will cover a variety of topics on divine law and the place of the Torah in ancient Near Eastern legal history.

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Biblical Lexicography

Reinier de Blois
William A. Ross
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 Biblical Lexicography program unit will organize four sessions in 2023, which are as follows: 1) Open call for papers relating to the lexicography of Greek from any period in relation to the biblical and/or parabiblical corpora. 2) Open call for papers for a joint session held in conjunction with Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew. Our primary area of interest for this session is to study the phenomenon of semantic shift, i.e., how words and phrases take on different shades of meaning across different ‘sub canons’ within the corpus of the Hebrew Bible, either synchronically or diachronically, and how this should be represented in lexicographical entries. 3) Invited double review session focused on the Baker Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words (Baker 2023) and A Biblical Hebrew & Aramaic Lexicon (GlossaHouse 2020). And finally, 4) This year we begin a new methodological collaboration with the Nature Imagery and Conceptions of Nature in the Bible unit on “Lexicography of Nature in the Bible,” focusing in our first year on flora and fauna. This session will explore zoonyms and phytonyms in the Hebrew Bible and pay attention to the methodological issues related to the study of the vocabulary for animal and plant names in antiquity. The session will focus on (a) semantic examinations of the Hebrew vocabulary in its Near Eastern context, including a comparison with Semitic and specifically West-semitic lexica; (b) lexicographical histories of interpretation of biblical vocabulary in the ancient versions of the Bible (LXX, Old Latin/Vulgate, Targums, Syriac), possibly involving a comparison with Greco-Roman zoology. While this will be partly an invited session, we do welcome proposals.

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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 Biblical Literature and Hermeneutics of Trauma section has created a call for papers for three sessions: the first is a collaboration between the two Program Units “Book of Isaiah” and “Biblical Literature and the Hermeneutics of Trauma” and aims to open up new understandings of the Book of Isaiah by combining exegesis and trauma theories. Papers will focus on the Assyrian threat in the 8th century BCE that put the existence of Judah in peril with the fall of the Northern Kingdom of Israel (722 BCE) and the siege of Jerusalem by Sennacherib (701 BCE). Proto-Isaiah presents these historical events as traumatic and deeply disturbing. Papers will explore how trauma theory can illumine Proto-Isaiah’s testimony to these events. The second session, entitled “Traps and Triggers: A Trauma-Informed Biblical Studies Classroom,” seeks the presentation and analysis of classroom experiences involving the use of trauma theory to interpret biblical literature. The session will include short presentations or vignettes of case-studies from the classroom followed by a discussion of best practices and approaches to the intersection of trauma and biblical interpretation. The third session will be an open session to which we invite proposals of all types that seek to interpret biblical text through the lens of trauma theory(s). Successful proposals for all sessions should include analysis of biblical texts employing a theoretical framework that involves insights from trauma studies.

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Book History and Biblical Literatures

Matthew D. C. Larsen
Daniel Picus
Description: This unit investigates how insights from Book History illuminate scriptural literatures. We marshal scholars of various fields 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. We are accepting abstracts for two panels, with one additional panel of invited papers. The first panel is an open call: we are interested in new work engaging with questions of Book History, broadly conceived, and are particularly hoping to highlight the work of early career researchers, junior scholars, and graduate students. Our hope is to identify new trends and ideas, giving them space to interact and grow into the field. Our second panel is a riff on a retrospective book review. Hindy Najman's Seconding Sinai was published twenty years ago. We are interested in the ways that this book has inspired, shaped, and changed the field, both in traditional and completely unexpected directions (and disciplines). We invite abstracts for papers that put Seconding Sinai into conversation with another book (published before or since), revealing new insights about old texts, ideas, methods, and tools, or suggesting promising avenues for future study. Finally, an invited panel on the topic “The Critical Edition as Infrastructure” will build on a generative session at the previous annual meeting, charging panelists with the task of analyzing the genesis and reception of specific critical editions of ancient texts within their social and cultural contexts.

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Book of Acts

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

Call for papers: For 2023, 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 an additional session on "Acts and Whiteness," composed of invited papers, respondents, and open discussion.

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Book of Daniel

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

Call for papers: For the 2023 Annual Meeting, the Book of Daniel Section is planning to convene three sessions: two open sessions and one joint session to be held together with the Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible section. The invited session will focus on the textual history and traditions of Daniel. For the open sessions, we invite proposals dealing with any topic or issue in the critical interpretation of Daniel, including the MT, the LXX, the Additions to Daniel, and pseudepigraphical materials related to Daniel. The best proposals will indicate a distinctive contribution to a current problem in the study of Daniel, will bring a promising theoretical framework to a particular issue, or will raise new questions about an overlooked problem in the understanding of Daniel. All proposals must go through the SBL proposal submission link on the website.

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Book of Deuteronomy

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

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Book of Ezekiel

Tova Ganzel
Joel B Kemp
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:

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Book of Psalms

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

Call for papers: For 2023, the Book of Psalms unit will host several sessions. The first is a joint session with the "Meals in the OT/HB and Its World" unit. This open session welcomes paper proposals on the topic of "Agrarian and Food-Focused Readings of the Psalms." The session will consider agriculture/food within both the context and the content of the Psalter. Given that many of the psalms possibly arose from or were used during feasts and fasts in ancient Israel, how might food-based contexts have influenced the imagery and language used in these poetic compositions? Fruitful avenues for investigation include (but are not limited to) exploration of the Psalter’s use of food language, meal scenes, and agricultural imagery; trauma or violence depicted as meal scenes (language of ‘being eaten’); and food and power in, say, the royal psalms. For the second (open) session, we especially invite papers related to the psalmic superscriptions. Proposals might (re)consider variation in the superscriptions across the early versions or perhaps focus on the MT superscriptions with an eye toward meaning, intertextuality, or the shape and shaping of the Psalter. The final session will be a panel review of Susan Gillingham's three-volume work, Psalms Through the Centuries (Wiley Blackwell Bible Commentaries).

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Book of Samuel: Narrative, Theology, and Interpretation

Benjamin J.M. Johnson
Song-Mi Suzie Park
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 2023 meeting the following sessions are planned: 1) An invited session on bloodguilt in Samuel, interacting with David Shepherd's recent book, King David, Innocent Blood, and Bloodguilt (OUP, forthcoming 2023). 2) A themed session on emotions in Samuel jointly sponsored with the Bible and Emotion Section. For this session we are accepting proposals on any aspect of the study of emotion as it relates to the narratives in the Book of Samuel. 3) At least one open session on any aspect of the Book of Samuel. For this open session we welcome proposals on any aspect of the book of Samuel, especially papers which explore different methodologies in interpretation, the dialogue between synchronic and diachronic approaches, and theological concerns.

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

Book of the Twelve Prophets

Ruth Ebach
Description: The Book of the Twelve Prophets Section provides a forum for research into textual, literary, historical, religious, and ideological aspects of the Book of the Twelve Prophets. The section is interested in understanding individual passages as well as all phases of the development of this book.

Call for papers: The Book of the Twelve section will hold three sessions in 2023. For all sessions we accept papers: 1. Open Session: We invite papers dealing with textual, literary, historical, religious, and ideological aspects of the Book of the Twelve Prophets. The section is interested in understanding individual passages as well as all phases of the development of this book/corpus. 2. Session (partly invited): Hope and (political) restoration in the Book of the Twelve. We welcome papers that illuminate the historical circumstances and political interests associated with the idea of restoration. Papers may engage questions such as, but not limited to, in which situations does hope for restoration occur, who are the driving political forces, and which traditions are used? 4. Joint Session with the Textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible session: The Book of the Twelve in its textual history: The session welcomes papers dealing with any aspect of the textual history of the individual books and the whole of the Twelve, yet it will give a preference to proposals that explore the textual character of the corpus in various extant collections (MT, LXX, Dead Sea scrolls, a.o.) as a means of understanding the history of the formation and transmission of this collection and individual compositions.

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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: 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 will host two sessions in 2023. For our open session we invite traditional research in biblical studies, as well as interdisciplinary approaches to the topic. Papers addressing children in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, intertestamental literature, as well as rabbinic and related texts are welcome. Our themed session invites papers on the education and celebration of children. Education might include the formal education of children in schools, trades and apprenticeship, and the domestic sphere. Papers on celebration might address the ways in which ancient children celebrated and were celebrated, such as through formal rites of passage, games, and play

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Christian Apocrypha

Janet Elizabeth Spittler
Lily C. 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: For the 2023 Annual Meeting, the Christian Apocrypha program unit seeks proposals for three thematic sessions and one workshop: 1) a joint session with the Corpus Hellenisticum Novi Testamenti program unit on biblical paratexts, including biblical prologues; 2) a joint session with the Syriac Studies program unit on Syriac apocrypha; 3) a session on minoritized voices in Christian Apocrypha (minoritized in terms of e.g. race, ethnicity, disability, etc.); and 4) a workshop on the production of modern translations of apocryphal literature. Because many of us regularly produce translations of apocryphal works—but rarely have opportunity to discuss the process with each other—for this workshop we invite proposals for leading a 30-45 minute discussion on any topic relating to the translation of apocryphal works. (One could, for example, pre-circulate a difficult section of an in-progress translation for group discussion; or, one might propose that we discuss pitfalls specific to translating apocryphal works; or, one might propose a discussion of best practices in the production of translations for various types of audiences.)

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Christian Theology and the Bible

Brent A. Strawn
Jennie Grillo
Description: This unit invites a conversation between the disciplines of Christian Theology and Biblical Studies. We are interested in questions, categories, or hypotheses drawn from the broad tradition of Christian theology which inform readings of the biblical texts, and we aim to foster constructive theological work with biblical texts.

Call for papers: This unit invites a conversation between the disciplines of Christian Theology and Biblical Studies. We are interested in questions, categories, or hypotheses drawn from the broad tradition of Christian theology which inform readings of the biblical texts, and we aim to foster constructive theological work with biblical texts. The unit often has one session devoted to a review of a recent book. Beyond that we invite papers for one or two open sessions on the general topics and intersection(s) of the Bible and Christian Theology.

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Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah

Aubrey E. Buster
Philip Yoo
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: For the 2023 Annual Meeting, the Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah (CEN) section will hold three sessions. 1) An invited book review panel on Tamara Cohn Eskenazi's Ezra: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries (Yale University Press, 2023). 2) A co-sponsored session with the Gender and Sexuality in the Bible program unit. The session invites proposals that relate gender / sexuality to Chronicles, Ezra, and/or Nehemiah. We are particularly interested in proposals that engage with the theme of genealogy (papers on mixed marriages will be given low priority). 3) An open session. We welcome paper proposals on any topic relevant to the program unit, and we especially encourage early-career scholars to submit proposals to the open session.

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Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Interpretation

Elizabeth Currier
Johan de Joode
Description: The field of cognitive science has reshaped longstanding philosophical assumptions about how people use and process language. This section applies cognitive linguistics to biblical studies, with a focus on the ways cognitive approaches help scholars understand and interact with ancient texts.

Call for papers: Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Interpretation will hold three sessions at the annual meeting in 2023: two open sessions and a joint session. For the two open sessions: we invite papers that use one or more cognitive-linguistic methods to study a biblical text or corpus. We are especially interested in cognitive approaches that are underrepresented in biblical studies – for example: construction grammar, viewpoint analysis, applications of embodied cognition, prototype theory, force dynamics, conceptual blending, frame semantics, and conceptual metonymy. We welcome papers that use conceptual metaphor theory to explore a biblical text or corpus but will give priority to approaches that are under-utilized by biblical scholars. Strong papers go beyond thematic and methodological reflection and include exegetical and linguistic results. The joint session will be co-hosted with Performance Criticism of the Bible and Other Ancient Texts and Islands, Islanders, and Scriptures and will consist of three invited papers, one from each subfield represented by the host units. We will also hold a pre-conference workshop the Friday before the conference begins. Please send us an email if you would like to receive information about the workshop (coglingsbl@gmail.com).

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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: For our third year, we will host four types of sessions. All encourage interdisciplinary work and will engage comparative method directly. 1) An open session that welcomes proposals from across fields and subfields that deal overtly with comparative method and that may or may not use illustrative case studies. 2) In partnership with the “Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible” and “Israelite Prophetic Literature” units, we are exploring the theme: DIVINE BODIES IN SACRED TEXTS, ICONOGRAPHY, AND TRADITIONS. We invite proposals that examine how divine bodies are constructed or represented in prophetic texts in comparison/contrast to how they function in ancient Near Eastern or various religious texts, iconography, or traditions, including contemporary contexts. This session will include both invited and proposed papers. 3) In partnership with the “Mind, Society, and Religion: Cognitive Science Approaches to the Biblical World” program unit, we invite proposals that explore the question: HOW DOES COMPARISON HELP US UNDERSTAND THE WAYS THAT DIFFERENT GROUPS OR TEXTS ADDRESS WRONGS COMMITTED BETWEEN PERSONS (e.g., punishment, revenge, compensation, forgiveness, penance, cursing, prayers, expulsion)? Presenters are encouraged to use cross-disciplinary insights to formulate relevant points of comparison and insights into comparative method. Comparisons between different groups and texts in antiquity and comparisons between ancient and contemporary groups are invited. This session will include both invited and proposed papers. 4) In partnership with the “Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory” program unit, we invite papers that explore the question: WHAT NEW AND COMPARATIVE APPROACHES TO MYTH CAN HELP SHED LIGHT ON BIBLICAL TRADITIONS AND WHY? This session will include both invited and proposed papers.

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Connecting John: Intertextualities, Contexts, Reception

Hugo Méndez
Stefano Salemi
Description: This consultation explores the Gospel of John's connections with other literary works, media, and artifacts, with all papers and panels setting John in dialogue with another object of study, ancient or modern—including, narratives, letters, apocalypses, apocryphal acts, ritual forms, and artistic representations. Its aim is to re-frame John as a watershed work in early Christian history—one that creatively synthesized earlier traditions, carved out new literary spaces, and ignited new directions in theology, literary practice, ritual, and art.

Call for papers: The “Connecting John” consultation plans to hold three sessions during the 2023 SBL Annual Meeting. (1) The first will be an invited panel co-sponsored with the Johannine Literature Unit on the theme of “John within Judaism.” (2) The second will be an open call panel focused on “John and the Hebrew Bible.” Proposals should explore John’s practice of quoting, alluding to, or echoing Hebrew Bible or LXX/Old Greek texts and consider how the textual relationships and the connections created contribute to the theological shape of the gospel. The panel is open to engagement across the Gospel, but it is especially keen on accepting papers addressing John’s Passion Narrative and/or the events linked to it from ch. 11 onward. Analyses may be informed by ancient Christian hermeneutics and theological interpretation that made use of the HB/OT to read these passages. The panel is also open to papers on methodologies for identifying intertextualities. (3) The third session is an open call for papers connecting John to other objects of study, ancient or modern, including narratives, letters, apocalypses, apocryphal acts, and artistic representations.

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Contextual Biblical Interpretation

Karri Whipple
Laura Jean Torgerson
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) For the first session, we welcome papers focused on the theme of LGBTQIA+ Activism and the Bible. Papers should examine the ways in which contextualized biblical interpretation can address increasing global trans/homophobia and offer spaces for promoting queer rights. (2) The second session invites papers exploring the global rise of religious nationalism. Papers may examine the use of the bible or biblical interpretations used to promote religious nationalism or efforts to address nationalism in a particular context or community. (3) The third session, a co-sponsored panel is in honor of the life and work of Delores Williams as we discuss the issues of surrogacy, whether sexual, political, or theological, in any aspect of the study of communities in the biblical text. In the papers, special attention will be given to contemporary communities. Recognizing that reproductive justice is an issue in today’s society, this session invites papers that interrogate biblical texts, surrogacy, sexuality, and reproductive justice in ancient and contemporary politics. We welcome proposals for papers that engage exploration of the biblical mothering figures and the inherent ideas of survival and defiance that may (or may not) have resided in biblical communities while imaging theological constructions for contemporary communities. (4) We invite abstracts for panelists for a co-sponsored panel on the topic of reproductive justice and its intersection with the Bible in light of Dobbs v. Jackson and global conversations. Each panelist will present a 12-15 minute paper followed by a roundtable discussion. Papers should address an aspect of reproductive justice from perspectives such as critical race theory, activism, contextual location, etc. and its intersection with the Bible. Papers that discuss specific texts balanced with societal application are preferred.

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Contextualizing North African Christianity

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

Call for papers: This year, we have an open call for two sessions. The first is entitled 'Wisdom tradition in North Africa' and will focus on the reception of biblical wisdom materials in North Africa, including so-called deuterocanonical books such as Sirach (but not including Psalms). Papers may focus on a particular book or passage in one or more authors or consider one author's use of a number of biblical books. The second session will be held jointly with Inventing Christianity: Apostolic Fathers, Apologists, and Martyrs, entitled 'Augustine and the second and third centuries.' We seek papers that discuss Augustine’s engagement with second and third century texts, figures or theologies. Papers might also consider the ways in which the second and third century worlds had an influence (in the broadest sense) on Augustine’s work. We will also have two sessions of invited papers in memory of David Riggs, one of the co-founders of our section. They will focus on 'Pagan'-Christian interaction in Roman (and post-Roman) North Africa.

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Corpus Hellenisticum Novi Testamenti

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

Call for papers: This 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. For the 2023 Annual Meeting, the Corpus Hellenisticum Novi Testamenti SBL Program Unit will host three invited sessions on the following topics: (1) Tatian: Manuscripts and Interpretation; (2) Biographies and the Divine; and (3) the Sortes Astrampsychi (“Oracles of Astrampsychus”). Also, in collaboration with the Christian Apocrypha program unit, we invite proposals for a fourth session of papers discussing paratextual elements, including Greek and Latin biblical prologues.

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Cultic Personnel in the Biblical World

Shana Zaia
Jonathan Stökl
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: 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.

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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: Discussing race and ethnicity in Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature – Race is not only discussed in our current times, but already in antiquity. This year, the questions are: How are other peoples perceived in DCL? What voices do they have? Can narrator biases be detected? Which ones? What does this say about the concepts of race and ethnicity in DCL? What is the impact of previous research on perceptions of DCL? Additional topics are also welcome.

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

Deuteronomistic History

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 at least one open session, we invite proposals for the first of several planned sessions comprising an in-depth analysis of prominent chapters in the “Deuteronomistic History.” Proposed papers should consider the text, theology, literary composition, or composition history of 2 Kings 17. In collaboration with the Latino/a/x and Latin American Biblical Interpretation section, the Deuteronomistic History section is also organizing a special session that will be populated by a combination of invited and proposed papers on the theme “Reading the Deuteronomistic History in modern North and South American Contexts.” Samuel and Kings are rife with narratives predicting and describing the abuses of coercive political power—including the illicit appropriation of property and people (2 Sam 11; 1 Kgs 11; 21), the appropriation of women’s bodies (2 Sam 3, 11, 13), the instrumentalization of foreigners and non-majority ethnic groups (2 Sam 18, 21), and extrajudicial execution (2 Sam 11)—all in the service of gratifying the ruler’s desires and consolidating or maintaining political power. In many (but not all) of these episodes, a prophet intervenes to pronounce judgment on the dynasty. The biblical text’s preservation of the pattern of political offense and prophetic judgment, or lack thereof, raises the question of how this motif should be interpreted—and what moral authority it commands—in modern North and South American contexts.

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Development of Early Christian Theology

Erin Walsh
Miriam De Cock
Description: This unit explores 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 seventh century.

Call for papers: In addition to a book review session, in 2023 our program unit is sponsoring three open-call sessions: 1) Homiletics and Exegesis: In a joint session with the program unit “Biblical Exegesis from Eastern Orthodox Perspectives,” we invite proposals for papers that deal with any topic or issue related to the nature of exegesis in homiletic contexts, from the apostolic period through to the seventh century. We invite papers that explore, for example, whether the exegesis in the context of preaching is decidedly different in tone, approach, or content to that found in the period’s other exegetical genres. However, proposals with a focus on any interpretive treatment of scripture in homilies are welcome. 2)Early Christian writers debated exegetical and doctrinal questions across various genres using polemic to vilify their opponents. Ancient rhetoric enhanced the combative tone of many of these exchanges. How can we nuance this picture? What role does genre (poetry, philosophical dialogue, epistle, etc.) play in shaping the modes of engagement? Are there instances of the rhetoric of forgiveness and reconciliation that complicate our understanding of early Christian theological discourses around “orthodoxy” and “heresy”? The Development of Early Christian Theology Unit welcomes proposals that approach these issues from diverse perspectives. In light of the submissions, we will organize two panels around common themes.

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Digital Humanities in Biblical, Early Jewish, and Christian Studies

Jennifer Quigley
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: 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.

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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: The Disputed Paulines Section will offer two sessions in 2023, for which we invite papers exploring historical, sociological, literary (including rhetorical), and theological matters that bear upon the interpretation of one or more of the Disputed Paulines (or a discreet section thereof). In addition to an open session, in 2023 we are offering a special session with a more specific focus. According to the UN, one in three women experience domestic violence globally, with as many as 45,000 women and girls killed by their intimate partners or other family members in 2021. With those troubling statistics in view, this year we especially welcome papers that explore how any aspect of the Disputed Pauline letters can bring a word of hope for healthier and safer family relationships.

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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: The Documentary Texts and Literary Interpretation (DTLI) unit welcomes paper proposals for an open session that focuses on a documentary textual source or dataset from the ancient world and its value for interpreting an ancient literary passage, particularly a literary work composed or used by ancient religious communities, such as from the HB/OT, Apocrypha, NT, the Iliad, Egyptian Book of the Dead, Enuma Elish, etc. Papers that (1) illustrate a critical (e)valuation of the documentary text(s), (2) show how the documentary source(s) may be responsibly used to frame the study of a literary work, and (3) that provide a new insight into the literary passage are highly desired. The DTLI loosely defines a documentary textual source as a surviving textual artifact that can be historically contextualized, preferably by an archaeological context or by a convincing argument made on material, scientific, and/or acquisitional grounds. A second invited session is planned.

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Early Christianity and the Ancient Economy

Agnes Choi
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 examines economic aspects of early Christian groups from the first to the fifth century CE within the context of the economies of the Roman Empire and its provinces. “Economy” is understood broadly to consist of the production, transmission, and consumption of goods and services, as well as the social, political, and ideological conditions associated with economic systems. We invite papers exploring the ancient economy. We particularly welcome proposals on (A) cultic craftspersons: What do we know about the wages and labor of craftspersons who constructed images of deities, amulets, shrines, and lararia, for example; or painted pictures of the gods in households; or about the networks by which such services—and the products themselves—were transmitted, marketed, and purchased? and (B) the intersection of the constructs “religion” and “economy”: What is gained or lost by bringing the categories together (e.g., “sacred economy,” “spiritual economies,” “theo-economics”)? In what ways might the conjunction of the two terms facilitate a redefinition or potentially a rejection of one or both categories? Conversely, how might bringing the categories together enrich discourses concerning “religion” and/or “economy”? If applicable, proposals should indicate in the abstract for which topic (A or B) the paper should be considered.

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Early Exegesis of Genesis 1–3

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

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

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Early Jewish Christian Relations

Krista N. Dalton
David Maldonado Rivera
Description: The Early Jewish Christian Relations Group deals with the relationships of Christians and Jews as Christians emerged as groups distinct from Jews, and how these groups continued to affect one another in the following centuries. It considers approximately the first four centuries.

Call for papers: The Early Jewish Christian Relations invites papers for the 2023 Annual Meeting. The program unit seeks submissions related to Jews and Christians in the ancient world. We are especially interested in papers discussing charity and philanthropy, gender and sexed bodies, time and temporalities, or any other topics related to Jewish-Christian relations. The unit will also co-sponsor an invited panel in honor of the late E.P. Sanders.

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Ecological Hermeneutics

Barbara Rossing
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: There are three parts to the call this year.
1. The first call is for proposals linked to the Oxford Handbook of the Bible and Ecology (ed. H. Marlow and M Harris, OUP, 2022). This significant publication in Ecological Hermeneutics will be discussed in a book review session with invited speakers. In addition, we invite proposals for papers that dialogue with chapters in this work or methodological and theological issues raised in this work for inclusion in another session. These are not to be general review works but papers that build on specific aspects of the Handbook, e.g. relating to space and place in Isaiah (Handbook, Chapter 9).
2. We invite proposals on the topic of Migration: Ethics and Ecology. Within the biblical canon, several instances of migration occur in relation to environmental crises. Today, thousands of people are leaving their homes because climate change has rendered them inhabitable. Whether recounted in biblical texts or happening today, these climate related migrations have significant impact on humans (especially women) and collateral impact on the environment. We invite proposals that examine the ways in which climate change, migration, gender, and ecology were deeply intertwined in biblical time periods and continue to be today. The best proposals will consider a biblical text (or set of biblical texts) with a combination of ethical, sociological, and ecological factors in view as well as its significance for people today.
3. There is also an open call for papers on any biblical text or theme on the unit description. All proposals are encouraged to have a robust methodological basis.

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Economics in the Biblical World

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

Call for papers: For the 2023 meeting, this unit will hold two sessions. One will be a joint panel (co-sponsored with the Prophetic Texts and their Ancient Contexts seminar) with invited papers on eighth century BCE prophetic literature and economics. For the other session, we are accepting submissions for a panel focusing on the temple economy in the Herodian/Roman period. What is the role of the temple in the overall political-economic structure and dynamics of Judaea under the Roman empire, prior to the temple's destruction? When did this structure emerge? How was it maintained? What roles did the temple play in the social, political, and economic relations between the inhabitants of Jerusalem/Judaea and the neighboring peoples/places (e.g., Samaria, Transjordan, Idumea, Maresha)?

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Egyptology and Ancient Israel

Shirly Ben-Dor Evian
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:

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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 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, as it does marks of external influence, from Christian traditions—such as Greek, Syriac, and Armenian—but also 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

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

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Feminist Hermeneutics of the Bible

Carolyn J. Sharp
Midori E. Hartman
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 three sessions at the 2023 annual meeting.

Session #1: Open Thematic Call

Feminist and Sister Eco-Hermeneutics in the Biblical Wilderness and Borderlands

How might justice, survival, and resistance be found in the wilderness spaces and borderlands of the Bible? How might such biblical passages speak to our present realities concerning the fragility of life and survival in the Anthropocene? This open call for papers centers ecofeminist and sister hermeneutics in the wilderness and borderland spaces of the Bible, broadly conceived. Leaning into Delores Williams' concept of “wilderness experience,” where isolation and the divine meet to invoke transformative and “risk-taking faith” (Sisters in the Wilderness), we seek papers which consider how marginal spaces are inspirational locations of persistence and resistance. We particularly welcome conversations between Feminist, Womanist, Chicanx, and other traditions that highlight the relevance of intersectional eco-hermeneutics for our present moment.

Session #2: Co-Sponsored Session:

FHB will co-sponsor a session with the Writing/Reading Jeremiah program unit, hosting a Jeremiah commentary conversation with Carolyn J. Sharp and Christl Maier.

Session #3: Co-Sponsored Session:

FHB will co-sponsor a session with the Synoptic Gospels program unit, honoring the contributions of Dr. Musa Dube to the study of the Synoptic gospels.



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Formation of Isaiah

Judith Gaertner
Shawn Zelig Aster
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 Isaiah group will offer four sessions in 2023. 1. The Assyrian thread in the Book of Isaiah: This session is dedicated to the events surrounding the Assyrian campaigns, including that of 701 BCE. 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. Papers from a variety of perspectives and approaches are welcome. 2. Africa in the book of Isaiah // Reading Isaiah in Africa: In this joint session with the “African Biblical Hermeneutics” program unit attention will be paid to the book of Isaiah from two possible perspectives, namely (a) the presence of Africa within the book of Isaiah and beyond, and (b) how the book of Isaiah was read in the past and is read today in the African context. Topics include references to Egypt and Cush, historical interpretations and contemporary African perspectives of the book of Isaiah. This session will consist of invited speakers. 3. A book review session of Francis Landy’s new book: Poetry, Catastrophe, and Hope in the Vision of Isaiah: The culmination of decades of research, one of the finest critics of biblical poetry writing today casts an eye on Isaiah that has a quality all of its own. Panelists for this session will be invited. This session will be co-sponsored with the “Reading, Theory, and the Bible”, the “Israelite Prophetic Literature”, and the “Biblical Hebrew Poetry program units. 4. The collaboration between the two program units "Book of Isaiah" and "Biblical Literature and the Hermeneutics of Trauma" aims to open a new understanding of the Book of Isaiah by combining exegesis and trauma theories. Contributions will focus on the Assyrian threat in the 8th century BCE. Proto-Isaiah portrays these historical events as traumatic and deeply disturbing. We look forward to contributions that explore how trauma theory can illuminate Proto-Isaiah's testimony to these events.

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Gender, Sexuality, and the Bible

Jennifer L. Koosed
Katy E. Valentine
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:

FIRST SESSION: We invite papers on the topic of reproductive justice and its intersection with the Bible. Why now? 2023 is the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and the recent Dobbs v. Jackson case eliminated federal protection of abortion rights in the United States. Global conversations around reproductive justice are far from settled, and the time is urgent for relevant scholarship and activism on this topic.

We invite abstracts for panelists. Each panelist will present a 12-15 minute paper followed by a roundtable discussion. Papers should address an aspect of reproductive justice from perspectives such as critical race theory, activism, political rhetoric, legislation, reproductive access, popular culture, religious traditions, or history and its intersection with the Bible. Papers that discuss specific texts balanced with societal application are preferred – we want this discussion to count inside and outside of SBL. We envision a lively conversation from a variety of perspectives that engage the Bible in creative ways.

SECOND SESSION: We have a joint session with the Chronicles Ezra-Nehemiah program unit. The session invites proposals that relate gender / sexuality to Chronicles, Ezra, and/or Nehemiah. We are particularly interested in proposals that engage with the theme of genealogy (papers on mixed marriages will be given low priority). Please refer to the CFP and submit in Chronicles Ezra-Nehemiah section.

THIRD SESSION: We have a joint session with the Biblical Law program unit. We welcome papers that consider the role that gender plays in conferring specific legal rights, obligations, and social statuses in Near Eastern and biblical law (beyond the binary opposition between men and women). lease refer the CFP and submit in the Biblical Law section.



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Genesis

Theodore Hiebert
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 2023. (1) A session with invited presenters about the current state of scholarship on the composition of Genesis. (2) A session on the topic of Intersectionality in Genesis. For this session we welcome readings of Genesis that employ an intersectionalist approach, that is, readings that pay particular attention to intersecting or overlapping discrimination or disadvantage experienced by characters in the text, especially in the spheres of ethnicity, gender, status, and power. We also encourage the evaluation of narratives which may depict how apparent disadvantages are reversed. (3) An open session. For this session we welcome proposals on any topic related to the interpretation of Genesis. In addition to these three sessions, the Genesis Program Unit will also co-sponsor with the Pentateuch and Deuteronomy Program Units a session with invited presenters on “Women and Critical Methodologies in the Study of the Pentateuch.”

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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: For 2023, the Gospel of Luke section invites submissions for a session focusing on topics related to the nexus of body, space, and time. The section also welcomes proposals covering any aspect of research related to the Gospel of Luke, including (e.g.) textual, theological, narratological, historical, reception-historical, exegetical, social-scientific, and postcolonial approaches. Proposals for papers that engage in reading Luke with new, minoritized, or multiperspectival approaches are especially welcome.

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Gospel of Mark

Kara J. Lyons-Pardue
Robert S. Snow
Description: The Gospel of Mark Section is a venue for research on the text and themes of the Gospel of Mark and its various contexts.

Call for papers: The Gospel of Mark program unit has four sessions for 2023. Session 1: An open call for papers on any topic or text advancing scholarship on the Gospel of Mark. Session 2: An open call for papers focused specifically on the interpretations of the Markan prologue as a textual unit, which will inaugurate a multi-year series working through Mark from beginning to end, with a view to fostering conversation about the textual, historical, hermeneutical, and theological aspects of the Gospel in larger-scale perspective. We welcome proposals for sessions 1 and 2 that show a clearly defined thesis, methodology and argument. Session 3: A joint session with the Biblical Exegesis from Eastern Orthodox Perspectives Section in which invited papers answer the question what happened to Mark in early Christian exegesis? Session 4: Invited panelists will review Max Botner's book Jesus Christ as the Son of David in the Gospel of Mark. SNTSMS 174. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019.

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Greco-Roman Religions

Barbette Stanley Spaeth
Maria Doerfler
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: GRR this year invites submissions to three panels. The first, "Interactions between human and divine in the ancient and modern world," co-sponsored with the AAR Contemporary Pagan Studies unit, will address divine epiphany and the differential reception of the divine in the Greco-Roman and modern worlds. Which, how, when, where, and why do gods manifest? How is the perception of such contact different in the modern vs. the ancient setting? A second panel, titled "Reconsidering belief in Greek and Roman religion," focuses on a theme prominent in recent scholarship, namely that of belief as central to Greek and Roman religion. Long considered idiosyncratic of (Protestant) Christianity, belief is now reevaluated in light of new theoretical approaches. This panel will consist of two parts: a review panel dedicated to Jacob L. Mackey, Belief and Cult: Rethinking Roman Religion (Princeton University Press 2022) (Invited speakers); and an open call for papers addressing the role of belief in pre-Christian Mediterranean religion. Our third panel, offered jointly with SAMR, deals with "Secrecy and sociogenesis: mysteries, restricted rituals, and the growth of religious communities." Why do rituals sealed by secrecy – or even just rumored to be – generate robust trajectories for emergence, growth, and longevity in social groups? This panel invites papers focused on ancient Mediterranean religions in which secrecy, interacting with political power, rhetorical strategies, scriptural hermeneutics, and the aesthetics of concealment yields resilience and expansion over time. We will also have a panel with invited speakers on Jae Han’s Prophets and Prophecy in the Late Antique Near East (Cambridge University Press, 2023). For full descriptions of all panels, see greco-roman-religions.org.

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Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World

Chris de Wet
Description: This unit, titled Disability Studies and Healthcare in the Bible and the Ancient World, 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: This unit, titled Disability Studies and Healthcare in the Bible and the Ancient World, 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.

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Hebrew Bible, History, and Archaeology

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

Call for papers: The Hebrew Bible, History, and Archaeology unit is hosting three sessions for the 2023 meeting and co-sponsoring a fourth session with the Historiography and the Hebrew Bible program unit, focused on early Judah. First, we are planning an invited session discussing the ongoing excavations at Tel Moza, which have unearthed two temples dated to the Iron Age. The existence of the two temples and the plan of the large and main temple, which recalls the biblical description of Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem, as well as its paraphernalia, require a reevaluation of fundamental aspects in the study of cult and religion in ancient Judah. Second, we are hosting a book review panel, focused on Susan Ackerman’s new book Women and the Religion of Ancient Israel (Yale, 2022), which will include the author and four invited panelists. Third, we invite papers for an open session. We welcome any paper proposal that fosters discussion about 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

Alice Mandell
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 welcomes papers that highlight comparisons between the Hebrew Bible and other ancient Near Eastern texts. We especially appreciate contributions that establish new points of overlap and illuminate the source material in fresh and unexpected ways. This year we will hold: 1) one or two open sessions for papers that adopt a comparative approach; 2) one open session on the topic: “Ritual Texts in the Ancient Near East.” The Ritual Texts session is co-sponsored with Religions of Israel and Judah in Their West Asian Environment.

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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: In 2023, the Hebrews Program Unit will have two sessions: (1) a session with invited papers that examine connections between Hebrews and other early Christian traditions; and (2) an open session with papers exploring any topic related to the study of Hebrews. We welcome proposals for the second open session.

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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 2023 SBL Annual Meeting in San Antonio the Hellenistic Judaism section organizes three sessions. 1) This panel invites proposals on the broad topic of "Judaism: Origins and Variations" (open call). In his new book, Yonatan Adler has argued that the late Hellenistic period in Palestine was the most likely setting for the origins of a Judaism defined by a fairly strict and literal adoption of the laws of the Torah in daily life. We welcome papers that consider how Jews in other places and other moments used this baseline to interrogate their own understanding of Judaism’s origins and modes, and also to craft variations that spoke to their own circumstances, social locations, and personal or familial needs. The evidence adduced may be textual and/or material; the places may be Levantine or diasporic; the period may be ancient, medieval, or modern. 2) A joint session with the Qumran unit, partly open, partly invited on “The Qumran Finds as Part of Hellenistic-Roman Judaism.” The scrolls are part of the social and intellectual environment of Judaism at the time. Their authors confront the same dilemmas with regard to the reception of contemporary Hellenistic ideas like other contemporary Jews, whether in the Land of Israel, in Egypt, or Rome. The harsh polemic in the scrolls against anything foreign cannot be taken at face value, since the authors are by definition a product of their times. They take part in the intellectual, social and political world of not only the Hellenistic east but also the provinces of early imperial Rome. The session will address various aspects of this cultural encounter: political history, concepts of scripture and canon, interpretation, wisdom and philosophy, etc., according to the suggested papers. Two papers are by invitation; three papers are open for submissions. 3) Invited book review panel on F. Avemarie, J.W. van Henten, Y. Furstenberg, Jewish Martyrdom in Antiquity: From the Books of Maccabees to the Babylonian Talmud.

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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 both the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the New Testament, we welcome studies of related regions and texts as well.

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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 2023 meeting for which we invite papers. 1) Subsequent to last year’s session on the Third Quest ("Is the Third Quest Over?"), one session addresses the question: What’s next? We welcome papers on new approaches and methods. 2) A second session focuses on the scholarship on the historical Jesus from the late 18th century and throughout the 19th century. We invite papers dealing with the characterization of the scholarship of the period and different views on early Judaism in relation to Jesus and his ministry. 3) Finally, we are organizing an open session, welcoming proposals on current topics related to the research on the historical Jesus.

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Historiography and the Hebrew Bible

Lauren A. S. Monroe
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 invites paper proposals that examine specific historical questions or topics that pertain to the texts of the Hebrew Bible. Papers that engage contemporary debates surrounding the theories and methods of history writing are particularly welcome. In addition to one or more open session(s), we also invite paper proposals for a special session on "Memory in Practice," featuring a combination of invited and proposed papers that reflect on the meaning, the potentiality, and the pitfalls of memory as a conceptual framework in the study of ancient Israel. We will also co-host a session of invited papers with the Hebrew Bible, History, and Archaeology unit on Omer Sergi's recently published "The Two Houses of Israel: State Formation in Israel and Judah and the Origins of Pan-Israelite Identity" (SBL). The goal of this book panel will be to use Sergi's book as a point of departure for a provocative and stimulating discussion of present research and future directions in the fields of Bible and Archaeology, especially in relation to historiographic practices.

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History and Literature of Early Rabbinic Judaism

Krista N. Dalton
Simcha Gross
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 program unit invites papers for the 2023 Annual Meeting. First, the program unit will co-sponsor an invited book review panel on Yael Fisch’s Written for Us: Paul’s Interpretation of Scripture and the History of Midrash (Brill, 2022). Second, the program unit seeks submissions for a panel related to magic and/or otherworldly beings broadly understood in late antiquity. Third, the program unit invites submissions for an open call of papers related to rabbinic literature and its broader cultural contexts.

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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 encourages dialogue among scholars in both fields who share an interest in critical exegesis, its various methods, and the unique hermeneutical and theological problems inherent to the relationship between biblical interpretation and proclamation.

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Institute for Biblical Research

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

Call for papers: The 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

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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 San Antonio, to be held in conjunction with SBL. We invite proposals for twenty-minute papers on any aspect of the LXX and cognate literature. Proposals of max. 350 words should be submitted through the SBL Annual Meetings website. All presenters and panelists must be members in good standing order of IOSCS (see http://ioscs.org/ for details). 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: The International Qur’anic Studies Association fosters scholarship on the Qur’an, its context, its relationship to other scriptural traditions, and its influence upon literature and culture. IQSA facilitates the broad and open discussion of the Qur’an from a variety of academic perspectives.

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International Syriac Language Project

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

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

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Interrelations of the Gospels

James W. Barker
Olegs Andrejevs
Description: This consultation focuses on the production and reception of early Christian Gospels, particularly the ways subsequent authors redacted and rewrote previous Gospels in whole or in part. Perennial inquiries include the Synoptic problem and John's relation to the Synoptics, but additional texts-both extant and hypothetical-are also evaluated. The unit fosters an open forum that does not privilege or exclude any methodologically rigorous source-critical hypothesis.

Call for papers:
In 2023 we invite proposals on any topic pertaining to the interrelations of the Gospels for one or two open sessions.

Additionally, we invite proposals regarding Q and the Synoptic Problem for a joint session with the Q section; to receive full consideration, proposals must be submitted to both the Q section and the Interrelations of the Gospels consultation. Below is the description of the joint session.

As noted by Frans Neirynck in 2001, the Two-Document Hypothesis is "a very large house with many dwelling-places." In practice, this has translated to a variety of roles for Q in synoptic interrelations. For this session, we will focus on the following roles that Q has played since the 19th century: (1) as accounting for, and mostly limited to, the synoptic Double Tradition; (2) as potentially accounting for Minor Agreements; (3) as a potential source for Mark's gospel. We welcome methodologically sustained arguments for or against any of the aforementioned roles. Special consideration will be given to proposals that, rather than focusing on one or a few test passages, will assess the principal methodological considerations and either defend a particular position against the existing critique or supplement the critique by engaging counterarguments. Proposals that endorse Q's existence or argue against it are equally welcome. We expect all authors primarily to engage with the presuppositions of the Two-Document Hypothesis and the existing arguments of its theorists.


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Intertextuality and the Hebrew Bible

Shelley L. Birdsong
Soo Kim Sweeney
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: Intertextuality and the Hebrew Bible will host four sessions in 2023. We will have two joint sessions: one with “Bible and Visual Art” section, focusing on intertextual engagement between reading the Book of Genesis and various related visual images in the art (OPEN Call) and the other with “Use, Influence, and Impact of the Bible” section for the review of Susanne Scholz, ed. Oxford Handbook of Feminist Approaches to the Hebrew Bible (Invited panels). For our third session (OPEN Call), we invite proposals under the thematic topic of “Intertextuality and Reading Experiences: The Book of Genesis as a Case.” We are interested in proposals dealing with the relationship between intertextuality and various reading strategies, which would occur in re-reading the book. They include source criticism, redaction criticism, literary and rhetorical criticism, gender studies, and contemporary cultural or intersectional connections. The papers which deal with intertextual reading in the heuristic reading experiences will also be welcome. Our final session is OPEN to all proposals related to Intertextuality and the Hebrew Bible, with preference given to the call for our joint sessions and the focus on the book of Genesis. We strongly encourage the participants to reflect on their concept or methodology of ‘intertextuality.’

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Intertextuality in the New Testament

David M. Moffitt
Isaac Augustine Morales, O.P.
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 invites proposals for papers during the 2023 annual meeting. Papers may focus on any aspect of intertextuality and New Testament interpretation but should articulate the kind of intertextual work or method being employed. First-time presenters are encouraged to propose papers. They should submit their abstract through the SBL website and send the full paper by email to the section co-chairs. INT is also planning one session co-sponsored with the Pauline Epistles section. This session will consist of a panel review of the forthcoming book by Jason Staples, Paul and the Resurrection of Israel: Jews, Former Gentiles, Israelites (Cambridge University Press, 2023). The session will feature an invited panel followed by open discussion.

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Islands, Islanders, and Scriptures

Althea Spencer Miller
Brian Kolia
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 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.

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Israelite Prophetic Literature

Jina Kang
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 four sessions in 2023 and now accepts proposals: (1) In this 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 themes in our joint sessions may also be presented here. (2) WE ARE ACCEPTING PROPOSALS. In this year’s joint session amongst the “Comparative Method in Biblical Studies,” “Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible,” and “Israelite Prophetic Literature” units, we are exploring the theme: Divine Bodies in Sacred Texts, Iconography, and Traditions. We invite proposals that examine how divine bodies are constructed or represented in prophetic texts as self-presentations in comparison/contrast to how they function in ancient Near Eastern or various religious texts, iconography, or traditions, as well as within contemporary contexts. This session will include both invited and proposed papers. (3) Panelists for this session will be invited. This session will be a review of Francis Landy’s new book: Poetry, Catastrophe, and Hope in the Vision of Isaiah. The culmination of decades of research, one of the finest critics of biblical poetry writing today casts an eye on Isaiah that has a quality all of its own. This session will be co-sponsored with the Formation of Isaiah, Israelite Prophetic Literature, and Biblical Hebrew Poetry program units. (4) Panelists for this session will be invited and is co-sponsored with the Writing/Reading Jeremiah unit. In honor of the 45th anniversary of the publication of the Prophetic Imagination as well as Dr. Walter Brueggemann’s 90th birthday, this panel will gather Conrad L. Kanagy, author of a forthcoming biography of Brueggemann (Fortress), alongside colleagues and former students who were interviewed for the biography as well as scholars reflecting on the impact of his work.

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Jesus Traditions, Gospels, and Negotiating the Roman Imperial World

Adam Winn
Jill Engelhardt
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: Proposals for papers on any aspect of this negotiation are welcome for the program unit's' two sessions.

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Jewish Christianity / Christian Judaism

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 the 2023 SBL Annual Meeting, the "Jewish-Christianity/Christian Judaism” section welcomes proposals on papers on any topic related to our theme, including but not limited to proposals relating broadly to "Old Testament Pseudepigrapha," "New Testament Apocrypha," and/or Jewish texts transmitted by Christians. Planned sessions include a Review Panel of "In Search of Truth in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies" (2022) edited by Benjamin M. J. De Vos and Danny Praet, and a Twenty-Year Retrospective on the impact of "The Ways that Never Parted." We will also be co-sponsoring a special session in honor of the late E.P. Sanders.

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Johannine Literature

Benjamin Reynolds
Christopher Skinner
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 2023 SBL Annual Meeting. We will have four sessions. Two invited sessions with panelists and respondents: (1) Bodies in John; and (2) Reading John within Judaism, co-sponsored by the Connecting John unit. We invite paper proposals for two entirely open sessions, which may focus on the Gospel, the Letters of John, or a combination of the two. A wide variety of methodologies, interdisciplinary readings and interpretations are encouraged. Program Unit Chairs: Christopher Skinner, Benjamin Reynolds.

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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 also invite papers for an open session on 'Revelation 2-3'. We welcome papers exploring any aspect of these chapters including (but not limited to) genre, angelology, gender theory, performance criticism, material culture, reception history, archaeology, visual art, ancient Christian commentary, urbanism, manuscript studies, and Second Temple Judaism. We will also host a joint session of invited papers with Archaeology of Roman Religion Section on the work of Steven Friesen.

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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: The Josephus Seminar will host three sessions at the 2023 meeting: 1) a Brill Josephus Project session (proposals by invitation only); 2) an open session on any Josephus-related topic. We are especially interested in proposals that address Josephus' representations of slaves or slavery; 3) a joint session with the Philo of Alexandria Seminar. Proposals for this session will compare Philonic and Josephan passages that discuss virtues and/or vices.

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Joshua-Judges

Christoph Berner
Nili Wazana
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 2023 Annual Meeting, we will have a) two open sessions on Joshua and Judges. Papers dealing with any topic related to either book are welcome. In addition, we will have b) a third open session focusing specifically on “Joshua as a Deuteronomistic Book”: How precisely does the Book of Joshua fit within the overall context of Deuteronomism? Is there a consistent editorial technique of applying legal and conceptual standards from Deuteronomy to the portrayal of the conquest and distribution of the land or are we rather dealing with punctual references and allusions? How can the Deuteronomisms that are attested throughout the book in varying densities be evaluated in light of the book’s literary development? Scholars wishing to address any of the above aspects are encouraged to apply.

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Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion

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

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

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Korean Biblical Colloquium

Donald Kim
Hyun Chul Paul Kim
Jin Young Kim
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: Theme: “Minor Feelings, Migration Biblical Hermeneutics.” Our 2023 panel session (as an extension of the 2021 panel on Min Jin Lee’s “Pachinko" and 2022 panel on Lee Isaac Chung’s “Minari”) will focus on the book “Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning” written by Cathy Park Hong (published in 2020). Panelists will address various issues related to the migrant experiences and hermeneutics, addressing “deeper examination of racial consciousness in America today,” in light of their unique expertise and perspectives.

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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/e 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: For 2023, we invite proposals for papers that address the coloniality of knowledge within biblical studies at large, or in relationship to the production, circulation, reception, and/or rejection of particular biblical texts and traditions. This call for proposals reflects the SBL’s return to Texas, a territory that has been colonized by multiple historical imperial powers. To some extent, this session will also continue last year’s reflection on Fernando F. Segovia’s 2014 SBL presidential address, and so we also invite proposals that seek to engage in global systemic criticism for our critical times from the perspective of biblical studies. We particularly welcome papers that draw from and reflect upon the reality of Latino/a/e and Latin American sociopolitical contexts, as well as papers that employ hermeneutical and epistemological approaches from the Global South, papers that consider the role of biblical interpretation in physical and symbolic borders of tragedy, violence, war, nationalism, racism, and ecological devastation, and papers that construct alternative ideas of what it means to be Latino/a/e in these critical times. We are also collaborating with Deuteronomistic History on a call (see their call), and we are organizing an invited panel around Vena and Guardiola-Sáenz’s edited collection, Latinx Perspectives on the New Testament (Lexington/Fortress 2022).

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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 is beginning a (multi-year) critical assessment of the evidence and methods that inform modern dialogues on matters of “introduction,” including authorship, date, literary relationships, etc. This represents an opportunity to investigate untested assumptions, to revisit long-held viewpoints, and to explore new avenues for answering some foundational interpretive questions. In 2023, we will have three sessions: (1) an invited session with papers devoted to re-examining the methods employed in modern discussions on the authorship of James, 1-2 Peter, and Jude; (2) an open session with papers that re-evaluate the evidence commonly informing authorship debates on James, 1-2 Peter, and Jude (e.g., educational opportunities, linguistic abilities, role of secretaries, eyewitness character, etc) and that suggest new ways of moving the authorship discussion forward; and (3) an open session with papers exploring any topic related to the study of the Letters of James, Peter, and Jude.

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LGBTI/Queer Hermeneutics

Jimmy Hoke
Laurel W. Koepf
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: (1) We are planning a session on LGBTI/Queer Hermeneutics from the Global South, and, in addition to inviting panelists, we welcome submissions from scholars from the Global South who work in LGBTI/Queer Hermeneutics. (2) Our second session is co-sponsored with the Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative program unit. We invite proposals that “queer ancient fiction.” The texts included in "ancient fiction" span a wide range of time and could include narratives/texts within Second Temple / Ancient Judaism, the New Testament, and early Christianity. Papers that utilize queer theory and/or queer hermeneutics are especially encouraged. (3) Our third session is co-sponsored with Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World. We invite proposals that consider biblical literature and the intersections of LGBTI/Queer and disabled perspectives or the connections between healthcare, disability, queerness, and transness. We encourage proposals that consider biblical studies as we continue to navigate the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on the world. (4) As always, we will hold an Open Session where scholars should feel welcome and highly encouraged to propose papers driven by any wide range of interests and topics around LGBTIA2Q+ approaches and perspectives on biblical texts, contexts, histories, reception, and politics.

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

Andrew J. O'Connor
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: The Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qur’anic Corpus unit invites proposals for papers that engage with the study of the Qur’an from a literary standpoint and examine aspects such as rhetorical devices, literary motifs, characterization, themes, voices, sound, structure of passages or surahs, etc. While the unit welcomes proposals that explore any of these aspects, this year we particularly encourage papers that utilize linguistic, literary, and thematic perspectives to study the legal and prescriptive material found in Medinan surahs and verses.

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Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew

Aaron Hornkohl
Tania Notarius
Description: The goals of the unit: to provide a forum where scholars can share the results of their research on different aspects of Biblical Hebrew; advocate the advantages of linguistic methods for biblical studies; build a platform for interdisciplinary partnership with other disciplines and units.

Call for papers: The Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew Section solicits papers for four sessions: The FIRST SESSION is non-thematic and open to a range of linguistically informed papers. We invite papers that address the study of Biblical Hebrew using a well-articulated linguistic theory and/or apply linguistics to particular Biblical Hebrew constructions or corpora. The SECOND SESSION is a thematic session entitled ‘Linguistic Approaches to Form Criticism and Genre Analysis’. This topic touches on the most traditional issues of biblical studies—form criticism, textual growth, and literary genre of biblical compositions. Many of these issues should be approached from a linguistic point of view: the digital corpus analysis of lexicon, phraseology, and grammatical constructions opens new perspectives on the analysis of the linguistic profile of texts and their interrelations; the definition of literary genres correlates with text-linguistics and discourse analysis. We invite papers that combine linguistic and literary methods of text analysis. The THIRD SESSION, co-sponsored with the Biblical Lexicography section is entitled ‘Semantic Shift in Hebrew Bible, and its Lexical Definitions’. The primary area of interest for this session is to study the phenomenon of semantic shift, i.e., how words and phrases take on different shades of meaning across different ‘sub-canons’ within the corpus of the Hebrew Bible, either synchronically or diachronically, and how this should be represented in lexicographical entries. The FOURTH SESSION is a joint open session with NAPH, 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 corpora are especially encouraged.

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Literature and History of the Persian Period

Adrianne Spunaugle
Jason M. Silverman
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: We are uncomfortable asking and encouraging people to attend sessions in Texas at a time when members with health and safety concerns cannot be protected from unnecessary risks. For this reason, we will refrain from issuing a specific call for papers until 2024. In keeping with SBL's aim to provide a place for younger scholars to present their work, we therefore issue a general call for papers on the history and literature of the Persian period. We will return in full force next year when state laws do not deny people the human right to bodily autonomy.

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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 invites its members to propose papers for the national SBL meetings in San Antonio in November 2023 on Mark 16:1–20, covering the resurrection of Jesus and the ending of Mark. Papers may approach the text from any methodology or combination of methodologies. Our sessions are 2.5 hours in length with 3 papers with respondents and discussion. We typically have two sessions with a total of 6 papers. All seminar members are encouraged to make a proposal since some papers not presented at the national meetings will be included in the Seminar’s planned anthology for publication. Submit your proposal to Co-chair, Tom Shepherd at trs@andrews.edu by February 28, 2023.

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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 three open sessions at the 2023 Annual Meeting. Papers can address any topic pertaining to Masoretic studies, such as Masoretic annotations, Hebrew manuscripts, biblical accents, etc. The presentation of the work of doctoral candidates and early career researchers is especially welcome. The Masoretic Studies section invites submissions for these sessions.

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Matthew

Carolin Ziethe
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 sponsors invited and submitted papers, panels, reviews and welcomes submission on any topic related to Matthean scholarship.

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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 2023: 1) Open call: Meals in Late Antiquity. In this session, the MGRW would like to explore meals in Late Antiquity. Papers with a wide variety of emphases on pagan, Jewish, and Christian meal culture from Late Antiquity are welcome. 2) Open Call (some papers may be invited): Redescribing the Last Supper (Joint Session with Redescribing Early Christian Origins) Over more than two decades, two SBL program units, Redescribing Christian Origins and Meals in the Greco-Roman World have investigated the formative phases of the Jesus movement from a social anthropological and sociological perspective– the former more with regard to ancient myths and modern theories about early Christianity, the latter with regard to a concrete ritual in its ancient cultural context and modern myths about the origins of the Eucharistic meal, which became a central element of the Christian practice in late antiquity. This joint session will focus specifically on redescribing the “Last Supper” as presented in the Synoptic Gospels and in 1 Corinthians. While we welcome proposals that interrogate these passages in light of larger communal meal practices in antiquity, we are particularly interested in evaluating the description of this meal and the so-called “words of institution” in the canonical texts. Of interest is reevaluation of the degree to which these literary descriptions of the meal and its institution have been taken for granted and/or anachronistically interpreted. 3) Two decades of SBL’s Meals in the Greco-Roman world seminar: A Retrospective. MGRW subscribes to SBL’s Professional Conduct Policy and is committed to SBL’s core values, particularly those of critical inquiry, inclusivity, accountability, and professionalism.

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Meals in the HB/OT and Its World

Dorothea Erbele-Kuester
Michelle A. Stinson
Description: The unit explores the cultural-anthropological centrality of meals, utilizing the considerable data about food and feasting from the OT/HB and ANE (textual, iconographic, archaeological), to address questions of gender, social formation/identity, intercultural dynamics, ecology, ideology & theology.

Call for papers: The SBL ‘Meals in the HB/OT and Its World’ unit will host two sessions at the 2023 SBL annual conference in San Antonio. The first is a joint-session with the ‘Book of Psalms’ unit. This open session welcomes paper proposals on the topic of ‘Agrarian and Food-Focused Readings of the Psalms.’ This session will consider agriculture/food within both the context and the content of the Psalter. If the majority of the population in ancient Israel—even among the elites—had a close connection to the land, how might this familiarity with agriculture/husbandry have influenced the literature they produced? And given that many of the psalms possibly arose from or were used during feasts and fasts in ancient Israel, how might these food-based contexts have influenced the imagery and language used in their poetic compositions? Fruitful avenues for investigation include (but are not limited to) trauma/violence depicted as meal scenes (language of ‘being eaten’), food and power (the royal psalms), as well as explorations of the Psalter’s use of food language, meal scenes, and agricultural imagery. The second is an open session on the theme of ‘Feminist Perspectives and Gendered Realities at Meals the HB/OT and Its World.’ This session continues to explore trajectories identified in the ‘Future Directions for Meals Research’ session at SBL 2021, in this instance, the trajectory of Feminist and Gender Studies in the study of meals in the Hebrew Bible and the ANE. There have been ground-breaking insights from feminist approaches to the field of food studies (cf. foremost the work of Carol Meyers) starting with the re-evaluation of food and foodways in the ancient world. In addition, the growing fields of masculinity studies and other gender studies offer fresh perspectives on familiar meal scenes in biblical texts. For this session, we welcome proposals that address this topic by drawing from cultural-anthropological, textual or archaeological investigations.

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Metacriticism of Biblical Scholarship

Jill Hicks-Keeton
Mark Leuchter
Description: This unit interrogates the contours and boundaries of the discipline of biblical studies, including analysis of the guild's historic and current preoccupations, methods, and participant composition, while providing a forum for constructive recommendations for future directions in the field.

Call for papers: We seek proposals for two panels, one themed session and one open call session. For the former, together with the Racism, Pedagogy, and Biblical Studies unit, we invite proposals for papers dealing with Critical Race Theory and biblical studies and/or the Bible, broadly conceived, to be combined with invited presentations. For the latter, we invite proposals for papers dealing with any topic related to the goals of the program unit.

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Metaphor Theory and the Hebrew Bible

Danilo Verde
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: For the 2023 SBL Annual Meeting, the program unit Metaphor Theory and the Hebrew Bible accepts proposals for two sessions. The first session will focus on the relationship between metaphor and parallelism and how exploring possible entanglements between these two widespread linguistic phenomena may lead to a better understanding of biblical texts. The second session will be open to papers on the general topic of biblical metaphor. Abstracts should contain the following elements: scope, main thesis, case study, methodology, and relevance of the proposal.

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Midrash

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

Call for papers: The Midrash Section invites paper proposals for two sessions it will sponsor at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the SBL: 1) A session devoted to the theme "Midrash and Peace Studies"; 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

Colleen Shantz
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: This year we will host two sessions: (1) An open call for “comparative approaches to moral infringement”: How does comparison help us understand the ways that groups or texts address wrongs committed between persons (e.g., punishment, revenge, compensation, forgiveness, penance, cursing, prayers, expulsion, etc.)? Presenters are encouraged to use cross-disciplinary insights to formulate relevant points of comparison and insights into comparative method. Both comparisons between ancient groups and texts and comparisons between ancient and contemporary examples are invited. The session is co-sponsored with the Comparative Method in Biblical Studies Unit. (2) An invited panel to review Daniel O. McClellan, YHWH’s Divine Images: A Cognitive Approach (Ancient Near East Monographs. SBL Press, 2022). The open-access book is available @ https://www.sbl-site.org/assets/pdfs/pubs/9781628374407.pdf

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Minoritized Criticism and Biblical Interpretation

Stacy Davis
Yii-Jan Lin
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: There are two calls for papers. First, there is an open call that 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 contexts. Second, the unit is co-sponsoring a joint session with Latino/an and Latin American Biblical Interpretation. For 2023, we invite proposals for papers that address the coloniality of knowledge within biblical studies at large, or in relationship to the production, circulation, reception, and/or rejection of particular biblical texts and traditions. This call for proposals reflects the SBL’s return to Texas, a territory that has been colonized by multiple historical imperial powers. We particularly welcome papers that draw from and reflect upon the reality of Latino/a/e and Latin American sociopolitical contexts, as well as papers that employ hermeneutical and epistemological approaches from the Global South, papers that consider the role of biblical interpretation in physical and symbolic borders of tragedy, violence, war, nationalism, racism, and ecological devastation, and papers that construct alternative ideas of what it means to be Latino/a/e in these critical times. We are also co-sponsoring an invited book review session with CUREMP to celebrate the publication of Remapping Biblical Studies and an invited panel with Asian and Asian-American Hermeneutics entitled “Envisioning the Future of Doctoral Programs in Biblical Studies.”

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Mysticism, Esotericism, and Gnosticism in Antiquity

Jaeda Calaway
Paul Robertson
Description: This unit is dedicated to the critical investigation of religious currents of secrecy (esotericism), knowledge (gnosticism), and/or their revelation through religious praxis (mysticism) as they developed during the formative periods of Judaism and Christianity (500 BCE-500 CE). This unit is committed to the examination of texts and artifacts created and used in early Jewish, Christian, Greco-Roman, Egyptian, Persian, and Babylonian contexts. We are open to the application of a wide range of historical, comparative, and critical methodologies, including reception history for those who wish to study the effects of these texts and artifacts in later historical periods.

Call for papers: MEGA welcomes papers on any topic related to the study of mysticism, esotericism, and gnosticism from a wide variety of critical methodologies and theoretical perspectives. In addition, we welcome papers in conjunction with AAR’s Platonism and Neoplatonism group on “Panpsychism: The Soul of Nature”; “Panpsychism” describes the idea of a world soul, or anima mundi, that permeates all being. It plays an important role in the antique religions of the ancient near east, and a recurring role in the human imagination. Finally, we will also be having a panel on the critical intersection of embodiment, materiality, mysticism/esotericism, and Jewish and Christian scriptures.

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Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism

Pamela Mullins Reaves
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 three sessions at the 2023 Annual Meeting in San Antonio. We welcome papers on any topic related to the study of Nag Hammadi and/or Gnostic traditions. We especially encourage proposals that address: (1) reception histories of gnostic and related traditions; and (2) early gnostic teachers, especially Carpocrates and his school. For all sessions, advanced graduate students and scholars of traditionally under-represented groups are especially encouraged to submit abstracts for consideration.

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National Association of Professors of Hebrew

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

Call for papers: NAPH is sponsoring four sessions and one co-sponsored session. I. Annual Meeting of Officers and Members. II. Book event, Zev Garber and Kenneth Hanson, Teaching the Shoah: Mandate and Momentum (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2023). Session aims to provide insight into the overarching question: how can and should the Shoah be taught and what approaches can be utilized in sharing the most important lessons of this most unspeakable example of ethnic cleansing in human history? III. Title, "How to supply Meaningful, Comprehensible L2 Input." Propose either (a) a theory-and-rationale paper explaining the nature of meaningful, comprehensible L2 input, and its pertinence for BH learners, or (b) a paper describing and demonstrating such L2 input (specify learner-level, whether first-semester, second-semester, or third-semester-or-above). We encourage all papers to be of publishable quality. Contact Paul Overland (poverlan@ashland.edu). IV. Title, "Imagine Universal Assessment of Proficiency in Biblical Hebrew." This is Year One of a two-year working group. Participants will commit to NAPH work sessions in Nov. 2023 and Nov. 2024, with voluntary work assignments during intervening months. In Nov. 2023 participants will outline the aim and content of BH assessment. Proposals should indicate (a) reason for interest, (b) extent of experience teaching BH, and (c) your willingness to participate in two successive work sessions (at NAPH meetings in Nov. of 2023 and 2024) and willingness to complete voluntary assignments between first and second sessions. Contact Paul Overland (poverlan@ashland.edu). Joint open session with the Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew Seminar of SBL is also planned.

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Nature Imagery and Conceptions of Nature in the Bible

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

Call for papers: We are planning on three sessions in San Antonio 2023. All are open for suggested proposals. (1) We call for proposals on two themes: (a) Wind as a climate experience: authors in the Bible have utilized phenomena related to winds and their effects within narratives, poetry, wisdom writings, and more. (b) Landscapes: biblical authors describe, or implicitly reveal, geomorphological and phytogeographical (flora formation) characteristics of the land of Israel and its environs, and not least refer to human-made landscapes. We encourage presenters to enter into multi-disciplinary collaborations with experts on either climatology or geography and human-made environment to decipher the biblical imagery, its contents and functions. (2) This year we begin a new methodological collaboration with the Biblical Lexicography unit on “Lexicography of Nature in the Bible,” focusing in our first year on flora and fauna. This session will explore zoonyms and phytonyms in the Hebrew Bible and pay attention to the methodological issues related to the study of the vocabulary for animal and plant names in antiquity. The session will focus on (a) semantic examinations of the Hebrew vocabulary in its Near Eastern context, including a comparison with Semitic and specifically West-semitic lexica; (b) lexicographical histories of interpretation of biblical vocabulary in the ancient versions of the Bible (LXX, Old Latin/Vulgate, Targums, Syriac), possibly involving a comparison with Greco-Roman zoology. While this will be partly an invited session, we do welcome proposals. (3) We further invite papers for an open session on any topic relevant to this group’s focus on nature imagery in the Bible.

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Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE)

Description: NetVUE

Call for papers: NetVUE

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New Testament Textual Criticism

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 two open sessions on any aspect relating to the study and criticism of the text of the New Testament. In addition, we will be hosting an invited joint session on the International Greek New Testament Project.

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Novum Testamentum Graecum: Editio Critica Maior

Christina M. Kreinecker
Annette Hüffmeier
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 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.

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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: The Numismatic Evidence and Biblical Interpretation Section welcomes papers for the 2023 SBL Annual Meeting. We will have three sessions. The first session (open call) invites paper proposals on the numismatic illumination of the social and cultural world of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. This may include, but is not limited to, historical, linguistic, cultural and archaeological dimensions. The second session (open call) invites paper proposals which focus on any specific aspect of how ancient coinage illuminates the interpretation of early Christianity or biblical literature, including, among other considerations, epigraphic, iconographic, and historical matters. The third session (invited) consists of a book review of David Hendin's Guide to Biblical Coins, sixth edition (American Numismatic Society, 2021).

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Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds

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

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

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Paul and Politics

Anna Miller
Angela Parker
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 FIRST SESSION, co-sponsored with Womanist Biblical Interpretation, Contextual Interpretation of the Bible, and the AAR Committee of Racial and Ethnic Minorities is a panel in honor of the life and work of Delores Williams as we discuss the issues of surrogacy, whether sexual, political, or theological, in any aspect of the study of communities in the biblical text related to Hebrew Bible, New Testament, or Pauline communities in particular. In the papers, special attention will be given to contemporary communities. Recognizing that reproductive justice is an issue in today’s society, this session invites papers that interrogate biblical texts, surrogacy, sexuality, and reproductive justice in ancient and contemporary politics. We welcome proposals for papers that engage exploration of the biblical mothering figures and the inherent ideas of survival and defiance that may (or may not) have resided in biblical communities while imaging theological constructions for contemporary communities. The SECOND SESSION is a call for papers on Paul and the Politics of Imprisoned Bodies. The papers will explore the hermeneutical resources and/or challenges that Pauline texts offer to conversations on ancient and contemporary embodied experiences of being in the prison system. The THIRD 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
Matthew V. Novenson
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: For the 2023 Annual Meeting, we are planning three sessions: (1) A double book panel on Matthew Novenson's *Paul, Then and Now* and Anders Runesson's *Judaism for Gentiles*; (2) an invited panel on retrospect and prospect of the "Paul within Judaism" research project; and (3) an open-call paper session on retrospect and prospect of the "Paul within Judaism" research project. For this open-call session, we welcome paper proposals about primary texts that need further discussion, issues that need more attention, objections that need consideration, and so on.

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Pauline Epistles

Laura Dingeldein
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 2023 Annual Meeting in San Antonio, the Pauline Epistles Section is planning two open-call paper sessions and two co-sponsored book panels. For the open-call paper sessions, we welcome any and all paper proposals that fit our Section description (see above). In addition to these, we will co-sponsor, with History and Literature of Early Rabbinic Judaism, a book panel on Yael Fisch, Written for Us: Paul’s Interpretation of Scripture and the History of Midrash (Brill, 2022); and, with Intertextuality in the New Testament, a book panel on Jason Staples, Paul and the Resurrection of Israel (CUP, 2023). Finally, we plan to participate in the multi-sponsored session in memory of E. P. Sanders.

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Pauline Theology

Douglas Harink
Robert Moses
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: SESSION 1 THEME: PAUL AND MIGRATION. The Pauline Theology group welcomes proposals that address the theme of Paul and migration: Papers can discuss Paul in relation to migration in the first century, exile and/or refugee status in the Pauline letters, and identity as “other” in the Pauline corpus. The themes of movement, alienation, as well as trauma and suffering due to migration can also be discussed, including those seeking asylum or better economic opportunities. Additional questions include: Is Paul interested in migration by either ancient or modern standards? What role might the Pauline communities play in relating to migrants or migrating communities? Can one characterize Pauline communities as migratory? What, if anything, might the Pauline literature contribute to a theological framework for migration? Conversely, what might the field of migration studies contribute to a Pauline scholar’s reading of the Pauline texts? Do Paul’s letters indicate that Paul himself, his congregants, or his compatriots were struggling with migration? SESSION 2 THEME: PAUL AND ADOPTION AND KINSHIP. The Pauline Theology group invites papers that explore Paul and adoption and kinship through a variety of lenses: family, identity, power, belonging, allegiance, inheritance, wealth, suffering, as well as birth imagery. Additional questions around the theme of adoption and kinship include: Is Paul interested in adoption by either ancient or modern standards? How does one interpret the notion of adoption that Paul refers to in his letters? What role might adoption have had in the Pauline communities and how might they have understood this phenomenon? What might the Pauline literature contribute to a theological framework for contemporary issues in adoption and kinship? Were Paul himself, his congregants, or his compatriots struggling with understanding adoption and kinship by ancient standards or were they redefining adoption and kinship vis-à-vis their contemporaries?

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Pentateuch

Julia Rhyder
Dominik Markl
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: For the 2023 San Antonio meeting, we will have an invited panel (co-sponsored with the Genesis and Deuteronomy groups) devoted to the topic of women and critical methodologies in the study of the Pentateuch. While the number of women in the field has increased steadily in recent decades, relatively few use the traditional critical methodologies in their research. This invited panel will explore reasons women biblical scholars tend to eschew source, form, and redaction critical methodologies in work focused on the Pentateuch. A second invited session will be a text workshop on Exodus 1–2 with particular emphasis not only on key questions of composition but also the representation of women and female agency within the text. We also will host two open sessions in 2022. Paper proposals in all areas of Pentateuchal research are welcome.

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Performance Criticism of the Bible and Other Ancient Texts

Jeanette Mathews
Peter S. Perry
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: Theme: Performance Criticism, Cognition and Embodiment The human body is a significant link between ancient and modern performances of biblical traditions. Across time and cultures, readers, lectors, and performers of biblical texts gesture and use other signals with eyes, face, hands, arms, and legs that audiences blend with the sounds they hear to make meaning. Three sessions will explore this theme: (1) In the first joint session co-sponsored by Performance Criticism of the Bible and Other Ancient Texts, Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Interpretation, and the Islands, Islanders, and Scriptures, three invited papers will explore how the human body and embodied cognition may provide a basis for comparing ancient and modern performances. (2) A second session will be a book review of Kelly Iverson, Performing Early Christianity (Cambridge, 2021). (3) Performing Philemon: Possibilities and Limitations. What are the possibilities and limitations of performing Philemon? What different experiences are generated by various performances and performers? What do the variety of experiences suggest about the text itself and its first performances, if anything? Proposals are invited

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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 2023, the Philo Seminar is planning three sessions: (1) An open call on "Studies in Philo of Alexandria." Graduate students and early career scholars are especially encouraged to submit on a Philonic topic, theme, or text of their choice. (2) An invitation-only session on Philo's De gigantibus. This will serve the commentary-in-preparation in the Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series. (3) A joint session with the Josephus Seminar. Contributors are welcome to submit proposals to explore how Philo and Josephus discuss virtues and/or vices.

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Philology in Hebrew Studies

David Lambert
Ethan Schwartz
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: In “Archive Fever,” Jacques Derrida asks: "How does one prove in general an absence of archive, if not in relying on classical norms (presence/absence of literal and explicit references to this or to that, to a this or to a that which one supposes to be identical to themselves, and simply absent, actually absent, if they are not simply present, actually present?" For the 2023 annual meeting, Philology in Hebrew Studies would like to consider the theme of “Archival Absences.” Why do biblical texts and many Second Temple texts demonstrate a knowledge of prior texts but avoid direct reference to them? Even when texts, such as the Pentateuch, seem to be in view in one form or another, how are we to explain the noted inexactitude of their citation? What sort of understanding of what a text is does such reticence entail? How is textual knowledge represented in biblical texts? As a practical matter, in the absence of explicit treatment, how are we to determine the presence of earlier texts in later ones? To address these and other related questions, we plan to hold two sessions: 1) an invited panel on “Archival Absences” and 2) an open session in which we encourage papers that address the above theme, though papers on any topic related to the work of the unit will be considered.

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Postcolonial Studies and Biblical Studies

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

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

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Poverty in the Biblical World

Francisco Lozada, Jr.
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 program unit will hold two sessions. SESSION 1 (OPEN): "Borders, Migration, and Climate Crises”: The complex intersections between migration, climate crises, and shifting borders are increasingly recognized and, at times, rejected in political discourses around the world. We invite critical presentations on biblical texts concerned with these issues, broadly understood, as they connect with contemporary concerns and implications, especially for the poor and marginalized in the greater US-Mexico borderlands, including indigenous/1st Nations populations. Presenters will connect prior to SBL 2023 to exchange ideas. SESSION 2 (OPEN): Poverty is contextual and it exists differently across readers. All readers read from a particular economic context (e.g., capitalism) and this context informs how reader’s see poverty (or not). We welcome papers that bring to bear poverty studies and the way it plays a role in the reader’s approach and/or interpretation of a biblical text. For a reader’s economic social location (howsoever defined) affects a reader’s selection of approach, choice of biblical text, topic/them, and/or interpretation of a text.

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Prayer in Antiquity

Andrew R. Krause
Angela Kim Harkins
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: The Prayer in Antiquity program unit will host three sessions in 2023. The first session is a joint session with the Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity program unit. For that session, proposals are welcome on either the imaginary spaces that are described, imagined, or invoked by prayer texts (broadly understood to include apotropaic texts, psalms, hymns, curses, etc.), or on the material spaces where prayers were performed, inscribed, or deposited. Our second session is an invited book review panel on Prayer in the Ancient World, Volume 1, edited by Rod Werline and Daniel Falk, published by Brill. Our third session will be an open session. Proposals to the joint session and open session should identify the texts that will be examined and the kind of methodology that will be used.

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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: 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.

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Pseudepigrapha

Kelley Coblentz Bautch
Patrick Pouchelle
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: For the 2023 Meeting, the Pseudepigrapha Section invites proposals for two featured thematic sessions and one open session. First, the Section welcomes especially proposals on Coptic and Ethiopian Pseudepigrapha for a thematic session on “Neglected Pseudepigrapha.” Second, with the Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature Section, the Pseudepigrapha Section hosts a joint session on “Constructs of Ethnicity and Race in Deuterocanonical and Pseudepigraphal Texts," for which we solicit proposals. Presentations in this session should problematize ancient and contemporary categories, examine constructs (ancient and contemporary) of ethnicity and race, think about "insider" and "outsider" categories within texts, and explore the reception of these works and later perspectives, (problematic) constructs, and assumptions associated with them. Our third session will be an open session and we welcome proposals that engage the critical study of Jewish and Christian texts associated with Pseudepigrapha.

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Psychology and Biblical Studies

Heather A. McKay
Pieter van der Zwan
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: 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. For the Annual Meeting in 2023 we invite papers dealing with exclusion vs. inclusion in the Bible, focusing on RELATIONS AND ATTITUDES of EXCLUSION, such as identity, inequality, aggression, prejudicial bias, etc.. (This will be the SECOND of 3 years dealing with exclusion vs. inclusion in the Bible, to be followed in 2024 with POLITICS of EXCLUSION.)

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Q

Giovanni Battista Bazzana
Sara Parks
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: This year the Q unit will offer three sessions.
Firstly, we warmly invite submissions for papers on any aspect of the Q source for one Open Session. Submissions could treat topics like: Q and John the Baptist; apocalypticism in Q; the redaction of Q; parables in Q; Q and gender; queering Q; the social formation envisioned by Q; etc. We welcome submissions from graduate students and those who are not primarily Q scholars!
Secondly, one session will showcase contributions to the forthcoming Oxford Handbook on Q. Papers for this session are invited.
Finally, we invite proposals regarding Q and the Synoptic Problem for a joint session with the Interrelations of the Gospels consultation; proposals must be submitted to both the Q section and the Interrelations of the Gospels consultation. Below is the description of the joint session.
As noted by Frans Neirynck in 2001, the Two-Document Hypothesis is "a very large house with many dwelling-places." In practice, this has translated to a variety of roles for Q in synoptic interrelations. For this session, we will focus on the following roles that Q has played since the 19th century: (1) as accounting for, and mostly limited to, the synoptic Double Tradition; (2) as potentially accounting for Minor Agreements; (3) as a potential source for Mark's gospel. We welcome methodologically sustained arguments for or against any of the aforementioned roles. Special consideration will be given to proposals that, rather than focusing on one or a few test passages, will assess the principal methodological considerations and either defend a particular position against the existing critique or supplement the critique by engaging counterarguments. Proposals that endorse Q's existence or argue against it are equally welcome. We expect all authors primarily to engage with the presuppositions of the Two-Document Hypothesis and the existing arguments of its theorists.

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Qumran

Jonathan Ben-Dov
Jutta Jokiranta
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. 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.

Call for papers: In 2023, the unit organizes four sessions. (1) The first is a Joint session with Hellenistic Judaism unit, partly open, partly invited: “The Qumran Finds as Part of Hellenistic-Roman Judaism”. The scrolls are part of the social and intellectual environment of Judaism at the time. Their authors confront the same dilemmas with regard to the reception of contemporary Hellenistic ideas like other contemporary Jews, whether in the Land of Israel, in Egypt, or Rome. The harsh polemic in the scrolls against anything foreign cannot be taken at face value, since the authors are by definition a product of their times. They take part in the intellectual, social and political world of not only the Hellenistic east but also the provinces of early imperial Rome. The session will address various aspects of this cultural encounter: political history, concepts of scripture and canon, interpretation, wisdom and philosophy, etc., according to the suggested papers. Two papers are by invitation; three papers are open for submissions. (2) A thematic workshop on Reading the Scrolls: selected scholars from a variety of backgrounds are invited to read a passage of their choosing, translate it, and present their close reading. The purpose is to disclose the interpretative processes that often remain implicit, to reveal the choices scholars do in their translations, and invite discussion and interaction on the modes of indulging the scrolls. (3?4) We invite paper proposals to two open-call sessions that will address any aspect of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Qumran. We commit ourselves to balance senior and junior voices. In order to maximize opportunities for presenters, scholars should not present more than two years in succession. This restriction does not apply to invited papers.

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Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics (IQSA)

Andrew J. O'Connor
Celene Ibrahim
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: The Methodology and Hermeneutics Unit invites proposals for papers that focus on the theological and hermeneutical relationship between the Qur’an and extra-Qur’anic sources of truth or authority, including the prophetic Sunna, communal Sunna, consensus (ijma'), the Shi'i Imams and their Sunna, hadith literature, biographical literature (sira), formative exegetical literature (tafsir), the rulings of Muslim scholars ('ulama'), the Sufi shuyukh or Sufi poetry, mystical unveiling (kashf), studies of the material universe, intellect, and so forth. For example, proposed papers could consider: The hermeneutical relationship between the Qur’an and the prophetic Sunna; for instance, in how hadith, sira, or “occasions of revelation” (asbab al-nuzul) impact exegesis; How principles from Islamicate philosophy (falsafa) or theology (kalam) are used to exegete the Qur’an, or how specific verses become significant within Muslim ontological and cosmological discourse; How the idea of the Imams as the authoritative interpreters of the Qur’an influences exegesis in Shi'i Islam; How Sufi works of literature like the Mathnawi of Rumi or Divan of Hafiz distill the Qur’an for popular audiences; How Sufi exegetes read the Quran through the lenses of mystical principles and spiritual experience; Ways in which modern and contemporary Qur’anic interpretation adheres to or departs from influential premodern methods of tafsir, and so forth. Papers may advance new constructive approaches for explicating the Qur’an in light of extra-Qur’anic sources of truth or authority. Prearranged panels are also welcome.

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Racism, Pedagogy, and Biblical Studies

Raj Nadella
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: We are inviting proposals for two panels: a themed session and an open session. For the themed session that we are cohosting with the Metacriticism unit, we invite proposals for papers on Critical Race Theory and biblical studies and/or the Bible, broadly conceived, to be combined with invited presentations. For the open session, we are inviting papers focusing on two broad topics: 1) teaching the Bible in the context of the Critical Race Theory (CRT) ban and 2) the ways in which digital media--Twitter, ChatGPT, etc--influences the classroom experience and shapes pedagogical approaches.

Tags: Pedagogical Theory (Learning & Teaching)

Reading, Theory, and the Bible

Peter Sabo
Rhiannon Graybill
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: For 2023, the Reading, Theory, and the Bible program unit will be offering three sessions. 1. Our FIRST SESSION will be an open session. We welcome any and all paper proposals that fit our section description (see above). 2. Our SECOND SESSION will be a themed session, “Climate Fiction in/and the Anthropocene: Literary Form and the End of the World as We Know It.” We are especially interested in submissions that engage recent work by Louise Erdrich (Future Home of the Living God) or Joy Williams (Harrow), or that focus on non-White writers (e.g. Nnedi Okorafor, Vandana Singh, Octavia Butler). This session will be co-sponsored with the American Academy of Religion’s Sacred Texts, Theory, and Theological Construction program unit. 3. Our THIRD SESSION will be a review of Francis Landy’s new book: Poetry, Catastrophe, and Hope in the Vision of Isaiah. The culmination of decades of research, one of the finest critics of biblical poetry writing today casts an eye on Isaiah that has a quality all of its own. Panelists for this session will be invited. This session will be co-sponsored with the Formation of Isaiah, Israelite Prophetic Literature, and Biblical Hebrew Poetry program units.

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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: SESSION 1: "WOMEN BIBLICAL INTERPRETERS THROUGH THE AGES (ca. 100 CE – ca. 1920)." We invite proposals for 20-minute papers on any topic related to women who interpreted scripture prior to the early twentieth century. Topics can include women who interpreted the Bible through their writing, teaching, preaching, speaking, art, music, or other mediums. Papers may deal with individual women; or may compare several women writing on the same theme or biblical passage; or may deal with some other aspect of women's scriptural interpretation through the ages. SESSION 2: "WOMEN MYSTICS AS BIBLICAL INTERPRETERS (ca. 100 CE – ca. 1920)." We invite proposals for 20-minute papers on biblical interpretation by women mystics. “Mysticism” here is broadly construed to include visions, revelations, ecstatic utterances, Pentecostal experiences, and similar phenomena. Possible topics include women whose visions or revelations interpreted scripture; women who used their mystical experiences to justify their right to write, preach, speak, or interpret the Bible in other ways; or other aspects of the intersection between mysticism and scriptural interpretation. Examples of women with mystical or visionary experiences include, but are not limited to: New Prophecy (Montanist) women; the martyr Perpetua (d. 203); Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179); Julian of Norwich (1342-ca.1416); Afro-Peruvian visionary Ursula de Jésus (1604-1666); Mother Ann Lee (1736-1784); African-American preacher Zilpha Elaw (1790-1893); and numerous others. For questions, contact Joy Schroeder at jschroed@capital.edu.

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Redescribing Christian Origins

Jennifer Eyl
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: We are excited to offer three panels this year: 1) Redescribing Idolatry: In this first session, we are interested in interrogating and redescribing "idolatry." When this term is used in the study of Christian Origins, it is regularly tainted with value-judgments and otherwise inaccurate descriptors, often in the service of rendering Christian beliefs and practices unique in comparison to so-called “pagan idolatry.” These papers will rethink the utility of the concept, expose unstated assumptions in its scholarly use, and/or explore alternative, more intellectually precise and academically responsible terminology. Papers for this panel will be invited. 2) Our second session is co-sponsored with the Greco-Roman Meals unit: This panel will focus specifically on redescribing the “Last Supper” as described in the Synoptic Gospels and in 1 Corinthians. While we welcome proposals that interrogate these passages in light of larger communal meal practices in antiquity, we are most interested in evaluating the description of this meal and the so-called “words of institution” in the canonical texts. Of interest is reevaluation of the degree to which these literary descriptions of the meal and its institution has been taken for granted and/or anachronistically interpreted. 3) And finally, we invite submissions for an Open Session. We are happy to consider any papers that deal with redescribing/rethinking conventional elements of Christian Origins scholarship, including: revisiting a common term or category (e.g., ritual, ekklesia), questioning scholarly narratives, or redescribing non-canonical scholarship (in a potential partnership with the Nag Hammadi session). Redescribing Christian Origins is a seminar and papers are pre-circulated before the meeting. They are not read in full during the seminar, but rather summarized (sometimes with a formal response), so as to leave ample time for group discussion. We ask attendees to come prepared for these group discussions

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Religion and Philosophy in Late Antiquity

Athanasios Despotis
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: We welcome proposals on the following topics: 1) A joint session with the Seminar Early Exegesis of Genesis 1-3 on the application of the concept of the cosmic soul to the interpretation of the Genesis narratives. We invite submissions referring to ancient Christian, Jewish and polytheistic authors who linked philosophical ideas on the cosmic soul to traditions in Genesis 1-3 and their reception. 2) Our second session will be devoted to the relationship between ancient philosophy and rituals. We welcome papers investigating the interaction between religious and philosophical traditions on the topic of rituals. Presentations should focus on one or both of the following questions: In what sense did philosophy lead to a spiritual understanding and interiorization of rituals? How did mixed forms of philosophical religions, and especially theurgy, occur in late antiquity? 3) A session on the impact of the Vulgata on later theology and philosophy. We invite contributions that scrutinize how ancient Latin translations of the Bible impacted ancient philosophical traditions and vice versa. How do Latin biblical texts reflect contemporary philosophical developments, and what is the contribution of these translations to the ancient history of philosophy?

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

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

Call for papers: This year we are accepting papers for two sessions. One is completely open. The other is "Ritual Texts in the Ancient Near East" and will be a joint session with Hebrew Scripture and Cognate Literature.

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Religious Competition in Late Antiquity

Catherine E. Bonesho
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 2023 Annual Meeting, the Religious Competition in Late Antiquity program unit will host four sessions: 1. Competitive Technologies of the Body (co-sponsored with Social History of Formative Christianity and Judaism): The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a new focus on the ways that people engage the individual and social body, particularly in fierce contestations about illness and proper techniques of care. We invite papers that engage competitive technologies of the body in antiquity, including, but not limited to, medicine, magic, diet, approaches to illness and disability, athleticism, and prosthesis. 2. Boundaries and Lived Religion (co-sponsored with Religious World of Late Antiquity): Discussions of communal boundaries in late antiquity often focus on the perspective of elite authors. We invite papers that look beyond this rhetoric to interrogate religious difference and competitive engagements through the perspective of lived religion and/or material culture. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, shared space, ritual, and dress. 3. Gender, Power, and Competition: We invite papers exploring the intersection of gender, power, and group competition in the ancient Near East through late antiquity. Topics might include discourses and practices of gender inclusion or exclusion, gender constructions, policing or contesting gender performances, rape culture, and related questions. Papers may focus on primary sources, but we also encourage papers that engage in metacriticism and other critical reflections of scholarly approaches to these questions. 4. Open Call: We invited proposals on competitive interactions between different social and religious groups in the ancient Mediterranean basin and late antique southwest Asia, and/or how this competition reshaped cultural and religious landscapes.

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Religious Experience in Antiquity

Frederick S. Tappenden
Reed Carlson
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 3 sessions, 2 with open calls for papers. (1) We invite paper proposals for an open session on any topic connected to Religious Experience in Antiquity. This call is open to scholars working in any period or geographical region of antiquity. We ask that you specify the texts or other material artifacts under discussion and include a clear methodological perspective. Innovative approaches are most welcome. (2) For this joint panel organized in collaboration with Senses and Cultures of the Biblical World program unit, we welcome papers that treat the overlap between a sense of place and religious experience. We particularly welcome papers that include lived religion, material religion or environmental studies approaches in their treatment of this topic. Presenters are encouraged to explicitly state the data they are working on (text(s), artefact etc.) and what theoretical and/or methodological angle they are applying in their presentation. (3) Our third session is themed: “Religious Experiences in the Last Days.” We invite papers exploring the experiences of living in the latter days in antiquity. What cultural, sociological, or material factors contributed to the construction of what life is or ought to be in the latter days? Does life at the near end enable new ethical possibilities, bodily formations, or breaches of boundaries? Is it possible to live well or poorly during such a time and, if so, how are such values defined? We especially welcome papers that integrate the insights of disciplines outside of biblical studies, including cultural anthropology, critical theory, and cognitive science.

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Religious World of Late Antiquity

James Redfield
Megan Nutzman
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: The Religious World of Late Antiquity program unit invites abstracts for three sessions:
1) Beginnings. How is the starting point of a religious narrative or phenomenon used in order to make sense of its unfolding? Is a beginning the origin of a static essence, or a space for reimagining what it was even before it began, and could still be? We invite papers which explore this question and the tension between those apparently polarized responses, whether through reflection on late ancient case studies, or by expanding upon theorizations of this topic itself in late ancient and other authors. 2) Boundaries and lived religion (co-sponsored with the Religious Competition in Late Antiquity program unit). Discussions of communal boundaries in late antiquity often focus on the perspective of elite authors. We invite papers that look beyond this rhetoric to interrogate religious difference and competitive engagements through the perspective of lived religion and/or material culture. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, shared space, ritual, and dress. 3) Open call. We invite papers on any topic related to the literature and material culture of the religious world of late antiquity. Comparative and thematic papers that bring multiple traditions into dialogue are appreciated along with those that focus on a single tradition. Graduate students and early-career scholars are especially encouraged to submit abstracts.

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Rhetoric and Early Christianity

Lillian I. Larsen
Mark D. Given
Description: This section has historically explored the continuously-evolving field of rhetorical criticism of the New Testament in all its diversity. Marking a slight shift in focus, 'Rhetoric and Early Christianity' will extend RNT's refined critical lens to address a broader spectrum of source material.

Call for papers: The Rhetoric and Early Christianity (formerly Rhetoric and the New Testament) Section fosters research centered on the arts of persuasion, broadly conceived, as they intersect with the study of Early Christian sources and worlds. This section premises that, given our current socio-political climate and discursive landscape, the study of rhetoric and early Christian Literature is as highly relevant as ever. For the 2023 annual meeting, we plan to host three sessions, centered on several themes. First, we will hold a review session of Timothy A. Brookins, Ancient Rhetoric and the Style of Paul's Letters: A Reference (Cascade Books, 2022); participants for this session have been invited. Secondly, we seek proposals that explore the role of prisons and imprisonment in early Christians’ rhetorical constructions of themselves and others. Proposals can also examine how prison language in other ancient Mediterranean literature provides insights for interpreting early Christian texts. Thirdly, we solicit proposals on the Rhetoric of Polemics in early Christian texts, broadly construed as “mudslinging.” These proposals could encompass the rhetoric of rumor, innuendo, and/or insinuation. Finally, as usual we invite proposals dealing with other aspects of the intersection of rhetoric and the study of early Christianity. Likewise, in each of these subgroups, all approaches will be considered. However, we are especially interested in papers that consider the interplay of ancient and modern discourses, contexts, and deployments. Additionally, we particularly welcome proposals that focus on the question of why the study of rhetoric and early Christianity matters ‘now’.

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Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity

Donghyun Jeong
Rosemary Canavan
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: Sociorhetorical interpretation is a broad, interactive interpretive analytic that welcomes engagement with a wide variety of interpretive perspectives and strategies that explore biblical and cognate texts. Our first session will be the New Horizons in Sociorhethorical Interpretation track where a panel will review Andrew Guffey's The Book of Revelation and the Visual Culture of Asia Minor: A Concurrence of Images. The second session will be an Aanalytical Seminar that considers sociorehtorical commentary on a particular book of the New Testament. In addition to these two regular track sessions, the Seminar issues 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 classical and contemporary interpretive strategies (e.g., cognitive science, material culture, critical spatiality, topoi analysis, new institutional economics, affect theory, 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 three sessions in the upcoming 2023 annual meeting. 1) The first session will be a session focused on divine ritual activity. We invite proposals that critically examine whether the biblical text includes descriptions or divine ritual activity and the implications this may have in understanding ritual in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. 2) The second session would continue our focus on women in liturgical contexts, specifically exploring their ritual functions in funerals. This session will look particular wishes to engage some of the following questions: What role did women play in funerals? Did they hold positions of authority or leadership in funerary procedures? Was female participation in aspects of the funerary process a contentious issue? We welcome submissions that address issues of authority, power, and/or variances in participation based on conceptions of gender as they relate to women in liturgy in the Biblical world. 3) The third session will be an open session on all parameters of meaning and function of ritual found in textual and iconographic sources in the larger context of the cultures of the ancient world, employing insights and methods from the field of ritual theory.

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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: For the 2023 Annual Meeting, we invite paper proposals for the following three sessions: (1) Religious Experience and a Sense of Place. For this joint panel, organized in collaboration with Religious Experience in Antiquity, we welcome submissions that treat the overlap between a sense of place and religious experience. We particularly welcome papers that include lived religion, material religion or environmental studies approaches in their treatment of this topic. (2) Sensory Disabilities. Human cultures construct both the senses and (dis)abilities differently, depending on the values and meanings associated with the body. In her 2013 monograph, Sense and Stigma in the Gospels: Depictions of Sensory-Disabled Characters, Louise Lawrence initiated a set of dialogues with disability studies and sensory anthropology, attempting to refigure gospel characters with sensory disabilities and offer alternative interpretations of their conditions and social interactions. For this panel, co-sponsored with the Healthcare and Disability in the Biblical World unit, we welcome submissions engaging with Lawrence’s work, but also those considering sensory disabilities and /or the healing of such disabilities from other perspectives and in other ancient writings. (3) The Less Studied Senses. For this panel, we welcome papers that treat one of the less studied senses, such as taste, touch, smell, kinesthesia, proprioception, and pain. Papers that relate the sense in question to larger questions, such as social order, cosmology, cognition, or cultural values are especially welcome. For all panels, presenters are encouraged to explicitly state the data they are working on (text(s), artefact etc.) and what theoretical and/or methodological angle they are applying in their presentation.

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Slavery, Resistance, and Freedom

Chris de Wet
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: We have two calls for papers. The first 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 in any proposal may be ancient, contemporary, or any time in between. The second is a call co-sponsored with the Historical Paul session on the theme entitled “Slave Religiosity in Pauline Assemblies.” Taking Dan-El Peralta’s 2017 article “Slave Religiosity in the Roman Middle Republic” as a model, this session asks how enslaved persons might have heard of, conceived of, and practiced the Pauline gospel differently than their enslavers. We will also have an invited book review session on Slavery in the Late Antique World, 150-700 CE and an invited panel on the theme “Re-humanizing Teaching and Scholarship About Enslaved Persons.”

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Social History of Formative Christianity and Judaism

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

Call for papers: For the 2023 Annual Meeting, we are planning four sessions. Two will be pre-arranged panels, one on Blake Leyerle’s book, The Narrative Shape of Emotion in the Preaching of John Chrysostom (University of California Press, 2020), and the other on Laura Lieber’s, Staging the Sacred (Cambridge University Press, 2023). For the two open sessions with open calls for papers, we invite proposals on the following themes: (1) "Exile and Migration". This panel extends an open call for papers related to the theme of “borders.” Implicit in this topic are questions of migration, exile, and diaspora, as well as of exclusion, belonging, and “home.” We welcome proposals engaging with textual and material sources, as well as, in recognition of the local particularity of our meeting, meta-reflections on any of these topics. (2) Our fourth panel calls for papers that address “Competitive Techniques of the Body” (to be co-sponsored with The Religious Competition in Late Antiquity Section). The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a new focus on the ways that people engage the individual and social body, particularly in fierce contestations about illness and proper techniques of care. We invite papers that engage competitive technologies of the body in antiquity, including, but not limited to, medicine, magic, diet, approaches to illness and disability, athleticism, and prosthesis.

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Social Sciences and the Interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures

Eric X. Jarrard
Rosanne Liebermann
Description: This quintessentially interdisciplinary unit combines the skills that are unique to classic biblical scholarship with exciting and vibrant conversations and developments from disciplines in the social sciences, including anthropology, sociology, psychology, and political science.

Call for papers: For the 2023 Annual Meeting, the Social Sciences and the Interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures program unit will hold two sessions. (1) The first seeks papers that address the current state of the field and possible future directions regarding social scientific approaches to the Hebrew Bible and related texts. We are especially interested in work that focuses on research from one or more of the core social scientific disciplines: anthropology, political science, psychology, and sociology. This session will consist of several invited papers, but proposals addressing the session’s theme in creative ways will also be carefully considered. (2) A second session is an invited panel with new research that engages Aubrey Buster's new book Remembering the Story of Israel: Historical Summaries and Memory Formation in Second Temple Judaism (Cambridge University Press, 2022).

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Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament

Erin Roberts
Tony Keddie
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 SSCNT unit is pleased to offer four sessions this year. 1. "What Is Social Scientific Criticism in 2023? What Is Its Future." Participants will be invited. 2. "Jewish and Christian Utopian Communities of the Hellenistic-Roman Era." This joint session between the SSCNT unit and the Utopian Studies Consultation will focus on the theme “Jewish and Christian Utopian Communities of the Hellenistic-Roman Era.” We invite papers in this session to explore ways in which analysis of 19th and 20th century intentional communities through the lens of Utopian Studies can illuminate our understanding of intentional communities in the Hellenistic-Roman Era, such as the Essenes, Therapeutae, Jesus movement, etc. Submissions for this session should attend to theoretical work from within the field of Utopian Studies. Please submit proposals for this session directly to the Utopian Studies consultation. 3. "Religion and Economy in the Ancient Mediterranean." Joint session with the Early Christianity and the Ancient Economy unit. Like the term “religion,” “economy” is both an unstable signifier, in that it can be defined in multiple ways, and a heuristic device, in the sense that it may help to delimit a particular aspect of the broader social order that is of interest to the researcher. We solicit proposals exploring the intersection of religion and economy: What is gained or lost by bringing the categories together (e.g., “sacred economy,” “spiritual economies,” “theo-economics”)? In what ways might the conjunction of the two terms facilitate a redefinition or potentially a rejection of one or both categories? Conversely, how might bringing the categories together enrich discourses concerning “religion” and/or “economy”? Please submit proposals for this session directly to the ECAE unit. 4. Open Session. We enthusiastically seek papers on any aspect of the social-scientific study of the New Testament and/or early Christianity.

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Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions

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: 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.

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

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Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity

Harry O. Maier
Sarah F. Porter
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: The Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity program unit is hosting three sessions in 2023. The first is a joint session with the Prayer in Antiquity unit on either the imaginary spaces that are described, imagined, and/or invoked by prayer texts (broadly understood to include apotropaic texts, psalms, hymns, curses, etc.), or on the material spaces where prayers were performed, inscribed, or deposited. Proposals should identify the texts that will be examined and the methodology that will be used. The second session is on the intersection of spatiality and theories of lived religion. How does religion come to be in specific, everyday spaces, or how does the lived experience of space act back on or modify religious belief or teaching? How might critical attention to spatiality reshape our historiographies of ancient religious traditions in and around the Mediterranean? References to specific theorists of lived religion and specific spaces or types of place are appreciated. The third session is an open session.

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Synoptic Gospels

Michael Whitenton
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 two open sessions 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. In addition, we will hold an invited joint session, together with the African Hermeneutics and Feminist Hermeneutics sections, to celebrate the manifold contributions of the work of Dr. Musa Dube to the study of the Synoptic Gospels.

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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: For the 2023 Annual Meeting we invite proposals for three thematic sessions and one general session. (1) For our session on “Crisis, Calamity, and Community Response” we invite papers that explore how Syriac sources represent the responses of communities to situations of disaster (such as earthquakes, famine, plagues, and war) that afflicted entire cities or regions. (2) A second thematic session, “Contending with Scholarly Legacies: Orientalism in the Study of the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean” (co-sponsored with the AAR program unit on Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity) welcomes presentations that critically assess the ways in which our fields (broadly defined) have been shaped by agendas and assumptions of significant orientalist scholars of previous centuries. (3) A session on “The Use of Apocryphal Traditions in Syriac Literature” (co-sponsored with the program unit on Christian Apocrypha) solicits contributions that examine the impact of apocryphal texts on Syriac literature. (4) Our general session welcomes proposals on any aspect of Syriac Studies that pertains to biblical or parabiblical traditions and their reception in Syriac-speaking communities.

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Teaching Biblical Studies in an Undergraduate Liberal Arts Context

Jocelyn McWhirter
Dr. Sylvie Raquel
Description: This unit addresses the unique opportunities and challenges of teaching biblical studies in undergraduate liberal arts institutions. Sessions promote the sharing and evaluation of pedagogical objectives, strategies, and assessment tools, cultivate professional networks, and lead to published results.

Call for papers: We are calling for papers to be presented in an open session. We invite papers on any topic related to teaching the Bible in an undergraduate liberal arts context. Papers about the possibilities and pitfalls associated with AI chatbots are especially welcome.

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Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible

Mika Pajunen
Daniel Olariu
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 will host four sessions in the 2023 annual meeting, most of which share a focus on textual criticism of prophetic books: (1) A joint, open-call session with the Book of the Twelve Prophets program unit. We welcome proposals dealing with any aspect of the textual history of the individual books and the whole of the Twelve. Preference will, however, be given to proposals that explore the importance of text critical variants and the character of different textual witnesses (esp. MT, LXX, and Dead Sea scrolls) as a means of understanding the history of the formation and transmission of these collections and individual compositions; (2) A joint, invited-papers session with the Book of Daniel program unit. The presentations will deal with current issues in the textual transmission history and traditions of Daniel; (3) An open session where we welcome any proposals dealing with the origin and nature of the biblical text. Yet, preference will be given to papers that explore textual issues in the transmission of prophetic texts; (4) A joint, invited-papers session with the Aramaic Studies program unit. The session will explore the use of the Hebrew Bible and the nature of textual variants in rewritten scriptures and the Targumim.

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Textual Criticism of the Historical Books

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

Call for papers: This section covers the breadth of text-critical and text-historical research on the Historical Books in their various textual traditions. We particularly welcome papers that feature an intersection between text-critical and other methodologies. All proposals should name the investigated biblical passages, describe the ancient sources, the chosen methodology, and explain how the proposal is linked with current research. We explicitly encourage submissions from students, early career research, women, and persons from underrepresented or traditionally marginalized backgrounds in the discipline. For the 2023 Annual Meeting, we are planning three sessions. One general session is open for submissions on any text-critical topic in the Historical Books. Papers may focus on one or several versions, including relevant data from medieval Hebrew manuscripts. In addition to text-critical papers in the strict sense, this session is open to papers with a focus on: literary, redaction, or narrative criticism, as well as linguistics, such as lexicography and syntax. Papers in these related areas and cognate fields should either take advantage of text-critical findings or demonstrate the useful application of their approaches to textual criticism generally or specifically. Joint papers featuring cooperation between a textual critic and a specialist in another approach are especially welcome. We are also planning two thematic sessions. The first covers "Textual Versions of and beyond the Septuagint." We will consider papers demonstrating the text-critical value and text-historical relevance of the daughter versions of the Septuagint (e.g., Coptic, Syriac, Latin, Ethiopic, Armenian, Georgian) and of the proto-Masoretic text (Peshitta, Targumim, Vulgate), as well as the relevance of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Papers explaining translational or other features in the said versions using text-critical evidence are welcomed. We encourage joint papers by scholars bringing together expertise

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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.

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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.

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

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The 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: The Forum on Missional Hermeneutics invites one-page paper proposals for two sessions: (1) "Re-Examining Acts 17:26 Missionally: Interpretation and Implications." In 'African American Readings of Paul', Lisa Bowens notes that Acts 17:26 "is the sine qua non for many African Americans in their understanding of who Paul is and what he believes” (p. 299). In light of the importance of Acts 17:26 for African American preachers of the 18th and 19th centuries, this session explores Acts 17:26, its relationship to the missio Dei, and implications for a socially located missional hermeneutics. Papers could, e.g., appeal to Acts 17:26 to clarify a biblical understanding of the missio Dei; exegete Acts 17:26 contextually in order to shape missional hermeneutics; and/or draw on Acts 17:26 to critique or clarify missional hermeneutics (exploring what the text says about God’s mission and the human response to it, or how it might inform a 'missional' framework for biblical interpretation); (2) "Missional Peacemaking: Engaging Polarization in Ecclesial and Educational Contexts." Increasingly, political and religious communities are characterized by polarization. Disagreements have become so acrimonious that community members find it difficult, if not impossible, to converse civilly and productively. Deep divisions often persist within congregations and other ecclesial bodies, as well as in church-related institutions of higher education (despite their educational mission to cultivate openness to new ideas). This session explores how missional theology might help address political and/or religious polarization, whether in congregations (and/or ecclesial governance structures) or church-related higher education (at a variety of levels). Papers should articulate a clear understanding of missional theology—and how it might address the problem of polarization. Proposals may include institutional case studies; analyses of polarization; and/or exegetical/theological exploration.

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The Historical Paul

Brigidda Bell
Benjamin L. White
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 welcomes proposals for the following session: (1) An open session with papers that address any aspect of the section’s objective of providing a contextually plausible account of the historical figure Paul. Especially welcome are proposals that explore Paul in conversation with novel comparanda from the Greco-Roman world. The section will also host two invited sessions: (2) A session on “Slave Religiosity in Pauline Assemblies,” co-sponsored with the Slavery, Freedom, and Resistance section. This session will take Dan-el Padilla Peralta’s 2017 article "Slave Religiosity in the Roman Middle Republic" as a model to ask how enslaved persons might have heard, conceived of, and practiced the Pauline gospel differently than their enslavers. These papers consider the religious experiences particular to enslaved persons in the Pauline assemblies. (3) A third session, consisting of invited papers, entitled “Paul as Intellectual,” will explore what it means to call Paul an intellectual in the Greco-Roman world.

Tags: Pauline Epistles (Biblical Literature - New Testament)

The Qur’an and Late Antiquity (IQSA)

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

Call for papers: For the 2023 IQSA Annual Meeting in San Antonio, 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 new and comparative methodologies to approach the interplay between Late Antique phenomenon and the Qur’an.

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The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition (IQSA)

Andrew J. O'Connor
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 2023 meeting in San Antonio, 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)

Andrew J. O'Connor
Marijn van Putten
Roy McCoy III
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 2023 meeting in San Antonio, the unit welcomes papers on any topic within the range of the interests of the Manuscripts and Textual Criticism program unit. For the 2023 meeting in San Antonio, 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)

Andrew J. O'Connor
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 of the 37 surahs in the 30th juz’ (Juz’ ‘Amma), viz. from Surat al-Naba’ (78, “The Announcement”) to Surat al-Nas (114, “Humanity”). Proposals about any aspect of any surah—or cluster of surahs—are welcome. Proposals which can take our collective thinking in new directions are especially encouraged. These might broach (1) such general themes as: addressee(s), chronology and dating, the eschaton, oaths and oracular language, rhyme and rhythm, or textual cruxes; (2) topics specific to particular surahs, such as: astral imagery and phenomena in Surat al-Buruj (85, “The Constellations”) or Surat al-Takwir (81, “Rolling Up”), non-human beings in Surat al-Nazi‘at (79, “The Dispatchers”), Surat al-‘Alaq (96, “The Clot”), and Surat al-Fil (105, “The War Elephant”), or the language of commerce and trade and wealth in Surat al-Takathur (102, “Vying”) and Surat al-Ma‘un (107, “Liberality?”); or (3) devotional, liturgical and recitational aspects of the surahs and the juz’. The Surah Studies Unit welcomes diverse methods and new approaches. The raison d'être of the Unit is specifically to bring different perspectives into dialogue with one another.

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The Societal Qur'an (IQSA)

Andrew J. O'Connor
Johanna Pink
Lauren Osborne
Description: The Societal Qur'an

Call for papers: The Societal Qur’an unit invites proposals for papers that investigate the Qur’an in its lived and societal contexts throughout history, from Late Antiquity to contemporary Late Modernity. Papers might, for instance, discuss topics such as:(1) ritual uses of the Qur’an; (2) practices of teaching the Qur’an; (3) talismanic and medical uses of the Qur’an; (4) the production of manuscript, print, and new media versions of the Qur’an and their commodification; (5) the role of the Qur’an in public debates, political organisation, and identity building; (6) the Qur’an in arts and media; (7) multilingual representations of the Qur’an. Proposals are encouraged that engage with sociological, anthropological, and political science theories and methods in their pursuit of the societal and lived Qur’an.

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Theological Interpretation of Scripture

Amy Peeler
Bo H. Lim
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: The Theological Interpretation of Scripture group invites papers engaging with the Old Testament lectionary texts for Advent. Any lectionary may be consulted and papers may focus on one or multiple texts. We are especially interested in how interpretation of these texts is shaped by this setting in the church calendar, including sitting alongside the other lectionary texts and the role these passages play in the liturgy.

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Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures

David Frankel
Paul K.-K. Cho
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: Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures section will host four sessions, one co-sponsored with the Wisdom and Cognate Literature section. (1) For the first session, co-sponsored with the Wisdom and Cognate Literature section, we invite paper proposals that explore the tensive relationship between Wisdom and Revelation in the Hebrew Bible and pose questions such as: How can or should Wisdom be incorporated into an integrated account of Hebrew Bible theology? How do the texts of the Hebrew Bible and/or the later Jewish and Christian (or other) traditions negotiate the tensions between Wisdom and Revelation? (2) For the second session, we invite paper proposals that explore the tensive relationship between Wisdom and Revelation with specific focus on the book of Job. (3) For the third session we invite papers on any theme broadly related to the theology of the Hebrew Bible. (4) For the fourth session, we will invite speakers for a panel discussion of Marc Brettler and Amy-Jill Levine’s book, The Bible With and Without Jesus (2020).

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Theta Alpha Kappa

Eric F. Mason
Description: Theta Alpha Kappa is the national honor society for religious studies and theology and is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies. Founded in 1976 at Manhattan College, the society has chartered over 350 chapters in institutions ranging from small religiously affiliated colleges and seminaries to large public research universities. Theta Alpha Kappa exists to encourage, recognize, and promote student excellence in the academic study of religion and theology through its local chapters, multiple scholarship opportunities offered by the national organization, publication of student articles in Journal of Theta Alpha Kappa, and other national programs. For more information, please see www.ThetaAlphaKappa.org or contact us at theta_alpha_kappa_inquiries@ThetaAlphaKappa.org.

Call for papers: Theta Alpha Kappa is the national honor society for religious studies and theology and is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies. Founded in 1976 at Manhattan College, the society has chartered over 350 chapters in institutions ranging from small religiously affiliated colleges and seminaries to large public research universities. Theta Alpha Kappa exists to encourage, recognize, and promote student excellence in the academic study of religion and theology through its local chapters, multiple scholarship opportunities offered by the national organization, publication of student articles in Journal of Theta Alpha Kappa, and other national programs. For more information, please see www.ThetaAlphaKappa.org or contact us at theta_alpha_kappa_inquiries@ThetaAlphaKappa.org.

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Transmission of Traditions in the Second Temple Period

Anja Klein
Dionisio Candido
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 unit will host two sessions in 2023, one open session and one session with invited speakers. The first session is open for all proposals directly related to the agenda. We hope that the proposed papers would focus on processes of transmitting traditions in the Second Temple period and the practical mechanics employed in such processes. The second session is an invited session that focuses on ”Performance and Tradition”, discussing the concepts of orality, writing and performance, and their significance for processes of transmission.

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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 three sessions in 2023: (1) A thematic panel discussion consisting of invited participants on manifestations of deity in the Ancient Near East and beyond. (2-3) Two open, non-thematic sessions 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
Rebecca Esterson
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: For 2023 we invite papers for a session on the theme of “The Bible in Music”; papers could focus on any period or style, but we ask presenters to consider the ways in which the music itself contributes to interpretation, rather than simply libretti or lyrics. We will also be co-sponsoring an invited review session to consider the new Oxford Handbook of Feminist Approaches to the Hebrew Bible (ed. Susanne Scholz). Finally, as usual we will have one or two open sessions: proposals are welcome on any aspect of the Bible's reception history. For the open session 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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Utopian Studies

Debra S. Ballentine
Jonathan Kaplan
Description: The Utopian Studies consultation provides a forum in which (1) to foster a sustained and focused conversation about the intersection of the fields of utopian studies and biblical studies and (2) to examine the applicability of methodological and theoretical insights from utopian studies for biblical studies.

Call for papers: We welcome proposals for three sessions at the annual meeting, and we are especially seeking those that directly attend to theoretical work from within the field of Utopian Studies. (1) Our first session will focus on the theme “Deuteronomy and Utopia.” This session is co-sponsored by the Book of Deuteronomy Unit. We welcome proposals that address questions regarding the category of utopia as it has been utilized to interpret Deuteronomy: How might we theorize the category of utopia in conjunction with the book of Deuteronomy? What do we understand differently about Deuteronomy when it is put into conversation with other ancient or modern utopian works, and vice versa? (2) Our second session will focus on the theme “Jewish and Christian Utopian Communities of the Hellenistic-Roman Era.” This session is co-sponsored by the Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament Unit. We invite papers in this session to explore ways in which analysis of 19th and 20th century intentional communities through the lens of Utopian Studies can illuminate our understanding of intentional communities in the Hellenistic-Roman Era, such as the Essenes, Therapeutae, Jesus movement, etc. (3) We also invite proposals for a third session for papers addressing either the topic of “dystopia” or “utopian temporalities” in ancient (Israelite, Jewish, or Christian) literature and its reception.

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Violence and Representations of Violence in Antiquity

Jennifer Barry
Zsuzsanna Varhelyi
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: Our section will be hosting two panels this year, one of which is an open call. The first is a book panel on Christine Luckritz Marquis' Death of the Desert: Monastic Memory and the Loss of Egypt's Golden Age (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022). For the second panel, Violence and the Abjected Body, an open call, we invite papers that consider how violence specifically targets the corporeal body, either in whole or in part. Of particular interest are papers that address: 1. the way corporeal violence is used to think with in ancient texts, 2. how violence is used to subjugate precarious bodies, 3. textual attention to pieces and parts of violated bodies, and 4. the way certain bodies (often sanctified bodies) are canvases upon which theological claims and ideas have been written. We also welcome papers on other topics related to violence and representations of violence in antiquity.

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Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion

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

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

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Westar Institute

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

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

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Wisdom and Apocalypticism

Jason M. Zurawski
Emma Wasserman
Description: We support work on Jewish & Christian sapiential & apocalyptic texts, ideas, and their interplay, committed to inquiry into both production & circulation and to grounding analysis in social-historical locations, as relates to knowledge production, economy, gender & sexuality, and race & ethnicity.

Call for papers: We support work on Jewish & Christian sapiential & apocalyptic texts, ideas, and their interplay, committed to inquiry into both production & circulation and to grounding analysis in social-historical locations, as relates to knowledge production, economy, gender & sexuality, and race & ethnicity.

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Wisdom in Israelite and Cognate Traditions

Mark Sneed
Will Kynes
Description: The Wisdom Section seeks to provide a forum for the exploration of new ideas in the study of Israelite and cognate conceptions of wisdom, focusing on wisdom in the Hebrew Bible and Deuterocanon along with 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 Israelite and cognate conceptions of wisdom, focusing on wisdom in the Hebrew Bible and Deuterocanon along with related literature from elsewhere in the ancient Near East. Paper proposals related to this topic are invited for two open sessions. This section will also host an invited session on writing commentaries on Qoheleth and a joint session with the Theology of Hebrew Scriptures unit on “Theological Perspectives on Wisdom in the Hebrew Bible.” For this joint session, we invite paper proposals that explore the tensive relationship between Wisdom and Revelation in the Hebrew Bible and pose questions such as: How can or should Wisdom be incorporated into an integrated account of Hebrew Bible theology? How do the texts of the Hebrew Bible and/or the later Jewish and Christian (or other) traditions negotiate the tensions between wisdom and revelation?

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Womanist Interpretation

Renita Weems
Mitzi J. Smith
Description: Womanist Interpretation is a unit that provides a space where black women who identify as womanist biblical scholars and graduate students present and receive generative affirming feedback on their intellectual work and respectful sustained critical dialogue with other womanist scholars/ship, students, and SBL units. It is a think tank for womanist epistemologies engaged in the intersectional political work of interpretation with a teleological goal of justice. As a mentoring space, it increases our presence and impact while facilitating hope, stamina, and longevity in the academy.

Call for papers: 1.INVITED REVIEW PANEL:Review of Love L. Sechrest's Race and Rhyme: Rereading the New Testament (Eerdmans, 2022) and Mitzi J. Smith's Chloe and Her People: A Womanist Critical Dialogue with First Corinthians (Cascade 2023). 2.OPEN CALL:While this is an open call for womanist interpretation papers, we are particularly interested in proposals that address womanist pedagogy in biblical studies and/or the pedagogical use of womanist biblical interpretation in other disciplines (e.g., liturgy, theology, Christian education, ethics). What does it mean and/or look like to teach as a womanist biblical scholar or to teach womanist biblical scholarship? What pedagogical decisions do you make regarding textbooks, course objectives, assignments, and so on, when teaching a course. What has been your pedagogical journey? What have you learned, retained, or changed? What motivates you or why do you teach using womanist interpretation? What course and/or student learning outcomes are specific to a womanist pedagogy? What are the non-negotiables? What are the challenges? 3.INVITED PANEL: Autobiographical Biblical Criticism or Critical Personal Narrative of Womanist and BIPOC biblical scholars. Most of us do not think about, read, or engage Scripture or construct theology in the same ways we did before we entered or graduated from seminary or PhD programs, after reading certain books or authors, and/or producing certain scholarship. We have changed in ways yet to be articulated. We invite BIPOC biblical scholars to discuss segments of their transformative journeys or critical progressive trajectories regarding their views of Scripture(s), interpretation, theology, etc. What Black women and women of color (i.e., mother, grandmother, other mothers, pastor, scholars, literary figure) informed your journey and how? What has changed? What remains the same? What were/are the hermeneutical/theological struggles? What are you still figuring out? What complexities remain?

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Women in the Biblical World

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

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

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Writing/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 2023, the Writing/Reading Jeremiah section will have three opportunities to engage with Jeremiah scholarship. The first opportunity will be an open call in which we invite established and emerging Jeremiah scholars to present papers that align with this group’s “manifesto” as outlined in the preamble to this Call to Papers. Papers can also be proposed that align with the broad themes and conversations detailed in the other two opportunities below. A second opportunity offers a reassessment of Walter Brueggemann’s Prophetic Imagination as a means to evaluate and honor Dr. Brueggemann’s over 60 years to the field of prophetic studies. The third opportunity consists of an engaged conversation around the recent publication of Christl Maier’s and Carolyn Sharp’s respective commentaries on Jeremiah for the International Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament, both were published by Kohlhammer in 2022 (Christl on Jeremiah 1-25 in German, to be translated into English, and Carolyn on Jeremiah 26-52 in English, to be translated in German). During this interview style session, the authors will share with us their journey in writing a commentary from a distinctly feminist, postcolonial, and queer point of view. This session is co-sponsored by the Feminist Hermeneutics section.

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