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The pioneering journal Semeia has been part of the SBL publishing program since 1974. Past editors include Robert Funk (founding editor), John Dominic Crossan, Robert Culley, Daniel Patte, and David Jobling (current editor). The innovative approach of Semeia invites cross-disciplinary and methodologically diverse approaches to biblical studies, and has resulted in some stellar thematic volumes.

As Amos Wilder noted in the first article of Semeia, the journal was to be "viewed in the light of 'information exchange'" and "serve as a vehicle for innovative work in progress and for communication among workers. Wilder went on to say, "There is no reason to disparage older methods...or to make undue claims for new strategies, least of all to set up a controversial front between different schools at work in our field." While the initial thrust of thematic volumes was focused slightly more narrowly on language, because as Wilder noted, "anything we can learn about language concerns us dearly," the stage was being set to widen far beyond language as text to the events that bring forth language.

SBL maintained a "Semeia Studies" book series for single-author volumes in the methodological spirit of the journal, Semeia. However, SBL recently decided that Semeia the journal should be published as a book series under "Semeia Studies." These multi-author edited thematic volumes will feed into the new SBL-Brill agreement, (paperbacks the SBL domain, and hardcovers Brill's.) This will allow editor royalties for the first time. The change to a book series also frees up editors to produce the volume they envision, one not limited by journal production constraints. Future issues of Semeia currently under contract will be sent to subscribers to fulfill their subscriptions. The details of this transition will be conveyed to subscribers and all who have an interest in this important part of the SBL publishing enterprise.

In short, Semeia will still exist between two covers (both hardbound and paperback) and its approach and content will remain the same. All that changes is the quarterly timeline and a subscription program.

The Research and Publications Committee praises the efforts and leadership of David Jobling and the current editorial board. The tradition of innovation, which Semeia embodies, will continue to flourish within the Society of Biblical Literature.


Citation: Moira Buccarelli, " Changes at Semeia," SBL Forum , n.p. [cited Jan 2006]. Online:


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