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Update 7/7/2005

Singapore Success Signals a Developing Relationship with Asia: 2005 International Meeting

Over 300 attended the Society's 2005 International Meeting in Singapore June 26 - July 1, 2005, with a superb number of Asian scholars reading papers, chairing sessions, and responding to papers. The meeting featured an opening address by C. L. Seow, of Princeton Theological Seminary, entitled "Job's Curse." Following the opening plenary attendees were hosted at Trinity Theological College for an excellent meal and special music. Trinity students provided guided tours of the entire facility, including the library. On subsequent evenings, plenary sessions with question and answer periods were offered by David Clines, of Sheffield University ("Job's God: A Surfeit of Theologies?") and Harry Attridge, of Yale Divinity School ("Johannine Christians: A Distinct Type?").

In addition to the usual program units there were two special sessions with focused theological reflection on the tsunami and its after effects on the six month anniversary of the disaster; a special session entitled "There and Back Again: Hermeneutical and Cultural Effects of Overseas Biblical/Theological Education"; two sessions on Graduate Biblical Studies — one on the Asia Context and another entitled, "The Ethos of Biblical Studies: Social Location and Standards of Excellence"; a session on "Using the New BYU Dead Sea Scrolls Database"; a set of papers on the "Cultural Reception of the Bible in Asia"; and a special session on biblical translation in the Asian context. Attendees enjoyed a guided tour of places of worship illustrative of Singapore's openness, tolerance, and understanding of the diverse religious practices of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. A Wednesday afternoon tour to Sentosa Island, Singapore's resort island, and an evening Night Safari tour at the Singapore Zoo provided a change of pace mid-week. Singapore provided an ideal, warm context, for the meeting.

Excellent book and software exhibits were featured in a room where all of the coffee /tea breaks took place. SBL book sales were vigorous and other exhibitors stated their appreciation for being able to extend their contacts with Asian colleagues. The management of the meeting was flawless thanks to Trista Krock and Matthew Collins along with the energetic support from the Trinity staff, administration, faculty, and students. This first meeting of the SBL in Asia constitutes the beginning of a continued set of relationships with our many colleagues in Asia.

Update 7/1/2005

Thanks to everyone for a great meeting! A report on the highlights of the International Meeting in Singapore is forthcoming next week. Many of you are continuing on to Perth for the ANZATS/ANZSTS Annual Conference. For more information on this meeting see:
http://wwwsoc.murdoch.edu.au/anzsts/2005Info.htm

Update 6/1/2005

See you in Singapore! Sunday, June 26


Please be informed that as SBL is not open to the general public, those who are presenting academic papers are not required to apply for any permit. Therefore to facilitate your entry into Singapore, it is suggested that attendees indicate in the immigration forms that they are on a social visit or attending an international convention. The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has indicated that they will assist if attendees should encounter difficulties entering Singapore for SBL IM 2005.

Update 5/5/2005

Trinity Theological College (TTC), the local institutional host of SBL International Meeting 2005, welcomes all delegates to Singapore. The hospitality of the people of Singapore is also extended to you by His Excellency, Mr. S. R. Nathan, President of the Republic of Singapore, in his Foreword which is published in the SBL program book.

Please be informed that as SBL is not open to the general public, those who are presenting academic papers are not required to apply for any permit. Therefore to facilitate your entry into Singapore, it is suggested that attendees indicate in the immigration forms that they are on a social visit or attending an international convention.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has indicated that they will assist if attendees should encounter difficulties entering Singapore for SBL IM 2005. Thank you.

Update 4/15/2005

The International Meeting Program Book is now available on line.
http://www.sbl-site.org/Congresses/Congresses_ProgramBook.aspx?MeetingId=6

Update 3/15/2005

Travel Information for Extension Trips to Southeast Asia
http://www.sbl-site.org/Congresses/Congresses_InternationalMeeting_Local.aspx

Update 2/15/2005

Join us at the crossroads of Southeast Asia! Singapore's multiethnic, multilingual and multireligious character provides an exciting context for the 2005 SBL International Meeting, to be held June 26-July 1 at the Meritus Mandarin Hotel. The SBL's first meeting in Asia promises to be one of the best in recent years. Prof. David Clines, of Sheffield University, will present a special session on "The Lord Is My Shepherd in Southeast Asia,"[1] examining how Psalm 23 is translated in various languages in Southeast Asia. Other sessions will include Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Rolf Rendtorff, and C. L. Seow.

New Sessions on Earthquake and Tsunami



While the city and nation of Singapore was physically unaffected by the recent earthquake and tsunami, many of its citizens were directly or indirectly affected. The impact of this on the region as a whole and its effect on biblical and theological studies will be discussed at the meeting. The SBL will be organizing a session dealing with the issues related to reading and interpreting texts in light of such disasters and related theological issues of theodicy and chaos. If you are interested in participating in such a session, please contact Matthew Collins, SBL's Director of Congresses, at matthew.collins@sbl-site.org.

To view the Call for Papers, Registration and Housing Information, or general meeting information click here:

http://www.sbl-site.org/congresses/Congresses_InternationalMeeting.aspx?MeetingId=6

SBL at the 2005 ANZATS / ANZSTS Meeting in Perth



The Society will host sessions as a part of the 2005 ANZATS / ANZSTS meetings in Perth, Australia, July 4-8, 2005. In addition to the topics listed in the Call for Papers, the SBL will hold two plenary sessions: Carolyn Osiek, the 2005 SBL President, will speak on, "Women as Leaders in Christian Assemblies in the Pauline Churches"[2] and David Clines will speak on, "Job's God: A Surfeit of Theologies."[3]

To view the Call for Papers and meeting information click here:

http://www.sbl-site.org/congresses/Congresses_InternationalMeeting.aspx?MeetingId=8

Presentation Abstracts



[1]

The Lord is My Shepherd in South East Asia

David J.A. Clines, University of Sheffield



In celebration of the meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in South East Asia for the first time, I will consider how Psalm 23 has been translated in various Bible versions of the region (not excluding English).



I will examine the following ten issues in translation, among others:

(1) Does the first verse mean "It is my shepherd that Yahweh is" rather than "It is Yahweh that is my shepherd"?

(2) Does he "make" me lie down, which could suggest compulsion? Or does he "cause" or "allow" me to lie down?

(3) Does he lead me "beside" still waters or "to"still waters?

(4) Is it my "soul" that is "restored" or my "life" that is "revived"? Can the phrase refer to a sheep as well as to a human?

(5) Are they "paths of righteousness" or "right, level, smooth paths", which could also apply to a sheep?

(6) Is "for the sake of his name" translated literally, is it "for love of his name", or something else?

(7) Is it (literally) "the valley of the shadow of death" or "valley of deep darkness"?

(8) Do the staff and crook (or whatever they are) "comfort", in the sense of soothe, console, or "encourage", "strengthen"?

(9) Shall I "dwell" or "return" to the house of Yahweh?

(10) "For ever" or "for a long time"?

[2]

Women as Leaders of Christian Assemblies in the Pauline Churches

Carolyn Osiek, Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University



Fixation, whether for good or ill, on the household codes and related Greco-Roman texts has led to the impression that passivity was the most desirable quality in the ideal wife of early Christians and their culture. This idea has been challenged only by the developing ideals of asceticism, with its break with the traditional family structure. A closer look at the expectations of wives as household managers in Hellenistic and Roman texts reveals a role of active responsibility. A closer look at certain literary texts also reveals evidence for widows independently managing their own households. This management role prepared women in whose houses religious groups gathered to assume the role expected of hosts of either sex: leadership of hospitality and discourse, and patronal protection and authority.

[3]

Job's God: A Surfeit of Theologies

David J.A. Clines, University of Sheffield



Unlike some religious traditions in which the deity is unknowable or virtually so, in the Book of Job it is not that nothing about God can be known. It is rather that too much about God is known, too many conflicting theologies are presenting themselves for acceptance. Is he a cosmic deity, far removed from the concerns of humans, or is he intimately involved with the lives and destinies of individual humans? Is he a compassionate god or a cruel monster? Does he govern the world according to the dictates of justice, or is he negligent of human affairs? All these positions are affirmed by the Book of Job, or at least by one of the speakers within its dialogues.



This paper will offer a sympathetic critique of each theology in the Book of Job in turn, asking finally whether the author is ultimately persuading us to a vision of human existence that is surfeited with theology and finds meaning rather in the mundane and the domestic.

Citation: , " International Meeting Wrap-up," SBL Forum , n.p. [cited Jan 2005]. Online:http://sbl-site.org/Article.aspx?ArticleID=358

 
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