The Society of Biblical Literature was founded in 1880 to foster biblical scholarship.
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About SBL

The Society of Biblical Literature is the oldest and largest international scholarly membership organization in the field of biblical studies. Founded in 1880, the Society has grown to over 8,500 international members including teachers, students, religious leaders and individuals from all walks of life who share a mutual interest in the critical investigation of the Bible.
Meeting Program Units

2014 Annual Meeting

San Diego, CA

Meeting Begins: 11/22/2014
Meeting Ends: 11/25/2014

Call For Papers Opens: 12/20/2013
Call For Papers Closes: 3/5/2014
Requirements for Participation

Senses and Culture in the Biblical World


Program Unit Type: Section
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: We plan to hold three sessions in 2014. First: Ever since Aristotle elevated vision and audition to the top of the sensorium, the "lower" senses have received much less scholarly attention, even though they are highly valued in some cultures. 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. The abstract should state the paper's thesis, outline the approach that will be taken, and identify the primary texts to be discussed. Second: With the "Metaphor Theory and the Hebrew Bible" and "Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Interpretation" sections we will organize an invited panel on "Metaphors of Illness in Biblical Literature." The papers will showcase how we read and analyze images of illness and its attendant elements (i.e., pain, isolation, impurity, fear, anguish, etc.) in the Bible. This joint session aims to engage the topic from our different theoretical points of departure, so as to invite dialogue with the analytical perspectives of the other panelists. The goal will be a thick description of how illness is represented and used in biblical literature from multiple perspectives. Third: An invited panel will review Yael Avrahami, The Senses of Scripture: Sensory Experience in the Hebrew Bible (LHBOTS 454), London & New York: Continuum/T&T Clark, 2012 (winner, 2013 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise). Avrahami's book constitutes the first systematic investigation of the ways in which ancient Israelites thought about and used their senses. This panel will assess the book’s significance for understanding ancient Israelite epistemology, and discuss future directions for sensory analyses of the biblical world.

Program Unit Chairs

 Greg Schmidt Goering

Propose a Paper for this Program Unit

If you are a SBL member, you must login before you can propose a paper for this or any other session. Please login by entering your SBL member number on the left in the Login box.

SBL membership is required to participate in the meeting. In its efforts to foster biblical scholarship and to facilitate mutual cooperation among colleagues, SBL offers reduced membership rates to individuals from certain countries through the Society's International Cooperation Initiative (ICI). Individuals in these countries may pay the reduced fees of $15 for full membership and $10 for student membership. If you are a not a member of SBL but live or work in an ICI country and are interested in participating in the meeting, please consider becoming an ICI member.

For all other persons wanting to propose a paper, you must communicate directly with the chair of the program unit to which you want to propose. Chairs have the responsibility to make waiver requests, and their email addresses are available above. SBL provides membership and meeting registration waivers only for scholars who are outside the disciplines covered by the SBL program, specifically most aspects of archaeological, biblical, religious, and theological studies.

Questions About Membership?

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  • Call 404-727-9498 Outside the US
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