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.
Congresses

2009 Annual Meeting

New Orleans, LA

Meeting Begins: 11/21/2009
Meeting Ends: 11/24/2009

Call For Papers Opens: 12/15/2008
Call For Papers Closes: 3/1/2009
Requirements for Participation

Program Units

 

Academic Teaching and Biblical Studies

Adam L. Porter
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: The Academic Teaching and Biblical Studies section will be exploring (A) distance learning and (B) teaching outside your field of expertise.

A. We are seeking papers providing "teaching tips," about how to use any aspect of distance learning effectively. Have you experimented with podcasting your lectures? Used Skype video conferences for office hours? Created a virtual classroom with students from different campuses or different regions? We will embrace a broad definition of "distance learning" for this session, so if you have experience that you think would help others use distance learning effectively, please share your insights with us. Papers should be no longer than 20 minutes; handouts are welcome. (In addition to this, we will be sponsoring a panel discussion about the pros and cons of distance education.)

B. We are also seeking papers for a "teaching tips" session focusing on how to teach courses outside your area of academic expertise. Many professors, especially those at smaller schools, don’t have the luxury of teaching classes exclusively in their area of primary training. We are seeking papers that address how to do this well. How do you quickly become familiar with major topics and issues in another specialty? How do you vary your teaching style when you are not terribly comfortable with the course material? How can students be invested with more responsibility? How useful is it to study other people’s syllabi for course outlines and textbook possibilities? How does teaching outside your field impact your primary area of research/teaching? Papers should be no longer than 20 minutes and should include your academic training, mention the course you taught outside your field, and offer specific insights on how you were able to teach it.

Adventist Society for Religious Studies

Ernest F. Furness
Donn W. Leatherman
Description: The Adventist Society for Religious Studies (ASRS) is a Seventh-day Adventist academic society of Bible and religion scholars whose purpose is “to provide intellectual and social fellowship among its members and encourage scholarly pursuits in all religious studies disciplines, particularly with reference to the Seventh-day Adventist tradition.” It was formally organized in New York City in 1979. The Society organizes an annual meeting in conjunction with the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) professional meetings held in different cities throughout the United States each year. It also publishes (currently via CD-ROM, and in due course on-line) the proceedings and papers from such meetings.

Call for papers:

Theme: ADVENTISM AND THE HEALING OF THE NATIONS

The annual meeting of the Adventist Society for Religious Studies will convene Nov. 19-21, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. All members and friends of the society are invited to submit proposals for brief scholarly papers to be presented at the meeting.

Priority will be given to those papers that engage the Biblical texts, philosophical ideas, and contemporary conditions concerning social ethics and human rights implicit in the theme “Adventism and the Healing of the Nations.” Papers from all disciplines are elicited. The format allows for a 15-minute oral presentation with additional time for questions and discussion. A 200-word abstract should accompany the proposals. Please send all proposals and abstracts to arrive by Feb. 15 to:

Bonnie Dwyer, Editor
Spectrum
Journal of The Adventist Forum
PO Box 619047
Roseville, CA 95661
916-774-1080
916-791-4938 (fax)
Email: editor@spectrummagazine.org

African Association for the Study of Religions

Kathleen O'Brien Wicker
Description: The African Association for the Study of Religions is an academic association of the scholars of religions posted in universities in Africa, and of scholars of the religions of Africa posted in universities outside Africa. It was founded at an IAHR (International Association for the History of Religions) conference in Harare, Zimbabwe, in September 1992 for the purpose of promoting the academic study of the religions of Africa more generally through the international collaboration of all scholars whose research has a bearing on the subject. The AASR seeks to stimulate the academic study of religions of Africa in a variety of ways: providing a forum for multilateral communications between scholars of African religions; facilitating the exchange of resources and information; encouraging the development of linkages and research contacts between scholars and institutions in Africa, and between scholars in Africa and those overseas. The AASR also endeavors to assist scholars to publish their work and travel to professional meetings. The AASR is an affiliate of the IAHR since 1995. It meets at the IAHR quinquennial congress and organizes conferences in Africa. Its members participate in panels at conferences outside of Africa. The AASR publishes the bi-annual AASR Bulletin and maintains a web site: www.a-asr.org. AASR plans for an online journal are at an advanced stage.

Call for papers:

African Biblical Hermeneutics

Dora Rudo Mbuwayesango
Musa W. Dube
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. African Bible Commentary (Zondervan 2006): An Engagement The publication of the African Bible Commentary (ABC) is a monumental achievement in the African biblical interpretation landscape. But what makes the ABC African? Papers that engage the ABC from a gender, feminist, inculturation, postcolonial, HIV&AIDS, black biblical hermeneutics and other interpretative perspectives are welcome. 2. African Biblical Hermeneutics in the Age of Pentecostalism Papers that explore biblical interpretation in, among and about Pentecostal movements are invited. Papers that focus on reading particular passages with Pentecostal readers; exploring the most popular biblical interpretations in Pentecostal movements; highlighting gender and biblical reading; analyzing material wealth and biblical interpretation; reading the text for physical healing; HIV&AIDS Biblical Hermeneutics in Pentecostal movments; Euro-American Tele-evangelists and African Pentecostal biblical hermeneutics and other related papers will be welcome. 3. Pedagogy and African Biblical Hermeneutics. Theoretical and practice-informed papers are invited that investigate pedagogy in the light of African biblical hermeneutics; HIV&AIDS contexts; postcoloniality and Pentecostal Movements. Papers that address teaching African Biblical Hermeneutics in the Western classrooms; teaching the Bible with a fair representation of other ways of reading besides Eurocentric ones; developing syllabi that are representative of the diversity of Bible readers and communities and mapping past and present African voices on biblical pedagogy are also welcome.

African-American Biblical Hermeneutics

Valerie Bridgeman
Rodney Sadler
Description: The specific objective of this unit is to engage in the interdisciplinary and holistic study of the Bible and its place in, and meanings from, multi-faceted and complex African-American cultural contexts.

Call for papers: AABHS, in conjunction with CUREMP, is accepting papers from divinity and Ph.D. students. These papers must be a complete draft in order to be considered. The goal is to encourage young scholars to present in a professional setting. 2) AABHS, with Exile (Forced Migrations) in Biblical Literature Consultation, invites participants to scholarly consideration on the theme of Internal displacement, exile, and refugee status, titled "Exile and Repatriation: From Judah to New Orleans. Displaced peoples' Longings for Home and Strivings to Return," considering our location in New Orleans and ongoing issues from the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma in 2005. 3) We also issue an open invitation for any papers that address the objectives of this unit, i.e. to engage in interdisciplinary and holistic study of the Bible and its place in a multi-faceted and complex African American cultural worldview.

Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative

Jo-Ann A. Brant
Ruben Rene Dupertuis
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, Early Jewish and Christian Narrative Section will hold two sessions at the 2009 meeting. The focus of one session will be "Truth and Fiction." The other section will be open to all papers engaging some aspect of the goal of the section.

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: Session 1: Open call for papers on the full range of iconographic topics. Session 2: We welcome papers that accord with the theme "Images of Goddesses in Iconography and Text."

Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars

Vicki Cass Phillips
Henrietta L. Wiley
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: Our theme this year is "Lamentation, Exile, and Return in New Orleans".

Aramaic Studies

Christian Brady
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 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.

Archaeological Excavations and Discoveries: Illuminating the Biblical World

Milton Moreland
Elizabeth Bloch-Smith
Description: This unit will present the results and insights of archaeological excavations and important discoveries in the Ancient Near East. It will provide access to and reflection on the realia that gave rise to the texts and religions of the biblical world.

Call for papers: We are seeking papers from field and excavation directors that report on their recent field seasons. A second session will have invited papers in honor of Doug Edwards. This session will be co-sponsored by Archaeology of Religion in the Roman World.

Archaeology of Religion in the Roman World

Steven J. Friesen
James C. Walters
Description: The goal of this unit is to promote examination of archaeological and art historical materials associated with religious activity in the Roman period. Presentations related to ancient Judaism and early Christianity are welcome, as is attention to polytheistic practices and expressions.

Call for papers: The Archaeology of Religion in the Roman World Group will sponsor two sessions next year. One session will include invited research reports from the Italia 2009 Colloquium on Material Culture and Ancient Religion (https://webspace.utexas.edu/sjf365/www/COMCAR/Italia_2009.html). The second session will be devoted to new technologies, archaeology, and early Christianity. Paper proposals that address the effects of emerging technology on our knowledge of religion and society in the Roman world are welcome.

Art and Religions of Antiquity

David L. Balch
Robin Jensen
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: This unit seeks papers for the program in 2009 on the topic "Imaging Gods in Greco-Roman Antiquity." Paper proposals that attend to the iconography of divine beings in Mediterranean world of Greco-Roman Antiquity are especially welcome, but all paper proposals will be considered.

Asian and Asian-American Hermeneutics

Henry W. Morisada Rietz
Seung-Ai Yang
Description: The Asian and Asian American Hermeneutics Group of the Society of Biblical Literature is a forum in which biblical and religious scholars can advance and contribute to the study of Asian and Asian American interpretation. The group is part of a growing shift in biblical criticism specifically and hermeneutics generally that focuses on the difference that cultural location makes in reading texts. The Asian and Asian American Hermeneutics Group is one of the primary avenues for scholars to share their work on Asian and Asian American interpretation. The group is intentional about including the broad range of diversity cultural, generational and religious that makes up the different Asian and Asian American communities.

Call for papers: The Asian and Asian American Hermeneutics group invites all papers relating to reading the Bible and other sacred texts in, from, as well as to Asian and Asian American contexts and communities. We encourage papers that resonate with the location of the 2009 meeting, New Orleans, such as papers addressing creolization and catastrophy. We also welcome papers that examine methodological issues involved in interpretation and hermeneutics, as well as papers that offer readings of specific texts and passages for at least one open session.

Assyriology and the Bible

Steven W. Holloway
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: 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.

Bakhtin and the Biblical Imagination

Keith Bodner
Description: The aim of this unit is to explore (utilize, expand, challenge and critique), the insights of Mikhail Bakhtin for use in biblical studies, with the hope that consequent readings will be fresh and appropriate.

Call for papers: The aim of this unit is to explore (utilize, expand, challenge and critique), the insights of Mikhail Bakhtin for use in biblical studies, with the hope that consequent readings will be fresh and appropriate.

Best Practices in Teaching

N. Clayton Croy
Description: Most faculty positions in higher education involve a triad of responsibilities: (1) teaching, (2) research/publication, and (3) service (to the institution and to wider publics). The largest single component of most academic positions is teaching. The “Best Practices” program unit will assist scholars in acquiring and sharpening pedagogical skills in specific subject areas and with reference to particular classroom dynamics.

Call for papers: The topic for 2009 is “Teaching Biblical Languages (Hebrew or Greek).” Papers are invited from persons with experience in teaching Biblical Hebrew or Greek (New Testament or Septuagint). Papers may have either a practical or theoretical orientation, but preference will be given to papers with direct relevance to classroom practices.

Bible and Cultural Studies

Erin Runions
Description: This interdisciplinary Section encourages comparative analyses of the Bible as artefact and icon in word, image, and sound. We offer a forum for pursuing cultural analyses of gender, race, and class both within the social world of ancient Mediterranean cultures and in dialogue with modern cultural representations.

Call for papers: For an open session, we solicit proposals that explore some of the recent work on affect in cultural studies with respect to the reading of biblical texts. What affect does the biblical text provoke and how? How does affect circulate in and around the reading of biblical text, impacting cultural norms and artifacts? How might the non conscious, bodily sensations of affect work to change received interpretations? This session will be organized as a seminar, with full papers posted by October 15; brief presentations; and time for discussion. Another invited session will be devoted to analyses of children's Bibles.

Bible and Film

Jeffrey Staley
Description: This unit focuses on the critical analysis and interpretation of Bible/Jesus films and other films incorporating biblical themes or motifs in terms of the films’ biblical and extra-biblical content, cultural and historical significance, and ideology. Secondary focus on pedagogical use of such films, and the preservation, archiving, and digitalization of rare Bible/Jesus films. (This unit was titled Scripture and Film through 2013.)

Call for papers: This unit focuses on the critical analysis and interpretation of Bible/Jesus films and other films incorporating biblical themes or motifs in terms of the films’ biblical and extra-biblical content, cultural and historical significance, and ideology. Secondary focus on pedagogical use of such films, and the preservation, archiving, and digitalization of rare Bible/Jesus films. (This unit was titled Scripture and Film through 2013.)

Bible and Popular Culture

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

Call for papers: This section invites papers that explore and analyze the relationship between the Bible and American popular culture. Papers can focus on materials designed for the everyday life of Americans--comic strips, advertisements, theme parks, popular music. etc. Drawing from a variety of disciplines and analyzing both the printed, aural and visual media, presenters are invited to explore the interaction between biblical text and culture in the United States. We would also like to invite papers that focus on the rich popular culture of the New Orleans’ area and how it interacts with and interprets the biblical text.

Bible and Practical Theology

Denise Dombkowski Hopkins
Michael Koppel
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: 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.

Bible and Visual Art

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

Call for papers: The Bible and Visual Art Section is soliciting papers that fit its 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. We would also especially welcome papers focused on biblical themes in visual art or architecture that can be viewed at sites in New Orleans.

Bible in Ancient and Modern Media

Holly Hearon
Richard W. Swanson
Description: The Bible in Ancient and Modern Media Section provides SBL members with opportunities to experience biblical material in media other than silent print, including both oral and multimedia electronic performances. This program unit's three foci are (a) the original media world of the Scriptures, (b) the Bible in electronic media, and (c) the history of the Bible in various media.

Call for papers: Communities under pressure tell stories. Cultures under domination (colonial or otherwise) tell and re-tell the stories that have given them life. These stories, regardless of century or medium, have political purposes and political outcomes. For this session, we seek papers that explore the political dimensions of the telling and re-telling of constitutive stories in the face of violence and transgression (either in the culture of origin or in the culture of reception/performance). We are particularly interested in papers that explore various media and their impact on this political activity.

Bible in Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Traditions

His Grace Dr. Vahan Hovhanessian
Description: This program unit will offer a forum for biblical professors and scholars from the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox traditions (the latter including Aramaic, Syriac, Armenian, Arabic, Georgian, Coptic, among others) to engage in critical study of the role of the Bible in eastern Christianity, past and present. A particular aim of this section will be to engage participating scholars in dealing with issues raised by contemporary and critical biblical scholarship. The committee invites presentation and discussion of papers from a variety of approaches and methodologies, including (but not limited to) theological, historiographic, philological, and literary studies.

Call for papers: The steering committee of the Bible in the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Traditions invites scholars to submit proposals for papers to be delivered in the New Orleans SBL Annual Meeting in 2009. The theme chosen for this year is: "Issues related to the Canon of the Bible." The group will examine the concept of the canon of the Bible, Old Testament and New Testament, from the perspective of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches. Proposals for papers in the fields of early canon lists, patristic commentaries on non-canonical books, apocrypha and the lectionary, Orthodox pseudepigrapha, and other fields related to the subject of the canon of the bible are especially encouraged.

Bible Translation

Marlon Winedt
Description: The Bible Translation Section provides a special opportunity for bringing together academic and practical perspectives on Bible Translation. It focuses on current trends in Bible Translation and on the implications that developments in Translation and Biblical Studies have for Bible Translation.

Call for papers: Special notice: This year the Bible Translation Unit is organizing a symposium on Relevance Theory (RT) and Bible Translation, featuring among others, Dr. Ernst-August Gutt, the pioneer in the RT approach to Bible translation. Because of this theme the unit invites those who have done specific work on RT and translation to submit papers for the more general session, although for the latter, papers treating other topics of interest in the wider field of Biblical translation theory and praxis are also encouraged. More information on the symposium will be posted at a later date.

Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory

Dexter Callender, Jr.
Robert S. Kawashima
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 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.

Biblical Criticism and Literary Criticism

Fiona C Black
Description: The Biblical Criticism and Literary Criticism Section provides an opportunity for scholars doing literary criticism of biblical texts to describe and illustrate their approaches and to enter into a dialogue with each other, and promotes scholarly awareness of the presuppositions, methodologies, and contributions of biblical literary criticism.

Call for papers: One session will continue the Paul between Theory and Theology project begun last year. Papers are invited that investigate the relationship between literary/critical theory applied to Paul and theological issues in Paul. A second session seeks papers that explore contemporary literary (fictional) treatments of biblical characters and/or events.

Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics

Cynthia Long Westfall
Randall K.J. Tan
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.

Biblical Hebrew Poetry

Carol J. Dempsey
LeAnn Snow Flesher
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: Four sessions are planned: 1) General Session--all proposals dealing with biblical Hebrew poetry are welcome; 2) Joint Session with Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew: "Word Order Variation in Ancient Hebrew Poetry: Liguistics and Literary Approaches": papers are welcome that explore the value of approaches to word order variation, information structure, topic and focus, etc. in biblical Hebrew poetry, approaches that are, at one and the same time, linguistically competent and sansitive to poetics in the sense that term has in literary theory; 3) "The Dispossessed": in light of New Orleans, papers are welcomed on this theme in biblical Hebrew poetry; 4) "Water Imagery": in light of New Orleans, papers are welcome on this theme in biblical Hebrew poetry.

Biblical Lands and Peoples in Archaeology and Text

Ann E. Killebrew
Tammi J. Schneider
Description: This unit is designed to encourage conversation and collaboration between archaeologists, Biblicists and textual scholars. Our definition of “archaeology” is broad, so we also include papers that present historical reconstructions using archaeological and textual data. Our stated goal is for all of the participants to address how their focused research in archaeology or biblical studies relates to the work of specialists in other areas. To date our sessions have included approximately an equal number of field archaeologists and textual specialists. The sessions thus promote dialogue between the presenters and the participants in the audience. The dialogue includes hermeneutical and historical discussions.

Call for papers: The topic of “Ancient Cities in Text and Archaeology” in 2009 is “Solomonic cities.” It includes the four “royal cities” traditionally associated with Solomon in the biblical account and settlements attributed to the Solomonic period. We encourage papers that integrate textual sources and archaeology, present new findings and/or analyses, and employ innovative methodologies and/or approaches.

Biblical Law

Richard E. Averbeck
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: We invite proposals for two open sessions on any aspect of biblical law (including cuneiform documents, Dead Sea Scrolls and other Second Temple Literature, questions of pentateuchal criticism, legal history, gender analysis, social scientific, and newer methodologies). For one of these open sessions, we especially encourage proposals on the topic of “Law and Narrative” (e.g., narrative frame, narrative in law, redaction, etc.). Papers for both sessions will be read in part or in whole. Copies of papers are distributed in advance through the Section's website. They should be available by October 15, 2009 at: http://www.biblicallaw.org. We will also convene one special session of invited papers dedicated to Raymond Westbrook, and a second special session of invited papers devoted to the topic of “Law and Narrative” in cooperation with the Pentateuch Section of the SBL.

Biblical Lexicography

James K. Aitken
Regine Hunziker-Rodewald
Description: The Biblical Lexicography Section seeks to bring the theoretical to bear on the practical tasks of dictionary making.

Call for papers: We invite submissions of abstracts on loan-words and the problems associated with defining their meanings. We will also have a session devoted to the review of new lexicons and offers of contributions to such a session are welcome. Other aspects of lexicography or lexicology are also welcome. For our Unit website: http://www.biblex.org/

Book of Acts

Loveday C.A. Alexander
Pamela E. Hedrick
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: Call for papers: We entertain proposals on any topic related to the book of Acts, but we are particularly seeking proposals on the theme “Space in Acts / Acts in Space”. Within the overall focus on spatiality in the book of Acts, we especially welcome proposals exploring aspects of geographical space, private/public space, sacred space, or “third-space” thinking in relation to Acts.

Book of Psalms

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

Call for papers: The Book of Psalms Section invites proposals for papers related to the study of the Psalter as a collection, to individual psalms, or to themes related to the interpretation of the psalms. The Psalms Section particularly invites papers for the 2009 annual meeting related to the theme of creation and the psalms.

Book of the Twelve Prophets

Barry A. Jones
Description: The Book of the Twelve Section provides a forum for research into textual, literary, historical, religious, and ideological dimensions of the Minor Prophets and their ancient archival form as a collection within a single scroll.

Call for papers: The Book of the Twelve Prophets Section plans at least two sessions for 2009. For the first session, The Book of the Twelve Prophets Section and the Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity Section welcome proposals addressing the question of the “landscape” of the Twelve, with attention to how space is practiced, experienced, imagined, or construed within the Twelve, either within individual books or the corpus as a whole. Possible examples include the land of Israel/Judah, the city of Jerusalem, and the Jerusalem Temple. Additional proposals are welcome for papers dealing with any passage or topic relevant to the writings within or among the Twelve, with a preference for papers that address the ancient form of the Twelve as a single scroll.

Children in the Biblical World

Julie Faith Parker
Danna Nolan Fewell
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: We will have a combined session with the Warfare In Ancient Israel section around the theme of Children, the Text, and War. This session will look at the relationship between children, war, and biblical texts of both testaments. We welcome papers that explore the theme of children and war through a wide range of disciplines, including historical, literary, artistic, anthropological, or archeological approaches.

Christian Apocrypha

Ann Graham Brock
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: Animals in Apocryphal Literature----- Animals have frequently played an intriguing, sometimes even an essential, role in apocryphal texts. We will explore and discuss the images, symbols, reality, or metaphors that animals represent in these texts.----- This section keeps another session open to all issues pertaining to the apocrypha and encourages submissions for the Seminar Papers.

Christian Theological Research Fellowship

A. K. M. Adam
Joy J. Moore
Description: The CTRF is an Annual Meeting Program Partner. Please contact Alan Padgett, at apadgett@luthersem.edu, for further information on the CTRF's program.

Call for papers: For 2009, CTRF@SBL has planned three sessions: (1) Christian Theological Research Fellowship at SBL invites papers which explore the topics of suffering, mortality, and catastrophe. Papers may draw on historical theology, constructive theology, contemporary experience, or other resources pertinent to the discourse for biblical theological reflection. There will opportunity for three papers in one session. We especially invite participants whose area of specialization is not already covered in the SBL program. Proposals can be made to joy.moore@duke.edu as well as the SBL site. (2) For our book review this year we will be reading Body, Soul, and Human Life: The Nature of Humanity in the Bible by Joel B. Green. Panel participants have already been solicited. (3) Invited Panel Session: The relation of popular music and theology. Persons interested in announcements regarding the work of CTRF@SBL, or with ideas for future sessions should contact Joy J. Moore (joy.moore@duke.edu) or visit www.ctrf.info

Christian Theology and the Bible

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

Call for papers: For 2009, we will be calling for papers which deal theologically with specific biblical texts. The writer will engage theological exegesis of texts which take up the theme of "The Figures of Sarah and Hagar in the Old and New Testaments".

Christianity in Egypt: Scripture, Tradition, and Reception

Lois Farag
Description: The aim of this program is to engage scholars with interests relevant to Christianity in Egypt, with a special focus on scripture. This would include, but not be limited to, the study of scriptural texts and commentaries and the interpretation of scripture in theology, monastic literature, art, archaeology, and culture. Social and political themes may also be studied as evidence of the reception of scripture throughout history. Discussions may include sources in Greek, Coptic, Arabic, Ethiopic, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, or Latin that are relevant to the program's interests. The program is interdisciplinary and encourages a variety of approaches and methodologies.

Call for papers: We are seeking papers on the theme of Biblical interpretation as it relates to Christianity in Egypt. Papers may address a genre of interpretation, text, or theme. Proposals that address the history of reception of a particular text or theme are encouraged. Studies of sources in Greek, Coptic, Arabic, Ethiopic, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, or Latin that are relevant to the program's focus on Biblical interpretation are welcomed.

Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah

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

Call for papers: The Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah Section invites papers for 2009 that address the following theme: Displacement and Restoration in Ezra-Nehemiah and New Orleans. Papers might address only Ezra-Nehemiah (or a portion thereof); however, we also hope for papers that take into consideration the recent experiences of the inhabitants and former inhabitants of New Orleans in the analysis of the biblical texts. As well, we invite papers on any aspect of Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah and their related problems for an open session.

Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Interpretation

Bonnie Howe
Description: The emerging field of cognitive science, which draws on a wide range of academic disciplines, is reshaping longstanding philosophical assumptions about self-understanding, epistemology, and metaphor. This group will apply findings of cognitive linguistics to biblical studies, with a particular focus on the ways cognitive approaches help scholars to grapple with how language makes meaning, how a text evokes authority, and how contemporary readers interact with ancient texts.

Call for papers: We are seeking two kinds of papers 1) Open Session: We seek papers demonstrating how a cognitive linguistic model would interpret a specific biblical passage. 2) Theme-Focused Session: We seek papers demonstrating the use of cognitive blending models to interpret passages dealing with or referring to poverty and suffering. Particular attention should be paid to the identification and impact of generic spaces. From the pool of proposal submissions, six scholars will be invited to present in New Orleans. Prepared papers (12-14 pages in length) will be due by 9/15.

Computer Assisted Research

Keith H. Reeves
Description: The Computer Assisted Research section's primary mission is to encourage the application of ever changing information technology to biblical research and pedagogy. Its focus is upon well-established technologies as well as the emerging and experimental. It is truly multi-disciplinary, spanning the entire range of the Society's interests.

Call for papers: The Computer Assisted Research Section is inviting software vendors to showcase their products by demonstrating how their software solves several real-world problems in back to back comparisons. Proposals are also welcome in our twin areas of interest: computer-assisted research and pedagogy.

Construction of Christian Identities

Edmondo F. Lupieri
Mauro Pesce
Description: This unit focuses on interdisciplinary study of the making of Christianity, which is understood as a complex phenomenon. The making of Christianity takes place within conflicting intercultural relations among Mediterranean/Near-Eastern religious groups, which contributed to a diversified evolution within early groups of Jesus followers. The unit seeks primarily to describe groups and their religious practices rather than their theological ideas.

Call for papers: For the Annual Meeting of New Orleans 2009, this Unit plans to invite the speakers for one of its sessions (panel discussion) and to accept papers for the other. The title of the panel discussion is: "From Christianity to Christianities: Ways Back to the Origins." We would like to explore the possibility to move back from the consolidated situation of Christianity we know better (that of a "Great Church" and of "heresies") to the complexity of the origins. The title of the open session is: "Rituals, Texts, Individuals and Associations: Competing ways to Construct Identities?" We invite contributions which analyze first century events and/or phenomena pertaining to cultural mechanisms which could have contributed to the construction of a group identity, both among the followers of Jesus and in comparable groups. Please, feel free to send any proposal for papers, the content of which corresponds to the specific subject of the open session and to the lines established in the General Description of the Section.

Contextual Biblical Interpretation

Daniel Patte
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: CONTEXTUAL BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION GROUP CALL FOR PAPERS 2009 In line with the goal of this group and of its book series Texts@Contexts (Fortress Press; volumes on Genesis and The Gospel of Mark, forthcoming, 2009), we seek papers on *contextual* biblical interpretations; i.e., readings of the Bible that take the reader’s context into account in some way. Particularly (but not exclusively) we are interested in contextual readings of the books of the Pentateuch/Torah; the Gospels. These papers need to make explicit their "contextual" strategies (including inculturation, inter(con)textualization, and reading with “ordinary” readers) and methodologies. For general format see http://www.vanderbilt.edu/AnS/religious_studies/GBC/outline_comm.html Steering committee: Daniel Patte Athalya Brenner Archie Lee Nicole Duran Teresa Okure

Corpus Hellenisticum Novi Testamenti

Christopher Mount
Clare K. Rothschild
Paul A. Holloway
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 Greco-Roman 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 Greco-Roman materials. An open session is planned for 2009, so proposals are welcome. We are particularly seeking papers on Greco-Roman constructions of the self and other topics of anthropology (e.g., pneuma).

Deuteronomistic History

Raymond F. Person, Jr.
Description: This unit discusses the books of Deuteronomy and the Former Prophets both as a whole (Deuteronomistic History) and in its component parts. A special interest is given to the question of compositional techniques and to the historical setting of the deuteronomistic milieu. The section is interested in all facets of this literature and in any scholarly methods used to analyze it. Representatives from the international academy are especially encouraged to participate.

Call for papers: Papers dealing with any aspect of the Deuteronomistic History are welcome.

Development of Early Christian Theology

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

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

Didache in Context

Jonathan A. Draper
Description: The object of this consultation will be to explore the Didache as a unified document reflecting the faith, hope, and life of Christian sometime between 50-90 CE. Accordingly, papers will concern themselves with the following: (a) the oral/written origins of the Didache; (b) the authorship and use of the Didache; (c) aspects of the faith, the practice, or the end-time expectations of the Didache communities as seen from the internal logic of the text; from its religious, social, and historical context; or in contrast to other early communities (Jewish, Christian, Roman).

Call for papers: DIDACHE AND THE NEW TESTAMENT: Papers in one session will explore links, echoes, comparisons and relationships between the Didache and any New Testament writings. While proposals on Didache and Matthew are not excluded, studies examining new avenues of research will be favourably received. Papers in the second session will be open on any issue related to the Didache and its community.

Disputed Paulines

Jerry L. Sumney
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 Consultation seeks papers that explore historical, literary (including rhetorical), and theological matters which bear upon the interpretation of the letters of the disputed Paulines. This includes topics that relate to the place of women in these letters and themes that set these letters in their political and social settings.

Early Christianity and the Ancient Economy

John T. Fitzgerald
Fika J. van Rensburg
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 the Ancient Economy project comprises three sub-projects: The first sub-project involves a study of all the major aspects of the economy in the ancient world, especially the Roman Empire (including the Roman Near East). The second sub-project examines first-century early Christianity both in relationship to the ancient economy and in regard to its own economic aspects. The third sub-project does the same for Christianity in the second to the fifth centuries. Given the scope of the project, we anticipate that studies will be both synchronic and diachronic, with some contributions focused on specific issues (such as money), texts, authors, and events, and others being more comprehensive and thematic in nature. Each of the three sub-projects plans to hold sessions in New Orleans, and paper proposals for all three sub-projects are welcomed. Those submitting a proposal should designate in the Abstract the sub-project for which the paper should be considered.

Early Jewish Christian Relations

Judy Yates Siker
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 Section invites proposals for the 2009 annual meeting. We will be holding three sessions and proposals are invited for papers in each. For two of the sessions we extend an open call for papers on any topic of Early Jewish Christian Relations. The third session is a joint session with the Social History of Formative Christianity and Judaism Section on the theme of "Rhetorics of Universalism vs. Particularism in Formative Christianity and Judaism." While all proposals on the topic are welcome, we are particularly interested in proposals that engage literary, documentary, and material culture and proposals that critically assess modern historiography on the ancient materials. Please direct inquiries to Judy Yates Siker (jsiker@sfts.edu).

Ecological Hermeneutics

Norman C. Habel
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: The first session will be jointly sponsored with the Lament in Sacred Texts and Cultures Group. We are seeking papers on responses to natural disasters in the earth community (human and non-human), in the Bible, and the ancient Near East. A natural disaster (e.g., drought, flood, hurricane) may be experienced by living beings or by nature. Preference will be given to proposals that engage with ecological hermeneutics and the process of identifying with the non-human domains. The second session is open and papers are invited on any biblical text. Participants are encouraged to take into account the principles of ecological hermeneutics - suspicion, identification and retrieval - developed by the Section in recent years.

Egyptology and Ancient Israel

Sharon Keller
Description: The Egyptology and Ancient Israel Section exists to promote discussions between biblical scholars and Egyptologists, thus functioning to provide leadership in an interdisciplinary initiative which is increasingly important as scholars in ancient Near East studies realize the significance of the area’s interdependent relationships. Where appropriate, the section will communicate and work with other related program units toward the end of enhancing and furthering interdisciplinary conversations across the ancient Near East.

Call for papers: The Egyptology and Ancient Israel Section exists to promote discussions between biblical scholars and Egyptologists, thus functioning to provide leadership in an interdisciplinary initiative which is increasingly important as scholars in ancient Near East studies realize the significance of the area’s interdependent relationships. Where appropriate, the section will communicate and work with other related program units toward the end of enhancing and furthering interdisciplinary conversations across the ancient Near East.

Ethics and Biblical Interpretation

Mark Douglas
Jacqueline E. Lapsley
Description: The aim of the Ethics and Biblical Interpretation Consultation is to study the way the various projects of biblical interpretation and hermeneutics intersect with the concerns of ethics. This consultation will engage ethicists, theologians, and biblical scholars in interdisciplinary conversations.

Call for papers: The Ethics and Biblical Interpretation Consultation invites papers on the topic "The Ethics of Return." These papers can focus on biblical returns (e.g., to Canaan after the Exodus; to Israel after exile, etc.) or on biblical perspectives on contemporary returns (e.g., to New Orleans after Katrina).

Ethnic Chinese Biblical Colloquium

Lai-Ling E. Ngan
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.

Eusebius and the Construction of a Christian Culture

Aaron Johnson
Sabrina Inowlocki-Meister
Description: This consultation aims to provide an interdisciplinary platform for research on Eusebius of Caesarea, a multi-faceted author who was simultaneously a biblical scholar, apologist, historian, philologist and theologian. The consultation will deepen and nuance our knowledge of this major author.

Call for papers:

Exile (Forced Migrations) in Biblical Literature

John Ahn
Jill Middlemas
Description: The exile or forced migrations period (6th century B.C.E.) has been a watershed for biblical literature and theology. However, even with an effervescent flowing stream of new and fresh scholarship on the exile, our guild has yet to provide a forum for those working or interested on the impact of the golah across specializations and even disciplines. This consultation fills that lacuna. This section tackles traditional historical, literary, redactional, sociological, and theological issues and texts from the exilic period. Moreover, cutting edge studies on forced migration—migration, immigration, intergeneration, acculturation, assimilation, transnationalism, internal displacement, and refugee studies will be injected.

Call for papers: Exile (Forced Migrations) in Biblical Literature Consultation launched in 2008 with 20 papers--combining the best from both sides of the Atlantic and an open call for papers. This year, we envision a parallel course of action on the topic at hand but with an added joint venture session with two sections (see below). We envision at least four sessions. Our two invited panels will represent the best of our current North American and European scholars investigating the 6th century BCE. As of today, on our North American side, our presenters are: David Petersen, Christopher Seitz, David Carr, Louis Stulman, and Stephen Cook. Our Euopean side will be updated shortly. As for our open call, we call for papers on the following: “The exile (forced migrations) of Judah has left a lasting impact and imprint on prophetic literature across time and space. What aspects--such as themes, motifs, or issues and concerns of exilic theology (theologies) helped shape, create, or exert its force on the prophetic Gattung? Are there markers that we can label or identity as exilic? What were central ideological/theological issues for those in exile (forced migration), i.e., those in Babylon, Egypt, the coastlands or even those who remained in Judah? Most broadly speaking then, we seek papers that combine the prophetic Gattung and its literature and the Sitz im Leben of the 6th century B.C.E.” In addition, as a second call for papers, with the recent event and aftermath of Katrina, forced migration needs no definition here. So, in collaboration with the African American Hermeneutics Section and the Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah Section, we will collectively sponsor a session that deals with the aftermaths of forced migration and return migrations and its larger hermeneutical and social implications. Papers that examine biblical text through the eye of the storm (Katrina)are sought.

Extent of Theological Diversity in Earliest Christianity

James P. Ware
Jeffrey Peterson
Description: Focusing on the evidence for Jesus' death and resurrection as a narrative used to shape the identity of emergent communities, and on the alternatives to this narrative preserved in early Christian sources, this Consultation explores the origin, nature and extent of theological diversity in earliest Christianity from the beginnings until approximately 180 CE. By fostering a conversation involving the testing of various reconstructions of early Christian history against the range of relevant evidence, the unit seeks to bring greater precision to the study of "orthodoxy and heresy in early Christianity."

Call for papers: Our sessions at the 2009 meeting will feature only invited papers, but we welcome paper proposals for an open session at the 2010 meeting.

Feminist Hermeneutics of the Bible

Joseph Kozar
Angela Bauer-Levesque
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 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.

Formation of Isaiah

Hyun Chul Paul Kim
A. Joseph Everson
Description: The Formation of Isaiah Group 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: We will have two sessions for 2009: (1) a session on "King Josiah and the Isaiah Scroll: Reactions to Marvin A. Sweeney, ISAIAH 1-39 (FOTL; Eerdmans, 1996) and KING JOSIAH OF JUDAH: THE LOST MESSIAH OF ISRAEL (Oxford University Press, 2001)" (invited papers) and (2) an "open" session in which papers on any topic concerned with the book of Isaiah are welcome.

Formation of Luke-Acts

Paul Elbert
Mikael Winninge
Description: Recent Lukan studies indicate the formative role of diverse verifiable sources including the Septuagint (e.g., Deuteronomy; the Elijah-Elisha narrative), Greco-Roman writings (e.g., historiography; epic, particularly Homer), and some epistles. The Section aims to check and synthesize such use of sources, thus clarifying the formation of Luke-Acts, and facilitating discussion of broader NT issues.

Call for papers: Recent Lukan studies indicate the formative role of diverse verifiable sources including the Septuagint (e.g., Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Minor Prophets, the Elijah-Elisha narrative), Greco-Roman writings (e.g., historiography; medical texts, epic, particularly Homer), and some Pauline epistles. The Section aims to study and synthesize the use of such sources, thus clarifying the formation of Luke-Acts and facilitating discussion of broader NT issues. We seek to explore intertextuality that throws light on the way this literary phenomenon functions to produce revisionary perspectives on construals of reality that emerge when the two texts are viewed in relation to one another.

Function of Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphal Writings in Early Judaism and Early Christianity

James H. Charlesworth
Lee Martin McDonald
Description: This unit is focused broadly on questions related to canon, namely: What is the biblical canon? How did it take shape? How did the so-called noncanonical works function in the early Jewish and Christian communities? How do these noncanonical works help us comprehend the shaping of the canon and by whom? What is the relation between a closed canon and the notion of a God who speaks in every generation? With considerable media interest in this subject in recent times, it is important to raise and address some of these important questions.

Call for papers: We are seeking papers on questions related to canon, particularly how the so-called apocryphal and pseudepigraphal literature functioned in the early Jewish and Christian communities. Those interested in the Odes of Solomon are especially encouraged to submit a paper for this year's sessions. It is our intention to publish the collection of papers presented at this consultation.

Future of the Past: Biblical and Cognate Studies for the Twenty-First Century

Dennis R. MacDonald
Description: To engage productive dialogue through the cooperative relationship between the SBL and the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity for the purpose of modeling and promoting international collaborative and interdisciplinary research on a wide variety of topics germane to Jewish and Christian origins.

Call for papers: To engage productive dialogue through the cooperative relationship between the SBL and the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity for the purpose of modeling and promoting international collaborative and interdisciplinary research on a wide variety of topics germane to Jewish and Christian origins.

Gender, Sexuality, and the Bible

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

Call for papers: We are planning three sessions in New Orleans. The first session will focus upon sex work and biblical interpretation (with invited participants only). For the second session, co-sponsored with the Reading, Theory, and the Bible Section, we invite submissions for papers using the work of Donna Haraway (particularly her figure of the cyborg), and/or Jacques Derrida (particularly his work on hauntology) or any other theorists (Braidotti, Spivak, et al.) considering spectrality and complex subjectivity for biblical interpretation and early Christian or Jewish texts and histories. The third session is an open session, welcoming proposals for papers on any element of research related to gender, sexuality, and the body in the study of the bible and/or antiquity, including their various afterlives and influences. Questions or further inquiries may be directed to the chair, Joseph Marchal, at jamarchal@hotmail.com

GOCN Forum on Missional Hermeneutics

Michael Barram
Description: What would it mean, and what might it look like to read the Bible self-consciously from, and with an explicit methodological starting point in, an ecclesial location that is construed as fundamentally missional in cast and character? How might such an attempt both inform and critique contemporary missiological assumptions? What discoveries about the biblical text might be opened up through the adoption of such a social location and interpretive aim? The Forum on Missional Hermeneutics of the GOCN draws together biblical scholars, theologians, graduate students, and ministry practitioners from a range of disciplines and ecclesiological contexts at the Annual Meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature. The Forum explores the intersections of missiology, ecclesiology, and biblical scholarship in the interpretation of the Bible as it serves the missional vocation of the church. Website: http://www.gocn.org/

Call for papers: The Gospel and Our Culture Network Forum on Missional Hermeneutics extends a call for papers to be read at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in New Orleans, November 21-24, 2009. The Forum explores the intersections of missiology, ecclesiology, and biblical interpretation, focusing on hermeneutical issues that arise in view of the Church’s missional character.

In particular, presenters and participants at the Forum explore how faithful interpretation of Scripture needs to pay attention to these interlocking realities in the text: (1) The ways in which the biblical text renders the identity of the missio Dei, the God who is engaged in mission to the whole creation; (2) The ways in which the biblical text is shaped for the purpose of forming a people of God who are called to participate in God’s mission to the creation; (3) The ways in which the biblical text evokes and challenges a missionally located community's interpretive readings and questions; and (4) The ways in which the biblical text relates the received tradition to a particular context in light of the good news of the reign of God in Jesus Christ.

In 2009, the specific focus for papers is Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Proposals are invited (in the form of one-page abstracts) which engage the letter, or specific passages within it, within the framework identified above, and which test the extent to which such a missional approach to the text illumines and opens the text to faithful understanding and ecclesial practice. Proposals are to be submitted to Michael Barram, Saint Mary’s College of California (mbarram@stmarys-ca.edu) and must be received by May 1, 2009. For further information and to access some of the papers presented in previous sessions of the Forum, go to gocn.org.

Greco-Roman Religions

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

Call for papers: The open session of the Greco-Roman Religions Section, "Hybridization and Creolization in the Greek and Roman Worlds," invites papers that continue it’s focus on post-colonial criticism applied to the ancient Mediterranean world, especially papers exploring issues of hybridization and creolization raised by social mobility and consequent encounters with new cult communities, new customs and cultic practices, and the reciprocal negotiations of place and identity generated between the affected groups. This open session welcomes papers that approach these phenomena on the basis of literary, epigraphical, or archaeological evidence, and from the full range of methodological perspectives, exploring the ways cult practices functioned and evolved within the complex and fluid ancient Mediterranean socio-cultural environment. This session especially invites papers that explore critically specific applications of analytical terms such as "bricoleur/bricolage," that problematize dualisms and perceived hegemonies, and that critically examine concepts such as “agency” or “identity.” The Greco-Roman Religions Section closed session, "Redescribing Greco-Roman Antiquity: Comparative Cult Migration Studies—Fluid Social Formations, Ephemeral Identities, and Traditions in the Making," will present papers exploring the phenomenon of cult migration, with special attention given to the operative terms "comparative" and "studies." Both terms imply a stance from beyond the purely decriptive to a theoretical perspective on cult formation, identity formation, and the social and ideological nature of religious discourse. Particular attention will be paid to the discursive nature of imagined religious identities and social formations as fluid traditions that allowed for-and even unintentionally invited-multiple imagined synchronic as well as successive identities.

Greek Bible

Cameron Boyd-Taylor
Description: The Greek Bible section focuses on the use of the Greek versions (the Septuagint or other Greek versions) in biblical exegesis by Hellenistic Jewish authors, the New Testament writers, the Church Fathers, Greek historians or philosophers, and medieval Jewish scholiasts, as well as on the methodologies they employ.

Call for papers: The Greek Bible section is sponsoring three sessions in 2009. (1) The first is a themed session entitled the Greek Bible in the New Testament. For this session we invite papers on the use of Greek versions by New Testament writers. Examples would be Paul’s use of Greek Isaiah, the Greek Psalter in Luke-Acts, etc. (2) The second session, Greek Minor Prophets, is offered jointly with the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies. Here we invite papers related to the study of the Twelve (Septuagint version) with a decided preference for those which explore the history of its interpretation. 3) We are also holding an open session on any aspect of the reception of the Greek Bible. All papers accepted must demonstrate the use of the Greek text in distinction from the Hebrew Bible. For the 2009 open session we especially welcome papers dealing with topics in Hellenistic Jewish and Early Christian exegesis.

Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World

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

Call for papers: The Disability Studies and Healthcare in the Bible and Near East section plans to have two sessions at the 2009 meeting. The FIRST SESSION will be an open session (accepting papers). In this session, we especially encourage proposals for 20-minute papers exploring the portrayal or experience of injury, impairment, disease, and disability (broadly defined) within contexts of war and its aftermath in ancient Israel. This session will be co-sponsored with the Warfare in Ancient Israel section and will include time for a panel discussion following the presentations. All methods are invited. The SECOND SESSION will consist of a discussion by invited panelists of Rebecca Raphael's book, Biblical Corpora: Representations of Disability in Hebrew Biblical Literature (T and T Clark, 2008). Inquiries about these sessions should be addressed to either Sarah Melcher (melcher@xavier.edu) or Jeremy Schipper (schipper@temple.edu).

Hebrew Bible and Political Theory

Steven Grosby
Joshua Berman
Description: Politics was central to the life of ancient Israel, and certainly found throughout the Hebrew Bible. Despite the obviousness of this assertion, politics has been a relatively neglected area of investigation, with the exception of some of the essays of Albrecht Alt and recently Norman Gottwald’s The Politics of Ancient Israel. The aim of this unit is to rectify this inattention by concentrating on the politics of the Hebrew Bible, both for better understanding ancient Israel and in its implications for political theory.

Call for papers: This unit seeks papers that examine biblical texts through the prism of political theory, broadly conceived. As other program units already explore feminist ideology and African-American hermeneutics, this unit seeks interdisciplinary papers that employ theoretical models concerning, for example, notions of nationhood, citizenship, law, class and hierarchy, economic distribution, kingship, and the like. Alternatively, papers may analyze the biblical text through the political thought of the great thinkers, classical, medieval or modern. In our OPEN SESSION the unit especially seeks interdisciplinary papers devoted to issues of prosperity and poverty. In addition, we will be co-sponsoring a PANEL SESSION with the Pentateuch unit on the topic: Political Theory, Equality and the Pentateuch. In recent years growing attention has turned to the use of political theory to explicate the Pentateuch, and particularly to the ways in which its texts negotiate power and create a society of ennobled and empowered citizens. This session will address two primary questions: What theories from political science hold promise for study of the Pentateuch? What are the implications of this approach for traditional source-critical study of the Pentateuch? Invited panelists will discuss their own work in this growing field in response to Joshua Berman's Created Equal: How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought (Oxford, 2008).

Hebrew Bible, History, and Archaeology

Aaron A. Burke
Description: This unit is open to all papers that employ archaeology in all its aspects (including survey, excavation, and epigraphic data) to understand the history of the ancient Israelite kingdoms and/or the Hebrew Bible.

Call for papers: Papers are invited for sessions of the Hebrew Bible, History and Archaeology section. Relevant papers will address the history or archaeology of ancient Israel through the use of texts, archaeology, and anthropological approaches.

Hebrew Scriptures and Cognate Literature

Daniel Fleming
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 steering committee invites proposals for papers on any topic that examines texts or aspects of the Hebrew Bible in light of writing from the larger region. Papers should give attention to both the biblical and the non-biblical evidence, take seriously all relevant contexts, and consider the historical basis for treating all the evidence as part of some larger whole.

Hebrews

Gabriella Gelardini
Harold W. Attridge
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: The “Hebrews Consultation” has been renewed as “Book of Hebrews in Context Group.” The group plans to sponsor each year two, or at most three sessions. The first session customarily contains papers by invited speakers on a specific topic. The papers of this first session—as usual for groups—will be made available to the group’s members in advance and will not be delivered in full at the session. The second session invites proposals either shaped around the same topic or any other topic concerned with the Book of Hebrews and/or its context. About every two to three years a third session will be added, either with book reviews or as joint session. Whereas group members are given priority in attendance and participation at the first session—others may attend and participate as space and time allows—, attendance at the second and third session will be unrestricted. Application for membership in the Hebrew’s group is made through Dr. Gabriella Gelardini to the steering committee and is extended to those who agree to prepare and participate. The specific topics of the following years and for which we are seeking papers on will be: The socio-historical and cultural content and context of the Book of Hebrews (2008: Greco-Roman; 2009: Jewish). The literary, philosophical, and theological content and context of the Book of Hebrews (2010: Comparative; 2011: Methodological). The reception history of the Book of Hebrews (2012: In ancient, medieval, modern, and postmodern texts and culture; 2013: In modern and postmodern scholarship). For information and membership application contact: Gabriella.Gelardini@unibas.ch. For further information and PDFs of the 2005-2008 papers visit our group’s website: www.hebrews.unibas.ch.

Hellenistic Judaism

Zuleika Rodgers
Annette Yoshiko Reed
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: This year, the Hellenistic Judaism Section will be dedicating 1-2 sessions to the late antique, medieval, and modern reception-histories of Hellenistic Judaism. We invite proposals for papers that speak to the reception of the Hellenistic Jewish figures, ideas, narratives, and texts -- as well as to the prehistory and formation of the very notion of "Hellenistic Judaism." We especially encourage submissions that speak to the appropriation and redeployment of these materials for the articulation of cultural and religious identities, past and present. Through a focus on reception, we hope to explore the afterlives of these materials in historiography, ethnography, translation, etc. Together with the Josephus Group, we will also be holding an invited panel on "Tradition and Identity in the Herodian Court." Papers on other topics related to Hellenistic Judaism are also welcome.

Hellenistic Moral Philosophy and Early Christianity

Johan C. Thom
Description: The unit was formed with the goal of providing a forum for discussing ancient texts from the Hellenistic and Roman worlds and relating them to the study of the New Testament world (including early Jewish and early Christian materials outside the New Testament per se).

Call for papers: We are seeking papers on any aspect of Hellenistic moral philosophy and early Christianity. Preference will be given to papers discussing ancient texts from the Hellenistic and Roman worlds and relating them to the study of the New Testament world (including early Jewish and early Christian materials outside the New Testament).

Historical Jesus

Gregory E. Sterling
Description: The Historical Jesus Section provides a forum for both seasoned and less experienced biblical scholars to offer public contributions to the ongoing task of describing the person, mission, and views of Jesus in a historically responsible manner.

Call for papers: The Historical Jesus Section provides a forum for both seasoned and less experienced biblical scholars to offer public contributions to the ongoing task of describing the person, mission, and views of Jesus in a historically responsible manner.

History and Literature of Early Rabbinic Judaism

Yaron Z. Eliav
Richard Kalmin
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: 2010 Annual Meeting: The History and Literature of Early Rabbinic Judaism section will be accepting proposals for open sessions. Thematic sessions may arise out of this open call. For the open sessions all proposals relating to the group’s general topic will be considered and they may deal with any aspect of the topic – literary, historical, religious, cultural, archaeological, etc.

History of Interpretation

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

Call for papers: The History of Interpretation section welcomes a variety of proposals on topics relating to the history of Biblical interpretation. We are particularly interested in the following areas: comparative exegesis, Patristics, Rabbinics, and medieval interpretation. We also welcome proposals on pre-organized sessions (4 to 5 papers) around a specific topic.

Homiletics and Biblical Studies

J. Dwayne Howell
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: Invited panel session: Preaching from the Psalms. Invited panel session: Preaching and the Personal: Prophecy, Witness, and Testimony. Open call: The Homiletics and Biblical Studies section is seeking papers dealing with the relationship between biblical interpretation and proclamation.

Ideological Criticism

Dr. Janet L.R. Ross
Randall Reed
Description: The Ideological Criticism of the Bible Section provides a place on the annual meeting program for the presentation of research that explores the political stakes of biblical texts as well as the political uses to which the Bible has been put in contemporary and historical settings. The Section also offers a site for investigation, not only of “ideology” narrowly defined, but of the myriad ways in which that which goes without saying, the hardwiring of the culture, shapes biblical interpretation and is shaped by the Bible’s influence.

Call for papers: The Ideological Criticism of the Bible Section provides a place on the annual meeting program for the presentation of research that explores the political stakes of biblical texts as well as the political uses to which the Bible has been put in contemporary and historical settings. The Section also offers a site for investigation, not only of “ideology” narrowly defined, but of the myriad ways in which that which goes without saying, the hardwiring of the culture, shapes biblical interpretation and is shaped by the Bible’s influence.

Ideology, Culture, and Translation

Scott S. Elliott
Description: This Group explores theoretical dimensions and implications of translations and translation practice. Critical engagements with the translation, translation practices, or translation history of any texts relevant to the study of Bible and Christianity (ancient and modern) are welcome.

Call for papers: The theme for our 2009 session will be Jewish-Christian difference and the politics of translation, which takes its lead from Naomi Seidman's book, Faithful Renderings (Univ. Chicago Press, 2006). The session will not be a review panel in the usual sense. Rather, we are seeking proposals that take up various aspects of the proposed theme in light of Seidman's volume and the issues it raises, e.g., constructions and contestations of cultural and religious identities in translation, the "double agency" of translators in their role of negotiating the asymmetrical relationship of texts, the function of "hidden transcripts" in translated texts, etc.

Institute for Biblical Research

L. Daniel Hawk
Kent L. Yinger
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

Institute on Religion and Civic Values

Shabbir Mansuri
Description: The IRCV is a non-advocacy research center interested in religious liberty, public literacy about world religions, and the role of religious communities in the public square and in policymaking circles. IRCV works with institutional partners to produce and facilitate policy analyses, educational materials, leadership exchanges, and resources that enable citizens, domestic and global, to engage questions of faith, citizenship, and pluralism. More information at www.ircv.org. Our office address is 10055 Slater Avenue, Suite 250, Fountain Valley, CA 92708. Our mailing address is P.O. Box 20186, Fountain Valley, CA 92728-0186. Reach us by telephone at 714-839-2929.

Call for papers: The IRCV is a non-advocacy research center interested in religious liberty, public literacy about world religions, and the role of religious communities in the public square and in policymaking circles. IRCV works with institutional partners to produce and facilitate policy analyses, educational materials, leadership exchanges, and resources that enable citizens, domestic and global, to engage questions of faith, citizenship, and pluralism. More information at www.ircv.org. Our office address is 10055 Slater Avenue, Suite 250, Fountain Valley, CA 92708. Our mailing address is P.O. Box 20186, Fountain Valley, CA 92728-0186. Reach us by telephone at 714-839-2929.

International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies

Leonard J. Greenspoon
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 is soliciting papers for its annual meeting in New Orleans, to be held in conjunction with the SBL. Proposals should be presented through the SBL Annual Meetings website. Please direct any queries to Leonard Greenspoon at ljgrn@creighton.edu.

International Syriac Language Project

Terry C. Falla
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.

Intertextuality in the New Testament

B. J. Oropeza
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: This year in New Orleans we will be exploring methods of interpretation. We welcome papers that address the use of a particuar interpretative method (or methods) related to intertextuality and a sampling of how the method is used on a relevent text or passages in the New Testament.

Israelite Prophetic Literature

Mignon R. Jacobs
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: We invite proposals for three sessions: Session 1. Sites of memory in the prophetic books—The ancient and contemporary readers of the prophetic books imagine and visit living spaces populated with people and a deity acting in diverse ways and set in particular times. These living sites serve as sites of memory for the readers and interact with other memories and sites that exist in the mind of the same readers. As they do so, they may be informing, balancing, reshaping, sharpening, downplaying, or even contributing to a forgetfulness of other sites and memories. This session invites papers that discuss these issues. Session 2. Divine Days in and outside prophetic literature: The Day of YHWH has become a central concept for many working within the Book of the Twelve, including but not limited to redactional-critical scholars. This session invites papers on the concept of the Day of YHWH and related days in and outside prophetic literature. Session 3. Open Session—Papers on any aspect of the study of Israelite prophecy and prophetic literature.

Israelite Religion in Its West Asian Environment

Beth Alpert Nakhai
Description: A forum for the study of the religions of ancient Israel and surrounding lands. Aims to bring together wide variety of questions, perspectives, periods, disciplines, methods, and kinds of data: textual, epigraphic, archaeological, iconographic, art-historical, sociological, gender-focused, comparative, and more. (Formerly the Israelite and Canaanite Religion Section.)

Call for papers: For 2009, "Israelite Religion in Its West Asian Environment" seeks papers dealing with the religions of Israel and neighboring lands, as expressed through multiple disciplinary studies. These include textual, epigraphic and archaeological studies, gender studies, iconographic and art historical analyses, studies in comparative religions, ethnographic comparanda and more. Attention can be paid to the religion of the home and family, city and state, and royal and priestly elites. Abstracts from graduate students must include name of program, name of faculty advisor and degree being sought.

Jesus Traditions, Gospels, and Negotiating the Roman Imperial World

Warren Carter
William R. Herzog II
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: This section encourages 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. We welcome papers on any aspect of this topic. For 2009, we especially invite papers that explore interactions between Jesus traditions and imperial realities encountered in the Galilee. Inquiries can be sent to warren.carter@tcu.edu

Jewish Christianity / Christian Judaism

Matt Jackson-McCabe
Petri Luomanen
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: We will be pursuing two topics in 2009. First, we will be investigating the construction of categories like “Jewish Christianity” in the context of the beginnings of the critical study of the New Testament in 17th century England. Papers on John Toland’s Nazarenus and its predecessors and followers are particularly welcome. Second, we will be holding a joint session with the Didache in Context unit. For this session we invite papers exploring what contribution research on the Didache can make to the knowledge of Jewish Christianity / Christian Judaism in terms of halakha, ideological affinities, community formation in close contact and conflict with other Jewish groups, ritual, social practice and purity, among other things.

Johannine Literature

Colleen Conway
Kyle Keefer
Kasper B. Larsen
Description: The Johannine Literature Section has been a long-standing unit within the Society of Biblical Literature. Its main purpose throughout has been 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.

Call for papers: The Johannine Literature section invites papers for its two open sessions at the 2009 meeting. For one session, we are particularly interested in topics related to the intersection of the Gospel of John and ancient philosophy and/or ancient rhetoric. The second session is open to any topic related to Johannine Literature.

John's Apocalypse and Cultural Contexts Ancient and Modern

Jean-Pierre Ruiz
Lynn Huber
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: A first session will focus on Apocalypse and violence. The steering committee welcomes proposals for papers that examine ways in which apocalyptic texts and traditions explore, respond to, and even create crisis, including social, ecological, political, religious, and cultural crises. For the second session, the steering committee welcomes submissions on any topic that is related to the focus of this program unit (nontraditional and traditional methods for exploration of the meaning and significance of the Apocalypse of John and related literature in both their ancient and modern cultural contexts).

John, Jesus, and History

Paul N. Anderson
Jaime Clark-Soles
Description: The John, Jesus, and History Group will highlight issues related to the Johannine tradition and the composition-history of the Fourth Gospel and the Johannine Epistles, with special emphasis on the place of these documents in contemporary study of Christian origins. Dialogue on these issues will be encouraged through the group’s annual meetings and through other venues throughout the year.

Call for papers: In its third triennium, the John, Jesus, and History Group is focusing now on "Glimpses of Jesus through the Johannine Lens." Our sessions in 2009 will address the works of Jesus (the words of Jesus in 2010), and we will host an invited session and an open session. Successful proposals should include: a) some statement about gradations of certainty regarding the degree to which a particular presentation in John contributes to Jesus research (range including: certainly not, probably not, not likely, questionable, possible, plausible, probably, certainly), and b) an articulation of why one's assertion is tenable. All views are welcome, but critical substantiation will be expected of negative judgments as well as positive ones. Sessions on two additional topics will also be hosted in 2009, and possibly in 2010. First, "Archaeology and the Gospel of John" will invite papers that connect some feature of archaeological research with places, topography, and mundane references in the Fourth Gospel. While some papers are invited, papers are still welcome on such sites as the transjordan baptizing of John, Bethsaida, Cana, stone jars, the reconstruction and destruction of the temple, Aenon near Salim, Gerizim, Jacob's well, Sychar, the Pool of Beth-zatha, the Sheep Gate, the Sea of Galilee/Tiberias, Tiberias, Kerioth, Magdala, Nazareth, Capernaum, the Capernaum synagogue, the temple treasury, the Pool of Siloam, the Portico of Solomon, Bethany, Bethany tombs and stones, the Kidron valley, the high priest's courtyard, Pilate's praetorium, the stone pavement/Gabbatha, Golgotha, Roman crucifixion/nails, Roman execution inscriptions, tombs in Jerusalem, embalming practices, fishing in Galilee, etc. Papers will be summarized; photos are especially welcome! A second extra session will address "Methodological Approaches to Johannine Historiography in Service to Jesus Research." Most papers have been invited, but inquiries and proposals are still welcome.

Josephus

James S. McLaren
Paul Spilsbury
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: We will sponsor two sessions and co-sponsor one with the Hellenistic Judaism Section. One session will include invited papers from members of the Brill Josephus Project, reporting on their translation and/or commentary work. The second session will be devoted to the theme 'Josephus, Moses and Torah'. Paper proposals that address any aspect of this theme are welcome. We will also be co-sponsoring with the Hellenistic Judaism Section a panel of invited papers on 'Traditions and Identity in the Herodian Court'.

Joshua-Judges

Trent C. Butler
Ralph K. Hawkins
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:

Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion

Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre
Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza
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/

Karl Barth Society of North America

George Hunsinger
Description: The purpose of the Society shall be to encourage a critical and constructive theology in continuity with the work of Karl Barth by such means as 1) the provision of whatever assistance is possible to the Karl Barth Foundation of Switzerland especially in its purpose "to collect and preserve the entire writings of Karl Barth and literature about him, including letters, and to prepare and publish a complete edition of the writings of Karl Barth"; 2) the establishment on the North American continent of a collection as complete as possible of Karl Barth's writings and works about Karl Barth in order to facilitate research projects; and 3) the organization of various types of conference to explore the resources of Karl Barth's work for theology.

Call for papers: The purpose of the Society shall be to encourage a critical and constructive theology in continuity with the work of Karl Barth by such means as 1) the provision of whatever assistance is possible to the Karl Barth Foundation of Switzerland especially in its purpose "to collect and preserve the entire writings of Karl Barth and literature about him, including letters, and to prepare and publish a complete edition of the writings of Karl Barth"; 2) the establishment on the North American continent of a collection as complete as possible of Karl Barth's writings and works about Karl Barth in order to facilitate research projects; and 3) the organization of various types of conference to explore the resources of Karl Barth's work for theology.

Korean Biblical Colloquium

Hyun Chul Paul Kim
John Ahn
Seyoon Kim
Description: The object and purpose of this organization shall be to promote scholarship in the Bible and related subjects among Koreans as well as fellowship and networking among the Korean scholars in those fields. Members of KBC shall be Koreans and others who are engaged in reasearch in Biblical and related fields and interested in developing Korean perspective in those fields as well as sharing their scholarly experiences with fellow Korean scholars.

Call for papers: The object and purpose of this organization shall be to promote scholarship in the Bible and related subjects among Koreans as well as fellowship and networking among the Korean scholars in those fields. Members of KBC shall be Koreans and others who are engaged in reasearch in Biblical and related fields and interested in developing Korean perspective in those fields as well as sharing their scholarly experiences with fellow Korean scholars.

Lament in Sacred Texts and Cultures

Nancy C. Lee
William S. Morrow
Description: This unit engages scholars to bring various methodologies to bear on critical issues of the biblical book of Lamentations and other 'laments' from ancient and contemporary contexts.

Call for papers: We are seeking papers for three sessions: 1. A session jointly sponsored with the Ecological Hermeneutics section on responses to natural disasters in the earth community (human and non-human), in the Bible, and in the ancient Near East. A natural disaster (e.g., drought, flood, hurricane) may be experienced by living beings or by nature. Preference will be given to proposals that engage with ecological hermeneutics and the process of identifying with the non-human domains. 2. A session on the responses of artists, poets, and writers to experiences of Hurricane Katrina and the devastation of New Orleans. 3. An open session using a variety of methods and critical approaches to the biblical tradition of lament, Lamentations, and other expressions of grief, complaint and/or protest from ancient and contemporary contexts. Preference will be given to papers responding to William Morrow, Protest Against God: The Eclipse of a Biblical Tradition (Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2006).

Latino/a and Latin American Biblical Interpretation

Francisco Lozada, Jr.
Fernando F. Segovia
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: This consultation will have two pre-organized panels on the following topics: (1) “Rereading J. Severino Croatto,” and (2) “New Directions in Latino/a Biblical Criticism.”

Latter-day Saints and the Bible

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

Call for papers: Papers on any topics are welcome this year, but particularly desirable will be papers dealing with the LDS use of the Bible in addressing contemporary issues of social justice, poverty, humanitarian aid, marriage, morality, or ethics.

Letters of James, Peter, and Jude

Robert L. Webb
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: For the 2009 SBL Annual Meeting, the Letters of James, Peter, and Jude Section issues a call for papers to the following sessions: (1) Open Session(s): Papers on any aspect related to the study of the letters of James, Peter, and Jude, and (2) a joint session with the Q Section intended to explore the links between certain traditions that are found in the Letter of James and the Q source (NOTE: you must submit essays for this joint session to the Q Section and NOT to this section.)

Levites and Priests in History and Tradition

Mark Leuchter
Jeremy Hutton
Description: This section comprises a forum for the investigation into the social and historical roles of the cultic personnel (predominantly Levites and priests) in ancient Israel and early Judaism, as well as into the literary presentation of those figures in early scriptural traditions. Papers from a variety of methodical approaches may be accepted.

Call for papers: This section comprises a forum for the investigation into the social and historical roles of the cultic personnel (predominantly Levites and priests) in ancient Israel and early Judaism, as well as into the literary presentation of those figures in early scriptural traditions. Papers from a variety of methodical approaches may be accepted.

LGBT/Queer Hermeneutics

David Tabb Stewart
Lynn Huber
Description: Sexual orientation and kinship are increasingly being contested in public, ecclesial and academic communities across the globe and Biblical interpretation underpins much that is oppressive in these efforts. The Consultation provides a crucial forum for Biblical scholars, religious professionals, and others to benefit from a critical interrogation of the issues as they cross disciplines and intersect with diverse voices.

Call for papers: The LGBTQ Hermeneutics Sections invites submissions for papers exploring issues related to audience, biblical interpretation,and LGBTQ > identities. Papers might explore issues of interpretive accountability (e.g. To whom is queer hermeneutics accountable), the intersections between queer readers and biblical interpretations, the ways in which audience identities shape the readings of queer biblical scholars. Papers on other topics related to LGBTQ hermeneutics will also be considered for this session.

Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew

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

Call for papers: The Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew section solicits papers for three sessions. 1) The thematic session is open to papers which linguistically define the notion of "emphasis" in Biblical Hebrew and apply this notion productively to texts. Papers may include treatment of such phenomena as markedness, saliency, argument structure, discourse prominence, theme-rheme, topic-focus, and/or word order. 2) The second session is general and open to any paper that applies a well-articulated modern linguistic theory to some aspect of Biblical Hebrew. 3) The third session, held jointly with Biblical Hebrew poetry, is entitled "Word Order Variation in Ancient Hebrew Poetry." Papers are welcome that explore the value of approaches to word order variation, information structure, topic-focus, etc. -- approaches that are both linguistically competent and sensitive to poetics as understood in literary theory.

Literature and History of the Persian Period

David S. Vanderhooft
Oded Lipschits
Mark Leuchter
Anselm C. Hagedorn
Description: The Literature and History of the Persian Period Group emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to biblical texts and related literature of the 6th-4th centuries BCE by bringing together archaeologists, Assyriologists, classicists, Egyptologists, and sociologists, to name but a few, with biblical scholars specializing in various facets and texts pertinent to this era.

Call for papers: The Literature and History of the Persian Period Group will hold sessions for the 2009 SBL Annual Meeting that focus on the following theme: "Beyond Elephantine: Diaspora Judaism in the Persian Period". One session will consist of an invited panel of speakers; the other session is open to paper proposals on the aforementioned theme.

Mapping Memory: Tradition, Texts, and Identity

Alan Kirk
Tom Thatcher
Description: Memory theory deals with the way communities reconstruct and commemorate their pasts. Its methods bear on critical issues such as orality and literacy, the history of tradition, textual artifacts, ritual, and historical Jesus research. Through a series of invited, open, and joint sessions, the Group will showcase applications of memory theory to new and classic research problems in biblical studies and related fields.

Call for papers: The Mapping Memory Group solicits proposals that seriously engage some aspect of memory theory and that apply memory theory to problems in biblical interpretation, ancient Judaism (includding rabbinics), and early Christianity. We are interested in all branches of memory theory and in related approaches that seriously engage memory as an analytical category. We are particularly interested in papers that highlight the interface between memory and performance in the ancient context, or that highlight theoretical problems in the interface between memory and history/historiography. Contact Tom Thatcher with questions or comments at tom.thatcher@ccuniversity.edu All proposals must be formally submitted through this website before they can be accepted.

Mark

Rikki E. Watts
Description: The Mark Seminar provides a venue for Markan scholars to present and discuss research on the text and themes of the Gospel of Mark and its historical, social, and religious context. The previous Group has been very popular for its allowance for in depth discussion of the papers presented, and there is keen interest in it continuing in seminar form.

Call for papers: The Mark Group invites papers for two sessions, the first dealing with the Presence and Portrayal of God in the Second Gospel, and the second, the “Law” in the Second Gospel. Papers may address any aspect of the topic and may choose to focus on a particular method or employ a range thereof. Send proposals in MS Word or Mac Pages format to: rkewatts@regent-college.edu (preferred method), OR, mail or fax to Prof. Rikk Watts, Regent College, 5800 University Boulevard, Vancouver, BC, V6T 2E4. Fax number 604-224-3097, including the name Rikk Watts on faxed materials. Proposals may also be submitted through the Society of Biblical Literature website at http://www.sbl-site.org/. If using the latter please include a contact email.

Masoretic Studies

Harold P. Scanlin
Daniel S. Mynatt
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: Masoretic Studies will hold two sessions at the 2009 Annual Meeting: 1)A session celebrating the millennium celebration of Codex Leningradensis. Proposals are invited for this session. 2)A workshop for non-specialists. This session will be designed to help Hebrew Bible scholars understand the Masorah and use it more often in teaching and research. Papers for this session will be by invitation only. Anyone interested in presenting should contact Daniel Mynatt at DMynatt@andersonuniversity.edu.

Matthew

Dorothy Jean Weaver
Joel Willitts
Description: The Matthew Section sponsors invited and submitted papers, panels, reviews and welcomes submission on any topic related to Matthean scholarship.

Call for papers: The Matthew Section is seeking proposals on Matthean topics for the 2009 Annual Meeting. We will hold three sessions in 2009. Two of these will be open sessions for papers on any Matthean topic. The third will be an invited session on the theme "Where From, Where To In Matthean Studies?" This session, led by a panel of senior Matthean scholars, will identify the major questions that have engaged Matthean scholarship in the past and consider what new questions will engage Matthean scholars in coming years.

Meals in the Greco-Roman World

Dennis E. Smith
Hal Taussig
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: There will be no open call for papers. All presentations have been assigned to members of the seminar.

Midrash

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

Call for papers: We are looking forward to receiving paper proposals in any area of midrash or related studies. A second session will explore the "culture of memory" in midrashic and related literature; an additional session will be dedicated to the exploration of "color."

Mysticism, Esotericism, and Gnosticism in Antiquity

Kevin Sullivan
Silviu N. Bunta
Description: This unit critically investigates religious currents of secrecy/secrets (esotericism), knowledge (gnosticism) and/or their revelation through praxis (mysticism) in the formative period of Judaism and Christianity (ca. 500 BCE–500 CE).

Call for papers: The Early Jewish and Christian Mysticism group has launched a multi-year project to determine possible provenances of early mysticism in Judaism and Christianity. We are operating in rough chronological order beginning with the Ancient Near East. We wish to create a forum to discuss how, why, and in what forms mysticism emerges at various times, locations, and communities prior to 500 CE. Papers from the sessions will be collected for inclusion in series of volumes called After Paradise Now: Essays Exploring the Provenances of Mysticism in Early Judaism and Christianity. For 2009, we invite papers from scholars with expertise in late Second Temple Judaism, early Christianity (including, but not limited to the New Testament), and Gnosticism. These contributions will ideally address the manner in which the mystical practices and beliefs of the writers emerge in their texts.

Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism

Nicola Denzey Lewis
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 and translation; analysis and interpretation of the tractates; codicological analysis; background and provenance of the manuscripts; studies relevant to the larger social and religio-historical contexts of the Nag Hammadi texts, especially their relation to Jewish, Christian and Greco-Roman religious traditions.

Call for papers: The Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism Section is planning at least three sessions at the upcoming 2009 Annual Meeting. Two sessions are by invitation only; we invite paper proposals for a third open topic session. We are particularly interested in papers on the following topics: 1) codicology; 2) angels and demons; 3) Ritual and Ascent. We especially encourage younger scholars to submit paper proposals, on these topics or others.

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: The National Asociation of Professos of Hebrew, 2009 Annual Meeting, is sponsoring five sessions. Session One, Annual Meeting of Officers and Membership.Session Two, Theme:"Tikkun Olam: Responding to Natural Evil from Genesis 6 to Katrina and the Aftermath." The purpose of this session is to make sense of Heaven's wrath against Earthly shore by textual exegesis and hermeneutics.Papers exploring sources from Bible, Rabbinics, and Kabbalah are especially welcomed.Session Three,Theme:"Poetry and Pedagogy." Papers are invited on two topics:linguistic approaches to Hebrew poetry and/or effective methods for teaching Hebrew grammar of poetic texts from the Hebrew Bible. Sessions Four and Five are dedicated to the topic "Diachrony in Biblical Hebrew." The catalyst for these sessions is the publication of Linguistic Dating of Biblical Texts by Ian Young, Robert Rezetko, and Martin Ehrensward (Equinox,January 2009--see Equinox' website). After detailed,critical analyses, the authors conclude that data used heretofore to distinguish earlier from later, pre-exilic from post-exilic, Hebrew are no more than manifestations of synchronic styles available to exilic and post-exiic authors.Papers submitted for consideration should be in dialogue with their data and critical analyses where relevant. Articles on the topic presented at previous NAPH/SBL sessions are published in Hebrew Studies 46 and 47(2005 and 2006).

New Testament Mysticism Project

April D. DeConick
Andrei Orlov
Description: Seminar members plan to collectively write a commentary covering mysticism in the New Testament. The Seminar will progress systematically through each New Testament text, writing overviews of each text as well as commentaries on relevant pericopes. Each entry will include the original language passage, a new translation, a line-by-line commentary, an interpretative history of the pericope through the Ante-Nicene period, literature parallels, and select bibliography. Entries will be discussed at the meetings, revised, and edited by April D. DeConick, Andrei Orlov and Kevin Sullivan into a three-volume commentary called New Testament Mysticism. Volume 1: The Synoptic Gospels, Luke-Acts, Johannine Literature, and the Catholic Epistles. Volume 2: The Pauline and Deutro-Pauline Epistles. Volume 3: Hebrews and Revelation.

Call for papers: Seminar members plan to collectively write a commentary covering mysticism in the New Testament. The Seminar will progress systematically through each New Testament text, writing overviews of each text as well as commentaries on relevant pericopes. Each entry will include the original language passage, a new translation, a line-by-line commentary, an interpretative history of the pericope through the Ante-Nicene period, literature parallels, and select bibliography. Entries will be discussed at the meetings, revised, and edited by April D. DeConick, Andrei Orlov and Kevin Sullivan into a three-volume commentary called New Testament Mysticism. Volume 1: The Synoptic Gospels, Luke-Acts, Johannine Literature, and the Catholic Epistles. Volume 2: The Pauline and Deutro-Pauline Epistles. Volume 3: Hebrews and Revelation.

New Testament Textual Criticism

AnneMarie Luijendijk
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, restoration of the text, and especially the investigation of the history of its transmission—in its Late Antique cultural context. SBL has had a group dedicated to this topic as far back as 1946.

Call for papers: The New Testament Textual Criticism Section invites paper proposals papers for two sessions: 1) The first session will be devoted to the study and re-evaluation of textual types or text families of New Testament manuscripts. 2) For the second session, we welcome papers on all aspects of the textual transmission of the New Testament, especially those that focus on the social-history of early Christian textual transmission and the history and practice of textual criticism. Papers should be submitted via the online system. For questions, please contact AnneMarie Luijendijk at aluijend@princeton.edu.

Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship at the American Bible Society

Steve Berneking
Philip H. Towner
Scott S. Elliott
Description: For Information, please contact: Steve Berneking sberneking@americanbible.org

Call for papers: For Information, please contact:

Steve Berneking
sberneking@americanbible.org.

North American Association for the Study of Religion

Willi Braun
Description: The North American Association for the Study of Religion (NAASR) was initially formed in 1985 by E. Thomas Lawson, Luther H. Martin, and Donald Wiebe, to encourage the historical, comparative, structural, theoretical, and cognitive approaches to the study of religion among North American scholars; to represent North American scholars of religion at the international level; and to sustain communication between North American scholars and their international colleagues engaged in the study of religion.

Call for papers: The North American Association for the Study of Religion (NAASR) was initially formed in 1985 by E. Thomas Lawson, Luther H. Martin, and Donald Wiebe, to encourage the historical, comparative, structural, theoretical, and cognitive approaches to the study of religion among North American scholars; to represent North American scholars of religion at the international level; and to sustain communication between North American scholars and their international colleagues engaged in the study of religion.

Novum Testamentum Graecum: Editio Critica Maior

David C. Parker
Kim Haines-Eitzen
Description: The unit presents a comprehensive edition of the Greek New Testament in the making. New Testament scholars are invited to discuss achievements and goals. Future users can actively participate in designing the features of the edition, particularly its digital part.

Call for papers: Offers of short communications reviewing any aspect of the IGNTP's edition of John (5-10 minutes) are invited for a user feedback session in the annual public presentation of the Project's work.

Orality, Textuality, and the Formation of the Hebrew Bible

David McLain Carr
Description: This section is a context for exploration of how recent research on orality and textuality might inform study of the use and formation of the Hebrew Bible. A focus of this group is dialogue of Biblical studies with research in other disciplines on orality, textuality and their interaction.

Call for papers: In 2009 we plan to continue with themes from our 2008 session "Toward a More Adequate Theory of the Verbal Art." We welcome proposals that explicitly address issues surrounding the interaction of oral, cognitive and graphic modes in the formation and revision of texts in the Hebrew Bible.

Paleographical Studies in the Ancient Near East

Professor Christopher A. Rollston
Description: This section addresses paleographical problems in ancient Near Eastern epigraphy. It concentrates primarily on the Northwest Semitic alphabetic scripts, but also includes studies of Ugaritic and cuneiform. Participants should connect chronological conclusions of paleography with historical issues within the Bible.

Call for papers: We are seeking papers that address paleographical problems in ancient Near Eastern epigraphy. The session will concentrate primarily on the Northwest Semitic alphabetic scripts, but may also include studies of Ugaritic and cuneiform. Participants should connect chronological conclusions of paleography with historical issues within the Bible.

Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds

Malcolm Choat
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 invites papers from biblical scholars, classicists, and papyrologists interested in how the papyri illuminate the language, thought, and social context of early Christianity. Papers on paleographic, linguistic, textual, or historical questions are welcome.

Paul and Politics

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

Call for papers: The Paul and Politics Program Unit includes in its scope four overlapping kinds of politics: "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." Tentative plan for 2009: The Paul and Polictics will hold two sessions with pre-invited panelists and one open session. For the open session we encourage papers that address the theme of how the contemporary Pauline scholar does/can/should function as a public intellectual.

Paul and Scripture

Christopher D. Stanley
Description: This seminar will provide a forum for a group of Pauline scholars to examine, debate, and work toward the resolution of a series of questions that have arisen in recent years concerning the way the apostle Paul interpreted and applied the Jewish Scriptures. The Seminar maintains a bibliography of related materials at http://paulandscripture.westmont.edu/wikindx

Call for papers: Papers for the 2009 seminar will be by invitation only. Both sessions will focus on the topic, "Beyond the Hauptbriefe."

Pauline Epistles

Alexandra R. Brown
Mark Reasoner
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 2009 meeting we invite offers of 25-minute papers on any Pauline subject for three open sessions; the fourth session will be of invited papers on the subject of "After the First Urban Christians: The Social-Scientific Study of Pauline Christianity Twenty-Five Years Later." First-time submitters (only) for the open session papers should present both an abstract and a completed manuscript.

Pauline Soteriology

Susan Eastman
J. Ross Wagner
Description: The Pauline Soteriology Group 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.

Call for papers: The Pauline Soteriology Group 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. Two sesssions are being planned for 2009 with invited papers and responses

Pentateuch

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

Call for papers: The Pentateuch Section provides a forum within the SBL for presentation and discussion of research on the Pentateuch, with a particular focus on transmission-historical issues and the links between transmission history and synchronic methodologies. In addition to an open call for papers, in 2009 we are planning two special sessions with invited papers (not open for proposals), one a joint session with the "Hebrew Bible and Political Theory" unit (on "Political Theory, Equality and the Pentateuch"), the other a joint session with the "Biblical Law" unit (on "Law and Narrativity").

Performance Criticism of Biblical and Other Ancient Texts

Glenn S. Holland
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: This consultation is interdisciplinary, accepting papers from scholars from biblical studies, classics, theatre arts and other disciplines who are interested in employing the methods of performance criticism to determine how ancient texts may have been shaped by their oral transmission and aural reception by ancient communities. Papers may deal with the formative influence of oral performance on the creation of texts, performance of texts in the ancient context, the representation of oral performance in written texts, or related topics

Philo of Alexandria

Professor Sarah Pearce
Ellen Birnbaum
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 2009, we are seeking papers for a session on 'Philo and the "Bible of Alexandria"'. Some panelists have been invited and their topics include the role of the Greek Bible in the ancient Jewish diaspora and Philo's interpretation of the origins of the 'Bible of Alexandria'. We would like to solicit further papers on the Alexandrian/Egyptian context of the Greek Bible and its reception by Jewish interpreters, including Philo. Suggested topics include Philonic and other Alexandrian exegetical traditions based on the Greek Bible, especially on elements that differ from the Hebrew Bible; Philo's place as a practitioner of allegorical and other kinds of interpretation; the text and scope of Philo's Scriptures; and the role of the Greek Bible in Alexandrian Jewish education, ritual, or Jewish life in general. Another session of invited papers only will be devoted to Philo's treatise De Agricultura.

Poster Session

Audrey West
Robin Gallaher Branch
Description: By emphasizing dialogue, posters provide an effective vehicle for exchanging information and ideas with other scholars and for making some of the latest research available to a wider audience within the SBL.

Call for papers: By emphasizing dialogue, posters provide an effective vehicle for exchanging information and ideas with other scholars and for making some of the latest research available to a wider audience within the SBL.

Prophetic Texts and Their Ancient Contexts

Martti Nissinen
Lester L. Grabbe
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: We invite papers that study the prophetic texts in a way informed by their ancient contexts. The topic of the 2009 PTAC session is "Women Prophets in the Bible and Beyond". Papers will be invited. Session organizers are Alan Lenzi and Martti Nissinen.

Pseudepigrapha

John R. Levison
Hindy Najman
Judith H. Newman
Description: The goals of this group are (1) to provide a forum for discussion of Jewish pseudepigrapha and second temple period Judaism; (2) to promote the publication of scholarly works on the pseudepigrapha; and (3) to encourage interest in the broader use of the pseudepigrapha for the understanding of early Judaism and Christianity.

Call for papers: 2009 Annual Meeting The Pseudepigrapha Section will host two sessions. One session will be open with paper proposals welcome. Papers need not be limited to texts traditionally identified as Old Testament Pseudigrapha but may include other texts(literary, epigraphical, artistic, etc.) from Judaism during the Second Temple period, such as the Apocrypha of the Jewish Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Philo, Josephus, etc. Paper proposals should argue a clear thesis and give a concrete sense of the specific texts that will be subject to analysis. Discussion of method will also be welcome. The second session will address the topic, "Inspiration in Antiquity: The Production and Interpretation of Literary Texts." Participants have been invited to offer very brief presentations--a maximum of eight minutes--and to provide a one-page handout with a precis and indispensable ancient texts, including portions of Jubilees, 4 Ezra, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Hekalot literature, Philo, and Revelation. The latter half of the session will consist of a discussion of this fascinating topic, with audience participation.

Psychology and Biblical Studies

D. Andrew Kille
Description: The objectives of the Psychology and Biblical Studies Section are (i) to present an historical-critical overview of "psychological" approaches to scripture; (ii) to assess the significance of these approaches for ongoing Biblical research, exegesis, and interpretation, and (iii) to provide a forum for considering and developing the future agenda of "psychological criticism" as a sub-discipline within Biblical Studies.

Call for papers: We invite paper proposals on the theme Psychological Perspectives on the Historical Jesus. Papers might propose psychological approaches to understanding Jesus, critique previous psychological interpretations of Jesus, or examine how contemporary readers relate to Jesus.

There will be book review sessions on Fraser Watts, ed., Jesus and Psychology (2007) and Donald Capps, Jesus the Village Psychiatrist (2008).

We also invite any proposals for papers that address Biblical texts, themes, figures and/or readers using the concepts and interpretive tools of any field of psychology.

Contact Chair D. Andrew Kille at psybibs@att.net or the Psychology and Biblical Studies website at www.psybibs.org for more information.

Q

Joseph Verheyden
Paul Foster
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: For the 2009 meeting the Q section will organise three sessions: 1. Q Parables. Although Q is not particularly rich in parables, there are various examples of parables and parabolic speech. Papers will explore their role in Q. 2. James and Q. This session will explore the links between certain traditions that are found in the Epistle of James and the Q source. This is a joint session between the Q Section and the Letters of James, Peter, and Jude Section. 3. Q Open session. This session allows for the presentation of papers on any aspect of the Q document.

Qumran

Moshe J. Bernstein
Maxine L. Grossman
Description: The Qumran Section of the SBL provides an equal-opportunity forum for presentation and discussion of views relating to the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Qumran settlement, and the people of that place and of those documents.

Call for papers: The Qumran Section requests papers for (1) one or more sessions on the theme of poetry at Qumran and in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Papers on specific poetic texts (whether Hodayot, Psalms Scroll, Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice, or any other) in the Dead Sea Scrolls or broader poetic issues involving Qumran texts are encouraged, especially those that focus specifically on questions of poetics and literary form in Qumran poetry. Some papers for this session may be invited in advance. In addition the section requests papers for (2) one or more open sessions on the Dead Sea Scrolls and Qumran Studies, including studies of texts, material culture, history, literature, or recent advances in the field.

Qur'an and Biblical Literature

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

Call for papers: For 2009, prearranged panel submissions dedicated to a single theme are especially welcomed; individual paper submissions, however, will also be accepted. Suggested topics and themes for 2009 may include, but will not be limited to, comparative hermeneutics (ancient, medieval, or contemporary); psalms/zabur; "A Common Word"; interfaith dialog/scriptural reasoning; pedagogy (the Qur'an in the classroom); contemporary polemical literature; the Qur'an (and its commentaries) in comparison with Byzantine Greek and Syriac literature. For the 2009 meeting, the 'Quran and Biblical Literature section' and the new program unit 'Syriac Literature and Interpretations of Sacred Texts' invite contributions for a joint panel on the topic 'The Qur'an (and its commentaries) in comparison with Byzantine Greek and Syriac literature.'

Reading, Theory, and the Bible

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

Call for papers: Reading, Theory and the Bible invites proposals for two sessions this year. One session, co-sponsored with the Gender, Sexuality and the Bible, will focus on Cyborgs and Spectrality. We invite submissions for papers using the work of Donna Haraway (particularly her figure of the cyborg), and/or Jacques Derrida (particularly his work on hauntology) or any other theorists (Braidotti, Spivak, et al.) considering spectrality and complex subjectivity for biblical interpretation and early Christian or Jewish texts and histories. A second session is open and proposals are welcome for papers that engage contemporary theory for purposes of biblical interpretation. Reading, Theory and the Bible sponsors innovative, experimental work on Bible (Bible being interpreted in the broadest sense to include all commentaries and intertexts). We exist to accommodate work that pushes the boundaries of scholarship, and we work on the assumption that questions of provenance, philology, and history are amply accomodated by other groups in the SBL. We also encourage innovative presentation.

Recovering Female Interpreters of the Bible

Description: This unit will focus on the recovery of work by female interpreters of the Bible before the twentieth century who wrote from a variety of faith and ideological standpoints. These female interpreters will be considered in the cultural and historical contexts in which they wrote with the intention of analyzing their neglected contributions to the study of biblical literature.

Call for papers: In our open session we welcome papers in which the works of female interpreters are recovered and analyzed in view of the authors' social and ideological location. In the closed session, we will revisit and reassess Elizabeth Cady Stanton's book, _The Woman's Bible_ from post-colonial, African American and Jewish perspectives.

Redescribing Early Christianity

Christopher R. Matthews
Barry Crawford
Description: The seminar contributes to the study of early Christian history by problematizing current consensus views, unexamined assumptions, and categories; recontextualizing and redescribing the key data through comparative analysis; and accounting for the configurations of texts under view in terms of social theory.

Call for papers: We plan on two sessions in which participants will employ method and theory in the analysis of texts as well as scholarly discourses. One session will focus on comparison as a way to show us how our data might be redescribed. Another session will treat 1st and or 2nd century texts or “sites” from theoretical perspectives in service of our larger program of Redescribing Early Christianity. While these sessions are mostly populated already, we remain open to well aimed inquiries/proposals for either (with the understanding that space is limited).

Religious Experience in Antiquity

Colleen Shantz
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: Call for Papers: This year we will sponsor a session of invited papers celebrating the contributions of Moshe Idel, eminent scholar of Jewish mysticism, ritual, and folk religion. For our open sessions we invite proposals on the following topics: 1) Religious experience in communal contexts. Interests include group practices of ecstasy such as glossolalia and the role of groups in stimulating and shaping religious experience (especially papers that undertake social psychological or anthropological explanations). 2) Violence as religious experience. Interests include experiences of martyrdom, torture or holy war as perceived encounters with the divine and the means by which violent imagery or action is used to stimulate heightened experience. Other topics on religious experience will be considered. We ask that first time presenters submit a full outline or 300 word abstract directly to the co-chairs (flannefl@imu.edu, c.shantz@utoronto.ca) in addition to the on-line submission. This program unit investigates experiential elements in the texts and communities of early Judaism and Christianity through the patristic period. Contributions from Greco-Roman religions will also be considered. General interests include: 1) practices such as ritual, prayer, ecstasy, dreams and visions, 2) the relationship between texts and experiences, 3) the ways embodied experience generates religious ideas and commitment and 4) cognitive, neurological and sensory aspects of religious feeling.

Religious World of Late Antiquity

David Frankfurter
Charlotte Fonrobert
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: We are planning two sessions for 2009 for which we invite papers involving Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Manichaean, or any other religions' materials. The FIRST session revolves around the "materiality of the holy and of authority" in late antique religions, covering slippages and symbolic elisions between text and image, image and relic, relic and text, body and image, etc. The SECOND session, organized jointly with the Social History of Formative Christianity and Judaism and the History & Literature of Early Rabbinic Judaism Groups as part of a three-session joint program, will address the theme: "Beyond the Borders: Jews, Christians, and Others in Sassanian West Asia." Paper proposals are invited that address issues of interaction and differentiation between distinct religious traditions, as well as processes of hybridity and creolization that challenge familiar ideas of community boundaries. We are particularly interested in proposals that engage literary, ritual, and material expressions of culture at the crossroads of western, southern, and central Asia in late antiquity both within and neighboring the Sasanian empire.

Rhetoric and the New Testament

Greg Carey
Description: The Rhetoric and the New Testament Section of the SBL exists to further the budding field of rhetorical criticism of the New Testament in all its current manifestations. These include analysis of the New Testament using Greco-Roman categories, modern approaches to rhetoric, and interdisciplinary studies that would also include sociology, anthropology, and ideology to name a few.

Call for papers: We are accepting papers for one open session (and possibly more, depending on the nature and quality of proposals). We welcome papers related to rhetorical criticism of the New Testament in all its varieties, including (bot not limited to) Greco-Roman categories, contemporary approaches to rhetoric, and interdisciplinary studies.

Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity

David A. deSilva
Description: This seminar provides a forum for collegial work on the Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity Commentary Series and for the public exploration of facets of socio-rhetorical interpretation that promise to contribute to the work of biblical scholars not directly associated with the project.

Call for papers: The program for 2009 will be preplanned.

Ritual in the Biblical World

Gerald A. Klingbeil
Jonathan Schwiebert
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 consultation plans three sessions for the 2009 Annual Congress and welcomes submissions to all three. The first session will be co-chaired with the Sacrifice, Cult, and Atonement consultation, under the title of "Cult Rituals and Meals in the Bible," and seeks to explore the links between cult rituals and meals in the biblical world. The second session is entitled "Ritual and Archaeology: Integrating Texts and Material Culture" and will focus upon the interaction between ritual and material culture as evidenced by archaeologists and textual scholars. We encourage submissions that focus on methodological issues, dealing with the larger issue of text and material culture as well as more specific studies, concentrating on particular finds/texts. Finally, we plan an open session inviting contributions about ritual in the biblical world in general.

Romans through History and Cultures

Kathy Ehrensperger
Description: Reception of Romans throughout the history of the church and today, in the East and the West, in the "first" and in the "two-thirds" world, by religious and secular readers. Special attention to the interface of these diverse readings and of contemporary critical interpretations.

Call for papers: Reception of Romans throughout the history of the church and today, in the East and the West, in the "first" and in the "two-thirds" world, by religious and secular readers. Special attention to the interface of these diverse readings and of contemporary critical interpretations.

Sabbath in Text and Tradition

Thomas R. Shepherd
Michael Chernick
Description: This unit brings together scholars of biblical and post-biblical texts and traditions for sustained, cross-disciplinary conversation about the Sabbath’s origins, development and meaning; provides constructive venues for papers, reviews, presentations, critique and feedback; and promotes collaboration in producing publications on the Sabbath.

Call for papers: The Sabbath in Text, Tradition, and Theology Consultation invites papers on the topic of “The Sabbath in Second Temple Times.” Papers may discuss any topic within this time period including but not limited to the Sabbath in Second Temple Judaism, the Sabbath in the life of Jesus and/or in the Gospels, and the Sabbath in the Diaspora (e.g., Philo of Alexandria, Paul). Papers may approach the topic from any perspective – historical, religio-cultural, textual, tradition history or other theoretical models. Send proposals in MS Word format to: Michael Chernick, mchernick@huc.edu, OR submit through the Society of Biblical Literature website at http://www.sbl-site.org.

Sacrifice, Cult, and Atonement

Christian A. Eberhart
Description: The Sacrifice, Cult, and Atonement section is a forum for studying the practices, interpretations and reception history of sacrifice and cult in the Hebrew Bible, Ancient Judaism, Christianity, and their larger cultural contexts (ANE, Greco-Roman religion). Methodological perspectives include – but are not limited to – historical criticism, tradition history, comparative and literary approaches, ritual theory, and sociological analysis.

Call for papers: The Sacrifice, Cult, and Atonement consultation is seeking papers for three sessions: two sessions on its own and one joint session with the Ritual in the Biblical World Consultation. The first session is entitled "Theory and Method in the Study of Sacrifice and Cult;" the second "Topics in the Study of Sacrifice and Atonement." The joint session with the Ritual in the Biblical World Consultation is entitled "Cult Rituals and Meals in the Bible.” Papers in each session are followed by a five-minute discussion; a general discussion panel is to conclude each session.

SBL Forum

Dan W. Clanton Jr.
Description: *

Call for papers:

Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity

Esther M. Menn
Description: The purpose of the Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity Section is to provide a context in which new scholarship on intertextuality and early biblical interpretation can be presented and critically evaluated. Specifically, the section is devoted to examining how the Hebrew Bible was used and interpreted in the literature of early Judaism (including rabbinic literature) and early Christianity (to ca. 400 CE) and to considering methodological issues associated with this task.

Call for papers: The purpose of the Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity Section is to provide a context in which new scholarship on intertextuality and early biblical interpretation can be presented and critically evaluated. Specifically, the section is devoted to examining how the Hebrew Bible was used and interpreted in the literature of early Judaism (including rabbinic literature) and early Christianity (to ca. 400 CE) and to considering methodological issues associated with this task.

Second Corinthians: Pauline Theology in the Making

Reimund Bieringer
Edith M. Humphrey
Thomas Schmeller
Description: Existing Pauline Theologies are either based on the ripe fruit of Paul’s theologizing in Romans (e.g., J. Dunn) or give a synthesis of theological themes across the board of Paul’s letters. The focus of this Seminar is how Paul develops his theology in his second letter to the Corinthians. We shall trace aspects of his theology on a trajectory from their very beginning in concrete historical situations and compare them to their reuse in more abstract contexts. Attention will also be given to their potential pre-Christian or early Christian pre-history and their post-history in what has been called the Pauline school. The main focus will be on the way concrete historical circumstances shaped the genesis of certain theological themes and how they changed when new circumstances arose or when the link to concrete circumstances got lost. Each theological theme will therefore primarily be studied in its epistolary context of 2 Corinthians and in light of the historical situation in which it was developed. The comparison with other letters is not intended to create one unified Pauline theology, but rather, in the contrast with other instances, to understand better the specifics of the theme under study.

Call for papers: For this seminar there is an open call for papers along the lines of the goals of the seminar (see description) and a call for papers soliciting papers on 2 Corinthians 3. We especially invite papers on the following topics: Paul's use of tradition; Paul's use of metaphor; New Covenant and New Perpective on Paul; the opponents and 2 Corinthians 3; the Spirit and glory in 2 Corinthians 3; 2 Cor 3:18 and theôsis.

Semiotics and Exegesis

David W. Odell-Scott
Description: This section offers a forum (1) for exploring the nature and significance of semiotic theories for the reading and interpretation of biblical texts (Hebrew and Christian scriptures) and (2) for examining the ways various methods dependent upon such theories of meaning production and communication contribute, in conjunction with other critical approaches, to the critical conversation about biblical hermeneutics, textual interpretation and contextual understanding.

Call for papers: This section offers a forum (1) for exploring the nature and significance of semiotic theories for the reading and interpretation of biblical texts (Hebrew and Christian scriptures) and (2) for examining the ways various methods dependent upon such theories of meaning production and communication contribute, in conjunction with other critical approaches, to the critical conversation about biblical hermeneutics, textual interpretation and contextual understanding.

Service-Learning and Biblical Studies

Robert R. Duke
Description: This workshop will focus on ways service-learning can be incorporated into a biblical studies curriculum. This workshop will provide 1) an arena for service-learning practitioners to come together to share ideas and insights of successful projects and 2) to “brainstorm” new ways that service-learning can be utilized to enhance curriculum and serve local communities.

Call for papers: We are seeking papers on various issues of concern for Service-Learning/Community Engaged Learning practitioners. There will be two sessions this year: one with a focus on issues of concern, the second a roundtable discussion for all in attendance to share their ideas, projects, and successes. Special focus this year will be on the following: assessment, liability issues, scholarship-tenure, interdisciplinary courses, and how institutional type affects projects.

Social History of Formative Christianity and Judaism

Cynthia M. Baker
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: (1) We will be participating in a three-session joint program with the Religious Worlds of Late Antiquity and The History and Literature of Early Rabbbinic Judaism sections on the theme: "Beyond the Borders: Jews, Christians, and Others in Sassanian West Asia." Paper proposals are invited that address issues of interaction and differentiation among distinct religious traditions, as well as processes of hybridity and creolization that challenge familiar ideas of community boundaries. We are particularly interested in proposals that engage literary, ritual, and material expressions of culture at the crossroads of western, southern, and central Asia in late antiquity. (2) Papers are also invited for a joint session with Early Jewish-Christian Relations on the theme of rhetorics of universalism vs. particularism in formative Christianity and Judaism. While all proposals on the topic are welcome, we are particularly interested in proposals that engage literary, documentary, and material culture and proposals that critically assess modern historiography on the ancient materials. (3)We also welcome proposals addressing models of community and association in formative Christianity and Judaism as well as any other proposals pertinent to the topic of the social history of formative Christianity and Judaism.

Social Sciences and the Interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures

Ronald A. Simkins
Patricia Dutcher-Walls
Description: The section is a dynamic program segment of the SBL that provides a welcoming forum for investigation of the social world of ancient Israel. The section particularly encourages papers utilizing methods and theories from the social sciences for the interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Call for papers: The section is a dynamic program segment of the SBL that provides a welcoming forum for investigation of the social world of ancient Israel. The section particularly encourages papers utilizing methods and theories from the social sciences for the interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures. We are especially seeking papers on resistance literature in the Bible and comparative cultures.

Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament

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

Call for papers: The Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament 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. One session, consisting of invited papers and responses, will be devoted to reexamining the purity/impurity interpretive model in light of the legacy of Mary Douglas in Biblical studies. The other session is open and invites papers that examine the texts and social world of the New Testament and early Christianity from a social-scientific perspective.

Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions

Barbette Stanley Spaeth
Eric Orlin
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.

Society for Pentecostal Studies

Blaine B. Charette
Description: The Society for Pentecostal Studies began in 1970 and is an organization of scholars dedicated to providing a forum of discussion for all academic disciplines as a spiritual service to the kingdom of God. The purpose of the society is to stimulate, encourage, recognize, and publicize the work of Pentecostal and charismatic scholars; to study the implications of Pentecostal theology in relation to other academic disciplines, seeking a Pentecostal world-and-life view; and to support fully, to the extent appropriate for an academic society, the statement of purposes of the World Pentecostal Fellowship. http://www.sps-usa.org/

Call for papers: We are seeking papers on topics that relate to the interests of both the Society of Biblical Literature and the Society for Pentecostal Studies.

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

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

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

Society of Christian Ethics

Brent Laytham
Description: The purpose of the Society is to promote scholarly work in Christian ethics and in the relation of Christian ethics to other traditions of ethics, and to social, economic, political and cultural problems; to encourage and improve the teaching of these fields in colleges, universities and theological schools; and to provide a community of discourse and debate for those engaged professionally within these general fields. A non-denominational scholarly association, the Society of Christian Ethics draws its 950 members from the faculties of universities, colleges, and theological schools primarily from the United States, Canada, and Europe. The growth and vitality of the Society of Christian Ethics reflect the maturing of the academic discipline of Christian social ethics. The SCE promotes research in the history of ethics and moral theology, theoretical issues relating to the interplay of theology and ethics, methodology in ethical reflection and investigation, and comparative religious ethics. At the same time, the Society addresses in national and global contexts problems in applied and professional ethics, and various human rights and social justice issues. For more information, please visit: http://www.scethics.org

Call for papers: The purpose of the Society is to promote scholarly work in Christian ethics and in the relation of Christian ethics to other traditions of ethics, and to social, economic, political and cultural problems; to encourage and improve the teaching of these fields in colleges, universities and theological schools; and to provide a community of discourse and debate for those engaged professionally within these general fields.

A non-denominational scholarly association, the Society of Christian Ethics draws its 950 members from the faculties of universities, colleges, and theological schools primarily from the United States, Canada, and Europe. The growth and vitality of the Society of Christian Ethics reflect the maturing of the academic discipline of Christian social ethics.

The SCE promotes research in the history of ethics and moral theology, theoretical issues relating to the interplay of theology and ethics, methodology in ethical reflection and investigation, and comparative religious ethics. At the same time, the Society addresses in national and global contexts problems in applied and professional ethics, and various human rights and social justice issues.

For more information, please visit: http://www.scethics.org/

Søren Kierkegaard Society

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

Call for papers: Lee Barrett, President Soren Kirkegaard Society Lancaster Theological Seminary Phone: 717-393-0654 x103 E-mail: lbarrett@lancasterseminary.edu

Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity

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: Three sessions are planned for 2009. For the first, we welcome proposals on the topic of pilgrimage in the ancient world. Proposals might address the topic from theoretical, textual, or materials perspectives (or some combination thereof), or explore how the idea of pilgrimage informs the reading of texts and/or influences the reading of material culture. For the second session, we welcome all proposals related to the themes of this unit. A third session is being planned jointly with the Book of the Twelve Prophets section. "The Book of the Twelve Prophets Section and Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity Section welcome proposals addressing the question of the 'landscape' of the Twelve, with attention to how space is practiced, experienced, imagined, or construed within the Twelve, either within individual books or the corpus as a whole. Possible examples include the land of Israel/Judah, the city of Jerusalem, and the Jerusalem Temple." Please submit proposals for this session through the Book of the Twelve Prophets Section.

Synoptic Gospels

Mark A. Matson
Description: The Synoptic Gospels as a unit have played an important role in modern scholarship, including, but not limited, to the relationship between the gospels. This section provides an forum for discussion of papers from a variety of 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: Three Proposed Sessions: 1. Session one: “Approaches to the Parables”. This session will engage an updated conversation across current disciplinary approaches about how to read and interpret parables, including historical-critical approaches, literary approaches, and post-modern and ideological approaches. This is primarily a session by invitation, but the steering committee is open to innovative proposals that deal with the theory of reading parables. 2. Session two: “Reading Gospels for Character Formation.” This session will to ask how the gospels may be used, or are being used, as either models for or mechanisms of character formation. What is at stake, then, is the product of the gospel reading act – seen as an effect on readers. This is primarily a session by invitation, but the steering committee is open to innovative proposals that deal with the intersection of reading gospels and character formation. 3. Session three: An open session on any issue relevant to the study of the synoptic gospels, a theme found in the synoptics, or an exegetic issue concerning one or more synoptic gospels.

Syriac Literature and Interpretations of Sacred Texts

Cornelia Horn
Description: This unit offers a forum for scholars studying the Syriac interpretation of Biblical and related literatures and the intimate connections between Syriac biblical interpretation, historiography, hagiography, and para-scriptural traditions in Oriental Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

Call for papers: This program unit seeks to offer a forum for scholars studying the Syriac interpretation of Biblical and para-biblical literatures and the intimate connections between Syriac biblical interpretation and historiography, hagiography, and para-scriptural traditions in Oriental Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. For this year's topical focus we invite papers on aspects of the theme "Translations of Biblical Texts in the Syriac-speaking Realm and Their Impact on the Development of Doctrine." For an "open session" we also welcome papers in the broader realm of the interpretation of Biblical and extra-biblical literatures in Syriac. For the 2009 meeting, the "Quran and Biblical Literature section" and the new program unit "Syriac Literature and Interpretations of Sacred Texts" also invite contributions for a joint panel on the topic "The Qur'an (and its commentaries) in comparison with Byzantine Greek and Syriac literature." We plan to publish suitable papers following a process of peer-review.

Teaching Biblical Studies in an Undergraduate Liberal Arts Context

Jane S. Webster
Description: This consultation explores the unique opportunities and challenges of teaching biblical studies in undergraduate Liberal Arts institutions. Paper presentations and panel discussions will contribute to communicating and evaluating pedagogical objectives, strategies, and assessment tools. The consultation is also geared to establishing a learning community of scholars and teachers of biblical studies at liberal arts institutions, as well as to publish the results of our work.

Call for papers: We are seeking papers that explore the unique opportunities and challenges of teaching biblical literature in the undergraduate Liberal Arts context, especially as they compare to teaching in other contexts. Presenters are encouraged to demonstrate this uniqueness by describing a specific student learning objective or objectives and its appropriate assessment; handouts are welcome. Presenters are also encouraged to connect their discussions to the AAR-Teagle White Paper on the emerging trends in the Religion major (available in October 2008 Religious Studies News or from jwebster@barton.edu).

Textual Criticism of Samuel – Kings

Anneli Aejmelaeus
Description: “Workshop on Textual Criticism of Samuel – Kings” 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: Paper proposals are invited on the text of Samuel and Kings in various languages, including the relationship of these books to Joshua and Judges as well as Chronicles. The Workshop wishes to concentrate on textual issues - no matter how small or large the text unit concerned - and to encourage exchange among researchers - both young and old - interested in textual criticism.

Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible

Steve Delamarter
Brent A. Strawn
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 section solicits papers on all aspects of textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible for one (or two) open session(s). We will focus one further joint session with the Deuteronomistic History Section on the subject of text criticism and redaction history in the Deuteronomistic History. Most of the papers in this session will be invited, but persons with special interest or knowledge in this area are invited to propose a paper.

Textual Growth: What Variant Editions Tell Us About Scribal Activity

Lisbeth S. Fried
Description: This Group asks how the biblical text was composed, augmented, rewritten and rearranged to form the various versions that we have – the MT, LXX, DSS, etc. The group focuses on texts in which two or more different versions of the same story or passage exists and asks what these different witnesses can tell us about the composition process itself. The group seeks to bring together scholars from different fields of specialization, such as the Septuagint, Qumran, textual criticism, literary criticism, historical criticism, and conventional exegesis.

Call for papers: We are welcoming papers on any aspect of 1st Esdras – its original date, sources, historical and social milieu, language, history of composition, extent, genre, purposes, themes, text-critical value, relationship to Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah, authority and status in antiquity, and importance for understanding early Judaism.

Theological Interpretation of Scripture

Joel B. Green
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: For 2009, the Group has planned two sessions: (1) Romans as Christian Theology: Without denying the obvious occasional character of Romans or its particular features (rhetorical, political, etc.), this session considers Romans as both an example of and a source for Christian theology. (2) The “Rule of Faith”: Relic, Refuge, or Resource? As advocates for theological and canonical methods of biblical interpretation have gained a greater hearing, the ancient church’s “rule of faith,” variously elaborated by early theologians such as Irenaeus and Tertullian, has received increased attention. What can be learned from this “rule” for those engaged in theological interpretation of Christian Scripture? Papers for these two sessions have already been solicited. Persons interested in announcements regarding the work of the Group, or with ideas for future sessions should contact the program unit chair, Joel Green (jbgreen@fuller.edu).

Theological Perspectives on the Book of Ezekiel

Paul M. Joyce
Dalit Rom-Shiloni
Description: This section seeks to bring together scholars working on the book of Ezekiel to share research and conclusions about the book. The section encourages an expressly theological approach to the book.

Call for papers: One session is open for papers dealing with any aspect of the book of Ezekiel; proposals are invited for this session. We anticipate that the second session will include some papers relating to a recent focus of the Section, namely aspects of the reception history of the book of Ezekiel; any responses to the Open Call bearing upon that theme may also be considered for this second session. All papers will be required in electronic form for circulation one month before the Annual Meeting.

Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures

Juliana L. Claassens
Esther J. Hamori
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. This section draws upon the insights of various methodological approaches (e.g. historical-critical, literary, feminist, and social-scientific), as far as they are useful in shedding light on the theological dimension of the Hebrew Scriptures. A unique feature of this group initiated by the 1997 co-chairs, Alice Bellis and Joel Kaminski, is that the Theology of Hebrew Scriptures section seeks to facilitate Jewish-Christian dialogue, creating a venue where Jewish and Christian interpreters of can reflect together on a theological interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Call for papers: The Theology of Hebrew Scriptures section will be running three sessions in 2009. We invite papers to an open session of Theology of Hebrew Scriptures. This session will give participants the opportunity to share new work of a distinctively theological nature on the Hebrew Scriptures. The second session will be the second of a 3 year series of conversations between Christian and Jewish biblical theologians on a pre-set selection of theological themes and topics. In 2009 we will have an invited panel that will help us consider how our respective communities understand the theme of "Torah" that may include questions such as the role of law, commandment and ethics. Participants for this session are by invitation only. A third session will be a panel review of Marvin Sweeney's book, Reading the Hebrew Bible after the Shoah: Engaging Holocaust Theology (Fortress 2008). Questions about these sessions should be addressed to either Juliana Claassens or Esther Hamori.

Thomas F. Torrance Theological Fellowship

Description: “This distinctively Christian research organization is devoted to the exploration, development, and dissemination of the theology of T. F. Torrance and other theologians contributing to this endeavor. The society exists to promote and sustain fellowship and truth-seeking (fides quaerens intellectum) in theological reflection upon the Christian faith, within the mainstream of the Christian Church and tradition in light of the theological legacy of Thomas F. Torrance. We are a Christian Fellowship serving the Christian faith and the renewal of the Church of Jesus Christ. Membership is open to all scholars, pastors and laypersons who are interested in research in Christian theology and related disciplines, and are in accord with the above mentioned mission statement. We support free inquiry and critical examination of the many facets of theology and religion especially as these relate to issues that concerned Torrance himself such as the relationship between science and religion, how to interpret specific Christian doctrines and their implications for today and how biblical theology relates with and informs doctrinal theology. We seek to bring T. F. Torrance’s important thinking into conversation with other significant theologians in an academic way so as to advance a better understanding of the nature of and meaning of contemporary Christian theology. Our website, www.tftorrance.org, contains information about membership, meetings, the Board of Directors and about T. F. Torrance himself. Please check our website for the most up-to-date information about our scheduled meetings.”

Call for papers: “This distinctively Christian research organization is devoted to the exploration, development, and dissemination of the theology of T. F. Torrance and other theologians contributing to this endeavor. The society exists to promote and sustain fellowship and truth-seeking (fides quaerens intellectum) in theological reflection upon the Christian faith, within the mainstream of the Christian Church and tradition in light of the theological legacy of Thomas F. Torrance. We are a Christian Fellowship serving the Christian faith and the renewal of the Church of Jesus Christ. Membership is open to all scholars, pastors and laypersons who are interested in research in Christian theology and related disciplines, and are in accord with the above mentioned mission statement. We support free inquiry and critical examination of the many facets of theology and religion especially as these relate to issues that concerned Torrance himself such as the relationship between science and religion, how to interpret specific Christian doctrines and their implications for today and how biblical theology relates with and informs doctrinal theology. We seek to bring T. F. Torrance’s important thinking into conversation with other significant theologians in an academic way so as to advance a better understanding of the nature of and meaning of contemporary Christian theology. Our website, www.tftorrance.org, contains information about membership, meetings, the Board of Directors and about T. F. Torrance himself. Please check our website for the most up-to-date information about our scheduled meetings.”

Ugaritic Studies and Northwest Semitic Epigraphy

Steve A. Wiggins
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 is issuing an open call for papers for 2008.

Use, Influence, and Impact of the Bible

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

Call for papers: This program unit explores the use and influence of the Bible in a variety of contexts (for example its use/influence in art, film, music, literature, law, politics and ethics). Any papers that explore such interactions either from a theoretical point of view or through specific case studies will be considered. It is planned that a specific focus for one session of the 2009 meeting will be the use and/or influence of 1 John and papers that explore the afterlife of this book are particularly welcome. For a second session papers that examine the use and/or influence of the Bible on the way in which the presidency of Barack Obama is perceived in popular American culture are especially invited.

Violence and Representations of Violence among Jews and Christians

Laura S. Nasrallah
Chris Frilingos
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: One session of the Violence and Representations of Violence among Jews and Christians Section will involve an invited panel on the story of the Maccabean martyrs and the Nachleben of this story in ancient Jewish and Christian sources. The panel will include Prof. Jan Willem van Henten, University of Amsterdam, as the respondent. The section also invites paper proposals for an open session on any topic dealing with violence and representations of violence among Jews and Christians (and others) in antiquity and late antiquity. Special consideration will be given to papers that explore evidence and articulate frameworks for reading ancient accounts of an event that some label violent (e.g., destruction of the Serapeion in Alexandria, the death of Hypatia).

Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion

Trish Overpeck
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:

Warfare in Ancient Israel

Brad E. Kelle
Description: This section will 1) explore and develop new and ongoing areas of inquiry regarding texts, practices, experiences, and ideology concerning warfare in ancient Israel and the ancient Near East; 2) offer analyses of specific issues associated with warfare in ancient Israel and sketches of programmatic approaches to the study of warfare in general; 3) assess the significance of the history of scholarship on warfare in ancient Israel; and 4) establish a collaborative and incremental investigation of various dimensions of warfare in ancient Israel and the Hebrew Bible that moves toward the production of a comprehensive reference work.

Call for papers: The Warfare in Ancient Israel Section will sponsor three sessions in 2009: 1) The FIRST session will be an open session for which we especially encourage proposals for 20-minute papers exploring the portrayal or experience of injury, impairment, disease, and disability (broadly defined) within contexts of war and its aftermath in ancient Israel. This session will be co-sponsored with the Disability and Healthcare in the Bible and Near East program unit and include time for a panel discussion following the presentations. 2) The SECOND session will be an open session for which we invite 25-minute papers exploring the relationship among children, war, and biblical texts. We welcome papers that explore the theme of children and war through a wide range of disciplines, including historical, literary, artistic, anthropological, or archaeological approaches. This session will be co-sponsored with the Children in the Biblical World program unit. 3) The THIRD session will consist of invited papers and is not accepting proposals. For more information, contact Brad E. Kelle (bradkelle@pointloma.edu).

Wisdom and Apocalypticism in Early Judaism and Early Christianity

Lawrence M. Wills
Ellen B. Aitken
Description: Our group seeks to develop more rigorous and sophisticated ways to speak about wisdom and apocalyptic texts and motifs in early Judean and early Christian literature. We are committed to attending to the concrete social location of particular texts.

Call for papers: The Wisdom and Apocalypticism in Early Judaism and Early Christianity Section is planning two sessions with invited presenters and one that is open to submitted papers. The two planned sessions will address the question of whether some texts with wisdom or apocalyptic motifs may reflect a less-elite social location (whether in their background or in their present form), such as Revelation, Barnabas, Q, Gospel of Thomas, 4QInstruction. In addition, we will have an open session for which paper proposals are invited dealing with social context and performance issues of texts traditionally grouped as ‘wisdom’ or ‘apocalyptic’ texts, and also texts that are ambiguous in terms of these designations.

Wisdom in Israelite and Cognate Traditions

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

Call for papers: We are seeking papers in an open call. Topics appropriate to the Section are on biblical wisdom (Proverbs, Job, Qoheleth, as well as Ben Sira) and Ancient Near Eastern wisdom relevant to biblical wisdom.

Women in the Biblical World

Mary Ann Beavis
Mary E. Shields
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: 1. We invite papers on the topic of constructions of biblical women post-Katrina. Papers with attention to how people are reading and interpreting texts pertaining to female subjects in relation to the nexus between poverty, lack of healthcare, racism, sexism and survival, are especially welcome. 2. We invite papers related to the question of how biblical women figures function in contemporary post-biblical religions, such as Vodun, Santeria, Candomblé, Rastafarianism, goddess spirituality, etc. 3. Open Session

Writing/Reading Jeremiah

Else K. Holt
Carolyn J. Sharp
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: In 2009, the Writing/Reading Jeremiah group will sponsor two sessions. 1) An open session on any aspect of interpretation of the book of Jeremiah; we encourage attentiveness to hermeneutical method as part of the contribution made by each proposal. 2) An invited session on "Inventing the Prophet" that will explore the meaning of the biographical material in Jeremiah and its literary afterlives.

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