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

2012 Annual Meeting

Chicago, IL

Meeting Begins: 11/16/2012
Meeting Ends: 11/20/2012

Call For Papers Opens: 2/8/2012
Call For Papers Closes: 3/8/2012
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 is requesting paper proposals in three areas:
1) Overcoming the challenge of under prepared students

Students frequently enter our courses under prepared. Their skills in reading, writing, and critical thinking may not be as high as we expect or desire. Lacking proficiency in these skills, students find biblical studies daunting. Additionally, even if they are familiar with the Bible or other religious texts, many of our classes introduce new ways of analyzing texts that can be threatening.

If you have experience with these issues and have overcome them, we invite you to share your best practices. We are envisioning a series of short presentations that give practical suggestions / teaching-tips.


2) Teach well and save time

Teachers seek effectiveness and efficiency. How can these two goals be combined? Please propose your best time-saving effective teaching strategies. Presentations will be limited to 15 minutes so that we can showcase multiple ideas across the two and a half hours (10 total). Proposals that describe how the presentations will demonstrate and/or involve participants in the effective teaching strategies are most likely to be accepted.


3) Okay, I've "Flipped It"…What Do I Do Now?

Many educators are learning to "flip" their classrooms: moving lectures online to be viewed at home, and bringing "homework" activities into the classroom for a more collaborative, supervised engagement with Bible content and Biblical Studies.

You've accomplished the technical task of getting lectures online, where students can view at their own pace, reaching out to peers or teaching staff for clarity. But now you discover, to your horror, that you don't know enough different activities to fill those yawning hours of session time!

Come share in-class activities in which students actively engage what they've read and viewed at home about Bible

Academy of Homiletics

Description: The Academy of Homiletics, founded in 1965, is a professional guild for teachers of preaching. Our mission is to further the academic discipline of homiletics and to promote scholarship and pedagogy in the field. The Academy brings together professors and teachers of homiletics for research and study of preaching in theological education, for critical reflection on methods and innovations, and for fostering interdisciplinary research with other related areas and disciplines. Membership in the Academy is open to teachers and doctoral students of homiletics. The Academy has a membership of approximately 400 colleagues. Although we originated and meet primarily in North America, our membership is international. In addition to our annual meeting, in which we present papers (generated by an annual call for papers on the respective conference theme) in nine work groups organized around particular streams of study in the field, conduct plenary sessions with keynote lectures/addresses/panels, and gather for worship services, the Academy also sponsors the juried, peer-reviewed academic journal, Homiletic. For a full overview of our Academy, we invite you to review our website, www.homiletics.org.

Call for papers: The Academy of Homiletics, founded in 1965, is a professional guild for teachers of preaching. Our mission is to further the academic discipline of homiletics and to promote scholarship and pedagogy in the field. The Academy brings together professors and teachers of homiletics for research and study of preaching in theological education, for critical reflection on methods and innovations, and for fostering interdisciplinary research with other related areas and disciplines. Membership in the Academy is open to teachers and doctoral students of homiletics. The Academy has a membership of approximately 400 colleagues. Although we originated and meet primarily in North America, our membership is international. In addition to our annual meeting, in which we present papers (generated by an annual call for papers on the respective conference theme) in nine work groups organized around particular streams of study in the field, conduct plenary sessions with keynote lectures/addresses/panels, and gather for worship services, the Academy also sponsors the juried, peer-reviewed academic journal, Homiletic. For a full overview of our Academy, we invite you to review our website, www.homiletics.org.

Adventist Society for Religious Studies

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: ORDINATION? The 2012 meeting of the Adventist Society for Religious Studies will convene in Chicago, Illinois on November 15-17, 2012. At the last General Conference Session, church leaders committed to a church-conducted comprehensive study of the issue of ordination. In light of this forthcoming consideration, the Adventist Society for Religious Studies invites proposals for scholarly papers that will examine all aspects of the topic of ordination. Accepted paper proposals will be presented at the meeting and be considered as part of a book to be published on the topic shortly after the November meeting. Priority will be given to those papers which discuss all aspects associated with ordination. Topics may include (but are not limited to): biblical, historical, theological perspectives, and/or church practice and policy. Papers from all disciplines are elicited. The format allows for a 20-minute oral presentation with additional time for questions and discussion, though the actual paper itself can be longer than the time scheduled for the oral presentation. This will allow more complex topics to be addressed within a publishable paper of greater length than the typical 8-12 pages necessary for the oral presentation. A 200-word abstract should accompany the proposals. Proposals and abstracts should be submitted in MS Word format to Carl Cosaert at asrs@wallawalla.edu by May 1, 2012. Due to publication efforts, final versions of all papers are due September 1, 2012. For further information, please contact Carl Cosaert at the email address given above.

African Association for the Study of Religions

Lilian Dube
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: Book Discussion: Religion and HIV and AIDS: Charting the Terrain, Edited by Beverley Haddad, 2011. HIV and AIDS have been around for more than 30 years and taken million of lives and millions more live with the virus today. Scientific and social scientific studies of the virus and the development of AIDS have helped defined our understanding of the crisis. Scholars of religion have for several years now carried out research and published essays, monographs, and books on the subject. Religion and HIV and AIDS: Charting the Terrain, edited by Beverley Haddad is not just one of such books, but a creative collaborative study focusing on religious and theological perspectives of HIV and AIDS. This book comes out of the Collaborative for HIV and AIDS, Religion and Theology (CHART) convened by Beverley Haddad at the University of KwaZulu Natal in Pietermaritzburg. It highlights the place and role of religion in the public realm of health, religious and theological perspectives on HIV and AIDS, the social and communal dimensions of HIV AIDS. Its unique feature is that the book includes perspectives, dialogue and response to the essays from activists and people living with HIV and AIDS. Panelist will discuss the wide range of topics addressed in this book which could be read as a “state of the discourse” on HIV and AIDS and offer critical perspectives on the scholarship as well as our understanding of the multiple dimensions of HIV and AIDS from a religious and theological perspective and the impact HIV and AIDS has made on individuals, families, society, and the postneocolonial state.

African Biblical Hermeneutics

Andrew M. Mbuvi
Sarojini Nadar
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: For the 2012 Annual Meeting in Chicago, ABH intends to organize four sessions which will consider the following topics: 1) Sexuality Rights/Rites and the Bible in Africa, 2) Methods in African Biblical Hermeneutics, 3) Invited Panel Discussion of a book, African Biblical Interpretations: Postcolonial Perspective, edited by Musa Dube, Andrew M. Mbuvi and Dora Mbuwayesango (SBL, 2012), 4) General Topics on African Biblical Hermeneutics. We welcome paper proposals that address issues of the Bible and its interpretation/use in continental African communities and the in Africana Diaspora.

African-American Biblical Hermeneutics

Love L. Sechrest
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: The specific purpose of the African American Biblical Hermeneutics Section (AABHS) is to engage in the interdisciplinary and holistic study of the Bible and its place in a multi-faceted and complex African-American cultural Weltanschauung. AABHS will offer three sessions for the 2012 Annual Meeting. We will offer one session that will be an open call for paper proposals that address any aspect of African American biblical research. In this session, authors can choose to respond to an optional theme addressing the intersection of power, hierarchy, and sexuality. Authors who choose to respond to this theme might address the specific ways in which biblical authority is articulated and manipulated to support frequently all-male church hierarchies, which may exhibit abusive patterns with reference to money, lack of transparency in governing, or physical and sexual abuse. A second session entitled “Grace and Ethnicity in Paul” will be offered in partnership with the Pauline Soteriology group and will review the book A Former Jew: Paul and the Dialectics of Race by Love Sechrest. A third and final session is also a joint session, this one co-hosted in partnership with the Consultation on Freedom and Resistance. This joint session solicits papers that explore the personhood of the enslaved, attending to forms of resistance, agency, gender, kinship, and family. Proposals may address biblical, early Christian, or rabbinic literature, or interpretations by enslaved or formerly enslaved persons, by their allies or descendants, or by their opponents, in any period of history. Please consult the call for proposals in January to learn if there will be opportunities to propose a paper for one of these panels.

Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative

Ruben Rene Dupertuis
Diane Lipsett
Description: The Section on Ancient Fiction and Early Jewish and Christian Narrative fosters methodologically diverse analyses of these ancient narratives, including: their interplay and interconnections; socio-cultural contexts; representations of reality, including religion; and narrative form, including plot, character, style, voice, etc.

Call for papers: The Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative Section invites submissions for two sessions in 2012. For the first, we issue an open call for papers relevant to any aspect of our section's work, though with particular interest in proposals engaging the broad theme of "Borders, Boundaries, and Crossings." The second session will combine invited presentations with open submissions, on the topic "Teaching (with) the Ancient Novel: why, how, to whom, to what ends?" We envision that most presenters will discuss teaching a specific novelistic text from a particular angle -- that is, "Teaching X (topic/theme/approach/critical method) with or in Y (novelistic text).” We also welcome pedagogical proposals that take other distinctive approaches.

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: This year our call for papers applies to both of our sessions. One session focuses on artifacts which combine text and image, such as seals with iconographic and epigraphic content, pictorial coins with legends, inscribed reliefs, etc. We also solicit papers for an open session on the full range of iconographical issues.

Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars

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: 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. The AABS invites proposals for its 2012 annual meeting on the theme of Anglicans Teaching the Bible in Anglican and Non-Anglican Contexts. We are interested in drawing a panel of speakers who can initiate conversations on the challenges Anglican teacher-scholars face in teaching the Bible in their various contexts, and also on ways to meet those challenges. While there will be some emphasis on challenges specific to educating Anglican clergy and lay-leaders, we are aiming for a broader discussion that will allow teacher-scholars in different institutional settings to gain insight from each other.

Applied Linguistics for Biblical Languages

Peter Burton
Randall Buth
Description: The Applied Linguistics for Biblical Languages Group seeks to explore and address the many issues involved in adding oral-aural considerations to the study of the biblical languages. These issues include listening-speaking pedagogy, developing second-language internalized proficiency amongst scholars, affirmative impact on the students, teacher training, distance education, measuring the efficiency of training programs, and stimulating auxiliary projects that arise like improving dictionaries and grammars for new pedagogical contexts.

Call for papers: There are two themes proposed for 2012. 1. Reading: what helps or hinders good reading, what is known about reading processes, and what is optimal training for reading a second language? 2. Future Directions, with a panel on where to set the bar on biblical language training

Aramaic Studies

Edward M. Cook
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 and literature, including Syriac. Previous paper topics have dealt with the Targumim, Qumran Aramaic, Mandaic, Peshitta, Imperial Aramaic, and inscriptions.

Archaeology of Religion in the Roman World

James C. Walters
John R. Lanci
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 section solicits proposals in the following areas. 1) The size and character of Jewish population groups in the ancient Mediterranean world. Possible themes include: population size, migration and homogeneity, fertility, mortality, and legal status (esp. marriage and slavery). Priority will be given to proposals that connect these themes with religious, social, and/or political developments. The primary temporal focus is on the Roman period but we will also consider proposals dealing with other periods (Hellenistic, Late Antiquity, Byzantine). 2) A panel discussion on the issues surrounding the scholarly use of unprovenienced archaeological artifacts and the ramifications for SBL policy in research and publications. Many of these artifacts are products of clandestine excavations and have been exported from their countries of origin in violation of international treaties. Since the SBL has traditionally welcomed and fostered conference papers and publications on archaeological materials, but has no express policy on the use of unprovenienced materials, this panel will explore the issue by engaging a discussion about best practice among members of sister organizations that have developed explicit policies. 3) Open call, particularly proposals that promote examination of archaeological and art historical materials associated with religious activity in the Roman period. Proposals related to ancient Judaism and early Christianity are welcome, as is attention to polytheistic practices and expressions.

Archaeology of the Biblical World

Tammi J. Schneider
Ann E. Killebrew
Description: This interdisciplinary unit is dedicated to the archaeology associated with the geographies, people groups, and time periods related to biblical literature, with special attention to the contributions of material and textual evidence. This unit adheres to ASOR’s Policy on Preservation and Protection of Archaeological Resources (http://www.asor.org/excavations/policy.pdf). As a unit we are committed to upholding the highest ethical standards relating to provenance. The unit will not be a venue that supports the analysis or authentication of illicit materials.

Call for papers: This interdisciplinary unit is dedicated to the archaeology associated with the geographies, people groups, and time periods related to biblical literature, with special attention to the contributions of material and textual evidence. This unit adheres to ASOR’s Policy on Preservation and Protection of Archaeological Resources (http://www.asor.org/excavations/policy.pdf). As a unit we are committed to upholding the highest ethical standards relating to provenance. The unit will not be a venue that supports the analysis or authentication of illicit materials.

Art and Religions of Antiquity

Zsuzsanna Gulacsi
Jacob A. Latham
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: The Art and Religions in Antiquity program unit is sponsoring three sessions at the 2012 annual meeting. We are accepting paper proposals for all three. Session 1: "Images and their Opposites/Opponents: Aniconism in Ancient Art": We seek papers that explore the controversies that surround iconic representation in any time period and in any tradition from antiquity. What points of tension are visible in art from the ancient world? Can there be an aniconic art? We will privilege papers that deal with visual and material evidence directly. Session 2: "Apotheosis, Ascension, Resurrection": We are looking for papers that focus on the depiction of the withdrawal of divine beings to other places. How are absence and presence depicted in ancient art? What questions do such depictions pose for the nature of humanity and divinity? Session 3: "Open Session: Art and Religions in Antiquity." We welcome paper proposals on the art and material culture of any ancient religious tradition and especially encourage papers that address the use of art and material culture in service of religion.

Asian and Asian-American Hermeneutics

Uriah Y. Kim
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 is accepting papers for two sessions. 1. Open Session: 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 welcome papers that examine methodological issues involved in interpretation and hermeneutics, as well as papers that offer readings of specific texts and passages. Both veteran and first-time presenters are encouraged to submit proposals. 2. Title: The Bible Translations in South Asia. Description: The picture of South Asia presents a diversity of languages and cultures. Tradition has it that the Christianity came into South Asia through the preaching of St. Thomas. Regardless of the veracity of this tradition, it is well known that the Bible has been translated into many different South Asian languages through the course of the history of Christianity. The Asian and Asian American Hermeneutics Group invites proposals on papers dealing with historical, methodological, linguistic, theological, and other aspects of the interaction between Bible Translation and Culture in South Asia.

Assyriology and the Bible

K. Lawson Younger, Jr.
JoAnn Scurlock
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: The Assyriology and the Bible Section shall host at least two sessions in Chicago: an invited session on “Treaties in the Ancient Near East and the Bible,” together with an open session in which we accept proposals on any subject related to the study of Assyriology and the Bible.

Bible and Cultural Studies

Erin Runions
Jacqueline Hidalgo
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: In conjunction with a number of other program units, Bible and Cultural Studies will host four shorter sessions on "Difference." Papers and workshops will consider the important shift in biblical studies to attending to difference, both theoretically and practically. These sessions will explore how particular kinds of difference (e.g. historical, linguistic, racial, ethnic, cultural, gender, sexual, differently-abled, human/non-human differences) are understood, contextualized, theorized, and practiced in the Bible, in its interpretation, and in its political and religious uses. Special attention will be given to the way that cultural and literary theories of difference have recently affected biblical interpretation, such as postcolonial theory, queer theory, poststructural theory, liberation theologies, feminism, etc. The sessions will comprise a panel on difference, a "study together" session that will be open to everyone, a pedagogy session, and a mentoring session. A separate open session on affect theory and biblical interpretation will be co-sponsored with Reading Theory and the Bible. Proposals are welcome for papers that read biblical texts or analyze biblical interpretation in dialogue with theoretical work by writers associated with affect theory (e.g., Sara Ahmed, Lauren Berlant, Brian Massumi, Eve Sedgwick, Kathleen Stewart, the contributors to The Affect Theory Reader, etc.).

Bible and Emotion

Matthew Richard Schlimm
F. Scott Spencer
Description: This section focuses on understanding the spectrum of emotions displayed throughout the Bible in their literary and cultural contexts, informed by the burgeoning cross-disciplinary study of emotion in contemporary philosophy, psychology, literary theory, linguistics, neuroscience, politics, economics and other fields.

Call for papers: This section focuses on understanding the spectrum of emotions displayed throughout the Bible in their literary and cultural contexts, informed by the burgeoning cross-disciplinary study of emotion in contemporary philosophy, psychology, literary theory, linguistics, neuroscience, politics, economics and other fields.

Bible and Film

Jeffrey Staley
Richard G. Walsh
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: 1) The unit invites papers for two open sessions dealing with the critical analysis and interpretation of films incorporating scripture or scriptural themes/motifs in terms of the production, content, context, significance, and ideology of film, scripture, and their interpretation. Presentations suggesting interactions with theory are of particular interest to the unit. Presenters are given 35 minutes to accommodate the use of film clips in their presentations. 2)A third session will feature a panel (four invited presentations and two invited respondents) dealing with intersections of biblical and film theory. 3)A fourth session will be held jointly with the Asian and Asian American Hermeneutics Group and will showing the award-winning 2005 Canadian film, "Eve and the Fire Horse," directed by Julia Kwan.

Bible and Popular Culture

Valarie Ziegler
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: 1) 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 texts and popular culture. 2) We especially invite papers for our second session that identify and analyze popular culture appropriations of the Bible in one of two areas: the 2012 presidential campaigns or the Tebowing phenomenon in athletics.

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: We invite papers on the following topics: 1. It Takes Two: Interdisciplinary Co-Presentations on the Bible and Pastoral Theology Participants are encouraged to team up with a colleague in a different discipline to discuss the intersections between Bible and liturgy, preaching, administration, pastoral care, or Christian formation/education, etc. 2. What’s God Got to Do with It?: Bible, Pastoral Theology, and Politics Mindful of our meeting in Chicago after the presidential election, we encourage participants to reflect on the intersections between the use of the Bible in political discourse and the public dimensions of pastoral theology. Possible topics include globalization, immigration, class conflict, etc. 3. Close Encounters of a Pedagogical Kind: Pastoral Theology or Bible in the classroom and the Church. Participants are invited to put on their teaching hats and consider the dynamics that emerge in the classroom and the Church during encounters with the Bible and with the reality of human stories.

Bible and Visual Art

Elizabeth Struthers Malbon
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. Papers focusing on relevant and iconographically significant Chicago architecture or biblical themes in visual art on exhibition in the numerous Chicago galleries, university museums and at the Art Institute are strongly encouraged.

Bible in Ancient and Modern Media

Tom Thatcher
Holly Hearon
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: BAMM will organize a set of invited sessions for the 2012 Annual Meeting.

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” opens the Call for Papers for the 2012 Annual Meeting in the fields of critical study of the role of the Bible in eastern Christianity, past and present. 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. The committee would like to encourage scholars to offer papers examining exegetical, theological, history of religions, socio-historical, literary, history of interpretation, and methodological questions.

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: The Bible Translation Section will be celebrating the legacy of Dr. Eugene Nida, the great pioneer of the discipline of modern Bible translation, who passed away on August 25, 2011, at the age of 96. The section will therefore host a symposium, consisting of a panel of distinguished speakers, who will each reflect on different aspects of his work, subsequent developments and the future of the interdisciplinary field of Bible translation studies. In addition, an open session will be held, for which papers are solicited on any part of Nida’s oeuvre, whether it be in the area of Biblical Studies, Translation Studies, Text Criticism, Linguistics, or Anthropology. Given the theme of the symposium, papers interacting critically with his work, from the perspective of the Bible translation praxis of concrete languages or language groups, will be given preference, in this adjacent session. The specific impact of Nida’s legacy on individual translations, language policy, exegetical or translational choices on a local or more global scale, are thus, especially welcome, as well as, more innovative approaches that, in one way or the other, are based on that same legacy.

Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory

Robert S. Kawashima
Stephen C. Russell
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: Proposals are welcome for two open sessions on the use of myth and myth theory in biblical studies, both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. We particularly encourage submissions on the New Testament, which has been under-represented in recent years.

Biblical Criticism and Literary Criticism

Jamie Smith
Andrew P. Wilson
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: This year we will be hosting three sessions. The first will be a jointly-sponsored session with the Bible and Cultural Studies and the Committee on Teaching and Learning (AAR) on pedagogy, focusing on introducing the notion of difference to undergraduates in religious and biblical studies. Proposals that seek to demonstrate rather than enumerate pedagogical strategies are particularly welcome. The second will be an open session under the theme of narrative criticism and difference. Paper proposals are sought that deal with elements of biblical narrative in conjunction with theoretical notions of incongruity, rupture, difference and aporia. The third session will be a review panel of invited papers focusing on the translation of Camille Focant's commentary, The Gospel according to Mark (2012). Proposals should be submitted electronically on the SBL site. Questions may be directed to Andrew Wilson at awilson@mta.ca

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: The Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics section invites members who wish to present a paper that utilizes linguistics to study the biblical text to submit a proposal through the online system by the call deadline, March 1, 2012. Proposals should consist of a 1-2 page description of the paper. In addition, proposers (full and student members) who have not presented at the Annual Meeting must submit the full paper which will be read to the program to the program unit chairs before March 1. Please note that unless otherwise indicated, papers must be of such a length as can be presented within 25 minutes. Our theme session will explore the implications of the rejection of deponency on the voice system, therefore any papers that further contribute to this discussion are of interest.

Biblical Hebrew Poetry

Mark J. Boda
Carol J. Dempsey
Description: This section focuses on all aspects of Hebrew poetry in the biblical canon: archaic poetry, the role of oral tradition, poetic meter, parallelism, structural and nonstructural poetic devices, imagery, metaphor, and figurative language. Papers dealing with any portion of poetry in the Hebrew Bible are welcome.

Call for papers: Biblical Hebrew Poetry invites papers for three of the following four sessions: Session 1: General Session We welcome papers on any aspect of hebrew poetry in the biblical canon in keeping with the focus of our section (see description). Session 2: The Poetry of Wit and Wisdom We are requesting papers that consider clever and/or humorous usages of poetry. We seek abstracts that examine how wit is created through poetic mechanisms and literary devices. Papers need not be confined to wisdom literature; we also welcome papers that consider wisdom sayings outside of the wisdom genre. Session 3: Inner-Biblical Allusions and Wisdom Literature We invite papers that investigate inner-biblical allusions in the wisdom literature of the Hebrew Bible. We are concerned with three primary areas: (1) legitimating the allusions, (2) investigating how the allusions contribute to the message of a book or passage, and (3) discussing how these allusions interact with poetry in order to shape and convey meaning. Session 4: This is a joint session with Writing/Reading Jeremiah In keeping with the Writing/Reading Jeremiah Section’s ongoing interest in exploring poetics over and above textual genetics, and the Biblical Hebrew Poetry Section’s ongoing interest in the role of poetry in a broad range of biblical literatures, we will be co-hosting a session considering the rhetorical function of poetry in the book of Jeremiah, namely: the impact of poetic imagery (to generate nostalgia; strike terror; solicit sympathy), the task of poetry in counter imagining (an end amidst false hope; hope amidst and apparent end), and so also its theo-politics (perhaps in relation to the prose); the impact of poetry on readers’ experiences of the structure of the book. Papers will be a mixture of invited and proposed papers.

Biblical Law

Bruce Wells
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 a session on the law and related issues in the story of Judah and Tamar in Genesis 38. We expect this session to have several papers of 10-12 minutes in length followed by an extended time of discussion. We also invite proposals for one open session on any aspect of the study of biblical law (including work related to cuneiform documents, Dead Sea Scrolls and other Second Temple Literature, questions of pentateuchal criticism, legal history, gender analysis, social scientific analysis, and newer methodologies). Copies of papers are distributed in advance through our section's website. They should be available by October 30, 2012 at: http://www.biblicallaw.net. Finally, we are co-sponsoring a session with the Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures program unit on the "theology of the list." The panelists for this session have already been selected.

Biblical Lexicography

Regine Hunziker-Rodewald
Alexandra Anne Thompson
Description: The Section brings together those working on lexicography and lexicology of ancient biblical languages. The discussions seek to bring the theoretical to bear on the practical task of dictionary making and encourage research in the area of historical lexical analysis.

Call for papers: This section will hold three sessions: 1) The first will be devoted to the recently completed Dictionary of Classical Hebrew (ed. Clines, Sheffield Phoenix Press). We are inviting contributors, but proposals are also welcome. 2) The second will be an open session. Proposals are welcome on topics of general relevance to the lexicography of Hebrew, Greek, or other biblical languages. 3) The third addresses the concept of "person" in relation to words or expressions in biblical or other ancient languages. Proposals for papers are invited.

Blogger and Online Publication

Robert R. Cargill
Description: Originally organized under the aegis of the 'biblioblogging' community, this unit has been renamed. 'Biblioblogging' refers to a diverse community of nearly every point of view that communicates new ideas or insights, debates, and discusses exegetical and historical subjects. The Blogger and Online Publication Section supports the publication of articles, commentary, and items of interest relating to the Bible and biblical studies online using blogs, social media sites, online journals, and other Internet or web-related vehicles, and promotes communication between bloggers and the SBL.

Call for papers: The 2012 Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature will be held November 17-20 in Chicago, IL. Members wishing to present papers should submit proposals on the SBL website at http://www.sbl-site.org/meetings/AnnualMeeting.aspx by March 1, 2012. /// The SBL Blogger and Online Publication section invites proposals for papers for its 2012 annual meeting session. The open session calls for papers focusing on any area of blogging and online publication in relation to biblical studies, theology, and archaeology of the Levant. Special consideration will be given to those papers addressing the use of online technologies for peer-review and evaluation of academic research. /// For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact Dr. Robert R. Cargill, Department of Classics, The University of Iowa, 210 Jefferson Building, Iowa City, IA, 52245, or email robert-cargill@uiowa.edu.

Book of Acts

Pamela E. Hedrick
Steve Walton
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: The Book of Acts Section is planning three sessions for the 2012 Annual Meeting on the theme "Acts and the Jews." Session I is an invited session on the topic "Before the Parting of the Ways: Situating Acts within the Discourses of Second Temple Judaism." The aim of the session is to invite a range of perspectives on Acts from scholars working on second-Temple Jewish literature: Qumran, the Greek-speaking Diaspora, the literary patronage of the Herodian dynasty, biography, martyrology, historiography, the Greek Bible. Session I will not accept proposals. Session II is also an invited session on the topic "Dating Acts to the Second Century: Testing the Hypothesis: Acts and the Jews" and will not accept proposals. Session III is an open session and encourages proposals that suggest solutions to existing problems or that explore new strategies for reading Acts. Proposals on the theme of Acts and the Jews will be particularly welcome.

Book of Daniel

Neal H. Walls
Amy C. Merrill Willis
Description: The Book of Daniel consultation seeks to promote new and inter-disciplinary scholarship on Daniel and Daniel-related literature (both canonical and pseudepigraphical literature). It welcomes a range of analytical approaches to Daniel, but especially encourages ideological, theological, and literary treatments.

Call for papers: The Book of Daniel Consultation will offer two sessions at the 2012 Annual Meeting. The first session will consist of invited papers on the topic "Theologies and Ideologies of Resistance." The second session will be an open session. Proposals dealing with any aspect of the critical interpretation of Daniel will be considered. Preference will be given to those proposals that seek to open up new issues for consideration in Daniel or to revisit older problems and impasses using newer methodologies or interdisciplinary perspectives.

Book of Psalms

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 Section particularly invites papers for the 2012 Annual Meeting related to the use of metaphor in the poetry of the Psalter. One session will feature invited papers on the topic and one session on the topic is open for proposals. There will be one additional open session on the Psalms.

Book of the Twelve Prophets

Aaron Schart
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 invites papers investigating issues related to any text or texts within the Minor Prophets, with preference given to papers that address the formation or interrelatedness of the Minor Prophets as a literary corpus. In addition, there will be a closed review session on James Nogalski's commentary on the Twelve.

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: Children in the Biblical World will host two sessions in 2012. For our open session we invite papers approaching the topic of children in the Bible from both disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. The theme of our second session will be the Archaeology of Childhood in the Biblical World. This session invites papers that reconstruct children’s lives through the study of material cultural remains, the biblical text, and/or comparative literature.

Christian Apocrypha

Pierluigi Piovanelli
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: The Christian Apocrypha Section invites submissions for at least three sessions. A special session will be devoted to “New editions and/or new translations of Christian apocryphal texts – New texts and new looks at old texts”. A second session will be more specifically focused on the first volume of the Antike christliche Apokryphen in deutscher Übersetzung (to be held in common with the Jewish Christianity / Christian Judaism Section). For the third session on “New perspectives on Christian apocryphal texts”, we have an open call. We especially encourage young scholars to present the results of their research.

Christian Theology and the Bible

Claire R. Mathews McGinnis
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: The section solicits papers for a section entitled “The Literal Sense of Biblical Texts Addressing Sacrifice and Purity: Theory and Practice.” This year the three sessions of the Christian Theology and Bible Section offer an exploration of what has constituted the “literal sense” of Scripture throughout the history of interpretation. Thus, papers proposed on the literal sense of biblical texts addressing sacrifice and purity ought to be explicit about the ways in which the literal sense is being understood, in addition to providing examples of exegesis of the literal sense, either from the history of interpretation or one’s own work. Papers on Old, and/or New Testament texts are welcome.

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: First topic: 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. Second topic: Papers on any aspect (texts, artifacts, art, major figures, historical events, concepts) of Christianity in Egypt in the Roman and Byzantine periods are welcomed.

Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah

John W. Wright
Steven James Schweitzer
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 will run three sessions in 2012. The first session is an open session; we invite papers on any aspect of research on Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah. The second session will be a joint session with History and Literature of the Persian Period, with invited papers and respondents. The third session will be focused on the Concept of Israel in Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah with special attention to the Samaritans, with invited papers and respondents.

Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Interpretation

Robert H. von Thaden, Jr.
Description: The emerging field of cognitive science is reshaping longstanding philosophical assumptions about epistemology and metaphor. This section applies cognitive linguistics to biblical studies, with a focus on the ways cognitive approaches help scholars to grapple with how language makes meaning.

Call for papers: The Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Interpretation section will hold 2 sessions at the 2012 meeting. (1) "Framing Health and Healing in Biblical Texts": The papers in this session will examine the use of cultural models and/or social/linguistic frames in cognitive linguistic analyses of specific biblical texts or corpora relating to healing (or health and well being more generally). The papers in this session will demonstrate the usefulness of cognitive models and/or frames in helping to make sense of biblical portrayals of healing and health. Paper proposals are being accepted for this session. (2) A joint session will be sponsored with the Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity group on the topic of "Recent Advances in Cognitive Science and their Significance for Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation." The papers for this session have been invited.

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: The general subject for our Section for the 2012 Annual Meeting will be: "Early Groups of Jesus' Followers: A Survey of the First Two Centuries." The program is planned to be a preparatory one, in view of a new Consultation to be started in 2013, and will be composed of 3 sessions. A) A methodological discussion on the general subject (invitation only); B) A discussion on new books and ideas on the subject (invitation only); C) An open session with contributions focusing on specific aspects of the general subject. Contributions to the open session should address the following questions and areas of research. Before150 C.E. how many groups of Jesus’ followers (we try to avoid the notion of community and/or church in this context) can we identify in Galilee, Judea, Samaria, Antioch, or in different areas of Syria, Egypt, Asia Minor, Greece and Italy? The aim of the session is to describe the members of those groups and their religious practices, rather than primarily the theological ideas of each group. What kind of social character and style did they have? Where did they actually live and how many of them were there? Were they sub-groups of Jewish groups? Were their members both Jews and non-Jews? What kind of cohabitation and cultural hybridization did they experience with different religious groups in the villages and towns where they lived? When did they come into existence? What kind of transformations they met? When did they come to an end (if this was the case)? What kind of archeological evidence do we have of their physical existence?

Contextual Biblical Interpretation

Nicole Wilkinson Duran
Athalya Brenner-Idan
Description: The goal of this consultation is to explore the interest in developing a SBL seminar or section on *Contextual Biblical Interpretation,* its different strategies (including “inculturation,” inter(con)textualization, and reading with “ordinary” readers) and its methodological justifications, and the extent to which all interpretations are contextual.

Call for papers: We welcome papers that examine any biblical text from within a reader’s explicitly articulated context. Our HB sessions this year are seeking especially, but not only papers on texts of the so called "historical" books beyond Joshua and Judges; that is, Samuel, Kings, Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicles. Our NT sessions are mainly interested in papers dealing with texts from Revelation, especially those focusing on issues of gender, empire, or violence, or from communities concerned with the endtime; and in contextual readings of the Gospel of John or Luke-Acts. Both NT and HB parts of our group are also interested in papers that focus more on the contextual method itself, its challenges, pitfalls, and payoffs, and its current position in the academy. Contributors will be asked for their drafts about a fortnight before the Annual Meeting. HB Drafts will be posted on Athalya Brenner's homepage, and NT drafts will be posted on Daniel Patte's homepage. At the conference papers will be summarized, not read in full, to leave maximum time for discussion. Acceptance of papers for the SBL sessions is a first step toward, but does not guarantee, publication in the corresponding volume of the contextual series Texts@Contexts (Fortress Press).

Corpus Hellenisticum Novi Testamenti

Troy W. Martin
Clare K. Rothschild
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: The Corpus Hellenisticum NT will host three sessions in Chicago . Two of these are by invitation but with audience participation: (1) Plato and the Gospel of John and (2) Scholarly Musings on Magic. A third open session is also planned, for which papers are welcome on any topic relevant to the program unit's general description, which is to read and discuss ancient Greek materials that provide insight into the literary and religious worlds of early Christianity and to read and discuss papers that analyze early Christian texts in dialogue with Hellenistic materials.

Covenant in the Persian Period

Richard Bautch
Description: The goal of this unit is to explore the various perspectives on covenant that emerged in the Persian period and establish the importance of each within its religious and historical context. Focal issues include Jewish identity and developments within Yahwism.

Call for papers: Covenant in the Persian Period is planning three sessions for the 2012 Annual Meeting. The first session will be on the Psalms and Wisdom Literature. We invite paper proposals on individual psalms or verses within a psalm that are commonly dated to the Persian period and that incorporate a perspective on the concept of covenant. We also invite papers that acknowledge there is little focus on covenant in Qohelet, Job or Proverbs but resist the conclusion that these books are devoid of covenant. These studies will take a fresh approach to the question of covenant’s role in the Wisdom Literature by focusing, for example, on the expression “fear of God” in Qohelet as indicative of Israel’s covenant with God or on the expectations of a covenant relationship that inform Job’s accusations of God. The second session will focus on the Pentateuch to explore the Priestly writers’ understanding of covenant, the development of the Mosaic/Sinaitic covenant during the Persian period, and other covenantal traditions attested in the first five books. The papers for this session will be invited. There will be a third session, held jointly with the Deuteronomistic History section, titled “Covenant in the Deuteronomistic History during the Late 6th, 5th, and 4th Centuries.” The papers for this session will be invited.

Current Historiography and Ancient Israel and Judah

Megan Bishop Moore
Description: The Current Historiography and Ancient Israel and Judah Section explores how historians integrate the contributions of the many disciplines that study Israel’s past, issues of methodology and epistemology, and how to reestablish the largely defunct project of writing comprehensive histories of ancient Israel.

Call for papers: The historical reconstruction of 9th and 8th centuries BCE will be the focus of the Current Historiography of Ancient Israel and Judah section in 2012. Papers utilizing archaeology, the social sciences, and other interdisciplinary approaches, and covering a variety of topics, are encouraged, including, for example: --Historical reconstruction of village life, the urban-rural economy, or information about Judah in contrast to Israel in these regards; --Sociological studies of historical scenarios and processes, such as trade and pottery production; --Insights from sister disciplines or other academic disciplines, and, importantly, how they can be used to reconstruct rural or Israelite/Judean society.

Deuteronomistic History

Cynthia Edenburg
Juha Pakkala
Description: This unit discusses the books of Deuteronomy and the Former Prophets (Joshua–Kings) both individually and as a collection. As such, its focus is on the connections between these books (linguistic, topical and chronological); the compositional techniques and theological trends that they exemplify; as well as the social and historical milieu or milieus in which they were produced.

Call for papers: This unit discusses the hypothesis of a Deuteronomistic History, first advanced by Martin Noth and further modified by later scholars, and deals with the pre-canonical stages in the composition of Deuteronomy and the Former Prophets. A special interest is given to the question of compositional techniques and to the historical setting of the supposed deuteronomistic milieu. Papers proposed for the open session of this section should interact in some fashion with the idea of a “Deuteronomistic” history work, whether the concept is affirmed, rethought or rejected. Representatives from the international academy are especially encouraged to participate.

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: The Development of Early Christian Theology Program Unit is soliciting papers for two sessions:

1. Beyond Antioch and Alexandria: Methods and Models of Early Christian Exegesis. We are especially interested in papers that explore new ways of evaluating how early Christian interpreters exegeted Scripture and used Scripture to formulate their theological and polemical positions. If the old "Alexandria vs. Antioch" approach does not do justice to the full range of early Christian exegesis, what other models should we consider? Papers that consider any geographical location from the first through sixth centuries are welcome.

2. Trinitarian Theology in the Second Century. Though some histories of Trinitarian thought begin with Tertullian and Origen, it is now widely acknowledged that the end of the first and the beginning and middle of the second centuries saw a variety of important Trinitarian theologies. We are searching for papers that shed light on the development of Trinitarian thought during this early period of Christian Trinitarian speculation. Papers on well known figures such as Irenaeus or Justin Martyr are certainly welcome, but we are also interested in papers that consider lesser known, but still important, theologians and texts from the end of the New Testament through the second century.

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 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. In addition to open sessions, in 2012 we are planning a joint session with the Speech and Talk Consultation and another joint session with the Acts Group.

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 Ancient Economy program unit sponsors three projects: The first project involves a study of all the major aspects of the economy in the ancient world, especially the Roman Empire. The second project examines first-century early Christianity both in relationship to the ancient economy and in regard to its own economic aspects. The third project does the same for Christianity in the second to the fifth centuries. Both synchronic and diachronic studies are encouraged, as are contributions focused on specific issues (such as money, texts, authors, themes, and events). Paper proposals for all three projects are welcomed, especially those that make use of papyri, inscriptions, and other realia. At least two sessions are planned for the meeting in Chicago. Those submitting a proposal should designate in the Abstract the project for which the paper should be considered

Early Jewish Christian Relations

Judy Yates Siker
Tina Shepardson
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 Group invites papers for a general open session at the 2012 SBL meeting in Chicago. Please submit your proposals to cshepard@utk.edu. Other invited sessions are also being planned.

Ecological Hermeneutics

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: Proposals are invited for two sessions: 1. The first session will have a special focus on the theme of Ecology, Economy, Politics and the Bible. 2. The second session is open and will consider proposals on any biblical text. For both sessions, we encourage proposals that have a strong methodological awareness, such as engaging with the principles of ecological hermeneneutics - suspicion, identification and retrieval (e.g., Habel and Trudinger, Exploring Ecological Hermeneutics, SBL 2008) and/or the methodology of the Exeter project (e.g., Horrell, Hunt and Southgate, Greening Paul, Baylor 2010.)

Economics in the Biblical World

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

Call for papers: This program unit will have two sessions at the 2012 meeting. The first will take up the issue of "class" and whether this is an appropriate term for analysis of economic practices in the ancient world. Proposals are welcome from a variety of perspectives, as long as the paper addresses this theme of class. The second session will continue our discussion from one of the 2011 panels on the issue of domestic space/family life. Papers that address this topic within the framework of economics are welcome. While both of these sessions will include invited papers, we welcome proposals on either theme.

Ethics and Biblical Interpretation

Jacqueline E. Lapsley
Mark Douglas
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" group will host two sessions in 2012. The first of these is an OPEN session on the topic, "The Moral Uses of the Psalms." We invite proposals on this topic. The second session is an invited session, "Comparing Jewish and Christian Moral Uses of Scripture." This is not an open session.

Ethics, Love and the Other in Early Christianity

Thomas E. Phillips
Description: This consultation focuses upon ethics within early Christianity, particularly how various early Christian thinkers and groups conceived of their ethical obligation to practice love inside and outside of their group. Investigations of canonical and non-canonical documents are welcome.

Call for papers: This consultation focuses upon ethics within early Christianity, particularly how various early Christian thinkers and groups conceived of their ethical obligation to practice love inside and outside of their group. Investigations of canonical and non-canonical documents are welcome.

Ethiopic Bible and Literature

Steve Delamarter
Description: This unit studies the sacred texts and literature of the ancient and rich Ethiopic tradition. It seeks, through critical study, to understand the ideology, sociology and the process of literary formation, of the Ethiopic tradition, in particular the Bible, and also discusses its manuscript tradition.

Call for papers: This Consultation studies the sacred texts and literature of the ancient and rich Ethiopic tradition. For the 2012 annual meeting, two sessions are envisioned, one which is open to any topic related to the consultation, and another which is directed toward the work of the Textual History of the Ethiopic Old Testament (THEOT) Project.

Ethnic Chinese Biblical Colloquium

Diane G. Chen
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: This session features two books: (1) Interpreting the Bible by Mary Foskett, and (2) Let Me More of Their Beauty See: Reading Familiar Verses in Context by Diane Chen, as starting points for discussing how scholarship may be used for the benefit of the informed laity among the believing community.

Evangelical Philosophical Society

William L. Craig
Description: Founded in 1974, the Evangelical Philosophical Society (EPS) is an organization of professional scholars devoted to pursuing philosophical excellence in both the church and the academy. Interested laypersons can join as full, associate, or student members. The EPS holds a national meeting each year in conjunction with the conference held by the Evangelical Theological Society and the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature. The EPS journal, Philosophia Christi, is a scholarly publication containing discussion of a variety of topics that are of interest to the philosopher and to the philosopher of religion. Contact information (besides what is given above): http://www.epsociety.org/about/contact.asp.

Call for papers: Founded in 1974, the Evangelical Philosophical Society (EPS) is an organization of professional scholars devoted to pursuing philosophical excellence in both the church and the academy. Interested laypersons can join as full, associate, or student members. The EPS holds a national meeting each year in conjunction with the conference held by the Evangelical Theological Society and the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature. The EPS journal, Philosophia Christi, is a scholarly publication containing discussion of a variety of topics that are of interest to the philosopher and to the philosopher of religion. Contact information (besides what is given above): http://www.epsociety.org/about/contact.asp.

Exile (Forced Migrations) in Biblical Literature

John Ahn
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: We are soliciting papers that deal with two distinct but related issues: (1) the role of gender in the conceptualization of exile and (2) the depiction of women in the exilic and (early) post-exilic periods. Papers that consider methodological questions related to these issues are also welcome. In addition, a session dedicated to an open call on any aspect of the exile will also take place.

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 two sessions at the 2012 meeting will feature only invited papers.

Feminist Hermeneutics of the Bible

Nyasha Junior
Richard D. Weis
Description: The aim of this unit is to provide a forum for research in issues and questions relating to feminist methods of interpretation. While specifically focused on methodological concerns, we are also concerned to ground that reflection in the reality of engagement with specific texts.

Call for papers:

The Feminist Hermeneutics of the Bible Section intends to organize three sessions at the 2012 Annual Meeting.

  • The first is a co-sponsored session that will offer an invited panel reflecting on The Women's Bible Commentary on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of its publication.
  • The second session will be an open session for papers on any topic in the field of feminist hermeneutics or employing feminist methodologies.
  • The third session will have the theme "How do you/we teach Feminist Hermeneutics?" If form and content are interdependent, approaches to teaching and learning are shaped by the choices of topics and texts. In this session, we want to learn from each other in analyzing teaching practices when the content of feminist hermeneutics pushes for non-traditional and expanding approaches to the classroom and beyond. Proposals for papers addressing this theme are most welcome.

Formation of Isaiah

Chris Franke
Margaret S. Odell
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: The Formation of the Book of Isaiah Group will offer two sessions for 2012: (1) papers that focus on Isaiah 33-35; (2) open session will accept papers on any topic concerned with the Book of Isaiah.

Formation of Luke and Acts

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 and Acts, and facilitating discussion of broader NT issues.

Call for papers: The Formation of Luke-Acts Section focuses on the dynamic relationship between Luke-Acts and other New Testament texts, which might contribute to our understanding of the process which led to the formation and narrative composition of Luke-Acts. Moreover, the influence of the Septuagint is significant, both in terms of broader narrative features and characteristic elements and details. A special area of interest is the probable influence upon the composition of Luke-Acts due to Greco-Roman rhetorical education in general, and the Progymnasmata in particular. We encourage paper proposals within all these three areas.

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

David A. deSilva
Loren L. Johns
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: In addition to welcoming papers on any topic relevant to the unit's stated goals (see above) for an open session, the steering committee especially solicits papers for two topical sessions. The first focuses on richly varied visions of the afterlife in apocryphal and pseudepigraphal literature and their influence on Early Jewish and Christian communities. The second continues the section's focus on the function and use of specific para-biblical texts in the ongoing life of the Jewish and Christian communities. Extending the focus of one of the 2011 sessions, we continue to seek papers focused on the impact of the martyrological narratives of 2 and 4 Maccabees upon these communities as reflected, for example, in a particular historical situation, text, or corpus in the Common Era. It is hoped that excellent papers from both years will be combined into a volume of essays.

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 two sessions calling for papers for the Chicago meetings. FIRST SESSION: For this session, we ask: where do discussions of gender and/or sexuality or feminist approaches appear in recent manifestations of the “turn to religion” among philosophers, public media, and other interdisciplinary sites of discussion (such as Immanent Frame)? For this session, then, we seek papers that address/critique the presence or absence of gender/sexuality/feminism in forms of the turn to religion, especially in how these absences/presences feature in engagements with scripture and its afterlives. SECOND SESSION: The second 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. Then, in conjunction with a number of other program units, Gender, Sexuality, and the Bible will host four shorter sessions on "Difference." Papers and workshops will consider the important shift in biblical studies to attending to difference, both theoretically and practically. These sessions will explore how particular kinds of difference (e.g. historical, linguistic, racial, ethnic, cultural, gender, sexual, differently-abled, human/non-human differences) are understood, contextualized, theorized, and practiced in the Bible, in its interpretation, and in its political and religious uses. Special attention will be given to the way that cultural and literary theories of difference have recently affected biblical interpretation, such as postcolonial theory, queer theory, poststructural theory, liberation theologies, feminism, etc. The sessions will comprise a panel on difference, a "study together" session that will be open to everyone, a pedagogy session, and a mentoring session. Questions or further inquiries for any of these sessions may be directed to the chair, Joseph Marchal at josephamarchal@gmail.com

Genesis

John E. Anderson
Christopher Heard
Description: The Genesis unit promotes sustained and continued dialogue and scholarship on the book of Genesis from a variety of methodological perspectives, especially (yet not limited to) those approaching and treating the text as a canonical whole. It creates space for those working on Genesis to share their work in a focused place.

Call for papers: The Genesis consultation will host two invited sessions at the 2012 Annual Meeting. The first of these focuses on Genesis and Interpretation, and the second on the Primeval History.

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 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 a number of 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; (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; and (5) the ways in which the biblical text discloses its fullest meaning only when read together with the culturally and socially ‘other.’ The theme for the session this year is “Reading Genesis 1-11 Missionally.” These foundational texts from Genesis disclose important truths about the nature of God and God's mission to the world, and about the identity and vocation of the people of God, who are called to participate in this gracious mission. Proposals for papers are invited (in the form of one-page abstracts) which engage a specific passage or set of passages within Genesis 1-11—in view of the hermeneutical framework identified above—and which explore the extent to which such a missional approach to the biblical text illuminates important dimensions of the text.

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 Greco-Roman Religions Section solicits papers that use specific examples (case studies) to propose ongoing, cooperative and interdisciplinary projects focused on research problems in the study of all aspects of Greek and Roman cult. For the 2012 session of this ongoing project, the Section especially welcomes papers with this intention that apply deconstructive and redescriptive approaches to the category, “polis religion.” Successful proposals will detail through specific examples the problems in the history of the application, the definition, and implications of such a category. For example, by “polis religion” do we exclude private cults and cultic associations. If so, why? What are the anthropological or sociological implications of defining such a category? The second session of the Greco-Roman Religions section will be a closed session, coordinated by Gerhard van den Heever and devoted to assessment of the ongoing Redescription of Greco-Roman Antiquity project the GRR Section has been pursuing in recent years. The GRR Section will also be co-sponsoring sessions with the Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religion (SAMR). Papers can be submitted for these sessions directly to the associated SAMR website.

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 provides a forum for papers on reception history, translation theory, manuscript traditions, linguistic issues, biblical theology, and hermeneutics that involve the use of the Greek versions in later writings. For the 2012 meeting in Chicago, the section invites proposals for two sessions. 1) A themed session entitled, “The Septuagint and the Gospels.” This program will include papers addressing the use of Greek versions by the evangelists, with a focus on the thematic implications of textual form for the gospel narrative. 2) An open session: For this program, we invite proposals dealing with 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.

Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World

Candida R. Moss
Joel S. Baden
Nicole Kelley
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 Unit plans to have at least three sessions at the 2012 meeting. One of these will be an invited session focused on the topic of the categorization of disabilities in the Bible and its surrounding cultures, with special attention given to the categories of blindness, deafness and muteness. The other session(s) will be open, and paper proposals are welcome on any aspect of the study of health and disability related to the Bible. Paper proposals that attend to the same issues as the invited session - categorization, blindness, deafness, and muteness - are encouraged, though any proposals relevant to the general topic of the Unit are welcome. In addition, we welcome papers for a session on the contribution of Syriac and other ancient Christian literatures to the study of health and the (dis)abled body which we plan to organize together with the Syriac Literature and Interpretations of Sacred Texts Section.

Hebrew Bible and Political Theory

Francis Borchardt
Description: Politics was as central to the life of ancient Israel as it is in our modern world. It is found throughout the Hebrew Bible and cognate literature. This unit attempts to study political phenomena in this corpus with methodological rigor.

Call for papers: This year the Unit for Hebrew Bible and Politcal Theory will be sponsoring two sessions: 1) One session will be devoted to Greek political thought and the Hebrew Bible. Papers should take a particular biblical text or topic and explore them by invoking the writings of a particular figure of Greek thought, or a range of Greek writers on a particular topic. 2) Joint session with the Joshua-Judges Section. This session seeks papers that examine Joshua-Judges through the prism of political science, broadly conceived. As other program units already explore feminist ideology, African-American hermeneutics and post-colonial approaches, this session will give preference to papers that employ theoretical models concerning, for example, notions of nationhood, citizenship, law, class, social hierarchy, economic distribution, modes of leadership, and the like. Alternatively, papers may analyze the texts of Joshua-Judges through the political thought of the great thinkers of political theory, classical, medieval or modern.

Hebrew Bible, History, and Archaeology

Jeremy Smoak
Matthew Suriano
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: The first session will consist of several invited papers devoted to the cultural phenomenon of magic in the literature of the Hebrew Bible, epigraphic sources, and the archaeological record of the southern Levant during the first millennium B.C.E. The two other sessions are open sessions and accepting papers that 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 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.

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 “Book of Hebrews in Context Group” will sponsor two sessions in 2012, one open session with responses and one session with papers and responses by invited speakers only: (1) The first session contains papers again on the topic “The literary, philosophical, and theological content and context of the Book of Hebrews,” but this year with a particular interest in Hebrews reception history, that is, Hebrews reception in ancient, medieval, modern, or postmodern texts and cultures. (2) The topic of methodology remains the concern of the second session, which again will be a triple joint sessions with the program units “Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity” along with “Sacrifice, Cult, and Atonement.” For questions contact Gabriella Gelardini@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: For the SBL Annual Meeting in 2012, the Hellenistic Judaism Section invites proposals for papers on any facet of Hellenistic Judaism, including papers pertaining to Jews and Judaism in the Hellenistic period, as well as papers on the Roman period focusing on Jewish figures or materials attested in the Greek language or interacting meaningfully with Hellenistic culture. We especially encourage proposals that deal with the triangulation of Jewish, Greek, and Roman materials or identities, and/or which bring Jewish materials into conversation with recent scholarly concerns in the field of Classics, including but not limited to the Second Sophistic, ethnicity and ethnography, and Hellenization and Romanization in the Near East.

Historical Jesus

Robert L. Webb
Thomas Kazen
Description: Historical Jesus research is one of the oldest and most debated areas in Biblical Studies. We encourage critical analyses of historical methods, recent trends and contemporary reception, and we give scholars and students opportunities to present their latest Jesus research.

Call for papers: The Historical Jesus Section is devoted to the historical exploration of Jesus of Nazareth in his first-century context. In 2012 we will have one open session for which we invite proposals on any aspect of the historical Jesus from scholars at all stages of their careers. Please use this website to submit a paper proposal. We will also have two planned sessions for which we will invite scholars to participate: (1) Jesus and Apocalypticism (organized by Thomas Kazen, co-chair), and (2) the benefits and limitations of the criteria of authenticity (organized by Robert Webb, co-chair). If you have particular expertise in either of these topics and wish to participate in these invited sessions, please correspond directly with the co-chair of the Historical Jesus Section specified above who is organizing the session in which you are interested.

History and Literature of Early Rabbinic Judaism

Carol Bakhos
Alyssa M. Gray
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: Proposals for papers in all aspects of the history and literature of early rabbinic Judaism are welcome. Topics of particular interest for the 2012 Annual Meeting are the relationship of the late antique rabbis to the Hebrew Bible (including, but not limited to, studies of the midrash compilations), rhetorical readings of rabbinic texts, the application of legal theory to rabbinic literature of late antiquity, and the rabbis' rhetorical engagement with Empire. A thematic session may arise out of the open call, possibly with a respondent.

History of Interpretation

D. Jeffrey Bingham
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: This year the section will have two invited sessions on intertextuality in second-century Christian literature. We will also hold an open session. We especially invite proposals on the history of the interpretation of Philippians 2 and the idea of kenosis. Consideration will also be given to other proposals.

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: All papers are being considered for an open call. Those who submit are encourage to deal with an aspect of Homiletics and Biblical Studies in their submission.

Ideological Criticism

Randall Reed
Description: This Section approaches the Bible through critical philosophical perspectives and explores how power shapes and is shaped by the Bible and its reception. We embrace various definitions of ideology and approaches to uncovering the political stakes of the Bible and of its uses and influences.

Call for papers: The Ideological Criticism Section seeks papers on the following topics for the 2012 meeting 1) The Ideology and Ideological Use of Apocalypticism. In light of current topics couched in overtly apocalyptic rhetoric -- such as the 2012 hysteria and descriptions of the looming ecological disaster -- we are interested in papers that analyze the ideological nature of apocalypticism, particularly in its end-of-the-world form, both ancient and modern, religious and secular and that explore the use of apocalypticism in political, religious and cultural discourse. 2) The Bible and Economic Inequality. With the advent of the Occupy movements and other activist events we encourage papers that deal with the role of the bible in facilitating or resisting economic inequality both in ancient and modern times. 3) The Chicago School impact on Religious Studies. We invite papers that deal with the impact that the Chicago School has had on the discipline over-all.

Ideology, Culture, and Translation

Christina Petterson
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: In this open session we invite papers that explore the operation of biblical ideology in politics (ancient and/or modern), literature (ancient and/or modern) or visualisations (ancient and/or modern). How is a bible message translated into a concrete historical or cultural setting? Which ideologies produce the bible messages that are translated into popular consumption? How is the bible either foreignized or domesticated in politics, literarure or film?

Institute for Biblical Research

Craig S. Keener
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

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 Chicago, 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
Erik Waaler
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: Our sessions for 2012 include a book review panel on Revelation and the Politics of Apocalyptic Interpretation (Baylor University Press, 2012), given by invitation only, a session on methods centering on the theme of deconstructing and reimagining traditions (participants have already been selected), and one open call to papers session. For our open session we are welcoming papers that address parallel words or thoughts between a passage or verse in Paul’s letters and those in the writing of an ancient moralist or sage, such as Epictetus, Plutarch, Seneca, Dio Chrysostom, Aristotle, or another Greco-Roman, Jewish, or Hellenistic-Jewish author.

Inventing Christianity: Apostolic Fathers, Apologists, and Martyrs

David L. Eastman
Candida R. Moss
Description: This unit focuses on the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, the apologists, and the authors of martyrdom accounts (AFAM) in the second and third centuries. The goal is to explore their role in the invention of “Christianity” and early Christian identities.

Call for papers:

Islands, Islanders, and Scriptures

Jione Havea
Althea Spencer Miller
Description: This section is a platform for island and islander views, languages, peoples, swaggers, rhythms and more. It engages interests and realities of islanders from and between the Caribbean and Oceania, and how those condition the reception, translation and interpretation of scriptures.

Call for papers: We are planning an invited ("Reading as islanders") and an open ("Reading scriptural islands") session. For the open session we invite proposals that (1) define, or stretch the definition of, "scriptural islands" or "biblical islands" and/or (2) offer islandish readings of selected scriptural text(s). The scriptural text(s) may be about an island (e.g., Cyprus, Malta, Elephantine, Lanka, Trikuta, Zanzibar, Patmos, etc.) or about a position or location (e.g., Garden, Goshen, Babel, Edom, Moab, Canaan, Temple, Samaria, Gaza,etc.) that is read as an island. There is room to engage canonical or extra-canonical texts, and to explore how (in island cultures) Scripture is more than the written texts.

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 will offer two sessions at the 2012 meeting. Session 1. War and Peace in the Prophetic tradition. Explores the perspectives on war and/or peace as part of the divine message of judgment or salvation. Issues of empire, ideology and identity may be explored as a part study of war and peace. In particular the political dimensions of the theological discourse are to be explored.Session 2. An open session on topics dealing with Israelite prophetic literature.

Israelite Religion in Its West Asian Environment

Simeon Chavel
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: The IRWAE section invites papers on any element or phenomenon, literary or material, sociological or historical, from ancient Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean, that sheds light explicitly or implicitly on the religious life of ancient Israel.

Jesus Traditions, Gospels, and Negotiating the Roman Imperial World

Warren Carter
Colleen Conway
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: 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. We welcome papers on any aspect of this topic. For 2012, we especially invite papers that engage Gospels as products of empire, and gospels and material culture. Inquiries to warren.carter@tcu.edu or Colleen Conway at conwayco@gmail.com.

Jewish Christianity / Christian Judaism

Petri Luomanen
F. Stanley Jones
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: Papers dealing with Jewish Christian texts and traditions in the first volume of the new "Hennecke" will be particularly welcomed for a joint session with the Christian Apocrypha section. For other sessions we have an open call. Papers from the spectrum of topics concerning Jewish Christianity are welcomed.

Jewish-Christian Dialogue and Sacred Texts

Leonard J. Greenspoon
Joel N. Lohr
Description: This unit explores issues related to the interpretation of sacred texts, with a view toward contemporary Jewish-Christian dialogue. It aims to foster biblical scholarship and pedagogy that is informed by and nurtures dialogue and to provide venues for discussion between the traditions on sacred scriptures.

Call for papers:

Johannine Literature

Kasper B. Larsen
Jo-Ann A. Brant
Description: Our mission is to address issues and concerns having to do with the analysis and interpretation of the Johannine literature--a major component of the Christian Scriptures, encompassing for our purposes the Gospel of John and the three Johannine letters. The section has historically been committed to highlighting new voices and issues in the field.

Call for papers: In Chicago (2012) the Johannine Literature Section will host three sessions. Two are by invitation and deal with "Johannine Scholarship Today - Global and Local Perspectives" and "The Use of Scripture in The Fourth Gospel." The third session is open and we invite paper proposals on any subject related to the Gospel and Letters of John. Paper proposers focusing strictly on Johannine literature as a possible source for historical Jesus research, however, are kindly requested to submit their proposal to the John, Jesus, and History Group. In addition, the Johannine Literature section and the Rhetoric and the New Testament are co-sponsoring a panel discussion of George L. Parsenios' book, Rhetoric and Drama in the Johannine Lawsuit Motif (Mohr Siebeck, 2010)

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: SESSION ONE: On September 25, 2011, New York Times Op-Ed contributor, Matthew A. Sutton wrote: "THE end is near — or so it seems to a segment of Christians aligned with the religious right. The global economic meltdown, numerous natural disasters and the threat of radical Islam have fueled a conviction among some evangelicals that these are the last days. While such beliefs might be dismissed as the rantings of a small but vocal minority, apocalyptic fears helped drive the antigovernment movements of the 1930s and ’40s and could help define the 2012 presidential campaign as well." The 2012 SBL Annual Meeting is situated to begin eleven days after the November 6, Presidential Election. The juxtaposition of these two events provides the John’s Apocalypse and Cultural Contexts Ancient and Modern Section a privileged vantage point to assess the deployment of political and apocalyptic rhetoric employed on both the religio-political right and the left. This session invites proposals that will engage and critically-assess the religious and politically strategic invocation of biblical apocalypticism most prominently in the 2012 national election but will also consider other deployments of politically charged apocalyptic rhetoric in other moments of U.S. history. SESSION TWO: The section invites submissions for an open session on John's Apocalypse and Cultural Contexts, Ancient and Modern. We especially welcome papers that offer new perspectives on the text, including papers that approach the text from specific hermeneutical contexts (e.g. African-American, Latino/ Latina, Asian, Pacific Islander), employ innovative approaches to the Apocalypse (e.g. spatial theory, cognitive linguistics, social-economic analysis), and/ or offer new perspectives on enduring questions.

John, Jesus, and History

Jaime Clark-Soles
Craig R. Koester
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 2012 the John, Jesus, and History Group will host four sessions focusing on "Jesus Remembered in the Johannine Tradition." Two are by invitation and include “Methodologies for the Study of John’s Gospel and Historical Jesus Research” and “John in the Second Century.” A third session, also by invitation, is sponsored jointly with the Synoptic Gospels Section and will focus on “John, the Synoptics, and the Historical Jesus.” The fourth session is open and we invite paper proposals on topics related specifically to the study of John’s Gospel and the Historical Jesus. We ask that paper proposals dealing with other topics in Johannine studies be submitted to the Johannine Literature Section.

Josephus

Jan W. van Henten
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: Two sessions are planned for the 2012 annual meeting. One session will be devoted to papers related to the Brill Josephus project and is by invitation only. For the second session the Josephus group invites proposals for papers on Perspectives on “the other” in Josephus. Josephus refers to many ethnic groups other than Jews, who are sometimes characterized as barbaroi. Papers should focus on aspects of impressions of "the other" or descriptions of connections between Jews and "others".

Joshua-Judges

Ed Noort
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: Three sessions: (1) Open Session on Building Exegetical Data for the Study of Joshua-Judges. Paper proposals should deal with a specific text or texts within Joshua-Judges in a manner that opens up understanding of a larger problem within the Joshua/Judges corpus. (2) Open Session that seeks papers that utilize diverse methodological techniques and/or synthetic approaches for the study of Joshua-Judges. Papers should seek to place these books in a particular methodological landscape and demonstrate how the particular approach can advance the larger study of Joshua/Judges. (3) Joint session with the Political Theory program unit. This session seeks papers that examine Joshua-Judges through the prism of political science, broadly conceived. As other program units already explore feminist ideology, African-American hermeneutics and post-colonial approaches, this session will give preference to papers that employ theoretical models concerning, for example, notions of nationhood, citizenship, law, class, social hierarchy, economic distribution, modes of leadership, and the like. Alternatively, papers may analyze the biblical text through the political thought of the great thinkers of political theory, classical, medieval or modern.

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

Kang-Yup Na
Won W. Lee
John Ahn
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.

Latino/a and Latin American Biblical Interpretation

Fernando F. Segovia
Francisco Lozada, Jr.
Description: The issue of contextualization at the level of reception or interpretation, involving not only location but also perspective, has become paramount in Biblical Studies in recent years. For some time now, a good and growing number of Latino/a American and Latin American biblical scholars have been addressing the problematic of reading the Bible explicitly from their particular placements and optics in society and culture. This proposed Consultation seeks to pursue such work in sustained and systematic fashion by bringing together scholars—Latino/a and Latin American as well as others with an interest in such discussions—from across the spectrum of biblical criticism. Its scope is conceived as broad: first, the biblical texts as such, both testaments; second, readings and readers of these texts in modern and postmodern biblical criticism; lastly, traditions of reading the Bible outside academic criticism. Its approach is also envisioned as wide-ranging: open to a variety of methodological approaches and theoretical perspectives, from the more traditional to the more recent.

Call for papers: For 2012 the program will be twofold, beginning in both cases ongoing projects. One project will address the topic of Liberation and Economics. Its focus will be on early liberation thinking as well as dialogue with Marxism, such as, for example, the work of Jose Porfirio Miranda. The other project will center on the topic of Migration and the Bible, with a focus on both reviews of the existing literature and constructive proposals.

Latter-day Saints and the Bible

Gaye Strathearn
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 for the 2012 Annual Meeting in Chicago are invited on any topics directly pertinent to Latter-day Saints and the Bible, including the translation or interpretation of passages in the Old or New Testament, the LDS reception of the Bible, or inter-textual studies between the Bible and restoration scriptures.

Letters of James, Peter, and Jude

Dr. Peter H. Davids
Duane F. Watson
Description: The Letters of James, Peter, and Jude Section considers research on these letters that contribute to understanding them and their social contexts. It encourages the use of rhetorical, social-scientific, sociorhetorical, ideological, and hermeneutical methods, as well as other cross-disciplinary approaches in addition to the historical-critical method.

Call for papers: The Letters of James, Peter, and Jude is issuing a call for papers with two distinct foci: (1) We are beginning a multi-year research program examining "Letters of James, Peter, and Jude at the Intersection of Jewish and Greek and Roman Intellectual Traditions." The focus for our 2012 meeting is on the use of Jewish and Greco-Roman intellectual traditions in James, and paper proposals with this focus are strongly encouraged. (2) We continue to hold Open Session(s) in which papers on any aspect related to the study of the letters of James, Peter and Jude consistent with the general description of this section are welcome.

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: The program unit plans to run three sessions in the 2012 year: the first will be a panel of invited papers held in conjunction with the Pentateuch section. The second will be a panel of papers solicited independently. The third session will be an open session, for which proposals on all topics pertaining to Levites and Priests are welcome.

LGBTI/Queer Hermeneutics

David Tabb Stewart
Lynn Huber
Description: Sexual orientation and kinship continues to be contested in public, ecclesial and academic communities across the globe and Biblical interpretation underpins much that is oppressive in these efforts. This section provides a forum for interrogating issues related to these interpretations and for formulating interpretive methods that emerge from the diversity of LGBTI/Q experience and thought.

Call for papers: The LGBT/ Queer Hermeneutics program unit invites papers for OPEN SESSIONS on the following topics: "Legal Literature through a Queer Lens," which continues our genre series. We invite proposals that extend LGBT/Queer hermeneutics to legal texts within the biblical tradition. This includes texts traditionally described as "Law" (i.e. the legal materials in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), household codes (i.e. Pauline, Deutero-Pauline, Pastorals), and interpretive traditions which are related or interpret these legal discourses. Papers that engage the relationship between biblical traditions and contemporary discussions of law from a queer perspective are also welcome. We also invite papers that engage "Intersections between Drag and Biblical Traditions." Papers may explore cross dressing in biblical traditions and cognate literatures, the ways in which drag theory illuminates biblical texts, and/or the ways in which biblical texts are employed and reinterpreted in drag performance. Proposals on any aspect of LGBT/Queer Hermeneutics in conversation with biblical and cognate literatures--including texts from the ancient Near East--are welcome as well. We also invite papers for a JOINT SESSION with the program unit "Women in the Biblical World." The session will be based on the new book "Bible Trouble: Queer Reading at the Boundaries of Biblical Scholarship" (ed. Teresa J. Hornsby and Ken Stone; Semeia Series; SBL August 2011) and seeks to discuss commonalities and differences in feminist and queer readings. Finally, we encourage proposals or projects about "mentoring" as part of the larger collaborative effort of the NON-TRADITIONAL HERMENEUTICS programming units under the rubric of "Difference." We seek collaborative work or demonstrations of collaboration between faculty mentors and mentees in dialogue with any non-traditional hermeneutic. In this session graduate students and more established scholars will present their work.

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: As in past years, this section is holding two sessions: one topical, and one non-topical or open. (a) For this year's topical session, we welcome papers that address the linguistic aspects of dialogue in Biblical Hebrew. We invite papers on direct and indirect speech acts, discourse markers, conversational analysis, politeness, sociolinguistics, or any other relevant topic. (b) For the non-topical session, we invite any other presentations that fall within the rubric of linguistically-informed issues in Biblical Hebrew.

Literature and History of the Persian Period

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 be holding two sessions. The first will be comprised of an invited panel of speaker for which paper proposals are not being accepted. The second is an open session for which we are accepting papers proposals on any topic pertaining to the parameters of the group.

Manuscripts from Eastern Christian Traditions

Adam McCollum
Description: This Workshop provides a forum to familiarize students and scholars, especially those who have not worked with manuscripts before, with manuscript studies within the broader fields of eastern Christianity in any of its languages and literary traditions.

Call for papers: This Workshop provides a forum to familiarize students and scholars, especially those who have not worked with manuscripts before, with manuscript studies within the broader fields of eastern Christianity in any of its languages and literary traditions (Arabic, Armenian, Coptic, Ge`ez, Georgian, Syriac, etc.).

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: Mark Group Call for Papers 2012; CALL CLOSES MAR 1, 2012. The Mark Seminar, 2012 in Chicago, invites papers for two sessions, a) the first will discuss the provenance of the Gospel of Mark, with particular focus on how the proposed provenance affects the interpretation of Mark and may yield an interpretative gain over alternatives. b) and the second will consider reading Mark from the perspective of particular social locations (such as African American, Latino, liberation, feminist, post-colonial, etc.) or other contextualized readings. Send proposals (350 words max) or full papers for first time presenters, 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, faxed materials should be marked “attention Rikk Watts.” 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 address. Applicants will be notified accordingly shortly after the close of call for papers on March 1, 2012.

Markan Literary Sources

Adam Winn
David B. Peabody
Description: This Seminar on Markan Literary Sources will explore Mark's literary dependence on extant literature, especially Jewish, Christian, and Greco-Roman—a topic that has long been neglected. The method will include awareness of: (a) ancient methods of reshaping texts; (b) recently-developed criteria for judging literary dependence.

Call for papers: The Seminar on Markan Literary Sources will hold two sessions at the 2012 annual meeting in Chicago. Session one will address possible literary source material for Mark 3-6. Session two will consider general studies on Markan literary sources, including general methods for and approaches to identifying Markan literary sources. The steering committee for this Seminar will be inviting papers for presentation from individuals who have previously committed to the Seminar. No open call for papers will be offered.

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: 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).

Matthew

Joel Willitts
Daniel M. Gurtner
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 invites paper proposals for an open session on any topic related to Matthew’s Gospel for the 2012 Annual Meeting. (Correction: There is no policy requiring students without a doctoral degree to submit any material beyond the title and abstract given in the online proposal.)

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: We have planned two sessions for 2012. One will be on Meals and Economics; the other will be on Greco-Roman Associations and Meals. Papers have been assigned for both sessions. There will not be an open call for papers this year.

Meals in the HB/OT and Its World

Peter Altmann
Nathan MacDonald
Description: This unit builds on the anthropological insight of meals' importance, utilizing the considerable data about food and feasting from the OT/HB and the ANE to address questions of social status, gender, sexuality, communal formation and dynamics, and theology and ideology.

Call for papers:

Memory Perspectives on Early Christianity and its Greco-Roman Context

Karl Galinsky
L. Michael White
Description: With a focus on memory, the Consultation extends the ongoing SBL programs on the interaction of Greco-Roman culture and Christianity. This interdisciplinary and international dialogue brings together leading scholars from classics, ancient history and archaeology, and religious studies on memory formation.

Call for papers:

Metacriticism of Biblical Scholarship

Hector Avalos
Description: This unit critically evaluates suppositions in and underlying biblical scholarship, including how an explicitly non-religious approach differs from what is even now represented as historical-critical scholarship, especially when compared to other secular disciplines within the Humanities (history, classical studies) and the Social Sciences (e.g., anthropology, sociology).

Call for papers:

Metaphor Theory and the Hebrew Bible

Hanne Loeland Levinson
Description: This section aims to advance the understanding of how metaphor operates in the Hebrew Bible, with a focus on how applied metaphor theory can enhance our work as Bible scholars; it also aims to deepen our knowledge of the diverse metaphorical language used in the Hebrew Bible.

Call for papers: The consultation on "Metaphor Theory and Biblical Texts" is planning two sessions for the meeting in Chicago. Both sessions will be comprised of open and invited papers. One session will explore current metaphor theories and their applicability to biblical studies. Our focus will be whether particular theories of metaphor are mutually exclusive or mutually enhancing. The second session will focus on the interplay of metaphors within Psalm 18. The papers should offer a close reading of the text, with particular attention to the relationship between metaphors in this psalm; authors should integrate general metaphor theory into their exploration of this topic.

Midrash

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

Call for papers: The Midrash Section will sponsor one session that will be open to paper proposals that address any area of critical Midrash research. Emerging scholars and those interested in promoting new, developing trajectories of Midrash research are encouraged to submit proposals. Additionally, the Section will co-sponsor a second session devoted to an exploration of the concept and notion of "Other" in Midrashic thought and literature. Furthermore, there will be a co-sponsored session with "History and Literature of Early Rabbinic Judaism" concerning Tannaitic Midrash.

Mind, Society, and Religion in the Biblical World

Istvan Czachesz
Risto Uro
Description: The aim of the program unit is to draw on theories developed in the cognitive science of religion, a new multidisciplinary field centering on cross-culturally recurrent patterns in religious thought, experience, and practice, and to develop approaches integrating cultural and cognitive studies. For more information, visit http://blogs.helsinki.fi/mindsocietyreligion/.

Call for papers:

Minoritized Criticism and Biblical Interpretation

Fernando F. Segovia
Randall C. Bailey
Tat-siong Benny Liew
Description: The issue of contextualization at the level of reception and interpretation, involving not only social-cultural location but also ideological perspective, has become paramount in Biblical Studies in recent years. For some time now, a substantial and ever-growing number of African American, Asian American, and Latino/a American biblical scholars have been addressing the problematic of reading the biblical texts explicitly from their respective placements and optics in society and culture. This proposed Consultation seeks to expand such work by bringing together scholars from these and other population groups, both national and international, that have traditionally been classified as “minority” groups but who today classify themselves as “minoritized” groups. A word about the term “minoritized” is in order. Such groups have undergone what in Racial-Ethnic Studies is known as a process of racialization or ethnicization, grounded in real or perceived biological or cultural features, respectively. The process itself is dialectical as well as differential. It is dialectical insofar as it entails a construction of a racial or ethnic Other by a Self, which in the process constructs itself as separate. It is differential insofar as such a construction involves an unequal relation of power between Self and Other, one of domination and subordination, respectively. When such a process takes place at the level of a political unit or state, then one can speak of such groups as “minoritized” by a “dominantized” group formation. The proposed Consultation thus seeks to bring together critics from such groups not only within the United States but also globally, in order to work together as critics on the problematic of minoritization-dominantization at all levels of the discipline as conceived and practiced today. Its scope is thus quite broad: (1) the ancient texts as such, canonical as well as extracanonical; (2) readings and readers of these texts in modern and postmodern

Call for papers: For 2012 the focus will be on interpreting texts from a minoritized perspective, paying attention to the question of location and ideology, while keeping in mind the dimension of teaching from such an interpretive standpoint. Two sessions are scheduled, one on Genesis 21 and the other on John 4. Participation is by invitation.

Mysticism, Esotericism, and Gnosticism in Antiquity

April D. DeConick
Rebecca Lesses
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: This unit invites an open call for papers sessions devoted to the topic of angelology and demonology in religious currents of secrecy/secrets (esotericism) and/or their revelation through praxis (mysticism) in the formative period of Judaism and Christianity (ca. 500 BCE-500 CE).

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, interpretation, social and religio-historical contexts, codicology, and translation.

Call for papers: The Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism Section seeks proposals for two sessions. The first themed session will explore the relationship between the writings of the New Testament and so-called "Gnostic" sources,in particular scriptural exegesis and the embeddedness of New Testamental passages in second-century sources. For our second themed session, we invite papers that explore the theme of martyrdom in the ancient world. We encourage submissions from scholars at a variety of career stages. We may also consider a third "open" session.

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 Association of Professors of Hebrew (NAPH)is sponsoring six sessions. Session One, Annual Meeting of Officers and Members. Session Two, Theme, “Jews on Jesus: Con-Visions of the Other” For all the myriad views of Jesus there is pretty close consensus that he lived and died a faithful Jew. Nonetheless, recent Jewish explorations on the Jewish Jesus have present challenges for observant Jews and Christian believers. We invite papers that explore the ramifications of Jesus in Second Temple Judaism and Jewish life today (self) and Jesus the Jew hitherto marginal now seen as central in New Testament and Christian heritage (other).Session Three, Book Discussion, Marvin A. Sweeney, Tanak: A Theological and Critical Introduction to the Jewish Bible (Fortress Press, 2012).Session is cosponsored with SBL Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures Section. Session Four,Theme, “Hebrew Online.” The Methodology Session of NAPH invites papers and presentations on the theory and practice of teaching and learning biblical Hebrew online (elementary, intermediate and exegesis courses). We will consider both hybrid and one hundred percent online formats. Session Five,Theme, “Translated TaNaKh: The Nature and Nomenclature of Its Authority.” Although biblical translations are not intended to take the place of the Hebrew Bible itself in Jewish tradition, this does not mean that translations are not authoritative in at least some contexts. Papers in this session will explore the historical, cultural, and religious boundaries of such authority from a theoretical/theological perspective or on the basis of specific examples. Session Six, Theme,"Subtle Citation, Allusion, and Translation in the Hebrew Bible: Evidence, Evaluation, and Implications." Papers will focus on not-so-obvious, unrecognized cases of citation and allusion and on translations from other languages, clarifying the methodological considerations on which their status as real can be established and their implications.

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 proposals for the following two sessions: 1) The Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (CBGM). We seek proposals that will either exemplify or evaluate this text-critical approach. 2) An open session. Proposals are welcome on any aspect of New Testament textual criticism, especially those that focus on textual criticism and exegesis, and the history and practice of textual criticism. We will also have a third session with a discussion of The Text of the New Testament: Essays on the Status Quaestionis (Brill, 2012), edited by Bart Ehrman and Michael Holmes.

North American Association for the Study of Religion

William E. Arnal
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: NAASR is looking for papers that approach the texts associated with Christian Origins from the perspective of the study of ancient religions. That is, if we set aside the idiosyncratic and too-often theologically-derived analytic categories and methods associated with “higher criticism” of the “New Testament,” can we productively approach the texts and gain some critical leverage on their historical and ideological genesis? Or must these texts always be approached in their own terms, with eccentric methods, and as uniquely Christian and distinct from the currents and trends of the culture of which they were a part?

Novum Testamentum Graecum: Editio Critica Maior

P.J. Williams
Holger Strutwolf
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:

Orality, Textuality, and the Formation of the Hebrew Bible

William M. Schniedewind
Elsie R. Stern
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: This section explores how recent research on orality and textuality can inform study of the formation and transmission of the Hebrew Bible. The section provides an opportunity for dialogue among biblical scholars who are focusing on different aspects of the oral-textual continuum. It also provides a forum for conversation among scholars in biblical studies and other disciplines that study orality, textuality and their interaction. We are inviting papers for at least one open session at the 2012 annual meeting on the topic: Memory, Manuscript and Performance in the Composition and Transmission of Biblical Texts. We are particularly interested in papers that explore the interplay of these phenomena (memory, manuscript, performance) in the context of biblical literature as well as papers that consider the relevance of new or under-explored empirical data (e.g. parallel versions, variant textual forms, descriptions of ancient near eastern and second temple period pedagogy and performance) for the reconstruction of the composition and transmission of biblical texts.

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: This group invites proposals for papers for two sessions: the first is an open session, papers for which can address any of the group's themes. The second is a thematic session, "Form, Format, and Formation: Papyrus Manuscripts in Antiquity", for which papers discussing the construction and production of papyrus manuscripts in antiquity are invited.

Paul and Politics

Pamela Eisenbaum
Neil Elliott
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: For 2012, the Group invites papers reflecting critically on the dynamics of ethnicity and identity with a people, as these informed and shaped the Pauline assemblies and as the particular dynamics of nationalism inform and shape contemporary interpretation of Paul's letters.

Paul Within Judaism

Magnus Zetterholm
Mark D. Nanos
Description: While the opposition between Paul and Judaism has been the undisputed point of departure in much previous Pauline scholarship, the aim of this program unit is to develop Pauline studies from the hypothesis that Paul remained within and practiced Judaism.

Call for papers:

Pauline Epistles

Emma Wasserman
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: The Pauline Epistles Section will have one session with invited papers and three open sessions at the annual meeting in November 2012. Proposals for papers presenting original, scholarly research are welcome for the three open sessions. Paper proposals will only be considered if they are submitted on the SBL website.

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 sessions with invited papers and responses are planned for 2012.

Pentateuch

Thomas Römer
Sarah Shectman
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: Paper proposals dealing with topics of the current Pentateuchal research are accepted for an open session.

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: In 2012, the Performance Criticism of Biblical and Other Ancient Texts group will offer two sessions devoted to the interaction between performer and audience during the performance of biblical or other texts in the ancient context. One will reflect this interaction focusing on the role of the performer, the other on the role of the audience. Papers are invited that reflect on this interaction from either perspective. The group will also will share a joint session with the Orality and Textuality in the Formation of the Hebrew Bible group devoted to memory, manuscript and performance in the composition and transmission of biblical texts. Papers are invited that focus on this topic as well. The Performance Criticism of Biblical and Other Ancient Texts group 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.

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 the 2012 SBL meeting, we invite proposals for two sessions on different topics: 1) We invite proposals for a panel on Philo’s readers in the pre-modern world. Of special interest are papers that address Philo’s Graeco-Roman readers. Did pagans and Jews read Philo in antiquity? Proposals relating to Christian sources and later periods (e.g., medieval and Renaissance) are also welcome. The session will include invited contributions as well as those drawn from this call for papers. The aim of the panel is to open up new evidence or revisit old questions about who read and made use of Philo’s writings in the past. 2) We invite proposals for a session devoted to work in progress on a commentary on Philo's Legum Allegoriae (Allegorical Interpretation), Books 1 and 2 (but not Book 3), which focus on Genesis chapter 2 and verse 3:1. Some panelists will be invited, but we also seek proposals for papers that deal with the two treatises from any perspective. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, issues of text criticism, translation, form, style, and interpretation; relevant exegetical and philosophical themes; later influence of the treatises; and comparative treatments of the Garden of Eden story in Jewish and/or Christian tradition.

Polis and Ekklesia: Investigations of Urban Christianity

Laurence L. Welborn
James R. Harrison
Description: This new Consultation of SBL investigates the expansion of early Christianity as an urban phenomenon from Jerusalem to Rome, from the perspective of Paul’s letters and the book of Acts against the backdrop of the local documentary and archaeological evidence. It seeks to bring together New Testament and classical scholars in the study of the New Testament writings as primary evidence for the understanding of civic and religious life in the first-century Mediterranean world. The wide range of methodologies and disciplines employed in this investigation ensures a more holistic approach than has been the case in the past.

Call for papers: This Consultation investigates the expansion of early Christianity as an urban phenomenon from Jerusalem to Rome, from the perspective of Paul's letters and the Book of Acts, in the context of local documentary and archaeological evidence. The consultation seeks to be a venue for collaboration between scholars of early Christianity, classicists and archaeologists, in the study of the New Testament and early Christian literature as primary evidence for understanding the civic, religious and cultural life of the Mediterranean world of the first two centuries. The wide range of methodologies employed and the interdisciplinary nature of the investigation aim at a holistic presentation of the relationship between each polis and its ekklesia. Roman Corinth is the focus of the consultation for 2012. Two sessions are planned: a closed session and an open session.

Postcolonial Studies and Biblical Studies

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

Call for papers: Proposals are being accepted for two open sessions, though it's possible that one session might be pre-arranged. Preference will be given to papers that engage creatively with postcolonial theorists outside the field of biblical studies and/or open up new areas of investigation.

Poverty in the Biblical World

Kari Latvus
Richard A. Horsley
Glenna S. Jackson
Description: This unit will examine poverty, servitude, and related issues in the Hebrew Bible, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity. While non-canonical texts and related materials will be included, primary focus will be on biblical texts. Innovative interdisciplinary methods as well as traditional exegesis are welcome. More information is available at http://povertyinthebiblicalworld.wordpress.com/.

Call for papers: All papers will be (if possible) posted in the website two weeks before the meeting and they will be available for a short period after the meeting. In 2012 two sessions are planned. Some presenters are invited but both sessions are open for proposals. The first session invites scholars to present papers about specific biblical (and also non-canonical but related) texts which focus on debt and generation of wealth and poverty. The second session will focus on the methods, epistemology and analysis of preconditions/consequences of the different reading strategies of (biblical and non-canonical) poverty texts. How do we create the knowledge about poverty and how that knowledge has been and continues to be used when we read biblical texts? Besides the classical exegetical approach, this session will have also a special concern for the interaction between the reality of (present experienced/ known) poverty and reading/analyzing biblical texts. This can include contextual reading of poverty texts, reports and analysis of experiments to develop the methods.

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: The 2012 PTAC session is organized as a joint session with the Theological Perspectives on the Book of Ezekiel Section. The topic of the session is "The Book of Ezekiel in Its Babylonian Context." All papers will be invited. Session organizers are Corrine Carvalho and Dalit Rom-Shiloni.

Pseudepigrapha

Liv Ingeborg Lied
Matthias Henze
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: The Pseudepigrapha Section will have three sessions in Chicago. The first session will be a closed, invited review session on the new book by Matthias Henze, Jewish Apocalypticism in Late First Century Israel: Reading Second Baruch in Context (Mohr Siebeck, 2011). The second session will be an open session titled “Ancient Media Cultures.” Ancient media studies are concerned with the dynamics of ancient written and oral cultures, oral performance, the workings of memory and audience perceptions, as well as with the production, reproduction and circulation of manuscripts. We invite papers that explore how ancient media culture(s) may have affected the form, the content, and the loci of meaning in the texts. Papers are especially welcome that discuss the methodological ramifications of rethinking Pseudepigrapha in light of the media cultures in which they originated and circulated, manuscript cultures, and multimedia contexts. The third session will be an open session. Papers are welcome on any topic related to the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. Papers may either focus on a particular pseudepigraphic text, explore a specific theme, or deal with methodological issues. Paper proposals should include the argument or thrust of the paper, the primary texts treated, and the methodological framework employed.

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

We are particularly interested in papers which examine readers, the process of reading, appropriation of texts, and their impact on individuals and communities from a psychological perspective.

We also plan review sessions of two recent books: Kamila Blessing's Families of the Bible (Praeger 2010), and Barbara Leung Lai's Through the 'I'-Window: The Inner Life of Characters in the Hebrew Bible (Sheffeild Phoenix Press, 2011).

Questions? Contact the Chair, D. Andrew Kille, at psybibs@psybibs.org.

Q

Paul Foster
Christoph Heil
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 2012 meeting the Q section will organise three sessions: 1. Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of J.S. Kloppenborg's, The Formation of Q. 2. Open session. This session allows for the presentation of papers on any aspect of the Q hypothesis. 3. Q Space and Archaeology . Any aspects of the concept of space or aspects of archaeology.

Qumran

Maxine L. Grossman
Charlotte Hempel
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 welcomes papers on any aspect of the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Qumran, including studies of texts, material culture, history, literature, or recent advances in the field. For 2012, the section especially invites papers on 4QInstruction and the larger wisdom tradition, as well as papers that consider the site of Qumran in light of recent work in regional archaeology. In 2012, the Qumran section will also co-sponsor an invited session on the publication of new editions of Dead Sea Scroll and rabbinic texts (with the History and Literature of Early Rabbinic Judaism section).

Qur'an and Biblical Literature

John Kaltner
Michael Pregill
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: Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, Qur'an and its exegesis in comparative perspective with particular attention to literary and historical connections between Muslim interpretation of the Qur'an and non-Muslim exegesis of the Bible and related traditions; the current state of the field of Qur'anic Studies; critical approaches to the study/analysis of the Qur'an (from both Muslim and non-Muslim perspectives); Qur'an translation; pedagogy (the Qur'an in the classroom); comparative hermeneutics (ancient, medieval, or contemporary); interfaith dialogue; sectarian polemics; gender/sexuality in comparative perspective; Qur'an in the context of late antiquity. The Qur'an and Biblical Literature section looks to have four panels at the 2012 Annual Meeting, and in cooperation with the AAR Religion in Premodern Europe and the Mediterranean Group we seek papers for a co-sponsored session exploring interpretations of scriptural passages that describe the possibility of seeing God. All other panels are currently open, but prearranged panels with a set topic and invited participants will be given full consideration.

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 will be co-sponsored with Bible and Cultural Studies. It will focus on affect theory and biblical interpretation. Proposals are welcome for papers that read biblical texts or analyze biblical interpretation in dialogue with theoretical work by writers associated with affect theory (e.g., Sara Ahmed, Lauren Berlant, Brian Massumi, Eve Sedgwick, Kathleen Stewart, the contributors to The Affect Theory Reader, etc.). The 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 accommodated by other groups in the SBL. We also encourage innovative presentation.

Recovering Female Interpreters of the Bible

Joy Schroeder
Description: This unit focuses on the recovery of work by female biblical interpreters before the twentieth century who wrote from various faith and ideological standpoints. These female interpreters will be considered in their cultural and historical contexts, with the intention of analyzing their neglected contributions to the study of biblical literature.

Call for papers: This unit focuses 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 women 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. Session 1) Open session: "Silent No More: Women Interpreters Responding to Paul." We welcome abstracts for 20-minute papers. Since the papers will have respondents, presenters must submit their papers by August 1, 2012. Session 2) Closed session: Invited panelists will discuss the Handbook of Women Biblical Interpreters, edited by Marion Taylor and Agnes Choi (forthcoming from Baker Academic).

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: For the 2012 annual meeting in Chicago, the Redescribing Early Christianity Group will focus on the theme of “Redescribing Martyrdom and Sacrifice in Early Christianity.” Issues of method and theory will be in the forefront as the Group attends to such matters as early Christianity’s distinctive discourses on martyrdom and sacrifice; how an equation got made between martyrdom and sacrifice in early Christianity; and the implications of Christianity’s rejection of the practice of sacrifice within the context of ancient Mediterranean religion and culture. The group envisions two sessions: the first, featuring invited papers on the session’s theme serving as “anchor” presentations for responses from scholars currently engaged in the study of martyrdom and sacrifice in early Christianity; the second, a business and planning meeting to chart the future course of the Group.

Religious Competition in Late Antiquity

Nathaniel Desrosiers
Description: This unit analyzes the competition between diverse social groups of the Mediterranean basin in the third century CE through the development of broadly comparative methodologies. It delineates the ways in which this competitive interaction reshaped the Roman cultural and religious landscapes.

Call for papers: This unit analyzes the competition between diverse social groups of the Mediterranean basin in the late antique Roman Empire (c. 200-600) and will organize two sessions in 2012.

For the first session we are accepting papers that examine how religious and philosophical groups in late antiquity competed with one another through material culture (i.e., via art, architecture, ritual objects, food, clothing, etc.). Participants are encouraged to demonstrate the ways that material objects can express competitive interactions both between and among Jews, Christians, and pagans in this period. For the second session, we are accepting papers that problematize the notion of appropriation and its role in religious competition amongst Jews, Christians, and pagans.Competition requires the interaction of two or more religious or philosophical traditions. As is often the case when such groups are in constant contact with each other, it is inevitable that there would be some overlap in practices, beliefs, myths, etc. These intersections are often characterized in terms of “borrowing” or “appropriation,” with an implicit, or even explicit, negative judgment against whichever group is doing the appropriating, and often with the assumption that the newer or dominated groups appropriate from older or dominant groups. Such ascriptions have often been based on notions of cultural purity or, more recently, on notions of colonialism and resistance to colonial oppression. Papers should engage critically with matters of method and theory while analyzing a particular historical instance of cultural interpenetration.

Religious Experience in Antiquity

Colleen Shantz
Angela Kim Harkins
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: We are organizing two sessions this year. The first is co-sponsored with the Wisdom and Apocalypticism in Early Judaism and Early Christianity section. For this session we invite papers analyzing themes of formation or transformation in Wisdom or Apocalyptic texts as experiences, not simply as teaching or ideas. The experiences of trans/formation may be individual or corporate and relevant texts might be reports of such experiences or have been used to generate them. Appropriate areas of focus could be the stimulation of emotions and sensations or the use of ritual practices. Proposals should show how the paper will explore the human aspects of such experiences rather than probing their confessional character. For our second session we invite papers that address the phenomenology of spatiality and embodied experiences in biblical and related literature. Topics could include consideration of journey experiences, bodily techniques (positioning and movement), and the use and effects of physical environments. Papers that use interdisciplinary approaches are especially welcome.

Religious World of Late Antiquity

Naomi Koltun-Fromm
Shira L. Lander
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: For 2012 we are soliciting proposals on three topics: 1) Codifying knowledge in Late Antiquity We welcome proposals that explore the cultural impulse in late antiquity toward gathering, preserving, and reformulating bodies of knowledge (ritual, legal, philosophical, scholastic, etc.) that encompass topics such as ritual procedures, oracles, rules of conduct, wisdom sayings, or genealogical, scholastic, or prophetic chains of tradition, by means of a variety of formats (magical handbooks, scriptural canons, bibliographies, etc.). We are particularly interested in proposals that examine the exercise of power, cultural poetics, and contexts of production in relation to one or more such collections. 2) Palpable Gods Proposals are sought that examine ways in which the potential remoteness and transcendence of divinity were mitigated discursively, ritually, and materially in late antique religious practice, e.g. through iconism, relics, ingestion of sacralized food, magical and theurgic invocation, theophany and incarnation, oracles, possession, and deification or sanctification of humans or animals. We are especially interested in proposals that engage both ancient and modern understandings of the purpose and value of such palpability in relation/contrast to elite commonplaces of locating "true" religion in the transcendent. 3) Inventing Conversion (joint session with Social History of Formative Christianity and Judaism – please submit your single proposal to both Sections) We invite proposals that investigate the emergence of the idea of religious conversion in relation/contrast to other ancient modes of joining, belonging to, and/or transgressing boundaries between imagined communities. We are most interested in proposals whose close reading of ancient evidence complicates and problematizes current scholarly, theoretical models of conversion embedded in religious studies.

Rhetoric and the New Testament

Greg Carey
Todd Penner
Description: This section explores the continuously-evolving field of rhetorical criticism of the New Testament in all its diversity. Approaches include the use of Greco-Roman categories, modern approaches to rhetoric, and interdisciplinary studies that utilize anthropology, visuality, ideology to name a few.

Call for papers: The Rhetorical and the New Testament Section intends to host three sessions. The first session is open to proposals relating to rhetorical interpretation of the New Testament. A second session, entitled "Emerging Movements in Rhetorical Criticism," invites papers from student members of the Society. Brief student presentations (10 minutes) will be followed by responses from senior scholars in the field. In addition to a proposal, student members should submit a paper of 1250-1500 words for this session. A third session, entitled “Rhetorics of Reception,” invites proposals that examine the rhetorical strategies employed by patristic/matristic writers in their interpretation of New Testament texts. In this session, we are particularly interested in papers that explore the rhetorical, artistic and poetic re-formulation and re-use of proto-Christian material.

Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity

L. Gregory Bloomquist
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 RRA Group holds three sessions at the annual meetings according to three research tracks. For 2012, Track 1 (New Horizons in Sociorhetorical Interpretation) will be held conjointly with the Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Interpretation section on the subject "Recent advances in cognitive science and their significance for sociorhetorical interpretation"; Track 2 (Analytical Seminar) will be on Paul's letter to Philemon and will be presented by Prof. Roy Jeal; Track 3 (Refining Sociorhetorical Interpretation) will be on "Refining Socio-Cultural Texture". Presenters for all of the papers have already been invited.

Ritual in the Biblical World

Ada Taggar-Cohen
Russell C. D. Arnold
Description: The Ritual in the Biblical World Section focuses on the nature, meaning and function of ritual found in textual sources (HB, NT, non-canonical) in the larger context of the material culture of the ancient world, employing insights and methods of the field of ritual theory and enthnography.

Call for papers: The Ritual in the Biblical World Section 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. We invite proposals relating to any aspect of ritual for at least one open session for the Annual Meeting in Chicago. We are also planning an invited panel dealing with ritual and New Testament material culture.

Sabbath in Text and Tradition

Edward Allen
Aaron D. Panken
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 and Tradition Group invites papers on two linked themes. Papers may discuss any topic within the two themes, which are meant to suggest possibilities rather than limit them. Authors may approach the topic from any perspective – historical, religio-cultural, textual, tradition history or other theoretical models. Papers will be distributed in advance to members of the Sabbath Group to enhance dialogue and collaboration. The Sabbath and the Created World: Early biblical texts link the seven days of God’s creation with the construction of the Sabbath. Later texts (biblical and post-biblical) seek varied points of origin for Sabbath activities, including the building of the Tabernacle, the manna in the desert, the Exodus in Egypt and others. This session will explore the relationship between creation, the created world and the Sabbath, addressing issues such the various justifications for a seven-day Sabbath cycle; the Sabbath as imitatio Dei; similarity and divergence between divine and human acts of creation and the Sabbath; biblical and post-biblical understandings of the Sabbath’s relationship to Creation; environmental implications of Creation and rest; the sabbatical cycle; the impact of Sabbath observance on the created world and other related questions. The Sabbath and the World to Come: Many biblical texts posit the existence of a “World to Come,” an idealized state that will exist when the world transcends its present reality. The Sabbath has been linked to this future state in numerous ways. This session will examine the biblical and post-biblical Sabbath as they relate to the World to Come, including the Sabbath as foretaste and/or harbinger; the relationship between Messiah, Messianic Age and Sabbath; Sabbath observance as speeding (or non-observance as hindering) the arrival of the World to Come; concepts of perfection and wholeness on the Sabbath and in the World to Come and other related questions.

Sacrifice, Cult, and Atonement

Christian A. Eberhart
Henrietta L. Wiley
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 section offers three sessions for the 2012 Annual conference: First, it invites papers for the session “Sacrificial Cult and Prophetic Criticism;” second, it invites papers for the session “Ritual Dynamics of Defilement and Purification.” Either session will feature four papers followed by a five-minute discussion. A general discussion panel concludes the session. Third, the session “One Sacrificial Body: Yom Kippur and Space in Hebrews” that is jointly offered with the Book of Hebrews section will feature papers by invited speakers with subsequent responses and ample time for discussion.

Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity

Bruce N. Fisk
Kenneth Pomykala
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 Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity Section welcomes proposals for two sessions. One session (5 papers) will focus on the use of Scripture in early Jewish and Christian apocalyptic texts. The other session (5 papers) is open; all proposals sharing the goals of this section are welcome.

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: 2012 Annual Meeting For this seminar there are two calls for papers: 1.) an open call for papers on 2 Corinthians along the lines of the goals of the seminar (see description). 2.) a call for papers soliciting contributions on sections of or on the whole of 2 Corinthians 6:1-7:4 along the lines of the goals of the seminar (see description). The complete texts of the accepted papers are due October 31, 2012. They will be made available online by November 10.

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: 1. In collaboration with other SBL Programs, the Semiotics and Exegesis Section issues a special call for papers in response to the following questions: “What Difference does Semiotics contribute to critical biblical studies and exegesis?” Or, “What Difference does it make in the critical assessment of biblical texts to take into consideration theories of meaning production and reception?” 2. An Open Session is accepting proposals which contribute to the study of semiotics and biblical exegesis broadly conceived. Semiotics and Exegesis Section is open to the dialogue between various theories of textual interpretation, biblical hermeneutics, contextual understanding, and cultural studies with semiotic theories broadly conceived in exploring, reading and interpreting biblical texts. Please contact David Odell-Scott if you have questions regarding your proposal at dodellsc@kent.edu or call 330.672.0271.

Senses and Culture in the Biblical World

Yael Avrahami
Description: This interdisciplinary unit investigates all aspects of sensory perception in the Bible and early Judaism and Christianity, including how various cultures thought about, used, and ascribed meaning to the senses. The unit embraces diverse approaches to the study of the senses, including philological, anthropological, psychological, linguistic, cognitive, literary, and phenomenological methods.

Call for papers: This unit investigates how the various cultures associated with the Bible and early Judaism and Christianity thought about and used the senses. The unit embraces diverse approaches to the study of the senses including text study, anthropology, pyschology, linguistics, and phenomenology. For the 2012 Annual Meeting we accept general papers, as well as papers that discuss in particular: 1. Disgust and the Senses 2. Texts and the Tactile. The abstract should include some specifics on method or approach and the texts to be discussed.

Service-Learning and Biblical Studies

Amy C. Merrill Willis
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: The Service-Learning and Biblical Studies group is inviting proposals for the 2012 Annual Meeting. Papers dealing with any aspect of integrating Service-Learning into Biblical Studies (either in undergraduate or seminary contexts) are welcome, but papers dealing specifically with community engaged learning and the prophets and/ or the prophetic-ethical tradition of the New Testament are especially encouraged.

Slavery, Resistance, and Freedom

Bernadette Brooten
Description: This unit will investigate the intersections between Ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean slavery and biblical and early rabbinic texts, the diverse forms of resistance to it, and the meaning of freedom in slave-holding societies. Presenters will also examine how Jews and Christians—free, freed, and enslaved—have interpreted biblical texts on slavery and freedom and will propose how to “read for freedom.”

Call for papers: We welcome paper proposals that incorporate the perspective that enslaved persons have always been persons, even though their masters, mistresses, or legal authorities may have sought to objectify them. This implies attention to forms of resistance and to the question of what constitutes agency, to gender differences and similarities, to forms of kinship and family among enslaved persons. Proposals may address the Bible and Ancient Near East; New Testament, early Christian history, early rabbinic literature, and ancient Mediterranean history; or interpretations of biblical, rabbinic, or other classical texts by enslaved or formerly enslaved persons or their descendants, by their allies, or by their opponents, in any period of history.

Social History of Formative Christianity and Judaism

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

Call for papers: For 2012 we are planning four sessions for which we seek proposals on the following topics: 1.) New insights into the social formation of Judaism and/or Christianity from papyrology. We are particularly interested in proposals that address issues of social formation and practice such as economic resources, power negotiation, authority structures, education etc., rather than philological concerns. 2.) Domestic rituals. We especially invite proposals that explore evidence for material practices such as blessing of food, washing of objects/persons, negotiation of thresholds/limens, recitation of prayers, the use of amulets and domestic shrines, preparation of the dead, and the like. 3.) Rabbinic spatial practice and thought. We welcome proposals that engage tannaitic and amoraic texts in their wider social contexts through the lenses of space, place, and material environment. 4.) Inventing conversion in antiquity (Co-sponsored with Religious Worlds of Late Antiquity - please submit your single proposal to both Sections). We are most interested in proposals whose close reading of ancient evidence complicates and problematizes current scholarly, theoretical models of conversion embedded in religious studies.  As always, this Section also welcomes proposals that address any topic pertinent to the social history of formative Christianity and Judaism.

Social Sciences and the Interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures

David Chalcraft
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.

Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament

Alicia J. Batten
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 encourages the self-conscious use of models and methods from the social sciences to shed light on the texts and social world of the New Testament. Of two sessions in 2012, one will be devoted to a review by invited scholars of Halvor Moxnes’ recent book, Jesus and the Rise of Nationalism (I.B. Taurus, 2011). The other session is open, but papers using social scientific approaches to dress and adornment in the New Testament and related texts are particularly welcome.

Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions

Barbette Stanley Spaeth
Eric Orlin
Jeffrey Brodd
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: The Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions (SAMR) invites scholars and students of the religions of the ancient Mediterranean world, including Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Near Eastern and Anatolian religions, as well as early Christianity and Judaism, to submit abstracts for its two panel sessions: one on “Divination in Ancient Mediterranean Religions” and the other on “From Temple Banks to Patron Gods: Religion, Economy, and the Investigation of Ancient Mediterranean Ritual.” For both sessions, contributions from the fields of early Christianity and Judaism are particularly encouraged. Topics for the session on divination may treat a range of divinatory phenomena, with attention to both their ritual and textual iterations. Proposals may take up, among other topics, techniques of divining, types of divinatory specialists, training, as well as methods of divinatory participation, technologies or materials of divination, or critical assessments of ancient commentaries on divination. Papers should examine concrete literary, archaeological or other documentary examples, and engage relevant methodological and/or theoretical issues concerning the history and interpretation of divination. Our other session seeks to build on the rich scholarly tradition which investigates the intersection between ritual practice and economic realities in the ancient Mediterranean world. We are particularly interested in papers suggesting new theoretical and methodological pathways forward, or which bring an economic perspective to rituals not yet been explored in this light. Possible foci include but are not limited to: sanctuaries as economic nodes, the social and economic dynamics of priesthoods, evidence for rituals devoted to ensuring economic success, and the function of koina operating under divine protection.

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: 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/

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: 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.

Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity

Alison Schofield
Christl M. Maier
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: For 2012 we are planning two sessions. One session will be on the theme of memory and how it interacts with and shapes space, place, and lived experience. Proposals that address this theme and can engage theory, texts, and material remains are especially welcome. The other session is an open call, for which we seek proposals that address the work of this unit by combining theoretical awareness with material and/or textual engagement.

Speech and Talk in the Ancient Mediterranean World

Marianne Bjelland Kartzow
Jeremy F. Hultin
Description: This section focuses on speech practices and discourse about speech. Of special interest are the ways that gender, status, and ethnicity figure in ancient discussions of speech, and the way that social realities are revealed—and shaped—by discourse about how to talk. Treatments of specific ways of talking (e.g. gossip, loquacity) as well as more theoretical analyses of speech are welcomed.

Call for papers: For the 2012 meeting, we are issuing an open call for papers pertaining to speech practices in the ancient world.

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: For 2012, the Synoptic Gospels section will have two open sessions; we invite any proposals, but especially encourage ones that utilize comparative or thematic approaches that involve more than one synoptic gospel. The Synoptic Gospels section will additionally have one invited session examining the pedagogical opportunities provided by Zeba Crook's "Parallel Gospels: A Synopsis of Early Christian Writing;" we welcome paper proposals specifically dealing with the use of this synopsis. A fourth session will be a joint session with the John, Jesus and History group, and will address relationships between John and the Synoptic Gospels; for this session only invited papers will read.

Syriac Literature and Interpretations of Sacred Texts

Cornelia Horn
Cynthia J. Villagomez
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: We welcome papers for a total of four sessions. One session will focus on the gospels in Syriac, with special interest in the Syriac Gospel of Matthew and its reception and in relevant aspects of the study of the Diatessaron. We welcome papers for one session on the contribution of Syriac and other ancient Christian literatures to the study of health and the (dis)abled body which we plan to organize together with the Section on Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World. We also anticipate two open sessions, for which we invite submissions in all areas of research in Syriac literature and in the Syriac Bible, its versions, transmissions, exegesis, and relevance for understanding religion, culture, history, and society in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages.

Systematic Transformation and Interweaving of Scripture in 1 Corinthians

Thomas L. Brodie
Description: This seminar investigates whether 1 Corinthians, apparently the NT’s earliest extensive document, used scripture in a distinctly comprehensive way, by distilling, transforming and interweaving entire books. Clarity concerning composition should eventually clarify issues of literary form and authorship.

Call for papers: This unit will organize two invited sessions: 1) Aspects of a Systematic Approach, 2) The Composition of 1 Corinthians 5-6.

Teaching Biblical Studies in an Undergraduate Liberal Arts Context

Glenn S. Holland
Description: This section explores the opportunities and challenges of teaching biblical studies in undergraduate liberal arts institutions. Presentations and discussions share and evaluate pedagogical objectives, strategies, and assessment. The section also fosters a community of biblical studies scholars and teachers.

Call for papers: This program unit focuses on the unique opportunities and challenges of teaching biblical studies in undergraduate liberal arts institutions. For Chicago 2012, we invite proposals for papers on pedagogical objectives, strategies, and assessment tools. We also invite proposals for papers for a session specifically devoted to justifying the place of biblical studies in the secular liberal arts college curriculum.

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: “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. Paper proposals are welcome on textual and text-historical problems as well as editorial projects concerning Samuel - Kings in the various languages.

Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible

Brent A. Strawn
Ingrid Lilly
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: For the 2012 Annual Meeting, one session will be cosponsored with the "Orality and Textuality in the Formation of the Hebrew Bible" Group on the theme "Memory, Manuscript and Performance in the Composition and Transmission of Biblical Texts." The Textual Criticism section also solicits papers on all aspects of textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible for two (or more) open sessions.

Textual Growth: What Variant Editions Tell Us About Scribal Activity

Lisbeth S. Fried
Juha Pakkala
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: This group is accepting papers which deal with the processes of textual growth, and especially those which focus on what textual differences can tell us about the composition process of apparently authoritative works. Particular focus is on the variant textual witnesses, which show how the to texts of the Hebrew Scriptures were changed. There will also be two closed sessions, one dealing with the Textual Growth in the late books of the Hebrew Bible, and one dealing with Textual Growth witnessed by the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Theological Interpretation of Scripture

Michael J. Gorman
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 2012, the Theological Interpretation of Scripture seminar is planning two sessions: one on the Psalms, with an invitation for papers, and one on the theological significance of reception history, with papers by invitation: (1) Reading the Psalms Theologically-- We invite papers that reflect theologically on the significance of the Psalms for Christians and/or Jews. Papers may (a) focus on the theological significance of a particular psalm, group of psalms, or type of psalm (e.g., psalms of lament); (b) consider the way in which specific theological loci are, have been, or could be informed by the reading of specific psalm texts or themes in the psalms; or (c) explore the effects of theological readings of the psalms on particular communities of faith. Papers will be 25 minutes in length. (2) The Theological Significance of Wirkungsgeschichte/Reception History (papers by invitation only)-- This session, with invited participants, will consider the theological significance of what is variously termed Wirkungsgeschichte, effective history, reception history, and impact history. All presenters have incorporated Wirkungsgeschichte into their commentary writing, and we are asking them to reflect on their work, the theological significance of Wirkungsgeschichte broadly speaking, and/or the theological “payoff” of reception history for the interpretation of the book(s) on which they have written commentaries. Persons interested in announcements regarding the work of the Seminar, or with ideas for future sessions, should contact the program unit chair, Michael Gorman (mgorman@stmarys.edu).

Theological Perspectives on the Book of Ezekiel

Dalit Rom-Shiloni
Paul M. Joyce
Description: This Section has two aims. First, it seeks to bring together scholars working on the book of Ezekiel to share research and conclusions about the book. Second, it encourages an expressly theological approach to the book.

Call for papers: At the 2012 Annual Meeting in Chicago we will hold the following sessions. First, of course, an Open Session. We welcome papers for the Open Session on any topic on the research of Ezekiel that has clear bearings on theological issues within the book. The other sessions are limited to invited papers. We will hold the third and final year of discussions on “The God Ezekiel Creates”; and we will have one, or possibly two, joint sessions with the Prophetic Texts in Their Ancient Contexts group on the topic: “The Book of Ezekiel in Its Babylonian Context”. All papers will be required in electronic form for circulation by November 2, 2012.

Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures

Esther J. Hamori
Julia M. O'Brien
Description: The purpose of the Theology of Hebrew Scriptures section is to promote sustained reflection, dialogue, and research on the various theological ideas, themes, and motifs that are found throughout the Hebrew Bible. It seeks to facilitate Jewish-Christian dialogue, creating a venue where Jewish and Christian interpreters can reflect together on a theological interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Call for papers: The Theology of Hebrew Scriptures section will hold three sessions in 2012. One session, co-sponsored with the Biblical Law Section, will feature invited papers. Our second session is a discussion of the theological and pedagogical dimensions of Marvin A. Sweeney, Tanak: A Theological and Critical Introduction to the Jewish Bible (Fortress Press, 2012); the session is co-sponsored with the National Association of Professors of Hebrew. For our third session, we invite proposals that engage the Hebrew Bible in a distinctively theological way. Special consideration will be given to proposals that take up the challenge of Carol Newsom's 2011 Presidential Address to focus on “theological anthropology,” broadly construed as addressing the Hebrew Bible's understanding of the human being as it relates to the divine. Questions may be addressed to Julia O'Brien, program unit co-chair.

Ugaritic Studies and Northwest Semitic Epigraphy

Philip C. Schmitz
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 invites papers concerning any aspect of the history of the alphabet and alphabetic literacy. Papers on this theme will be delivered in a session devoted to the topic. In addition, the section welcomes papers on other relevant topics for a non-thematic session.

Unity and Diversity in Early Jewish Monotheisms

Nathan MacDonald
Description: This unit examines the diverse forms of monotheistic belief and practice in the exilic, Persian and early Hellenistic period (c. 6th to 3rd centuries BCE). All aspects of monotheism in this period are of concern including religious practices, theological conceptualization and social implications.

Call for papers: This year the consultation will be giving special attention to priestly forms of monotheism. There will be one open session and one session with invited speakers. Paper proposals for the open session are invited for analysis of the monotheism and related issues in any literature within the Hebrew Bible corpus with strong priestly affinities, including Ezekiel, priestly sections of the Pentateuch (including but not limited to Exodus-Numbers), Ezra-Nehemiah, Chronicles, Zechariah 1-8. Papers are particularly invited that give consideration of the distinctive ways in which belief in one God is construed in priestly -influenced literature of the Hebrew Bible and how that differs from the better known examples of monotheism from Deuteronomy and Deutero-Isaiah.

Use, Influence, and Impact of the Bible

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

Call for papers: For 2012 will will have one book review session with invited speakers, and either one or two open sessions. For all of these sessions our focus is upon the reception of the biblical text in contexts other than a narrow critical-academic one (e.g. politics, law, ethics, popular religion, the arts), and on the interaction of Bible, culture, and society over a range of historical periods. There is a particular interest in discussion of the extent to which the biblical text can either be seen to have made an actual difference or to have been used retrospectively to support practices or beliefs that have already been adopted for perhaps quite other reasons.

Violence and Representations of Violence among Jews and Christians

Jennifer Knust
Kimberly Stratton
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: Session 1 (open call): Catastrophic Violence: Human and Divine. The current (and devastating) interactions of religiously inflected rhetoric, global catastrophe and endless war provoke a reconsideration of the theological underpinnings of ancient as well as modern reactions to war, famine, plague, earthquakes and eschatological disaster, which were (and are) so often credited to God. The Section welcomes theoretically informed, historically grounded and contextually sensitive explorations of literature from the Greco-Roman period on this topic, whether the calamity in question was interpreted as divine justice, as a proving ground of human excellence, or as a justification for human violence. Session 2 (invited): Embodiments of Violence. This special session highlights the work of Jennifer Glancy on the marks of violence, their representations and their significations.

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: 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.

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 two sessions in 2012: 1) The FIRST session will be an open session for which we encourage proposals for 25-minute papers that explore rituals and symbols related to war and violence in their various ancient contexts. The rituals or symbols may relate to the realities/practices of warfare or its representations in texts and iconography. Examples include pre- or post-war rituals, symbolic combat actions, costuming/outfitting elements, hair, artwork, literary symbols, and material artifacts and their use. 2) The SECOND session will consist of invited papers dealing with rituals and symbols related to ancient warrior culture and feature a panel discussion. For more information, contact Brad E. Kelle (bradkelle@pointloma.edu).

Westar Institute

Lane C. McGaughy
Description: Westar Institute is a member-supported, non-profit research and educational institute dedicated to the advancement of religious literacy. Westar's twofold mission is to foster collaborative research in religious studies and to communicate the results of the scholarship of religion to a broad, non-specialist public. Until a few years ago, essential knowledge about biblical and religious traditions was hidden in the windowless studies of universities and seminaries—away from the general public. Such research was considered too controversial or too complicated for lay persons to understand. Many scholars, fearing open conflict or even reprisal, talked only to one another. The churches often decided what information their constituents were "ready" to hear. Through publications, educational programs, and research projects like the Jesus Seminar, Westar has opened up a new kind of conversation about religion. This is an honest, no-hold-barred exchange involving thousands of scholars, clergy and other individuals who have critical questions about the past, present and future of religion.

Call for papers: THE JESUS SEMINAR ON THE LEGACY OF RUDOLF BULTMANN Proposals for papers relating to the work and legacy of Rudolf Bultmann should include a tentative paper title and brief description. Proposals accepted by the program steering committee should be submitted by October 1, 2012 for distribution to participants. This seminar is being organized both because of the seminal influence Bultmann's work has had on the Jesus Seminar and because Polebridge Press is planning to publish an English translation of Konrad Hammann's biography of Bultmann prior to the fall meeting. Proposals should be sent to Lane McGaughy . THE WESTAR BIBLE SEMINAR Proposals for papers on any one or a combination of three questions identified by last fall's session on The Once and Future Bible are being sought. The three questions are: (1) Do we need to lend more precision to our terminology--what is the difference between sacred texts, scripture, canon, and Bible? (2) If the Bible gets reconceptualized in the digital age, will Christianity, broadly speaking, get reconceptualized too? (3) In what ways has print technology informed and delimited the modern understanding of the Bible? Papers accepted by the steering committee should be submitted by October 1, 2012 for distribution to participants. Send proposals to Stephen Patterson .

Wisdom and Apocalypticism

Karina Martin Hogan
Description: Our group seeks to develop more rigorous and sophisticated ways to speak about wisdom and apocalyptic texts and motifs in early Jewish and early Christian literature. We are committed to attending to the concrete social location of particular texts.

Call for papers: For its first open session at the 2012 Annual Meeting, the Wisdom and Apocalypticism in Early Judaism and Early Christianity Section is soliciting papers that address the intersection or interrelation of wisdom and apocalyptic traditions in the literature of early Judaism or early Christianity. We ask that your abstract contain your thesis statement, not only a description of your topic. We welcome papers from graduate students; if you have not yet had a paper accepted for an Annual Meeting, please send a copy of your completed paper to the program unit chair. For a joint session with the Religious Experience in Early Judaism and Early Christianity Section, we invite papers analyzing themes of formation or transformation in Wisdom or Apocalyptic texts as experiences, not simply as teaching or ideas. The experiences of trans/formation can be individual or corporate and relevant texts might be reports of such experiences or might have been used to generate them. Appropriate areas of focus could be the stimulation of emotions and sensations or the use of ritual practices. Proposals should show how the paper will explore the human aspects of such experiences rather than probing their confessional character. We are also planning a third session with invited papers on wisdom and apocalyptic elements and influences in Paul’s letters.

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: The Wisdom in Israelite and Cognate Traditions Section is hosting three sessions for the Annual Meeting 2012. Two of these are open for paper proposals on any topic concerned with the study of Wisdom Literature as defined in the program unit description. A third session will consist of invited papers examining what it means to speak of ‘wisdom literature’ or a ‘wisdom tradition’ in the biblical corpus.

Women in the Biblical World

Susan E. Hylen
Valerie Bridgeman
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. Joint session with LGBT/Queer Hermeneutics. A session of invited papers based on the new book "Bible Trouble: Queer Reading at the Boundaries of Biblical Scholarship" (ed. Teresa J. Hornsby and Ken Stone; Semeia Series; SBL August 2011). The session seeks to discuss commonalities and differences in feminist and queer readings. 2. Open session. We invite papers that explore the ways in which food and drink function in texts to negotiate women's lives, e.g. a reading of Abigail's encounter with David (1 Samuel 25); Jael's encounter with Sisera (Judges 4-5); the Levite and his concubine and her father (Judges 19); female body parts compared to fruit (Lady Folly or the Woman in Song of Songs); the Samaritan woman (John 4); or the drunken woman envisioned in Revelation 17. A range of approaches from literary, socio-historical to reader-oriented readings are welcome.

Writing/Reading Jeremiah

Mark Brummitt
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: The Writing/Reading Jeremiah group invites proposals on the following topics for 2012.

1) In keeping with the Writing/Reading Jeremiah group’s ongoing interest in exploring poetics over and above textual genetics, and the Biblical Hebrew Poetry section’s ongoing interest in the role of poetry in a broad range of biblical literatures, we will be co-hosting a session considering the rhetorical function of poetry in the book of Jeremiah, namely: the impact of poetic imagery (to generate nostalgia; strike terror; solicit sympathy), the task of poetry in counter imagining (an end amidst false hope; hope amidst an apparent end), and so also its theo-politics (perhaps in relation to the prose); the impact of poetry on readers’ experiences of the structure of the book. Papers for this panel have been invited.

2) For a panel on theological readings of Jeremiah, papers that offer well-theorized analysis of any of the following, in the text(s) of Jeremiah or in reception history: the prophet’s performance as embodiment of the divine word; constructions of Judah as theologized subject; ways in which portrayals of God in Jeremiah are complicated by the interplay of prose and poetic traditions in the book; theological dimensions of representations of history in Jeremiah; or some other issue that invites theologically astute interpretation of Jeremiah. Priority will be given to papers that demonstrate meaningful engagement with contemporary theology en route to writing/reading Jeremiah.

3) For an open session: papers on any interpretive issue related to the book of Jeremiah. Priority will be given to proposals that demonstrate a hermeneutical attentiveness that moves beyond, or seeks to complicate, traditional historicist interpretive paradigms.

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