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Congresses

2014 Annual Meeting

San Diego, CA

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

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

Program Units

 

Academic Teaching and Biblical Studies

Taylor Halverson
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 sponsoring 4 sessions in 2014. The first theme session "Teaching the Bible Visually or Geographically" welcomes proposals on this topic. The second theme session "Enhancing Teaching and Learning in Biblical Studies" is also seeking proposals. The third theme session "Teaching the Bible in an Open World: Open Resources for Teaching and Learning with the Bible" is co-sponsored with the Global Education and Research Technology section and welcomes paper proposals pertinent to this topic. ATBS will also sponsor a panel discussion on "Motivation and Learning in Biblical Studies." For more information about these sessions and information on how proposals will be evaluated, please go to http://goo.gl/YDDRHx

African Association for the Study of Religions

Elias Kifon Bongmba
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: 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.

African Biblical Hermeneutics

Andrew M. Mbuvi
Madipoane J. Masenya
Description: This section is devoted to the study of the Bible from African perspectives, and focuses on African issues. A diversity of methods reflecting the social-cultural diversity of Africa is used in reading the Bible. The emphasis is on encouraging readings of the Bible that are shaped by African perspectives and issues, and giving voice to African biblical scholars as they contribute to global biblical scholarship. The unit expects to publish essays from its sessions.

Call for papers: 1. "Sexuality, Masculinities, HIV and AIDS, and the Bible in Africa": Within various African contexts, the themes of sexuality and masculinities need to be critically engaged with by concerned African biblical scholars. What is the role of the Bible in all these concerns? Within such contexts, what contributions can scholars make towards ethically sound HIV and AIDS sensitive biblical hermeneutics? 2. "Methodology in African Biblical Interpretations and Related Methodologies in Africa": Realizing the need for methodologies that would be relevant within various African contexts, those which will enable scholars to teach Biblical Studies in a more efficient and relevant way, there is a need to develop African-conscious methodologies within the various contexts of Bible interpretation. 3. "Bible, Power and Wealth in Africa": "Prosperity Gospel" seems to have taken firm hold in many African settings today. It has made charismatic leaders rich and powerful while diluting the biblical notion of humility and service to others in stark contrast to Pope Francis' championing of concern for the poor and needy. Papers which reveal the link, if any, between the Bible, Power and Wealth in Africa, and the intersection between Faith, Bible and Material Wealth, are invited. 4. "African Biblical Response to Global Crises of War and Mass Violence": Certain parts of the African continent (e.g., Nigeria, Egypt, Somali, Great Lakes Region,etc) have been ravaged by war and violence for years. Some of the wars are also supported by violent ideologies embedded within various sacred texts, not excluding the Christian Bible (e.g. LRA of Uganda). In this section, we invite papers that will address a fitting African Biblical response to crises of war and mass violence. 5. Joint Session with the Disputed Paulines Section - We welcome proposals that apply some aspects of African Biblical Hermeneutics to 2 Thessalonians, Colossians, Ephesians, 1-2 Timothy, and/or Titus.

African-American Biblical Hermeneutics

Love L. Sechrest
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 African American Biblical Hermeneutics Section (AABHS) welcomes work that engages 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 four sessions for the 2014 Annual Meeting. One session will be an open call for paper proposals that address any aspect of African American biblical research. Under the leadership of the SBL Feminist Hermeneutics section, a second joint session commemorates the 25th anniversary of J. Grant's White Women's Christ, Black Women's Jesus: Feminist Christology and Womanist Response, which is offered in connection with several other SBL and AAR program units. Finally, two sessions will be devoted to papers for an edited volume focused on the theme “Martin Luther King Jr.’s Bible and African American Interpreters.” One of these sessions will be focused on papers exploring King’s use of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible in his speeches, sermons and writings, while the other will analyze his use of the New Testament. Please consult the call for proposals in January to learn if there will be opportunities to propose a paper for one of these four sessions.

Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative

Diane Lipsett
Scott S. Elliott
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: We are planning two open sessions and a joint session with the Speech and Talk in the Ancient Mediterranean World Section. For the open sessions, we invite proposals on any topic relevant to the group’s focus. We are particularly interested in papers that address either of two themes. (1) “The Sense of an Ending,” i.e., papers exploring questions of narrative closure. Is a narrative's ending satisfying, incongruous, interrupted, or seemingly foreclosed by manuscript histories? What is resolved (or not) by an ending? How does the reader decide? (2) “Paired Stories,” i.e., comparative papers that explore religious or other narrative elements through juxtapositions of texts from different social, cultural, religious, or political contexts or locations (perhaps a Greek or Roman novel with a Jewish or Christian narrative or another such comparison). (3) "Flouting Conventions:" for the joint session, we invite papers that consider how ancient narratives deployed – and often strategically flouted – conventions regarding speech and talk. Ancient narratives reflect and employ diverse conventions regarding speech and talk in the ancient world. In particular contexts, certain kinds of speech indicate social identity (e.g., foreign language marks cultural otherness); ways of talking can reveal a character’s virtues or vices (e.g., salacious, misleading, persuasive, bold); unique types of speech are appropriate or efficacious only in certain temporal, geographical, or communal settings (e.g., ritualistic language located in temples). Of course, not all narratives conform to convention; often, storytellers violate established norms to great rhetorical effect. Breaches of expectation regarding speech – like a slave who speaks when she is expected to remain silent – can draw readerly attention, challenge readerly assumptions, and thereby contribute to the narrative’s rhetorical force.

Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible

Brent A. Strawn
Martin Klingbeil
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: The Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible Section invites papers for two or perhaps three sessions, at least one of which will be open to any submissions within the general parameters of the section, which deals with all aspects of ancient Near Eastern iconography and the Hebrew Bible (including, for example, comparative methodology, the shift from LBA to IA considered iconographically, literary and artistic images, etc.). For a more focused section(s), we are particularly interested in papers dealing with the question(s) of aniconism—especially as that idea is found in the Hebrew Bible vis-à-vis the rich iconographical record of the ancient Near East.

Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars

Jonathan E. Soyars
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. 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.

Applied Linguistics for Biblical Languages

Randall Buth
Helene Dallaire
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: The Applied Linguistics for Biblical Languages Group is accepting paper proposals for 2014 on themes related to the pedagogy of the biblical languages. In addition, a joint-session this year will be sponsored with the National Association of Professors of Hebrew that will focus on "Issues Surrounding Spoken Hebrew in Pedagogy." These include but are not limited to: the quality of the biblical dialect being used, the quality of the speech, contraindications or obstacles, the psycholinguistics of oral pedagogy for enhanced reading, the pros/cons and role of modern Hebrew, the potential contributions to the field of Biblical Studies, and the gap between traditional training of teachers and what may be needed if oral competency is adopted as a desirable goal for the field.

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. Previous paper topics have included aspects of the Targumim, Qumran Aramaic, Peshitta, Samaritan papyri, and Elephantine Aramaic.

Archaeology of Religion in the Roman World

Heidi Marx-Wolf
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 requests paper proposals for the following two sessions: 1) The Archaeology of Religion at Philippi. This session will be devoted to archaeological evidence for religious institutions and discourses in the Roman colony of Philippi. Papers that focus on the use of urban space and/or the variegated character of religious activities in an urban context are especially encouraged. 2) Issues of Provenance. This session will consist of a panel of speakers addressing the ethical and scholarly issues concerning the presentation and publication of unprovenanced artifacts. If your paper for either session involves the interpretation or consideration of archaeological artifacts, please ascertain that they have been previously published in a peer-reviewed scholarly publication. If they have not, please submit documentation of their country of origin, and evidence of permission from the excavators or other relevant authorities to publish these items.

Art and Religions of Antiquity

Jacob A. Latham
Lee M. Jefferson
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 2014 annual meeting, including 2 OPEN SESSIONS. We welcome proposals on the art and material culture of any ancient religious tradition and encourage papers that address the use of art and material culture in service of religion. For our two OPEN SESSIONS, the Art and Religions of Antiquity section especially seeks paper proposals that address the following topics - but all proposals will be considered: 1) Art and Ritual: For this session we seek papers that address the role of art and material culture as it relates to ritual practice. Papers that treat the ritual handling of art; art in ritual spaces; rituals depicted in art; ritual as art are most welcome. 2) Art and Death: For this session, we seek papers that address the role of art and material culture as it relates to death. Papers that treat memorial practice or art in funerary contexts will be most welcome. We will also sponsor a third session that will consist of invited papers to review the recent book by J. Patout Burns and Robin M. Jensen, Christianity in Roman Africa (Eerdmans, 2014).

Asian and Asian-American Hermeneutics

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

Call for papers: The Asian and Asian American Hermeneutics group invites papers that read biblical texts alongside other sacred texts in, from, as well as to Asian and Asian American contexts and communities. We welcome papers that examine methodological and hermeneutical issues involved in such a reading, as well as papers that offer readings of specific texts and passages. Both veteran and first-time presenters are encouraged to submit proposals. While our open session(s) may deal with a variety of topics, we especially welcome papers that explore the theme of “migration and labor” from Asian and/or Asian American perspectives.

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: In San Diego, the Assyriology and the Bible Section shall host a joint session with the Egyptology and Ancient Israel section on "Imperialism: Between Egypt and Assyria" as well as at least two open sessions in which we accept proposals on any subject related to the study of Assyriology and the Bible.

Bible and Cultural Studies

Lynne St. Clair Darden
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 program units, the Bible and Cultural Studies will host two sessions on “Labor and Migration.” Papers and workshops will consider how the study of labor, migration, and their interconnections, have impacted biblical studies. These sessions will explore how particular approaches to labor and migration—as both separate and interconnected themes and as both theoretical and social scientific foci—have been employed within scriptures and as practices surrounding scriptures. We will particularly attend to how communities negotiate labor and migration across dynamics of power (e.g. historical, linguistic, racial, ethnic, cultural, gender, sexual, differently-abled, human/non-human dynamics). We will examine how labor and migration have framed and been understood, contextualized, theorized, and practiced in the bible, in its interpretation, and in its political and religious uses. The first session will comprise a panel on labor and migration as well as a "study together" session following the panel. The second session will focus on pedagogy (how to teach labor, migration, and biblical studies) and mentoring.We are also co-sponsoring an additional session with a number of AAR groups titled “Senses, Bodies, and Education: Teaching and Learning from this Place and this Space.” For this session, we invite papers engaging theoretical and practical concerns on the possibilities of how embodied decolonial pedagogies and practices in the teaching of religion and theology are intersectionally incarnated in persons occupying multiple positionalities of race, gender, class, sexual orientation, and religious commitments within the enmeshed and complicated relationships between teachers' bodies, students' bodies, and the bodies of the wider community and contexts in which teaching and learning may occur.

Bible and Emotion

Matthew Richard Schlimm
F. Scott Spencer
Description: This unit 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, linguistics, neuroscience, psychology, psychotherapy, politics, economics and other fields.

Call for papers: The Bible and Emotion Consultation will host two sessions in 2014. One session will feature invited papers and respondents concerning Affect Theory and Biblical Interpretation. The second session is open. We invite proposals related to critical study of the Bible and Emotion across the full range of biblical literature. We are interested in papers that explore methodological questions and that examine divine and/or human emotions in a biblical text, set of texts, book, or genre.

Bible and Film

Matthew S. Rindge
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) We invite papers for one open session dealing with the critical analysis of Bible and Film. Broadly construed, such analysis may take multiple forms and use diverse approaches (e.g., examining the use of the Bible in Film; constructing a critical dialogue between film(s) and biblical texts; utilizing film theory to enrich our understanding of films and biblical texts). 2) We invite papers for a thematic session on Cinematic Auteurs. Papers might (a) examine the specific stamp or mark of a given auteur; or (b) show how auteurs (and auteur theory) illuminates films and/or biblical texts. 3) We invite papers for a thematic session focusing on Latin American Films/Filmmakers. Given the location in San Diego and the theme of "Labor and Migration," we are especially interested in papers that address issues related to labor, migration, and (the crossing of) borders. For each session, presenters are given 35-40 minutes to accommodate the use of film clips, which the unit encourages, in their presentations.

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) OPEN: This first session invites papers that explore and analyze 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 should explore the interaction between biblical text and popular culture. 2) THEMATIC: This second session invites papers that explore the theme: "Borders: Labor and Migration" (for example: Hunger Games and the districts of Panem).

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. Interdisciplinary presentations (Bible and practical theology)on the SBL theme of borders and forced migrations focused on pedagogical and/or theological issues. Co-presentations (colleagues from different disciplines)are encouraged but not required; 2. Open call for papers on any issues emerging out of the intersections of biblical interpretation and practical theology (liturgy, formation, education, administration, pastoral care, and public theology).

Bible and Visual Art

J. Cheryl Exum
Christine Joynes
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: Papers are invited for three sessions: (1) a joint session with the AAR Arts, Literature, and Religion Section, dealing with biblical art in the San DIego Museum of Art; (2) in keeping with the SBL 2014 Annual Meeting theme of 'labor and migration', we invite papers that relate to this theme in any form of visual art (e.g. painting, sculpture, stained glass, book illustration, film, popular culture); (3) for an open session on the Bible and visual culture, we invite papers of either a general nature or focusing specifically on a particular work or works of art.

Bible in Ancient and Modern Media

Chris Keith
Tom Thatcher
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: The Bible in Ancient and Modern Media section will sponsor four sessions at the 2014 annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. The first session will feature an open call for paper related to the ancient and modern media contexts of biblical transmission and interpretation. We invite especially papers that address issues of literacy, textuality, scribality, and orality in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament research, New Testament and early Christianity research, and modern translation and pedagogy. BAMM’s other three sessions will feature invited speakers. The second session will be on the work of sociologist Gary Fine on difficult reputations as they relate to memory and commemoration. The third session is jointly organized with the Performance Criticism of the Bible and Other Ancient Contexts section and will honor and evaluate the contributions of Werner H. Kelber to ancient media and mnemonic culture, especially in light of the recent publication of his Imprints, Voiceprints, and Footprints of Memory (Society of Biblical Literature). The fourth session is jointly organized with the Synoptics Gospels section and will discuss the significance of media studies for approaches to the Synoptic Problem.

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: This year the Bible Translation session is organizing three joint sessions: One with Global Education and Research Technology and two with Nida Institute for Biblical scholarship. The topic of the session with Global Education and Research Technology is Reaching the 21st-Century Frontier: Cutting-Edge Bible. The topic of the sessions with Nida Institute is Performance and Bible Translation. The final update with the exact schedules and names of participants will be finalized by the end of January 3013. Over the past years the praxis and theory of translation has become a discipline and field of studies in its own right. At the same time we have seen the emergence of performance criticism as a new exciting approach in Biblical scholarship with its emphasis on oral context of the Biblical texts and the insights that can be gained from performance of the same texts, both in the ancient languages as well as in translation. Therefore, the Bible Translation section is proud to join, the scholarly department of American Bible Society, The Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship, in presenting two sessions on Performance Criticism and Bible Translation. The first session, entitled Performance, Translation and Identity, will feature 4 papers on the topic of how performance interacts with identity issues of either local communities or language groups. How does performance contribute or constitute the perception of the self vis á vis the other? Some of the questions that the presenters will address are: how does translation become performance and how does translation express the identity of people groups? How does specifically Bible translation affect the identity of people groups when we take into account Performance Criticism? How does actual Bible translation “products” get absorbed in the cultural maelstrom of identity issues in different types of societies, both Western and non Western. Different aspects of performance, translation and identity will be

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: We welcome proposals for two open sessions on the use of myth and myth theory in biblical studies, both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, including their Greco-Roman and ancient Near Eastern contexts.

Biblical Ethics

Peter S. Wick
Markus Zehnder
Description: This unit explores ethical issues related to the biblical canon. It seeks to bring together exegetes of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament in order to discuss similarities, differences, and intertextual connections between the various ethical traditions in biblical literature and their respective contexts.

Call for papers: Call for papers: This year we will have one methodological session (on the “Implicit Ethics” approach presented by Ruben Zimmermann) and two thematic sessions. We invite paper proposals for the two thematic sections: 1. Justice and Mercy; and 2. Law and Love. Potential presenters are expected to investigate the relationship between these complementary terms/concepts. This should not only include general suggestions regarding their respective relationships but also provide a discussion of specific biblical texts. Presenters are encouraged to look at similarities and differences between the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament or between one of the two Testaments and relevant extra-biblical material that sheds light on the subject.

Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics

Jonathan M. Watt
Constantine R. Campbell
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 to present a paper that utilizes linguistics to study the biblical text, and to submit their proposal through the online system before the call deadline, which is Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Proposals should consist of a 1-2 page description of the paper. In addition, proposers (both full and student members) who have not previously presented at this section of the Annual Meeting must submit the full paper they wish to read to the program unit co-chairs before March 5. Please note that unless otherwise indicated, papers must be of such a length that they can be presented within 25 minutes, so as to allow for 5 minutes of response and discussion after each paper’s presentation. Our theme session, "Persuasion," will explore Appraisal Theory, and is by invitation only; however, any other papers that further contribute to that discussion may be of interest for the open session, and will be given consideration along with paper proposals on other topics.

Biblical Hebrew Poetry

Mark J. Boda
Elizabeth R.Hayes
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 will have 4 sessions. **Papers are invited for 2 open sessions, one thematic session, and one joint session **The thematic session is on: “Linguistic Approaches to Biblical Hebrew Poetry.” For this session we invite papers that seek to answer the following questions: Is the tense-mood-aspect (TAM) system in evidence in ancient Hebrew verse to be distinguished from the same system in evidence in ancient Hebrew prose? How does the trope of chiasm interact with patterns of fronting, topicalization, and other features of information structure attested elsewhere in ancient Hebrew literature? This session gathers papers dedicated to linguistic analysis of biblical Hebrew poetry, the goal of which is service to the task of exegesis. A respondent for the papers will be invited. **For the joint session between Biblical Hebrew Poetry Group and Formation of the Book of Isaiah Group, we invite paper proposals examining poetic, rhetorical or other highly artistic uses of language in the book of Isaiah. Attention may be given to the role of poetry within the rhetoric of the book as a whole or the role of poetic devices within particular passages or sections of the book.

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 one or more open sessions on any aspect of the study of biblical law (including work related to cuneiform documents, the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Second Temple Literature, questions of pentateuchal criticism, legal history, gender analysis, social-scientific analysis, and newer methodologies). For 2014, we are looking in particular for papers on sexuality and law and plan to devote one open session to that topic. Copies of papers are distributed in advance through our section's Web site (biblicallaw.net). In addition, together with the Joshua-Judges section, we invite papers for a joint session on law in the books of Joshua and Judges. We are especially interested in papers dealing with the use, reuse, or reinterpretation of legal traditions that are present in other biblical texts, principally the Pentateuch or other parts of the Deuteronomistic History.

Biblical Lexicography

Alexandra Anne Thompson
Erik Eynikel
Description: The Biblical Lexicography Section seeks to bring the theoretical to bear on the practical tasks of dictionary making.

Call for papers: 1) The first session will be on the theme of "Greek Lexicography and Documentary Evidence". There will be papers on the Greek-English Lexicon of the Zenon Archive, a project based at Macquarie University in Sydney Australia, presented by the directors Trevor Evans and John Lee. Other contributions are invited which are relevant to the title of the session. 2) The second session is open to any proposals on subjects of relevance to the lexicography and semantics of Hebrew, Greek or other biblical languages. 3) The third session will be in celebration of the completion of David Clines' Dictionary of Classical Hebrew (Sheffield University Press). The programme has already been drawn up.

Biblical Literature and the Hermeneutics of Trauma

Elizabeth Boase
Christopher Frechette
Description: This consultation studies methods for employing various definitions of trauma to interpret particular sets of biblical and extra-canonical texts, giving attention to the relationship between personal and communal dimensions of trauma, and to applying biblical interpretation in other theological disciplines.

Call for papers: In 2014 this consultation is sponsoring three sessions for which all papers are invited. (1) How hermeneutics of trauma facilitate bringing the biblical text into pastoral theology and constructive/systematic theology: theologians Shelly Rambo and Robert Schreiter and pastoral theologians Philip Browning Helsel and Peter Yuichi Clark will give papers. This session is being co-sponsored by the AAR program unit “Bible, Theology, and Postmodernity.” (2) How hermeneutics of trauma illuminates the biblical text: Sam Balentine, Miriam Bier, Margaret Odell, and Gerald West will give papers. (3) A book review session featuring three books, with presentations by the editors/authors and a response by Paul Joyce. The books include: Eve-Marie Becker, Jan Dochhorn, and Else Holt, eds., Trauma and Traumatization in Individual and Collective Dimensions: Insights from Biblical Studies and Beyond (Studia Aarhusiana Neotestamentica 2; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht: Göttingen, [projected spring 2014]); David Carr, Holy Resilience: The Origins of the Bible in Trauma and Survival (New Haven: Yale University Press, [projected fall 2014]); and David Janzen, The Violent Gift: Trauma’s Subversion of the Deuteronomistic History’s Narrative (London: T & T Clark International, 2012).

Blogger and Online Publication

James F. McGrath
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 2014 Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature will be held November 22-25 in San Diego, CA. Members wishing to present papers should submit proposals on the SBL website at http://www.sbl-site.org/meetings/AnnualMeeting.aspx by March 5th, 2014. /// The SBL Blogger and Online Publication section invites proposals for papers for its 2014 annual meeting session. The open session calls for papers focusing on any area of blogging, online publication, and social media in relation to biblical studies, theology, and archaeology of the Levant. Proposals which relate to the different types of online presence scholars maintain, and different approaches to blogging (self-hosted vs. large multi-blog hubs, frequent vs. occasional, highly focused and purely scholarly vs. diverse and sometimes frivolous), are especially welcome. /// For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact Dr. James F. McGrath, Butler University, Department of Philosophy, Religion, and Classics, 4600 Sunset Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46208, or email jfmcgrat@butler.edu.

Book History and Biblical Literatures

Eva Mroczek
Jeremy Schott
Description: This consultation investigates how insights from Book History illuminate scriptural literatures. We marshal scholars of Hebrew Bible/ANE, Judaism, Christianity, Nag Hammadi, Syriac studies, and modernity in a theoretical and historical conversation about the culturally contingent concepts of text, authorship, readership, publication, and materiality.

Call for papers: The Book History and Biblical Literatures Consultation will hold one open session and one invited session in 2014 on the theme of "Canons, Collections, Corpora: The Library as a Scholarly Category." We invite proposals that investigate how the concept of the “library” informs both the way we analyze ancient practices of textual collection and the way we define and limit our own scholarly corpora. How can the study of libraries—as social institutions that physically preserve, organize, and make available textual material, and as conceptual ways of defining collections or canons—help us rethink the development, transmission, collection, unity or disunity, and reception of biblical and related literatures? Studies of specific libraries (or library-like entities) in antiquity and their relationship with the development of textual corpora are welcome. We welcome submissions that address the session theme and focus on any of the historical periods (from antiquity-present), geographic regions, and traditions studied by members of AAR and SBL. Examples of topics might be: What useful comparative insights could we draw from cuneiform libraries of the neo-Assyrian or Seleucid periods? Can the elements of the Pentateuch be understood in light of a Judahite or Persian "library"? In what way is the Qumran or Nag Hammadi collection a "library"? How does the study of Alexandrian scholarship and Graeco-Roman libraries shed light on the production and reception of biblical literatures? What do Syriac and Byzantine libraries contribute to our understanding of concepts of scripture and canon? How did the development of royal and, later, national libraries and associated manuscript collections shape the study of biblical literatures? Proposals that use theoretical and comparative approaches to shed light on philological and historical questions are particularly welcome. We envision a series of 20-minute papers with a respondent.

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: 2014 Annual Meeting The Book of Acts Section is planning two sessions for the 2014 Annual Meeting on the theme "Acts in the Discourses of Politics." This session will examine Acts through the lens of politics in the ancient world from various perspectives, to develop and deepen our understanding of how far the ‘story’ of Acts is embedded in and participates in the ancient political world, widely understood. In particular, this will involve some engagement with recent debates about Acts in relation to empire, and provide a fresh angle on such discussions.Session I will not accept proposals. Session II is an open session and encourages a wide range of proposals that suggest fresh approaches to existing problems or that explore new strategies for reading Acts. Proposals on the theme of politics in the Acts of the Apostles will be particularly welcome.

Book of Daniel

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 Section will offer two sessions at the 2014 Annual Meeting in San Diego. One session will be an open session on the topic of holiness, temple, and priesthood in Daniel (Hebrew and/or Greek versions). The second session will consist of invited papers on a separate topic. For the open session, the steering committee solicits proposals that deal with any of part of holiness, temple, and priesthood in Daniel. Proposals may utilize various analytical approaches—tradition-historical, ideological, sociological, etc.—for the purpose of illuminating the conceptual world of Daniel’s writers and intended audience. The best proposals will offer a promising theoretical framework and a clear (if provisional) thesis regarding the depiction or function of these things in Daniel. Those who are proposing a paper for the first time to SBL should send a draft of the paper to Amy Merrill Willis.

Book of Deuteronomy

Reinhard Müller
Cynthia Edenburg
Description: This unit provides a forum for the discussion of Deuteronomy as a book, its origins and growth, as well as its reception by different groups of readers in antiquity.

Call for papers: This unit provides a forum for the discussion of Deuteronomy as a book, its origins and growth, as well as its reception by different groups of readers in antiquity.

Book of Psalms

Karl Jacobson
Melody D. Knowles
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 2014 Annual Meeting will inlcude three sessions, one Exploring Women's Voices in Psalms-studies, another which addresses various methodological appraoches to the psalms, and 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. In addition, there will be three closed sessions: one session focussing on priests in the Twelve, one joint session together with the Isaiah section, and one together with the Wisdom section.

Children in the Biblical World

Reidar Aasgaard
Sharon Betsworth
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 three sessions in 2014. Our open session invites proposals approaching the topic of children in the Biblical World from both disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. Our second session will be a joint session with the AAR Childhood Studies and Religion on the topic Children and Sacrifice. Proposals approaching the topic from a variety of perspectives and methodologies are welcome. The third session will be a joint session with the Gender, Sexuality and Bible section. We encourage interdisciplinary and theoretically foregrounded papers that explore the ways the constructions of childhood, gender, and sexuality are interrelated, in the biblical world, the biblical texts, or in their various afterlives and influences.

Christian Apocrypha

Tony Burke
Brent C. Landau
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 will run four sessions in 2014. The first session will be a joint session with the Gospel of Luke section in memory of François Bovon and his great contributions to both of these fields; participation is by invitation. The second session will be a panel discussion on the challenges and benefits of presenting the Christian Apocrypha to non-scholarly audiences; participation is by invitation. The third session will be devoted to the uncertain boundaries between the categories of “apocryphal” and “canonical” texts, traditions, and ideas; although some presenters may be invited, we welcome paper proposals on any aspect of this topic. The fourth session will be an open call, and we will welcome papers on any topic within the study of the Christian Apocrypha.

Christian Theology and the Bible

Kathryn Greene-McCreight
Claire R. Mathews McGinnis
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 Christian Theology and Bible Section invites papers on Allegorical Interpretation (and its Critics). We welcome proposals for papers focused on historical, systematic, or contemporary understandings of allegorical reading of Scripture, and/or on allegorical interpretations themselves, and/or on critiques of such readings. This session will be one of two on Allegorical Readings and Readers and Their Critics, and is a continuation of our multi-year project on the "senses" of Scripture in ancient and contemporary contexts. Papers focusing on particular readings, texts, readers, and/or their critics are welcome.

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 2014. 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 on Nehemiah's Wall, with invited papers and respondents.The third session will be a joint session with the Hebrew Bible, History, and Archaeology Section on understanding the importance of Ramat Rachel, with invited papers and respondents.

Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Interpretation

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

Call for papers: The Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Interpretation section will hold 2 sessions at the 2014 meeting. The abstracts for these sessions should state the paper's thesis and explicitly describe the cognitive linguistic approach that will be taken. (1) "Open Session": This is an open call for papers. The papers in this session will apply findings of cognitive linguistics to biblical studies with a particular focus on the ways cognitive approaches help scholars to grapple with how language makes meaning, how a text evokes authority, and/or how contemporary readers interact with ancient texts. (2) "Metaphors of Illness in Biblical Literature": This session will be organized together with the Metaphor Theory & the Hebrew Bible and Senses & Culture in the Biblical World sections and will consist of three invited papers (one from each group) and one respondent. The papers will showcase how we read and analyze images of illness and its attendant elements (i.e., pain, isolation, impurity, fear, anguish, etc.) in the Bible. The aim of this joint session is to engage the topic from our different theoretical points of departure in such a way as to invite dialogue with the analytical perspectives of the other panelists. The goal will be a thick description and analysis of how illness is represented and used in biblical literature from multiple complementary perspectives.

Construction of Christian Identities

Edmondo F. Lupieri
Bas van Os
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: This Seminar is the continuation of the Section on "Construction of Christian Identities.” Our focus is on local characteristics and diversified theological tendencies, as well as organizational systems, of the early groups of followers of Jesus during the first two centuries CE (and particularly the two periods from circa 30 to circa 70 and from circa 70 to circa 150). Our research activity will be interdisciplinary, including analysis of archaeological and epigraphic data, study of the early transmission of the words of Jesus and their function inside specific groups and sub-groups, sociological analysis of the relations among such groups, network analysis, anthropological analysis of space and localization, critical examination of the concept of "community". Discussions of newly published books will remain an important activity of our Seminar. For the Meeting in San Diego we are planning three sessions: a joint session with "Jewish Christianity / Christian Judaism” on (the figure and the followers of) James the Just, the Brother of Jesus (with mostly invited papers); a session on the localization of early groups of followers of Jesus and on the "theological geography" of their distribution pre-150 CE (with mostly invited papers); and an open session, within the above described framework. While we are inviting interested scholars to send their proposals, we would like to remind prospective contributors that, given the nature of the Seminar, papers will need to be circulated in advance and will not be read, but summarized and discussed in the sessions. The publication of the papers will remain an important goal of our work.

Contextual Biblical Interpretation

James P. Grimshaw
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: 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.

Contextualizing North African Christianity

David Riggs
David E. Wilhite
Description: This consultation encourages interdisciplinary study of North African Christianity within its broader social, cultural, and historical contexts (ca. 180-650 CE). The goal is to explore how North African Christians cultivated religious identities and practices as inhabitants of an evolving society in late antiquity.

Call for papers: In 2014 our consultation will sponsor three sessions: 1) A session on the Reception of Paul in North Africa, from Tertullian to Augustine; 2) a session entitled, "'Donatist' and 'Catholic' Rites: Similarities and Differences", and 3) a session co-sponsored with the SBL unit, Inventing Christianity, with a focus on the construction of Christian identity in the writings of Tertullian. The first two are pre-arranged sessions, while the last session is an open call for papers.

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: 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.

Current Historiography and Ancient Israel and Judah

Diana Edelman
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: Papers are invited on any historiographical case study or on methodological reflections over the applicability of the genre of historiography to the some texts of the Hebrew Bible. Applications to a single text or across a few texts of interdisciplinary theories or methods including, but not limited to, space, cultural/social memory, frontier studies, diaspora studies, political theory, ritual studies, folklore studies, literary studies, and ideological studies are welcome, particularly if they include specific discussion of how the approach used influences the perception of the biblical texts and supports or undercuts an understanding of certain texts as historiographical in nature.

Deuteronomistic History

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

Call for papers: Papers 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.

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: For 2014 we seek papers for multiple sessions that contribute to the growing reassessment of the development of early Christian theologies of the Spirit. In particular, we seek papers that explore how early Christians described the role of the Spirit in creation, early Christian attempts to account for the Spirit's divinity, how early Christians appropriated the Spirit in Biblical exegesis and reading, early Christian exegesis of key "Spirit" texts in the early Church, and early Christian attempts to describe a taxonomy of Father, Son and Spirit that distinguishes the Father from the Son. Priority will be given to papers that offer new approaches to these important themes.

Digital Humanities in Biblical, Early Jewish, and Christian Studies

Claire Clivaz
David Hamidovic
Description: This consultation explores the ongoing transformation of biblical studies, and early Jewish and Christian studies, within digital culture. Initiated in the 1940s, the "Digital Humanities" is now shaping all Humanities disciplines. Sessions will focus on its impact on manuscripts and editions; reading and exegesis; publishing and access; and innovative research methodologies more generally.

Call for papers: The first session will welcome invited papers on the topic «Digital Scholarship and Exegesis»; it will be a joined session with GERT. The second session accepts papers: it will focus on «Digital Manuscript Studies». The past decade has seen the beginnings of a digital revelation in philology, driven by not only machine-readable text but also the steady production of digital images from ancient manuscripts, often openly accessible on the web. We invite proposals exploring the practice and theory of digitizing ancient manuscripts of the Bible and other early Jewish and Christian literatures. Possible topics include Optical Character Recognition (OCR); multi-spectral imaging and other technologies of image enhancement; digital tools for paleography and codicology; and online editions more generally. Abstracts focused on specific projects, as well as more general and epistemological reflections, are welcome.

Disputed Paulines

Christopher R. Hutson
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 Section focuses on those letters of the Pauline Corpus that many argue are not genuinely or immediately authored by Paul, in hope that careful study will help us better understand both these documents and early Christianity more broadly. The section invites papers exploring historical, literary (including rhetorical), and theological matters that bear upon the interpretation of these letters. For 2014, the section will also sponsor a joint session with the African Biblical Hermeneutics Section on the theme, "African Readings of the Disputed Pauline Letters." Especially welcome would be papers interpreting one or more of the Disputed Paulines (or a discreet section thereof) in relation to African culture and spirituality, post-colonial interpretation, or other related approaches to the text.

Early Christianity and the Ancient Economy

David Hollander
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 San Diego. Those submitting a proposal should designate in the Abstract the project for which the paper should be considered.

Early Jewish Christian Relations

Tina Shepardson
Shelly Matthews
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 two OPEN sessions at the 2014 SBL meeting. PUBLIC VIOLENCE: This joint session, co-sponsored with "Violence and Representations of Violence among Jews and Christians," invites submissions that address acts of or incitements to inter-communal violence as these unfolded within the "public" spaces of ancient Mediterranean society (e.g., cities, marketplaces, rural shrines). What social and discursive factors triggered or constrained the outbreak of events such as urban riots, acts of "vigilante" violence, or the destruction of communal buildings? And how do accounts of public violence support or subvert political or religious institutional structures? ATONEMENT: We will consider any other proposals, but have a particular interest in papers offering new perspectives on atonement, reconciliation, and forgiveness. NOTE: We will also be hosting two pre-arranged sessions: one, co-sponsored with “Social History of Formative Judaism and Christianity,” on Susanna Drake's new book, _Slandering the Jew: Sexuality and Difference in Early Christian Texts_; and one celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Early Jewish Christian Relations group. ALL proposals must be submitted online. All inquiries should be sent to Tina Shepardson (cshepard@utk.edu).

Ecological Hermeneutics

Barbara Rossing
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 three sessions: 1. The first session will have a special focus on the theme of Relocation, Ecology and the Bible, in line with the SBL theme of Migration and Borders. Proposals may consider the human and ecological impact of temporary sojourns (exile, wandering, "fly-in fly-out work") in the light of key biblical texts. 2. The second session is open and will consider proposals on any biblical text. 3. The third session is a joint session with AAR Middle Eastern Christianity group and SBL Syriac Literature and Interpretations of Sacred Text, on Eco-Spirituality: Middle Eastern Christianity and the Environment, in accordance with the AAR general theme focusing on religion and Climate. Proposals for this session will explore the themes of ecology and the environment with relation to the traditions of Middle Eastern Christians. For all 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
Richard A. Horsley
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: The “Economics in the Biblical World” program unit will have three sessions in 2014. First is an open session entitled “The Political-Economic-Religious Position of Learned Scribes and the Interests Expressed in the Texts They Produced.” Scribes comprised one of the few ancient professions with literacy skills, and they were the ones who created the world of the texts that we analyze and interpret. We invite papers that consider the scribal profession, before and after the exile. Proposals might take into account such factors as scribes as a sub-class, scribal ideologies (manifested as much in the form of texts as their content), scribes and archaeology, the social location of sapiential authors, scribal power, and how we as modern scribes negotiate biblical (and other) scribes. Proposals might consider such topics as explicit or implicit agendas in shaping Israelite legal collections (e.g., the Holiness Code), the scribal interest(s) behind prophetic collections, and the dynamics at work among any dissident scribes (e.g., Daniel, the Epistle of Enoch, sectarian documents from the Dead Sea Scrolls). Proposal should be fairly precise as to focal texts, other information to be included, and anticipated conclusions. Those anticipating the submission of proposals should feel free to communicate with Sam Adams (sadams@upsem.edu) or Richard Horsley (richard.horsley@umb.edu) with any questions. The second session will consist of invited papers, with the title “The Financialization of Public Discourse and Critically Rereading Biblical Texts.” This panel will respond to a paper by Charles A. McDaniel (Baylor) to be available in advance. Finally, we plan to cooperate for a joint session with the "Poverty in the Biblical World" group, entitled “(Im)migration, (Forced) Labor, and Poverty,” for which presenters will be invited.

Egyptology and Ancient Israel

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

Call for papers: The Egyptology and Ancient Israel Section welcomes proposals on topics relating to the connections between Egypt and ancient Israel. Priority will be given to papers exploring imperialism.

Ethics and Biblical Interpretation

Amy C. Merrill Willis
David J. Downs
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 Section will host two sessions for the 2014 Annual Meeting in San Diego. The FIRST will be an open session that honors the late Jean Bethke Elshtain and her interdisciplinary pursuits. The steering committee thus invites proposals on biblical interpretation and ethics that specifically deal with the topic of sovereignty and that dialogue with Elshtain’s 2008 book, Sovereignty: God, State, and Self. Although Elshtain’s starting point was not the Bible, but rather Augustine and later Christian thinkers, biblical depictions of divine power are never far from the book’s concerns. Proposals may counter Elshtain’s model of sovereignty or revise it in light of biblical texts, but the best proposals will also provide an ethical consideration of some aspect of sovereignty in connection with a biblical text (or texts). The SECOND session will consist of invited speakers on the topic of hypocrisy.

Ethiopic Bible and Literature

Steve Delamarter
Ralph Lee
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 session is accepting proposals for three sessions 1) The THEOT (Textual History of the Ethiopic Old Testament) Project: This session gathers scholars working on the Textual History of the Ethiopic Old Testament project to present the outcomes of research on several specific books of the Old Testament, to develop a picture of the textual history that emerges, and to plan the future direction of the project. This session invites contributions from those participating in the project, or from others working on Ethiopian manuscripts, or manuscripts from other traditions who feel that they could make a contribution to the development of this project. 2) Open Session: Ideology, Sociology and Literary Formation in the Ethiopic Tradition The Ethiopic tradition bears as many marks of originality as it does marks of external influence. Influences come from Christian traditions—like the Greek, Syriac, and Armenian—but also from Jews and Muslims in the Horn of Africa. Ethiopian theologians and community leaders developed their own sense of identity and expressed these in their form of the biblical text (unique in form and extent) and in various works of literature. Proposals on any aspect are welcomed. 3) Telling the story of the Textual History of the Ethiopic Old Testament: With research on the textual history of the Ethiopic Old Testament progressing through the THEOT project and with results showing significant influences on the text from outside sources and also significant variations that can only be explained by internal factors, this discussion seeks to develop the methodology of the textual criticism, and its mode of presentation so best to present these important results. Our plan is to invite specific speakers to this panel discussion, but scholars who feel that they could make a contribution should send their suggestions as well.

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:

Exile (Forced Migrations) in Biblical Literature

Martien A. Halvorson-Taylor
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: For November 2014, we welcome proposals on the topic of gender and the conceptualization of exile. This panel will focus on the methodological possibilities and drawbacks connected to investigating women and exile. For example, how should gender be conceptualized? What are the most suitable ways to extrapolate ideas about gender and exile from the Biblical material and from other sources? What definitions should we be working with during the discussion of women and exile? Papers that consider the depiction of women in the exilic and early post-exilic period on a more general level are also welcome. We will have one panel of invited papers and one panel from an open call.

Extent of Theological Diversity in Earliest Christianity

David B. Capes
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: We are accepting only invited papers for our two sessions at the 2014 meeting.

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 will offer three sessions at the 2014 Annual Meeting. The first will be an open session for which paper proposals on any topic within the section's scope of concern are welcome. A second will be a session on the theme "Feminist Hermeneutics Looks at Rape Culture." Proposals for papers related to this theme are welcome, especially papers offering feminist critiques of the intersection of rape culture and biblical interpretation. For a third session, co-sponsored with the Women in the Biblical World Section, we invite papers responding from a variety of perspectives to the challenge, delivered by Carol Meyers in her 2013 presidential address, to the use of the word "patriarchy" to describe ancient Israel. A fourth session will feature an invited panel offering reflections on the 25th anniversary of the publication of Jacquelyn Grant's White Women's Christ, Black Women's Jesus: Feminist Christology and Womanist Response. This session is offered in collaboration with The Bible in Racial, Ethnic, and Indigenous Communities Group (AAR), Women in the Biblical World Section (SBL), Minoritized Criticism Group (SBL), Womanist Theology Group (AAR), and Black Theology Group (AAR).

Formation of Isaiah

Margaret S. Odell
J. Todd Hibbard
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 three sessions for 2014. (1) A first session will offer both invited and accepted papers that examine how so-called Third Isaiah (Isaiah 56–66) extends and elaborates themes from Second Isaiah (Isaiah 40–55) as a way to think about how the two sections are linked. Additionally, we are interested in paper proposals that examine how the particular thematic development or association between the two sections may shed light on the questions about Third Isaiah’s composition (especially in relation to Second Isaiah). Possible thematic connections include Zion, salvation, foreigners, and worship/cult, though many other possibilities exist. (2) We also invite paper proposals for a second, joint session with the Biblical Hebrew Poetry Group examining poetic, rhetorical or other artistic uses of language in the book of Isaiah. Attention may be given to the role of poetry within the rhetoric of the book as a whole or the role of poetic devices within particular passages or sections of the book. (3) The third session is a joint session with the Book of the Twelve group consisting of invited papers that explore the connections between Isaiah and the Book of the Twelve.

Formation of Luke-Acts

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

Call for papers: The Formation of Luke-Acts Section invites paper proposals for the 2014 meeting in San Diego. We will have one open session, to which we invite proposals focusing on any of the three following subjects: (a) the dependence of Luke-Acts on other New Testament texts; (b) the influence of the Septuagint on the composition of Luke-Acts; (c) the possible influence of the Progymnasmata on the rhetoric of Luke-Acts. We will also be hosting a joint session with the Gospel of Luke Section addressing the parables of Luke (construction, interpretation, and reception history). To this session we invite paper proposals for possible inclusion with invited papers.

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: Papers exploring some aspect of the reception history of particular Apocryphal or Pseudepigraphical texts (including its function in its setting of composition and initial reception) are encouraged. Proposals focused on the use of 2 Maccabees and 3 Maccabees in Jewish or Christian communities in any period are especially welcome. We hope to have two sessions, one entirely open.

Gender, Sexuality, and the Bible

Gwynn Kessler
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 San Diego meeting. FIRST SESSION is jointly sponsored with the Children in the Biblical World Section: The Gender, Sexuality, and the Bible, and Children in the Biblical World sections invite papers engaging research on children, gender, and sexuality. We encourage interdisciplinary and theoretically foregrounded papers that explore the ways the constructions of childhood, gender, and sexuality are interrelated, in the biblical world, the biblical texts, or in their various afterlives and influences. 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. Questions or further inquiries for either of these sessions may be directed to the chair, Gwynn Kessler at kessler@swarthmore.edu. We will also co-sponsor a session with the Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament Group that will consist of invited papers that center upon gender, sexuality, economics and ideology.

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 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.

Global Education and Research Technology

Randall K.J. Tan
Nicolai Winther-Nielsen
Description: The Global Education & Research Technology section exists to: 1. Foster global interaction in Biblical Studies. 2. Promote resources for open education for all continents, races, genders, and communities. 3. Inspire biblical research for the next generation. 4 Support sustainable technology.

Call for papers: The Global Education & Research Technology (GERT) section is sponsoring 4 sessions at the SBL Annual Meeting in San Diego (November 22-25, 2014). The first theme session, "Reaching the 21st-Century Frontier: Cutting-Edge Bible Translation," is co-sponsored with the Bible Translation section with pre-arranged invited papers. The second theme session, "Digital Scholarship and Exegesis," is co-sponsored with the Digital Humanities in Biblical, Early Jewish, and Christian Studies consultation with pre-arranged invited papers. The third theme session, "Bible Software for the Global Classroom and Pastorate," welcomes paper proposals pertinent to this topic (to be filled with both pre-arranged invited papers and through this open call for papers). The fourth theme session, "Teaching the Bible in an Open World: Open Resources for Teaching and Learning," is co-sponsored with the Academic Teaching and Biblical Studies section and welcomes paper proposals pertinent to this topic through this open call for papers. For more information on how paper proposals for GERT sessions are evaluated, please see http://biblicalhumanities.org/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=106. To stay informed about GERT's plans for SBL 2014 in San Diego and any other developments, please register at http://biblicalhumanities.org/ and subscribe to http://biblicalhumanities.org/viewforum.php?f=3 or contact the co-chairs to be added to our group email list.

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: Session Theme: "Thinking Missionally about God, Scripture, and Missional Vocation." This session of the GOCN Forum on Missional Hermeneutics is focused on one of the central themes in the missional hermeneutics conversation: the dynamic interaction between the way we read the biblical text, and our missional understanding of God. This missional understanding of God is based upon the deep realization that the God revealed in Scripture is engaged in a mission to the creation (missio Dei), and that a central component of this divine mission is the way in which God calls a people into existence in order for that people to join with God in this mission to the world. Yet this understanding of the missio dei is not without its problems and difficulties. If God is indeed on such a mission, why do we still see so much evil and suffering in the world? If God is all-powerful, why does God need or invite a people to participate in this mission to the world in the first place? If the missio Dei is indeed something in which we are called to participate, what is the particular shape and focus of our participation in the divine mission, and how does this participation flow from, and inform our doctrine of God? We invite submissions which focus on specific biblical texts from either the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament, and explore the specific character of a missional understanding of God revealed in that text, and the particular ways in which the people of God participate in that mission.

Gospel of Luke

Mark A. Matson
John T. Carroll
Description: The Gospel of Luke garners continued interest because of its distinctive narrative construction and its rhetorical , theological, and ethical emphases. The unit is interested in exploring Luke’s literary features and theology, and in encouraging new research on the gospel.

Call for papers: The Gospel of Luke Section invites paper proposals for the 2014 meeting in San Diego. We will have one open session, and we invite paper proposals for any topics relating to the Gospel of Luke. We will also be hosting a joint session with the Formation of Luke-Acts Section addressing the parables of Luke (construction, interpretation, and reception history), and invite paper proposals on Lukan parables for possible inclusion with invited papers. In addition to these sessions, the Gospel of Luke Section will have an invited panel addressing gender construction in the Gospel of Luke, and also a joint session with the Christian Apocrypha Section with invited papers addressing the contribution of François Bovon to the study of Luke’s gospel and Christian apocryphal literature.

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 2014 Call for Papers of the Greco-Roman Religions Section of the SBL solicits papers for its open panel session that focus on one of the various, geographically disparate cults of Demeter. The panel intends to consider the cults of Demeter as a case study for examining critically how the deployment of different theories and methods by scholars of ancient Mediterranean religion(s) both help and limit our understanding of the past. Successful paper proposals will select components from various aspects of a specific cult (e.g. spatial orientation, architecture, cult economics, polis-connections, organization, practice, ritual paraphernalia, myth) as comparanda in a comparative exploration of the continuities and discontinuities between cultic institutions devoted to Demeter, especially in reference to the most famous of all, Eleusis. The Greco-Roman Religions Section’s second, Redescribing Session, turns to the third of its proposed foci, soliciting papers that theorize the question of the soma as a modality of the sacred or analyze examples of somatizing practices, examples that provoke the question how religion functions as a discourse performed on the body and by means of the body in all kinds of performance contexts and purposes. Examples may include the use of soma as a metaphor, the understanding of the body as corpse or underworld presence (practices that show that the living assume that the rituals they perform at grave sites can be efficacious for the dead), the phenomena of stigmata, or dress and bodily adornment in the context of the sacred.

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 offers a unique forum for current scholarship on the reception history of the ancient Greek translations of the Jewish scriptures. For the 2014 meeting in San Diego the section invites proposals for three sessions: 1) A special session, “The Greek Psalter in the New Testament Early Christianity,” which will explore the use of Greek versions of the Psalter by early Christians, with reference to topics such as transmission history, redaction, exegesis and social cultural issues. 2) An open session, “Greek Bible,” dealing with issues in the reception history of the Hebrew-Greek translations of antiquity, including (but not limited to) their use within Hellenistic, Tannaitic and medieval Judaism, the New Testament and early and patristic Christianity. 3) A joint session with the AAR Eastern Orthodoxy Study group, “Vernacular Translations of the "Septuagint" Psalms,” concerned with the analysis of vernacular translations of the Septuagint Psalter with reference to translation technique, linguistic and stylistic features, theological presuppositions, and the influence of patristic exegesis.

Healthcare and Disability in the Ancient World

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 two sessions at the 2014 meeting. Both sessions will be open to any aspect of the study of health and disability related to the Bible.

Hebrew Bible and Philosophy

Jaco Gericke
Andrew Johnson
Description: This unit is concerned with the problems, potential, possibilities and prospects of philosophical perspectives on the Hebrew Bible. The aim is to discuss the relationship between the Hebrew Bible and Philosophy as well as textual contents related to various topics in previously largely neglected philosophical sub-fields, e.g. metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of religion, etc.

Call for papers: This unit is of the consultation type which will only have a regular call for papers before the general deadline in 2015-16. In 2014 the chairs and steering committee members will take initiative in organizing sessions with papers on a number of topics related to the Hebrew Bible and Philosophy as outlined in the description above.

Hebrew Bible and Political Theory

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

Call for papers: The Hebrew Bible and Political Theory Section is planning three sessions at the Annual Meeting in San Diego. All three sessions will be accepting proposals for papers, though these submissions may be supplemented by invited papers. In keeping with the theme of this year’s Annual Meeting we will be hosting a session dealing with issues of labor and/or migration within the Hebrew Bible. Papers submitted for this section should either use modern theories and models of labor or migration to illuminate relevant texts in the Hebrew Bible and cognate literature, or attempt to discern a theory of labor and/or migration in a given writing or throughout an entire collection of writings in the Hebrew Bible. Special consideration will be given to scholars from fields outside of those commonly associated with biblical scholarship. A second planned session will focus on matters of methodology in using political, sociological, and anthropological theories in the study of ancient societies. As the investigation of ancient societies increasingly imports sociological and anthropological theories into biblical methods, the field has grown. This growth has not been without its problems, however, especially as these theories have been applied in divergent ways and for very different reasons. The papers submitted for this session should reflect on some of the methodological challenges of using modern theories to illuminate the ancient world, either through discussion of a particular text, or by reflecting more broadly on the use of a particular set of theories applied to the Hebrew Bible. A third session will be accepting papers that attempt to gain understanding of the Hebrew Bible and cognate literature by utilizing the theories of political philosophy. 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.

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: This year the Program Unit Hebrew Bible, History, and Archaeology will hold three sessions. The first session will be a Joint Session with the Program Unit Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah with invited papers. The other two sessions will be open sessions, accepting papers that address the history or archaeology of ancient Israel and Judah through the use of texts, epigraphy, archaeology, and anthropology.

Hebrew Scriptures and Cognate Literature

Martti Nissinen
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

Ellen B. Aitken
Craig R. Koester
Description: The famous and almost proverbial saying that Hebrews appears to its viewer as a “melchisedekitisches Wesen ohne Stammbaum” was uttered by Franz Overbeck in the year 1880, during the high noon of historicism. The missing genealogy that Overbeck lamented meant peculiarly to him a lack of historical context. This perceived “lack” was the consequence of flawed presuppositions originating in ideological frameworks, and consequently led New Testament scholarship to view Hebrews as the “enigmatic,” the “other” one, and furthermore led to the neglect of its historical context by Hebrews scholarship. Consequently, the context was judged as “irrelevant” for Hebrews interpretation. Recent scholarship on the contrary has developed a particular interest in Hebrews’ context. Therefore, while maintaining the distinctiveness of Hebrews it is the aim of this Group to explore extensively and facilitate scholarly research on Hebrews’ relations to other early traditions and texts (Jewish, Hellenistic and Roman), so that Hebrews’ historical, cultural, and religious identity may be mapped in greater detail.

Call for papers: The Hebrews Section aims to explore Hebrews’ socio-historical contexts and to examine Hebrews’ relation to other traditions and texts, including attention to the transmission and reception of Hebrews in various historical and ideological settings. For 2014 we plan two sessions focusing on Transmission and Reception of Hebrews: (1) a session jointly sponsored with the New Testament Textual Criticism Section and the Papyrology & Early Christian Background Section, with invited papers and responses, examining recent papyrological evidence for Hebrews and the text of Hebrews in the Editio Critica Maior; and (2) an open session organized around the theme of the role of Hebrews in systematic or historical theology and ethics. For the open session, we invite proposals on any topic relating to ways in which Hebrews is “received” and utilized in theological and ethical arguments, either in historical perspective or in contemporary discourse. For questions contact Ellen.Aitken@mcgill.ca

Hellenistic Judaism

Sandra Gambetti
Lutz Doering
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: The Hellenistic Judaism section invites paper proposals for the following two open sessions: 1) Jews on the stage – Jews and the stage: From Ezekiel the Tragedian to performance theory. Performance at every level was a central part of daily life in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. How did Jews engage with this form of culture? Submissions are welcome on topics ranging from Jewish literature written for the stage, like the surviving fragments from Ezekiel the Tragedian, to Jewish interaction with theater and / or performance more widely, whether in concrete forms or through intellectual debates. More theoretical approaches informed by the wide field of performance theory are also encouraged. 2) Jewish networks around and across the Mediterranean basin and beyond. Social networks are an important object of study. They display varying degrees and different modes of interconnectedness between individuals and / or communities. Ancient Jews were connected in various ways: Jewish communities maintained relations with other communities, the Diaspora with Jerusalem, and likeminded Jews networked with their fellows, both near and far. We invite papers that explore the ways and means by which such connections functioned (or did not function), including travel, letter writing, the collection of money, charity or pilgrimage. In addition, we would welcome more theoretical reflections, e.g. in the light of recent network studies.

Historical Jesus

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

Call for papers: The Historical Jesus Section is devoted to the historical exploration of Jesus of Nazareth in his first-century context, as well as methodological issues involved in this exploration. In 2014 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 also plan to have a second, theme session, on how the historical Jesus is appropriated in popular culture, for which the papers will be invited.

History and Literature of Early Rabbinic Judaism

Alyssa M. Gray
Carol Bakhos
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: Invited sessions are planned on the following topics: "Wealth: Theology, Social Vision, and Self-Fashioning from the Bible to Late Antiquity" (co-sponsored with Religious World of Late Antiquity), "New Directions in Theory and the Reading of Rabbinic Literature," and "Corporeality and Difference: Animality, Disability, and Gender in Rabbinic Literature," with co-sponsorship in process. We welcome other proposals on all topics, with special attention to ecology, the environment, and the impact of travel and mobility on the rabbinic movement.

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 History of Interpretation section particularly welcomes proposals on the Book of Psalms in the history of interpretation.

Homiletics and Biblical Studies

Charles Lynn Aaron
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: The Homiletics and Biblical Studies Section plans invited panels on Healing and Miracles and Preaching Apocalyptic texts. We issue a call for papers in our open session on various topics that concern the relationship between biblical interpretation and homiletics. We encourage papers from a variety of traditions and welcome interreligious dialogue.

Ideological Criticism

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

Call for papers: The Ideological Criticism Section seeks paper proposals on any topic concerned with Ideological Criticism as defined in the program unit description. We plan to explore the following topics at the 2014 Annual Meeting: 1) Ideology and the Commentary – joint session with the Use, Influence, and Impact of the Bible program unit. We welcome papers that look at the ideological assumptions that underpin the biblical commentary as a dominant form of interpretation, as well as at the religious, cultural, and/or political influence of particular commentaries. 2) New Philosophical Perspectives – An open session for papers that explore the potential and impact of new developments in philosophical thought and critical theory on biblical studies and biblical texts. 3) Memory and Memorialization – We welcome papers that explore the ideological goals, constraints, and barriers involved in how communities remember, ritualize, and memorialize their identities and experiences. 4) A joint session with the Poverty in the Biblical World unit of invited papers on the topic: Ideology, Poverty, and the Formation of Biblical Scholars.

Institute for Biblical Research

Mark J. Boda
Nijay K Gupta
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 Institute of Biblical Research holds an Annual Lecture each year on the Friday night prior to SBL. This lecture is invited. There are, however, opportunities for involvement in IBR in research groups which take place on Friday afternoon. To propose papers and ideas for these research groups please go to http://www.ibr-bbr.org/research-groups and contact Research Group coordinators listed there. To propose a new research group please contact Ruth Anne Reese (ruthanne.reese@asburyseminary.edu). For further information about the IBR program please contact Mark Boda at mjboda@mcmaster.ca.

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 IOSCS is an Affiliate of the SBL. For further information on the IOSCS, please contact the program unit chair.

International Qur’anic Studies Association

Gabriel Said Reynolds
Emran El-Badawi
Michael Pregill
Nicolai Sinai
Description: The International Qur’anic Studies Association fosters scholarship on the Qur’an, its context, its relationship to other scriptural traditions, and its influence upon literature and culture. IQSA facilitates the broad and open discussion of the Qur’an from a variety of academic perspectives.

Call for papers:

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

Erik Waaler
Roy R. Jeal
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: We Accept papers for: 1. The session on "intertextuality in James". Papers focusing on a methodological approach to intertextuality in the letter of James are welcomed. 2. The session on "Varieties of Intertextual Methods"

Inventing Christianity

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

Call for papers: In 2014 the section will sponsor three open call sessions: 1) A session on Egypt exploring the diversity of Christian authors and texts that intermingle there. 2) A session on Competing Christianities in North Africa, which could include papers on the heresiological debates and other dynamics relating to emerging identities. 3) A session will be co-sponsored with the SBL unit Contextualizing North African Christianity, with a focus on the construction of Christian identity in the writings of Tertullian.

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 plan to have 2 sessions: (1). What’s on/off/of the menu? -- We invite presentations on the eating events and/or food lists in scriptural texts such as 1 Kings 17:1-16, Judith 12:10-20, or Acts 10:9-16. While food, cooking, eating and drinking are significant and signifying in all cultures, we are looking for presentations that engage with some aspect of island (saltwater and/or freshwater) cultures. (2). Dancing scriptures -- We invite presentations that perform and reflect on the dance by David (2 Sam 6), or by the daughter of Herodias (Mark 6). How might we see, feel and read one of those dances again? Respondents will be invited to tease out how embodying texts through dance supplements the usual readings of scriptures, and to address how we might welcome dancing (which fuels relational island cultures) into the halls of biblical criticism.

Israelite Prophetic Literature

Mignon R. Jacobs
Steed Vernyl Davidson
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: 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.

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: We welcome papers from scholars across the globe, senior and junior alike, returning presenters as well as new ones, specializing in or featuring any of the sub-disciplines.

Jesus Traditions, Gospels, and Negotiating the Roman Imperial World

Colleen Conway
Eric Thurman
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 2014, we are interesting in advancing the theoretical and hermeneutical discussion regarding critical perspectives on empire and the New Testament. For this, we especially seek papers relating to Jesus traditions or gospels that employ models of empire and/or attend to multiple strategies for negotiating empire, particularly reciprocity and mimicry. Inquiries to Colleen Conway at conwayco@gmail.com or Eric Thurman at etthurma@sewanee.edu.

Jewish Christianity / Christian Judaism

F. Stanley Jones
Petri Luomanen
Description: The broad aim of this research unit is to clarify the religion, history, and sociology of the ancient groups traditionally called, collectively, “Jewish Christianity,” but increasingly “Christian” or “Jesus-believing Judaism.” The group also seeks to clarify the issues involved in conceptualizing such groups as a distinct category of religion in antiquity.

Call for papers: Sessions have been partially pre-planned, with some invited speakers, on (1) the Aramaic base of earliest Christianity and (2) James the Just and the Jerusalem community (jointly held with Construction of Christian Identities). Further proposals are particularly welcomed that complement the subjects of these sessions and might be included in them, but a third session is potentially open to any topic relative to Jewish Christianity. The session on the Aramaic base of earliest Christianity will explore not only specific Aramaic vocabulary and meanings witnessed for the early community but also the larger linguistic and methodological issue of how to isolate the relevant Aramaic dialect.

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: The Uses of the Exodus Tradition in Jewish and Christian Scripture and Theology. The Jewish-Christian Dialogue and Sacred Texts Consultation invites papers exploring the interpretation and uses of the exodus tradition, which has served as the catalyst and/or model for a range of treatments. The session is open to all appropriate methodologies. Of particular importance are presenters who, in addition to the presentation of their papers, are prepared to discuss with each other the convergences among and differences between varied constructions and adaptations of the exodus tradition.

Johannine Literature

Kasper B. Larsen
Jo-Ann A. Brant
Description: The Johannine Literature Section has been a long-standing unit within the Society of Biblical Literature. Its main purpose throughout has been to address issues and concerns having to do with the analysis and interpretation of the Johannine literature--a major component of the Christian Scriptures, encompassing for our purposes the Gospel of John and the three Johannine letters.

Call for papers: The Johannine Literature section is sponsoring three session to which presenters are invited to submit papers for consideration: an open session to which any paper on a topic related to the Gospel of John may be submitted, a session entitled "Alternate Views of the Johannine Epistles" and a joint session with the Wisdom and Apocalypticism in Early Judaism and Christianity section on Apocalyptic and the Johannine Gospel. The section is also sponsoring a panel on characterization that is by invitation.

John's Apocalypse and Cultural Contexts Ancient and Modern

Leslie Baynes
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: The Section on John's Apocalypse and Cultural Contexts, Ancient and Modern invites for a joint session with the section on Islands, Islanders, and Scriptures. The theme of this session is "Islands, Apocalypse, and Climate Change." The session welcomes papers that explore the ways in which apocalyptic texts, particularly John's Apocalypse, are interpreted through the lived experience of islands and/ or being an Islander, especially in light of changing climates. Papers might also explore island imagery within the context of apocalyptic texts and/ or the ways in which island perspectives might shape the Book of Revelation in particular. We also invite papers for an open session. We invite papers that explore the ways a range of topics exploring the intersection between Revelation and specific cultural contexts. We are especially interested in papers exploring the connections between the Apocalypse and modern cultural topics such as climate change, the civil rights movements and animals. We also welcome papers examining Revelation in relation to cross-cultural apocalyptic expectation. Papers offering new perspectives on the relation between Revelation and ancient contexts will also be considered, especially those that consider the Apocalypse from the standpoints of new methodologies and reading strategies.

John, Jesus, and History

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: The John, Jesus, and History Group is planning three sessions for 2014, continuing the theme of Jesus Remembered in the Johannine Tradition. Papers will be by invitation, rather than by the submission of proposals, though SBL members may make inquiries about topics. One session, held jointly with the Synoptic Gospels section, will continue exploring John's relationship to each of the Synoptic gospels. In 2014 the focus will be on the gospels of John and Matthew. A second session will be devoted to Methodologies and Questions of Historicity in John. It will examine what constitutes historicity in the modern era, issues of criteria for assessing historicity, and possible new methods. A third session will turn to Jesus Remembered in the Johannine Situation: The Context of Galilee and Judea. Topics may include possible contexts for the development of the Johannine tradition in its early phases. Questions may include the identification of Jesus as a prophet, tensions between Jesus’ followers and synagogue leaders, and Jesus’ relationship to Roman authority.

Josephus

James S. McLaren
Jan W. van Henten
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 2014 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 Josephus and his geographies. We are particularly interested in papers that explore Josephus’ ways of conceiving space (i.e., how he describes space as it was/is), perceiving space (i.e., space as he imagined or constructed it, e.g. sacred space), and handling lived space (i.e., dealing with space as the locus of structured individual or collective experience and agency).

Joshua-Judges

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 Data for the Study of Joshua-Judges. Paper proposals that deal with the conference theme of "Labor and Migration" within a specific text or texts within Joshua-Judges are welcome, though papers on passages unrelated to the conference theme will be considered as well; (2) Open Session. This session seeks papers that deal with the conference theme of "Labor and Migration" in Joshua-Judges but are not focused on a particular passage. We welcome proposals for papers that will utilize diverse methodological techniques and/or synthetic approaches for the study of Joshua-Judges, or that will seek to place these books in a particular methodological landscape; (3) Together with the Biblical Law section, we invite papers for a joint session on law in the books of Joshua and Judges. We are especially interested in papers dealing with the use, reuse, or reinterpretation of legal traditions that are present in other biblical texts, principally the Pentateuch or other parts of the Deuteronomistic History. Please specify for which session your proposal is intended.

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/

Latino/a and Latin American Biblical Interpretation

Ahida Calderon Pilarski
Alejandro F. Botta
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:

Latter-day Saints and the Bible

Jared W. Ludlow
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 2014 Annual Meeting in San Diego 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, Joseph Smith Translation emendations, or inter-textual studies between the Bible and restoration scriptures. Papers exploring the notion of what is scripture or the role of scripture in North American history are encouraged. Comparisons with other Christian denominations or non-Christian traditions—in interpretation or methods of scripture study—are also welcome. A probable second session will be held on the topic of "perspectives on biblical apocalyptic literature" comparing primarily LDS and evangelical perspectives. Papers will be invited, but submissions under this topic will also be considered for inclusion.

Letters of James, Peter, and Jude

Duane F. Watson
Dr. Peter H. Davids
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 related foci: (1) We are beginning a multi-year research program examining the "Letters of James, Peter, and Jude in the History of Interpretation." Paper proposals for our 2014 meeting 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 Levites and Priests in History and Tradition section will be running a joint session with the Deuteronomistic History section that will include a panel of invited papers. We will also be accepting papers for an open session on any relevant topic and encourage submissions.

LGBT/Queer Hermeneutics

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

Call for papers: The LGBT/ Queer Hermeneutics program unit invites papers for OPEN SESSIONS on the following topics: (1) "Epistolary Literature through a Queer Lens," which continues our genre series. We invite proposals that employ LGBT/Queer hermeneutical approaches in conversation with epistolary texts, or embedded letters, within biblical traditions (e.g. Pauline, Johannine, etc. or embedded in Judges, Esther, etc.), including cognate literature (e.g. ANE, Second Temple, Early Christian) and their reception histories. Proposals that engage the relationship between biblical traditions and contemporary "re-writings" from a queer perspective are also welcome. (2) Recognizing our location in the San Diego/Tijuana metroplex, we invite proposals that engage the SBL 2014 theme, "Labor and (Im)migration," from a queer perspective. Does Qoheleth have a queer theory of labor? How can one queer the sabbath and jubilee? Following Patton's and Sanchez-Eppler's "Queer Diasporas" (2000), how do biblical and cognate literatures offer "passports out of Eden," "migratory vices," "bitextualities," transmigrant ways to "play with the world," or "authorization at the margins"?

Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qur’anic Corpus (IQSA)

Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau
Sarra Tlili
Description: This unit provides a forum for the study of the Qur’an from a literary standpoint. We welcome papers that examine the structure of passages or entire surahs; analyze the plot, characterization, themes, and voice in Qur’anic narrative; study the interplay between sound and meaning; explore literary motifs specific to each type of Qur’anic discourse; compare and contrast recurrent narratives and other repeated elements or passages; and investigate the Qur’an’s use of literary devices such as imagery, metaphor, foreshadowing, flashback, irony, chiasmus, caesura, alliteration, assonance, and so forth.

Call for papers: This unit will host two panels at the 2014 IQSA meeting. The first panel will be dedicated to the emerging field of Semitic Rhetoric/Ring Composition theory. We invite proposals for papers that study the Qur’an as an oral text, highlight the ring structure of Qur’anic passages or surahs, and consider if/how this structure imparts meaning or creates any type of impact. Proposals that evaluate the usefulness and applicability of this theory to the Qur’an are also welcome. The second panel seeks proposal on all other aspects of the linguistic, literary, argumentative, and thematic approaches of the Qur’an mentioned above. Proposals should include a title and an abstract of approximately 400 words.

Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew

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

Call for papers: The Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew Section solicits papers for two sessions. The first session will be non-thematic; any papers that address the study of Biblical Hebrew using a well-articulated linguistic method are welcome, and those that apply linguistics to particular Biblical Hebrew texts are especially encouraged. The second session will be topical, focusing on language variation and text-based studies of the differentiation of idiolect, dialect, and discourse pragmatics. Papers grounded in sound linguistic theory and applied to a set of texts have the most potential to further our understanding and are therefore preferred. Please submit your abstract online. Submitters who have not presented a paper previously in the Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew Section are asked also to include the full paper.

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 running four sessions at the 2014 Annual SBL meeting -- three book review sessions and one joint session with the Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah group with an invited panel of presenters. As such, we will not be taking paper submissions for this meeting.

Maria, Mariamne, Miriam: Rediscovering the Marys

Mary Ann Beavis
Ann Graham Brock
Description: The goal of this unit is to provide a forum to focus on certain female figures, in this case the various Marys in canonical, extracanonical, and cultural contexts, digging deeply with a variety of methodologies, perspectives, and approaches.

Call for papers: The goal of this unit is to provide a forum to focus on certain female figures, in this case the various Marys in canonical, extracanonical, and cultural contexts, digging deeply with a variety of methodologies, perspectives, and approaches.

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: Putting Mark in Its Place (III). Continuing from last year, the Mark Seminar invites papers that place Mark's Gospel within the larger context of the ideas and developments of first century Christianity. Our interest is in how the Gospel of Mark’s theology, outlook, and understandings relate to those of other representatives of first-century Christianity as reflected in the rest of the NT (i.e. not including the Gospels, or Paul).

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 will have two sessions in 2014. Session one will address possible literary source material for Mark 11-12. Session two will address possible literary source material for Mark 13. We welcome paper proposals for either topic.

Masoretic Studies

Daniel S. Mynatt
Description: The purpose for this section is to discuss, research and promote the field of Masoretic Studies among Hebrew Bible Scholars. Masoretic Studies seeks to clarify the translation and interpretation of the Hebrew Bible text through the use of the Masorah, to further our understanding of the history of the Masorah, and to explore related fields (e.g. grammar, Rabbinic Studies).

Call for papers: Masoretic Studies will hold an Open Session at the 2014 Annual Meeting. Papers pertaining to Masoretic Studies or related topics are welcome. Anyone interested in presenting should contact Daniel Mynatt at dmynatt@umhb.edu. Masoretic Studies seeks to clarify the translation and interpretation of the Hebrew Bible text through the use of the Masorah, to further the understanding of the history of the Masorah, and to explore related fields (e.g. grammar, Rabbinic Studies).

Matthew

Daniel M. Gurtner
Anders Runesson
Description: The Matthew Section sponsors invited and submitted papers, panels, reviews and welcomes submission on any topic related to Matthean scholarship.

Call for papers: The Matthew Section is seeking proposals on Matthean topics for the 2014 Annual Meeting. We will hold one open session and one panel review of Nathan Eubank, Wages of Cross-Bearing and Debt of Sin: The Economy of Heaven in Matthew's Gospel (BZNW 196; de Gruyter, 2013). The open session welcomes papers on any Matthean topic. Submissions will be evaluated in a blind review process on the basis of originality and clarity of the thesis proposed as well as the overall contribution it makes to Matthean studies.

Meals in the Greco-Roman World

Soham Al-Suadi
Andrew B. McGowan
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 three sessions for 2014 on the topics: a) The meal in John 6, b) Meals and justice (joint session with OT/HB) and c) Iconography of Meals. Papers have been assigned for the two latter sessions. There will a call for papers for the session on John 6. Additionally the section is co-sponsoring the Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament section on a session on food. This is not an open call.

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: We welcome proposals for a joint session, together with the Sacrifice, Cult, and Atonement Unit, addressing "Meals and Sacrifices: The Limits and Overlap Between the Two." The goal of this session is to probe the continuum between ritual consumption and sacrifice. Papers in this session could address questions such as the following: How are the practices of each--and their textual depictions and theoretical reflections (e.g., ordinances in Leviticus)--both related and also different? Why might some texts choose to focus on "sacrificial" aspects and others on "meal" aspects? Or can these be separated? What is the significance of sacrifices that do not include meals and meals that do not carry sacrificial implications? How do textual, iconographic, or archaeological data clarify the overlap and limits between meals and sacrifice? Our second session, a joint session with the Greco-Roman Meals Unit, will consist of invited papers and responses addressing the topic of meals and justice from the Hebrew Bible through the late Second Temple period.

Megilloth

Bradley J. Embry
Amy Erickson
Description: This consultation seeks to offer an outlet for scholarship on the Megilloth. It will address issues of canonical articulation of the Megilloth as a collection, reception (Jewish and Christian traditions), gender, ethnicity, identity, and intertextuality.

Call for papers: For the 2014 meeting in San Diego, the Megilloth consultation invites papers for two sessions. In the first session, papers will be sought which address one or all of the following sets of issues. First, how is gender constructed, understood, and deployed as ideology and how are gender norms upheld and/or subverted? Second, how are issues of ethnicity, such as the perception or treatment of outsiders and exilic themes of dislocation and foreignness, handled in the individual books or the collection? Finally, how do the individual books or the collection treat issues of identity, in particular individual or corporate identity, and how do these depictions and assumptions about the self vary and intersect across the five scrolls. The second session will look for papers which address issues of intertextuality between texts or the collection of the Megilloth and other portions of the HB/OT. Under this rubric, the group will invite papers that consider to what degree allusions in the Megilloth indicate both intentionality for the collection as well as communal notions of the structure and canonicity of the biblical corpus more generally.

Metacriticism of Biblical Scholarship

James Linville
Rebecca Raphael
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: At the 2014 Annual Meeting, the Metacriticism Unit seeks proposals for papers that examine the underlying premises and practices of biblical scholarship in its address to three topics. For the second consecutive year, we will sponsor a session on academic freedom, with attention to the variety of institutional settings and public contexts of biblical scholarship. In addition, we will hold a session devoted to biblical archaeology, from the earliest periods to the time of nascent Christianity. Papers examining the construction of "biblical archaeology" are particularly welcome. For both of these sessions, we anticipate a combination of invited papers and open submissions. In addition, we are seeking joint sponsorship for a session on slavery, i.e. how scholarship has treated this institution as it appears anywhere in the biblical corpus. Proposals on this topic are welcome.

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: We are planning three sessions for the meeting in San Diego. One session will be organized together with the 'Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Interpretation' and the 'Senses and Culture in the Biblical World' sections around the following theme: "Metaphors of Illness in Biblical Literature." This session will consist of three invited papers (one from each group) and one respondent. The papers will showcase how we read and analyze images of illness and its attendant elements (i.e., pain, isolation, impurity, fear, anguish, etc.) in the Bible. The aim of this joint session is to engage the topic from our different theoretical points of departure in such a way as to invite dialogue with the analytical perspectives of the other panelists. The goal will be a thick description and analysis of how illness is represented and used in biblical literature from multiple complimentary perspectives. Our second session has an open call for papers on the theme: “Gender and Metaphor.” For this session we welcome papers at the intersection of gender theory and metaphor theory. Important questions to address include when gender is significant when gendered metaphors are used in biblical texts, and how gendered metaphors contribute to the meaning of biblical texts. Papers must incorporate current metaphor theory and gender theory in the interpretation of relevant biblical passages. Our third session is a workshop for graduate students working on dissertations on metaphors in the Hebrew Bible. The session aims to provide an opportunity for students to showcase their work and receive feedback from more senior scholars in the field as well as from their fellow students. Paper proposals should follow the standard procedure of SBL sessions. Those who are accepted must submit a written presentation by October 1, 2014 and will have 15-20 min in the session for their presentation. The presentations will be followed by planned responses and open discussion.

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 three sessions in San Diego: 1) An open session that will accept paper proposals pertaining to any aspect of the study of Midrash; 2) A session entitled "Israel and the Angels: Emulation, Rivalry and Embodiment." In Midrash and related literatures, Israel (both patriarch and nation) exhibits a complex relationship with angels, characterized by emulation in divine service, rivalry in worship, and even shared embodiment in the divine throne. This panel will explore the rabbinic conception of Israel's national and angelic identities, and address the relationship among the nation, patriarch and heavenly beings. Invited papers only; and, 3) A joint session co-sponsored with the AAR Ethics Section entitled "MISSED (Midrash, Interdisciplinarity, Social Ethics and Solidarity in Education) Opportunities: The Unlikely Scholarly Alliance of the Dispossessed and Their Disciplines." This session is open to paper proposals that explore ways in which Midrash can be applied to interdisciplinary research in the study of religion around such issues as ethnicity, culture, identity, and race.

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: Paper proposals are accepted for three sessions at the 2014 annual meeting. (1) "Past minds: Using cognitive science in the historical study of religion." This session will look into the opportunities and difficulties involved in using cognitive science to deal with historical (textual and archeological) data. What are the prospects and challenges of using cognitive science for understanding ancient cultures and societies? Is there a way to integrate interpretation and explanation in the historical study of religion? Is it possible to use contemporary brain studies to understand ancient minds? We look forward to paper proposals that critically examine the theoretical challenges by providing relevant examples. The session is co-sponsored with the Cognitive Science of Religion section of AAR. (2) Mind, Society and Religion in the Biblical World and the Religious Experience in Antiquity program units are planning a joint session that will engage Patrick McNamara’s Neuroscience of Religious Experience (Cambridge, 2009). McNamara's book examines the neurocognitive basis of emotion, ritual, self-construction, and religious language and concepts as they relate to religious experience. This is not a review session per se, but rather a session that either applies some aspect of McNamara’s work to particular ancient texts and movements, or critiques its relevance to ancient religion. We invite papers that will engage aspects of McNamara's work as they relate to the experience of religion in antiquity. Papers will also be peer reviewed for possible publication in a special issue of Religion, Brain, and Behavior. (3) For the third session we accept proposals that address any research focus stated in the description of the program unit.

Minoritized Criticism and Biblical Interpretation

Fernando F. Segovia
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:

Mysticism, Esotericism, and Gnosticism in Antiquity

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

Call for papers: The Esotericism and Mysticism in Antiquity Section will hold three sessions in 2014. Session one is an open panel on any relevant topic. Session two is a book review session on two books: James Davila, Hekhalot Literature in Translation: Major Texts of Merkavah Mysticism (Brill, 2013) and Jared Calaway, The Sabbath and the Sanctuary: Access to God in the Letter to the Hebrews and its Priestly Context (Mohr Siebeck, 2013). Session three is a joint session with the Western Esotericism Group (AAR) on “Imaginative Literature, Practice, and Esotericism.”

Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism

April D. DeConick
Dylan M. Burns
Description: The Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism Section provides a forum for current international research on the Coptic codices discovered at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1945. Research areas include: issues of text and translation; analysis and interpretation of the tractates; codicological analysis; background and provenance of the manuscripts; studies relevant to the larger social and religio-historical contexts of the Nag Hammadi texts, especially their relation to Jewish, Christian and Greco-Roman religious traditions.

Call for papers: The Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism Section is calling for papers on any topic related to the Nag Hammadi codices and Gnostic literature, beliefs and/or practices.

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: NAPH is sponsoring six sessions and co-sponsoring one session. Session One, Annual Meeting of Officers and Members.Session Two,Book Discussion, D. Rudolph and J. Willitts, eds., Introduction to Messianic Judaism (Zondervan 2013). Session Three, "Linguistic Approaches to TAM (tense-aspect-modality) in Biblical Hebrew." The linguistic interpretation of the Biblical Hebrew verbal forms with respect to TAM is one of the most pressing questions in the study of Biblical Hebrew. A number of recent approaches have been offered which use linguistic theory and methodology, especially grammaticalization. This session will consist of papers (some invited and some open) with respondents to compare and contrast various approaches.For information contact: Prof Jacobus A. Naude, naudej@ufs.ac.za Session Four, Theme:Theme: "A 'working knowledge': Teaching Hebrew to Congregational Leaders." The methodology session invites papers, reviews of software and textbooks, or demonstrations that define a "working knowledge" of biblical Hebrew or discuss how it may be achieved and maintained. Session Five, Theme:"Subtle Citation, Allusion, and Translation in the Hebrew Bible: Evidence, Evaluation, and Implications." Overt cases of inner-biblical citation and allusion are obvious in the Bible; subtle examples of these phenomena, however, are difficult, but not impossible, to discern. This session focuses on subtle, not-so-obvious, unrecognized cases of citation and allusion and on ‘translations’ from other languages. Presentations address apparent cases and the methodological considerations on which their status as ‘real’ (or only apparent and coincidental) can be established.Session Six follows the intent and content of Session Five. Session Seven is a joint session with Applied Linguistics for Biblical Languages Group. This session is accepting papers on "Issues Surrounding Spoken Hebrew in Pedagogy." See ALBL for details.

New Testament Textual Criticism

Jennifer Knust
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 NT Textual Criticism Section is sponsoring four sessions in 2014: (1) an open panel addressing the 28th edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece; (2) a second open panel which welcomes papers on all aspects of the textual transmission of the New Testament; (3) an invited panel considering the CBGM (Coherence Based Genealogical Method) which will assess and evaluate the implications of this method for text critical research; and (4) an invited panel on the transmission of the text of the Epistle to the Hebrews, jointly sponsored with the Hebrews Section and Papyrology & Early Christian Backgrounds Section, which will examine recent papyrological evidence and the text of Hebrews. For the session on the NA28, we are particularly interested in presentations that involve its revised text of the Catholic Letters, its print and digital usability, or its omission of material that used to be present in earlier editions.

Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship at the American Bible Society

Steven Berneking
Description: For Information, please contact: Steve Berneking sberneking@americanbible.org

Call for papers:

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

Novum Testamentum Graecum: Editio Critica Maior

Holger Strutwolf
Tommy Wasserman
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: 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.

Orality, Textuality, and the Formation of the Hebrew Bible

Raymond F. Person, Jr.
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: The Orality and Textuality in the Formation of the Hebrew Bible section invites papers for an open session. We welcome proposals that explore how the dynamics of orality and textuality affect the formation and use of the Hebrew Bible. We particularly welcome proposals that bring biblical studies into dialogue with research in other disciplines on orality, textuality and their interaction.

Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds

Lincoln Blumell
Description: The Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds Group explores how the ancient papyri illumine the world of early Christianity and will appeal to scholars interested in paleographic, linguistic, and textual questions, as well as those who specialize in the social and cultural history of early Christianity.

Call for papers: The Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds Section is sponsoring four sessions at the 2014 Annual Meeting: two open sessions and two panel sessions with invited papers. For the open sessions we invite proposals that seek to explore how the ancient papyri illumine the world of early Christianity and will elucidate paleographic, linguistic, and textual questions, as well as larger questions relating to the social and cultural history of early Christianity. The two invited sessions are as follows: (1) an invited panel on the transmission of the text of the Epistle to the Hebrews, jointly sponsored with the Hebrews Section and NT Textual Criticism Section, which will examine recent papyrological evidence and the text of Hebrews in the Editio Critica Maior; and (2) an invited panel on Didymus the Blind and the Tura papyri. For questions contact lincoln_blumell@byu.edu

Paul and 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: For this open session, papers are invited to investigate the implications of recontextualizing the communities that Paul formed and to which he wrote in comparison and contrast to other communal groups in these locations, whether voluntary associations, synagogues, ekklesias, etc. Suggested topics include discussion of terminology, activities, practices, choice of space, use of space, structure of authority, relations with other groups or authorities, methodology.

Paul and Politics

Diana Swancutt
Joseph A. Marchal
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: We are planning three sessions for the San Diego meetings, two of which include calls for papers.   The FIRST SESSION is an open session inviting proposals for papers on any element of research related to the relationship(s) between "Paul" and "politics" (in the broadest sense of both of these terms).   The SECOND SESSION is an open call for papers, combined with one or more invited papers, on the theme of "Pauls" and politics. "Paul" has lived many political lives, from his own mission and letters to ancient Deutero-Pauline, Pastoral, and Theclan instantiations to robust (and tensive) iterations in the present and near past--in U.S. slavery and abolition discourses, in current U.S. cultural and political debates (around poverty, for example), and in Latin American politics and the theology of liberation, to name a few. We welcome proposals for papers on the lives of "Paul" as he has been presented in the politics of a given time and place, with particular attention paid to presenters' theories of reading for "Paul in politics."   The THIRD SESSION will be a joint session with Reading, Theory, and the Bible on a forthcoming edition of Pier Paolo Pasolini's Saint Paul. The only English version of Pasolini's unfilmed screenplay, Saint Paul, with a preface by Alain Badiou, is translated by Elizabeth Castelli and introduced by Ward Blanton. This session will include invited participants only. 

Pauline Epistles

Caroline E. Johnson Hodge
Emma Wasserman
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 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 7 or 8 undisputed Pauline letters in their immediate social, political, religious, and intellectual contexts. Though orientated towards Paul and the first-century, Pauline Epistles also supports research on the history of interpretation, including the adaptation and change of early Christian thought and practice in the pseudo-Paulines and important issues with 19th, 20th, and 21st century interpretation. The Pauline Epistles section welcomes papers on any topic that presents original and critical research in these areas. We will have one session with invited papers and three open sessions at the annual meeting in November 2014. Paper proposals for the open sessions will only be considered if they are submitted on the SBL website.

Pauline Soteriology

Ann Jervis
Douglas Campbell
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: For 2014 Pauline Soteriology is not calling for papers but rather inviting papers on a particular topic.

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: The Pentateuch section is accepting proposals for one or two open sessions at the 2014 Annual Meeting. We encourage proposals focused on textual composition and transmission and on the intersection of historical-critical and literary or sociological methods. All proposals should demonstrate an engagement with the larger scholarly discussion, whether synchronic or diachronic.

Performance Criticism of Biblical and Other Ancient Texts

Jin H. Han
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 2014, we will hold three sessions. For the first session, we solicit papers that examine the formative influence of oral performance on the creation of texts, the performance of such texts in ancient contexts, representation of oral performance in written texts, performance features embedded in biblical and other ancient texts, or related topics. For the second session, we are interested in papers that examine the role that oral performance played in the production of the psalms and songs of antiquity, their performance in ancient contexts, and performative features that helped to shape biblical and other ancient examples of psalms and songs. The third session is jointly organized with The Bible in Ancient and Modern Media Section to honor and evaluate the contributions of Werner H. Kelber to ancient media and mnemonic culture, especially in light of the recent publication of his Imprints, Voiceprints, and Footprints of Memory (Society of Biblical Literature); for this third session, the presenters have been invited.

Philo of Alexandria

Ellen Birnbaum
Ronald Cox
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 2014 Annual Meeting, we are planning two sessions: 1) The first session, whose participants will be invited, will be devoted to Sarah Pearce's commentary-in-progress on Philo's De Decalogo for the Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series. 2) For the second, companion session, we invite scholars at all career levels to submit proposals on the general topic of Philo’s legal exegesis and its connections to the wider fields of ancient Judaism, rabbinic exegesis, and the legal cultures of the Greco-Roman world (including Egypt). Since Philo is one of the earliest Jewish commentators to expound detailed explanations of possible reasons for the commandments of the Torah, we are particularly interested in offers of papers relating to his rationalizations of the laws.

Philology in Hebrew Studies

Professor Christopher A. Rollston
Jo Ann Hackett
Description: This program unit aims to take up the dual challenge of reflecting self-critically on the nature of philology as a discipline and developing rigorous methodologies of philological study, particularly as may pertain to the Hebrew Bible and related literature.

Call for papers: The program unit extends an open call for papers centered on the questions central to the unit's primary concerns. With the increasing reach of globalization and the entrenched mechanization of modern societies, philologists are both confronted with critical new challenges to understanding ancient texts and presented with an ever-widening variety of interpretive and technical tools through which to engage those texts. Therefore, we pose a challenge to researchers of Hebrew Bible and related texts to redefine the discipline of philology in the 21st century, and to develop innovative, rigorous methodologies of philological study. We encourage presenters to reflect broadly on questions concerning the nature of philology (especially of the Hebrew Bible) and its aims; the development, implementation, and application of its underlying theories and methodologies; its relationships to other fields traditionally considered to intersect with biblical studies (e.g., archaeology; linguistics; history; sociology; and theological hermeneutics and exegesis); and the discipline's history, present, and future in the academy.

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 unit investigates early Christianity as an urban phenomenon from Jerusalem to Rome, from the perspective of Paul's letters, the Apocalypse of John, and the Acts of the Apostles, in the context of the local documentary and archaeological evidence. The unit seeks to bring together scholars of early Christianity and Classicists in the study of early Christian literature as sources for understanding the civic and religious life of the first and second century Mediterranean world. The wide range of methodologies and disciplines employed in the investigations promises a more holistic approach than has been the case in the past. The city chosen for investigation in 2014 is Philippi. There will be two sessions, one open, the other by invitation only

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: The Postcolonial Studies and Biblical Studies Section is soliciting papers for three sessions at the 2014 Annual Meeting. (1) The first session will examine biblical discourses concerning land acquisition and use in the light of postcolonial theories. Colonial histories contain many examples of conflict over land rights, whether in resistance to imperial claims or in inter-tribal negotiations about the construal of customary rights. Papers for this session might explore such questions as the legitimacy of land acquisitions; the relevance of biblical texts to specific cases of land dispossession; or the implications of geography for postcolonial biblical interpretation, whether rural or urban. (2) The second session will be a joint program with the Asian and Asian-American Hermeneutics Section that focuses on issues of labor and (im)migration within any of the countries of Asia. Papers that address these issues from a postcolonial and biblical perspective are welcome. (3) The third session will provide an open forum for papers on any aspect of the relation between postcolonial studies and biblical studies.

Poverty in the Biblical World

Richard A. Horsley
Matthew J.M. Coomber
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: The Poverty in the Biblical World Section will offer three sessions in 2014: First, we will offer an open session, for which proposals are invited, focused on "The Common Good and Community Responsibility in Response to Poverty." Texts that assume people’s right to a livelihood permeate the Bible. Correspondingly, many texts emphasize the community’s collective responsibility for ensuring the economic viability of their members. In the Hebrew Bible a rich array of customs, laws, prophecies, teachings, and even royal propaganda articulate community and/or state responsibility for people’s economic sufficiency. Similarly, Gospel texts of covenant renewal insist upon mutual aid and cooperation. And the apostle Paul is engaged in a “collection for the poor.” Such biblical texts stand in striking contrast to the erosion of public values and the common good in public discourse today. We invite proposals for analyses and interpretations of key texts on the collective responsibility of responding to poverty in maintaining the common good, understood in historical context and/or their effective history, and/or their pertinence for addressing poverty today. Second, we intend to offer a session, with presentations to be arranged and open discussion, on "Ideology, Poverty, and the Formation of Biblical Scholars." Third, we also hope to cooperate with Economics in the Biblical World in a joint session on "(Im)migration, (Forced) Labor and Poverty."

Prophetic Texts and Their Ancient Contexts

Esther J. Hamori
Jonathan Stökl
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 2014 session of the Prophetic Texts and Their Ancient Contexts seminar will continue the 2013 theme of Dream Divination in the Hebrew Bible and elsewhere in the Ancient Near East. The papers and discussion will pay special attention to the various ways that dreams function as a medium for divination. The relationship between dreams and dream-divination to other forms of divination, such as visions or prophecy can also be discussed. The section will consist of invited papers only.

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 is planning to have three sessions at the Annual Meeting in San Diego. The first will be a closed session. Four invited speakers will honor the life’s work of Professor Michael Stone of The Hebrew University. Then two invited speakers will review Andrei A. Orlov’s book Heavenly Priesthood in the Apocalypse of Abraham (Cambridge University Press, 2013). The second session is entitled “Notions of Time in Early Judaism and Christianity.” We invite papers that explore attempts to make sense of the passage of time, broadly conceived, in early Jewish and Christian writings. Preference will be given to papers that are not concerned with the calendars but explore the conceptualization of time across diverse genres of literature. The third session will be an open session. Young scholars and new voices in Pseudepigraphic Studies are especially encouraged to submit abstracts.

Psychology and Biblical Studies

Barbara Mei Leung Lai
Dereck M. Daschke
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 always welcome proposals for papers that address Biblical texts, themes, figures and/or readers using the concepts and interpretive tools of any field of psychology. We urge the use of the original Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic, when the argument of your paper rests on the meanings of specific words or phrases. For 2014, we are particularly interested in papers on the following themes: 1. How the Bible functions psychologically in religious encounters. In numerous ways, the very fact that one is reading or referencing the Bible, as scripture, creates psychological dynamics apart from the content itself. For example, conversion narratives, such as Augustine’s, in which reading the Bible is the catalyst for transformation; or the certitude in one’s reading of the Bible demonstrated by a variety of End-time prophets. How might specific kinds of encounters between reader and the Bible be understood psychologically? 2. The psychology of ritual in the Bible. Ritual studies has long understood that individuals participating in ritual processes experience an altered psychology, which often leads to healing, mystical states, new social identity, and/or personality transformation, among other distinct effects. The Bible offers no shortage of illustrations of psychological change in the context of ritual. We invite papers that illuminate the role that ritual plays in the Bible through an understanding of the psychological processes at work. 3. Psychological Dynamics of Purim. Jewish Purim celebrations, as performances rooted in the Book of Esther, have long been noted for their upending of Jewish religious norms - disruptive shouting and stomping at Haman's name, the liberal use of alcohol, dressing in costume, even to the point now where men are permitted to dress as women and women as men. What psychological factors are at play in the liberation and "topsy-turvyness" encouraged by the biblical text and the people and groups who bring the biblical story to life?

Q

Daniel A. Smith
Alan Kirk
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 2014 meeting the Q Section will organize four sessions, two of which are offered jointly with other program units: (1) Orality, Textuality, and the Synoptic Problem. This session, cosponsored by the Bible in Ancient and Modern Media section, Synoptic Gospels section, and Q section, will explore how ancient media can inform our understanding of the relationships between the Gospels and the Synoptic Problem. Presenters have been invited in advance. (2) Q’s Difference: Social Context and Rhetorical Function. This session explores the difference of Q, that is, its place within constructions of Christian origins and early Judaism, beginning with basic questions about the document’s social context and rhetorical function, and whether Q represents the views of a “Q Community”. Presenters will be invited in advance. (3) Q’s Difference: Contents, Silences, and Perspectives. This session, sponsored jointly by the Extent of Theological Diversity in Earliest Christianity Section and the Q Section, revisits the question of how “different” Q seems to be given its contents, silences, and perspectives, especially where issues evidently crucial to other groups (such as the death and resurrection of Jesus) are concerned. Does Q make a difference to constructions of Christian origins? Presenters will be invited in advance. (4) Open Session. In this session, papers on any topic related to Q are welcome.

Qumran

Charlotte Hempel
Eibert Tigchelaar
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 2014 the Section will host an invited session on The Composition, Genre, and Forms of the Temple Scroll alongside Two Open Call Sessions. In addition we will co-sponsor an invited session on Religious Experience and the Dead Sea Scrolls with the Religious Experience Section. Contemporary approaches associated with Religious Experience are informed by naturalistic understandings of human experiences and use integrative methods to examine these phenomena. This session will focus especially on discussing new insights that these integrative approaches can offer on the sectarian literature from Qumran. In order to maximize opportunities for presenters scholars should not present more than two years in succession. This restriction does not apply to invited papers.

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: the 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 and 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 and sexuality in comparative perspective; the Qur’an in the context of Late Antiquity. Prearranged panels with a set topic and invited participants will be given full consideration.

Qur’an Seminar (IQSA)

Mehdi Azaiez
Tommaso Tesei
Description: The Qur’an Seminar is a collaborative research project that brings together scholars from all around the world to discuss and comment on selected key Qur’anic passages. This research emerges from current trends in Qur’anic Studies that seek to excavate and explore the religio-cultural ties between the Qur’anic text and intellectual history of the Late Antique Near East. Scholars will be asked to produce commentaries that bring innovating views concerning three central topics inherent to our understanding of the Qur’an: [1] its textual structure (i.e., logical, rhetorical, and literary qualities, or na?m); [2] its intertextual relationships with both Biblical and extra-Biblical traditions; [3] the historical context from which the Qur’anic text and the Islamic movement emerged.

Call for papers: For the 2014 meeting in San Diego we have selected four passages to be discussed in two different panels. Each panel will include two passages which will be organized as follows:
  • Panel n. 1 : surah 74 and Q 18:60–102.
  • Panel n. 2 : surahs 19 and 88.
Scholars are invited to submit an abstract for one of the two panels or for both of them, including a commentary of 400 words maximum for each selected passage. We especially welcome innovative commentaries that address the Qur’an directly and do not rely on the categories of medieval exegesis.

Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics (IQSA)

Karen Bauer
Farid Esack
Description: This unit aims to understand and contextualise the methods and hermeneutics applied to the Qur’anic text, both historical and contemporary. The Methodology and Hermeneutics unit addresses questions that might implicitly govern other units, such as: what is Qur’anic Studies, and how does the study of the Qur’an differ from the study of its interpretation? What are the methodological differences between descriptive and normative approaches to the text? How does context (intellectual, social, ethical, historical) affect hermeneutical approaches to the text? The unit welcomes papers addressed to the hermeneutics and methods of particular schools of interpretation or thought, and also on hermeneutics as applied to specific subjects or concepts such as social justice and gender.

Call for papers: For the 2014 meeting in San Diego, the Methodology and Hermeneutics unit will have two panels. The first panel focuses on the hermeneutics or methods applied to the Qur’an by particular groups of interpreters or schools of thought. A grouping could be theological, sectarian, or geographical, but need not be limited by such boundaries. Some examples of possible groupings include: modern Egyptian reformist interpreters; Isma‘ilis; the mutakallimun, philosophers, or rationalists; contemporary academics; women; early Islamic poets. The second panel invites papers in any aspect of methods and hermeneutics applied to the Qur’an. Proposals should include a title and an abstract of approximately 400 words.

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 one open session this year. 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. Reading, Theory, and the Bible is also organizing a joint session with Paul and Politics on a forthcoming edition of Pier Paolo Pasolini's Saint Paul, an unfilmed screenplay. The only English version of Pasolini’s Saint Paul, with a preface by Alain Badiou, is translated by Elizabeth Castelli and introduced by Ward Blanton. This session will be of invited participants only.

Recovering Female Interpreters of the Bible

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

Call for papers: Session 1)"Back to the Beginning: Women's Interpretations of Genesis prior to the Twentieth Century." Papers can be on texts or artifacts, including women's commentaries, sermons, poetry, music, novels, and art. We welcome abstracts for 25 minute papers. Session 2)"Retrieving Women Interpreters' Voices from the Past: Foundations, Methodology, and Implications." The session will include a case study: Joy Schroeder’s Deborah's Daughters: Gender Politics and Biblical Interpretation (Oxford University Press, Forthcoming April 2014). Panelists will be invited to reflect upon the foundations, methods and implications of studying women interpreters, with several panelists using Schroeder’s new book as a case study. For more information, contact Marion Taylor at marion.taylor@wycliffe.utoronto.ca.

Redescribing Early Christianity

William E. Arnal
Erin Roberts
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: The Redescribing Early Christianity seminar seeks proposals for the 2014 Annual Meeting that mesh with the seminar’s agenda of providing significantly re-imagined descriptions and theoretically-informed explanations of “Christian” data and relevant comparanda from the first three centuries of this era. One session will be devoted to evolutionary and cognitive approaches, while the other will focus on theories related to social formation and social practice. We especially encourage papers that focus on large-scale theories, relating “Christian” materials to broader patterns of human behavior, as well as papers that do not assume the self-evident and monolithic identity of a reified “Christianity.” For both sessions, we anticipate a combination of invited papers and open submissions. Note that papers are to be predistributed, and only summarized, not read in their entirety, at the meeting itself.

Religious Competition in Late Antiquity

Nathaniel Desrosiers
Lily Vuong
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: We will accept papers for two different sessions. This first session "Fighting over Fingerbones: the Competition for Relics in Late Antiquity" will explore the role of relics – the venerated remains of “holy individuals” and the objects with which they came into contact – in Greco-Roman religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in late antiquity. This includes the bodies, bones, or ashes of saints, heroes, martyrs, priests, biblical figures, founders of religious traditions, and other holy men and women, as well as the objects that they once owned and, by extension, things that were once in physical contact with them. Like other forms of material culture, relics played significant roles in the formative ages of Judaism and Christianity. We invite papers on late-antique religious texts and material culture that unearth the role that these items played in identity formation, religious competition, political propaganda, and the so-called “parting of the ways” between Judaism and Christianity. The second session "From within the Ivory Tower: Religious Experts and the 99%" will examine how the study of religion and philosophy in antiquity is largely dependent upon analyzing the literary remains of a tiny percentage of elite, educated individuals whose writings largely reflect the competition between themselves and other members of this elite group. We know far less about the religious beliefs and practices of the vast amount of men and women who could not read or write or who were not involved as cultural producers with a stake in the religion game. It is generally acknowledged that the views of religious experts were not necessarily reflective of the views of the (now silent) majority. However, the relationship between religious experts and non-experts was not one of complete disconnect, but often of active engagement, of critique, of encouragement, and of manipulation. This session will examine the various ways in which religious experts sought to shape the beliefs

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: The Religious Experience in Antiquity section will be sponsoring three sessions this year. (1) The first is a joint session with Mind, Society and Religion in the Biblical World that will engage Patrick McNamara’s Neuroscience of Religious Experience (Cambridge, 2009). McNamara's book examines the neurocognitive basis of emotion, ritual, self-construction, and religious language and concepts as they relate to religious experience. This is not a review session per se, but rather a session that either applies some aspect of McNamara’s work to particular ancient texts and movements, or critiques its relevance to ancient religion. We invite papers that will engage aspects of McNamara's work as they relate to the experience of religion in antiquity. Papers will also be peer reviewed for possible publication in a special issue of Religion, Brain, and Behavior. (2) The second session is jointly sponsored with the Qumran section. This invited session will focus especially on discussing the new insights that the integrative Religious Experience approaches can offer on the sectarian literature from Qumran. Five 20 minute papers on this topic with a respondent are planned. (3) The third session is an open call for papers on any topic related to Religious Experience in Antiquity.

Religious World of Late Antiquity

Cynthia M. Baker
Lynn LiDonnici
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: Religious World of Late Antiquity Section will cosponsor four sessions in 2014. For one session, cosponsored with Social History of Formative Christianity and Judaism, we invite proposals on “Fun, Games, Laughter and Play in the Religious Worlds of Late Antiquity.” It can be argued that religious ritual is an elaborated form of play, and that many cultural dynamics and art forms gain new meaning when considered as games, in the context of other games. What kinds of entertainments, games and jokes and forms of play were part of the religious expression of people in Late Antiquity? What is the role of “fun” within the structures of religious establishment? Or are fun and play, by their very nature, always transgressive and dangerous to authority? We welcome papers on “frivolous” behaviors and activities that religious authorities complained about in their writings, as well as on the kinds of jokes or entertainments that they, themselves, enjoyed; on surviving games or texts about them as well as visual representations of feasting, frolicking, and comical creatures in the “religious” environment of Late Antiquity. We also welcome methodological explorations of how to identify and discuss “fun” in ancient sources. Please submit copies of a single proposal for this session to both cosponsoring sections. Three additional invited sessions will include: a book review session, cosponsored with Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity, that will consider recent work on religion, power, and urban space in late antiquity; a panel cosponsored with History and Literature of Early Rabbinic Judaism on “Wealth: Theology, Social Vision, and Self-Fashioning from the Bible to Late Antiquity”; and a session cosponsored with the new International Quranic Studies Association, that will highlight recent scholarship exploring the links between the late antique empires, Arabia, and the rise of Islam.

Rhetoric and the New Testament

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

Call for papers: The "Rhetoric and the New Testament” section seeks papers for three sessions in 2014: 1) “Rhetorics of Vision and Visual Rhetorics: Ekphrasis and Beyond” for which we invite proposals that display explicit attention and commitment to the rhetorical uses of seeing and images in New Testament and early Christian literature, as well as methodological considerations concerning the use of images, ancient and modern, as rhetorical sources in their own right; 2) "Rhetorics of Historical Jesus Scholarship," for which we invite proposals that consider the rhetorical contours of scholarship concerning the various "quests" for the historical Jesus over the last 150 years, as well as how "Historical Jesus" serves as a discursive category in the field as a whole; and 3) "Currents in Rhetorical Criticism," an open call for a paper session wherein we shall prioritize proposals for critical appraisals of the rhetorics of travel and (im)migration, labor and class, gender/sexuality and race/ethnicity, and/or other discourses and their deployments within and across complexes of early Christian literature, as well as in the histories of reception and scholarship thereof.

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. Track 1 (New Horizons in Sociorhetorical Interpretation) will be a joint session with the Space, Place and Lived Experience in Antiquity Group on the topic "Thinking through Place: The Spatiality of the Household". This session will explore how places formed rhetoric and concepts in the ancient context of scripture. While some papers for this session will be by invitation, SBL members are free to submit proposals for the remaining presentations. Papers must be informed by spatial theory and/or ancient rhetorics and must demonstrate how such theories help to interpret the biblical texts. Track 2 (An Analytical Seminar showcasing the use of sociorhetorical interpretation) will be on the Gospel of John and will be presented by the Rev. Dr. L. Gregory Bloomquist. Track 3 (Refining Sociorhetorical Interpretation) will be on "Refining topoi" and will consist of invited papers.

Ritual in the Biblical World

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

Call for papers: For our first session, papers are invited that explore water in rituals in the biblical world. How is water used? Where and how does it come into play in a given rite? What kinds of symbolic value does it carry in these rituals? And what sense might we make of this use, if any? Our second session is open to all proposals dealing with rituals in the biblical world. We are particularly interested in papers that employ a methodological or theoretical framework to analyze, explain, or defamiliarize these rituals or ritual contexts.

Sabbath in Text and Tradition

Edward Allen
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 the topic of “Constructing, Reconstructing and Deconstructing the Sabbath: How Abrahamic Religions Maintained or Revised the Sabbath.” Papers may discuss changes in Sabbath theology or practice in Judaism, Christianity or Islam or how Sabbath observance was affirmed and strengthened. Papers may focus on biblical themes or on how those themes have been understood and implemented across time. Topics may include changes or affirmations from biblical times to Rabbinic times in Judaism; the change in Christianity from Sabbath to Lord’s Day or a focus on groups that continued to keep Sabbath in Christianity or observed both Sabbath and Lord’s Day; the change from a Temple centered Sabbath to a synagogue or home centered Sabbath; the change in leadership roles from priest to rabbi; and the change from Judaic and Christian understandings of a holy day to the observance of a day of prayer in Islam. Other proposals related to the Sabbath are welcome.

Sacred Texts and Public Life

Mark A. Chancey
Description: The purpose of this unit is to support the discussion of the way sacred texts, and especially the Bible, play a role in and intersect with various dimensions of public life, including policy. It hopes to bring people and institutions together to unravel the past relationships of sacred texts and public life and envision new ways to shape this lively intersection.

Call for papers: The purpose of this unit is to support the discussion of the way sacred texts, and especially the Bible, play a role in and intersect with various dimensions of public life, including policy. It hopes to bring people and institutions together to unravel the past relationships of sacred texts and public life and envision new ways to shape this lively intersection.

Sacrifice, Cult, and Atonement

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 two open sessions and one invited session for the 2014 Annual SBL conference: First, it invites papers for a joint session with the SBL section Meals in the HB/OT and Its World featuring the title "Meals and Sacrifices: The Limits and Overlap between the Two." The goal of this session is to probe the continuum between ritual consumption and sacrifice. Papers in this session could address questions such as the following: How are the practices of each?their textual depictions and theoretical reflections (e.g., ordinances in Leviticus)?both related and also different? Why might some texts choose to focus on "sacrificial" aspects and others on "meal" aspects? Or can these be separated? What is the significance of sacrifices that do not include meals and meals that do not carry sacrificial implications? How do textual, iconographic, or archaeological data clarify the overlap and limits between meals and sacrifice? Second, it invites papers for a joint session with the AAR group Hinduism featuring the title "Sacred Space and Sacrificial Rituals or Discourses in Israel/Judaism and Hinduism." The goal of this session is to investigate the connection between private or public sanctuary space and a variety of sacrificial rituals in actual ritual practice or sacrificial discourse. Contributions may address these religious traditions individually or in comparative perspective. Third, the Sacrifice, Cult, and Atonement section will offer an invited session on the topic of "Writing a Commentary on Leviticus: Reflections on Methodology and Sacrificial Rituals" with invited speakers, all of whom are currently writing a Leviticus commentary.

Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity

Bruce N. Fisk
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: In our first session an invited panel will review a new book by Richard B. Hays (Baylor, 2014) on the use of Scripture in the four Gospels. Although our second session is open, proposals that explore the function of Scriptural themes and texts in the Gospels are particularly welcome.

Second Corinthians: Pauline Theology in the Making

Steven Kraftchick
Dominika A. Kurek-Chomycz
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: 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.

Senses and Culture in the Biblical World

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

Slavery, Resistance, and Freedom

Bernadette Brooten
Emerson B. Powery
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: Enslavement, Forced Migration, Labor and Family We welcome proposals on the intersections of enslaved labor and forced migration or enslavement and family, with special attention to adoption and reproduction. We encourage attention to intersectionality and to the question of what is ‘slaving.’ Proposals may address the Bible and Ancient Near East; New Testament, early Christian history, early rabbinic literature, or ancient Mediterranean history more broadly; interpretations of biblical, rabbinic, or other classical texts; or contemporary forced labor in relation to or in comparison with Ancient Near Eastern or Mediterranean forced labor.

Social History of Formative Christianity and Judaism

Blake Leyerle
Gil P. Klein
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 2014 we are planning four sessions. The first will be a pre-arranged session, co-sponsored with Early Jewish Christian Relations, on Susanna Drake's new book, Slandering the Jew: Sexuality and Difference in Early Christian Texts. For the other three sessions, we seek proposals on the following topics: 1. Fun, Games, Laughter and Play. (Co-sponsored with Religious World of Late Antiquity - please submit copies of a single proposal for this session to both co-sponsoring sections). We are particularly interested in proposals that address what kinds of entertainments, games and jokes and forms of play were part of the religious expression of people in Late Antiquity. We welcome papers on "frivolous" activities that religious authorities complained about, as well as on the kinds of entertainment that they, themselves, enjoyed; on surviving games or texts about them as well as visual representations of feasting, frolicking, and comical creatures. We also welcome methodological explorations of how to identify "fun" in ancient sources. 2. The Senses and Emotions. How did adherents of late antique Judaism and Christianity conceive of the senses and/or emotions? What were their delights and dangers? How did teachers, preachers, and writers mobilize and adjust contemporary philosophical theory to accommodate their ethical programs? How do senses and emotions figure in legal discussions? In what ways do liturgical rites intersect with and influence perceptions and feelings? 3. Sacrifice: We welcome proposals that address any aspect of sacrificial cult and imagery in formative Judaism and Christianity. What were the approved materials, places, and protocols of sacrifice? How did sacrifice adapt to or influence its urban or rural environment? Who could officiate, and how did sacrificial imagery convey authority, structure communities, and authorize behaviors? When the conditions necessary for sacrifice no longer obtained, what replaced sacrifice?

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: In our first session, building on the conference theme, we are exploring social scientific aspects of Labour and Migration. There is an open call for papers. We are interested in papers that analyse labour and migration in the Hebrew Bible, including engagements with ancient biblical social worlds that draw on contemporary contexts and experiences that might be analogous to the ancient cases. Papers that discuss the economics and social status of the ‘stranger’; attitudes toward work, vocation, and wealth that draw upon biblical themes; the social, political or economic impact of group migration; or of geographic or political borders are welcome. Our second session will explore the following question: What types of relational strategies in identity formation can be determined from the HB? There is an open call for papers. Perspectives may include sociology, psychology, political science, or other related discipline, and the use of a range of methods, including network analysis, deviance theory, and social identity theory and so on is encouraged. Papers should focus on the formation of identity through the construction or deconstruction of boundaries, shared history and collective memory, the consolidation or loss of social or political power, or some form of a majority/minority dichotomy.

Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament

Alicia J. Batten
Zeba A. Crook
Description: The Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament Section program encourages the self-conscious employment of recognized models, methods, or theories of the social sciences in order to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the texts and social world of the New Testament.

Call for papers: The Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament Section program encourages the self-conscious employment of recognized models, methods, or theories of the social sciences in order to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the texts and social world of the New Testament and early Christianity. For 2014, we will have 3 sessions. One session will be open and thus anyone engaging social scientific methods and the New Testament and/or early Christian texts is welcome to submit a proposal. A second session will focus on “food” in the New Testament and related literature. There has been much work done on meals in antiquity, but less on the actual food that was consumed. What did people eat? How much? What were attitudes towards eating certain kinds of foods? This session will feature invited papers and will be co-sponsored with the Meals Section of the SBL. A third session will centre upon gender, sexuality, economics and ideology and will also consist of invited speakers.

Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions

Jeffrey Brodd
Nancy A. Evans
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: “Religious Violence” in the Ancient World

Much of the recent discussion of “religious violence” in contemporary media has its roots in the conflicts generated by the interplay of the cultural and religious traditions that claim some heritage of the ancient Mediterranean world. This session will problematize and explore this concept by investigating the representation and reality of how violence was sanctioned, explained or challenged based on religious notions, and in turn how religions engaged with and responded to violence in the ancient Mediterranean between the first millennium BCE and 400 CE. Topics to be considered include: the religious rhetoric of violence, archaeological evidence of religious conflict, history of religious tolerance vs. religious persecution, the interplay of politics and religion in sanctioning violence, gendered aspects of religion and violence, and the psychologies of religion and violence in this period.

Society for Comparative Research on Iconographic and Performative Texts

James W. Watts
Description: The Society for Comparative Research on Iconic and Performative Texts (SCRIPT) was founded in 2010 to encourage new scholarship on iconic and performative texts. Our goal is to foster academic discourse about the social functions of books and texts that exceed their semantic meaning and interpretation, such as their display as cultural artifacts, their ritual use in religious and political ceremonies, their performance by recitation and theater, and their depiction in art. SCRIPT sponsors programming at existing regional and international scholarly meetings and at colleges and universities. We welcome new members and ideas for programs and venues to host them. For further information, see http://script-site.net/.

Call for papers: For the SCRIPT panel in San Diego, we invite papers on any aspect of the iconic and/or performative dimension of scriptures.

Søren Kierkegaard Society

Kyle Roberts
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

Christl M. Maier
Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre
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: In 2014, we plan three sessions. One session about Urban Spaces will be co-sponsored with the AAR Space, Place, and Religious Meaning Group. It features an open call for papers that consider recent or new directions in the study of space and place for the study of religion, particularly in urban settings. A second session, entitled “Thinking through Place: The Spatiality of the Household” will be jointly organized with the SBL program unit Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity. It invites papers that explore how places formed rhetoric and concepts in the ancient context of scripture. Papers should be informed by spatial theory and/or ancient rhetorics and demonstrate how such theories help to interpret the biblical texts. The third session is a book review session with invited panelists, co-sponsored with the SBL program unit Religious World of Late Antiquity, which will consider recent work on religion, power, and urban space in late antiquity.

Speech and Talk: Discourses and Social Practices in the Ancient Mediterranean World

Jeremy F. Hultin
Michal Beth Dinkler
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: We are planning one open session and one joint session with the Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative Section. For the open session, we invite proposals on any topic relevant to the group’s focus. For the joint session, "Flouting Conventions," we invite papers that consider how ancient narratives deployed – and often strategically flouted – conventions regarding speech and talk. Ancient narratives reflect and employ diverse conventions regarding speech and talk in the ancient world. In particular contexts, certain kinds of speech indicate social identity (e.g., foreign language marks cultural otherness); ways of talking can reveal a character’s virtues or vices (e.g., salacious, misleading, persuasive, bold); unique types of speech are appropriate or efficacious only in certain temporal, geographical, or communal settings (e.g., ritualistic language located in temples). Of course, not all narratives conform to convention; often, storytellers violate established norms to great rhetorical effect. Breaches of expectation regarding speech – like a slave who speaks when she is expected to remain silent – can draw readerly attention, challenge readerly assumptions, and thereby contribute to the narrative’s rhetorical force.

Synoptic Gospels

Robert Derrenbacker
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: The Synoptic Gospels section invites proposals for papers for two open sessions on the content or formation of any of the Synoptic Gospels, and we especially are interested in papers that address the relationship between two or more of the gospels or deal with themes that touch on multiple gospels. A third session, sponsored jointly by the Bible in Ancient and Modern Media Section and the Q Section, will focus on ancient media culture and the Synoptic Problem; for this session, only invited papers will be read. A fourth session will be a joint session with the John, Jesus and History group, and will address relationships between John and Matthew; for this session, only invited papers will be 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: For the 2014 meeting in San Diego, we welcome papers for three joint and one or more open sessions. 1) For a joint session with the SBL Ethiopic Bible and Literature Section, we invite contributions that show intersections between Ethiopic and Syriac or Syriac-Arabic exegetical, literary, or historical traditions. 2) In collaboration with the SBL Ecological Hermeneutics Section and the AAR Middle Eastern Christianity Group we seek proposals that address the theme: "Eco-Spirituality: Middle Eastern Christianity and the Environment." 3) In preparation for a joint session with the International Qur'anic Studies Association (IQSA) and their program unit "The Qur'an and the Biblical Tradition" we invite papers that examine, for instance, the contribution of Syriac homilies by authors such as Jacob of Serugh or Philoxenus of Mabbug for understanding the dialogue between the Qur'an and the Biblical Tradition. 4) We warmly welcome contributions for one or more open sessions with presentations of research on Syriac literature and the Syriac Bible, its versions, transmissions, exegesis, and relevance for understanding religion, culture, history, and society in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Given SBL's thematic focus on "labor and migration" for the 2014 meeting, we also welcome papers that contribute perspectives to this topic from the Syriac-speaking realm.

Systematic Transformation and Interweaving of Scripture in 1 Corinthians

Thomas L. Brodie
Dr. Linda L. Belleville
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:

Teaching Biblical Studies in an Undergraduate Liberal Arts Context

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

Call for papers: We invite proposals based on the implementation of pedagogical ideas generated from Cultivating the Spirit: How College Can Enhance Students' Inner Lives by Alexander W. Astin, Helen S. Astin, and Jennifer A. Lindholm (Josey-Bass, 2010). Those interested in participating should read the book and implement some aspect of its findings into their biblical studies courses over the coming year; we invite proposals that would identify the book's specific challenge, describe the planned strategy and assessment, and anticipate the results. The paper to be given in San Diego will include a progress report on the implementation of the book’s ideas and reflect on their implications for teaching the Bible in the Liberal Arts context. A panel response will follow. Proposals are also invited for a second open session titled "Biblical Studies and ---." (Fill in the blanks in various ways, such as "skills development," "general studies," "performing arts," and "film studies.") In the proposal, outline the rationale, challenges, opportunities, strengths, and weaknesses as they apply to a specific example in your own teaching context. Handouts and engaged presentation styles are welcome.

Test Session: Executive Office

Charles G. Haws
Description: This field includes the 40-word synopsis of your unit's main focus/method/topic/interest(s). Thus, it is a key field for SBL members as they evaluate to which program units they might propose a paper. In order to edit the field, please contact the SBL Executive Office.

Call for papers: Enter your call for papers here. If you are not issuing a call for papers, please remember to update this field nonetheless and mark "no" to the question "Accepting paper?" This will indicate to SBL members that your unit will be active at the meeting but is not receiving unsolicited proposals.

Texts and Traditions in the Second Century

Michael F. Bird
Christopher Hays
Description: The aim of this consultation is to promote scholarly discussion and debate on the texts, people, and traditions significant for Christian history and reception of biblical texts in the second century which are currently underrepresented at the annual meeting.

Call for papers: Papers for this unit have been invited.

Textual Criticism of Samuel – Kings

Kristin De Troyer
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: The 2014 session will be a joint session between the Textual Criticism Samuel/Kings Section and the Textual Growth: What Variant Traditions Tell Us About Scribal Activity Seminar. Its theme will be the Balance between Texts and Editions. The goal of this session is to clarify how the different texts can be used in the reconstruction of the history/histories of the literary growth of the Hebrew text(s) of Samuel and Kings. Attention will be given to the groupings of the texts and on how to read and interpret these groups.

Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible

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: 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.), the evaluation of that data, and theoretical issues about the discipline of textual criticism. Three sessions are scheduled for SBL 2014: San Diego: (1) A closed session of invited papers on "The Reception of the Biblical Text in the Damascus Document” will take up the text-critical study of quotations and allusions to biblical books, shedding light on the textual history of the Hebrew Bible. (2) An open session on biblical quotations and allusions. (3) An open session on any text-critical topic. Paper proposals are invited for (2) and (3). On the heels of a great session on the state of several questions in the study of the Samaritan Pentateuch in Baltimore (SBL, 2013), papers on this topic are encouraged. We look forward to continued conversations about textual criticism in San Diego. Join us.

Textual Growth: What Variant Editions Tell Us About Scribal Activity

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 Hebrew scriptures. Particular focus is on the variant textual witnesses, which show how the texts of the Hebrew scriptures were changed or edited. Papers dealing with textual growth (or other editorial changes) in the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the text critical evidence (LXX etc.), and other ancient Near Eastern literature are encouraged to participate.

The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition (IQSA)

Cornelia Horn
Holger Zellentin
Description: The focus of this unit is the Qur’an’s relationship to the Biblical tradition in the broadest sense: the books of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament in the various languages of their original composition and later translations (regardless of a particular book’s status of canonization within specific Jewish or Christian groups), the exegetical traditions of the Bible, and the homiletic, narrative, and legal corpora that have developed in close dialogue with this Biblical tradition prior to the emergence of the Qur’an and subsequently in exchange with the Qur’an.

Call for papers: For the 2014 IQSA meeting in San Diego, we plan to organize two panels, one of which will be co-sponsored by the SBL Syriac Literature and Interpretations of Sacred Texts section. For these panels, we welcome proposals that engage the Qur’an’s dialogue with any aspect of the Biblical tradition. Emphases include, but are not limited to, the role of Syriac homilies by authors such as Jacob of Serugh or Philoxenos of Mabbug, the role of the rabbinic narrative and legal traditions as they are embodied in the Palestinian and Babylonian Talmud and Midrash, and the role of the Ethiopic tradition. As a second focus of interest, we welcome proposals that address methodological questions pertinent to the study of the literary shape of the Qur’an both on its own terms and in relationship to other written and oral texts. We wish to examine, whether, where, and how interactions of “influx,” “influence,” “adaptation,” or “adoption” best characterize the interplay between the Qur’an and the Biblical traditions. Proposals should include a title and an abstract of approximately 400 words.

The Qur’an: Historical Context, Manuscripts, and Material Culture (IQSA)

Keith Small
Luke Treadwell
Description: The aim of this unit is to provide a cross-disciplinary setting to address the variety of interconnected issues that arise when questions concerning the Qur’an’s text are explored in the areas of its manuscript history and its textual representation in Islamic material culture. This will provide a broad forum to explore the historical context of the Qur’an from various eras, as well as such diverse but related topics as the palaeographic, codicological and art historical study of the Qur’an’s manuscript history, and the various epigraphic media of Islamic material culture. It is hoped that bringing scholars from the disciplines of material culture and manuscript studies together in this way will serve to enrich and strengthen both fields. This unit will consist of two panels. One will use as its focus the study of these issues as they apply to manuscripts. The second will focus on the study of these issues as they apply to epigraphic materials.

Call for papers: Panel 1: For the 2014 Meeting in San Diego we invite papers that deal with all eras and regions of the Qur’an’s manuscript tradition, as well as the variety of palaeographic, art historical, codicological, and historical issues one encounters in our discipline. For example, a paper topic may focus on presenting a particular manuscript or group of manuscripts, on exploring a feature of orthographic development, a particular script style, the dating of manuscripts, issues of textual criticism, systems of qira'at, on the Qur’anic arts of the book or on a feature of Qur’anic manuscript studies not listed here but that fits the general parameters listed in the description of the program unit.

Panel 2: Extending the practice of inscribing the Word of God beyond the mashaf to other materials was a contentious issue in early Islam. This panel aims to provide a forum for the study of the Qur’an as it figures on objects of daily use, as well as elite artefacts and buildings, and for the investigation of scholarly reactions to these developments in hadith collections and other textual sources. In this panel we invite contributions on any aspect of the Qur’an’s history and pre-history that lies outside the manuscript tradition. For example, topics relating to Qur’anic citation in the epigraphic (including graffiti as well as formal inscriptions), architectural, ceramic, numismatic and papyrological records and the use of the Qur’an in funerary, apotropaic and prophylactic contexts would be most welcome. Topics concerning pre-Islamic inscriptions that might have a bearing on the later formulation of the text of the Qur’an are also welcome.

Proposals should include a title and an abstract of approximately 400 words.

Theological Interpretation of Scripture

Michael J. Gorman
Tom Holsinger-Friesen
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: In 2014 the Theological Interpretation of Scripture seminar will have two sessions, each with invited papers. One session will be entitled "The Prophetic Voice." The other session will be on Bultmann and contemporary theological interpretation. Persons interested in announcements regarding the work of this unit, or with ideas for future sessions, should contact the chair, Michael Gorman (mgorman@stmarys.edu).

Theological Perspectives on the Book of Ezekiel

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

Call for papers: This section seeks to bring together scholars working on the book of Ezekiel to share research and conclusions about the book. The section encourages an expressly theological approach to the book. We will hold three sessions at the 2014 Annual Meeting in San Diego: (1) An Open Session. We invite paper proposals on any aspect of the book of Ezekiel. (2-3) “Ezekiel 40-48 and Its Relationship to Pentateuchal Literary and Legal Texts and Concepts”. This will be our second year working on the project, having two sessions on the topic this year. One will be an invited session co-ordinated with the Pentateuch section, the other is open for proposals. All papers will be required in electronic form for circulation one month before the Annual Meeting.

Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures

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

Call for papers: The Theology of Hebrew Scriptures section will hold two sessions in 2014: (1) An open session for which we invite proposals that engage the Hebrew Bible in a distinctively theological way. Special consideration will be given to proposals that address the topic of “Biblical Theology and Sexualities.” (2) An invited panel on the topic, “Biblical Theology in Context: Jewish, Christian, and Critical Approaches to the Theology of the Hebrew Bible.” Questions may be addressed to Julia O'Brien or Marvin Sweeney, program unit co-chairs.

Ugaritic Studies and Northwest Semitic Epigraphy

Joseph Lam
Eric D. Reymond
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 plans to hold two sessions in 2014: (1) A session on Northwest Semitic myth in ancient Mediterranean context, which will consist of mostly invited papers, but for which unsolicited submissions will also be considered; and (2) an open, non-thematic session consisting of papers on any topic relevant to Ugaritic and Northwest Semitic studies.

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: This year we aim to have at least one open session: proposals are welcome on any aspect of the Bible's reception history. For the open sessions our preference is for papers that do not focus on the narrower history of scholarship, but explore wider aspects of the Bible's impact on religions, society and culture, art, literature and music. In addition to the open session(s), for the next two years we are planning a specific focus on 'The Cultural History of Biblical Commentary'. The commentary has long been the dominant form of biblical interpretation, and we invite papers that examine the history and practice of commentary writing from the second temple period to the 21st century. We are particularly interested in papers that will examine areas such as the development of the form of the commentary, the material production and consumption of commentaries, the ideological assumptions that underpin commentaries, and the religious, cultural and/or political influence of particular commentaries. For San Diego, we are hoping to have one joint session on 'Commentary and Ideology' together with the Ideological Criticism section.

Violence and Representations of Violence among Jews and Christians

Ra'anan Boustan
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: The Violence and Representations of Violence Section is sponsoring three sessions: 1) an open session on the topic of “self-directed violence and pain,” co-sponsored with the AAR Unit Comparative Approaches to Religion and Violence; 2) an open session on the topic “public violence,” co-sponsored with the Early Jewish and Christian Relations Section of the SBL; 3) an open session on the legacies of remembered violence. The CFPs for each of these sessions are as follows: 1) Self-directed Violence and Pain: This joint session, co-sponsored with AAR Unit “Comparative Approaches to Religion and Violence,” invites papers that investigate religiously rooted practices of self-directed pain, such as self-flagellations, bodily piercings, and bodily transformations or alterations within rites of passage. 2) Public Violence: This joint session, co-sponsored by “Early Jewish and Christian Relations” and “Violence and Representations of Violence among Jews and Christians,” invites submissions that address acts of or incitements to inter-communal violence as these unfolded within the "public" spaces of ancient Mediterranean society (e.g., cities, marketplaces, rural shrines). What social and discursive factors triggered or constrained the outbreak of events such as urban riots, acts of "vigilante" violence, or the destruction of communal buildings? And how do accounts of public violence support or subvert political or religious institutional structures? 3) Legacies of Remembered Violence: This open session invites submissions that explore how violent acts are remembered, recounted, and represented in particular ways. What might account for the mismatch or slippage between event and memory? What sort of legacies do such acts of representation invite? How does the recycling of narrated violence contribute to further violence, if and when it does?

Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion

Trish Overpeck
Description: The Wabash Center encourages excellent teaching in departments of religion and theological schools through careful attention to the issues that every faculty member faces including course design, assessment, student learning goals, understanding the institutional context and the broader purposes of teaching. We offer programs at the SBL Annual Meeting as well as workshops, colloquies, and conferences which are organized throughout the year. Fully funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. and located on the Wabash College campus in Crawfordsville, Indiana, we also offer grants for institutions or individuals who wish to propose projects or research relating to teaching and learning. Our consultants program can facilitate on-site faculty conversations about pedagogical issues through a brief application process available online. Teaching and learning resources (both books and those available through the Internet) are also available through our website. See our website for a full listing of programs, grant deadlines, and resources: www.wabashcenter.wabash.edu.

Call for papers:

Warfare in Ancient Israel

Frank Ritchel Ames
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 is sponsoring two sessions accepting proposals at the 2014 Annual Meeting, plus a third invited panel: (1) The FIRST session is co-sponsored with the AAR program unit, “Representing and Documenting Religion and Violence.” The session is open, and the steering committee invites proposals for 25-minute papers that explore the ways ideologies of warfare are documented and represented in the ancient world, including the ancient Near East, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged but not required. (2) The SECOND session is open and the steering committee invites proposals for 25-minute papers related to either of two topics: a) ideological justifications for war, or b) psychological aspects related to war’s practices and experiences. Interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged but not required. (3) The THIRD session is closed and will feature an invited panel discussion of Jacob L. Wright’s King David and His Reign Revisited (Cambridge University Press). The Warfare in Ancient Israel Section provides a forum for the study of war and its representations in the Hebrew Bible and ancient Near East and emphasizes innovative and interdisciplinary approaches. Selected papers from previous sessions have yielded two symposium volumes, a third is near completion, and additional publications are anticipated. For additional information, contact Frank Ritchel Ames (fames@mac.com).

Wisdom and Apocalypticism in Early Judaism and Early Christianity

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

Call for papers: The Wisdom and Apocalypticism Section is planning one open session for the 2014 Annual Meeting, for which we are soliciting papers on concepts of time and history in texts of early Judaism, with possible reference to comparative Greek or Roman material. Preference will be given to papers that go beyond calendar issues to consider the conceptualization of time or history in sapiential or apocalyptic writings. We are also planning an invited session on “Teachers, Torah and Paideia in Early Judaism” and two joint sessions, one invited session with the Nag Hammadi Section and the other an open session with the Johannine Literature Section on “Apocalyptic and the Johannine Gospel.”

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 four sessions for the Annual Meeting 2014. 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. The third session will consist of invited papers that will explore African and African-American perspectives on Wisdom Literature. The section is also co-hosting a joint session of invited papers with the Book of the Twelve Prophets Section on the intersection between Wisdom Literature and the Book of the Twelve Prophets.

Women in the Biblical World

Valerie Bridgeman
Susan E. Hylen
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: In 2014, Women in the Biblical World sponsor two invited panels and two open sessions. 1) An invited panel co-sponsored by a number of SBL and AAR sections celebrating the 25th Anniversary of White Women's Christ, Black Women's Jesus by J. Grant. 2) An invited panel addressing the interpretation of Revelation in the series Sleepy Hollow. 3) Co-sponsored with the Feminist Hermeneutics Section, we invite papers responding from a variety of perspectives to the challenge, delivered by Carol Meyers in her 2013 presidential address, to the use of the word “patriarchy” to describe ancient Israel. (Papers extending this challenge to the NT period are welcome.) 4) Open session.

Writing/Reading Jeremiah

Else K. Holt
Amy Kalmanofsky
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 Reading/Writing Jeremiah section hosts two sessions: 1) Open session - proposals are warmly invited: Cultural Production of “the Body” in Jeremiah. Key discursive moments in Jeremiah narrate the "body" of Judah and the "body" of the prophet Jeremiah. Judah is said to have "sprawled and played the whore" (2:20; 3:1-2, 6, and related passages); the bones of Judah's leaders are to be spread like dung on the ground (8:1-2); Judah's sin is said to be inscribed with an iron stylus on the people's hearts (17:1); the Law will be inscribed on hearts in the coming days of the new covenant (31:33). Jeremiah writhes in anguish (4:19), lamenting his woundedness (10:19) and articulating his experience of violation (20:7-9); he drapes his body with a loincloth that will symbolize the ruined pride of Judah (13:1-11) and must constrain his sexual energy (16:1-4); his body is cast into a cistern (38:1-13). This panel seeks to theorize ways in which ancient and contemporary cultural production of "the body" (Jeremiah's, Judah's) inscribes relations of power and vulnerability. Interdisciplinary investigations of embodiment are encouraged. 2) Invited session: Whither Jeremiah Scholarship?: Retrospective and Prospective. Senior scholars who have worked on Jeremiah will discuss how their views have stayed the same and/or changed over the past twenty-five years. The panelists are invited to address one or more of the following prompts: 1) How did the publication of the commentaries by Holladay, McKane, and Carroll energize or complicate your own position on Jeremiah? 2) What misunderstanding or inadequately theorized position regarding Jeremiah would you like to dispatch once and for all? 3) What new trajectory of interpretation for Jeremiah do you find most promising? Panelists will be encouraged to situate themselves with regard to the methodological debates accompanying the rise of postmodernism, rather than just offering views on this or that 'local' historical or literary is
 
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