April 27, 2008
To: Members of the SBL
RE: AAR Announcement
On April 14th the AAR issued the following statement to its members:
In light of scheduling and logistical problems connected with the proposed Independent Annual Meeting, and given the views our members expressed in our recent member survey, the [AAR] Board, in its April 12, 2008 meeting, approved a recommendation that the AAR begin scheduling concurrent, yet independent Annual Meetings with the Society of Biblical Literature as soon as is feasible. Assuming that the SBL is agreeable to meeting concurrently, it is our intention that such meetings would feature ….
(The full text of this announcement may be found on line at: http://www.aarweb.org/About_AAR/Announcements/2008/IAM.asp)
The SBL Council discussed this announcement at its meeting on April 26, 2008, and offers the following comment to SBL members.
We are pleased to hear of this new development, and wish to reaffirm our continued interest in meeting at the same time and in the same city as the AAR. The SBL was not involved in the original decision by AAR; nor have we been involved in the present one. We will certainly discuss with AAR the feasibility of meeting in the same city at the traditional time (the weekend before US Thanksgiving) as soon as it is possible given present scheduling commitments and contractual arrangements. We are already scheduled through 2012 (Chicago) and 2013 (Baltimore). Once discussions commence with AAR regarding future concurrent meetings, the SBL Executive Director will report regularly on the progress in making this a practical reality. We firmly believe that holding the SBL Annual Meeting at the same time and in the same city as other organizations involved in the advancement of biblical, religious, theological, and related academic studies is a good idea. It brings together people from diverse disciplines and backgrounds to exchange ideas and build relationships.
SBL Executive Director