Canon and AARCon at #aarsbl17

April 29th is apparently Tabletop Day, and so this seems as good a time as any to share this somewhat overdue piece of information. I received notification a while back that I’ve had a paper accepted for SBL 2017 in Boston. The title is “Can the Dynamics of Canon Formation be Replicated through Game Mechanics? An [Read More…]

Another Year of Forgeries at SBL #AARSBL17

Malcolm Choat shared this call for papers on his Markers of Authenticity blog: CfP: Panel on Forgeries at SBL Annual Meeting Papers are invited for a panel on forgeries to be held at this year’s Society of Biblical Literature Meeting in Boston in November as part  of the ‘Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds’ program unit. The panel will [Read More…]

Review of Urban von Wahlde’s Latest Book

Urban C. von Wahlde, Gnosticism, Docetism, and the Judaisms of the First Century: The Search for the Wider Context of the Johannine Literature and Why It Matters. LNTS 512. London: Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, 2015.   What follows are thoughts by me prepared for a book review session at the Midwest Regional Society of Biblical Literature conference: [Read More…]

Early Jewish Christian Relations and the Presidential Executive Order on Immigration

A statement from the steering committee of the SBL Early Jewish Christian Relations program unit: As scholars devoted to the topic of early Jewish-Christian relations, we are saddened by the executive order barring admission of non-citizens from predominantly Muslim countries, including those with legally-issued visas, into the U.S. We know all too well the result [Read More…]

Metacriticizing Donald Trump

The Metacriticism of Biblical Scholarship unit in the Society of Biblical Literature expresses its opposition to the Executive Order issued by President Donald J. Trump on January 27, 2017, that immediately suspends entry of citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen into the United States. We recognize that the Bible bears contradictory [Read More…]

Poverty in the Biblical World and Today

Another statement from a program unit of the Society of Biblical Literature: It seems that studying poverty, whether in ancient times or today, makes people more sympathetic to the plight of the poor. [Read more…]

Biblical Scholars Stand With Refugees

If it has been disheartening to see the actions of America’s president and his supporters, and the harmful effects on people that those actions have had on refugees and other extremely vulnerable constituencies, it has been encouraging to see so many people of different backgrounds being united in their outspokenness against these policies. I plan [Read More…]

Triple-Sponsored #CFP for #AARSBL17 – The Impact of Digital Humanities on the Study of Non-Canonical Texts

The Impact of Digital Humanities on the Study of Non-Canonical Texts One or two Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity (AAR) sessions in 2017 will be co-sponsored with the SBL Digital Humanities and Pseudepigrapha program units. All papers for these sessions should explore the influence of the Digital Humanities in general, and the ongoing digitization of [Read More…]

Immigration and the Changing Face of America at #AARSBL16

I attended a Council for Foreign Relations lunch that was simply fascinating. In a recent survey, Americans were divided almost evenly in their answer to the question of whether America has gotten better or worse since the 1950s. That mirrors the different campaign slogans in the recent election: the backward-looking “Make America Great Again” vs. [Read More…]

Meeting Mandaeans at #AARSBL16

I am so grateful to Jorunn Buckley for organizing a meeting between scholars who work on the Mandaean religion, and two representatives of the Mandaean community here in San Antonio. We had fascinating conversations about the challenges their scattered small communities face, and explored practical ways that scholars might be able to support them. [Read more…]