The reception provided a good opportunity to connect with scholars I had not spoken with in person before, as well as reconnecting with people I already knew. The biggest highlight for me was talking with Paula Fredriksen about God – more specifically, concepts of a high God and a mediator in the ancient world. The conversation came about as a direct result of my listing my book The Only True God on Academia.edu and Paula indicating her interest in it there. The way the internet is changing scholarly work and interactions has been a running theme of conversations I’ve had here thus far. And having mentioned Judith Lieu’s appeal that we nominate more women and non-Western scholars as members, and mentor and support those people through the process, I feel I should mention how great it was to meet Margaret Mitchell, and to reconnect with Adele Reinhartz, at the reception. There is a gender imbalance in SNTS (as in many academic societies and institutions), but there are some exceptional role models who are already part of it.
It was also nice to meet Jey Kanagaraj in person, whose work on the Gospel of John and mysticism was done at the University of Durham, although before I got there; and Tommy Wasserman and Hugh Houghton, among others.