The call for papers for the Society of Biblical Literature 2021 annual meeting is now live on the SBL website. The conference will be held in San Antonio if meeting face to face is possible by November of this year. I want to highlight the call for papers from the program unit with the shortest name: Q. Here it is:
Call For Papers: The Q Section is pleased to offer three sessions for the 2021 meeting:
1. Q and the Historical Jesus/John: Did you think there was nothing left to say about Q and the historical Jesus or the historical John the Baptist? Wrong! There has admittedly been a great deal written on this topic, but we suspect a new generation of scholars has been thinking differently about it. In this session, we thus invite proposals (the more theoretical, the better!) that think carefully about the procedures and assumptions involved in using a text like Q to reconstruct the historical figures of Jesus and John. Some papers will be invited, but the section also welcomes unsolicited proposals for this panel.
2. Q and Materiality: The Q section invites papers examining the material features of the production and circulation of Q with particular attention given to their socio-cultural implications and using parallels drawn from early Jewish and Greco-Roman archives. Some papers will be invited, but the section also welcomes proposals for this panel.
3. Open Session: As always, we will reserve a third session as an open session, for which we warmly invite proposals on any aspect of research on Q.
I was especially delighted to see John the Baptist explicitly mentioned. As you may recall from the Enoch Seminar conference on John the Baptist, Clare Rothschild has argued that Q was a collection of teaching of John the Baptist. I expect to propose a paper for the program unit looking at that subject, and thus exploring the relationship between Q, John the Baptist, and Jesus.
As if the call itself were not fantastic enough, someone pointed out to me that one of the two program unit chairs has their full name listed, and so alongside Sarah Rollens there is…Giovanni Battista Bazzana!
If the Q program unit and this year’s theme interest you, then the call for papers for the Historical Jesus program unit will likely also be of interest:
The Historical Jesus program unit organizes four sessions for the Annual Meeting in 2021. We are inviting papers to a special session dedicated to answering the question of “Is the Third Quest Over?” Several scholars have pronounced the Third Quest over, but that there has been no real resolution on the issue, which is complicated by arguments over the three-quest schema. The session will also include invited contributors. The second session focuses on urban Galilee in the time of Jesus. Invited speakers will relate the latest archaeological research on Galilean cities to the study of the historical Jesus. The third session is a review panel on Tucker Ferda’s book, Jesus, the Gospels, and the Galilean Crisis (T&T Clark, 2018) with invited panelists. Finally, there will be a joint session of the Qumran and Historical Jesus program units, in which invited presenters will explore ways in which study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and of the historical Jesus can be mutually illuminating.
Also related to John the Baptist and/or Jesus in some way: