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SBL e-Newsletter
A bi-monthly newsletter for members of the Society of Biblical Literature

November 6, 2009

Annual Meeting
Starts Nov 21--New Orleans

Corrections to the Annual Meeting Newsletter:
Presiding at the Presidential address is Vincent L. Wimbush, Claremont Graduate University.

22-230 National Film Premiere! Finding God in the City of Angels: Scriptural Communities and Dynamics in Los Angeles is in Grand Ballroom D – SH. We look forward to the national premiere of this original film, written as a research project by one of SBL’s members, Simon Joseph.

For any further updates to the Annual Meeting Program, check the AM News page.

Session Highlights:
21-221 Lament in Sacred Texts and Cultures
Saturday Nov 21 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM Room: Waterbury - SH
The destruction of New Orleans in 2005 was an event of biblical scale: the thorough destruction of a city and the dispersion of its people. The session reflects on responses to such destruction, ending with remarks on how personal experience of such an event both informs and constrains the author’s work as a biblical scholar, including a discussion of why poetry has a capacity for deep lament but scholarship does not. Six distinguished and prolific poets and writers of New Orleans will be presenting their poems composed from their experiences of Hurricane Katrina. They have also been participants in the noted 17 Poets group performing weekly since 2003 in New Orleans, which was featured on the PBS Newshour.

21-303 African-American Biblical Hermeneutics
Saturday Nov 21 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM Room: Napoleon A3 - SH
The papers in this session contrast and compare exilic experiences in scripture, New Orleans, and literature, pre- and post-Katrina, in various texts (Psalms, Paul's letters) and from various perspectives (womanist, cultural hermeneutics).

21-305 Bible and American Popular Culture
Saturday Nov 21 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM Room: Studio 6 - MR
If ever there were a city that would be defined by and known internationally for its music, it would be New Orleans. This session highlights the rich musical heritage of New Orleans in relation to the Bible and popular music.

22-131 National Association of Professors of Hebrew
Sunday Nov 22 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM Room: Gallier AB - SH
Join us for a panel discussion, which we have themed "Tikkun `Olam: Responding to Natural Evil from Genesis 6 to Katrina and the Aftermath."

22-307 Book of Psalms
Sunday Nov 22 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM Room: La Galerie 6 - MR
Biblical scholars have shown increasing interest in the topic of creation in recent years. This session explores the theological and liturgical implications of creation in the Psalms, as well as the new force of such considerations in light of recent natural disasters involving inundations, including Hurricane Katrina.

24-127 Women in the Biblical World
Tuesday Nov 24 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM Room: Southdown Room - SH
Papers in this session discuss the contribution of ordinary women to the process of Christian Origins and the rehabilitation of the memory of women leaders in the history of early Christianity, as well as the shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, which now resides on the campus of Ursuline Academy on State Street in New Orleans. Our Lady of Prompt Succor is now the patron saint of the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana, and, in the midst of the wreckage of Katrina and the following flood, prayers continue to be offered to hasten city’s recovery.

American Schools of Oriental Research
ASOR would like to invite SBL attendees to come to a session on Saturday evening at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel. There will be no charge to attend the session and no pre-registration is required.
Saturday, November 21 from 6:00-8:00pm in Astor Ballrooms I and II at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Voodoo Dolls of the Ancient Near East
Michael M. Homan (Xavier University of Louisiana), Presiding
Sallie Ann Glassman (Island of Salvation Botanica/La Source Ancienne Ounfou), “Vodou Spirits and Sacred Vodou Flags”
Gary O. Rollefson (Whitman College), “The Glory Belongs to Our Ancestors: The Neolithic 'Ain Ghazal Statues and Plastered Skulls”
Christopher A. Faraone (Univeristy of Chicago), “Voodoo Dolls in the Greek and Roman Worlds: An Update”
Sara A. Rich (Catholic University, Leuven), “Manipulated Miniatures: Haitian and Mesopotamian Figurines Defy Human Destiny”
William G. Dever (University of Arizona, Emeritus), “The Judean Pillar-base Figurines: Mothers or Mother-Goddesses?”
Shawna Dolansky (Northeastern University), “Re-Figuring ‘Fertility’ Figurines: Fetishistic Functions of the Feminine Form”
International Meeting 2010 – Tartu, Estonia
The Call for Papers for the 2010 International Meeting in Tartu, Estonia is live! As in Vienna, the European Association of Biblical Studies will join us to advance and broaden the field of biblical studies internationally. Estonia provides a unique and momentous context in which to conduct this work: from German Lutheran missionary work to Soviet communist rule; from folk healers in Võnnu to modern trends of secularization; from the preliterate heritage of regilaul to the eighteenth century Herrnhuter movement that spread Moravian-spiritual songlore beyond church walls. We hope to see you there!

Journal of Biblical Literature

The deadline to subscribe to the Journal of Biblical Literature beginning with issue 128:4 (Winter 2009) is November 15! To subscribe (or renew), click here.

All SBL members have access to JBL online. Here is how to access the journal:

  1. Go directly to
  2. Enter your SBL member # in the left menu login
  3. You should be recognized on SBL site: ‘Welcome Member’
  4. On right menu, select 'Journal of Biblical Literature'
  5. Click on the left hand side: ‘Click here to access JBL online’ OR click the picture of the JBL cover to the right
  6. It should open your window for JBL and you will notice on the left hand side you should be recognized as 'Society of Biblical Literature'
  7. On the left hand toolbar, Click “Current Issue” to view JBL 128:3 or “All Issues” to view all issues since volume 122 (earlier volumes may be accessed free through JSTOR)
  8. You should then have green access blocks beside each article and full text PDF

Optional Profile Information

Thank you to all of you who have recently filled in your Optional Profile Information. In the past month, nearly 1000 additional members have filled in this information, bringing our total to 4200, almost half of our current membership! If you have not yet filled in the information, you may do so by logging into our website with your SBL Member # and going to “My Profile.” While you are filling out the Optional Profile, please make sure all of your profile information is up to date!

Every month, we randomly select two members from the pool of those who have filled out the Optional Profile for a free one-year membership. The winners for November will be announced in our next e-newsletter.

As our privacy policy indicates, we will never divulge this information to a third party. Be sure to check out the Society Report to view summaries of some of the data we are collecting. Again, thank you to all of you who have supplied this optional data!

International Cooperation Initiative (ICI)


There will be a meeting of the ICI Advisory Board at the SBL Annual Meeting on Saturday, Nov. 21, 3:30-4:30 PM (Room: Crescent - SH). Everyone on the board, as well as anyone who is interested in becoming part of ICI, is invited to come and share ideas or concerns and to provide feedback.

Those who are unable to come to New Orleans are asked to send written comments by e-mail to or or ( for inclusion in the discussion at the meeting.

ICI adds titles to Online Books:

(1) Flannery, Frances, Colleen Shantz, and Rodney A. Werline, eds. Experientia, Volume 1: Inquiry into Religious Experience in Early Judaism and Early Christianity. Symposium Symposium 40. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2008.

(2) Habel, Norman C. and Peter Trudinger, eds. Exploring Ecological Hermeneutics. Symposium 46. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2008.

(3) Horn, Cornelia B. and Robert R. Phenix Jr., trans. with introduction and notes. John Rufus: The Lives of Peter the Iberian, Theodosius of Jerusalem, and the Monk Romanus. Writings from the Greco-Roman World 24. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2008.

(4) Thatcher, Tom and Stephen D. Moore, eds. Anatomies of Narrative Criticism: The Past, Present, and Futures of the Fourth Gospel as Literature. Resources for Biblical Study 55. Atlanta, Society of Biblical Literature, 2008.



Most new, recent, and backlist SBL and Brown Judaic Studies titles are available to SBL members at a 40 percent discount during the Annual Meeting Sale.

Click here to download an order form. Mail or fax your order by December 15, 2009.

You can also place your order at the SBL Store, making sure to use the promo code FL2009 at checkout to receive your discount.


See the calendar on the site for full information.

November 2009
11/16 - 11/18 The Dead Sea Scrolls: Transmission of Traditions and Production of Texts
In conjunction with the exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, there will be an academic conference held at University of Toronto on November 16 and 17. Scholars from North America, Israel, and Europe will discuss questions related to the production, transmission and reception of ancient texts and traditions; papers will be published in a conference volume. On Nov. 18, papers will be presented by graduate students from the University of Toronto and McMaster University. A full program will be posted soon.

11/19 - 11/21 "Texts beyond Borders: Multilingualism and Textual Scholarship"
Sixth International Conference of the European Society for Textual Scholarship Location: Academy for Science and the Arts (KVAB), Brussels, Belgium

11/20 - 11/24 SBL Annual Meeting
New Orleans, Louisiana

11/30 Deadline: Call for Papers
Claiming Conceptual Space. Reimagining the Study of Religion and Theology: Changing Contexts and Social Discourse Huguenot College, Wellington, Western Cape, South Africa
The organizers invite proposals for papers (30 minute presentations which include discussion time) that address the theme of the conference to be held at Huguenot College, Wellington, Western Cape (South Africa), April 6-9, 2010. Proposals for papers are invited to address the issues announced in the conference call. Papers that explore the intersection between religion, theology, and other theoretical domains are particularly invited, as well as papers that reflect on and theorize changed disciplinary practices and their institutionalization in research regimes and scholarly discourses. While related papers are also encouraged, contributions exploring the following themes are particularly invited:
 - Conceptuality and construction: the proprium of "religious discourse" and the nature of "theology"
 - Technologies of transcendental discourses: embodied cognition, the politics of religion, identity, and memorialisation
 - Reimagining disciplinary practices: testing the boundaries – intra-, inter-, and transdisciplinarity; thinking out/insider viewpoints
 - Conceptualizing from a place: contextualization, relevance, and practices
Proposals should be sent to the organizers: Gerhard van den Heever or Naas Swart. Confirmation of acceptance or rejection of proposals will be sent by December 30, 2009.

December 2009
12/30 Call for Papers Deadline
The Society of Asian Biblical Studies (SABS) will hold its next meeting at the Divinity School, Chung Chi College, Chinese University of Hong Kong, June 14-16, 2010.
SABS seeks to bring together scholars interested in and committed to biblical studies in various contexts of Asia/Oceania, including those in diaspora.

January 2010
1/16 - 1/20 4th African Association for the Study of Religion (AASR) Conference in Africa, "Religion, Environment and Sustainable Development" at Ogsfemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

1/30 - 2/1 Living the Lunar Calendar
Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem

1/31 Call for Papers Deadline
SBL 2010 International Meeting - Tartu, Estonia

February 2010
2/12 - 2/14 SBL Midwest States Regional Meeting
Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana

March 2010
3/5 - 3/7 SBL Southeastern Regional Meeting
Atlanta Marriott Century Center, Atlanta, Georgia

3/12 - 3/14 SBL Southwestern Regional Meeting
Marriott Hotel DFW North, Dallas, Texas

3/13 - 3/15 SBL Pacific States Regional Meeting
Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

3/21 - 3/22 SBL Central States Regional Meeting
St. Louis Marriott West

April 2010
4/9 - 4/10 SBL Rocky Mountains-Great Plains Regional Meeting
Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska

4/9 - 4/10 SBL Upper Midwest Regional Meeting
Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota

4/7 - 4/9 Resurrection of the Dead: Biblical Traditions in Dialogue
An International Conference at the Universite´ Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Scholarly debate over the significance of biblical traditions concerning resurrection from the dead has been lively. The current conference allows for a continuation of research and discussion on the topic. Presentations will include both invited guests (main papers) and paper proposals in response to the Call for Papers . Presentations will be made in English or in French. Main Papers presented by Claire Clivaz (Lausanne/Genève); Adela Yarbro Collins (Yale University); John J. Collins (Yale University); José Costa (Paris III – Sorbonne); Gerd Lüdemann (Göttingen); Odette Mainville (Montréal); Daniel Marguerat (Lausanne/Genève); Tobias Nicklas (University of Regensburg); Heikki Räisänen (Helsinki); Tom Shepherd (Andrews University, MI); Geert Van Oyen (UCL, Louvain-la-Neuve); André Wénin (UCL, Louvain-la-Neuve)

4/16 SBL New England States Regional Meeting
Andover-Newton Theological School

May 2010
5/7 - 5/9 SBL Pacific Northwest Regional Meeting
University of Victoria, Victoria, BC

5/31-6/4 Invention, Rewriting, Usurpation: Discursive Fights over Religious Traditions in Antiquity
An international conference held by the research project "The Discursive Fight over Religious Texts in Antiquity," University of Aarhus, Denmark. Keynote speakers: Harold W. Attridge (Yale), Daniel Boyarin (UC Berkeley), David Brakke (Indiana University, Bloomington), Karla Pollmann (St Andrews), and Guy G. Stroumsa (Hebrew University).

June 2010
6/4 Symposium on Everett Ferguson
Everett Ferguson’s Baptism in the Early Church offers an exhaustive survey of the literary and material evidence for baptismal practice in the first five centuries of Christian history. This symposium, hosted by the Christian Scholars’ Conference, brings together leading scholars to engage this magisterial work and to honor its author’s contribution to ecumenical theological scholarship.

6/14-6/16 The Society of Asian Biblical Studies (SABS) will hold its next meeting at the Divinity School, Chung Chi College, Chinese University of Hong Kong. For further information, please contact Monica Melanchthon or Tat -siong Benny Liew . SABS seeks to bring together scholars interested in and committed to Biblical Studies in various contexts of Asia/Oceania, including those in diaspora. Call for Papers- deadline is December 30, 2009

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