Society of Biblical Literature

April 28, 2016

SBL Press is now the proud publisher of the Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity (RRA) series and Emory Studies in Early Christianity (ESEC). RRA uses insights from sociolinguistics, semiotics, rhetoric, ethnography, literary studies, social sciences, cognitive science, and ideological studies in programmatic ways that enact sociorhetorical interpretation as an interpretive analytic. RRA includes writings from the first four centuries of Christianity. Volumes in ESEC investigate early Christian literature within the context of Mediterranean literature, religion, society, and culture.
Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity and Emory Studies in Early Christianity are available for standing order subscriptions.

Exploring Second Corinthians: Death and Life, Hardship and Rivalry
B. J. Oropeza

Oropeza combines rhetorical pictures (rhetography) with interpretative layers (literary features, intertextuality, sociocultural, ideological, and sacred textures) to arrive at the rhetorical impact of Paul’s message for ancient Mediterranean discourse. This multifaceted commentary on 2 Corinthians breathes fresh insight into Paul’s letter on different levels.
Paper $99.95, ISBN 9780884141235
Hardcover $119.95, ISBN 9780884141259
Google Play, ISBN 9780884141242
916 pages • 2016 • Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity 3

Exploring Philemon: Freedom, Brotherhood, and Partnership in the New Society
Roy R. Jeal

Exploring Philemon offers a new, sociorhetorical interpretation of the Letter to Philemon that uses up-to-date rhetorical, sensory-aesthetic, intertextual, social and cultural, ideological, and theological strategies to interpret this short but influential biblical document. This book shows how this letter entered the world of the ancient Mediterranean and the early church with a dramatic and powerful rhetorical force by analyzing the visual imagery and the range of textures interwoven with each other to produce a profound effect on an early Christian (Philemon) and on the church that met in his home.
Paper $30.95, ISBN 9780884140917
Hardcover $45.95, ISBN 9780884140931
Kindle, ASIN B0178FZPLS
Google Play, ISBN 9780884140924
262 pages • 2015 • Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity 2

The “Nocturnal Side of Science” in David Friedrich Strauss’s Life of Jesus Critically Examined
Thomas Fabisiak
David Friedrich Strauss’s Life of Jesus Critically Examined is known as a monumental contribution to the critical, scientific study of religion and Christian origins. It was widely read and influenced literary and historical research on the Bible as well as critical philosophy between Hegel and Nietzsche. Less well known are Strauss’s writings from the same period on “the nocturnal side of nature,” paranormal phenomena such as demon possession, animal magnetism, and the ghost-seeing of Frederike Hauffe, the famous “Seeress of Prevorst.” Fabisiak examines how Strauss’s radical, modern approach to the New Testament gospels and religion was informed by his engagement with popular and scholarly controversies in this area.
Paper $29.95, ISBN 9781628371086
Hardcover $44.95, ISBN 9781628371093
Google Play, ISBN 9781628371109
230 pages • 2015 • Emory Studies in Early Christianity 17

Forthcoming Summer 2016
Foundations for Sociorhetorical Exploration: A Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity Reader
Vernon K. Robbins, Robert H. von Thaden Jr., and Bart B. Bruehler, editors

As scholars develop innovative approaches to biblical interpretation, it is important to understand the foundations upon which these new approaches are built. This volume collects essays that represent intellectual milestones that are informing sociorhetorical interpretation during the twenty-first century. The essays are arranged into five parts: (1) Topos; (2) Cultural Geography and Critical Spatiality; (3) Rhetorolects and Conceptual Blending; (4) Rhetography; and (5) Rhetorical Force. Since biblical texts were written by embodied human beings who occupied distinctive spaces in specific time periods, it is important to have a set of tools that allows for a full-bodied interpretation. The essays in this volume help to show the importance of such a mode of reading and provide strategies to help interpreters perform their work in this manner.
Paper $65.95, ISBN 9781628371420
Hardcover $85.95, ISBN 9780884141693
Google Play, ISBN 9780884141686
440 pages • Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity 4

Lydia as a Rhetorical Construct in Acts
Alexandra Gruca-Macaulay

In Lydia as a Rhetorical Construct in Acts, Gruca-Macaulay explores the sociorhetorical function of the story of Lydia, a named Lydian woman ancient interpreters would have associated with cultural stereotypes of Lydians. As a rhetorical figure, Lydia both influenced and was influenced by the ideology of the surrounding text in Acts 16, as well as the approach Luke-Acts as a whole takes to people who are somehow like Lydia.
Paper $45.95, ISBN 9781628371376
Hardcover $60.95, ISBN  9780884141600
Google Play, ISBN 9780884141594
344 pages • Emory Studies in Early Christianity 18


  • Extensive changes and additions render the first edition outdated
  • Essential for publishing in ancient Near Eastern, biblical, and early Christian studies
  • Definitive answers to questions of style, spelling, transliteration, and citation

Hardcover $39.95  •  ISBN 9781589839649  •  368 pages

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