Monday, November 17, 2014

SBL/AAR 2014 sessions I am looking forward to attending (Part 1: Friday - Saturday)

The annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature / American Academy of Religion kicks off this week. I have downloaded the handy-dandy app for the conference, updated my profile, combed through the online program book, and begun to set my "agenda" on the app. 

Here are the sessions that I have assigned to my schedule (so far) for Friday and Saturday. I'm sure that I'm far from done--I keep finding sessions I've missed.

This is going to be extremely stimulating. There are a number of painful decisions to be made though.

FRIDAY - 11/21/14


Two words: Paul and Apocalyptic. Is anyone not going to this?

Paul and the Apocalyptic Imagination 
Room: 300 A (Level 3 (Aqua)) - Hilton Bayfront (HB)
Session 1 
Jason Maston, Highland Theological College, Presiding
Jason Maston, Highland Theological College, Welcome (5 min)
M. C. de Boer, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - VU University Amsterdam
Apocalyptic as Eschatological Activity (25 min)
N.T. Wright, University of St. Andrews
Apocalyptic as Sudden Fulfilment of Divine Promise (25 min)
Loren Stuckenbruck, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Apocalypticism in Second Temple Judaism (25 min)
Philip Ziegler, University of Aberdeen
Apocalypticism in Modern Theology (25 min)
Discussion (15 min)
Break (15 min) 
Session 2 
Ben Blackwell, Houston Baptist University, Presiding
Michael Gorman, Saint Mary's Seminary and University
The Apocalyptic New Covenant and the Shape of Life in the Spirit (25 min)
Edith Humphrey, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Apocalypse as Theoria in Paul: A New Perspective on Apocalyptic as Mother of Theology (25 min)
Douglas Campbell, Duke University
Paul's Apocalyptic Epistemology (25 min)
Beverly Gaventa, Baylor University
Romans 9–11: An Apocalyptic Reading (25 min)
John Barclay, University of Durham
Apocalyptic Investments: First Corinthians 7 and Pauline Ethics (25 min)
Discussion (20 min)
Word of Thanks, Book Promotion, and Adjournment: John Goodrich, Moody Bible Institute
7pm - 9pm

Craig Keener will be speaking on the historical plausibility of miracles. I only wish there were some skeptical scholars responding so that there could be a dialogue after the lecture.


Institute for Biblical Research 
Room: Room 6 A (Upper level) - San Diego Convention Center (CC)
Tremper Longman, Westmont College, Welcome (10 min)
Beth Stovell, Ambrose University College and Seminary, Scripture Reading and Prayer (5 min)
Mark Boda, McMaster Divinity College, Introduction (5 min) 
Annual Lecture: Craig Keener, Asbury Theological Seminary, Miracles: Philosophic and Historical Plausibility (40 min) 
Robert Webb, McMaster University, Respondent (10 min)
Darrell Bock, Dallas Theological Seminary, Respondent (10 min)
Discussion (20 min)
Unfortunately, I have a major commitment Friday night that will prevent me from attending this session. (They couldn't have picked a worse time for me than Friday night to hold this session!) Please, tell me somebody will record this.

One more session I wish I could be at is this one:

Institute for Biblical Research  
Room: 204 B (Level 2 (Indigo)) - Hilton Bayfront (HB) 
Daniel Smith, Saint Louis University, Presiding
Sean Adams, University of Edinburgh
Composite Citations of Homer and Their Importance for Understanding the Citation Practices of New Testament Authors (25 min)
Kenneth Litwak, Asbury Theological Seminary
‘Be Imitators’: The Role of Exemplars in Greco-Roman Historiography and Luke-Acts (25 min)
Break (5 min)
Michael F. Bird, Ridley Melbourne
The Son of God and the Roman Imperial Cult: Engaging Some Recent Studies (25 min)
Zachary L. Kostopoulos, Saint Louis University
Biography, History, and the Genre of Luke-Acts (25 min)
SATURDAY - 11/22/14


The Matthew section has a great line-up this year. 

Room: 300 A (Level 3 (Aqua)) - Hilton Bayfront (HB) 
Daniel M. Gurtner, Bethel Seminary (St. Paul, MN), Presiding
Rikard Roitto, Stockholm School of Theology
The Reproof in Matt 18:15-17 as Reintegrative Shaming and the Prayer in Matt 18:18-20 as a Ritual of Reintegration(20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Jesse Nickel, University of St. Andrews
Breaking Bruised Reeds and the Battle with Beelzebul: Jesus’ Exorcisms and the Coming of the Kingdom of God in the Gospel of Matthew (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Benjamin Ribbens, Trinity Christian College
Whose “Mercy”? What “Sacrifice”? A Proposed Reading of Matthew’s Hos 6:6 Quotations (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Catherine Sider Hamilton, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto
“The Wife of Uriah” (Matt 1:6): Innocent Blood, David’s Sin, and the Problem of Exile in Matthew’s Genealogy (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Susan M. Rieske, Wheaton College
A Tale of Two Families: “This Generation” and the True Children in Matt 12:38–50 (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
I do hope someone records the panel discussion on Bart Ehrman's book and puts a video on YouTube though. This looks like a fun line-up. 

Extent of Theological Diversity in Earliest Christianity 
Room: Room 8 (Upper level) - San Diego Convention Center (CC)
Theme: A Panel Review of Bart Ehrman's How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee (HarperCollins, 2014) 
David Capes, Houston Baptist University, Presiding (5 min)
James McGrath, Butler University, Respondent (15 min)
Michael Bird, Ridley Melbourne, Respondent (15 min)
Dale Martin, Yale University, Respondent (15 min)
Craig Evans, Acadia Divinity College, Respondent (15 min)
Larry Hurtado, University of Edinburgh, Respondent (15 min)
Bart Ehrman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Respondent (25 min)
Discussion (45 min)
Still, as "sexy" as this looks (hey, according to some Michael Bird is the new Austin Powers - I don't see the resemblance though), I think there will be a lot of important substantive contributions in the papers for the Matthew group. Don't get me wrong - the Ehrman panel is an all star line-up and I always enjoy hearing from the scholars represented there. But, to be honest, I doubt I'll hear something I wasn't expecting there. 

In sum, as entertaining as the Ehrman panel will likely be, I suspect there will be more new light shed in the Matthew section and so that's where you'll find me. 


This one is painful. On the one hand, my co-blogger John Bergsma is presenting a paper in the Ezekiel section that sounds absolutely fascinating. I know John's scholarship on the topic he is presenting on and, in fact, recently published an article defending a particular aspect of his argument.

At the same time, one of the most important young Pauline scholars today, Ben Blackwell, has a paper on one of my favorite topics (theosis) in one of my favorite early Christian writers (Irenaeus). 

Theological Perspectives on the Book of Ezekiel  
Room: 303 (Level 3 (Aqua)) - Hilton Bayfront (HB) 
William Tooman, University of St. Andrews, Presiding
John S. Bergsma, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Ezekiel, H, and "Z": The Relationship of Ezekiel to the Holiness Code and "Zion Theology" (30 min)
Christophe Nihan, Université de Lausanne
Ezekiel’s Torah and Moses’ Torah: Parallel Legal Traditions in Post-Monarchic Israel (30 min)
Madhavi Nevader, University of St. Andrews
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Making Sense of the Ezekiel of Ezekiel 40–48 (30 min)
Break (5 min)
Corrine Carvalho, University of Saint Thomas (Saint Paul, MN), Respondent (30 min)
Discussion (25 min)
Electronic copies of the papers may be requested from Madhavi Nevader at 

Development of Early Christian Theology  
Room: Room 30 B (Upper level) - San Diego Convention Center (CC)  
Mark Weedman, Johnson University, Presiding
Ben C. Blackwell, Houston Baptist University
Irenaeus on the Deification of Believers and the Divinity of the Spirit (25 min)
Kellen Plaxco, Marquette University
The Place of the Spirit in Origen's Taxological Grammar of Participation (25 min)
Jonathan Morgan, Toccoa Falls College
Circumcision of the Spirit: Type and Pneumatology in Cyril of Alexandria (25 min)
David Kneip, Abilene Christian University
The Spirit and the Bible in Alexandria: Cyril and Didymus (25 min)
Paul M. Pasquesi, Marquette University
Reclaiming the Divine Feminine: Re-Reception of the Holy Spirit in the Divine Economy (25 min)
Discussion (25 min)
4pm - 6:30pm 

There's no doubt where I will be on Saturday afternoon. This is going to be one of the highlights of the conference. 

Room: Room 17 A (Mezzanine level) - San Diego Convention Center (CC) 
Theme: Review of Nathan Eubank, Wages of Cross-Bearing and Debt of Sin: The Economy of Heaven in Matthew's Gospel (BZNW 196; de Gruyter, 2013) 
Anders Runesson, McMaster University, Presiding (5 min)
John P. Meier, University of Notre Dame, Panelist (25 min)
Amy-Jill Levine, Vanderbilt University, Panelist (25 min)
Donald Senior, Catholic Theological Union, Panelist (25 min)
Break (5 min)
Nathan Eubank, Notre Dame Seminary, Graduate School of Theology, Respondent (25 min)
Discussion (40 min)
I'll have more on Sunday-Monday soon. 

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