Call for Papers: 2017 SBL International Christian Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha Section

Berlin, Germany skyline over the Spree River.

Berlin, Germany skyline over the Spree River.

The 2017 SBL International Meeting will take place August 7-11 in Berlin, Germany. The deadline for proposals is February 22, 2017.

Description: The Section fosters ongoing study of extra-canonical texts, as subjects of literary and philological investigation; as evidence for the history of religion, theology, and cult practice; and as documents of the socio-symbolic construction of traditions along lines of class and gender.

Call for papers: For the 2017 meeting, we welcome papers that address the following discussion question: “Is this a ‘text’?” In scholarly writing about the ancient world, it is still conventional to employ capitalized (and often italicized) phrases such as The Acts of John, The Apocalypse of Peter, and The Gospel of Thomas. But what are we referring to when we write that way, or when we publish “translations” and “critical editions” with those “titles” on the cover? Do these scholarly practices adequately capture the dynamic, fluid nature of ancient verbal communication, which comes to light when one compares individual manuscripts? What do we gain or lose by labeling stories about John, sayings of Jesus, or tours of Hell with what sound like “titles” of “texts”? How else might we write about verbal communication in the ancient world that would be more helpful in our quest to appreciate extant written artifacts? We invite proposals for papers that specifically address this topic, and which combine methodological reflection with detailed textual case studies (of Jewish or Christian literature). Proposals are also welcome for an additional open session that will highlight creative, well-developed personal research projects on extra-canonical Jewish and Christian literature. NB: Those with papers on the Apostolic Fathers, Septuagint, or Qumran (unless they directly relate to the discussion question described above), are encouraged to submit to those other sections. Please do not submit the same proposal to more than one section.

For more information contact program chairs Janet Spittler (jespittler@gmail.com) and Julia Snyder (julia.snyder@ur.de).

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