November 16, 2017

Jesus, Memory, and History at SBL: Top Picks

Here are my top picks for the papers and sessions in Boston this week that I personally can't stand to miss. If your paper is somehow not on my list, it probably just means you're a different kind of nerd than I am. But hey, we kind of knew that already, didn't we?

9:00am - 11:30am: Synoptic Gospels
Ancient Media and Memory Theory. . . A Panel Review of Jesus' Literacy (Chris Keith) and Q in Matthew (Alan Kirk); Also featuring Helen Bond and Francis Watson
1:00pm - 3:30pm: Josephus  
Showcasing the ongoing work of the Brill Commentary Series' authors, Steve Mason and Chris Seeman will present with 20 minutes of discussion following each paper
1:00pm - 3:30pm: The Historical Paul
The inaugural session, about which I blogged recently.
4:00pm - 4:30pm: Jonathan Bernier will be applying the 'New Perspective on the Ancient Synagogue' (Lee Levine, Anders Runesson) to the phrase "your synagogue" in James 2:2.
9:00am - 11:30am: Hellenistic Judaism; Josephus; Philo of Alexandria  
This panel in honor of Tessa Rajak includes Loveday Alexander, Martin Goodman, Erich Gruen, and Steve Mason
1:00pm - 3:30pm: Historical Jesus
Of special interest here is that Murray Smith will be following Dale Allison's unique work on "recurrent attestation" in order "to build a composite picture of the kinds of things Jesus most likely said" in anticipating future events, some imminent and some farther away. 
5:05pm - 5:25pm: Chris Keith's intriguing paper is entitled "Competitive Reading Cultures in Early Christianity" (Apparently, the program chair's dog ate all the abstracts.)
9:25am - 9:50am: Christoph Heilig applies Narratology (!!!) to Paul's metaphor of the Roman Triumph in 2 Cor 12
10:00am - 10:30am: Brian J. Wright previews aspects of his forthcoming book, Communal Reading in the Time of Jesus
10:30am - 11:00am: I am not making this up! A little bird told me that Helen Bond is going to sit and have her hair styled like a Roman noblewoman while Francis Watson reads a paper which attempts to answer the question, "Why Did Paul Care about Women's Hair Length?" Maybe *YOU* can think of a reason to miss that, but I seriously can't.
Image result for ancient roman statue hairstyles for women
Pictured here: ancient matron, Edith Grimley
"Like, I suppose you could do better than that!"

As usual, there are dozens of interesting papers I won't be able to attend, but I may sneak in to hear a few of them where possible. I'm also hoping to watch Christopher Skinner shake and shimmy to Macho Man or Disco Duck... and I might ask Michael Barber to groove on some Hamster Themed Christmas Tunes... and I'm pretty sure Anthony Le Donne is going to tango metaphorically with Larry Behrendt... but you'll have to scan Facebook for that kind of thing, if you're reaaaaly interested. 

To enjoy THAT KIND of exquisitely scintillating SBL action, you've got to do more than just lurk here on my blog. You've gotta grab your dancing shoes and jump on into the fray.



Babu George said...

Very insightful proposition.
I would surely take up a re-reading of the whole of Luke-Acts considering this motive of the author, and see what throws up.
Would that make the most-excellent Theophilus someone in the Roman judiciary, who had influence over Nero's civil courts, one with whom Luke was acquainted?

Bill Heroman said...

Hi, Babu. I think you're responding to this recent post:

Great question. My answer is: I don't know! Maybe. =-)

Keep reading, keep thinking, and get back to us...

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