Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Society of New Testament Literature (?)

This is a good year for Luke-Acts scholars at the Society of Biblical Literature's Annual Meeting: I counted 4.5 sessions dedicated to the Book of Acts, the usual 2 sessions on the "Formation of Luke-Acts," and another 3 sessions dedicated entirely to the Gospel of Luke, for a total of 9.5 sessions--and that's not including papers in other sessions that happen to focus on Luke and/or Acts.

Is this because Luke-Acts remains a "storm-center in contemporary scholarship" to use the over-worked description that W. C. Van Unnik originally penned in the 1960's? Or is something out of balance here? (Or am I just jealous because I'm not going?)

For the sake of comparison, there are 6 sessions on Matthew, 4 on Mark, 3 on Isaiah (2 on the Formation of Isaiah; 1 on "Reading Isaiah as Christian Scripture"), 3 on Jeremiah, 2 on Genesis (if you include one on Christian readings of Genesis), 1 on Exodus. Notice a pattern? Of course, there are also plenty of sessions on various hermeneutical theories and approaches, but my guess is that a majority of text-based papers in these sessions focus on the NT.

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