MidAtlantic Regional SBL Recap
There are a variety of things happening in and around the Society of Biblical Literature to make note of, but this post can only comprise what’s been going on in the MidAtlantic region.
The MidAtlantic Regional meeting was this past Thursday and Friday (March 17th-18th). The conference had a generally strong group of papers. The overall theme of the conference was embodiment and the embodied self, which came together quite nicely in the plenary address with Lawrence Schiffman and the presidential address by Maxine Grossman.
I feel the need to single out a few papers that were of particular interest. As already posted by Stephen Cook, Jeremy Hutton gave a fine paper arguing for a Gt (tip’el) in Jeremiah 25:34. Calvin Park of The Floppy Hat gave a paper on the grammar of Hab 3:4. And, Chip Dobbs-Allsopp and Tod Linafelt gave a stimulating paper entitled “Elements of Biblical Poetic Style.” Stephen Cook gave an equally stimulating response to the paper—I would love to obtain copies of each. I don’t want to be egregiously unfair, but I was quite impressed by all the presenters in the Pentateuch section this year. We had a good balance of traditional historical-critical scholarship and more new-literary and ideological-critical models. Something (I hope) for everyone.
Speaking again of Stephen Cook, he is the new president of the region. As one interested in ritual studies, I was intrigued what would indicate the transition of power. Taking a scepter (or dry-erase marker?) would have been nice or perhaps a more physical representation of the mantle of leadership being conveyed from Dr. Grossman—in line with high-priestly garments passing from Aaron to Eleazar, but without the subsequent demise of the former. Sadly, it was merely a performative speech act.