SBL Day 3

Day 3 of SBL was yesterday. Now the whole weekend is on the brink of becoming a blur, but here are some highlights from that one:

My first session was on cosmology in Paul. Papers sought to place Paul within his Greco-Roman context, in particular dealing with the reality and even physicality of cosmic language, language of Spirit, and the like.

Papers by Stan Stowers and Troels Engberg-Pedersen in particular left some provocative directions left to be pursued. If Paul’s conception of the Spirit is, like that of the Stoics, a physical notion–if it comes and takes up space within a person and thereby transforms the person into a divine being–then contemporary research into theosis has a possible treasure trove of data to glean for its project.

Another session I attended was on love in the Gospel of Luke. There, two of my Fuller colleagues represented exceptionally well. Love Sechrest presented on the “Good Samaritan,” arguing that the Samaritan is actually being depicted as an Israelite. Joel Green drew attention to and problematized the verticality language in the Gospel (up, down, etc.) in the Zacchaeus story and the story of infants being brought to Jesus.

My own presentation yesterday was on publishing your dissertation with an academic trade publisher. Interesting, a sub-text from the other panelists was that trade publisher is not going to get you tenure at a research university. The culture they were reflecting sat in interesting juxtaposition to the Biblioblogger session I attended today in which the inaccessibility of $200 book was seen as something that should be overcome by electronic publication.

As usual, the best part of SBL was the series of meetings, fortuitous and planned, that dotted the day. Day 4 is drawing to a close–at least the sessions part. More on today’s festivities tomorrow.

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