01
Oct
09

A Snoozefest? Really?

Scott Bailey has offered a few belated comments on the newly formalized relationship between the Society of Biblical Literature and the biblioblogging world.  He concludes with the suggestion that any critics who question the potential validity of biblioblogging sessions take a few moments to peruse the annual meeting’s program book:

I think you’ll find that the SBL Biblioblogging section is more than a legitimate section among the many biblical studies conversations that are already happening at the convention; perhaps, more legitimate than some others.

Not surprisingly, Jim West echoes Scott’s sentiments:

Indeed.  My favorite ‘what the devil…’ section has to be ‘Eusebius and the Construction of a Christian Culture’.  What a snoozefest that’s got to be!  And yet I bet not a SINGLE person got online when that section was proposed and whined about it.

I’m not among those who feel that biblioblogging sessions would be inherently redundant or otherwise unnecessary; nevertheless, the argument that “biblioblogging sessions are surely not as audacious or odd as other parts of the program, and therefore should be above reproach there’s no need to question them” doesn’t strike me as an especially strong one.  But I was shocked to see that Jim’s vision of a snoozefest was “Eusebius and the Construction of a Christian Culture.”  According to the online program book, this is a two-part consultation:

22-117


Eusebius and the Construction of a Christian Culture Consultation

11/22/2009
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Bayside BC – SH

Theme: Christian Literary Culture and Eusebius

Aaron P. Johnson, University of Chicago, Presiding

Enrico Norelli, University of Geneva
Constructing Christian Literature in Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History (30 min)

William Adler, North Carolina State University
Christians and the Library of Edessa (30 min)

Megan Hale Williams, San Francisco State University
Christian Literary Culture in Practice and Theory: The Case of Eusebius (30 min)

Elizabeth A. Clark, Duke University
Christian Literary Culture in Late Antiquity: A Response (30 min)

Discussion (30 min)

22-214a


Eusebius and the Construction of a Christian Culture Consultation

11/22/2009
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Bayside BC – SH

Theme: Eusebius and Biblical Scholarship

Aaron P. Johnson, University of Chicago, Presiding

Joseph Verheyden, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Eusebius and Biblical Scholarship : Soundings Back and Forth (And Back Again) (30 min)

Michael Hollerich, University of St. Thomas
Eusebius, the Psalter and the Creation of Christian Literary Culture (30 min)

Jeremy Schott, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Eusebius, Isaiah and Empire (30 min)

Bart Ehrman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Eusebius of Caesarea and the Biblical Text (30 min)

Discussion (30 min)

Given the inestimable importance of the life and writings of Eusebius for the study of Christian origins, a number of engaging paper topics (ranging from Eusebius’ relationship to the broader history of Christian literature, to his potential contributions to the textual criticism of the New Testament, to a summary of recent scholarship), and a lineup of excellent biblical and patristic scholars (including Liz Clark, Megan Hale Williams, and Bart Ehrman), this seems to be a nice pair of panels.  A snoozefest?  Doubtful.

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6 Responses to “A Snoozefest? Really?”


  1. October 1, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    “biblioblogging sessions are surely not as audacious or odd as other parts of the program, and therefore should be above reproach”

    Whoa there… not quite the argument.

    The actual argument I made was: there are other sections that deal with Bible and different cultural mediums so let’s not be too quick to judge on Bible and biblioblogs affiliation which is a medium.

    The “above reproach” is your own lens… and a misrepresentation.

  2. 2 Jim
    October 2, 2009 at 5:57 am

    i just fell asleep reading that program section description again… wow- that’s better than any sleeping aid any insomniac has ever bought!

    bottle it. you’ll make a gazillion!

    😉

  3. 4 Steve Wiggins
    October 5, 2009 at 10:52 am

    What about a shameless plug for the Ugaritic and Northwest Semitic Epigraphy section? I won’t be there to applaud them on this year, but not too many heads nod in that group!

  4. 5 a theologian
    November 12, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Here’s a tip for avoiding snoozefests: DON’T GO TO SBL.


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