Big News: New SBL Genesis Program Unit Begins in 2011

I have had to keep this on the DL for a while now, but just yesterday I received confirmation from the Society of Biblical Literature that my proposal for the addition of a program unit (at this point, we are a 3-yr consultation) devoted to Genesis has been accepted! I am the unit chair, and Chris Heard is co-chair. Also on the steering committee are Terry Fretheim (Luther Seminary), Tammi Schneider (Claremont), Mignon Jacobs (Fuller), and David Petersen (Emory). We have two sessions planned already for each of our first two years (2011 and 2012). While the schedule is set already, I will not reveal the program at this stage; I am still working on confirming that those who originally agreed to participate are willing and able to do so. But let me say this: if you can name a seminal living scholar on Genesis within the last 20 years there is a good chance they are on the docket! There are some big names that have agreed to participate, and I am delighted and excited the unit has been picked up and that so many scholars have expressed an interest and have helped make this unit–which has long been in both my mind and my heart–a reality. It will be a great SBL 2011!

UPDATE: Per Pat’s request, and it is a wise one, here is the description for the Genesis unit that will be listed on SBL’s site once the unit is added to the roster of other program units:

The Genesis unit promotes sustained and continued dialogue and scholarship on the book of Genesis from a variety of methodological perspectives, especially (yet not limited to) those approaching and treating the text as a canonical whole. It creates space for those working on Genesis to share their work in a focused place.

I think you will be quite pleased with the first two years of sessions we have put forward; I’m hoping for some packed sessions!




9 thoughts on “Big News: New SBL Genesis Program Unit Begins in 2011

  1. Rick Wadholm Jr. says:

    Now THAT is exciting news!!! It makes me actually wish to attend the SBL annual coming up (though I haven’t been able to make the last several). I am in the midst of completing my own thesis work on Genesis and have personally preached/taught through the entire book verse-by-verse three times (once in each of the congregations I’ve had the pleasure of serving as Pastor)…something I’ve not done with ANY other book of Scripture. When do you think you’d be able to release info on speakers for this year???

  2. John Anderson says:

    @Rick: Start planning now! It will be good!

    @Pat: Thanks! And yes, I can post the description . . . I have edited the post above. But to answer your questions explicitly, we are methodologically inclusive, but especially interested in holistic approaches, though that does not mean others will not be taken seriously. That is how we are trying to differentiate ourselves from the Pentateuch unit–in one way at least.

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