Monday, January 24, 2011

Conference: Paul's Doctrine of Justification by Faith

The Department of New Testament of the Evangelical Lutheran Theological Faculty at Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia)announces the following International Interdisciplinary Academic Research Conference:

"Paul's Doctrine of Justification by Faith in the Context of Jewish-Christian Dialogue".

The conference is part of their three year project "Corpus Paulinum as Interreligious Dialogue Paradigm in Multicultural Society".

Dates: May 5 - 6, 2011.

Place: Evangelical Lutheran Theological Faculty, Comenius University in Bratislava, Bartókova 8, 811 02 Bratislava, Slovakia.

  • The deadline for submission of abstracts with proposed title of contributions is: February 28, 2011.
  • Full texts of accepted papers are to be submitted by April 30, 2011 to the following address:

For more information please consult: the page of the conference

Friday, January 21, 2011

Paul as an Anomalous Diaspora Jew? (Lucky 1000 Competition)

We invite your comments concerning the following thesis of John Barclay (“Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora: From Alexander to Trajan (323 BCE – 117 CE)”, Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1996, pp. 393-395):

“In his conceptuality Paul is most at home among the particularistic and least accommodated segments of the Diaspora; yet in his utilization of these concepts, and in his social practice, he shatters the ethnic mould in which that ideology was formed. He shows little inclination to forge any form of synthesis with his cultural environment, yet he employs the language of a culturally antagonistic Judaism to establish a new social reality which transgresses the boundaries of the Diaspora synagogues. By an extraordinary transference of ideology, Paul deracinates the most culturally conservative forms of Judaism in the Diaspora and uses them in the service of his largely Gentile communities. It is hardly surprising that this anomalous Jew should meet both puzzled and hostile reactions in Diaspora synagogues. However scriptural he claimed his theology to be, and however much it was couched in traditional Jewish terminology , Paul’s assimilating practices and his lax (or at least inconsistent) observance of the law earned him suspicion, opposition and even punishment in the synagogue. … The very fact that Paul could speak so persuasively in the traditional Jewish idiom, made him all the more insidious a foe to those who judged his teaching subversive. The majority of Paul’s Jewish contemporaries (both Christian and non-Christian) found his mutation of the Jewish tradition incomprehensible or unattractive. The majority of his Gentile converts, and most subsequent readers of his letters, could only see their distance from, not their common destiny with, Jews. Thus, most unwittingly, Paul fostered the fateful division between Christianity and Judaism.”

Lucky 1000 Competition!

Since we are fast approaching 1000 visitors (!) we are organizing a small competition.
Here are the details:

1) Anyone can participate.

2) To *win* a participant has to:
a) comment on the post "Paul as an anomalous Jew"
b) be visitor number 1000
c) leave behind his or her name and email address so we can identify the winner

3) The *prize* is (drum roll please) a book and the privilege of participating in this unique biblical blog hosted by students at Leuven!

Interested? Then post your comment today!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Good news for students/doctoral students wishing to present at SBL!

Today the message below was sent out by SBL.
It contains important information which revises the rules we had posted earlier:

The Executive Committee of Council met on 12 January 2011 to discuss concerns over the recent policies regarding student participation in the Society’s Annual Meeting. The policies that were announced in November 2010 required all students without a doctoral degree to submit to the Program Unit Chair the full text of the paper they intended to read and limited the number of sessions student can participate in (as panelist, presenter, and respondent) to one.

The action taken by the Executive Committee of Council, effective immediately , is to postpone the implementation of these policies and to undertake additional discussion of these matters at the Spring 2011 Council meeting. This action thereby sets aside these requirements and restrictions until 2012, pending further review.

I want personally to thank the members of the Student Advisory Board and the network of OSRs for the conversations we have had concerning these matters. They are active advocates for student interests. Please do continue these conversations with me or with representatives on SAB. SAB will provide a report directly to Council in April.

On behalf of Council, we look forward to receiving your suggestions and proposals for discussion and review, and we are especially grateful for your active participation.

Giving a Better Meeting Presentation

For all those who prepare a meeting presentation we post a link to the guidlines provided by SBL.

The document in in PDF format. You can download it by clicking here

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