. . . a way of reading and interpreting biblical texts which is critically attentive to psychological factors involved in their origin, composition, transmission, interpretation, translation, and expression.
of Biblical Themes and Texts
SBL International Meeting at St. Andrews University, Scotland. Full listings for all sessions can be found at the SBL website.
July 8, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Theme: Paul and Early Christianity
Bas van Os, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Presiding
- Linda Joelsson, Abo Akademi University
Coping with Death in the Pauline Letters
- Nina E. Livesey, University of Oklahoma
Evidence of Anger in Paul’s Letter to the Galatians
- Daniel Eastman, Helsingin Yliopisto – Helsingfors Universitet
Who’s Shaming Whom?
Contested Honor and the Economy of Shame in Early Christianity
July 9, 2013, 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Theme: Canonical Gospels
Bas van Os, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Presiding
- Melanie Baffes, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
Converted or Transformed? Martha and Mary in the Gospel of John
- Annette Evans, University of the Free State – Universiteit van die Vrystaat
Relevance Theory as an Approach to Interpreting the Bible for Children:
The Lord’s Prayer as a Test Case
- Ralph Hood, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
Serpent Handlers and Mark 16:17-18
- Kari Syreeni, Abo Akademi
The Parables of Jesus and the Psychology of Surprise
- Eben Scheffler, UNISA
Empathy for the Psychological Underdog:
A Positive Psychological Approach to Luke’s Gospel
July 10, 2013, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Theme: Gender, Sexuality, and Family
Heather McKay, Edge Hill University, Presiding
- Marie-France Dion, Concordia University – Université Concordia and
Christine Jamieson, Concordia University – Université Concordia
Tamar’s Rape and the Coping Mechanisms
of Victim, Abuser, Family, and Accomplices
- Cassandra M. Klyman, Wayne State University School of Medicine
Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Women in the Bible
- Raymond Lawrence, College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy
Sexual Values in Biblical Tradition, Christendom,
and Modern Psychological Practice
- Kamila Blessing, Blessing Transitions Consulting and Mediation Services
The Tangulus Texts:
Recently Discovered Evidence of the Importance of Family Systems
- Petri Merenlahti, University of Helsinki, Finland
Coping with Lost Manhood:
Early Christian Strategies for Restoring Masculinity
- Johanna Stiebert, University of Leeds
How Abject? Incest in the Hebrew Bible
From the SBL website:
Please note that the Annual Meeting call for papers closes on Thursday, February 28 at 11:59:59 PM Eastern Standard Time.
Proposals must be submitted through the SBL online system; to propose a paper, click here.
We are looking for papers particularly on the following themes, but welcome proposals regarding any application of psychological perspectives to the interpretation of biblical texts. See the previous post for details.
- The psychodynamics of transformative Bible study.
- The psychological function of irony.
Body, Psyche and Space in OT Apocryphal Literature
14-17 July 2013, Potchefstroom, South Africa
The Apocryphal/Deutero-Canonical literature of the Old Testament has been studied in various ways over the past century. Initially there was a focus on the different textual variations found in the manuscripts, and on the unity of individual books. The next shift in emphasis was the study of the message of this corpus of literature. As further developments in literary theory emerged, they were also applied to the Apocrypha. A totally new appreciation for the Apocrypha as an important witness to biblical phenomena emerged. More recently, feminist and psychoanalytic approaches to the text have emerged.
The aim of the conference organizers is to bring together leading local and international scholars working in the field to share their research, in the hope of fostering dialogue around this corpus of literature and stimulating academic reflection on the light that it sheds on the biblical material in general.
Abstracts are invited relating to the proposed theme. They should be 150 – 200 words in length, and should be submitted to Dr Helen Efthimiadis-Keith by February 28 2013 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For full details, see the Position Statement and Call for papers.
Psychology and Biblical Studies Section
SBL Annual Meeting, November 23-26, 2013, Baltimore, MD
We always welcome proposals for papers that address Biblical texts, themes, figures and/or readers using the concepts and interpretive tools of any field of psychology.
For 2013, we are particularly interested in papers on the following themes:
- The psychodynamics of transformative Bible study. How does or how might psychologically-informed methods of engaging the biblical text enable transformative change in cognition, perception, and/or behavior?
- The psychological function of irony. Irony is a popular theme in contemporary biblical interpretation, and it is often difficult to distinguish. What might be the psychological functions of irony and how might a psychological understanding of irony affect a reading of the text?
We also plan a book review session on the Festrschrift honoring Wayne G. Rollins, Psychological Hermeneutics for Biblical Themes and Texts, Ed. J. Harold Ellens (New York: T&T Clark, 2012).
- Proposal deadline: Thursday, February 28, 2013, 11:59 pm EST.
- Must be made through the online system; to propose a paper, click here.
- Must be a member of SBL
- See full requirements here.
Questions? Contact the Chair at email@example.com
Several of the papers presented at the Psychology and Biblical Studies sessions at the Annual Meeting in Chicago have now been posted to the site for your review. Go to the page for Chicago 2012 and click on links there for the available papers. Others will be added as they become available.
This letter is a proposal and an invitation for participation in the ISBL 2013 program at St. Andrews, Scotland next July in the Psychological Hermeneutics for Biblical Themes and Texts Section. I would like you to consider seriously presenting a substantive paper in that program. I am hoping that we will have five sessions in that section with each presenter having 30 minutes to present and 15 minutes to discuss each contribution. The five sessions I am proposing would address the following topics.
- The Psychology of Biblical Concepts of Propitiation/Sacrifice and their import.
- Psychological Profiles of Biblical Characters.
- Psychological Analysis of New Perspectives on St. Paul
- Psychodynamics of Irony as a Lens for Seeing the Biblical Texts and their Meanings
- An open session inviting any topic that the contributor wishes to present.
Whether we will retain these five sessions in our section depends upon whether we receive enough adequate proposals with abstracts for substantive presentations on the topics proposed.
Please send your ideas and statement of desire and intent to present to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible; and I would like to have your actual proposal with abstract by January 2013.
Please send me the names and email addresses of other colleagues whom you think should get this letter of invitation and also contact others you know who you can encourage to participate.
Dr. J. Harold Ellens
In Memory of Walter Wink
S17-225. Saturday, November 17, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Room: W176b – McCormick Place
This is a special joint session with the Psychology and Biblical Studies Section (SBL) and the Scriptural/Contextual Ethics Group (AAR). We gather to honor the legacy of Walter Wink (1935-2012), powerful ponderer of the Powers. He taught us to read, think, question, protest, love, imagine, play, and (with his wife June) dance. The New York Times called him “an influential liberal theologian”; one website labeled him “a false prophet.” Most simply knew him as a “Human Being.”
- Panelists: J. Harold Ellens, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; Wayne G. Rollins, Hartford Seminary; D. Andrew Kille, BibleWorkbench; David Gushee, Mercer University; Michael Willett Newheart, Howard University