Society of Biblical Literature


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Call for Papers: SBL Annual Meeting, November 2016

Psychology and Biblical Studies Section

Society of Biblical Literature
2016 Annual Meeting
November 19 – 22, 2016
San Antonio, TX

Call For Papers Closes: March 2, 2016

Call For Papers: 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. We urge the use of the original Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic, especially when the argument of your paper rests on the meanings of specific words or phrases.

We also welcome any papers that highlight methods, models, and approaches in the interface between psychology and Biblical studies, including from the emerging fields of neurotheology, brain physiology and religious experience, and evolutionary psychology.

This year, we are calling for papers on the theme of “Neighbors, Strangers, and Enemies: Loving the Other in the Bible.” Jesus called Leviticus 19:18’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself” the greatest commandment, along with loving God. Freud called it impossible to fulfill. Leviticus also commands the Jews to love “the stranger” as yourself (Lev 19:34), and Jesus entreats his followers to “love your enemies and do good to them that hate you” (Matt 5:44). Today, the prospect of loving the stranger and the enemy may seem even more psychologically impossible than the neighbor, yet in many ways these three commands make up the core of the Bible’s moral calling. We invite papers that examine the psychological functions and conflicts that arise out of these commands to love the Others in our midst.

Program Unit Chairs

Barbara Mei Leung Lai
Dereck M. Daschke

For full information or to propose a paper for the Program Unit, go to the Society of Biblical Literature site.

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Call for Papers: November 2015 in Atlanta

psybibs.call4papers.fwSBL Annual Meeting

November 21-14, 2015
Atlanta, GA

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. We urge the use of the original Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic, especially when the argument of your paper rests on the meanings of specific words or phrases.

For 2015, we are particularly interested in papers that offer psychological perspectives as applied to character studies, with special focus on “Psychological Profiling of Strong Women in the Bible.”

We also welcome any papers that highlight methods, models, and approaches in the interface between psychology and Biblical studies, including from the emerging fields of neurotheology, brain physiology and religious experience, and evolutionary psychology.

Proposals are due by March 4, 2014

Submit proposals online

More information at the Society of Biblical Literature site.


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Call for Papers deadline March 5

psybibs.call4papers.fwFrom the SBL website:

Note that the deadline for paper proposals is 11:59 PM (23:59) Eastern Standard Time (UTC -5) on Tuesday, March 4, 2014.

The Call for Papers for the Psychology and Biblical Studies Section at the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting to be held in November 2014 can be found here, with details on how to submit a paper proposal.


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Reminder: Deadline for Paper Proposals is Feb. 28

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.

  1. The psychodynamics of transformative Bible study.
  2. The psychological function of irony.


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Call for Papers: 2013 Annual Meeting

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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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).

Paper Proposals

  • 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 psybibs@psybibs.org


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Proposals sought for International Meeting

Dear Colleagues,

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.

  1.  The Psychology of Biblical Concepts of Propitiation/Sacrifice and their import.
  2. Psychological Profiles of Biblical Characters.
  3. Psychological Analysis of New Perspectives on St. Paul
  4. Psychodynamics of Irony as a Lens for Seeing the Biblical Texts and their Meanings
  5. 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 jharoldellens@juno.com 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


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Call for Papers: Deadline Changed

Due to a delayed start for the paper submission system at the Society of Biblical Literature, the deadline for submitting paper proposals for the November 2012 Annual Meeting in Chicago has been extended to Wednesday, March 7.

The Call for Papers for the Psychology and Biblical Studies Section is here.

Questions? Contact the Chair, D. Andrew Kille, at psybibs@psybibs.org.

To propose a paper for the session, see full details and online submission information on the SBL website.