The Final Pagan Generation

Over the Thanksgiving break last week, I found a few minutes to harvest a few of the thousands of unread Google alert emails about Corinthiaka. No promises that I’ll make my back through all or most of this vast collection of emails, but I have begun to update the Corinthian Studies Zotero Library as I’ve discovered relevant works (you can filter by CSM_2014_November or “CSM_2014_December, or sort the Library by “Date Added”). I’ll push out a few of these in the next couple of weeks as I recover from the semester.

One little gem turned up in my box yesterday. This new forthcoming book by Edward Watts on fourth century pagans and Christians looks like a great read. Not sure why the keyword Corinth triggered the book, but it may have had something to do with the well-known case of Aristophanes, the Corinthian elite in the imperial service who was accused of astrology, defended by Libanius, and eventually pardoned by the emperor Julian. That case is common to fourth century discussions of Paganism and Corinth, and is most fully discussed in Richard Rothaus’ Corinth: First City of Greece.

The book looks interesting and should contribute significantly to our knowledge of the fourth century, an period of transformation for the Corinthia as for other regions of the Roman world.

Here are the details:

Watts, Edward J. The Final Pagan Generation. Univ of California Press, 2015.

Front CoverThe Final Pagan Generation recounts the fascinating story of the lives and fortunes of the last Romans born before the Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity. Edward J. Watts traces their experiences of living through the fourth century’s dramatic religious and political changes, when heated confrontations saw the Christian establishment legislate against pagan practices as mobs attacked pagan holy sites and temples. The emperors who issued these laws, the imperial officials charged with implementing them, and the Christian perpetrators of religious violence were almost exclusively young men whose attitudes and actions contrasted markedly with those of the earlier generation, who shared neither their juniors’ interest in creating sharply defined religious identities nor their propensity for violent conflict. Watts examines why the “final pagan generation”—born to the old ways and the old world in which it seemed to everyone that religious practices would continue as they had for the past two thousand years—proved both unable to anticipate the changes that imperially sponsored Christianity produced and unwilling to resist them. A compelling and provocative read, suitable for the general reader as well as students and scholars of the ancient world.”

A couple of pre-reviews from the publisher page:

“Edward Watts has produced a scintillating portrait of the transformative fourth century of the Roman Empire. He employs the creative device of looking at the history of an era through the eyes of its own generation—like our Woodstock generation or Gen X—to show how its men and women witnessed, experienced, and engaged with the big and little events of their day. The results are variously quotidian and startling, ordinary and surprising, but never banal or entirely as expected. Understanding the oceanic changes in belief and behavior of the ‘last pagan generation’ in real time helps readers see that world from the perspective of the persons who lived it and not, as we often do, as if in some cosmic rear-view mirror. A real page turner!”—Brent D. Shaw, Andrew Fleming West Professor in Classics at Princeton University

“Edward Watts is a leading authority on the intellectual history of the later Roman Empire. Deeply nuanced and profoundly humane, this book shows what it meant to live through the Roman Empire’s initial transition to Christianity. In clear and eloquent prose, Watts introduces us to a wide range of persons who responded to the Emperor Constantine’s conversion in widely different ways, from hostility or distaste to excitement and profound life changes. Watts provides a fresh and exciting vision of one the great generations of Mediterranean history, whose choices shaped the legacy of antiquity and the future of Christianity. This is a book that should be of interest to anyone who wants to understand the rich variety of religious experience.”—David Potter, Francis W. Kelsey Collegiate Professor of Greek and Roman History at the University of Michigan

Posted in Book and Article Reviews, Christian - Churches, Christian - Post-Pauline, Periods, Late Antiquity, Roman Religion | Leave a comment

Society of Biblical Literature Conference, San Diego, 2014

I have always been impressed with the enormous output of scholarship directed to understanding biblical literature and backgrounds. In past years, I’ve posted paper titles or abstracts for presentations at the annual and international meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature: Baltimore 2013, Chicago 2012, London 2011, and Atlanta 2010.

As Thanksgiving week has just begun in the U.S.A., and the annual Society of Biblical Literature conference is wrapping up in San Diego, it seemed appropriate to see what biblical scholars have harvested this year. The following comes from a keyword search on “Corinth” in the Program Book. Not all of the following papers concern Corinth topics, of course, but all of the following sessions have at least some discussion of Corinth or Paul’s Corinthian correspondence. There are presumably other Corinth papers that this keyword search did not reach, but this provides some cross-section of current discussions among New Testament scholars. To read abstracts, search by the paper title.

Before the list, this word cloud produced in Wordle offers a great way to visualize the content of the paper titles and session abstracts. 

Wordle_SBLSanDiego2014

 

And the Papers themselves…

S21-201

Paul and the Apocalyptic Imagination
11/21/2014
12:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Room: 300 A (Level 3 (Aqua)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)
Across various branches of biblical and theological study, there is a renewed interest in ‘apocalyptic’. This development is seen particularly in the study of Paul’s theology, where it is now widely agreed that Paul pr

omotes an ‘apocalyptic theology’. However, there is little agreement on what this means. Scholars from different perspectives have, as a result, continued to talk past each other. This special session provides an opportunity for leading Pauline scholars from different perspectives to engage in discussion about the meaning of Paul as an apocalyptic thinker. Indeed, one of the strengths and aims of this event is that different and opposing views are set next to each other. The session will hopefully bring greater clarity to the ‘apocalyptic’ reading of Paul by providing much needed definition to central terms and interpretive approaches and by highlighting both their strengths and weaknesses.

Session 1
Jason Maston, Highland Theological College, Presiding
Jason Maston, Highland Theological College, Welcome (5 min)
M. C. de Boer, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam – VU University Amsterdam
Apocalyptic as Eschatological Activity (25 min)
N.T. Wright, University of St. Andrews
Apocalyptic as Sudden Fulfilment of Divine Promise (25 min)
Loren Stuckenbruck, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Apocalypticism in Second Temple Judaism (25 min)
Philip Ziegler, University of Aberdeen
Apocalypticism in Modern Theology (25 min)
Discussion (15 min)
Break (15 min)
Session 2
Ben Blackwell, Houston Baptist University, Presiding
Michael Gorman, Saint Mary’s Seminary and University
The Apocalyptic New Covenant and the Shape of Life in the Spirit (25 min)
Edith Humphrey, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Apocalypse as Theoria in Paul: A New Perspective on Apocalyptic as Mother of Theology (25 min)
Douglas Campbell, Duke University
Paul’s Apocalyptic Epistemology (25 min)
Beverly Gaventa, Baylor University
Romans 9–11: An Apocalyptic Reading (25 min)
John Barclay, University of Durham
Apocalyptic Investments: First Corinthians 7 and Pauline Ethics (25 min)
Discussion (20 min)
Word of Thanks, Book Promotion, and Adjournment: John Goodrich, Moody Bible Institute


P21-302

Institute for Biblical Research
11/21/2014
4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Room: 202 B (Level 2 (Indigo)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: Emerging Scholarship on the New Testament
This session showcases emerging New Testament scholars sponsored by Fellows of the Institute of Biblical Research. All are welcome to attend the session. Summaries of the papers will be read at the session leaving opportunity for discussion. Full papers will be available at the Institute of Biblical Research website: http://www.ibr-bbr.org/ (click on Emerging Scholarship on the New Testament Group) no later than October 1, 2014. For information on this session please contact Ruth Anne Reese (ruthanne.reese@asburyseminary.edu).

Ruth Anne Reese, Asbury Theological Seminary, Presiding
Drew Strait, University of Pretoria
Of Gods and Kings: Early Judaism, Ruler Cults, and Paul’s Polemic against Semasmata in Acts 17:23 (10 min)
Discussion (20 min)
Terri Moore, Dallas Theological Seminary
The Mysteries and 1 Cor 15:29: Comparative Methodology and Contextual Exegesis (10 min)
Discussion (20 min)
Luke Tsai, Dallas Theological Seminary
It’s Affordable: The Cost of Civil Litigation in First-Century Roman Corinth (10 min)
Discussion (20 min)
Phillip Strickland, McMaster Divinity College
“Le style, c’est l’homme”: The Use of Literary Stylistics in the Defense of Lukan Authorship of Hebrews—A Critical Assessment (10 min)
Discussion (20 min)


S22-128

Inventing Christianity
11/22/2014
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Sapphire Ballroom P (Level 4 (Sapphire)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: Competing Christianities in North Africa

Laurence Welborn, Fordham University, Presiding
Outi Lehtipuu, University of Helsinki
Who Has the Right to Be Called a Christian? The Politics of Inventing Christian Identity in Tertullian’s On the Prescription of Heretics (30 min)
Patout Burns, Vanderbilt University
Self-Identity through Competition: The Development of African Ecclesiology (30 min)
Geoffrey D. Dunn, Australian Catholic University
Disputed Christian Identities in North Africa: A View of the Current Landscape (30 min)
Discussion (30 min)
Business Meeting (30 min)


S22-132a

Paul and Politics
11/22/2014
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Room 31 B (Upper level) – San Diego Convention Center (CC)

Katherine Shaner, Wake Forest University, Presiding
Ben Dunning, Fordham University
Paul, Bodily Difference, and the Politics of the Universal: Reading Romans 7 with and against Contemporary Philosophers (25 min)
Shelly Matthews, Brite Divinity School (TCU)
‘Who Really Cares That Paul Was Not a Gender Egalitarian after All?': Thinking through the Question with the Unveiled Corinthian Women Prophets (25 min)
Eric A. Thomas, Drew University
Practicing Porneia: Inappropriating 1 Cor 6:9-20 for Erotic Justice (25 min)
Anna Miller, Xavier University
“All the City Was Shaken”: Women’s Speech and Ancient Political Discourse in the Acts of Paul and Thecla and 1 Corinthians (25 min)
Crystal L. Hall , Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York
Paul’s Collection and the Body Politics of Empire (25 min)
Discussion (25 min)


S22-133

Pauline Epistles
11/22/2014
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: 410 B (Level 4 (Sapphire)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: Paul’s Judaism

R. Barry Matlock, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Presiding
Matthew Novenson, University of Edinburgh
Did Paul Conceive of Such a Thing as Judaism? (25 min)
Matthew Thiessen, Saint Louis University
Christ, the Seed of Abraham (25 min)
William Sanger Campbell, The College of St. Scholastica
Paul’s Judaism and the Jesus Movement (25 min)
Tyler A. Stewart, Marquette University
Fallen Angels, Bastard Spirits, and the Birth of God’s Son: An Enochic Etiology of Evil in Gal 3:19–4:11 (25 min)
James Ware, University of Evansville
The Coherence of Paul’s Theology of the Law in Romans 2–3: A New Proposal (25 min)


S22-142

Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament; Meals in the Greco-Roman World; Gender, Sexuality, and the Bible
Joint Session With: Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament, Meals in the Greco-Roman World
11/22/2014
9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Room: Room 17 B (Mezzanine level) – San Diego Convention Center (CC)

Theme: Food in Antiquity

Zeba Crook, Carleton University, Presiding
Philip Tite, University of Washington
Roman Diet and Meat Consumption: Reassessing Elite Access to Meat in 1 Corinthians 8 (25 min)
Andrew McGowan, Yale Divinity School
Knowing the Color of One’s Bread: How Forms and Types of Bread Reflected and Created Ancient Social Structures(25 min)
Break (10 min)
Alicia Batten, Conrad Grebel University College
Fish for Thought in the Early Church (25 min)
Michel Desjardins, Wilfrid Laurier University, Respondent (25 min)
Discussion (10 min)


S22-206

Bible and Popular Culture
11/22/2014
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Room 11 A (Upper level) – San Diego Convention Center (CC)

Theme: Graphic Novels, Punk Rock, and Decolonizing the Bible? Oh My!

Valarie Ziegler, DePauw University, Presiding
Paul Robertson, Colby-Sawyer College
Biblical Myth and “The Encyclopedia of Early Earth” (2013): Modernity and Re-Telling in the Graphic Novel (30 min)
Jacob D. Myers, Emory University
Apocalyptic Power; Dystopian Hope: John of Patmos and Paul the Apostle in Conversation with Young Adult Fiction(30 min)
Elizabeth Rae Coody, University of Denver and Iliff School of Theology
Punk Rock Paul: The Cross as a ‘Dumb’ Symbol in Comics and Paul’s Epistles (30 min)
Heidi Epstein, University of Saskatchewan
My Beloved is a Bass Line: “De-colonial,” Pop Musical Interventions in the Politics of Love as a Cultural Practice (30 min)
Business Meeting (30 min)


S22-208

Biblical Literature and the Hermeneutics of Trauma
11/22/2014
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Sapphire Ballroom A (Level 4 (Sapphire)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: Hermeneutics of Trauma in Biblical Studies and Theology
This session includes two theologians and two pastoral theologians presenting on how interpreting biblical texts through the lens of trauma studies benefits theological and pastoral theological work. The session is co-sponsored by the AAR section “Bible, Theology and Post-modernity.”

Christopher Frechette, Boston College, Presiding
Peter Yuichi Clark, UCSF Medical Center & American Baptist Seminary of the West (GTU)
Toward a Pastoral Reading of 2 Corinthians as a Memoir of PTSD and Healing (30 min)
Philip Browning Helsel, Princeton Theological Seminary
Shared Bodily Pleasure as a Treatment for Trauma: Modern Body Therapies and Ecclesiastes’ Injunction to Enjoyment (30 min)
Shelly Rambo, Boston University
Resurrecting Wounds: John 20:24–29, Trauma Theory, and the Doctrine of Resurrection (30 min)
Robert Schreiter, Catholic Theological Union
Reading Biblical Texts through the Lens of Resilience (30 min)
Discussion (30 min)


S22-212

Development of Early Christian Theology
11/22/2014
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Room 30 B (Upper level) – San Diego Convention Center (CC)

Theme: The Spirit in the Early Church: Accounts of the Spirit in the Early Church

Mark Weedman, Johnson University, Presiding
Ben C. Blackwell, Houston Baptist University
Irenaeus on the Deification of Believers and the Divinity of the Spirit (25 min)
Kellen Plaxco, Marquette University
The Place of the Spirit in Origen’s Taxological Grammar of Participation (25 min)
Jonathan Morgan, Toccoa Falls College
Circumcision of the Spirit: Type and Pneumatology in Cyril of Alexandria (25 min)
David Kneip, Abilene Christian University
The Spirit and the Bible in Alexandria: Cyril and Didymus (25 min)
Paul M. Pasquesi, Marquette University
Reclaiming the Divine Feminine: Re-Reception of the Holy Spirit in the Divine Economy (25 min)
Discussion (25 min)


S22-216

Greco-Roman Religions
11/22/2014
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: 502 B (Level 5 (Cobalt)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: The Cults of Demeter

James Hanges, Miami University, Presiding (5 min)
Teresa Morgan, University of Oxford
Chippings from the Laughterless Rock: Popular Perceptions of Demeter and Her Cult (25 min)
Jill E. Marshall, Emory University
Inscribing Power: Curse Tablets and Temple Building in the Corinthian Sanctuary of Demeter (25 min)
Nancy Evans, Wheaton College (Massachusetts)
Demeter as Focal Point; Eleusis as Mirror (25 min)
Discussion (40 min)
Business Meeting (30 min)


S22-228

Latter-day Saints and the Bible
11/22/2014
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Room 24 B (Upper level) – San Diego Convention Center (CC)

Eric Huntsman, Brigham Young University, Presiding
Avram R. Shannon, Ohio State University
Mormons and Midrash: Narrative Expansion as Interpretation in Mormonism and Early Judaism (20 min)
Tod R. Harris, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
“Taking a Different View of the Translation”: The Illumination of Alternative Meanings in the Bible Translations of Joseph Smith and Meister Eckhart (20 min)
Jared W. Ludlow, Brigham Young University
Joseph Smith as a Narrator in the Joseph Smith Translation (20 min)
Discussion (15 min)
Shon D. Hopkin, Brigham Young University
Deuteronomistic History and the Latter-day Saints (20 min)
Lynne Hilton Wilson, LDS Stanford Institute
The Female Rite of Wearing a Veil in 1 Cor 11:2–13 (20 min)
Robert M. Bowman Jr., Institute for Religious Research
The Temple Setting of the Sermon on the Mount in the Book of Mormon: A Hermeneutical Key? (20 min)
Discussion (15 min)


S22-229

LGBT/Queer Hermeneutics
11/22/2014
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: 400 B (Level 4 (Sapphire)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: Pauline Letters: A Queer Turn

Lynn Huber, Elon University, Presiding (2 min)
Heather White, New College of Florida
Inventing the “Clobber Texts”: Biblical Interpretation and Modern Sexual Identity (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
David Tabb Stewart, California State University – Long Beach
Against Nature (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Kjeld Renato Lings, Other Sheep Europe
Toxic Translations: The Extensive Use of Sexual Anachronisms in 1 Corinthians 6 (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Joseph A. Marchal, Ball State University
“Queer(ing) Children of God: Sideways Angles on a Pauline Metaphor?” (25 min)
Discussion (13 min)
Business Meeting (20 min)


S22-238

Rhetoric and the New Testament
11/22/2014
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: 501 C (Level 5 (Cobalt)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Greg Carey, Lancaster Theological Seminary, Presiding
Greg Carey, Lancaster Theological Seminary, Introduction (5 min)
Timothy J. Christian, Asbury Theological Seminary
Paul and the Rhetoric of Insinuatio: How Paul Raises the Dead in First Corinthians (25 min)
Isaac Blois, University of St. Andrews
The Power of a Shared Boast: Paul’s Use of kauchema in Philippians as a Motivation for Ethical Conduct (25 min)
Oh-Young Kwon, Whitley College
A Rhetorical Analysis of Paul’s Use of Prolambano and Ekdechomai (1 Cor 11:21, 33) (25 min)
Troy Martin, Saint Xavier University
Legitimating Rhetorical Situations in the Epistles of Acts 15:23-29 and First Peter (25 min)
Todd Penner, Austin College, Respondent (25 min)
Discussion (20 min)


S22-240

Second Corinthians: Pauline Theology in the Making
11/22/2014
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: 400 A (Level 4 (Sapphire)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: 2 Corinthians 8–9

Steven Kraftchick, Emory University, Presiding
Calvin J. Roetzel, Macalester College
Explorations in the Pluri-significance of the Offering in 2 Corinthians 8 and Related Texts (25 min)
Thomas A. Vollmer, Cincinnati Christian University and Emmanuel Nathan, Australian Catholic University
Beyond Expectation (2 Cor 8:5): The Macedonians’ Generosity in light of Paul’s Rhetorical Strategy (25 min)
Paul B. Duff, George Washington University
Second Corinthians 9: The Earliest of the Letters Contained in Canonical 2 Corinthians? (25 min)
Reimund Bieringer, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
The dikaiosynê of God and the dikaiosynê of the Corinthians (2 Cor 9:9-10) (25 min)
Edith Humphrey, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Respondent (15 min)
Discussion (35 min)


S22-245

Systematic Transformation and Interweaving of Scripture in 1 Corinthians
11/22/2014
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Indigo Ballroom A (Level 2 (Indigo)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: Systematic Use of Scripture in 1 Corinthians 1–4

Yongbom Lee, Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena), Presiding
Erik Waaler, NLA University College
Paul and the Prophets: Paul’s Use of Scripture in 1 Corinthians 1–4 (30 min)
Christopher Stanley, Saint Bonaventure University, Respondent (20 min)
Discussion (25 min)
Mark Strauss, Bethel Seminary (San Diego, CA), Respondent (20 min)
Discussion (55 min)


S22-313

Early Christianity and the Ancient Economy
11/22/2014
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: 307 (Level 3 (Aqua)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: Economic Aspects of Early Christianity

David Hollander, Iowa State University, Presiding
Thomas Schmeller, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
How to Make a Giver Cheerful: Motivating the Corinthian Believers for the Collection (30 min)
Michelle Christian, University of Toronto
Toward an Anthropology of Money in the Gospels (30 min)
Michael Flexsenhar III, The University of Texas at Austin
Tying the Knot: Marriage, Economy, and Survival in Early Christianity (30 min)
Cavan Concannon, Duke University
Islands in the Corrupting Sea: Mapping Second-Century Christianity (30 min)
Jeremiah Bailey, Baylor University
The Occasion of 1 Clement Reconsidered (30 min)


S22-317

Gender, Sexuality, and the Bible
11/22/2014
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: 311 B (Level 3 (Aqua)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Gwynn Kessler, Swarthmore College, Presiding
Geoffrey D. McElroy, University of Texas at Austin
Warrior-Men and City-Women: The Implications of Military Imagery in the Song of Songs (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Jared Beverly, Chicago Theological Seminary
Loving Animals: A Queer Zoological Reading of Song of Songs (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Break (5 min)
Midori E. Hartman, Drew University
Animalizing Others in 1 Corinthians 5: Gender, Sexuality, and Racial-Ethnic Terms in Paul’s Logic of Exclusion (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Holly Morse, University of Oxford
A Monster in Paradise (20 min)
Discussion (15 min)
Business Meeting (10 min)


S22-345

Texts and Traditions in the Second Century 
11/22/2014
4:00 PM to 6:45 PM
Room: Sapphire Ballroom H (Level 4 (Sapphire)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: Christ as Savior in the Second Century

Michael Bird, Ridley Melbourne, Presiding (2 min)
David Downs, Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena)
The Pauline Concept of Union with Christ in Ignatius of Antioch (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Joseph Dodson, Ouachita Baptist University
Universalism and Particularism in the Book of Wisdom, the Gospel of Matthew, and the Epistle of Barnabas (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Janelle Peters, Emory University
The Christology of the Phoenix in 1 Clement (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Meghan Henning, University of Dayton
Christ as Savior in the Otherworld: The Harrowing of Hell in the 2nd Century (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Candida R. Moss, University of Notre Dame
Christ as Cosmic Victor and Emetic: Salvation in the Letter of the Churches of Lyon and Vienne (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Discussion (13 min)


S23-104

African Biblical Hermeneutics; Disputed Paulines
Joint Session With: African Biblical Hermeneutics, Disputed Paulines
11/23/2014
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: 311 B (Level 3 (Aqua)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: Ephesians from African Perspectives

Funlola Olojede, University of South Africa, Presiding
Daniel K. Darko, Gordon College
What Does It Mean to Be ‘Saved’? An African Reading of Ephesians 2 (30 min)
Jeff Brannon, Belhaven University
Another Look at the Principalities and Powers in Paul (30 min)
Elna Mouton, Stellenbosch University
Ancient Household Codes as Model for Present-day Communities of Character (in Africa)? (30 min)
Shelley Ashdown, Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics
The Armor of God (Eph 6:10-18) in the World View of Ndorobo (30 min)
Discussion (30 min)


S23-137

Performance Criticism of Biblical and Other Ancient Texts
11/23/2014
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Sapphire Ballroom L (Level 4 (Sapphire)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: Orality and Performance of Ancient Texts

Lee Johnson, East Carolina University, Presiding
Kathy R. Maxwell, Palm Beach Atlantic University
At the Intersection of Written Text and Oral Performance: There and Back Again (30 min)
Shem Miller, Florida State University
The Pedagogical Performance of Sapiential Literature in the Ya’ad Movement (30 min)
James Hanson, Saint Olaf College
Becoming Paul: Oral Performance and the “Center” of Paul’s Thought (30 min)
Sherri Brown, Niagara University
What’s in an Ending? John 21 and the Performative Force and an Epilogue (30 min)
Reinhard G. Lehmann, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Form Follows Function: A Calligraphic Approach to Oral Performance in Northwest Semitic Epigraphs (30 min)


S23-141

Ritual in the Biblical World
11/23/2014
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: 202 B (Level 2 (Indigo)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Soham Al-Suadi, Universität Bern – Université de Berne, Presiding
Rodney A. Werline, Barton College
Ritual, Order, and the Construction of an Audience in 1 Enoch 1–36 (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Jason T. Lamoreaux, Texas A&M University
Ritual, Media, and Conflict in Pauline Communities (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Stephen McBay, University of Manchester
Ephesians, Braided Narrative, and Ritual Pattern (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Jade Weimer, University of Toronto
Una Voce Dicentes: The Ritual Significance of Singing with One Voice in Early Christian Assemblies (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Group Discussion
Jonathan Schwiebert, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Respondent (30 min)


S23-145

Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament
11/23/2014
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: 400 B (Level 4 (Sapphire)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Alicia Batten, Conrad Grebel University College, Presiding (5 min)
Callie Callon, University of Toronto
Humorous Invective as a Component of Persuasion in Early Christianity (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Ryan Olfert, University of Toronto
Trouble Getting In: Third John in light of Greco-Roman Associations (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Seungwoo Shim, Brite Divinity School (TCU)
Evidence of Market Economy and Economic Rationality in the Gospel of Luke: Initial Proposal (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Break (5 min)
Matt O’Reilly, University of Gloucestershire
Resurrection or Destruction? Social Identity and Time in Philippians 3 (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Scott Ryan, Baylor University
Insecurity, Wrath, and the God of Hope: Reading Paul’s Apocalyptic Gospel in the Roman World (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Discussion (15 min)


S23-147

Systematic Transformation and Interweaving of Scripture in 1 Corinthians
11/23/2014
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: 310 B (Level 3 (Aqua)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: Paul and the Law in 1 Corinthians

Erik Waaler, NLA University College, Presiding
Brian Rosner, Ridley Melbourne
Paul and the Law in 1 Corinthians (30 min)
Frank Thielman, Beeson Divinity School, Respondent (15 min)
Discussion (15 min)
A. Andrew Das, Elmhurst College, Respondent (15 min)
Discussion (15 min)
Linda Belleville, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, Respondent (15 min)
Discussion (45 min)


S23-225

Intertextuality in the New Testament
11/23/2014
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: 204 A (Level 2 (Indigo)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: Varieties of Intertextual Methods

Erik Waaler, NLA University College, Presiding
B. J. Oropeza, Azusa Pacific University
A Covenant Sealed in the Core of Clay Jar: Intertextual Reconfigurations of Jeremiah in 2 Corinthians 1–7 (30 min)
Discussion (15 min)
Liz Myers, Independent Scholar
Assessing the Direction of Intertextual Borrowing between New Testament Books: A New Methodology and Application to 1 Peter and Hebrews (30 min)
Discussion (15 min)
Break (5 min)
Joseph Ryan Kelly, Southern Seminary
A Discipline by Any Other Name? Intertextuality, Inner-Biblical Exegesis, Echoes, and Allusion (30 min)
Discussion (10 min)


S23-236

Pauline Epistles; Paul and Judaism/Paul Within Judaism; Disputed Paulines; Pauline Soteriology; Second Corinthians: Pauline Theology in the Making; Systematic Transformation and Interweaving of Script
Joint Session With: Pauline Epistles, Paul and Judaism/Paul Within Judaism, Disputed Paulines, Pauline Soteriology, Second Corinthians: Pauline Theology in the Making, Systematic Transformation and Interweaving of Scripture in 1 Corinthians
11/23/2014
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Sapphire Ballroom M (Level 4 (Sapphire)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Chan Sok Park, Harvard University, Presiding
Michael Patrick Barber, John Paul the Great Catholic University and John Kincaid, John Paul the Great Catholic University
Cultic Theosis in Paul and Second Temple Judaism: A Fresh Reading of the Corinthian Correspondence (18 min)
David A. Burnett, Criswell College
“So Shall Your Seed Be”: Paul’s Use of Gen 15:5 in Rom 4:18 in light of Early Jewish Deification Traditions (18 min)
Pamela Eisenbaum, Iliff School of Theology, Respondent (8 min)
Ward Blanton, University of Kent at Canterbury, Respondent (8 min)
N. T. Wright, University of St. Andrews, Respondent (8 min)
Break (5 min)
Matthew E. Gordley, Regent University School of Divinity
Psalms of Solomon and Pauline Studies (18 min)
Hans Svebakken, Loyola University of Chicago
Romans 7:7-25 and a Pauline Allegory of the Soul (18 min)
Pamela Eisenbaum, Iliff School of Theology, Respondent (8 min)
Ward Blanton, University of Kent at Canterbury, Respondent (8 min)
N. T. Wright, University of St. Andrews, Respondent (8 min)
Discussion (25 min)


S23-244

Religious Experience in Antiquity
11/23/2014
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: 303 (Level 3 (Aqua)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Scott Mackie, Independent Scholar, Presiding
Lauren K. McCormick, Syracuse University
Modern Theory, Ancient Statuaries: What Figurine Aesthetics Can Tell Us about Religious Community-Making at Sumer (30 min)
Daniel K. Falk, University of Oregon
Liturgical Progression and the Experience of Transformation in Prayers from Qumran (30 min)
Deborah Forger, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
The Jewish High Priest: Mediator of the Divine (30 min)
Sally Douglas, Melbourne College of Divinity
Why Was Jesus Understood and Proclaimed in the Language and Imagery of Woman Wisdom? An Exploration of the Role of Experience in the Ignition of Wisdom Christology and Wisdom Soteriology in the Early (30 min)
Ross Ponder, University of Texas at Austin
Visions of the End: On Death and Animated Dreams in Tertullian and Perpetua (30 min)


S23-305

Bible and Practical Theology
11/23/2014
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Sapphire Ballroom M (Level 4 (Sapphire)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: Intersections of Biblical Interpretation and Practical Theology II

Denise Dombkowski Hopkins, Wesley Theological Seminary, Presiding
Michael Koppel, Wesley Theological Seminary, Presiding
Deborah A. Appler, Moravian College & Theological Seminary and Sharon A. Brown, Moravian College & Theological Seminary
Strangers in a Strange Land: Creating a Heart-Centered Praxis (35 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Aubrey E. Buster, Emory University
Memory and Agent Formation in the Psalms (25 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Jin Hwang, Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena)
Storytelling and Spiritual Formation according to Apostle Paul (25 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Lance B. Pape, Brite Divinity School (TCU)
Paul and the Lord’s Supper in Corinth: A Paradigm for Practical Theological Method (25 min)
Discussion (10 min)


S23-333

Pauline Epistles
11/23/2014
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Room 33 C (Upper level) – San Diego Convention Center (CC)

Theme: Revisiting Albert Schweitzer’s Mysticism of the Apostle Paul

Emma Wasserman, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Presiding
Adela Collins, Yale University
The Mysticism of Paul (25 min)
Paula Fredriksen, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
It’s the End of the World as We Know It: Apocalyptic Eschatology, The Gentile Mission, and the Mysticism of Schweitzer’s Paul (25 min)
Kathy Ehrensperger, Prifysgol Cymru, Y Drindod Dewi Sant – University of Wales, Trinity Saint David
‘To Those Who Are Sanctified in Christ’ (1 Cor 1:2): A Contribution to the ‘in Christ’ Debate (25 min)
Terence Donaldson, Wycliffe College, Respondent (20 min)
Magnus Zetterholm, Lunds Universitet, Respondent (20 min)
Discussion (30 min)


S23-341

Second Corinthians: Pauline Theology in the Making
11/23/2014
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: 400 B (Level 4 (Sapphire)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Thomas Schmeller, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Presiding
Julien C. H. Smith, Valparaiso University
The Transforming Image of the Ideal King: Paul’s Apostolic Defense (2 Cor 2:14–4:6) in light of Greco-Roman Political Ideology (30 min)
Christopher D. Land, McMaster Divinity College
The Benefits Outweigh the Costs: Human Obedience and Divine Blessing in 2 Cor 6:1–7:2 (30 min)
Steven Kraftchick, Emory University, Respondent (15 min)
Discussion (15 min)
Business Meeting (30 min)


S24-103

African Biblical Hermeneutics
11/24/2014
9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Room: 206 (Level 2 (Indigo)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: Sexuality, Masculinities, HIV and AIDS, and the Bible in Africa

Dora Mbuwayesango, Hood Theological Seminary, Presiding
Madipoane Masenya (Ngwn’a Mphahlele), University of South Africa and Marthe Maleke Kondemo, University of South Africa
What of the Problematic Norm? Rereading the Book of Ruth within the Mongo Women’s Context (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Alice Yafeh-Deigh, Azusa Pacific University
Rethinking Paul’s Sexual Ethics within the Context of HIV/AIDS: A Postcolonial Afro-Feminist-Womanist Perspective(25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Kuloba W. Robert, Kyambogo University
“Homosexuality is Unafrican and Unbiblical”: Examining the Ideological Motivations to Homophobia in Sub-Saharan Africa—The Case Study of Uganda (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)


S24-110

Children in the Biblical World
11/24/2014
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: 311 A (Level 3 (Aqua)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: Childist Interpretation and Children in the New Testament and Its Apocrypha

Sharon Betsworth, Oklahoma City University, Presiding
Julie Faith Parker, Andover Newton Theological School
Click “Add to Dictionary”: Why We Need to Speak of Childist Interpretation (50 min)
Steven Thompson, Avondale College of Higher Education
Jesus and Early Life Stages according to Luke: Expressing Jewish Male Formation and Gendering Using Greco-Roman Human Development Terms (25 min)
Anna Rebecca Solevag, School of Mission & Theology 
Listening for the Voices of Two Disabled Girls in Early Christian Texts (25 min)
Carla Swafford Works, Wesley Theological Seminary
“Babes in Christ”: The Vulnerability of Infancy (25 min)
J.R.C. Cousland, University of British Columbia
Born to Be Wild? Jesus in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas (25 min)


S24-115

Corpus Hellenisticum Novi Testamenti
11/24/2014
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Room 30 E (Upper level) – San Diego Convention Center (CC)

Theme: History of Religions School Today-2
This is the second of two sessions of papers representing new applications of the history-or-religions approach to the study of early Christianity in the broader Hellenistic and early Roman context.

Clare Rothschild, Lewis University, Presiding
David G. Monaco, Pontifical College Josephinum
The Rhetoric of Narrative in Acts 8:26-40: Ramifications of the Baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch for the Author of Luke-Acts (30 min)
Mark Reasoner, Marian University (Indianapolis)
Paul’s God of Peace in Canonical and Political Perspectives (30 min)
Andrew Langford, University of Chicago and Matthijs den Dulk, University of Chicago
Polycarp and Polemo: Christianity at the Center of the Second Sophistic (30 min)
Jeff Asher, Georgetown College
Missiles, Demagogues, and the Devil: The Rhetoric of Slander in Eph 6:16 (30 min)
Discussion (30 min)


S24-120

Feminist Hermeneutics of the Bible
11/24/2014
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Room 28 B (Upper level) – San Diego Convention Center (CC)

Theme: Current Topics in Feminist Hermeneutics

Richard Weis, Lexington Theological Seminary, Presiding
Colleen Conway, Seton Hall University
Riding Feminist Waves: Jael in the 20th and 21st Century (30 min)
Anne Létourneau, Université du Québec à Montréal
Wartime Rape in Judg 5:28-30: Discussing “Women” as a “Seriality” with Jael, Deborah, and Sisera’s Mother (30 min)
Ken Stone, Chicago Theological Seminary
Gender, Animal, Sacrifice: Domestication and the Daughter of Jephthah (30 min)
Ron Serino, Texas Christian University
A Sign in the Dark: Moses’s Cushite Wife and Boundary Setting in the Book of Numbers (30 min)
Jon Mark Reeves, Texas Christian University
Gender, Ethnicity, and Power: Rethinking the Rhetoric of Paul’s Enslavement to All (30 min)


S24-141

Pauline Epistles
11/24/2014
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Room 11 A (Upper level) – San Diego Convention Center (CC)

Theme: Paul and Embodiment

Caroline Johnson Hodge, College of the Holy Cross, Presiding
Laura Dingeldein, Brown University
No Male and Female…in Virtue? Paul on Women’s Moral Development (25 min)
Diana M. Swancutt, Boston University School of Theology
Veiled Woman in the Rhetoric of Paul (2 Corinthians 3–4): Gender Slander of Judean Superapostles in Corinth (25 min)
Stephen L. Young, Brown University
You Were Effeminate: Paul and the Masculinization of Gentiles in Christ (25 min)
James Unwin, Macquarie University
In Honor and Dishonor: Differing Receptions of Paul’s Spectacle Metaphors in 2 Corinthians 4 and 6 (25 min)
S. Scott Bartchy, University of California-Los Angeles
Paul’s Unacknowledged Opponents (25 min)


S24-207

Book of Acts
11/24/2014
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Room 1 B (Upper level) – San Diego Convention Center (CC)

Theme: Empowering, Empir-ing or Engaging? Acts in the Discourses of Politics

Steve Walton, St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, Presiding (5 min)
Matthew L. Skinner, Luther Seminary
Who Speaks for (or Against) Rome? Acts in Relation to Empire (30 min)
Bruce W. Winter, Macquarie University
Paul and Roman Law: The Luck of the Draw (30 min)
Warren Carter, Brite Divinity School (TCU)
Ship Happens: Acts 27 as an Aquatic Display of Navigating the Stormy Roman Imperial World (30 min)
Break (5 min)
Mikeal Parsons, Baylor University, Respondent (10 min)
Barbara Rossing, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Respondent (10 min)
Discussion (30 min)


S24-211

Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Interpretation
11/24/2014
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Room 7 A (Upper level) – San Diego Convention Center (CC)

Bonnie Howe, Dominican University of California, Presiding
Ellen van Wolde, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
The Surplus of a Combination of Cognitive Linguistic Approaches to Grammar and Meaning (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Richard A. Rhodes, University of California-Berkeley
Interpreting the Vocabulary of Commands in Koine (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Timothy A. Brookins, Houston Baptist University
“Many Members, One Body”: The Stoic Body Metaphor and Conceptual Blending in Paul (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Discussion (40 min)
Business Meeting (20 min)


S24-212

Contextual Biblical Interpretation
11/24/2014
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Indigo Ballroom D (Level 2 (Indigo)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: Paul’s Letters and Revelation
At the session, papers will be summarized and discussed in roundtable format. Papers will be available online ahead of time at http://www.youaregood.com/2014SBL_CBI.htm

James Grimshaw, Carroll University, Presiding
Paul’s Letters
Elsa Tamez, United Bible Societies
Reading Philippians from the Perspective of a Political Prisoner Waiting for a Sentence to Death (15 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Bernard Ukwuegbu, Seat of Wisdom Seminary
The Legitimating Function of the Sarah/Hagar Allegory in Gal 4:21-30: Insights from Social Identity Theory (15 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Jennifer Houston McNeel, Union Presbyterian Seminary
Paul and the Mommy Wars: Reading Paul’s Maternal Metaphors in Contemporary American Context (15 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Eric Bortey Anum, University of Cape Coast
Collaborative Hermeneutical Reading of 1 Tim 3:1-7 in the Ghanaian Context (15 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Revelation
Lynn Huber, Elon University
John’s Apocalypse and Queer Contextual Interpretation (15 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Gosnell Yorke, Northern Caribbean University
A Novel Take on John’s Apocalypse: A Proposed Movement from an Island-inspired Revelation to an Island-Inspired Reading (15 min)
Discussion (10 min)


S24-242

Rhetoric and the New Testament
11/24/2014
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: 400 B (Level 4 (Sapphire)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: Rhetorics of Vision and Visual Rhetorics: Ekphrasis and Beyond I

Lillian Larsen, University of Redlands, Presiding
Lillian Larsen, University of Redlands, Introduction (5 min)
Rebecca Skaggs, Patten University
The Rhetoric of the Apocalypse of John: Through the Lens of Vision-Reports (25 min)
Michael Kochenash, Claremont School of Theology
Cornelius’ Obeisance to Peter (Acts 10:25-26) and the Judea Capta Coins (25 min)
Robert von Thaden, Jr., Mercyhurst University
The Power of Pictures: The Somatic Power of Temple Images (25 min)
Elizabeth Arnold, Gardner-Webb University
Euripides and Ephesians: Peripeteia and Deus Ex Machina in Eph 2:1-10 (25 min)
Scott D. Mackie, Independent Scholar
Seeing a Way in the Wilderness: Visually Oriented Rhetoric in Hebrews 3–4 (25 min)
Discussion (20 min)


S24-333

Pauline Epistles
11/24/2014
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Room 31 B (Upper level) – San Diego Convention Center (CC)

Theme: Paul and the Greco-Roman Context

Caroline Johnson Hodge, College of the Holy Cross, Presiding
Richard Last, Queen’s University
The periergazomenoi of Paul’s Thessalonian Christ-Group (2 Thess 3:6-15) (25 min)
Mitchell Alexander Esswein, Princeton Theological Seminary
The oikos of Christ and the Church at Corinth: Understanding oikonomos and oikonomia in Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians (25 min)
Tobias Hagerland, Lund University
Paul’s Large Letters in the Context of Hellenistic Primary Education (25 min)
Erin Roberts, University of South Carolina
Darkened, Senseless, Foolish Minds (25 min)
Geoffrey Smith, University of Texas at Austin
Contesting the Gift of Gnosis in 1 Corinthians (25 min)


S24-337

Reading, Theory, and the Bible
11/24/2014
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: 400 B (Level 4 (Sapphire)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Robert Paul Seesengood, Albright College, Presiding
K. Jason Coker, Albertus Magnus College
The Corporation of God: Globalization Studies and God’s Basileia (30 min)
Yvonne Sherwood, University of Kent at Canterbury
The Mestizo Bible of Diego Durán (30 min)
Susanne Scholz, Southern Methodist University
Biblical Studies Is Feminist Biblical Studies, and Vice Versa (30 min)
Lindsey Guy, Drew University
Wasting Apocalyptic Time: Queer Temporality as Resistance in 1 Corinthians (30 min)
Ken Stone, Chicago Theological Seminary
‘The Matter of a Dead Animal’: Derrida, Klawans, and the Chimera of Biblical Sacrifice (30 min)


S24-341

Speech and Talk: Discourses and Social Practices in the Ancient Mediterranean World
11/24/2014
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Room 7 A (Upper level) – San Diego Convention Center (CC)

Michal Beth Dinkler, Yale Divinity School, Presiding
Tilde Bak Halvgaard, University of Copenhagen
Language Speculation in the Thunder: Perfect Mind (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Jeremy F. Hultin, Murdoch University
The Sound of His Voice: Jesus’ Voice as Theological Problem (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Daniele Pevarello, Trinity College Dublin
Polylogia in Matt 6:7 within the Framework of Graeco-Roman and Jewish Discussions on Verbosity (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Cian Power, Harvard University
“A Nation from Afar, a Nation Whose Language You Do Not Understand”: The Theme of the Alloglot Invader in Biblical Prophecy (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Sin-pan Daniel Ho, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Hong Kong
Home-building in Christian Worship: A Discourse Analysis of 1 Cor 14:20-25 in light of the Domestic Cultic Practice in Roman Corinth (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)


S25-109

Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory
11/25/2014
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: 410 A (Level 4 (Sapphire)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Robert Kawashima, University of Florida, Presiding
Francis Landy, University of Alberta
The Mythical and the Mystical: Rivers in Psalm 93 (30 min)
Noga Ayali-Darshan, Bar-Ilan University
The Mythologem of the Creation of Mount ?aphon Echoed in Job 26 and Psalm 89 (30 min)
Robert R. Cargill, University of Iowa
Swapping Sex for Drugs: Mandrake Mythology and Fertility Drugs in Gen 30:14-24 (30 min)
Andrew Tobolowsky, Brown University
The Sons of Jacob and the Sons of Herakles (30 min)
Jonathan Redding, Vanderbilt University
Decolonizing Daniel: A Post-Colonial Interpretational Examination (30 min)


S25-110

Children in the Biblical World; Gender, Sexuality, and the Bible
Joint Session With: Children in the Biblical World, Gender, Sexuality, and the Bible
11/25/2014
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: D (Level 3 (Aqua)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: Children, Gender, and Sexuality in the Biblical World

Laurel Taylor, Eden Theological Seminary, Presiding
Stephen M. Wilson, Duke University
What Makes a Man? The Construction of Biblical Masculinity in Contrast to Boyhood (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Caryn A. Reeder, Westmont College
Colonized Bodies: The Rape of Children in 4 Ezra, Josephus, and Tacitus (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Break (10 min)
Robert von Thaden, Jr., Mercyhurst University
Temple Children: Children, Sex, and the Rhetoric of Sacred Space (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)
John Penniman, Fordham University
“What Flows from the Breast Is Milk, and Milk Is the Food of Babes”: Infancy and Maternity in Gregory of Nyssa’s Homilies on the Song of Songs (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Discussion (20 min)
Business Meeting (20 min)


S25-116

Ethiopic Bible and Literature
11/25/2014
9:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Room: 400 B (Level 4 (Sapphire)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: Ideology, Sociology, and Literary Formation in the Ethiopic Tradition
The Ethiopic tradition bears as many marks of originality as it does marks of external influence. Influences come from Christian traditions—like the Greek, Syriac, and Armenian—but also from Jews and Muslims in the Horn of Africa. Ethiopian theologians and community leaders developed their own sense of identity and expressed these in their form of the biblical text (unique in form and extent) and in various works of literature. This session invites a vibrant discussion on these themes.

Ralph Lee, Holy Trinity Theological College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Presiding
Steve Delamarter, George Fox University
The Singular, Dual, and Triple Textual Histories of Ethiopic Old Testament Texts (25 min)
Daneil Assefa, Capuchin Friary, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The Traditional Ethiopian Commentary on the Animal Apocalypse of Enoch (25 min)
James Prather, Abilene Christian University
Artificial Intelligence and Data Mining Methods for Ethiopic Textual Criticism (25 min)
Desta Heliso, Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology
Canticles and Christology (25 min)
Yonatan Binyam, Florida State University
The Ethiopian Alexander: Tracing the Roots of Ethiopic Traditions about Alexander the Great in the Zena Ayhud (25 min)
Bruk A. Asale, University of KwaZulu-Natal
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) Canon of Scripture: Neither Open nor Closed (25 min)
Meron Tekleberhan, Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology
The Reception and Adaptation of 1 Cor 7:1-16 in Selected Ethiopic Literature: A Study in Biblical Reception History(25 min)
Alemayehu Gabreil, Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary
Genesis 3:5 in the Ethiopic Tradition (25 min)


S25-129a

Paul and Judaism
11/25/2014
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Sapphire Ballroom L (Level 4 (Sapphire)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: Re-Imagining Paul’s Assemblies Within Judaism

Magnus Zetterholm, Lund University, Presiding (5 min)
Michael Cover, Valparaiso University
Scripture Speaks: The Personification of Scripture as Interpretive Authority in Paul and the School of Rabbi Ishmael(25 min)
Karin Neutel, University of Groningen
A Cosmopolitan Community: Paul’s Eschatological Ideal in Its Jewish Context (25 min)
Break (5 min)
Genevive Dibley, University of California-Berkeley
Abraham’s Uncircumcised Children: the Enochic Precedent for Paul’s Program of Gentile Reclamation qua Gentiles(25 min)
Benjamin D. Gordon, Duke University
On the Sanctity of Mixtures and Branches: Two Halakhic Sayings in Romans 11 (25 min)
Discussion (25 min)
Business Meeting (15 min)


S25-131

Polis and Ekklesia: Investigations of Urban Christianity
11/25/2014
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Sapphire Ballroom I (Level 4 (Sapphire)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: Philippi

James Harrison, Sydney College of Divinity, Presiding
Cedric Brelaz, Universite de Strasbourg
First-Century Philippi: The Social and Political Background of Paul’s Visit (25 min)
Richard Ascough, Queen’s University
Associations and the Social Dynamics in the Christ Group at Philippi (25 min)
Peter Oakes, University of Manchester
The Imperial Authorities in Paul’s Letter to Predominately Greek Hearers in a Roman Colony (25 min)
Samuel Vollenweider, Universität Zürich
Rivals, Opponents, and Enemies: Three Kinds of Theological Argumentation in Philippians (25 min)
L. White, University of Texas at Austin, Respondent (25 min)
Discussion (25 min)

Posted in Christian - 1 Corinthians, Christian - 2 Corinthians, Christian - Churches, Christian - Patristic Interpretation, Christian - Post-Pauline, Christian - St. Paul, Conferences, Conferences, Lectures, and Presentations, Periods, Roman, Roman Religion, Urban Center | Leave a comment

Does the Corinthian Correspondence Betray that Paul was Rhetorically Trained?

The two recent reviews of Ryan S. Schellenberg’s Rethinking Paul’s Rhetorical Education: Comparative Rhetoric and 2 Corinthians 10–13, mentioned in the previous post by David, are worth having a look at, for those interested in Paul’s Corinthian correspondence. They take part in a lively ongoing debate about the extent to which the apostle Paul employed, and was trained in, Greco-Roman modes of oral and epistolary rhetoric.

The two reviewers of Schellenberg’s work (Duane Watson and Frederick Long) have both made solid contributions to this debate, arguing that the Corinthian correspondence in particular evidences Paul’s training in formal rhetoric. The book they review suggests otherwise – arguing that the rhetorical features visible in the Corinthian correspondence are sufficiently accounted for by ‘general rhetoric.’

One of the reviews points out that this debate is currently vigorous, with a recent interchange between New Testament scholars Stanley Porter (who argues that Paul’s argumentation exhibits functional correspondence with general persuasive techniques) and Ben Witherington (who argues that Paul knowingly makes use of standard rhetorical conventions of his day – see his book New Testament Rhetoric). Others who have taken part in this debate include Margaret Mitchell, who argues that 1 Corinthians is an elegant example of deliberative rhetoric, employed by a trained rhetorician (see her book Paul and the Rhetoric of Reconciliation), and R Dean Anderson (Ancient Rhetorical Theory and Paul) and Philip Kern (Rhetoric and Galatians: Assessing an Approach) – both of whom argue against Mitchell’s approach. As well as this, there are the volumes co-/edited by Porter (e.g. Rhetoric, Scripture and Theology), and the more recent multi-author work Paul and Rhetoric.

It should be pointed out that approaches to Paul’s use of formal rhetoric have become refined over the last couple of decades, especially due to the work of those above. Duane Watson, for example, has pointed out that it is usually too simplistic to apply a singular rhetorical ‘genre’ to a New Testament letter. His recent account of the ‘rhetoric’ of 1 Peter, for example, makes the point that ‘First Peter does not closely follow the conventions of Greco-Roman rhetoric in its invention and arrangement, but many of those conventions are present’ (52). His resulting analysis is appropriately cautious and nuanced.

My own contribution to this discussion comes in my monograph Paul and the Rhetoric of Reversal in 1 Corinthians: The Impact of Paul’s Gospel on his Macro-Rhetoric. I don’t deal head-on with the issue of Paul’s rhetorical training; but I suggest that whatever rhetorical resources Paul had at his disposal (including those of his Hebrew heritage), they have become subservient to the transforming impact of his kerygma of the crucified-and-risen Christ – which affects his language use at multiple levels.

Posted in Christian - 1 Corinthians, Christian - 2 Corinthians, Christian - St. Paul | 4 Comments

Rethinking Paul’s Rhetorical Education: Comparative Rhetoric and 2 Corinthians 10–13

The most recent issue of the Review of Biblical Literature contains two critical reviews of Ryan S. Schellenberg’s Rethinking Paul’s Rhetorical Education: Comparative Rhetoric and 2 Corinthians 10–13, Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2013 pp. xiv + 406.

Here’s the book description:

Did Paul have formal training in Greco-Roman rhetoric, or did he learn what he knew of persuasion informally, as social practice? Pauline scholars recognize the importance of this question both for determining Paul’s social status and for conceptualizing the nature of his letters, but they have been unable to reach a consensus. Using 2 Corinthians 10–13 as a test case, Ryan Schellenberg undertakes a set of comparisons with non-Western speakers—most compellingly, the Seneca orator Red Jacket—to demonstrate that the rhetorical strategies Paul employs in this text are also attested in speakers known to have had no formal training in Greco-Roman rhetoric. Since there are no specific indicators of formal training in the way Paul uses these strategies, their appearance in his letters does not constitute evidence that Paul received formal rhetorical education.

And links to the reviews:

Posted in Book and Article Reviews, Christian - 2 Corinthians, Christian - St. Paul | Leave a comment

A Review of Corinth in Context

If you just haven’t found time in the last couple of years to look at the book, Corinth in Context: Comparative Studies of Religion and Society (2010) edited by Steven Friesen, Dan Schowalter, and James Walters, Amelia Brown’s recent review at BMCR provides a synopsis of the book. I would venture to guess this will be the last review. Unlike earlier reviews at The Expository Times, The Journal of Theological Studies, and the Journal for the Study of the New Testament, which focused generally on the chapters related directly to New Testament studies (Erastus, house churches, and Christian meals), Brown summarizes the entire book at length. And this may be the only formal review of the book that is free and accessible to anyone, not locked behind a subscription wall.

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Ann Brownlee on the Potter’s Quarter

It must be a sign of the official end of summer in the U.S. that the Penn Museum Blog has been running a series of final field reports on field work and study at archaeological sites in Egypt, Iraq, Italy, Xinjiang, Turkey, and Greece.

One of these posts comes from Ann Brownlee, Associate Curator of the Mediterranean Section of the Penn Museum, who writes about her summer work studying the Archaic pottery and vase painting from the Potter’s Quarter.

I am writing from the site of Ancient Corinth, where excavations under the auspices of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens have been going on since the late 19th century….At Corinth, I am working on late seventh and early sixth century BCE pottery from the area known as the Potters’ Quarter.   Up next to the city wall on the west side of the city, the Potters’ Quarter is one of the sites around the city where pottery was produced.   The Potters’ Quarter was excavated by Agnes Newhall Stillwell, a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, for several years beginning in 1929, when she was a fellow at the American School.  No kilns where the pottery was fired have been discovered in the Potters’ Quarter, but the large quantities of damaged–misfired, cracked, misshapen–pottery as well as much material associated with pottery production, especially try-pieces, that are found in fills and deposits make clear that pottery was produced nearby.

I am working on the very large quantity of material from a well–Well 1929-1 in Corinth nomenclature–in the Potters’ Quarter.  The well was dug in the 7th century BCE and once it went dry, it was filled up with quantities of pottery, discarded no doubt from nearby potteries.  Some of the pottery from the well was published by Stillwell and J. L. Benson (Corinth XV:3:  The Potters’ Quarter: The Pottery.  Princeton 1984), but much remained unstudied and that is what I am working on.  I am particularly interested in the different painters whose work is represented in the well’s contents, and here I’ll focus on the painters of the shape known in Corinth as the kotyle.  It’s the same as a skyphos, a deep two-handled drinking cup, and the kotyle is very common in Corinthian pottery of the late seventh to mid-sixth centuries BCE.   Some Corinthian kotylai (the plural ofkotyle) are very fine, but not the ones I’m working with.   An example, Corinth C-31-46, (fig. 2) from elsewhere at Corinth shows the shape–only one handle is visible here–and the decorative scheme, which includes a figural zone that here has an elongated panther and part of another animal.

Read the full post here.

Posted in American School Excavations, Blogosphere, Ceramics, Periods, Archaic, Urban Center | Leave a comment

Eastern Korinthia Survey and the Isthmus in Google Earth

Some time ago, I started playing around with the connection between Google Earth and ArcGIS. You can easily export GIS layers as a KMZ file that will open in Google Earth. It provides another interesting way to view and analyze data spatially, and the files can be shared quickly with other Google Earth Users.

Consider, for example, this digital map of Harrisburg, PA, which projects a GIS layer of the city as it appeared in 1900 over the modern urbanscape. As part of a new Digital Harrisburg initiative at my college, we’ve been linking the population recorded in US Census Data from the turn of the 20th century with to digitized maps of the city. The shape files of two wards projected over recent satellite images of the capital of Pennsylvania show how much the city has changed in the last century.

DigitalHarrisburg

I hadn’t done this kind of thing for the Corinthia until I started playing around with it last week. Here’s an aerial of the Isthmus of Corinth. Light green shade represents the survey units of the Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey.

EKAS-Isthmus

And a closer view of the images in the areas of Kromna, Perdikaria, the ancient quarries, and on the Corinth-Isthmia road.

EKAS-Isthmus2

Another view of the proximity of these survey units to Isthmia: the Rman Bath and Bzyantine fortress are clearly labeled.

EKAS-Isthmus3

And if you have never seen the site of Isthmia from the air, it’s splendid. You can make out the fully excavated area. The light green shade in the lower right represents nearby EKAS survey units.

Isthmia

At some point in the not too distant future, I’ll release some of the cultural data I’ve been collecting in GIS—like sites, canals, walls, and the isthmuses of the ancient Mediterranean—as KMZ files. No promises on when. I’m never on time.

Posted in Digital Corinthia, EKAS (Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey), Isthmia, Isthmus | 1 Comment

Digitizing Isthmia with the Archaeological Resource Cataloging System (ARCS)

DKP Introduction: I noted yesterday that the National Endowment for the Humanities recently awarded Jon Frey, Assistant Professor of Art History & Visual Culture at Michigan State University, a major grant for the digital implementation of an open-source application known as the Archaeological Resource Cataloging System (ARCS). I asked Jon more about what his teams have been doing at Isthmia and what they hope to accomplish with the grant. He kindly agreed to provide the following overview of the work of Michigan State University and Ohio State University in recent years.

First of all, thanks to David for inviting me to post to Corinthian Matters as the forum he has created gives me an opportunity to write more candidly about our efforts to build an online collaborative workspace for the utilization and organization of digitized archaeological documentation. I tend to feel a bit awkward trying to describe this project more formally as if it has always followed a linear research plan with clearly defined goals and expectations. Rather, in the spirit of a weekend DIY project—and I think ARCS fits into that category in many respects—I’ve been learning as I go, largely through trial and error, but also through the helpful advice of far more experienced neighbors in what I have found to be a very welcoming and encouraging digital archaeological community. This is very much a good thing, as my own feelings about this project oscillate at unpredictable intervals between the fear that ARCS is nothing new (“good for you, you built a VRE!”) and the hope that this project will enable many smaller archaeological projects to share their evidence in a way that respects both their limited resources and the unique ways in which they have organized their recording systems.

History of the Project

The project as a whole began over five years ago with the digitization of notebooks at the Ohio State University Excavations at Isthmia. Yet far from following a clearly defined, institutional plan, this project served a much less lofty, personal goal. More than anything else, I was tired of returning to America at the end of the summer only to discover that I had failed to record a key piece of information and would have to wait until the following season to continue my research. By keeping all of these notebooks on a hard drive, I could eliminate this problem. At some point though, it became apparent that by relying on digital copies of these documents, I had effectively removed them from the information network in which they had been designed to function. This is because the document archive at Isthmia—as at most excavations and surveys—is essentially an analog form of a relational database. Depending on their research question, individuals may consult field diaries, photographs, maps, drawings, descriptions of individual artifacts, or informal reports, all of which, ideally, reference one another according to a pre-determined system.

Figure. Working at the Isthmia archives

Such systems have been refined over decades and have become quite effective at aiding in the retrieval of information, but are not without their inefficiencies and idiosyncrasies. As the work of individuals who are at different levels of experience—frequently the case at projects that also serve as field schools—certain documents may be incomplete or contain errors. Moreover, as artifacts themselves, archaeological records may deteriorate, be misplaced or become lost altogether. Thus, as most archaeologists know, gathering primary information is typically an immersive experience that requires as much time-consuming physical activity as mental. Moreover, most are also familiar with the fact that such archival work rarely reaches a successful conclusion without the helpful intervention of another, more experienced individual who is familiar with all of the peculiarities of a project’s documentation system.

Bearing all this in mind, I soon became interested in exploring how one might build a digital version of an archaeological archive that improves upon this system rather than replaces it altogether. A brief survey of other digital archaeology projects and services revealed a number of ongoing efforts to address related issues, but such initiatives appeared to be more concerned with the standardization and secure storage of archival quality digital data than with the utilization of that data in a virtual research environment. In addition, the use of such services was significantly easier for projects that had been “born digital” or possessed the financial resources to employ full time archivists or independent companies to digitize their entire archive at once.

As a result, with colleagues at the MSU College of Arts and Letters Academic Technology Office I began to develop an open source solution that would allow an archaeological project to create a digital workspace where documents could be collected, curated and shared according to an organizational scheme defined by the individual project. With the assistance of an NEH Digital Humanities Startup Grant in 2011, we created the Archaeological Resource Cataloging System (ARCS), which can be accessed at the present moment at http://arcs.cal.msu.edu

The goals outlined in the NEH proposal seemed modest at the time, but in hindsight, were too ambitious. We offered to build a program that would:

  • Interface with Digital Asset Management systems like ResourceSpace and Omeka
  • Work on PC and mobile devices
  • Be easily modified to suit different archaeological projects
  • Allow a variety of file types and data types
  • Augment but not replace digitized documents through the use keyword tags and links to stable URIs.
  • Be open-source and free to use

As the project began, we soon learned that we could not reasonably achieve the first two objectives within the grant period. Thus we resorted to the creation of our own database and optimized the site to work best on PC devices running Google Chrome. In addition, the complexities involved in building a version of ARCS to be tested using data from Isthmia made it difficult to maintain a separate, project non-specific source code. There were also a number of issues that we discovered we needed to address before ARCS could become a useful system. To begin with, there was the question of who exactly would be carrying out the work of uploading and curating the information. Then there was the question of what metadata standard and terminology we would use in order to make the documents presented through ARCS easily searchable and relatable to other resources.

In order to address the labor issue, we adopted a “crowd-sourcing” approach, but this presented its own challenges. A great deal of time was devoted to devising and implementing the type of user access and control measures that are typical of all digital projects that have resorted to volunteer workers to achieve their goals. The metadata issue was less easily solved. While Dublin Core appeared to be the best solution, we soon discovered that this schema did not apply to archaeological documentation as well as we would have hoped. Quite often the 15 core elements had to be translated into descriptive categories at Isthmia that merely seemed the best fit. Other aspects of archaeological documentation were left completely unaddressed. The end result was the creation of a metadata schema for Isthmia that was more complex and idiosyncratic than the system already in use at the excavation. Finally, the development of a list of approved terminology and formats for these metadata fields has proven to be a challenge in and of itself.

These issues aside, the beta version of ARCS should still be seen as a successful demonstration of the advantages of presenting primary archaeological documentation as digitally augmented evidence. This is seen most clearly in the case of the field notebooks with which this digitization project began. On the one hand, a simple digital image of a notebook page cannot be easily parsed by a computer and thus made machine searchable.

70-GBO-002 uncropped.pdf

 

A 1970 notebook from the Isthmia Archives

On the other hand, electronic transcriptions (even when carried out in accordance with TEI standards) do not fully capture the dynamic and organic character of these documents with their photographs, drawings, and handwritten notes, often made by several different individuals over time. Yet, when a notebook page is presented as an image, supplemented by user-generated keywords and hyperlinks to other digital resources, the result is the best of both worlds.

ARCS notebook

Notebook as it appears in ARCS

The main governing principle throughout the development process has been to electronically update, but not replace the traditional operating procedures common to most archaeological archives. Thus the front page offers the user the opportunity to consult evidence by type (notebooks, maps and plans, cataloged artifacts, reports, etc.) just as these documents are physically arranged at an archive or library.

Thematic view

Front page of ARCS

While users may search for a specific reference at any time, the “resource view” interface also allows for a visual scan of the evidence, just as one might fan through the pages of a book or a series of index cards or drawings.

Inventory card

When a user has identified the information they seek, hyperlinks offer them the chance to follow digitally the cross references that already exist in the original documents. Moreover, just as one might gather together several different types of documents as part of their research, ARCS allows users to create digital collections to which they can return at any time.

Collection

All documents and collections have stable URIs so this information can be shared between users as well. Also, because work at an archive often involves conversation with colleagues and consultation with experts, each document on ARCS has an associated discussion forum, where users can ask questions or provide answers.

Finally, because excavations and surveys—even those that are not currently engaged in fieldwork—continue to grow and =generate evidence in both traditional and digital formats, ARCS is equipped with a simple drag and drop upload feature. While they are encouraged to provide as much information as possible about the resource they are creating, at the very least users must define a title and type for the resource. In this way, large batches of information can be uploaded at once and left on the system to be cataloged, tagged, and linked to other data later.

Upload

Upload page in ARCS

The version of ARCS currently in use at Isthmia continues to grow. At present the system contains nearly 7,300 unique resources, ranging from digital copies of all notebooks, to notecards representing all inventoried artifacts, to a representative sample of drawings, plans, and type-written reports. Other documents are added each season as they are scanned and processed. As a matter of conservation and preservation alone, this is an important step for the OSU Isthmia Excavations. At the same time though, any of these resources can now be organized into collections and shared with interested researchers in a matter of minutes. Thus requests for information from the Isthmia archives are now beginning to be met by means of an email containing a link to the relevant digital resource. But most significantly, the ARCS system has allowed a smaller project like Isthmia to “go digital” on its own terms (literally and figuratively) and budget without relying on its better-funded peer institutions to share their source code and resources.

In addition, the ARCS project has also produced an unexpected, but no less important, outcome. As a teaching tool, this online resource has been used not only as a way to provide undergraduate students with unprecedented access to primary archaeological documentation but also as a way to encourage them to contribute in a meaningful way to its creation. For the past three years, students enrolled in Prof. Timothy Gregory’s online classical archaeology courses at OSU have been presented with the full body of documentation associated with the excavation of a number of individual trenches at Isthmia, which they then use to generate archaeological reports of their own. For the past five years, students participating in my own study abroad program and courses at MSU have taken a lead role in scanning, processing, uploading and annotating the documents themselves. The process is not always perfect—asking undergraduate students in Greece to perform up to the standards of a professional archivist is at times a real challenge—but in the end, the results are generally reliable. In any case, such activities challenge students not only to make sense of several, potentially conflicting forms of evidence, but also to see the practices and assumptions that underlie the interpretations of the past that are often taken for granted. This is exactly the type of “doing history” that is now held to form the foundation of effective teaching strategies in undergraduate education (see, for example, the discussion in T. Mills Kelly’s recent book on Teaching History in the Digital Age).

Future Directions

While the source code is now freely available on GitHub, there is still much to be done before ARCS can be easily implemented at a wider range of archaeological projects. This is why I am excited that, in collaboration with Ethan Watrall at the MATRIX Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences and with the funding of an NEH Digital Implementation Grant, we are now able to continue with this project. Some of the more significant improvements that we have proposed are as follows:

  • Because the creation of the underlying ARCS database had represented a stop-gap measure when integration with other data management systems proved too difficult, we plan to implement the KORA Digital Repository and Publishing Platform. This will improve the speed and efficiency of keyword searches as well as the overall organization of the data that is studied through ARCS.
  • Inasmuch as it became clear in the early stages of development that ARCS could not (and probably should not) serve as an archival solution, we will be developing an export utility that will properly format the data created and augmented within this system according to the standards required for data storage with services such as the Archaeology Data Service (ADS) and the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR). This export utility will also allow for the transfer of data generated in ARCS to other software applications such as Microsoft Access and ArcGIS for higher order statistical and geospatial analysis. In addition, because many projects—especially those that have transitioned from traditional analog to digital recording practices—have already created their own databases or other forms of machine-readable information, we will develop an import utility so that this evidence can be organized, augmented and shared through ARCS.
  • Because the import and export of different types of data will require a standard format for ease in identification, we will adopt the use of the ArchaeoCore metadata standard, developed at the Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library at the University of Virginia specifically for use in archaeological contexts. We expect that, in keeping with the work of the Linked Ancient World Data Institute the use of ArchaeoCore will allow data to be shared between archaeological projects without requiring each individual project to redesign its recording system to fit a universal standard.
  • Having implemented these changes in the version of ARCS already in use at Isthmia, we will begin to collaborate with William Caraher and Amy Paplexandrou at the Princeton Polis Expedition Medieval Monuments Project, Adam Rabinowitz at the Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos Excavations at Chersonesos, and Kim Shelton at the UC Berkeley Excavations at Nemea in order to test the ability of the ARCS system to adapt to different recording systems for archaeological data. This will involve the creation of an installation wizard that can be used to customize ARCS to suit a particular project’s unique recording system as well as an ontology mapping tool to aid in the sharing of data between projects.

Given my experience in the first phase of this project, it is reasonable to assume that we will encounter some obstacles along the way. Likewise, it would be foolish to think that ARCS will offer a solution to all of the long standing issues associated with the transition to digital techniques for gathering archaeological evidence. For example, we at the OSU Isthmia excavations have maintained some traditional techniques but have adopted certain innovations so that the resulting mix of traditional, handwritten notebooks and artifact catalogues alongside digital images, illustrations and databases requires a concerted effort to coordinate. But at the same time, I think it is reasonable to hope that through the development of ARCS, it may be possible to achieve the elusive goal of sharing archaeological evidence between and among sites in way that nevertheless respects the unique identity of each project’s system for recording and interpreting its evidence. In this way, it may be possible to follow the lead of survey archaeologists in adopting a regional view of the ancient world, but with a degree of detail that is typically the strength of an excavation.

Posted in American School Excavations, Digital Corinthia, Isthmia, Periods, Diachronic, Teaching Corinth | 1 Comment

Major NEH Grant awarded for the Digitization of Excavation Records at Isthmia

It’s not every day that one sees friends and colleagues awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop open-source applications for uploading, organizing, and sharing archaeological data and records. I was delighted last month when I saw the announcement circulate on FB that Dr. Jon Frey of Michigan State University received a Digital Humanities Implementation grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities on the order of $324,586—all to continue to develop and expand a tool called Archaeological Resource Cataloging System, or ARCS for short. These grants are incredibly competitive and award little more than 10% of applications, so congratulations to Dr. Frey and his colleague Ethan Watrall for developing a compelling archaeological tool that has earned the national recognition of a tough group of external reviewers.

I’ve invited Jon to contribute a post about the work of Michigan State University and Ohio State University at Isthmia over the last few years in digital affairs, and map out what he plans to do with the grant he’s been awarded. So, tomorrow’s post will come straight from Jon. In the meantime, here’s the press release from the NEH.

And the press release from Michigan State University:

“The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded nearly $1 million to Michigan State University as part of its Digital Humanities Implementation Grants program.

Marking the largest grant, Jon Frey, assistant professor of art history and visual culture, and Ethan Watrall, assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and associate director of MATRIX: Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences, received $324,586 for ARCS: Archaeological Resource Cataloguing System.

It will provide an open-source application in which users can upload, tag, sort and link digitized copies of photos, drawings and archaeological documents. The project builds upon the original case study of Ohio State University’s Isthmia excavations, for which Frey is field coordinator….”

The blog site for MATRIX: Center for Digital Humanities & Social Sciences at MSU, provides a little more context:

“Originally funded by an NEH Digital Startup Grant and developed as a proof of concept by a small research group in the College of Arts and Letters (http://arcs.cal.msu.edu), ARCS is an open-source application designed to reintroduce many of the advantages of traditional archival research into its new electronic form. By means of an intuitive web-based interface, users can upload, visually scan, keyword, sort, and link together digitized copies of photographs, drawings, and (frequently handwritten) documents that together are the most faithful representation of the archaeological record. What is more, ARCS relies on a crowd-sourced approach to augment the information it contains. This not only provides a ready alternative to archaeological projects that lack a staff of dedicated archivists, but also encourages collaboration among scholars as well as public interest in a project’s ongoing research.

While the start-up phase of the project was very successful, the NEH Digital Implementation Grant will allow the project team to address several key software, design, and sustainability issues, including improved software architecture, interoperability, and community adoption and use.

As part of this new phase of the ARCS project, the project director’s have identified three archaeological projects that have already begun to digitize their primary documents and are interested in using the ARCS software in order to meet their research needs. Implementation at each of these projects will involve a further development of ARCS, which will in turn yield an even more flexible platform that can be customized to match each individual project’s unique system of archaeological documentation. Most importantly, because our implementation of the software involves multiple projects, we will be uniquely suited to develop a middle-ground solution that bridges the gap between the need to preserve the unique character of each project’s evidence and the larger goal of utilizing the evidence from several locations in research at a regional scale.”

Stay tuned for Jon’s fuller presentation of his work with ARCS and outline of where he plans to take it.

Posted in American School Excavations, Digital Corinthia, Isthmia, Periods, Diachronic | 1 Comment

Touring Corinth (virtually) with the Field Trip App

About a month ago, Andrew Reinhard of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens announced a new digital tour of Ancient Corinth that accompanies the publication (in press) of Ancient Corinth: A Guide to the Site and Museum. The book, which will hit the market this fall, marks the first guidebook to Corinth published by the ASCSA in over half a century, and it should offer a total overhaul of the sixth edition of the old guidebook. Here’s a description of the new (physical) guidebook:

“This is the first official guidebook to the site of Ancient Corinth published by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens in 50 years. Fully updated with the most current information, color photos, maps, and plans, the Corinth Site Guide is an indispensable resource for the casual tourist or professional archaeologist new to the site. The Guide begins with a history of Corinth and its excavations, followed by a tour of the museum. The Guide continues with a route inside the fenced area of the archaeological site from the Temple of Apollo to the Bema to the Peirene Fountain and more. The final section describes the ancient monuments outside the fence: the Odeum, the Theater, and the Asklepieion, and then the various remains of Ancient Corinth located within and outside the ancient Greek walls, including the Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore and the Lechaion Basilica. Short bibliographic notes for many entries lead the reader to fuller descriptions of monuments, objects, and concepts. A glossary is also provided. Interspersed between descriptions of 69 monuments are seven Topographical Notes and focus boxes on special topics such as geology, Pausanias, St. Paul, and prehistoric Corinth and the Corinthia.”

What makes this seventh edition of the guidebook particularly interesting is that the ASCSA partnered with Google to make much (all?) of the content of the guide available for free via Google’s Field Trip app (which you can download here for iPhone and here for Android). In fact, given the partnership with Google, the app enhances and even changes the reader’s experience of the tour. As their press release notes, “You will be notified by your device’s GPS when you approach any of over 50 Corinth monuments. View images, descriptions, links to more information on ascsa.net, and related Hesperia articles. Field Trip frees you to tour Ancient Corinth however you like in whatever direction you choose.” In other words, you can jump in and out of tour from anywhere on site and are not constrained by the linear presentation that the physical guidebook assumes. All you need is a phone and connection.

As for the app itself, the iPhone page notes that

“Field Trip runs in the background on your phone. When you get close to something interesting, it will notify you and if you have a headset or bluetooth connected, it can even read the info to you. Field Trip can help you learn about everything from local history to the latest and best places to shop, eat, and have fun. You select the local feeds you like and the information pops up on your phone automatically, as you walk next to those places.”

Field Trip works just as this description suggests. When I downloaded and loaded the app, a map appeared showing my location as a blue dot in Camp Hill, PA, with yellow dots representing the sites in surrounding Harrisburg. There are cards for monuments, churches, synagogues, and sites associated with Harrisburg’s place in the American Revolution, Civil War, City Beautiful, and historic floods, among many others. Clicking on the dots loads cards containing photos and information related to the place, and external links to relevant sites. The app, which is designed especially for, well, “field trips,” spotlights sites in the vicinity of your current location. The designers have not yet made it easy for “virtual” field trips.

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I was curious, though, whether I could access the Corinth tour virtually from my home in south-central Pennsylvania. I discovered that I could, in fact, but not as easily as I would have expected. The app does not include, so far as I can see, an inbuilt search feature that will zip you around the world instantaneously to another place like Ancient Corinth, but it does include a global map, which you can slide to any location in the world by zooming out and then in.

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I was disappointed at first to see no yellow dots over Ancient Corinth and assumed the app didn’t work from remote location, but the cards appear once you zoom into close range.

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Unfortunately, the app is really not designed for this purpose. For example, you can’t save your particular place on the map if you’ve strayed far from home, and if you’re looking at Ancient Corinth from Harrisburg, PA, and accidentally tap on the “Map” or “Nearby” button on the bottom, and (sometimes) the “Back” arrow when looking at a card, it will teleport you back to where you actually are.

These foibles aside, there’s still much to gain from a virtual field trip. There are dozens of cards with up-to-date information and scores of beautiful high-quality color and B&W photos. In their brevity, the cards oversimplify the debates over particular places in the Corinthian landscape, but they do hint at the scholarly controversies. I was glad, for example, to see in the discussion of the fortification walls of Corinth the two hypotheses about the date of the Late Roman wall, the Theodosian and Justinianic. The cards also link to additional information beyond the app, although the external links to bibliography are selective.

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Two other things struck me as I was using this app and thinking ahead about teaching this upcoming year. First, as I work today on my syllabus for a course in Historical Archaeology, I’m considering having my students take the virtual tour of Corinth and see what they can do with both the urban topography of Corinth and the ways that archaeologists construct knowledge in a landscape. The aerial view, in particular, could encourage students to consider the city in terms of topography and natural resources.

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Second, as I’m planning for another field school and museum program with the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project in Cyprus, I’m struck by how easy it could be to create Field Trip cards (or use those that already exist) for the sites of Cyprus, which form our itinerary when we visit the island in late May.

Posted in American School Excavations, Digital Corinthia, Periods, Diachronic, Teaching Corinth, Urban Center | Leave a comment