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SAT SUN MON TUE  EVENT DETAILS  

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Saturday, August 3

7:00

 PM

 –

8:30 PM

General Session

P: Great Room B 

Panel Discussion

“The Bible and the Qur'an: Pedagogical Perspectives and Scholarly Soundings”

Panelists:

  • Maria Barga, University of St Mary of the Lake
  • John Kaltner, Rhodes College
  • Younus Mirza, Georgetown University
  • David Penchansky, University of St. Thomas 

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Sunday, August 4

11:00

 AM

 –

12:00 PM

Simultaneous Sessions

Old Testament:
 “Desperately Seeking Heroes:
Ezra and Nehemiah Re-examined”

P: 321/323

Ezra and Nehemiah have been praised by several modern commentators as leaders to emulate today. Despite their understandable concern for the survival and identity of the Jewish people in the Persian period expressed through their command to divorce foreign wives and resettle one-tenth of the Jewish population in Jerusalem (we can term this “constructive violence” in Caryn Reeder’s terms), we need to assess them more critically. As Amy Cottrill argues (Uncovering Violence), these texts shape us ethically as readers. If we cannot recognize the kinds of violence embedded in texts like these, we will be hard-pressed to recognize, confront, and resist violence today in politics, religion, law, and social structures.

Presenter: Denise Dombkowski Hopkins, Wesley Theological Seminary

Denise Dombkowski Hopkins has studied twice at the Ecumenical Institute for Theological Studies on the West Bank. She has received a Wabash Center Project Grant, sponsored by the Lilly Endowment (2013), an Association of Theological Schools Research Grant (2007), and a Theological Education Renewal Award from the Yale Center for Faith and Culture (2006), all with her colleague, Michael Koppel. She also received an Exemplary Teaching Award (2011-12) from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. Her research interests are Psalms, feminist interpretation of the Bible, and the intersections between the Bible and Pastoral Care. 

New Testament:
“Jesus, the Messiah and Son of God:
A Kaleidoscopic Approach to Mark's Christology”

P: Great Room C

Mark begins his gospel with the fundamental declaration that Jesus is the Christ and Son of God (1:1).  These two titles provide us with the primary framework for understanding Mark’s Christology throughout the narrative. While “Christ” and “Son of God” are not all that Mark affirms about Jesus, they set the principal parameters for his distinctive portrait.  However, even if this description represents the normative understanding of Jesus from the evaluative point of view of Mark’s narrator, what does it actually mean for Mark to affirm that Jesus is both Christ and Son of God? This paper will take a “kaleidoscopic” approach to answering this question, with specific emphasis on historical and literary evidence, along with reflections on a reconstructed hypothetical audience.

Presenter: Christopher W. Skinner, Loyola University Chicago

Christopher W. Skinner serves as both Professor of New Testament & Early Christianity and Graduate Program Director in the Theology Department at Loyola University Chicago. He is a scholar of New Testament and Christian origins working at the intersections of narratology, narrative criticism, and historical criticism. His research explores literary and historical questions in the narratives about Jesus both within and outside the New Testament. He has written extensively about narrative-critical issues as well as characterization in the Gospels of John and Mark. He has also written about the scholarly reception of the Gospel of Thomas and New Testament ethics. His additional interests include the reception of Jesus within popular culture and the leveraging of ideas about and images of Jesus and the Bible within contemporary political and religious discourse.

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Sunday, August 4

8:00

 PM

 –

8:45 PM

Presidential Address

P: Great Room B

The Acts of Thecla in the Emergent Discourse
of the Early Christian Movement

Catholic biblical scholarship over the last century, especially since the Second Vatican Council, has flourished in its breadth of approaches to biblical texts—from historical-critical and social-scientific to ideological-critical, rhetorical, and beyond. Amid the ressourcement reclamation of the centrality of the Bible in Catholic theology and practice, cognate non-canonical materials have been left aside, such that many NT introductions do not even mention the apocryphal texts. A Reformation-style sola scriptura ideology has unintentionally shaped much contemporary biblical studies. Because of the long historical integration of apocryphal texts in Catholic tradition, Catholic biblical scholars must contribute to redressing this imbalance, thereby broadening and deepening understanding of early Christian texts and the communities that produced them. Focusing on The Acts of Thecla, this presidential address illustrates how transgressing the canonical boundary expands our understanding of the early Christian movement and its emergent discourse in the late-first and early-second centuries CE.

Sheila E. McGinn,  John Carroll University

Sheila E. McGinn is emerita Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at John Carroll University. A frequent lecturer and author of numerous articles and books, her main areas of interest concern the development of the earliest churches (including “dissenting” movements) and of early Christian writings in their social and cultural environments. She serves as the General Editor of the Paulist Press Biblical Studies from the Catholic Biblical Association of America series.

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Monday, August 5

11:00

 AM

 –

12:00 PM

Simultaneous Sessions

Old Testament:
“The Judean Invention of Diaspora in the Hellenistic Era”

P: 321/323 

In the Hellenistic era, the notion of a Jewish diaspora was not a self-evident category, but a contested idea which depended upon constant discursive construction. The word diaspora appears just fourteen times in Jewish literature produced in Greek during this period, and many early Jewish texts written in Greek seem to avoid using it. Why was the word diaspora invented, and why did so many Jews find the word to be controversial? This lecture will examine how Judean Jews invented the word diaspora to signify the idea that Jews who lived abroad were embodiments of divine rejection. It will also examine how Jews outside Judea dissolved the notion of diaspora by writing texts that depict the God of Israel as a universal God who bestows favor upon all Jews. In the process, this talk will demonstrate that the diaspora was a fragile social category in the Hellenistic era and a flexible template upon which Jews developed competing cosmologies that addressed the question of how the Land of Israel figures into God’s ongoing relationship with the covenantal people.

Presenter: Malka Z. Simkovich, Catholic Theological Union 

Malka Z. Simkovich is the Crown-Ryan Chair of Jewish Studies and the director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies program at CTU. She is the author of The Making of Jewish Universalism: From Exile to Alexandria (2016), and Discovering Second Temple Literature: The Scriptures and Stories That Shaped Early Judaism (2018), which received the 2019 AJL Judaica Reference Honor Award. Simkovich’s articles have been published in journals such as the Harvard Theological Review and the Journal for the Study of Judaism, as well as on online forums such as The Lehrhaus, TheTorah.com, and the Times of Israel. She is involved in numerous local and international interreligious dialogue projects which help to increase understanding and friendship between Christians and Jews.

New Testament:
“Luke’s Sea Voyage and Shipwreck in Acts 27:
Fact or Fiction?”

P: Great Room C

Luke’s account of Paul’s sea voyage and shipwreck in Acts 27 is one of the most puzzling episodes of Acts. The historical value of this episode has been much debated, and scholarly views regarding its historicity differ widely. Some scholars read the story against the background of popular novels of the Hellenistic period and suggest that Luke was guided by fictional stories of sea voyages and shipwrecks for purely edification and entertainment. Could this be plausible? A close reading of Acts 27 as story might shed fresh historical value into this lengthy narrative that could not simply be fictional. 

Presenter: vănThanh Nguyễn, SVD,  Catholic Theological Union

vănThanh Nguyễn, SVD, is Professor of New Testament Studies and the holder of the Francis X. Ford, M.M., Chair of Catholic Missiology at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, U.S.A. He has authored several books and numerous articles including “Acts” in The Jerome Biblical Commentary for the 21st Century.

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Monday, August 5

8:00

 PM

 –

9:00 PM

General Session

P: Great Room B

Oy-Angelion:  Why and How Christian Preaching and Teaching Still Promotes Jew-Hatred”

Some Christians understand Jews as xenophobic, legalistic, obsessed with ritual purity, elitist and money-loving, militaristic,and misogynist; they regard Jesus as the only Jew (if they regard him as a Jew at all) who proclaims love of neighbor, demonstrates concern for the poor, counsels peace, and respects women. The crisis in the Israel/Palestine has exacerbated the negative stereotypes. Why do these problems continue despite decades of corrections, and what can CBA members do to stop the promotion of Jew-hatred?

Presenter: Amy-Jill Levine, Hartford International University
for Religion and Peace

Amy-Jill Levine is the Rabbi Stanley M. Kessler Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, Hartford International University for Religion and Peace, University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies Emerita, Mary Jane Werthan Professor of Jewish Studies Emerita, Professor of New Testament Studies Emerita, Vanderbilt University


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Tuesday, August 6

11:00

 AM

 –

12:00 PM

General Session

P: Great Room B

“Women and the Empty Tomb: Historical and Historiographical Issues” 

This paper addresses the question of women’s authority, as it is registered in women’s agency, and particularly in women’s speech concerning the resurrection of Jesus. The agency and speech of women analyzed here pertain both to the ancient ones—Mary Magdalene and the other women credited in Gospel narratives as the primary witnesses to the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus—and to our contemporaries and near-contemporaries—including feminist biblical interpreters who have produced a considerable body of scholarship on these narratives since their entry into the guild in the late 20th century. After analyzing how women’s authority to speak about resurrection was and is imperiled, it argues that preserving feminist knowledge  requires tending to it.  It then offers proposals on how this scholarship might be engaged, refined, and built upon.

Presenter: Shelly Matthews, Brite Divinity School

Shelly Matthews is professor of New Testament and director of the Carpenter Center for Gender, Sexuality and Justice at the Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas. Her recent scholarship includes the two-volume Luke commentary in the Wisdom commentary series, co-authored with Barbara Reid; a co-edited volume on Race and Biblical Studies with Tat-Siong Benny Liew; and several articles on early Christian resurrection.  She is currently finishing a monograph with the working title: Feminist Approaches to Early Christian Resurrection: Justice, Authority, Flesh.

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