Immediately after church this afternoon, I will be leaving Kansas City for the 2013 Central States Regional SBL and ASOR Meeting in St. Louis. The keynote speaker this year will be Dr. Mark S. Smith, Skirball Chair of Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at New York University, who will give his lecture this evening on “Monotheism and the Redefinition of Divinity.” While I unfortunately will be unable to attend the plenary, I do plan on attending several of the interesting-looking paper presentations this year—ranging from Luke’s use of imaginative geography in Acts to (apparently) how translators edit out Ezekiel’s cuss words. Though schedules are always subject to change upon arrival, this is my tentative agenda for the meeting (see the full program here):

  • 4 p.m.—Mark Nanos, Rockhurst University: “‘Judaizers’? ‘Pagan’ Cults? Cynics?: Reconceptualizing the Concerns of Paul’s Audience from the Polemics in Philippians 3:2, 18-19”
  • 9 a.m.—Matthew Wade Umbarger, Newman University: “‘He Was With the Wild Beasts’: Echoes of 1 Maccabees 2:30 and 2 Maccabees 5:27 in Mark 1:13”
  • 10 a.m.—Richard Freund, University of Hartford: “The Church of the Annunciation and Mary’s Well”
  • 1:30 p.m.—John E. Christianson, Missouri State University: “The Centurion in History and Literature: A Context for Reading in the Gospels”
  • 3 p.m.—John T. Strong, Missouri State University: “Censoring the Prophetic Word: Translating Ezekiel’s Profane Speech for General Audiences”
  • 4:30 p.m.—Tom Schmidt, Wheaton College: “The Rhetorical Use of Irony in the Book of Revelation”

This agenda leaves a lot of room for trips to the publishers’ book display room, as well as enough flexibility to drop in on other presentations that didn’t catch my eye from the start. I’m especially looking forward to the books. Lots. and lots. of books.

I’ll post here again early next week with a brief report on how the meeting went.