EABS/SBL Vienna, 2007: a vague review
Now this is late.
I’m not going to write very much at all on what I attended apart from my own session (and then not very much on that) just to say that there was a thing or two on Jesus and the Law. In some, though not every single one, of the papers there was that phrase ‘the Jewish view…’ before generalising about Jewish law without giving specifics and saying how Jesus was that little bit different. In virtually every case I could think of a legal parallel which suggests to me that there is a little more going on that the quest for academic truth. This is a wider issue and it does lead nicely (believe it or not) to the new EABS section of the Social History of Biblical Scholarship because I spoke on various historical, ideological and political trends underlying the repeated stress on Jesus’ ‘Jewishness’ while at the same time making Jesus different from Judaism. You will hear more on this in due course.
The session itself was a success. It was a last session on the last morning in a very obscure room at the end of a very hot week in Vienna so everything was set against success. But as it turned out there was a very strong turnout and it did not drift off at the end. There was obvious interest at the end too. I mentioned the papers a bit ago and if I was decent I'd get the link for you but it's hot, I want to go out.. The whole social history of scholaship thing reminds me of when I started going on about secular things, thinking I was on my own, then finding various others. In this instance though, and probably no surprise, I have found many more interested in the social history of biblical scholarship and I’m finding myself continually involved with people from all over the place and I know of a few publications coming soon. Watch this space…
On the social side of things, this was one of the best conferences I’ve been to (SBL Philadelphia is up there though). That’s all you’re getting on that front, I’m afraid (do you really want to know all the details?).
UPDATE: John Lyons has this semi-naked update.