As usual, it was an early star at the SBLt, this time for our Library of New Testament Studies editorial board meeting at 7am. Unlike previous years, the meeting was in a suite, with breakfast laid on, and it enabled us to have a decent and uninterrupted conversation.
The SBL gathers everyone together and so provides the opportunity for things like PhD vivas. I was examining a St Andrews University (UK) PhD and it was the first time I have done this kind of thing at the SBL rather than at the institution itself. That was my major morning's activity.
A particular highlight this afternoon was the inaugural meeting of the "Blogger and Online Publication" section. Several of you might remember the discussion about this earlier this year. Bob Cargill was chairing and he began by mentioning Charlie Haws and Jim West as key characters in getting the section going. The speakers were all excellent -- Jim Davila appropriately beginning, followed by Chris Brady, Michael Barber, James McGrath and Robert Cargill. I agreed with pretty much everything that the panel said, and I'd have thought that it would be ideal for the blogs to get the discussion going on these things. The session was packed out, there were lots of interesting questions and comments, and it was all-round very positive. More anon on this one.
I did the SBL tart thing for the last couple of hours today, taking in both the Cross, Resurrection and Diversity Section and the Bible in Ancient and Modern Media section, the latter a session on Anthony Le Donne's book and featuring Paula Fredriksen on the panel.
It has to be said, of course, that the highlight of the SBL is always the socializing. I visited Max Lager's Wood Fired Grill and Brewery for dinner, and then retired to Meehan's Public House where we were treated very nicely, and got given a free bottle of Fuller's Vintage Ale. Our friendliness and perhaps the British accent helped.