Saturday, July 04, 2009

Rome Travel Diary 4

It's the end of the SBL International Meeting here in Rome and from my perspective, the meeting has been a great success. We have we had a chance to see some of the great sites in Rome and to enjoy some wonderful Italian food, and the conference wasn't bad either.

Among the more interesting sessions I have attended over the last couple of days was the Bible and Music section this morning. I reckon that one of the strengths of the SBL International is in specialist sessions like this. First up was Richard Wright (Oklahoma Christian University), talking about "The Sounds of Silence: Hearing the Music in Pauline Assemblies", probably the best presentation of the conference that I heard. As it happens, I ran into Richard yesterday when we were in Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano, and we managed to snap this photo of the chance encounter. (That's my daughter Lauren in the picture too). Today's session took place in one of the little wooden classrooms, like the one I mentioned in SBL Travel Diary 3. Unfortunately, the Saturday morning at the International Meeting is a bit like the Tuesday morning at the Annual Meeting and the session, which began with about 15 people, was down to 5 by the end, for Shu-chwen Chen's paper, including the speaker and chair.

Conclusion later . . .

1 comment:

Janelle said...

Unfortunately, Richard's paper was first in the session. This made it too difficult for me to travel from my convent near Saint Peter's to the Pontifical Biblical Institute after breakfast with the nuns, whom I am writing about for a paper for the Contextual Biblical Interpretation session in New Orleans. However, I am familiar with Richard's work from other contexts. To me, the value of Richard's project arises from the fact that he has taken some obscure verses in Paul and breathed life into them. I have heard other presentations on Roman music from classicists. These focus on gladiatorial fights or the ancient novel. Richard, though, vividly imagines the possibilities for ancient Christian worship... even though it is all conjectural. His experience as a fine modern musician probably facilitates his sympathetic and thorough reading.