Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Irish Biblical Association Annual Meeting 18th-19th February

The IBA have introduced a new date for the Annual Meeting-this year to be held on the 18th and 19th February in All Hallow's College, Dublin:

The Schedule is:
Friday 18 February 2011

4:00 – 6:00pm Emerging Scholars Forum

7:30 p.m. Conference Registration

8:00 p.m. Public Lecture

Professor Robert Hayward

The paper will introduce the Aramaic Translations of the Hebrew Bible known as the Targumim. It will offer a brief survey of modern research on the Targumim, and will consider the type of literature they represent, their relationship to other Rabbinic Literature, and their dates of composition. Some final comments will be addressed to the light they may shed on Jewish-Christian relations in the early days of the Church.
Coffee and Tea will be served after this lecture.

Saturday 19 February 2011

9:00 a.m. Conference Registration

9:30 a.m. Dr. Jessie Rogers

Filling in the gaps: ‘Faithful’ readings of the Book of Job

This paper explores two interpretations of the book of Job, one ancient and one modern: the Testament of Job and C.G. Jung’s Answer to Job. The first is not a commentary on the biblical Job nor, strictly speaking, a straightforward interpretation of it. It is a folkloristic adaptation and expansion of the story in the Testament genre. The result of this adaptation of the Job story is to present the reader with a picture of God and of Job which is faithful to pietistic conventions precisely because it deviates so radically from the biblical story. Jung’s Answer to Job is a reading which is ‘faithful’ in precisely the opposite sense. Jung offers an interpretation which is often regarded as theologically scandalous.
10:45 a.m. Coffee, Tea and Biscuits

11:15 a.m. Professor Robert Hayward

The paper will examine the ways in which the different Aramaic translations of Genesis interpret the creation of the first human beings and their presence in the Garden of Eden. The responsibilities of the first human pair and their activities within the Garden, as the Targumim interpreted them, will be compared with other Rabbinic interpretations of the same passages of Scripture.

12:30 p.m. Wine reception

1p.m. Lunch

2:30 p.m. Dr Jonathan Kearney

The Torah of Israel in the Tongue of Ishmael: Saadia Gaon and his Arabic translation of the Pentateuch

Although contemporary political tensions between Israel and the Arab-Islamic world present an image of almost total estrangement, it was not always so. Jews and Muslims have a long, shared history. A very real example of this history is offered by the once-thriving Judaeo-Arabic culture. The foundational document of Judaeo-Arabic culture is the Tafsīr of Saadia Gaon (882–942) – a translation of the Pentateuch into Arabic. This paper seeks to use Saadia’s Tafsīr as a key to exploring the fascinating world of Judaeo-Arabic culture.
3:45 p.m. Annual General Meeting

Professor Robert Hayward is a Professor of Theology and Religious Studies in Durham University and his interests include Aramaic Targums, Jews and Church Fathers, Post-biblical Judaism,Talmud and Midrash.

Dr Jessie Rogers teaches in Mary Immacualte College, Limerick.Jessie originally hails from Cape Town, South Africa, where she lectured in Biblical Studies at Cornerstone Christian College before joining Mary Immaculate College , Department of Theology & Religious Studies in September 2007. Jessie is also based at the Dominican Biblical Centre in Limerick where she researches intertextuality in 1 Corinthians and teaches on their Pastoral Scripture Programme.

Dr Jonathan Kearney is a lecturer in Jewish and Islamic studies in St Patrick's College, Maynooth and survived personally tutoring me in Calssical Arabic for a year. That should be kudos enough!

Email me for any more info and looking forward to seeing you there!

Yes I'm still here!

Grovelling apologies for being away for so long but I’ve been rather swamped since the festive season. I thought I was being terribly clever by spending the time I was house-bound from various snow storms getting all my lectures ready for 2011 but try as I might these things do have a habit of coming all of a once! I went to the Society for Old Testament Study (SOTS) conference in the lovely Durham for the first time and for some reason that became all the more insane the longer I was at the conference I gave a paper at the conference.
Collingwood College, Durham where the conference was held
At the swankiest conference of bible nerds you could possibly imagine-SOTS is one of those “exclusive” societies that you need a PhD to get into which made me rather fearful for a) the possibility that people would speak in Hebrew to each other (the two members who nominate you must vouch for your competency in Hebrew) and b) the possibility of an abundance of tweed. While there was a little tweed in evidence (to be honest I would have been disappointed if there hadn’t been any) it was the friendliest, most welcoming group of people I have met in a long time. What this has to say about bible nerds if you rid them of the NT riff-raff element is time for another post! It also struck me that no one asked for my business card-something that you find quite a lot at SBL-sometimes you think that the Annual Meeting is a competition to hand out as much cards as possible. Anyone whose email address I needed I wrote (Shock!) with a pen (Gasp!) in my notebook (Swoon!) and we had a good snigger at the fact we weren’t all cool and trendy like the SBL types.

I also got to meet the all-hallowed biblioblogger Jim West who thankfully documented and photographed much of the proceedings (you can go and have a look at his picture of me and Joe Blenkinsopp-that’ll be my Christmas card for next year!). Search his site for the tag "SOTS" for the full run through-well worth reading! I picked up some books to review for the SOTS Book List which I’ll post about later and one “for myself”- A Reassessment of Biblical Elohim by Joel S. Burnett which I’d been hunting out for a while.

My paper “What’s in a Name? The Names of God in Interfaith Dialogue” went without (much) rotten fruit throwing. It was a bit of a personal achievement for me (cue Oprah moment) as I’d finally decided (academically at least) to come out of the bible closet as it were and admit that, I, Máire Byrne, am a biblical theologian and it’s about time I stopped trying to be like the kool kids (the archaeologists and the linguists, etc) and stuck to what I’m trained in, and most importantly be helpful to my students. Nobody laughed or pointed at the Catholic trying to study the Bible so all in all a bit of a success!
Just when I thought I could get some peace when I got home, I had the copy-edited manuscript form my book to look over (in a week!) and get back to the publishers. Fingers crossed the book, based on my postdoc, The Names of God in Judaism, Christianity and Islam: A Basis for Interfaith Dialogue. My SOTS paper was based on this which is basically using systematic theology (or comparative theology) to do some good in the world! But more on that anon and now back to some biblenerdery…