EABS 2019 Call for Papers: Septuagint Research Units

The European Association for Biblical Studies (EABS) annual conference is being held at the University of Warsaw in Poland this year from 11-14 August 2019. The proposal period is now open and will remain open until the February 28th. There is a wide range of research units that have opened a call for papers (see here).

Having never been to an EABS event, I don’t have much insight to share. But I certainly hope to participate in the coming years (it won’t be this year, I’m afraid). So I encourage others to submit a proposal and participate.

More specifically, there are two research units devoted to aspects of Septuagint scholarship that I’d like to draw attention to.

Septuagint Historical Books

The first is the Historical Books research unit. Even a rudimentary acquaintance with Septuagint research will make clear the fact that the Historical Books have a thorny and disputed textual history in Greek. Of all the books in the corpus, the Historical Books have some of the most challenging outstanding research issues. Partly for this reason, many of these books – Joshua, Judges, parts of Kingdoms – are not yet part of the finished Göttingen Septuagint series (VTG). Thankfully, some are currently underway and thus important issues are being addressed head-on.

The so-called Finnish School of Septuagint scholars is in many ways leading the charge in this area of the discipline. So unsurprisingly this EABS research unit is chaired by Ville Mäkipelto and Timo Tekoniemi, both researchers at the University of Helsinki. The call is as follows:

For the 2019 Warsaw meeting we invite proposals exploring various aspects of the Septuagint versions of the historical books (Joshua, Judges, Samuel-Kings). All proposals relating to the issues outlined in the program are warmly welcome. In addition to a general session, we will organise an invited thematic session together with the research unit “Editorial Techniques in the Hebrew Bible in Light of Empirical Evidence”, which will explore the importance of the Septuagint in offering evidence for editing of the Hebrew Bible.

It should make for a fascinating session.

The Septuagint and the Cultural World of the Translators

Secondly a new research unit has been formed called The Septuagint and the Cultural World of the Translators, which is chaired by an excellent team made up of Jan Joosten, Romina Vergari, and Anna Angelini. This unit focuses attention on the Septuagint as a cultural product and emphasizes the role of language and translation in understanding the text and its role in Hellenistic Judaism. The call for this unit puts this research area clearly.

The research unit aims to recover processes of cultural exchange reflected in the Septuagint. The Septuagint’s words, expressions, and stylistic usages are like so many windows on to the thought world of the translators, seeking to situate themselves as Jews in a Hellenistic context, struggling to preserve what they perceived to be unique in their Jewish heritage while also accepting what they came to value in Greek thought and culture. This year, one session of invited speakers will focus on ritual vocabulary and cultic realia; a second open session will host papers on any aspect concerning linguistic usages in the Septuagint in a wider cultural perspective. Items of vocabulary, which are particularly promising materials, will be especially welcome.

As this topic is near and dear to my heart, I hope they get some excellent proposals.

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