Faculty Present Papers at the Society of Biblical Literature Conference

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Annual Meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) is the largest conference of biblical scholars in the world. It draws scholars from all corners of the globe including Canada, the U.S., Israel, the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, and Africa. This year six Tyndale University College & Seminary professors attended the Annual Meetings in San Francisco with several presenting papers.

The five Tyndale professors who presented at the conference were Dr. Daniel Driver, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Dr. Rebecca Idestrom, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Dr. John Kessler, Professor of Old Testament, Dr. Barbara Leung Lai, Professor of Old Testament, and Dr. Ian Scott, Associate Professor of New Testament.

“The conference was excellent and very stimulating,” said Dr. Idestrom, “The annual SBL conference is an opportunity for biblical scholars from around the world to come together and exchange ideas and discuss our research with other scholars in our area of interest and specialization.” In addition to presenting a paper, Dr. Idestrom was on a panel where she discussed the book Healing in the Bible by Dr. Frederick Gaiser. The conference covers the broad range of biblical scholarship and is large enough to include presentations and books on almost every area of specialization. “I attended a number of sessions which dealt with subjects I teach at Tyndale Seminary so that I would know the current research in that subject as well as get suggestions to improve my teaching in the classroom,” Dr. Idestrom said.

Dr. Leung Lai, as a member of the steering committee of the Psychology and Biblical Studies section, had a prominent role within the conference in addition to her own presentation. She presided at, and assisted in organizing four sessions in Psychology and Biblical Studies.

Tyndale professors were not the only members of the Tyndale community to attend. At least two Tyndale alumni participated in the conference. Dustin Boreland (MTS ’10) and Heather Macumber (MDiv ’06), who are both pursuing doctoral studies, presented papers at the conference.

Among other reasons to go to the Annual Meetings, it is the best opportunity for biblical studies professors to buy books and other resources in their field as it hosts one of the largest exhibits of biblical studies books in the world. However, the main attraction of the conference is the opportunity for professors to connect to other scholars who have similar research interests and goals. “You are reminded that you are not just one or two people working on an issue,” said Dr. Driver, “but you are a guild working on similar problems together.”


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