Do ask about AAR and SBL

Date: November 30, 2023

So, a Faculty member decides to join your table at lunch. After your initial sense of surprise, you have to find an opening for conversation. Please allow me to suggest a line: “Were you at AAR or SBL this year?”

The AAR is the American Academy of Religion; the SBL is the Society for Biblical Literature. These are the two largest gatherings of religion professors in the world. They meet at the same time; and it is always the weekend before Thanksgiving. Virtually everyone on the Faculty has been at least once; some go every year. For some Faculty, the answer will be an extended response about the meetings they especially enjoyed, but as it happens this year was not a good time.

For other Faculty, you will learn about presentations they made, commissioning editors that they met, and evenings with old friends that they enjoyed. I continue to marvel at the number of sessions where our Faculty are presenting papers: I think this year it was The Rev. Canon Altagracia Perez-Bullard, Ph.D., who had the most presentations: she was presenting at three sessions! Congratulations Altagracia.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary and the President of The General Theological Seminary

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