The UNC Charlotte Department of Religious Studies “Does” Chicago in Style!

The big gathering this weekend in Chicago has convened. Upwards of 20,000 folks have descended upon a dozen of the major hotels around the Michigan Avenue “Miracle Mile,” just in time for the fabulous “Festival of Lights” kick-off last night with parades and fireworks.

This includes the Society of Biblical Literature, the American Academy of Religion, the American Schools of Oriental Research, and a half dozen smaller societies and meetings, including the ever-popular Biblical Archaeology Society “Bible and Archaeology Fest.” Our amazing Department of Religious Studies at UNC Charlotte is heavily involved at all levels with both faculty and graduate student participation. Here are my own presentations, along with those of my colleagues below:

James Tabor at the Biblical Archaeology Society “Bible and Archaeology Fest,” November 17, 2012

Biblical Archaeology Society, 15th Annual Bible and Archaeology Fest, November 17, 2012, Chicago, IL

Doubletree Hotel on Ohio: 10:45 a.m.

“Is There Reliable Archaeological Evidence Related to the Earliest Followers of Jesus?” by James D. Tabor

The recent events surrounding the James ossuary controversy as well as the new discoveries of a four-line Greek inscription and an image that is arguably one of “Jonah and the big fish,” in an ancient Jerusalem sealed tomb have sparked renewed consideration of the question of whether Jesus’ earliest Jewish followers left behind any distinctive archaeological remains. This paper will consider this century old discussion, represented by scholars like Sukenik, Bagatti, Figueras, Rahmani, Taylor, and Gibson, assessing the state of the question today.

Society of Biblical Literature: Session 18-104
Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: W176a – McCormick Place
Theme: The Relationship between Text and Image

Joel LeMon, Emory University, Presiding

Meir Lubetski, City University of New York
Baffling Inscribed Personal Names in Hebrew Onomastics (30 min)

Martin Klingbeil, Southern Adventist University
Seals and Scarabs from Khirbet Qeiyafa (2010-2011) (30 min)

Richard Freund, University of Hartford
Text and Artifact: The Emergence of the Menorah as the Symbol of Ancient Judaism in Coins, Mosaics, Murals, Glass and Pottery (30 min)

James Tabor, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
An New Image and a Mixed Greek/Hebrew Inscription from a Sealed 1st Century CE Tomb in Jerusalem (30 min)

Discussion (15 min)
Business Meeting (15 min)


Society of Biblical Literature Session 18-209a
Blogger and Online Publication
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Room: W183c – McCormick Place
Theme: Media Relations and Popular Archaeology
This is a special session with filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici and James Tabor discussing archaeological claims and the role the popular media plays with scholarship. Christopher Rollston and Robert Cargill will join Jacobovici and Tabor to discuss the role of popular media in scholarship.

Christian Brady, Pennsylvania State University, Presiding
Simcha Jacobovici, Panelist
James Tabor, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Panelist
Robert Cargill, University of Iowa, Panelist
Christopher Rollston, Emmanuel School of Religion, Panelist


The Department of Religious Studies, UNC Charlotte:

Friday, November 16
Sean McCloud, “The Problem of ‘Genuine Religion’ and Dominant Normative Claims,” AAR Preconference Workshop on The Study of Religion as an Analytical Discipline: The Analytical Handling of Norms and Values in the Study of Religion, 2:00-6:00 PM.

Saturday, November 17
Kent L. Brintnall, respondent to Behold the Book, the Author, and the Critics: Kent Brintnall’s Ecce Homo: The Male-Body-in-Pain as Redemptive Figure (University of Chicago Press, 2012), AAR Gay Men and Religion Group, 9:00-11:30 AM.

Joanne Maguire Robinson, “This Bundle of Elements is Void of Self: Porete, Molinos, and Parfit on Surviving Death,” The Ecstasy of the End: Mystical Death across Traditions, AAR Mysticism Group, 9:00-11:30 AM.

Ilya Merlin, “Ecce Tupac: Dead Bodies, Maternal Bodies, and the Sacred,” Faith and the Flesh: Religion, Hip Hop and the Body, AAR Critical Approaches to Hip-Hop and Religion Group, 1:00-3:30 PM.

David Mozina, presiding over session on The Transmission and Dissemination of Daoist Scriptures in Late Imperial and Republican China, AAR Daoist Studies Group, 1:00-3:30 PM.

Sean McCloud, “The Haunted Present: The Return of Repressed History and Ghost Hunting Reality TV,” Monsters Among Us: Vampires, Ghosts and Zombies in the Study of Religion, AAR Religion and Popular Culture Group, 1:00-3:30 PM.

 Sunday, November 18
John C. Reeves, presiding over session on Midrash and Method: Reflections on the Intersections of Jewish and Islamic Tradition, SBL Qur’an and Biblical Literature program unit, 9:00-11:30 AM.

Joanne Maguire Robinson, “Teaching About Teaching About Religion,” Roundtable Discussions, AAR Teaching Religion Section/SBL Academic Teaching and Biblical Studies Section/Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, 1:00-2:30 PM.

John C. Reeves, panelist for AAR Exploratory Session on Late Antiquity East, 1:00-2:30 PM.
Jeremy Schott, “Palestinian Hypertexts: Navigating the Onomasticon,” Landscapes and Cityscapes: Jewish and Christian Spatial Practices in Late Antiquity, SBL Social History of Formative Christianity and Judaism program unit, 1:00-3:30 PM.

Kent L. Brintnall, panelist for session on Flesh, Desire, Divinity: Celebrating the Work of Karmen MacKendrick, AAR Bible, Theology, and Postmodernity Group, 3:00-4:30 PM.

Julie Hawks, “Constellations of Redemption in the Inner City in Satoshi Kon’s Tokyo Godfathers,” Roots in the Concrete: Urban Tales of Redemption, Hybridity and Family, AAR Religion and Cities Group/AARReligion, Film, and Visual Culture Group, 3:00-4:30 PM.
Monday, November 19

Mary Hamner, “Middle-Class Vodou: Spirit Possession and Marginality in the United States,” Contested Categories: Indigenous, Pagan, Authentic, and Legitimate, AAR Contemporary Pagan Studies Group/AAR Indigenous Religious Traditions Group, 9:00-11:30 AM.

Kent L. Brintnall, panelist for Bible Trouble: Queer Reading at the Boundaries of Biblical Scholarship (ed. Teresa J. Hornsby and Ken Stone; Semeia Series; SBL August 2011), SBL Women in the Biblical World/SBL LGBT/Queer Hermeneutics program units, 1:00-3:30 PM.

David Mozina, “Paradox, Divine Reflexivity, and Daoist Ordination Oaths,” Paradox and the Chinese Ritual Imagination, AAR Daoist Studies Group, 1:00-3:00 PM.

Sean McCloud, “Delivering the Modern Soul: Protestant Exorcism as a Gothic Therapeutic,” “Saving the Modern Soul”: Religion and Therapeutic Discourse, AAR Sociology of Religion Group, 4:00-6:30 PM.

Kent L. Brintnall, “Barebacking as Sacred Practice: Bataille, Bersani and Dean on the Ethical Value of Self-Loss,” Bataille’s Sacred Ethics, AAR Theology and Continental Philosophy Group, 4:00-6:30 PM.