Friday, November 14, 2003

HERE'S AN UPDATE on the PSCO session a week from Friday at the SBL meetings in Atlanta. Probably most of you have seen it on one e-mail list or another, but in case anyone missed it, here it is:

[[please cross-post as appropriate: originally sent to: PSCO list, (ioudaios), (Elenchus List), LT-ANTIQ@LISTSERV.SC.EDU (Discussion List), H-JUDAIC@H-NET.MSU.EDU (H-Judaic List), (Discussion List),]]


in its 41st year
an Interdisciplinary Humanities Seminar
under the auspices of the
Department of Religious Studies
201 Logan Hall
with support from
the Penn Humanities Forum

TOPIC FOR 2003-2004: Parabiblical Prosopography (in the footsteps of Lost Apocrypha by M. R. James,)

Chair and Coordinator: 12 November 2003
Robert Kraft (University of Pennsylvania)

Secretaries and Special Assistants:
T.J.Wellman (University of Pennsylvania)
Harry Tolley (University of Pennsylvania)
Justin Dombrowski (Westminster Theological Seminary)

As previously announced, the Philadelphia Seminar on Christian Origins is scheduled to meet just prior to the SBL/AAR annual meetings in Atlanta, on Friday evening 21 November 2003, 7:00-8:30 pm, at the Atlanta Mariott Marquis Hotel, Amsterdam Room (Convention Level). So far, we have had no luck in scheduling a group dinner beforehand that would fit our time-schedule, but are open to suggestions from those who know the Atlanta scene.

The topic for the current year, and for this meeting, is "Parabiblical Prosopography," which is a fancy and brief way of indicating interest in the names associated with early Jewish and early Christian parabiblical literature (both as authors and as primary subjects), and with the traditions that developed around those names (persons or groups) over time. The inspiration for such a topic is the little volume on "Lost Apocrypha" by M. R. James (1920), which has spawned the following web sites as part of the larger PSCO project:

Building on the model from last years PSCO meeting at the SBL/AAR conference, we will have a panel of participants, each of whom has a special interest in this material and will introduce themselves very briefly as a springboard to broader discussion. A basic question to be considered is "To what extent do popular narratives/reports about parabiblical identities (supposed authors and focal figures or groups) assist us in understanding how the 'parabiblical' literature was read/understood and transmitted/preserved in the course of its history up to the modern period?" The panelists will include:

*George Nickelsburg (U Iowa, Emeritus), Enoch, Abraham, et al.
*Jim Davila (St. Andrews, SCOTLAND), "Rechabites" Traditions
*Brannon Wheeler (U Washington) Moses & others in Islamic Tradition
*Kim Haines-Eitzen (Cornell), Thekla as Subject and Scribe

I'd still like to include one or two additional panelists, especially someone with a focus on another major early Christian figure, if there are any volunteers. In the remaining PSCO schedule, the exact dates of which have not yet been decided, we hope to arrange for the following presentations -- additional suggestions and/or volunteers are also welcome:

On Solomon (especially "magic" associations), Sarah Schwarz
On Philip (also with "magic" connections), Debra Bucher
On the Watchers, Annette Yoshiko Reed
On Elijah, David Frankfurter
On Mary, Ann Matter
On the Maccabee Martyr Mother, Sigrid Peterson

For further information about PSCO, please consult the web site

Robert A. Kraft, Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania
227 Logan Hall (Philadelphia PA 19104-6304); tel. 215 898-5827

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