The New Journal EARLY CHRISTIANITY’s Show-Stopping First Issue

The new Mohr Siebeck journal, Early Christianity, has their inaugural issue planned and it will come out in April, 2010.  The journal attempts to bridge the scholarly gap between scholars of NT and scholars of early Christian history in the second and third century (and on?).

Articles in their first issue are broken down into three main topics: New Directions in Pauline Theology, New Discoveries, and New Projects.    See below some great ideas for book reviews and world-class reviewers under “New Books”.  I am particularly interested in hearing what Francis Watson has to say about Campbell’s volume!

NEW DIRECTIONS IN PAULINE THEOLOGY

Michael Wolter; Die Entwicklung des paulinischen Christentums von einer Bekehrungsreligion zu einer Traditionsreligion
Judith M. Lieu; “As much my apostle as Christ is mine”: The dispute over Paul between Tertullian and Marcion
Matthias Konradt; Die Christonomie der Freiheit. Zu Paulus’ Entfaltung seines ethischen Ansatzes in Gal 5,13-6,10
Jonathan A. Linebaugh Debating Diagonal Δικαιοσύνη: The Epistle of Enoch and Paul in Theological Conversation

The last one here, Jonathan Linebaugh, is a doctoral student at Durham University – a bright student whose research is very impressive.  His article was originally a paper given at the British New Testament conference – very well received from what I hear.

NEW DISCOVERIES

Peter Arzt-Grabner; Neues zu Paulus aus den Papyri des römischen Alltags
Claire Clivaz; A New NT Papyrus: P 126 (PSI 1497)
Ursula Schattner-Rieser; Ein neues Qumranfragment samaritanischer Tradition?

NEW PROJECTS

Eberhard BonsJan Joosten; Historical and Theological Dictionary of the Septuagint
Martin KarrerSiegfried Kreuzer; Von der Septuaginta zum Neuen Testament
Rainer Hirsch-Luipold; Ratio Religionis. Religiöse Philosophie und philosophische Religion in der frühen Kaiserzeit

NEW BOOKS

Mark Reasoner; Robert Jewett, Romans
Markus Öhler; James D.G. Dunn, Beginning from Jerusalem
Martin Meiser; Martin Vahrenhorst, Kultische Sprache in den Paulusbriefen
Simon Gathercole; Tom Wright, Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision
Francis Watson; Douglas Campbell, The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul

Why SBL proposals are sometimes rejected…

Someone in a comment asked me why I think several of my past paper proposals for SBL were rejected.

The short answer is: who knows!  But, I actually have had some feedback on this.

1. Competition- Some groups get a whole lot of proposals (such as the Pauline epistles group): maybe 50-70 and they can accept a dozen.  So, it is challenging to compete with so many people.  Other groups are desperate, so try to pitch your paper to more than one group.

2. Scope – I have been told in person that my proposal was too broad and wasn’t manageable for a short 20-25 min paper.  Make sure that you clarify in your proposal how you will narrow your scope.  Usually it is by working in only one or two passages of Scripture or working with only one scholar in discussion rather than a wider history of interpretation.

3. Clarity – I get the sense that some abstracts are just not clear enough that the reviewers “get” what you are going to argue.

4. Originality – Truth be told, too many people seem to regurgitate older views and thoughts.  Some groups place a premium on freshness and thinking outside of the box, but in a cogent way.

5. Trends?  Again, a guess – some “trends” are just more popular or interesting.

My attitude is to just get several proposals in and hope for the best.  This year I think the magic number is 5 (and you can accept only two, but I don’t think it will come to that!).  We’ll see.