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Congress to draw international scholars

The University of Auckland Media

9 June 2008

Biblical literature congress to draw international scholars to Auckland

The Society of Biblical Literature International Congress, to be held at The University of Auckland from 7 to 11 July, will bring together a prestigious line-up of international speakers from Australia, Oceania, Iceland, Hong Kong, the United States, Britain and elsewhere.

A number of regional associations of theology and religious studies will also hold their annual conferences as part of this international congress.

This is a wonderful opportunity for preachers, teachers, church leaders and other interested people to engage with this wealth of scholarship on Biblical literature, theology and religion and their cultural contexts.

More than 300 speakers will address a wide variety of topics with themes including Bible in the Pacific, Ecology and spirituality, Bible in cinema, Religion and gender, and Psychological aspects of spiritual practices. (Presented within this theme will be a paper by Richard Hutch from the University of Queensland intriguingly entitled "The spirituality of scuba-diving: How sport frames life for in-depth living".)

The theme of "The impact of the Bible: Political and social contexts" includes an analysis by Associate Professor Derek Daschke from Truman State University in the US on "The psychological influence of Old Testament prophecy on George W. Bush's War on Terror" and another by Madipoane Masenya from the University of South Africa on "Bible-inspired political songs: A gaze at the post-apartheid South African religious landscape".

In addition there are sessions which specifically address aspects of contextual theology in New Zealand, including one by Professor Aroha Yates-Smith from the University of Waikato, on "Hine ancient and modern: The Maori feminine from cosmological to modern times".

The Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) is the largest international scholarly organisation in Biblical studies. It has more than 8,500 members who share an interest in the critical investigation of the Bible.


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