Christian Apocrypha at the 2016 SBL

Here is a quick rundown of the sessions and papers at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature focusing on Christian Apocrypha. Among the highlights are the commemorative session for Helmut Koester and the joint session with Digital Humanities, which features a paper by Janet Spittler and Tony Burke on the creation of NASSCAL. Among the presenters this year are twenty members of NASSCAL.

Christian Apocrypha Section sessions:

S19-310: Christian Apocrypha
11/19/2016 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Theme: Helmut Koester: In Memory of His Contributions to the Study of Christian Apocrypha
A panel in memory of Helmut Koester, one of the most influential scholars of the Christian Apocrypha in North America, assessing his ongoing legacy for this field.
Brent Landau, University of Texas at Austin, Presiding
Panelists: Melissa Harl Sellew (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities), Christine Thomas (University of California-Santa Barbara), Christoph Markschies (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin – Humboldt University of Berlin), Stephen Patterson (Willamette University), Ann Graham Brock, Iliff School of Theology), Cavan Concannon (University of Southern California), Robyn Walsh, University of Miami)

S20-207a: Christian Apocrypha
11/20/2016 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Theme: Apocryphal Acts: New Texts and Approaches
Tony Burke, York University, Presiding
Michael Flexsenhar III, Rhodes College: Creating a Christian World: Martyrdom, Memory, and ‘Caesar’s Household’ in the Apocryphal Acts
Valentina Calzolari, University of Geneva: The Armenian Acts of Paul and Thecla
Ivan Miroshnikov, Helsingin Yliopisto – Helsingfors Universitet: Towards a New Edition of the Coptic Acts of Andrew and Philemon
Jonathan Henry, Princeton University: Thomas in Transmission: Some Noteworthy Witnesses to the Acts and Passion of Thomas
Sung Soo Hong, The University of Texas at Austin: “The Word of the Father Shall Be to Them a Work of Salvation”: Thinking with the Chaste Body of Thecla

S21-215: Digital Humanities in Biblical, Early Jewish, and Christian Studies; Christian Apocrypha
Joint Session With: Digital Humanities in Biblical, Early Jewish, and Christian Studies, Christian Apocrypha
11/21/2016 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Theme: Christian Apocrypha and Digital Humanities
Joseph Verheyden, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Presiding
Brent Landau, University of Texas at Austin: What No Eye Has Seen: Using a Digital Microscope to Produce a New Transcription of Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 210, a Possible Apocryphal Gospel
Janet Spittler, University of Virginia and Tony Burke, York University: Founding an Academic Society in the Digital Age: The North American Society for the Study of Christian Apocryphal Literature
Jennifer Barry, University of Mary Washington: Accessing Women’s History through the Digital Humanities
James F. McGrath, Butler University: Learning from Jesus’ Wife: The Role of Online Scholarship in Creating and Exposing a Forgery

S21-308: Christian Apocrypha
11/21/2016 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Theme: Violence and Healing in the Christian Apocrypha
Christine Luckritz Marquis, Union Presbyterian Seminary, Presiding
Janet Spittler, University of Virginia: Causality and Healing of Disease in the Acts of John
Patricia A Duncan, Texas Christian University: Philosophical Foundations of (Self) Healing and Exorcism in the Pseudo-Clementine “Homilies”
Judith Hartenstein, Universität Koblenz – Landau: Violence in the Gospel of Mary (BG 1)
Annette Merz, Protestant Theological University Amsterdam Groningen: Paul before the lion in the Acts of Paul, Tertullian, and the Zliten Mosaic
Matthias Geigenfeind, Universität Regensburg: The Apocryphal Revelation of Thomas – Unique, but Underappreciated

Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism sessions:

S19-139: Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism
11/19/2016 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Theme: Eros and Ascent
Joint session with Platonism and Neoplatonism Group (AAR).
John Turner, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Presiding
Mark Edwards, University of Oxford: Solomon’s Kiss from Origen to the Later Middle Ages
Christian H. Bull, University of Oslo: Eros Divine and Errant in the Hermetica
Zeke Mazur, Université Laval: Porphyry’s account of Plotinus’ four instances of union with the One (Vita Plotini 23) and Platonizing Sethian Gnostic visionary ascent
Ilaria L.E. Ramelli, Catholic University+Angelicum + Oxford University: Eros and Ascent in Gregory of Nyssa between Origen and Ps.Dionysius

S19-237: Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism
11/19/2016 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Theme: Manichaeism and Nag Hammadi Revisited
Hugo Lundhaug, Universitetet i Oslo, Presiding
Iain Gardner, University of Sydney: The Jesus-Book in the Dublin Kephalaia Codex
Nils Arne Pedersen, Aarhus University: First Man and the Third Messenger in Manichaean Systems
Gavin McDowell, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes: Praise of the Manichaean Fathers in Ben Sira 49:14-16
René Falkenberg, Aarhus University: Manichaean influence in the Nag Hammadi texts
Jason BeDuhn, Northern Arizona University: Gnostic Myth in Manichaeism? A Systematic Inquiry
John C. Reeves, University of North Carolina at Charlotte: Dualist Currents in Tenth-Century Baghdad: Reassessing the Afterlife of Manichaeism and Cognate Forms of Gnosis in the Muslim East

S19-334: Mysticism, Esotericism, and Gnosticism in Antiquity
11/19/2016 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Theme: New Methods and Gnosticism
Jason BeDuhn, Northern Arizona University, Presiding
David Brakke, Ohio State University: Pseudonymity and the Layered Self in Gnostic Mysticism
Elaine Pagels, Princeton University: What “hidden mystery” was Paul hiding? New insights on Reception History of Paul’s Letters
Eduard Iricinschi, Ruhr-Universität Bochum: Emotions Running High: Sophia’s Passions in Irenaeus of Lyon’s Heresiology and the Nag Hammadi Literature (30 min)
Review of April D. DeConick, The Gnostic New Age: How a Countercultural Spirituality Revolutionized Religion from Antiquity to Today (Columbia University Press, 2016)
Panelists: April DeConick (Rice University), James Davila (University of St. Andrews), Lautaro Lanzillotta (University of Groningen)

S20-218: Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism
11/20/2016 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Theme: Special Review Session on the Production, Use, and Rediscovery of the Nag Hammadi Codices
Geoffrey Smith, University of Texas at Austin, Presiding
Review of James M. Robinson, The Nag Hammadi Discovery
Panelists: John Turner (University of Nebraska), Eric Crégheur (Université d’Ottawa – University of Ottawa), Dylan Burns (Freie Universität Berlin)
Review of Hugo Lundhaug and Lance Jenott, The Monastic Origins of the Nag Hammadi Codices
Panelists: James Goehring (University of Mary Washington), Malcolm Choat (Macquarie University), Hugo Lundhaug (Universitetet i Oslo), Lance Jenott (Universitetet i Oslo)

S21-334: Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism
11/21/2016 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Theme: Gnostic Writings, Sayings, and Histories
René Falkenberg, Aarhus Universitet, Presiding
Sarit Kattan Gribetz, Fordham University: Women as Readers of the Nag Hammadi Codices
Eric Crégheur, Université d’Ottawa: On Plants, Spices and Gems: How Feasible are the Baptismal Rituals in the “Books of Jeu”?
J. Gregory Given, Harvard University: Four Texts from Nag Hammadi amid the Fluidity of the “Letter” in Late Antique Egypt
Geoffrey S. Smith, University of Texas at Austin: Medicine and Polemic in Tertullian’s Version of the Valentinian Sophia Myth
Emanuel Fiano, Fordham University: The Theory of Names of the Gospel of Truth
Einar Thomassen, Universitetet i Bergen: Did Gnostics Have a Concept of History?

S20-135: Mysticism, Esotericism, and Gnosticism in Antiquity
11/20/2016 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Jared Calaway, Illinois College, Presiding
Paul M. Pasquesi, Marquette University: Liminality, Ritual, and Vision in Aseneth
Rebecca Lesses, Ithaca College: Did the authors of Joseph and Aseneth and the Gospel of Philip meet in Antioch? The “heavenly bridal chamber” between Jews and Christians.
Gregory Shaw, Stonehill College: Iamblichus and the Talisman of Gnosis
Jeffrey Pettis, New Brunswick Seminary: War Generals, Purple Robes, and Inner Chambers: Encountering the God in the Greco-Roman World
Pieter G.R. de Villiers, University of the Free State: Mystical knowledge of God in Philo and John’s gospel

And there are a variety of additional papers on apocryphal texts in other sessions:

P19-143a: Qur’an and Biblical Literature; The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition (IQSA) (11/19/2016, 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM)
Cornelia Horn, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen: Situating al-Kisa’i’s Role in the Development of Extra-Canonical Depictions of Jesus and Mary in the Christian Orient

S19-120: Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Interpretation (11/19/2016, 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM)
Grant Adamson, Rice University: Solutions to Problems of Virgin Birth and Harmonization in the Protevangelium Jacobi

S19-152: Texts and Traditions in the Second Century (11/19/2016, 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM)
Kimberly Bauser, Boston College: Moonwalking with Jesus: The Art and Science of “Remembering” Everything in the Apocryphon of James

S19-341: Pseudepigrapha (11/19/2016, 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM)
Bradley N. Rice, McGill University: A New ‘Testament of Adam’ in the Syriac Revelation of the Magi?

S20-117: Corpus Hellenisticum Novi Testamenti (11/20/2016 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM)
Robert Matthew Calhoun, Independent scholar: Purity and Protection in Oxyrhynchus fr. 840

S20-126: Greek Bible (11/20/2016, 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM)
Ian N Mills, Duke University: Mediated Allusion in the Gospel of Thomas: Jewish Scripture, Jesus Traditions, and the Gospel of Thomas

S20-132: Maria, Mariamne, Miriam: Rediscovering the Marys (11/20/2016, 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM)
Cornelia Horn, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen: The Power of Leadership through Mediation: Mart Mariam in the Syriac and Arabic Apocryphal Tradition

S20-154: Wisdom and Apocalypticism (11/20/2016, 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM)
Pamela Mullins Reaves, Colorado College: Apostolic Encounters with Persecution in the First Apocalypse of James

S20-302: Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative (11/20/2016, 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM)
Angela Standhartinger, Philipps-Universität Marburg: Intersections of gender, status, ethnos and religion in the Jewish novel Joseph and Aseneth
Eric M. Vanden Eykel, Ferrum College: Virginity, the Temple Veil, and their Demise: A Hypothetical Reader’s Perspective on Mary’s Work in the Protevangelium of James

S20-341: New Testament Textual Criticism (11/20/2016, 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM)
Bill Warren, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Allyson Nance, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Katie Morgan, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary: Early Infancy Gospels as Witnesses for the New Testament Text

S21-226: Jewish Christianity / Christian Judaism (11/21/2016, 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM)
Jae Han, University of Pennsylvania: Constructions of Prophecy and Prophethood in Late Antique Syria: Iamblichus’ De Mysteriis and the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies
Timothy B. Sailors, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen: The Portrayal and Religious Significance of the Baptism of Jesus in the Pseudo-Clementine Romance

S22-105: Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative (11/22/2016,
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM)
Richard I. Pervo, Saint Paul, Minnesota: The Horror of Babylon: Iamblichus’ Babyloniaka and Christian Apocrypha
Malka Z. Simkovich, Catholic Theological Union: Don’t Make Me Laugh: The Absence of Humor in Early Christian and Jewish Rewritten Texts

S22-141: Religious Competition in Late Antiquity (11/22/2016, 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM)
Hugo Mendez, Yale University: Weaponizing Stephen: Caricature and Competition in the Revelation Sancti Stephani