SBL, Biblioblogging and You

Jim West announced the new status of bibliobloggers vis a vis SBL last week. This led to some reaction by folks like John Hobbins. I have posted a brief comment on Jim’s site, but let me post it here as well with point (3)(2) added.

When I read Jim’s announcement I was wondering how it would all work as well. I think it was the lack of details about what this affiliation meant that sparked such concern. One has to go to three different posts on this blog to piece together what this means. So let me see if this is right:

“Bibliobloggers” are now an SBL sanctioned group. This means

  1. Folks are self-identified as bibliobloggers, after certain basic criteria like having a blog that generally focuses on biblical studies (just like once may self-identify as a scholar in biblical literature by getting an advanced degree and then proposing papers in the field).
  2. This community now may request room space for things like sessions and (the impetus I believe behind this initiative?) receptions.
  3. This community may now submit to create sessions.
    1. And here would begin John H’s questions regarding topics, etc.
    2. And I believe there still needs to be a session organized and approved before any papers can be submitted.

Is that about right?

I don’t see anything wrong with this per se, but I do wonder, perhaps along the lines that John H has already outlined, how this would work for sessions. We are a very disparate group. How much is there to really discuss about “biblioblogging”? And if we are actually debating substance (e.g., minimalism, Jesus research, interpretation of the Hebrew Bible) then shouldn’t those proposals be in the SBL sessions about those topics?

So I am all for having a room for our reception, but I am not sure what is the real usefulness of this new status. I am, nonetheless, very grateful for Jim’s efforts and would have the badge up along with my Biblioblog Top 50 badge if it weren’t for the fact that I cannot get a “text” widget to work in WordPress for me right now.

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