At long last, my mother is a regular reader of my blog (and not an occasional reader, as before, even with Jim West’s open letter). You see, one of my nephews thought it was high time she had proper internet access. So what did she do? She went and spent an hour or so tracking back through my blog. And what did she read? ‘Too Many Dicks at the Writing Desk, or, How to Organise a Prophetic Sausage Fest’. Of course, I was visiting her today too, so you can imagine how our discussion went. But I am not one to back down, and sought to explain why it is not purely 14-year old porn. Or, if it is, then so is Ezekiel … Which she seemed to accept, reluctantly. All the same, as I left, she said, ‘don’t post smut on your blog, Roland, and keep your language clean’.

Welcome mum.


Having just sombred the crowd at the Historical Materialism conference with my paper on ‘Marxism and Death’, I now realise it marked the beginning of conference silly season. Next is the Society of Biblical Literature, with four papers (I had forgotten about one until recently). So, in a moment of shameless self-promotion, here they are:


Ideological Criticism
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Spring – Hyatt Regency

Theme: Book Review: James Crossley, Jesus in an Age of Terror (Equinox, 2008)

Randall Reed, Appalachian State University, Presiding
Mark Goodacre, Duke University, Panelist (25 min)
Zeba Crook, Carleton University, Panelist (25 min)
William Arnal, University of Regina, Panelist (25 min)
Roland Boer, University of Newcastle, Australia, Panelist (25 min)
James Crossley, University of Sheffield, Respondent (30 min)


Prophetic Texts and Their Ancient Contexts
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Inman – Hyatt Regency

Theme: Prophecy and Gender in the Bible and Beyond

Jonathan Stökl, University of Cambridge, Presiding
Roland Boer, University of Newcastle – Australia
Too Many Dicks at the Writing Desk, or, How to Organise a Prophetic Sausage-Fest (15 min)
Dale Launderville, Saint John’s University
Gender, Purity, and Power in Ezekiel’s Priestly Vision (15 min)
Corrine Carvalho, University of Saint Thomas
Prophecy and the Single Man: Marital Status and Gender in Jeremiah and Ezekiel (15 min)
Discussion (30 min)
Esther Hamori, Union Theological Seminary
Women and Divination in Biblical Narrative (15 min)
Martti Nissinen, University of Helsinki
Gender and Prophetic Agency in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean (15 min)
Ilona Zsolnay, University of Pennsylvania
Can the Masculine Mesopotamian King be a Feminine Vessel? (15 min)
Discussion (30 min)

The papers will be summarized, not read. The full text of the papers is available for those subscribed to the list To subscribe to the list, go to


Hebrew Bible and Political Theory/Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah
Joint Session With: Hebrew Bible and Political Theory, Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: International 1 – Marriott Marquis

Theme: Ezra-Nehemiah Through the Lens of Political Theory

Joshua Berman, Bar Ilan University, Presiding
Richard Bautch, Saint Edward’s University
Between Nationalism and Sectarianism: Political Identity in Ezra and Nehemiah (30 min)
Kyong-Jin Lee, Spring Arbor University
“The Law of your God and the Law of the King” in the Political Structure of the Achaemenid Empire (30 min)
Roland Boer, University of Newcastle – Australia
Subjectivity and Class in Ezra-Nehemiah (30 min)
Steven Schweitzer, Bethany Theological Seminary
Reading Utopia in Ezra-Nehemiah (30 min)


New Unit Planning Session: Economics in the Biblical World
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Lenox – Hyatt Regency

Theme: Problems and Prospects

Samuel Adams, Union Presbyterian Seminary, Presiding
Roland Boer, University of Newcastle
Economic Theory (35 min)
Roger S. Nam, George Fox University
Trade and Commerce (15 min)
Richard A. Horsley, University of Massachusetts
Second Temple Period (15 min)
Samuel Adams, Union Presbyterian Seminary
Family Life (15 min)
Catherine Murphy, Santa Clara University
Dead Sea Scrolls (15 min)
Break (10 min)
Business Meeting (45 min)

(ht to WJL)