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Title: Presidential Voices: The Society of Biblical Literature in the Twentieth Century
Author: Attridge, Harold W James C VanderKam (eds)
Publisher: SBL Press; Publication Date: 2006
Paperback; ISBN: 9781589832596
Volumes: 1; Pages: 364
List Price in Paper: $39.95 Our price: $30.99
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Since late in the nineteenth century, a nearly constant element in the program for the annual meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature (and Exegesis) has been the lecture delivered by the president whose term concludes with that meeting. These presidential addresses have not only provided defining moments for biblical studies as a practice and a profession but also, read together, reveal the growth and development that the Society has experienced since its founding in 1880. The addresses included in this volume, for example, show how a dominant focus on interpreting biblical texts "historically" gave way to a greater appreciation of those texts as literature to an increased recognition of the role the interpreter plays in shaping the "meaning" of any text. One also observes in this documentary history the shift from parochialism to a more inclusive view of biblical studies, a change in focus from narrow theological concerns to broader social concerns, and the gradual erosion of positivistic assumptions about the objectivity of the interpretive process. The twenty-three presidential addresses collected here thus give readers direct access to some of the key moments and broader trends within the history of the SBL.