Archives of Reception of the Bible

Past blogging in more ways than one.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Comments on the conference - The Book of Revelation and Effective History, 4-6th September 2006

The conference was a very rewarding experience personally, but very difficult to summarise here. There were thirteen papers (45 mins each, split equally between presentation and questions) on a wide variety of topics, offered from a number of diffent disciplinary areas, and a introduction and response from Chris Rowland, co-author of the Revelation commentary in the Blackwell series. I have already posted the titles of the papers, but I am afraid detailed discussion of them will have to wait for publication. There were too many and the quality too high to risk summarising them here. And the informal discussions over evening meals and on the Wednesday morning were equally valuable.

The difference in views on reception between historians, English Lit people, theologians, and biblical scholars could be clearly seen on occasions, as people tried to relate their own views to the presentations and discussions of others. In fact one of the most interesting features of the event was the way people seemed often to want to apologise for straying beyond their disciplinary boundaries. (I might want to make it a test of such events that participants must say "this is not my area but..." several times in order for the description 'interdisciplinary' to stick!) Hopefully, people will take this further elsewhere.

My paper on Johnny Cash seemed to go down well, but that may owe something to its being the last paper at the end of a very long day (eight papers). Music, film, and pictures were in surprisingly short supply overall, but as one participant said, 20-25 minutes doesn't allow a lot of time for such illustrations. So lots of Cash images and a four and a half minute song seemed quite extravagant. Now all I have to do is write it all up for the conference volume. Oh well, back to that!


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