Canadian Society of Biblical Studies Annual Meeting
Réunion annuelle de la Société canadienne des études bibliques
Wycliffe College, University of Toronto
(Unless Otherwise Specified)
May 26-28 Mai, 2002


Programme with Abstracts

Sunday, May 26 / Dimanche, 26 Mai

8:00-11:30 (Leonard Hall)
New Testament/Nouveau Testament 
Gospel Study/Historical Jesus
Presiding/Présidence: Daniel Smith (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto)

8:00-8:30 Mary Ann Beavis (St. Thomas More College) “The Rule of God in the Context of Greco-Roman and Hellenistic Jewish Political Thought”

While the phrase “the kingdom/rule of God” has obvious political implications, its usage by Jesus has most often been interpreted in social, eschatological and theological terms. This paper will survey representative interpretations of this concept in the historical Jesus literature, and attempt to situate Jesus understanding of “the rule of God” within the spectrum of Greco-Roman and hellenistic Jewish political thought, with special reference to the works of Josephus and Philo. In particular, Jesus’ use of the phrase will be considered as one of several hellenistic Jewish responses to the loss of native rule, and examine the implications of the concept for the application of the term “messiah” to the historical Jesus.

8:30-9:00 David Miller (McMaster University) “Orality, Written Texts and the Locus of Authority in Luke-Acts”

In this paper, I will argue that Luke’s assumptions about communication challenge a prominent scholarly model of the formation of the Jesus tradition. The relationship between the oral teaching of Jesus, the oral transmission of Jesus’ sayings by the church, and the written Gospels will be analyzed through a study of references to written texts and oral communication in Luke-Acts. While it is obvious that Luke shaped and altered the tradition he received, modern scholars have proposed that the oral tradition was open to more radical changes by Christian prophets who added new ‘post-Easter’ Jesus sayings. I will argue that Luke attempts to guard the Jesus tradition from radical innovation not by denying the authority of oral traditions but by insisting on the return to authoritative oral and written sources that go back to eyewitnesses of Jesus’ ‘pre-Easter’ life. Evidence from Luke’s cultural milieu indicates that his concerns were shared by his earliest Christian forebears.

9:00-9:30 Tony Cummins (Canadian Theological Seminary) “Judith and the Marcan Jesus: A Comparative Analysis of Jewish Identity and Destiny”

Operating on the premise that the nearest literary and ideological analogues to the NT Gospels are to be found in the Jewish Apocryphal narratives, this paper offers as a test-case an exploratory comparative analysis of Judith and the Marcan Jesus. Attention will be given to a range of narrative and theological considerations, including setting (exile, siege), plot (threat, deliverance), and theme (sin, obedience). However, the focus will be upon the profiles of the protagonists as projected by the texts (the representative figures of Judith and the Marcan Jesus), with particular reference to what their respective identities and destinies indicate concerning the character and role of the Jewish people in relation to God and the world.

9:30-9:45 BREAK

9:45-10:15 John Kloppenborg Verbin (Claremont University) “The Parable of the Tenants in Mark and Thomas”

Comparison of Mark 12:1-9 and Gospel of Thomas 65 indicates that Mark and Thomas agree on four assumptions concerning the nature of ancient viticulture and land leasing arrangements: that large-scale landlords played significant roles in Palestinian agriculture; that absenteeism was a norm; that various forms of conflict were endemic to agricultural lease arrangements; and that status displays are normally involved in debt recovery. An examination of contemporary viticulture practices indicates that each of these assumptions is well grounded. However none of the three assumptions peculiar to Mark’s account--that a newly planted vineyard can command rent, that tenants could stand to inherit through murder, and that self-help is justified under these conditions--are realistic given what we know of ancient viticulture and legal procedure in Egypt, Rome or ancient Judah.

10:15-10:45 John F. Horman (Waterloo) “Knowing and Knowledge in Thomas”

“Knowing” is a very common metaphor for Thomas’ religious enterprise, as is “seeing,” “seeking,” “finding” and “uncovering.” Very commonly “knowing” or “finding” is associated with “not tasting death.” However, what is “known” is variable. Not only oneself, but also “the father,” “the kingdom,” and “what is before one’s face” are important, as well as a number of other objects. Seemingly then knowing is a way of describing reaching a certain religious goal, but there are mixed indications about what that goal might be. “Knowledge” as a noun, however, is found only once, in a passage derived from Q.

10:45-11:15 Frederik Wisse (McGill University) “Separating History from Theology: The Mission to Jews and Gentiles in Paul, Acts and Matthew”

The portrayals of the order and outcome of the mission to the Jews and the Gentiles in the Pauline Epistles, Luke-Acts, and the Gospel of Matthew show some striking differences. This may in part be due to differences in information available to the three authors about what actually happened during the early decades of the Christian movement, but it would appear that also theological considerations have significantly shaped their views. Thanks to the presence of three independent “witnesses” it may be possible to separate theology from history and arrive at a probable historical reconstruction of what took place.

11:15-11:30 Questions/Synthesis/Discussion


8:00-11:30 (Sheraton Hall)
Old Testament-Hebrew Bible/Ancien Testament-Bible Hébraïque
Pre-Break: Problems of Language and Translation
Première Partie: Problèmes de la Langue et de la Traduction

Presiding/Présidence: John Wevers (University of Toronto, Emeritus)

8:00-8:30 Robert Hiebert (Trinity Western University) “The Septuagint of Genesis as a Hellenistic Jewish Document”

The Greek translation of the Hebrew Pentateuch - the Septuagint - is an important body of literature, in part because of its crucial text-historical significance. As a translation, it also provides a window on the world of the faith community that produced it, namely, Hellenistic Jewry of Alexandria, Egypt. In this paper, I propose to investigate the latter issue, reflecting on some of the interesting choices made by the Greek translator of Genesis in the attempt to communicate meaningfully to the intended readership, and on the implications of these considerations for the forthcoming New English Translation of the Septuagint.

8:30-9:00 Priscilla D.M. Turner (Vancouver) “Dating Old Greek Books by Language: Ezekiel 1-39 as a Pilot Project”

We have very little hard information as to when the post-Pentateuchal Greek versions were done, although it is of obvious relevance for Hebrew textual criticism to have a reasonably precise terminus ante quem for the putative Vorlage. When irrelevant and unreliable types of Greek Language evidence are cleared away, enough remains for us to date the OG of Ez 1-39 in the light of modern knowledge to c. 150-50 BCE.

9:00-9:15: Response to Papers: Albert Pietersma (University of Toronto, Emeritus)

9:15-9:30: Questions/Discussion

9:30-9:45: BREAK

Post Break: Hebrew Poetry and Psalms
Deuxième Partie:Poésie Israélite et Psaumes
Presiding/Présidence: J. Glen Taylor (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto)

9:45-10:15 Cristian Rata (University of Toronto): “On the Use of Yqtl and Qtl in Hebrew Poetry”

This essay starts by analyzing the latest contributions for the understanding of the YQTL and QTL in Hebrew poetry, and recognizes that the best approach takes into consideration the fact that there are various stages of Hebrew poetry detectable in the Bible. My research will attempt to trace the development of these forms from the archaic poetry found in the Bible to the later prophetic and wisdom literature. The analysis concludes that the archaic narrative poetry of the corpus supports the notion of two types of yiqtols, one going back to a preterite yaqtul, and one to the longer yaqtulu form. The prophetic literature displays a more complex verbal system, while in the wisdom literature we come the closest to viewing the verbal system as one of tense.

10:15-10:45 Joyce Rilett Wood (Toronto) “Psalm 22: From Private to Public Lament”

The trend in recent scholarship is to regard Psalm 22, like other laments in the Psalter, as a unified composition, with a natural progression from lament to praise. My thesis is that Psalm 22 started off as an individual lament but in later times was converted into a community lament. I will show that the revised version is blended into the original but develops a different theological argument. We will see that the Gospel writers were aware of the boundaries of the initial text and that the early Rabbis interpreted Psalm 22 as both a private and public lament.

10:45-11:15 Tyler F. Williams (Taylor University College) “The Psalms at Qumran: The Status of the Current Debate”

With the official publication of the Cave IV psalms manuscripts in 2000, as well as the publication of the Cave XI psalms manuscripts in 1998, the critical editions of all of the Qumran psalms scrolls are now available. As such, it is appropriate to take stock and evaluate the status of the current debate surrounding these manuscripts. In particular, this paper will evaluate the theses of Peter Flint, undoubtedly the most prolific scholar in the recent debate. While Flint’s refinement of James Sanders’s “Qumran Psalter Hypothesis” has gone practically uncontested, it is my contention that it does not adequately explain all the evidence and requires further revision.

11:15-11:30 Questions/Discussion


11:30-13:00 Reading Room
Orientation Lunch for New Members and Students/
Lunch d’Intégration et de Discussion pour nouveaux Membres et les Étudiants

(N.B. Students and others wishing an introduction to the CSBS, meet promptly in the Reading Room at Wycliffe College for information on a time of orientation to the Society over lunch. / Étudiants et autres intéressés à assister à une session d’information sur la SCÉB doivent se présenter à la Salle de Lecture [Reading Room] de Wycliffe College. Le lieu du restaurant est à déterminer.)


13:00-16:30 (Leonard Hall)
New Testament/Nouveau Testament

Paul and the Epistles Named for Him/Les Épîtres de Paul
Presiding/Présidence: L. Ann Jervis (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto)

1:00-1:25 Stephen Westerholm (McMaster University) “The Twenty-Five-Year-Old Perspective on Paul”

Sander’s Paul and Palestinian Judaism, published twenty-five years ago, continues to be much discussed. His proposal that all branches of first-century Judaism were marked by “covenantal nomism” has been widely endorsed, though a number of scholars think it applicable to some, but not all, of the surviving literature, and others think its categories foreign to Judaism. Some Pauline scholars accept and build on Sanders’s main conclusions. Others think Sanders wrong in believing Paul criticized Judaism at all, or in underestimating his critique of Judaism’s ethnocentricity. Finally, a number of scholars believe that a study of Paul’s anthropology, apocalyptic worldview, or rhetoric shows that he distinguished Christian faith from Judaism on issues of “works” and “grace.”

1:25-1:50 Zeba Crook (University of St. Michael’s College) “Modern Assumptions in the Study of Ancient Conversion”

Conversion tends to be understood, in our current cultural environment, in a predominantly psychological way. This paper attempts three things: to trace the influence of the psychological paradigm in Western academic circles; to show that such a tendency is understandable, though frequently latent; and to introduce New Testament scholarship to recent critical writings within psychology which suggest the need to resist assumptions of cross-cultural unity. Having shown what is wrong with applying our psychological cognitive framework to other times and cultures, I will suggest, but not develop here, an alternative approach.

1:50-2:15 Mona Lafosse (University of Toronto) “Pauline Language in 2 Timothy”

Of the three Pastoral Epistles, 2 Timothy has often been recognized as somewhat atypical, but only recently have the unique features of this letter been given more notice in theories of authorship. In this paper, I will review, evaluate and utilize data from the oft-cited work of P.N. Harrison (1921) on the vocabulary of the Pastoral Epistles. Some necessary alterations to Harrison’s figures improve the accuracy of his calculations and confirm his observation that 2 Timothy is the most “Pauline” of the three Pastorals in terms of vocabulary. My focus on the similarities in vocabulary between 2 Timothy and the other letters attributed to Paul suggests that 2 Timothy may have different origins than the other Pastoral Epistles.

2:15-2:30 Discussion

2:30-2:45 BREAK

2:45-3:25 Anthony Ricciuti (Rochester, NY) & Sylvia Keesmaat (Institute for Christian Studies) “Perspectives on Colossians 3:18-4:1: Onesimus of Colossae and Interpretation”

This paper explores whether Paul’s treatment of slavery in Colossians displays narrative coherence on three levels. First, does the letter cohere with the story of the slave, Onesimus. I will attempt to discern the perspective of Onesimus on Col 3.18-4.1 in light of the sister letter of Paul to Philemon. Second, does Colossians cohere with the larger Christian claim about our identity in Christ? I will probe the claim of Colossians 3.11 in light of Galatians 3.28 and Genesis 1.27. Thus I will propose, additionally, that Colossians be read through the lenses of God’s creational intent and Christ’s baptismal proclamation. Third, does Colossians cohere within itself? Here I will address more directly the postmodern challenge to Colossians with reference especially to Mark Taylor’s analysis of what he calls the “postmodern trilemma,” and suggest that there is an inherent tension in Colossians that needs to take seriously both the words of the unstoried in this text, and the teachings of the household codes.

Written from the perspective of Onesimus, the slave who accompanies Paul’s letter to the Colossians, this paper explores various interpretive strategies for reading the household codes. Arguing that the issue of slavery, particularly that status of Onesimus, was a central concern for the community, the paper explores whether this passage reinscribes an imperial hegemony that the rest of the letter subverts. By rooting Paul’s admonitions of 3.11-4.1 in the tradition of jubilee found throughout Israel’s scriptures, I offer a liberationist reading of these texts that is deeply subversive of the Roman empire. This reading calls the christian community to an emancipatory gospel that constructs an alternative social reality at the heart of the empire.

3:25-3:50 Kenneth Fox (Tyndale Seminary), “The Present Resurrection of the ‘Inner Person’ of the Baptized in Romans 6-8”

In this paper I develop and test the hypothesis that Paul teaches in Romans 6-8 that the ‘Inner Person’ of the baptized has already been ‘made alive’ by divine pneuma, and in what ways this notion contributes to Paul’s argumentative strategies. Critical questions include: Does Paul exhort believers to pretend to be what they are not (as though alive from the dead) or reckon with what they really are, alive after having died? Should pneuma at 8.10 include a human referent in addition to a denotation of divine pneuma? And what should be the appropriate interpretive categories for an adequate reading of the present resurrection of the ‘inner person’ in Romans 6-8?

3:50-4:15 Edith M. Humphrey (Augustine College & Carleton University) “Ambivalent Apocalypse: Rhetoric and Reflection in 2 Corinthians 2:14-4:18”

Paul himself writes no full-blown apocalypses. Yet 2 Corinthians displays a complete familiarity with the conventional genre, while using its themes, forms and ideas in ways that surprise the reader. Apocalyptic discourse is reconfigured in the light of his conviction that salvation history and the impinging reality of another world could be seen clearly in the person of Jesus, God’s own apocalypse. Despite the probable composite nature of 2 Corinthians, the entire letter, its teaching and rhetoric, is informed by the genre apocalypse. We will consider in particular 2:14-4:18, using the categories of Vernon Robbins, so as to disclose Paul’s use and reconstitution of the apocalypse at various levels of his argument: Oral-scribal, historical/cultural and social.

4:15-4:30 Questions/Discussion


13:00-16:30 (Sheraton Hall)
Feminisms, Culture and Bible/Les Féminismes, la Culture et la Bible
Presiding/Présidence: Erin Runions, Barnard College

1:00-1:30 Kimberly Stratton (Carleton University) “Male Magicians and Foolish Women: Heresy, Authority, and the Early Church”

Ancient literature tended to stereotype magic as a feminine pursuit (e.g., Euripides’ Medea, Lucan’s Erictho, Horace’s Canidia, Theocritus’ Simaetha, and various unnamed women in the Babylonian Talmud who practice sorcery). The Second Century, however, presents a stark increase in the number of men represented as magicians. I attribute this to the ever increasing interest in ‘new’ religions and the resulting competition among religious specialists and charismatics at this time. Despite this rise in the literary presence of male magicians, women continue to figure as primary targets for magic stereotyping in Roman and Jewish literature. Christian literature, in contrast, deviates from this gendered pattern; men function almost unanimously as the ‘magician’ heretic in Christian writings while women are characterized as credulous and hysterical victims of the magician’s deception. What does this pattern suggest about the function of ‘women’ (or certain women) in Christian discourse over heresy? Women appear not to have been the targeted ‘other’ whom the church fathers seek to marginalize. Rather, the hereseologists single out men when formulating an attack on threats to their authority. Women, however, function to ‘other’ the competing religious leader by identifying him with foolish superstition, sexual immorality, and general impropriety that threatens social stability. Thus, the accusation of ‘magic’ and the accusation of women’s participation operated as a two-pronged attack to delegitimate the heretical ‘other’ as a charlatan, magician, and sexual deviant.

1:30-2:00 Harry Fox (University of Toronto) “Female Warriors in the Bible”

Proverbs 31 has been interpreted as “woman of valour.” This translation reflects gender bias and is not the literal sense of the Hebrew expression. This expression is to be studied in the context of women, war, and the myth of the Amazons.

2:00-2:30 Tirzah Meacham (University of Toronto), “Sinister Women: Real Snakes in Imaginary Gardens”

The image of the snake in the Garden of Eden has been used in Jewish legal writings as a symbol of gender warfare. What this means for the image of women in Jewish responsa literature offers some new insight on the associations and the identifications of woman and snake and the ongoing warfare between humans and nature.

2:30-2:45 BREAK

2:45-3:15 Marion Ann Taylor (Wycliffe College) “Marie Petrie and the Rise of Historical Consciousness in the Nineteenth Century”

From the perspective of biblical studies, the 19th century is a critical period marking the transition from pre-modern to modern, particularly the rise of historical consciousness and critical scholarship. The period is also a pivotal one for the history of women, many of whom became voices that called for change on many fronts (e.g. ordination, abolition, temperance and suffrage). The question arises as to how new perspectives and new tools affected interpretation. Mary Petrie’s, Clews To Holy Writ, (1893 ) and her numerous journal and magazine articles show how new perspectives and new tools affected her approach to the study of the Bible. Her popular writings were widely disseminated not only in England, but also Canada and the United States. In 1892, Mary married Charles Ashley Carus-Wilson, a professor in Montreal.

3:15-3:45 Fiona Black (Mount Allison University) “Who’s/Whose Ghostwriting? Autobiography, Textuality, and Some Fractured Females of the Bible”

Recent debates in autobiographical criticism acknowledge the problematic and fragmented nature of the self as the point of departure for writing one’s life. The concept of a fractured self is, moreover, of critical significance to women, who, it is argued, are already and always culturally at risk in establishing their identities, even before embarking on the consciously autobiographical enterprise. Using autobiographical theory, in this paper, I investigate the largely unidentified female protagonist of the Song of Songs and her “life-writing” as evidence of these risks and fractures. I consider three texts in particular: one where the protagonist is mysteriously named by her lover as Shulammite (7:1), and two where she describes herself in a possible response to others’ attempts to pinpoint her identity (1:5-6; 8:8-10). Can her attempts to describe herself, indeterminate as they are, possibly establish who she is? If they do, is it paradoxically through fragmentation that the protagonist empowers herself? Does either lover prevail in the battle of identification? By way of a conclusion, this paper also evaluates the relevance and applicability of autobiographical theory for feminist biblical criticism.

3:45-4:15 Respondent: Colleen Shantz (University of St. Michael’s College)

4:15-4:30 Discussion


16:40-17:40 (Alumni Hall, Victoria University)
CSBS 70th Anniversary Reception and Founders’ Tour/
Réception en honneur de la 70ième anniversaire de la première réunion de la SCÉB

Host/Hôte:Victoria University
Presenter/Orateur: Paul Gooch (President, Victoria University, University of Toronto)
Visit the Senior Common Room (Founders’ Site)
(For location, see http://vicu.utoronto.ca)


20:00-21:30 (Emmanuel College, Room 001)
CSSR Special Lecture/Présentation spéciale
Yvonne Haddad (Georgetown University), “The Reshaping of North American Islam”

Joint Reception/Réception Conjointe


Monday May 27th/Lundi, 27 Mai

8:00-11:30 (East Lecture Room)
Hebrew Bible-Old Testament/Bible Hébraïque-Ancien Testament
Issues in Old Testament Historiography & the Deuteronomistic History
Historiographie de l’Ancien Testament et de l’Histoire Deutéronomistique

Presiding/Présidence: Gary Knoppers (Pennsylvania State University)

8:00-8:45 Keith Bodner (Tyndale Seminary) & Christine Mitchell (Ottawa), “Solomon’s Accession in Kings and Chronicles” (Respectively)

The opening chapter of 1 Kings abounds with collusion and intrigue. A variety of agendas -- political, spiritual, and otherwise -- intersect in a network of power struggles and “speech acts.” The aged King David himself is the object of several competing interest groups hoping to fill the vacuum created by his infirmity and impending death. In the end, Solomon is the candidate placed on the throne of Israel, yet he himself is entirely passive until after his coronation. This paper is a study in how Solomon accedes to his father’s throne, and argues that a careful study of various intertextual allusions can help the reader to make sense of the curious circumstances that eventually result in Solomon becoming proclaimed as the king of Israel in 1 Kings 1.

This paper is in part a response to John Van Seters’ “Creative Imitation in the Hebrew Bible” (SR 29 [2000]: 395-409). In this paper, I discuss the Development of a model of intertextuality sensitive to the context of the texts. Then I turn to a discussion of the accession of Solomon in 1 Chron. 28-2 Chron. 1; I show that Solomon’s accession is a transformation of the selection of Saul in 1 Sam. 9-11. I conclude that Chronicles goes beyond plagiarism” in its relationship with Samuel-Kings, and that the Chronicler was a sophisticated literary artist working in a literate tradition.

8:45-8:55 Respondent: John Van Seters (Wilfrid Laurier University)

8:55-9:10 Discussion

9:10-9:35 David Jobling (St. Andrews College) “The Salvation of Israel in ‘The Book of the Divided Kingdoms’ (1 Kgs 11-2 Kgs 17)”

This paper attempts to discern the structure and message of the part of the Deuteronomistic History devoted to the Divided Kingdoms (1 Kings 11-2 Kings 17). It begins with and returns to the theological summary or “sermon” in 2 Kgs 17:7-41, finding there (1) an almost completely failed attempt to justify the fall of northern Israel by a large number of sins it is supposed to have committed, and (2) an equally failed attempt to make plausible the idea that the Israelites of the north were replaced by foreigners. In between, the account of the house of Jehu in 2 Kings 11-14 is read as a systematic assertion that the existence of northern Israel is guaranteed to be permanent by covenant. The whole section is read in terms of identity-formation in postexilic Yehud, and is found to express a deeply divided consciousness over how to understand and relate to the northerners of that the time, the Samaritans.

9:35-9:45 Respondent: Lissa Wray-Beale (Wycliffe College)

9:45-10:00 BREAK

10:00-10:25 Frank Clancy (Waterloo) “Where, When and How Did Josiah Die?”

Many scholars, E.R. Thiele, N. Na’aman, A. Latto, J.H. Hayes and P. K. Hooker, J. Hughes, G. Galil included, assume the date of Josiah’s death is fixed to the spring and early summer months of 609 B.C. Universally, scholars assume Josiah was killed by Necho either in battle or by execution. Scholars use both extra Biblical and Biblical evidence to support their claims. Unfortunately, upon further study, the extra-biblical evidence seems to contradict their arguments and the Biblical chronological data shows obvious signs of artificial or conventional arrangements. As a historical event, scholars should not assume we know where, when or how Josiah died.

10:25-10:50 John Van Seters (Wilfrid Laurier University), “Story and History in the Old Testament”

Ernest Nicholson, in an article entitled “Story and History in the Old Testament” (1994), argues that one should not speak about the writing of “history” in the Old Testament but only about a history-like “story.” In strong disagreement with my earlier treatment of this subject and in particular my use of comparison with Herodotus and other early Greek historians, Nicholson seeks to show that it was the Greeks who defined historia as a form of critical research on the past and that their histories differ decisively from OT narratives about Israel’s past, such that they should not be labeled as history but only story. This paper will reexamine the Greek evidence to dispute Nicholson’s claims and to show that indeed there is far more in common between Greek and Hebrew historiography than differences. At the very least both the works of the Yahwist and DtrH deserve to be understood as historiography and still the earliest preserved examples of this genre in world literature.

10:50-11:15 John Harvey (Edmonton), “The Structure of the Deuteronomistic History”

To date, there have been few attempts at outlining the literary structure of the Deuteronomistic History. In this paper I will contend that the Deuteronomistic Historian carefully arranged and edited the traditions that he had received. The Deuteronomistic Historian structured 1 Samuel as an extended chiasm with 1 Samuel 25 as the centre. Bracketing this extended chiasm is a panel structure: Joshua corresponds to Judges, as 1 Kings 1-11 corresponds to 1 Kings 12- 2 Kings 25. This structure complements the narratival concerns of the Deuteronomistic Historian.

1:15-11:30 Questions/Discussion/Presider’s Synthesis


9:00-11:30 (Cody Library)
Religious Rivalries/Rivalités religieuses
Presiding/Présidence: Richard Ascough (Queen’s Theological College)

9:00-9:50 James Rives (York University) “Religious Life in Roman Carthage, c. 180 C.E.”

In this paper I sketch out what we know or can guess about religious life in Carthage at this time, with particular attention to its social, cultural, and political context. I first locate late second-century Carthage in its broader geographical and historical context, and then review the major known public cults, with some comments on the complexity of their ethnic or cultural associations. After discussing the nature and limits of religious authority in the Roman state, I survey various types of non-public religious activities, including Judaism and Christianity, and conclude with a brief look forward.

9:50-10:10 BREAK

10:10-11:00 Joann Freed (Wilfrid Laurier University) “Religious Rivalries in Carthage in the Second Half of the 4th Century, from the Viewpoint of a Pagan Aristocrat”

In the second half of the 4th century, Roman emperors except Julian (361-363) were Christian, but pagan aristocrats shared in the administration of the empire. At this time, Carthage produced fine polychrome mosaics. Genre subjects were favoured, but mosaics depicting pagan myth and even sacrifice occurred, so late (c. 400) they are read as “pagan resistance.” Pagan resistance was embodied by Q. Aurelius Symmachus, proconsul of Africa at Carthage in 373/374; he believed pagan cult practice ensured the empire’s survival. I argue that Symmachus commissioned the “Mosaic of the Months and Seasons” and discuss how mosaics reflect religious positions of the time.

11:00-11:30 General Discussion


11:30-13:00 (280 Bloor St. West)
Women Scholars Lunch/Lunch pour les femmes savantes
Windows Room, Café Bistro, 280 Bloor St. West
Convenor: Edith M. Humphrey (Augustana College & Carleton University)


13:00-14:30 (Leonard Hall)
Special Session for Students/Session spéciale pour les étudiants
Surviving Job Candidacy/Survivre la recherche d’emploi
Presiding/Présidence: Colleen Shantz (University of St. Michael’s College)

Panelists: Richard Ascough (Queen’s Theological College), Alicia Batten (Pacific Lutheran University), Wayne McCready (University of Calgary), Adele Reinhartz (McMaster University)


14:30-15:50 (Sheraton Hall)
Student Essay Prizes/Prix pour des travaux d’étudiant(e)s
Presiding/Présidence: Frederik Wisse (McGill University)

14:30-15:00 Jeremias Prize: Matthew W. Mitchell (Temple University) “An Aborted Apostle: An Exploration of the Meaning of ektroma in Paul’s Self-Description”

In Paul’s description of his vision of the risen Christ (1 Cor 15:8) he refers to himself as “one untimely born.” The Greek word underlying this phrase is literally “miscarriage” or “abortion,” and presents a problem for commentators seeking to understand the precise manner in which Paul considers himself to be an abortion or miscarriage, since Paul’s vision of the risen Christ is unusual in its lateness, while an ektroma arrives before its time. Studies of the word’s extra-biblical use, though extensive, have failed to provide an explanation for Paul’s use, often attributing it to a function of Paul’s humility or his regret over his past persecution of the church, and suggesting its difficulty can be explained as a “unique” use of the word by Paul. It seems more plausible, however, in light of the well established semantic range of the word and its context, to understand it as a reference to the rejection of his apostolic authority as equal to the other apostles.

15:00-15:10 Questions/Discussion

15:10-15:40 Founders Prize Ken Penner (McMaster University) “The Fate of Josephus’s Antiquitates Judaicae 13.171-173: Ancient Judean Philosophy in Context”

We cannot rely on Josephus’ account of the differences between the three Judean sects in Ant. 13.171-173 for historical information about what their main disagreements were, or for their views of fate because Josephus is exaggerating and shaping the truth for his purposes. We know he is exaggerating because the Essenes depicted in the rest of Josephus’ writings are not characterized by total determinism; they do exercise choice. Nowhere else besides in Josephus are Essenes described as total determinists. Furthermore, if Essenes produced the Dead Sea Scrolls, they acknowledged an element of choice in joining the group. Likewise, the Sadducees could hardly have totally eliminated God’s role in human affairs if they believed the Torah, with its constant accounts of God’s intervention.
In Ant. 13.171-173 Josephus does not use the key word heimarmenê in his usual way. Instead of associating it with death, as he usually does, here he uses the term in its technical, philosophical sense. He calls the three groups haireseis, his term for schools of philosophy, and has them differ on a philosophical point, the same point by which Cicero distinguishes three Greek philosophical schools. Josephus’ purpose is evidently not to describe the main point on which the three disagreed with historical accuracy, but to indicate the antiquity of Judean philosophy. Josephus does not connect Ant. 13.171-173 to its literary context in any way other than chronologically. The chronological reference is significant because Josephus often uses appeals to the antiquity of customs or institutions as a way of legitimizing them.
I do not doubt that Josephus would have been capable accurately describing the main disagreements among the Judean groups, if that had been his intention. But because his rhetorical point was not dependent on historical accuracy, we ought not to ascribe excessive historical value to his description of their differences here. Instead, we can use this passage to get to know Josephus’ concerns, above all his desire to present Judean culture as a venerable and philosophical society, using categories readily understood by an audience of Roman elites.

15:40-15:50 Questions/Discussion


16:00-17:00 (Sheraton Hall)
CSBS Annual General Meeting/Assemblée annuelle de la SCÉB

17:00-18:00 (Sheraton Hall)
Presidential Address/Conférence du Président
Presiding/Présidence: Frederik Wisse (McGill University)
Ehud Ben Zvi (University of Alberta): “The Book of Chronicles: Another Look”


CSBS Annual Dinner/Banquet annuel de la SCÉB
The King’s Garden Chinese Restaurant
The Theatre District, 214 King St. West


Tuesday May 28th/Mardi, 28 Mai

8:30-11:30 (Cody Library)
Religious Rivalries/Rivalités religieuses
Presiding/Présidence: John Marshall (University of Toronto)

8:30-9:15 Peter Richardson (University of Toronto), “Religion and Architecture in Roman Africa”

A photographic survey of the urban design--emphasizing the religious and civic structures--of towns and cities in the Province of Africa (modern Tunisia), excluding Carthage; attention will be given to some buildings of voluntary associations. Among the cities considered will be Bulla Regia, Simitthu (Chemtou), Thugga (Dougga), Thuburbo Maius, Sufetula (Sbeitla), Thysdrus (El Jem), Mactaris (Maktar).

9:15-9:55 Steven Muir (University of Lethbridge) “Bold Enough to Exorcise, Cure and Baptize: Tertullian and His Female Opponents in Carthage”

In Praescr. XLI, the early third-century apologist Tertullian of Carthage rails against female “heretics” who have the audacity not only to teach and dispute, but also to exorcise, heal, and baptize. The usual scholarly assessment is that Gnostic Christians are the target of Tertullian’s attack. If that is so, why are they enacting rituals relating to the body? Gnostics are thought to have been concerned more with the spirit than the “flesh.” Further, were these acts the specialty of the female members of the group?

9:55-10:10 BREAK

10:10-10:50 Jack Lightstone (Concordia University), “The City in Early Rabbinic Literature (Part II): More Evidence from Tosefta”

The Rivalries Seminar has problematized the “city;” for seminar participants. Urban social organization is now clearly understood to provide the context for religious communities’ struggle to thrive. Earlier, I argued that the (re-)urbanization of Roman Palestine in the latter half of the second and subsequent century CE was a key factor in the formation of the rabbinic guild. I hypothesize, therefore, that aspects of urban life will increasingly register in early Palestinian rabbinic texts commenting upon Mishnah. Last year’s paper commenced exploring this hypothesis via an account of evidence from Tosefta’s first Division, Zera’im. The current paper continues with analysis of evidence in Tosefta, Division Mo’ed, containing fully half of Tosefta’s evidence for “the city.”

10:50-11:30 Margaret McDonald (St. Francis Xavier University) “Ephesians 5:21-33 and Marriage Teaching within the Context of Religious Rivalry”

There is no scholarly consensus with respect to the function of Eph 5:21-33 within the context of Ephesians as a whole. Furthermore, there is debate concerning whether the teaching on marriage should be understood as having primarily an internal focus or whether it is appropriate to understand it as being apologetic. The paper endeavours to shed light on these issues by examining the role of marriage teaching in relations between pagans, Jews, and Christians. Drawing upon recent work on the Roman family, it considers how the use of family ideals within social commentary and political propaganda may increase our grasp of the significance of marriage teaching to explore church identity in Ephesians. In addition, the paper considers recent scholarship on apologetic in the Roman world and its impact for our understanding of the household code in Ephesians.


8:00-11:30 (Leonard Hall)
The Bible and Its Trajectories/La Bible et ses Trajectoires
Presiding/Présidence: Iain Provan (Regent College)

8:00-8:25 Robert L. Webb (Tyndale Seminary) “The Issue in Second Peter: Epicurean Ethics, not Christian Eschatology”

The second letter of Peter is frequently characterized as concerned with the “delay of the Parousia”-- a concept that is increasingly being questioned today as a modern construct imposed on this ancient text. A more plausible construct is proposed: the issue at hand is ethical rather than eschatological. Certain ethical behaviors are expected as appropriate if God is involved in human affairs in general, and he is expected to execute divine judgment in particular. The opponents deny these claims, while the author affirms them. A concrete social context for such debate may be found in the popular philosophy, Epicureanism, and similar schools of thought in the Greco-Roman world. The implications of this alternative context are explored to shed new light on Second Peter.

8:25-8:50 David Hawkin (Memorial University) “The Critique of Ideology in the Book of Revelation”

The book of Revelation poses many problems for the exegete. Its bizarre images are difficult to understand, and its lurid description of the horrors of the End make its theology difficult to accept. Revelation may be perceived in a new light, however, when we see it that it is not so much about revealing the End as it is about unmasking the realities of the present. It is, to use Christopher Rowland’s phrase, “an ancient Christian form of the critique of ideology.” My paper seeks to show how Revelation performs this critique by focusing on three of the major images in the book: Babylon, the sea, and the new Jerusalem.

8:50-9:15 Philip A. Harland (Concordia University) “Christ-Bearers and Fellow-Initiates: Local Cultural Life and Christian Identity in Ignatius’ Epistles”

In writing to Christian assemblies in the cities of Roman Asia, Ignatius draws on imagery from Greco-Roman cultural life to speak of the identity of the Christians. The Christians at Ephesos, for instance, are “fellow-initiates” of Paul, sharing in the hidden “mysteries” which only they know (Eph. 12.2; 19.1; cf. Magn. 9.1; Trall. 2.3). Together they take part in a procession in honour of their patron deity, bearing sacred objects as groups of “God-bearers” and “Christ-bearers” (Eph. 9.2). Scholars have given some attention to the Greco-Roman cultural images which Ignatius evokes, but often in a cursory way and rarely, if ever, with reference to local religious life in Roman Asia. This paper explores neglected archeological evidence which sheds important light on what Ignatius may have had in mind and, perhaps more importantly, what the listeners or readers of Ignatius in these cities would think of when Ignatius spoke of their identity as, say, Christ-bearers or initiates. More broadly, this paper illustrates the importance of investigating artefactual remains in order to better understand the identities of early Christians like Ignatius and his addressees in relation to cultural life among their Greek and Roman neighbours.

9:15-9:40 Harold Remus (Wilfrid Laurier University) “The End of ‘Paganism’: A Modest Proposal”

This paper examines the use of the term paganus, -i in classical sources, the development of the term in the Christianity of Late Antiquity as a means of setting Christians off from polytheists, the denotations and connotations of the term in literature as well as in everyday speech in the modern period, and the appropriateness of continuing to use the term in present-day scholarly discourse.

9:40-9:55 Questions/Discussion

9:55-10:05 BREAK

10:05-10:30 Susan Slater (Atlantic School of Theology) “Text and Place: A Practice of ‘Religious Reading’”

This paper explores “religious readings” of biblical texts, particularly as these emerge within an explicitly post-modern (or late modern) critical context. Shifting practices of professional discourse open epistemic space for more evocative and performative modes of knowing in which the “epiphanic” presses up against the revelatory in a noetic space in which knowing becomes inseparable from a practice of moral and aesthetic presence. One instance of “religious reading” is considered, which explores resonances between readers’ senses of place and senses of place encountered in biblical texts. This particular approach has connections also with recent theo-ethical explorations of the literature and poetry of place.

10:30-10:55 Rebecca G. S. Idestrom (Tyndale Seminary) “Echoes of Exodus in the Book of Ezekiel”

This paper will explore the thematic connections made between the book of Exodus and the book of Ezekiel. Both books emphasize the theme of knowing God through his divine acts. Other themes and motifs from Exodus found in Ezekiel including the call narrative, divine encounters, captivity, signs, plagues, judgement, redemption, tabernacle/temple will be considered. Several parallels between Moses and Ezekiel are noted; both are Levites who become prophets and leaders of God’s people in a time of crisis. The implications of these connections for interpreting the book of Ezekiel will be explored.

10:55-11:20 J. Glen Taylor (Wycliffe College) “Canaanite War-Goddess Imagery in the Portrayal of Deborah and Jael in Judges 5? Reconsidering a Unique Contribution of CSBS Members after 25 Years”

A unique contribution of CSBS members has been the suggestion that Canannite goddess imagery was purposefully used to heighten the effect of the portrayal of Deborah in Judges 5 (P.C. Craigie, JSOT, 1977 & ZAW, 1978; S.G. Dempster, WTJ, 1978; J. G. Taylor, JSOT, 1982). On the twenty-fifth anniversary of Craigie’s pioneering effort, I propose to re-examine the evidence. Does the evidence today support the idea that the Hebrew poet portrayed Deborah as a sort of Anat and, as Taylor further argued, Jael as a kind of Athtart and, if so, why?

11:20-11:30 Questions/Discussion


12:00-13:30 (123 St. George St)
Seminar Room, Centre for the Study of Religion
Student Lunch Event (Sponsored by CSSR)/ Lunch pour les étudiants
Speaker: Dr. Pamela Klassen, “Preparing for an Academic Career in Religious Studies”


13:00-16:00 (Leonard Hall)
Joint Session with CCSR & CTS/Session conjointe avec SCÉR et STC
Women, War, and the Interpretation of Scripture / Les Femmes, la Guerre et l’Interprétation de l’Écriture

Presiding/Présidence: Fiona Black (Mount Allison University)

Panel Discussion/Discussion de Membres experts: Johannes N. Vorster (University of South Africa), Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad (Georgetown University), Erin Runions (Barnard College), Deidre Butler (Concordia University)


13:00-17:45 (St. Michael’s College, Alumni Hall, Room 400)
CSPS & Tyndale Seminary Conference
Reading Romans: Encounters with the Epistle to the Romans through the Centuries

N.B.: Non CSPS/CSSH Delegates must register for the conference using the Congress’ Registration Guide. Further information:www.tyndale.ca/conference or e-mail Sherrilyn Hall, shall@tyndale.ca (Registration only for evening lectures possible.)

1:00-1:45 Gerald Bray (Beeson Divinity School) “Ambrosia”
1:45-2:30 Christopher Hall (Eastern College) “Chrysostom”

2:30-3:00 BREAK

3:00-3:45 Pamela Bright (Concordia University) “Augustine”
3:45-4:30 Patristics Panel Discussion

4:30-4:45 BREAK

4:45-5:45 Fr. Steven Boguslawski (Sacred Heart Major Seminary) “Aquinas”


17:00-19:00 (Great Hall, Hart House)
University President’s Reception/Réception du Président de l’Université


19:30-21:00 (St. Michael’s College, Alumni Hall, Room 400)
CSPS & Tyndale Seminary Conference
Reading Romans: Encounters with the Epistle to the Romans through the Centuries

Timothy George (Beeson Divinity School): “Martin Luther”


20:00-21:00 (Sheraton Hall)
Joint Session Special Lecturer/Présentation spéciale
Johannes N. Vorster (University of South Africa, Unisa):
“‘Mapping’ the Body is neither Anatomy nor Physiology:
The Academic Study of Religion and a Cultural Rhetoric of the Body”


Wednesday May 29th/Mercredi, 29 Mai

9:00-12:10 (St. Michael’s College, Alumni Hall, Room 400)
CSPS & Tyndale Seminary Conference
Reading Romans: Encounters with the Epistle to the Romans through the Centuries

9:00-9:40 Jeffrey Greenman (Tyndale Seminary) “William Tyndale”
9:40-10:30 William Klassen (University of Waterloo), “Anabaptists”

10:30-10:55 BREAK

10:55-11:40 David Demson (University of Toronto) “Calvin”
Reformation Panel Discussion


13:30-17:30 (St. Michael’s College, Alumni Hall, Room 400)
CSPS & Tyndale Seminary Conference
Reading Romans: Encounters with the Epistle to the Romans through the Centuries

1:30-2:30 Victor Shepherd (Tyndale Seminary) “John Wesley”
Mark Noll (Wheaton College) “Charles Hodge”

3:10-3:30 BREAK

3:30-4:30 Timothy Larsen (Tyndale Seminary) “J. W. Colenso”
Nancy Calvert-Koyzis (Tyndale Seminary) “New Perspectives on Paul”


19:30-21:00 (St. Michael’s College, Alumni Hall, Room 400)
CSPS & Tyndale Seminary Conference
Reading Romans: Encounters with the Epistle to the Romans through the Centuries

John Webster (Oxford University): “Karl Barth” 

Main Page / Page d’accueil

Page created by: John L. McLaughlin
Maintained by:
Richard S. Ascough
Last update:
December 20, 2004