University homepage Suomeksi In English
University of Helsinki

Explaining Early Jewish and Christian Movements:
Ritual, Memory and Identity


Contact us:

Project Director:
Petri Luomanen
Academy research fellow
Department of Biblical Studies
P.O. BOX 33 (Aleksanterinkatu 7)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki
Tel: +358-(0)9 191 24014
Fax: +358-(0)9 191 22106

SBL Program Units

Program unit in the SBL International Meetings
Mind, Society and Tradition
Chairs: Istvan Czachesz & Risto Uro

Unit description

This program unit aims to initiate a dialogue and cross-disciplinary theory forming in biblical studies between social-scientific methods and the so-called cognitive science of religion. The cognitive science of religion is a new multidisciplinary field that has emerged in the 1990s. It is interested in cross-culturally recurrent patterns in religious thought, experience, and practice, explaining these regularities in terms of the architecture of the human mind. This field has opened up new ways of understanding religiosity as well as the emergence and development of religious movements, sometimes challenging the established theories in classical anthropology and comparative religion. These developments have potential relevance to biblical studies.

To see the program and absctracts of the past meeting:

SBL International Meeting, Vienna 2007

You can propose a paper for the 2008 International Meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, Sun, July 06, 2008 to Fri, July 11, 2008, here.

Program unit in the SBL Annual Meetings
Jewish Christianity / Christian Judaism -Section
Chairs: Matt Jackson-McCabe and Petri Luomanen

Unit description

The broad aim of this research unit is to clarify the religion, history, and sociology of the ancient groups traditionally called, collectively, "Jewish Christianity," but increasingly "Christian" or "Jesus-believing Judaism." The group also seeks to clarify the issues involved in conceptualizing such groups as a distinct category of religion in antiquity.

Program in Boston Annual Meeting, 2008:
One theme for the year 2008 is "Opponents and Enemies Within: 'Too-Christian' Jews and 'Too-Jewish' Christians." For this theme, the unit welcomes papers that explore the growing awareness of mutually exclusive Christian and Jewish identities in early Christian and early Jewish/Rabbinic sources by paying special attention to emerging heresiological discourses that seek to identify and expel unacceptable Jewish religiosity within Christian communities and unacceptable Christian religiosity within Jewish communities. Proposals are also welcome for an open session on any topic related to the goals and general subject of the program unit, and for a session that deals with Jewish Christianity/Christian Judaism and Q, to be organized together with the Q Section.