Since my first report the joint meetings of the ASRS/ATS/SBL/AAR are now finished. Next year the meetings will take place in San Diego. I can tell you that I am already looking forward to it!
So why go?
Well, for me I really appreciated the critical feedback from my paper that I presented on “SDAs, Statements of Belief, and Unity.” I’ve already made some revisions.
As one person shared with me during the meetings, a true academic is someone who recognizes their limitations and the incredible wealth of information that is out there. At the same time they also know how to evaluate as to whether a source is credible or not.
The time spent in these meetings is also very relational. I get to learn about how friends are doing who are now teaching in other universities, how former professors break new pathways with their publications, and I get to make many new friends, too.
With so many different paper sessions during the main SBL/AAR meetings I consistently found multiple paper sessions that were at the same time. One of my favorite sessions was about Jacob Arminius (the namesake for Arminianism). One of my favorite authors, Roger Olsen, commented on two books on Arminius. An insightful dialogue ensued that helps for me to sharp the contours of Arminian theology (which incidentally, we as Seventh-day Adventists through John Wesley and Methodism share in that theological heritage).
And last but not least, when there weren’t paper sessions there was the exhibit hall with many booksellers with steep discounts. Publishers want teachers to buy their books: first of all so they cite them in their writing, and second, with the hope that they use these same books in the classroom. Many of the publishers offer discounts between 20 and 60% off the retail price. It is time to stock up.
And stock up I did. My suitcase and carry-on luggage were packed full of books. A few for me, but most of them, to help build up our collection at the AIIAS library.
Until next year. San Diego 2014.