School of Religion Adjunct Mark A. Christian (’94) has chaired the “Expressions of Religion in Israel” program unit of the annual, International Meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature (ISBL) since 2008. The program unit has recently been approved to continue through 2017. From the papers of the 2012 ISBL meeting in Amsterdam, Christian has coedited a special edition of the peer-reviewed journal Die Welt des Orients 43, Jahrgang (in press, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen, Germany) with Dr. Rüdiger Schmitt of Münster, Germany. The theme is “Permutations of Astarte in Israelite and Mediterranean Religions.” In addition to coediting, Christian contributed the paper “Phoenician Maritime Religion: Sailors, Goddess Worship, and the Grotta Regina” and coauthored the “Introduction” with Schmitt.
Christian has recently published reviews in peer-reviewed journals of two books from the series Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für Altorientalische und Biblische Rechtsgeschichte published in Wiesbaden, Germany by Harrassowitz. The first, “Deuteronomium: Tora für eine neue Generation“(eds., G. Fischer, D. Markl, S. Paganini; 2011) contains German and English essays by leading European biblical scholars on the Book of Deuteronomy and Pentateuchal theory. The review is published in the Review of Biblical Literature, vol. 07, 2013. The second, “The Foreigner and the Law: Perspectives from the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East (eds. R. Achenbach, R. Albertz, and J. Wöhrle; 2011), is an anthology of English essays concerned with the status of foreigners in the ancient world as reflected in biblical and ancient Near Eastern legal texts. The review is published in the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures, vol. 13, 2013.
For the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Baltimore this Nov. 23-26, Christian has organized a panel of international scholars to review the book Law, Power, and Justice in Ancient Israel (Westminster John Knox, 2011). The book is written by Douglas A. Knight of Vanderbilt University. The program unit hosting the event is the Social Sciences and the Interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures section. Christian serves on the steering committee and will be moderating the panel in Baltimore.