McAfee School of Theology to Host Pre-Society of Biblical Literature Conference on ‘John and Judaism’ in November


ATLANTA – Mercer University's McAfee School of Theology will host a three-day conference on “John and Judaism” prior to the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) Annual Meetings 2015, which will take place Nov. 21-24 in Atlanta.

The conference, Nov. 18-20 in the Atlanta Administration and Conference Center on Mercer's Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus, will feature a keynote address by renowned South African biblical scholar and Bible translator Dr. Jan van der Watt. Dr. van der Watt is currently a member of the theology faculty at Radbound University in The Netherlands.

Following the keynote on Wednesday, the conference will address three topics: “John as a Source for Understanding Judaism” on Thursday morning, “aposynagogos?Reappraising John's Relationship to Judaism” on Thursday afternoon, and “Reading John as Jews and Christians” on Friday morning.

Major paper presentations will be made by Dr. Craig R. Koester, vice president of academic affairs, professor and Asher O. and Carrie Nasby Chair of New Testament at Luther Seminary; Dr. Adele Reinhartz, professor in the Department of Classics and Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa; Dr. Craig A. Evans, Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia University; and Dr. Reimund Bieringer, professor of New Testament exegesis at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium.

Additionally, nine shorter papers, including three on each topic, will fill out the conference schedule.

The SBL Annual Meetings mark the largest gathering of scholars interested in the study of religion in the world. Each meeting showcases the latest in related research, fosters collegial contacts and focuses on issues of the profession. One of the world's largest exhibits of books and digital resources for biblical studies is also put on display.

“We hope to build on the success of similar pre-SBL events hosted by Mercer in 2010 and St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore in 2013,” said Dr. R. Alan Culpepper, dean of the McAfee School of Theology.

The papers presented at Mercer's 2010 conference on the Johannine Epistles were published last year by the Society of Biblical Literature in a volume, titled Communities in Dispute: Current Scholarship on the Johannine Epistles, edited by Dr. Culpepper and Dr. Paul N. Anderson, professor of biblical and Quaker studies at George Fox University.

The registration fee for the upcoming conference, which includes dinner on Wednesday and lunch and dinner on Thursday, is $125.

For more information, or to register, contact Diane Frazier at frazier_d@mercer.eduor (678) 547-6470.

About the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology

The James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology was established in 1996. Located in Atlanta, on Mercer University's Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus, the School of Theology offers degree programs leading to a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry. The School of Theology also offers several joint programs: an M.Div.-Master of Business Administration, M.Div.-Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and M.Div.-Master of Science in Organizational Leadership with a Concentration in Non-Profit. For more information, visit

Kyle is senior director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he serves as editor of the Mercerian alumni magazine and News@Mercer e-newsletters, and he coordinates hometown and university news releases.