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Meetings on Early Christianity in North Africa at SBL/AAR San Diego

Oct. 31, 2014

by Christian Clark

Dear friends and colleagues,

This email is to update you about our upcoming sessions at SBL. Our group, Contextualizing North African Christianity, is holding two sessions, and we are hosting a joint session with the Inventing Christianity section. That section also has a session devoted to Tertullian. In addition, there is a review panel of Patout Burns and Robin Jensen’s new book on Christianity in North Africa. All of these details have been pasted below for your convenience.

Finally, we would like to invite all who are interested in joining us for lunch to do so on Monday (Nov. 24) after our group’s second session. Details will be sent out the day before via email, and then announced again in the session.

Looking forward to seeing all of you who can attend.

Best wishes,
David Wilhite and David Riggs

David Wilhite
Associate Professor of Theology
Truett Theological Seminary
of Baylor University
Waco, TX



Contextualizing North African Christianity
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: C (Level 3 (Aqua)) - Hilton Bayfront (HB)
Theme: Donatist and Catholic Rites: Similarities and Differences
David Riggs, Indiana Wesleyan, Presiding
Jane Merdinger, Independent Scholar
Reading between the Lines: Deciphering Differences in Donatist and Catholic Rites (30 min)
Bradley Daugherty, Vanderbilt University
Episcopal Burials in North African Christianity (30 min)
Jesse Hoover, Baylor University
Contextualizing Ritual Contamination: Donatist and Transmarine Communities on the Validity of Heretical Rites (30 min)
Maureen Tilley, Fordham University
Tripartite Baptism: A North African Anomaly? (30 min)
Jonathan Yates, Villanova University
Salvation by Water? First Peter 3:20-21 in Augustine and the Latin Tradition (30 min)

Contextualizing North African Christianity
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: 411 B (Level 4 (Sapphire)) - Hilton Bayfront (HB)
Theme: Reception of Paul in North Africa
Susan Stevens, Randolph College, Presiding
Helen Rhee, Westmont College
Reading Paul in Cyprian's Exhortation to Unity and Purity (30 min)
Edwina Murphy, Morling College and Macquarie University
Offering Sacrifices and Ransoming Temples: Cyprian, Paul, and Care for the Poor and Captive (30 min)
Sean Hannan, University of Chicago
Augustine’s Use of Paul in Confessions XI (30 min)
Geoffrey D. Dunn, Australian Catholic University
Augustine's Use of the Pauline Portrayal of Peter in Galatians 2 (30 min)
Todd D. Still, Baylor University
What Paul Scholarship Can Learn from North African Reception? (15 min)
Discussion (15 min)

Inventing Christianity
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Sapphire Ballroom P (Level 4 (Sapphire)) - Hilton Bayfront (HB)
Theme: Competing Christianities in North Africa
Laurence Welborn, Fordham University, Presiding
Outi Lehtipuu, University of Helsinki
Who Has the Right to Be Called a Christian? The Politics of Inventing Christian Identity in Tertullian’s On the Prescription of Heretics (30 min)
Patout Burns, Vanderbilt University
Self-Identity through Competition: The Development of African Ecclesiology (30 min)
Geoffrey D. Dunn, Australian Catholic University
Disputed Christian Identities in North Africa: A View of the Current Landscape (30 min)
Discussion (30 min)
Business Meeting (30 min)

Inventing Christianity
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Room 16 A (Mezzanine level) - San Diego Convention Center (CC)
Theme: Christian Identity in the Writings of Tertullian
David Eastman, Ohio Wesleyan University, Presiding
Carly Daniel-Hughes, Concordia University - Université Concordia
Deciphering Religious Dress in Roman North Africa: Tertullian on the Clothing of Christians and Rival Cults (30 min)
Jason Robert Combs, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dreaming Christian: Tertullian’s Epiphanies and the Construction of Pagan/Christian Identity (30 min)
David E. Wilhite, Baylor University
Were There Marcionites in North Africa? Tertullian’s Rhetorical Construct of Heretical Identity (30 min)
Stephanie Cobb, University of Richmond, Respondent (30 min)
Discussion (30 min)

Art and Religions of Antiquity
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Room 5 B (Upper level) - San Diego Convention Center (CC)
Theme: Christianity in Roman Africa: The Development of its Practices and Beliefs, by J. Patout Burns and Robin M. Jensen (Review Discussion)
This session will discuss the recent publication, "Christianity in Roman Africa: The Development of its Practices and Beliefs" by J. Patout Burns and Robin M. Jensen (Eerdmans, 2014). This recent volume is a significant contribution to the field of early Christian studies, and this session will include responses by several leading scholars followed by a panel discussion.
Lee Jefferson, Centre College, Presiding (5 min)
Andrew McGowan, Yale Divinity School, Panelist (20 min)
Erika Hermanowicz, University of Georgia, Panelist (20 min)
Joan Downs, Indiana University South Bend, Panelist (20 min)
David Wilhite, Baylor University, Panelist (20 min)
J. Patout Burns, Vanderbilt University, Respondent (10 min)
Robin Jensen, Vanderbilt University, Respondent (10 min)
Discussion (25 min)
Business Meeting (20 min)