Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Brief Reflections on ETS

Since I left DC about a week and a half ago, it's probably a good idea for me to put a few thoughts together before I completely forget about my experience at ETS. First, it was truly wonderful to get to spend time with friends and meet new people. Coming from a first-class introvert who would rather spend time reading than talking, this is no paltry statement. It has been over a year since I finished the coursework for my ThM and since then I have largely been out of an academic environment. While this has allowed me to get back into the "real world" (whatever that means!), I have missed the opportunity to be around fellow nerds. Much of my time was spent with Alan Bandy (check out his blog here) since we stayed with his in-laws in Maryland and it was great to catch up with him and engage on a number of issues. He certainly is a gentleman and a scholar! I also got the opportunity to meet several bloggers, including Michael Bird, Michael Pahl, Joel Willitts, James Hamilton, and Bryan Lee.
As far as papers go, there were unfortunately a few disappointments. Much of that had nothing to do with the papers themselves and more to do with certain expectations/hopes I had formed in my mind. In truth, I think this is a somewhat natural phenomena as on so much is revealed by a paper title. Nonetheless, I was able to attend several interesting papers, which I will probably comment on at a later date. Unfortunately, there were also several papers that I hoped to hear but was unable to for various reasons. Part of the problem was that Alan and I averaged about five hours sleep a night! That's okay the first couple of days, but once Friday came around, I was not too keen on doing "the paper thing."
As far as books go, they simply didn't! While there were a ton of books that I wanted, I was determined to stick to essentials for future research. I am already going to be in a bind when it comes to deciding which books to take with us if we get to spend a few years studying in Scotland. I can already see myself suffering from separation anxiety as I part with the majority of my library and there is simply no need to make that a more trying time by buying an extensive amount of books. I was really hoping to find more stuff on Ephesians, but there unfortunately was nothing really there (maybe there was more at SBL). This may reflect the lack of academic interest in that amazing epistle, which I suppose is to my advantage. Nonetheless, I did pick up the following volumes, most of which should be really helpful for my future research:

1 Enoch, R. Charles
Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul's Letters, C. Arnold
Ancient Texts for New Testament Studies, C. Evans
The Theology of Paul the Apostle, J. Dunn
Apostle Paul: His Life and Theology, U. Schnelle
An Introduction to Early Judaism, J. Vanderkam

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