Friday, November 2, 2012

The Marathon Continues

Karen and I referred to the past month as the Apoc-tober-lypse, on account of how busy it was: Thanksgiving, several major church and family events, helping one couple to move and another to get married, plus the usual barrage of church and life stuff, and setting up The Scaffold in anticipation of the coming book launch event.

And then there were the conferences and conference preparations.  The Canadian Evangelical Theological Association and McMaster Divinity College hosted the "New Voices in Canadian Evangelical Theology" conference on Oct 20; I presented a paper on reading Paul's images of presence and calling in Romans over against the Roman Empire's propagation of Caesar's image and its practice of evocatio (inviting an enemy's patron god to abandon his city in favor of better worship, bigger temples, etc. in Rome).  The paper was well received, my friend Sylvia Keesmaat gave a wonderful response to it, and the themes of both the paper and the response resonated very nicely with the plenary talk given by Brian Walsh, an extended re-wording of the entire book of Romans along the theme of homecoming (vs. the home-wrecking, or "domicidal," ways of empire).  And a senior scholar, in thanking me for my involvement in the conference, tells me that he's going to be citing my dissertation in a forthcoming book.  ...The other conference, still on the horizon, is the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, where I'm presenting two papers.  One I was preparing for the advance deadline of the 31st, when suddenly the other session announced that they had a deadline, too -- retroactively!  So the last two weeks have meant a lot of writing, note-checking, and so on.  Not that I didn't deal with deadlines like these in school, but those projects weren't usually for such public presentation, critique, and publication.

Now that both papers have been turned in, it's time to catch up on a lot of things that had to be shelved until after the deadlines.  And to remind myself that if I want to call myself a writer, then this is not a time to rest, at least not for very long: there are other things that tell me they need to be written, and soon.  The past ten-days-plus were something of a sprint, but the marathon is far from over.

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