Fellowship for Biblical Studies

FBS News and Events

2022 Issue of ABR is in the mail

Volume 70 of the Australian Biblical Review for 2022 has been produced and is in the mail to all subscribers. The list of articles is also available on this website here. The 2022 book reviews are available as PDF extracts from the journal on the reviews page.

2023 ABR Subscription Rates

The Executive of the Fellowship for Biblical Studies has decided that the subscription rates for the 2023 issue (Volume 71) of Australian Biblical Review will remain the same as for the 2022 issue. Postage rate changes may occur before the mailout in September 2023.

Current rates can always be found at fbs.org.au/abrsubscribe.

“At every street corner” (Ezek 16:25): The importance of space for the interpretation of emotion in the Hebrew Bible

Friday 28th October 2022

The next Sydney meeting of the Fellowship for Biblical Studies (and the last one for this year) will be on Friday 28th October at 2.30pm at the University of Sydney. Our speaker will be Dr Natalie Mylonas. The title of the paper will be:

“At every street corner” (Ezek 16:25): The importance of space for the interpretation of emotion in the Hebrew Bible


This paper explores the relationship between space, gender, power, and emotions and its relevance for interpreting the Hebrew Bible. First, the paper offers a novel interdisciplinary framework through which to examine emotions in antiquity that emphasises the fundamentally embodied and emplaced nature of emotions. This framework attempts to correct the tendency of many scholars to mainly focus on emotion lexemes when considering emotions in the Hebrew Bible. Space is a vital component of emotional expression, formation, and representation because emotions are embodied, dynamic, and situated (in time and space). Similarly, emotions have an indispensable role in the experience, formation, and representation of space itself. The paper then applies this framework to Ezekiel 16, in which gender, space, and emotion intrinsically combine to inform the portrayal of the main protagonist Jerusalem: a gendered, personified city who feels. Ezekiel 16 describes in sexually graphic and violent language Israel's disobedience to God and rejection of the covenant. Feminist scholarship on Ezekiel 16 has focused on the gendered violence and disempowerment of Jerusalem in this passage. This paper argues that these scholars have overlooked the power Jerusalem is afforded in Ezekiel 16:15–34, which is expressed through Jerusalem’s control over the city space and her embodied expression of emotions, many of which are communicated through Jerusalem’s interaction with space.


Dr Natalie F. Mylonas (FHEA) is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Macquarie University. She is the primary investigator for the research project “Emotions, Space, and Identity Politics in Ancient Israel,” which examines the ways that emotions shape identity politics and narratives of displacement in ancient Israel, using the book of Ezekiel as a case study. She is currently writing a volume entitled Jerusalem as Contested Space in Ezekiel: Exilic Encounters with Emotion (The Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies), (Bloomsbury: 2023). This book reveals the critical relationship between space, emotion, and identity politics in the Hebrew Bible, using Ezekiel 16 and 40–48 as case studies. Natalie’s research interests include the history of emotions, ethnicity, gender and sexuality, late antique hagiography, and world mythologies. Natalie is the founder of Learn Ancient Hebrew Online Education, and a sessional academic at Australian Catholic University in the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy.

Venue: The Rogers Room, N397, John Woolley Building, University of Sydney. The meeting will also be streamed via Zoom. After the meeting you are welcome to stay on for drinks and fellowship at the Courtyard Café in the Holmes building. I have attached a map below of that part of campus, or use the link below to an interactive campus map.

RSVP: Please RSVP by Friday 21st October and Stephen Cook know if you will be attending in person or will need a zoom link, and if you plan to join us at the Courtyard Café.

Sydney College of Divinity Lecture and Multi-Book Launch

Wednesday 28th September 2022

Wednesday 28 September 2022, 6pm at SCD, Unit 6B, 5 Talavera Road, Macquarie Park and via Zoom.

Lecture: Prof James Harrison, How would Roman audiences have reacted to Paul’s Groaning Creation?

Book launches:

James R. Harrison, Reading Romans With Roman Eyes: Studies on the Social Perspective of Paul (Fortress Academic, 2020)
To be launched by Alan Cadwallader, Research Professor at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Charles Sturt University.

James R. Harrison and L.L. Welborn, The First Urban Churches 6: Rome and Ostia (WGRWSup 18; Atlanta: SBL, 2021)
To be launched by Dr Rosalinde Kearsley, Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Department of History and Archaeology at Macquarie University.

Peter G. Bolt and James R. Harrison, Romans and the Legacy of St Paul (Macquarie Park, NSW: SCD Press, 2019)
To be launched by Dr Paul W. Barnett.

For further details or to RSVP please email Gillian McPherson or call on (02) 9889-1969 by 21 September 2022.

Second Sydney Meeting for 2022

Friday 24th June 2022

Our next Fellowship for Biblical Studies meeting on Friday 24th June, 2022, at 2.00pm we will have two early career researchers giving presentations.

Dr Alexander McCarron: Traditionary Processes in the Enochic Theophany in the Book of the Watchers 1:1–9 and the Epistle of Jude 14b–15.

Abstract: The Enochic theophany in the Book of the Watchers 1:1–9 (1 Enoch 1:1–9) grew and evolved as the text was translated into, and transmitted in, new socio-religious and socio-linguistic contexts. This paper explores how the concept of ‘Traditionary Processes’, developed by Hindy Najman and Eibert Tigchelaar as a model for understanding the compositional development and relationship of Jubilees to a pre-existing Pentateuchal tradition, provides a productive framework for understanding how texts such as the Enochic theophany continually grew and evolved during their translation and transmission.
This model of compositional development provides an efficacious framework for understanding how the Enochic theophany participated in an evolving Theophanic discourse, not as a fixed or static point in this discourse trajectory, but as an evolving participant that continued to respond to and reshape this discourse during the translation and transmission of the text. Using the surviving Greek and Ethiopic versions, and the Greek and Latin quotations of 1:9, this model will be explored as a framework for understanding how the translation and transmission of a text form part of a compositional continuum in continuity with earlier stages in the composition and life of the text.

Bio: Dr Alexander McCarron recently graduated with a DPhil in Oriental Studies (Semitic Languages) from the University of Oxford, having previously completed a MPhil in Old Testament Theology at Oxford. Alexander has taught Classical Ethiopic and Hebrew grammar and texts in the Graduate studies program at Oxford, and is currently in the process of preparing his doctoral dissertation for publication. His doctoral research focused on the Enochic theophany (1 Enoch 1:1–9) as it is preserved in Aramaic, Greek and Ethiopic (Ge’ez) versions, and as it is quoted in Greek in the Epistle of Jude, and in Latin, Ge’ez and Amharic church writings. Applying a prospective text-critical methodology, this project explored how the Enochic theophany evolved and was transformed as the text was translated and transmitted into new or changing socio-linguistic and socio-religious contexts, and as it was read and re-signified in Christian hermeneutical contexts.

Dr Paul Byun: Not Good, Not Bad, Just Confused: Confused language and the Portrayal of King David in 2 Sam 6.

Abstract: Is King David in the book of Samuel, good or bad? The answer to this question is perhaps dependent on the particular passage that is studied. However, should our reading of the Davidic stories be limited to an “either-or” paradigm? Is it true that the book of Samuel portrays David to be either good or bad? This paper will argue that such a paradigm is a false dichotomy through a study of 2 Sam 6 in the MT. The particular focus will be on 2 Sam 6:10 where a literal translation from the Hebrew is almost intelligible. Yet when assessed from a literary perspective, this difficult verse can be seen as an example of confused language. Due to this use of confused language, David is portrayed as a king who is not bad or good, but genuinely confused by the events which had transpired before him.

Bio: Paul Byun is an adjunct lecturer at Christ College in Sydney. His Ph.D studies were at the University of Sydney and his thesis was on the imperial representations of foreign kings in Ezra-Nehemiah. He has published articles in Vetus Testamentum, Zeitschrift für die alttestamentlich Wissenschaft, Catholic Biblical Quarterly, and Journal of Hebrew Scriptures. Now he wishes to find time to publish his thesis.

VENUE: The Refectory (Room H1.13), in the beautiful and historic Quadrangle of the University of Sydney.

RSVP: By Friday 17th June. Let Stephen Cook know if you plan to join us for drinks in the Café.

The meeting will also be live-streamed. Let Stephen Cook know when you RSVP if you would like the zoom link.

Inside Others: Early Christian Protagonists and Their Impairments

Thursday 26th May 2022

The second Melbourne meeting for the year will be held on Thursday 26th May, 6:30–9:00pm at the Centre for Theology & Ministry (CTM), 29 College Cres, Parkville VIC 3052. We will gather at 6:30 and sit down for dinner at 7:00pm. Please arrive a little beforehand to allow time to sign in with the QR code; attendees must demonstrate double vaccination to enter the building.

Dr Kylie Crabbe will present a paper based upon her Australian Research Council DECRA project, titled Inside Others: Early Christian Protagonists and Their Impairments.

Dinner, dessert, and drinks will be at the cost of $30.00 to be paid on the night. Please let Megan know if you have any dietary requirements.

Please RSVP by Friday 20th May to Megan if you would like to attend and specify whether you would like to do so in person or on Zoom. Please note that, as the dinner is being professionally catered, your in-person RSVP cannot be altered after the RSVP date of Friday 20th May.

Forum on Divine Violence in the Hebrew Bible and Theology

Wednesday 18th May 2022

A Forum on God’s Violence in the Hebrew Bible and Theology including an introduction to Dr Rachelle Gilmour’s new book Divine Violence in the Book of Samuel (Oxford University Press, 2021).

Contributions from:

  • Assoc Prof Liz Boase, Dean of the School of Graduate Research, University of Divinity
  • Prof Mark Brett, Professor of Hebrew Bible, Whitley College
  • Rev’d Prof Mark Lindsay, Joan F.W. Munro Professor of Historical Theology, Trinity College Theological School
  • Dr Rachelle Gilmour, Bromby Senior Lecturer in Old Testament, Trinity College Theological School

Panellists will respond to Rachelle’s new book with perspectives on God’s violence in the Hebrew Bible and post-Shoah theology, followed by an opportunity for discussion. Light refreshments will be served after the forum.

Wednesday 18 May 2–4pm
Old Warden’s Lodge, Trinity College, Entry via Gate C.

This event can be watched live via Zoom.

RSVP to events@trinity.unimelb.edu.au

Please indicate whether you will be attending in person or online.

Sydney April Meeting

Friday 29th April 2022

The first meeting for 2022 for Sydney members will be held on Friday, 29th April, at 2.00pm, when Dr George Athas will be interviewed about his forthcoming book “Bridging the Testaments.” Please keep the date free. Further details will be emailed later this month. At this stage an in-person meeting is planned and it will also be live-streamed on Zoom for those who would like to participate remotely. Enquiries can be directed to Sydney Co-ordinator Stephen Cook.

First Melbourne Meeting for 2022

Friday 11th March 2022

The first meeting of members in Melbourne will be held on Friday, 11 March from 2:00–3:30pm. Members can meet in person at the Centre for Theology & Ministry (CTM), 29 College Crescent, Parkville. The meeting will begin sharply at 2:00pm with a paper followed by discussion and questions. Please arrive a little before 2.00pm to allow time to sign in with the QR code. There will also be a live stream of the paper via Zoom for those that wish to attend remotely. The zoom link will open at 1:45pm.

Rev. Dr Val Billingham will present a paper titled: A Prophetic Dummy Spit: A Performance Reading of Jeremiah 20:1–18.

Cheese and crackers will be served afterwards with wine and non-alcoholic beverages at a cost of $5.00 for professionals and $2.00 for those with a concessional membership.

Please RSVP to the Secretary, Megan Turton, if you would like to attend, and specify whether you would like to do so in person or on Zoom. There will be a limit of about 30 people physically in the room due to COVID-19 restrictions. Those who have registered for online attendance will receive a Zoom link and further information a few days prior to the meeting.

FBS Member Achievements in 2022

Saturday 1st January 2022

The list of achievements by FBS members during 2021 is now online at the Achievements Page.

2021 Annual General Meeting

Thursday 4th November 2021

The Annual General Meeting of the Fellowship for Biblical Studies was held as a Zoom meeting on Thursday, 4 November. A paper was delivered later by Associate Professor Liz Boase entitled “Multiple Layers: Insights into the Development of a Trauma Drama in Lamentations and Jeremiah.”

The following officers and members of the Executive were elected to hold these positions for the next year:

President:Dorothy Lee
Vice-President:Chris Monaghan
Secretary:Megan Turton
Treasurer:Brian Incigneri
ABR Editor (Old Testament):Rachelle Gilmour
ABR Editor (New Testament):Alan Cadwallader
ABR Book Review Editor:Gareth Wearne
Committee Member:U-Wen Low
Committeee Member:Stephen Cook (new Sydney Coordinator)

Meetings during 2022 will be held on:

  • Friday, 11 March from 2.00pm to 3.30pm (speaker: Val Billingham);
  • Thursday, 26 May from 6.30pm to 9.30pm with dinner (speaker: Kylie Crabbe);
  • Friday, 12 August from 2.00pm to 3.30pm (Stephen Cook); and
  • Thursday, 3 November from 6.30pm to 9.30pm with dinner (AGM, followed by the Presidential Address by Dorothy Lee).

A list of member’s achievements in 2021 was presented to the meeting. These have been added to the Achievements Page.

Copyright 2022 Fellowship for Biblical Studies Inc.