2016–2017 Topic:
Writing the Biblical Past

Co-Chairs: Jill Stinchcomb and Annette Yoshiko Reed
PSCO Coordinator: Annette Yoshiko Reed (UPenn)

Recent research in Biblical Studies has turned fresh attention to memory, writing, textual authority, and scribal practices, both in relation to the Hebrew Bible and in relation to so-called “pseudepigraphical” and other parabiblical literature from the Dead Sea Scrolls and beyond. For 2016-2017, PSCO hopes to build upon these insights to generate a fresh conversation about the place of writing in the making of the biblical past. What happens when we consider these dynamics outside the framework of canon and canonization? And what might we learn from examining biblical examples alongside Jewish, Christian, and Islamic materials, de-centering issues of biblical exegesis and focusing instead on textual and other technologies of memory?

We're still planning the year's events. Please check back later for more details.

Now in its fifty-fourth year, the Philadelphia Seminar on Christian Origins (PSCO) brings together scholars and graduate students in Philadelphia and surrounding areas for informal discussion and debate of timely issues and questions in the study of ancient Judaism, early Christianity, and cognate fields. Each year, PSCO hosts five to six meetings to explore one theme-ranging from pressing methodological or theoretical questions, to neglected primary or secondary sources, to timely conversations across disciplines. Meetings are informal and discussion-oriented, and invited speakers are encouraged to provide suggested readings and resources prior to their session so as to facilitate productive conversation. PSCO has been made possible by generous sponsorship from the Penn Humanities Forum and Penn’s Center for Ancient Studies.