My night out with the bibliobloggers
by Steve Douglas
November 23rd, 2010 | 3 Comments
Sunday night I felt privileged to attend the gathering of bibliobloggers attending SBL.
Joel Watts, who as the highest ranked biblioblogger I met all evening, was suitably the first person I encountered and one of the most personable fellows I met; Bob Cargill, who was as friendly and engaging as he is on his site; John Hobbins, who made me feel short; James McGrath, Thom Stark, and Chris Brady, who cheerfully greeted us as Joel and I met them at their booth (I hope I appeared more bright by standing so near all that Wattage); I also met the super friendly Chris Tilling, the super Catholic Jeremy Thompson, and the impressively cordial Bill Heroman and Joseph Kelly. Among others. Unsurprisingly, few of these were familiar with my blog, but that’s ok.
Chatting with Joel, Bill, and James Spinti at our booth while munching on my fish and chips (and one of Joel’s cheesesticks) was utterly enjoyable. Things got even more interesting when Thom Stark pulled up a chair; the opportunity to quiz Thom and James about their similar but slightly nuanced understandings of henotheism in ancient Palestine was a special treat!
After dinner, Thom and I went over to the Hyatt, where we stepped into Durham University’s reception room to see what we could see; e.g., I saw Walter Moberly across the room, and of course James McGrath was there, with whom I regret not to have had a chance to really chat for a bit. After Thom introduced me to a few of his colleagues there and in the Johns Hopkins room, we made our way upstairs to the Duke University room, where we glimpsed Daniel Kirk heading out the door (missed him by that much) and Stephen Carlson chatting away. We were both gratified and a little speechless to meet Richard Hays, and then, as he apologized for Duke’s extremely strict admissions policy, I noticed Mark Goodacre (who is considerably taller than I expected). I got to speak with Dr. Goodacre for a few minutes, and despite his understandably being only marginally familiar with me, I was gratified that he, like everyone else I met, treated me like someone worth talking to!
Not long afterwards, I bade Thom and his friends adieu and began the drive back home. St. Polycarp texted me as I was on my way and offered me a place to stay, which I much appreciated but could not take him up on.
Biggest regret: not having a name badge. People kept asking me who I was and where I was “from”, by which they wanted to ascertain which university’s program I was a part of. I gradually grew more amused seeing people trying to figure out why I was there. “Well, I’m not really academically involved with biblical studies…I’m not even registered for SBL. I’m just a blogger, you see, only hardly considered a biblioblogger. More of a theoblogger, I guess. My field of study, historical Germanic linguistics, is at best tangential to your work here. But I do try to keep up!”
To all I met, and those I didn’t get to, thanks for your continuing contributions to this discipline of yours and this more-than-interest of mine. Thanks especially to my new IRL friends Joel and Thom, who both went out of their way to make me feel a part of the something greater in which I am confident they are both destined to make waves.