Jonathan S. is keeping us posted with his photos and paper summaries. Drop in yourself here. SOTS is one of my favorite scholarly societies. The meetings are always packed with interesting papers, the people are always really lovely (because most of them are British), and the venue is always historical.
an academic learned society embracing the Old Testament, and its cognate areas such as Hebrew and other Semitic languages, the literature, religion, history, archaeology and sociology of ancient Israel, and the study of the Old Testament in the light of modern literary theory. The ‘rules’ by which the Society is guided may be found here.
Although it has an international membership of around 450, it meets in the British Isles, and normally organises annual Winter and Summer Meetings (see Conferences), as well as joint meetings every third year with the Dutch and Flemish Old Testament Society. Among the publications that it has sponsored is a distinguished series of volumes surveying the progress of research in Old Testament studies, an annual Book List containing short reviews of recent publications, and a series of Study Guides.
A brief history of the Society (1917-1992) has been written by Professor John W. Rogerson.
Membership in SOTS
Candidates for membership are required to be competent in biblical Hebrew and should complete this form, also available as a Word document, which must be countersigned by two members of the Society prepared to nominate them. Students must normally be enrolled on a PhD programme to be considered for membership. The application form should be returned, preferably electronically, to the Secretary, Dr Hilary Marlow, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9BS (email@example.com).
John Barton retired last week, and we wish him a productive and happy new stage in life; also, Eryl Davies is to be congratulated on being awarded a personal chair at Bangor. …
I have just found out the sad news of the death of Bishop Stephen Sykes on 24th September. I hear that his funeral is to be on Friday 10th October in Durham Cathedral. He was not a member of SOTS, but I imagine known to many of us who move or have moved in theological and ecclesiastical circles.
Congrats to John and Eryl! And condolences to the Sykes family.
“It has been drawn to my attention that the death of the Rt. Revd. John Austin Baker should have been reported at the recent SOTS meeting. His death occurred on June 4th this year at the age of 86. He was an Old Testament scholar who translated Eichrodt’s Theology of the Old Testament into English, and for some years was Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford; amongst other things he supervised John Barton’s doctoral thesis on prophetic ethics. However, he is perhaps most famous for being Bishop of Salisbury for some years and for writing a theological classic, The Foolishness of God. Although not seen at SOTS in recent years I do recall his giving a thought-provoking paper on Amos some years ago.”
The Rt Rev John Baker, who has died aged 86, was Bishop of Salisbury from 1982 to 1993, having previously been rector of St Margaret’s church, Westminster, and Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons.
Baker was the most able theologian among the bishops of his time, and although primarily an Old Testament scholar he applied his learning to a wide range of subjects, and was a useful member of many committees charged with the production of reports on social questions.
Until his consecration as a bishop, Baker was generally regarded as fairly conservative, both theologically and politically. His most important book, The Foolishness of God (1970), now regarded as a classic, was a sympathetic study of 20th-century questioning of the Bible and traditional Christian beliefs, but its conclusions were reassuring to the fearful and uncertain. An individualistic element in his personality had, however, been evident ever since his school days — and once he became a bishop he turned to a variety of controversial issues with sometimes electrifying effect.
From the always lovely Viv Rowett, first, a bit of Conference news-
International and Interdisciplinary Conference: Historical Consciousness and Historiography (3000 BC–AD 600) at Merton College, University of Oxford, 17–19 September 2014
Chief organiser: (SOTS member) Dr Samuel Chen, Wolfson College, Linton Road, Oxford OX2 6UD, United Kingdom
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Contact Phone: +(44)7956 694962
and a happy change to the SOTS Meeting programme:
“We are delighted to announce that Professor Graham Davies will be able to present a paper at the Day Conference also, entitled ‘The Passover as the New Year Festival in P‘. The timings of the day have therefore been adjusted slightly to begin at 9:30 am and conclude at 5:00 pm. Please take note of these changes to the programme timings, which have been updated on the SOTS website also.”