Biblical Archaeology Review 28:2, March/April 2002

Dancing in Denver

From one scholarly meeting to another

By Hershel Shanks

I didn’t realize how big Denver is. I learned when trying to cover three (or four) meetings at the same time last November in two locations in downtown Denver and nearby Boulder. Together the meetings included about 8,000 people—Bible teachers, religion teachers, archaeologists and interested laypersons who came to hear some world-class scholarship.

Long ago, there was only one meeting. In the olden days, three scholarly organizations held their annual meeting simultaneously under the same roof, moving to a different city each year. They were the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR). One large booklet listed hundreds of sessions, there was one registration form and anyone who registered for what was then known as the Annual Meeting could attend the sessions of any or all of the three scholarly societies.

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