AAR and SBL are getting back together?

It looks like some smart people are back and steering AAR. The Christian Century is reporting that AAR and SBL may be getting back together:

The annual pre-Thanksgiving joint meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature had a record registration in 2006 of over 11,000, and last year’s meeting in San Diego drew about 10,200 scholars, students and publishers.

But the 2007 meeting was to be the last concurrent one for the two organizations except for 2011 in San Francisco. The AAR board had concluded that the meetings were getting too big and were limiting program innovation. Besides, some said, most AAR academicians teach about all kinds of religions, whereas the SBL, with its mixture of seminary scholars and professors at secular universities, focuses on biblical research.

However, acknowledging that the separation was a “contentious subject,” the AAR board in April decided that the organization should return to the old arrangement. A major factor was its internal survey of AAR members last year showing that between 70 and 75 percent, depending on the question, wanted to meet with the SBL.

…If the SBL is agreeable, the AAR board said, it would welcome back the jointly sponsored book exhibits, a common employment interview center and the freedom to attend each other’s sessions, programs and receptions, according to Jack Fitzmier, AAR executive director.


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