I'm attending the SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) Annual Meeting right now, which is being held in New Orleans.
I arrived in New Orleans very late Thursday night (my plane from Newark was delayed because of all the air traffic and weather problems) and then got up bright and early on Friday morning to go to the New Testament Mysticism Project session. This is the first time I've managed to get to one of these sessions, and it was really worthwhile. The presenters spoke mostly on the Gospel of John, giving very detailed exegeses of short passages. I found it very interesting and thought-provoking.
Last night an independent supporter of biblical studies who lives in Jerusalem, Jay Pomrenze, organized a delicious Shabbat dinner for any of the wandering Jews at the conference. He is a most generous soul and the atmosphere was very heimish. I think a majority of the celebrants were from Israel (mostly from Bar Ilan University). There was apparently a nice davening, which I missed because I had to take a nap before Shabbat.
Today I got up late and then went to the book display - finding several (expensive) books touching on early Jewish mysticism - Peter Schäfer's new book on the origins of early Jewish mysticism, a new synoptic edition of Sefer ha-Razim, and Christopher Rowland's and Christopher Morray-Jones' new volume, the Mystery of God, which is on early Jewish mysticism and the New Testament.
This afternoon I attended the first meeting of the Early Jewish and Christian Mysticism section, which included a review of the Mystery of God, done by three scholars - Charles Gieschen, Jim Davila, and Alan Segal. Alan couldn't make the meeting, so I read his contribution. After the three reviews, Chris Rowland's response was read by another participant, and Chris Morray-Jones replied in person. Overall, it was a very interesting discussing and I look forward to reading the book when it arrives.
I'm heading off right now for the annual dinner with the other members of the Early Jewish and Mysticism section, and anticipate a delicious dinner and fascinating discussion.