Sitting in the San Diego airport waiting for my red-eye flight seemed the perfect time to post some reflections on my time at this year's ETS/IBR/SBL conference.
Catching up with old friends & making new ones. To me this is the best part of the respective conferences. It is exciting to see friends from my days at Trinity and Wheaton, whether it be professors I studied under or fellow students who are either still in the program or have begun teaching somewhere. Particularly memorable was our Wheaton Ph.D. program reunion, where graduates and current students huddled together to catch up. But it is also a time to make new friends, and I was encouraged to meet face to face some people whose scholarship or blogs I have followed.
Fruitful conversations with publishers. During the conferences just about every publisher in biblical, religious, or theological studies is present. I had several promising conversations with different publishers regarding some different projects I am considering or already at work on. I don't have any announcements to make yet, but I am hopeful that there may be in the near future.
Lots of cheap books. As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, every publisher you can think of is there (and some you probably have never heard of). They all offer discounts on their books, ranging from 20-60% off retail. One of the first things you learn about these conferences is to bring an extra bag for your purchases. And making a list in advance helps mitigate impulse buying :)
Interesting papers. By now you may be wondering, "Isn't the purpose of the conference to attend and/or present academic papers on your area(s) of expertise?" Yes, and in the midst of the previous highlights I did manage to attend a few interesting papers. Most noteworthy were those by Doug Moo, John Piper, David Wells, and the session on the Paul & Scripture seminar.