Ethelbert Talbot Professor of Biblical Studies Larry Wills has been elected President of the New England and Eastern Canada Region of the Society of Biblical Literature. The election was held at the organization’s April meeting. Wills will serve as President for the 2014-15 academic year.
Wills has taught at Harvard Divinity School and Wesleyan University. He came to Episcopal Divinity School in 1994, where he has taught courses in both Hebrew Bible and New Testament. Employing a number of interdisciplinary methods, he enjoys exploring the parallels and differences between the issues of the biblical world and today.
His most recent book is Not God’s People: Insiders and Outsiders in the Biblical World, and his Jewish Novels in the Ancient World was named an Outstanding Academic Book of 1995 by CHOICE magazine for academic librarians. His present research involves two different areas: religious identity among ancient Jews, Christians, and others, and the social world of popular literary genres in Judaism and Christianity. Both of these areas inform his present project, a commentary on the Book of Judith for the Hermeneia series.
Founded in 1880, the Society of Biblical Literature is the oldest and largest learned society devoted to the critical investigation of the Bible from a variety of academic disciplines. As an international organization, the Society offers its members opportunities for mutual support, intellectual growth, and professional development through advancing academic study of biblical texts and their contexts as well as of the traditions and contexts of biblical interpretation, collaborating with educational institutions and other appropriate organizations to support biblical scholarship and teaching, and developing resources for diverse audiences, including students, religious communities, and the general public.