Southwest Commission on Religious Studies
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
Dear SWCRS friends:
For those of you who are unaware, SWCRS will, by necessity, undergo a rethink in the months ahead. Here’s why. The national SBL Council used their May 27, 2022, press release to declare that “2022 will mark the end of the eleven yearly SBL Regional Meetings.” The full text of the SBL Council’s statement is available here.
The SWCRS Executive Board has been meeting to discuss the future of SWCRS – a beloved, career-shaping community with an almost fifty-year history. We have registered our disappointment with the SBL Council’s decision and its unwillingness to support or allow the SWCRS 2023 conference using the SBL’s name and resources. While these contemporary times do yield challenges, we plan to make clear through SWCRS the value and place of vibrant regional meetings.
Let us be clear: Biblical studies will have a place in the Southwest region. SBL-SW, as an entity, exists until the end of 2022. Its officers will be in touch soon regarding temporary measures and fresh possibilities. A large part of the immediate challenge is also financial as SWCRS contracted for its 2023 conference unaware of the national SBL’s plan. We need your support. Please plan on attending the SWCRS conference in March 2023 as we reimagine its future.
On a final note, stable leadership is vital in challenging times. And here we express our deep and abiding appreciation for the many individuals who make SWCRS possible, officers as well as directors, and especially Jan Quesada, our Executive Secretary. Given that Jan has shared with the SWCRS Board her plans to step down in the near future, we ask for your vocational and institutional discernment. We will need someone to carefully consider serving SWCRS as her successor. If you might be interested, please let Jan and Darren know; and urge your able colleagues to do likewise.
SWCRS Executive Board
Darren J. N. Middleton, President
Kelley Coblentz Bautch, Vice President
Jan Jaynes Quesada, Executive Secretary
Antoinette DeNapoli, AAR-SW President
Richard Wright, SBL-SW President