Ideally, all morning or afternoon sessions at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies will be focused to varying degrees, and in fact to the extent that sufficient paper proposals are accepted on a biblical book (e.g., Isaiah, Matthew, etc.), body of literature (e.g., prophets, Paul, etc.) or approach (e.g., intertextuality, historical-critical, etc.) the Programme Coordinator will group them accordingly.

In addition to this, CSBS members may take the initiative in organizing sessions that allow the Society to focus on a particular topic, theme, approach, or period in an even more coordinated manner. The CSBS supports two different types of focused sessions organized by its members as part of its Annual Meeting: Seminars and Special Sessions. These are distinguished mainly in terms of the degree of organization, commitment by participants and period of time involved. 

Organizers of both types of focused sessions are encouraged to blend senior, mid-career and junior scholars so as to foster and strengthen inter-generational links. Participants should primarily be CSBS members, but non-members with a demonstrated expertise relevant to a particular focused session may be invited to participate in seminars and special sessions. When more seminars or special sessions are proposed than can be accommodated in a year or series of years, proposals that rely on member participation (with the scholarly quality being equal) will be preferred. However, where there is no competition, a proposal relying heavily on non-member support would be assessed on the same merits as all proposals are assessed. Invited non-members may participate without having to pay for a CSBS membership, but they would have to pay the Congress registration fee in order to participate. 


A Seminar consists of papers on a specific topic discussed over the course of one or more mornings or afternoons at a series of Annual Meetings. In keeping with the traditional seminar format, the emphasis is on discussion rather than reading papers. To that end, papers are distributed in advance to interested individuals (e.g., via the CSBS website) and then summarized at the Annual Meeting itself.

In order to foster community and avoid “competing” sessions, normally the CSBS supports up to 2 Seminars each year. This is in addition to any Seminars jointly sponsored by our religious studies sister societies.

Seminars have a 3-year mandate (renewable). Seminar proposals and/or renewals are approved by the CSBS Executive at its meeting held the day before the Annual Meeting. Written proposals for new or renewed Seminars must be submitted to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at least one month prior to the May/June Executive meeting. Proposals must have well-defined goals, including a clear focus and explicit publication plans, and demonstrate the commitment of at least 10 CSBS members to ongoing participation during the life of the Seminar. If approved, new and/or renewed Seminars will begin at the Annual Meeting the year following approval.

Special Sessions:

A Special Session focuses on a specific topic over the course of a morning or afternoon. With the Approval of the Executive, an individual member would solicit papers directly from other members and then select and organize the sequence of papers. Proposals may be for one to three years, but commitment to a multi-year sequence (as with a Seminar) is not required. Also, in contrast to a Seminar, the papers may but need not be circulated in advance nor does there have to be a plan for publication of the papers afterwards.

If a member wishes to organize a Special Session he or she should first contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to determine whether the Session can be accomodated in the program for the year(s) the Session would be held. Actual proposals for new or renewals of multi-year Special Sessions must be submitted in writing to the Executive at least one month prior to the May/June executive meeting. Upon approval from the Executive, the Session Organizer is responsible for soliciting papers and organizing their sequence, and then submitting paper titles and abstracts to the Programme Coordinator in a timely manner. The Executive reserves the right to limit the number of Special Sessions in any given year.