Who belongs? The Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, founded in 1933, is the oldest Humanities academic society in Canada. It brings together Canadians and others involved in the academic study of the Bible. The Society’s membership includes a majority of the biblical scholars holding positions in universities and colleges in Canada and some in other countries, a number of pastors, priests and rabbis, graduate students in Religion, Theology, Jewish and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, and scholars in other disciplines who have a secondary interest in Biblical studies. The interests and specialties of our approximately 300 members include the Ancient Near East and Greco-Roman civilizations, Judaism, Christianity, and religions contemporary with these, from the origins to the sixth century of this era. Our particular disciplines and approaches reflect the diversity of the contemporary scholarly scene. Members are professors, students and others who share their interests.

Where do we meet? The annual meeting is the main occasion for members to share ideas and work, formally through presentations and workshops, informally through conversations. It takes place in the Spring within the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities. Participation of members is facilitated by a travel grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Some CSBS members also gather at the annual Fall meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Academy of Religion.

What are the benefits?

Members receive the Bulletin annually. This publication offers news about members and events, including a membership list and the previous year’s Presidential Address. The Communications Officer is the Editor.

Members receive regular e-mail news of professional interest.

Members are served by two book publication series, Studies in Christianity and Judaism and Advancing Studies in Religion.

The CSBS sponsors two annual student essay prizes. The winners receive cash prizes and are invited and subsidized to read their papers at the annual Congress.

The CSBS sponsors three annual awards for publication, research and teaching. The Frank W. Beare Award is given for an outstanding book in the areas of Christian Origins, Post-Biblical Judaism and/or Graeco-Roman Religions. The R. B. Y. Scott Award is given for an outstanding book in the areas of Hebrew Bible and/or Ancient Near Eastern Studies. The Norman W. Wagner Award rewards the innovative use of technology relating to biblical scholarship and teaching.

The CSBS participates with six other societies in the Canadian Corporation for Studies in Religion. The CCSR promotes publications by Canadian scholars, supports the Canadian Scholars’ Reception at the annual meeting of the SBL/AAR, and oversees a website that coordinates matters pertaining to the academic study of religion across Canada, including employment opportunities. This participation in the CCSR brings several direct benefits to CSBS members:

  • a subscription to the journal Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses.
  • direct access to a Book Publications Officer who facilitates the review, assessment and publication of manuscripts through Wilfrid Laurier University Press, often in consultation with the editor of the Society-sponsored book series Studies in Christianity and Judaism
  • a Combined Congress Programme for members of the five Religion societies who attend the annual Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities.

The CSBS also actively supports the Canadian Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences, which promotes research in the social sciences and humanities. Membership in HSSFC allows CSBS members to hold their annual meeting in the context of the Federation-sponsored Congress. The annual meeting offers occasions for dialogue, including professional development opportunities for students.