In partnership with the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), De Gruyter has established the “Prize for Biblical Studies and Reception History” to encourage biblical scholars at the early stages of their careers. De Gruyter will support this award with an annual cash prize of $1,500 for the best recent unpublished dissertation or first monograph in biblical studies with special attention to submissions in the field of reception history. Winning manuscripts will be published in an appropriate De Gruyter book series or, if no appropriate series exists, as stand-alone titles.

The field of reception history aims to shed light on the broader horizon of the use and influence of the Bible in a wide variety of academic fields, historical periods, and cultural settings, with attention to theory and methodology as well as content. The field covers an extensive range of topics, including transmission and reception of bible(s) in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and other religious as well as non-confessional traditions; in rabbinic, patristic, medieval, modern, contemporary, and postcolonial contexts; in literature, film, music, and the visual and performing arts; and in relation to politics and economics, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, and a variety of other social and cultural issues. The prize committee also welcomes submissions that challenge current definitions of reception history and seek to take the field in new directions or to redefine it altogether.

Qualifications for Submission 

Any SBL member who has successfully defended their Ph.D. no earlier than March 1, 2016 for the March 1, 2018 deadline may submit their manuscript. The manuscript must not have been previously published or accepted for publication. The applicant, as an early career scholar, may have multiple articles published but no published books in the field of reception history.

Submission Requirements 

  • Intention to submit a paper for the award must be sent to no later than 10 January 2018. Please include the following:
    • Subject line of all correspondence must include the last name of the applicant.
    • Contact information for the applicant, including SBL membership number.
    • Date of Ph.D. defense and name of Ph.D. supervisor with contact information.
    • A current copy of your academic CV in PDF format. Please be certain that the date of the CV is indicated.
  • Applicants must submit the following items no later than midnight (GMT -5) on 1 March 2018. All documents must be submitted in a PDF format and be anonymous: that is, the author’s name should not appear after the manuscript’s title nor in any heading; wherever possible, neither should any reference be made to the author within the manuscript in a manner that would reveal the author’s identity.
    • Abstract (with manuscript title) – Word limit 500-750 words.
    • Case Statement (with manuscript title) – Word limit 500-600 words. The statement should describe how your manuscript is loosely or strongly related to Reception History (see definition above in the second Award paragraph).
    • Manuscript – The minimum word limit is 80,000 words. There is no maximum limit.
    • All submissions must be in English (with reference to and selections of Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and other languages as appropriate). Submissions also must adhere to the guidelines of the SBL Handbook of Style, 2nd Edition.
  • All materials should be sent to If you do not receive a confirmation of receipt within two (2) business days, please contact Paige Schmidt.

*** Failure to follow all submission requirements will result in an automatic disqualification.


The subject of the manuscript is open, but it must advance some dimension of reception history scholarship. The manuscript will be evaluated in accordance with the following criteria:

  • Quality, originality and creativity.
  • Promises an important and original contribution.
  • Persuasive thesis with clarity of expression and thought, engaging and well written.

The submission process and calendar is the following.

1 October 2017 Call for Papers opens
10 January 2018 Announcement of Intent to submit
1 March 2018 Submission of all materials
30 June 2018 Announcement of Awardee
TBD Award Presentation at SBL Annual Meeting in Denver