Center for Missiological Research [CMR] of Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California, gave a new turn in my life as it sponsored my trip to the SBL/AAR at Atlanta, Georgia. As a Global Research Institute [GRI] scholar at Fuller, I found my trip rewarding. The SBL/AAR was held from 21 to 24 November, 2015. I express my sincere thanks to Prof. Amos Yong [Director of CMR] and Johnny Ching for the arrangements and support. I was benefitted out of the annual meeting in the following way.
On the first day, I had a very hectic schedule. My schedule started with the “International Cooperation Initiative Forum Meeting” at 9.30 AM and finished with “Scholar Leaders International Dinner” at 9.00 PM, i.e., with Evan Hunter of SLI and scholars from the Asian context. It was nice attending “John, Jesus, and History” presentations by Graham Twelftree, Tom Thatcher, Jan G. van der Watt, Andrew T. Lincoln, Mark Goodacre, and Catrin Haf Williams. During the sessions on “Comparison of Johannine and Markan Characterization,” I attended five papers including the one by Elizabeth Struthers Malbon. The day was pleasant with face-to-face interactions with scholar friends like Nijay Gupta, Darrell Bock, Ben Witherington, Jo-Ann Brant, Christopher Skinner, Francois Tolmie, Francis X. Clooney, John Christopher Thomas, Iain Torrance, Brian Small, and others.
On the second day, I was privileged to interact with John Dominic Crossan, Kasper Bro Larsen, Jesudas Athyal, Ekaputra Tupamahu, Erik Eynikel, John Byron, Paul N. Anderson, Alan Culpepper, Bill Heroman, Craig Koester, Mike Licona, and many others. Attending the Nordic Reception in the evening provided me opportunities to discuss with some of the key figures like Ismo Dunderberg.
On the third day, I attended three Johannine Forums:  Johannine Literature (9.00-11.30 AM);  Johannine Characterization and Genre (1.00-3.30 PM); and  The Gospel of John as Genre Mosaic (4.00-6.30 PM). It was interesting to attend the session by Finny Abraham [GTU, Berkeley] in the academic category of “Ritual in the Biblical World: Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament.” Moreover, it was good to hear the presentations of Urban von Wahlde, Mary Coloe, Kasper Bro Larsen, Harold Attridge, Colleen Conway, Jo-Ann Brant, and Tom Thatcher. Also had wonderful moments with James Charlesworth, Michael Gorman, Tatsiong Benny Liew, Douglas Estes, John J. Thatamanil, Jayakiran Sebastian, Peter Williams, Mary Coloe, Sandra Schneiders, Lidija Novakovic, Sung Uk Lim, Olugbemiro Temba, Bill Heroman, Joshua Muthalali, and others.
The session on reviewing the new book “The Gospel of John as Genre Mosaic” was significant for me in three ways:  I attended “The Gospel of John as Genre Mosaic” Conference in Aarhus University, Denmark, and presented a gist of my dissertation;  This conference connected me with a good number of John and genre specialists; and  This book makes a mention about my work on dialogue (Dialogue in the Book of Signs: A Polyvalent Analysis of John 1:19-12;50. Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2015).
There were several recognition scenes (anagnōrises) at SBL/AAR as many to whom I am connected through social media [Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Academia, WordPress, etc.] really appeared just in front of me and we had moments of interaction. I was happy to see the way my book was exhibited in the Book Exhibition Hall (i.e., at the Brill stall). Thanks friends for your love, appreciation, and encouragements. I look forward for SBL/AAR 2016 in San Antonio.
Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India
[GRI Writing Scholar at Fuller Theological Seminary, CA]