Professor Wil Gafney (Brite Divinity School) provides a short talk on light and darkness in the Bible, and its employment as a basis for White Supremacist interpretations of the Bible.
On August 4, 2020, Dr Fatima Tofighi (University of Religions, Qom) and Prof James Crossley discussed “Paul and the Construction of the European Self”.
The discussion is the 13th in the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible’s 2020 Online Discussion Series.
On July 20, 2020, Dr Sarah Rollens (Rhodes College) and Prof Candida Moss discussed “The Difference Gender Makes in Scholarship, Publication, and Promotion”.
The discussion is the 12th in the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible’s 2020 Online Discussion Series.
On April 6, 2020, Professors James Crossley and Chris Keith had a Zoom discussion on the Historical Jesus and Current Trends in Research.
The discussion is the first in the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible’s 2020 Online Discussion Series.
On October 10, 2019, Professor Johanna Stiebert (University of Leeds) delivered her Inaugural Professorial Lecture:
(Johanna Stiebert’s lecture begins at 16:08)
“In this inaugural lecture Professor Stiebert discusses her chequered and international career learning and teaching about Hebrew language and biblical studies. Her lecture focuses especially on biblical texts that surprised her – not least on account of their graphic nature. Her concluding remarks focus on the responsibilities of professors and on academic integrity.”
On April 18, 2019, Dr Nyasha Junior presented “Black Like Me: Representations of Biblical Hagar” in the University of Iowa’s Spring 2019 Classics Colloquium series.
Her talk begins at 4:25.
In the seven-part #SheToo Podcast Series, Rosie Dawson interviews biblical scholars Dr Helen Paynter, Dr Katie Edwards, Dr Mary Evans, Dr Johanna Stiebert, Dr Meredith Warren, and Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand about some of the biblical texts that portray violence against women.
- Sexual Violence in the Bible – Dr Helen Paynter
- Hagar (Genesis 16 and 21) – Dr Katie Edwards
- Jephthah’s daughter (Judges 11) – Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand
- The Levite’s Concubine (Judges 19) – Dr Mary Evans
- The rape of Tamar (2 Samuel 13) – Dr Johanna Stiebert
- The punishment of Jezebel (Revelation 2.19-24) – Dr Meredith Warren
- Preaching #SheToo – Dr Helen Paynter
On Tuesday 30 October 2018, at St Paul’s Cathedral (London), Professor Helen Bond (University of Edinburgh) and Professor Joan Taylor (King’s College, London) discussed the roles of women in early Christianity, beginning with Jesus’s female disciples: “My Soul Glorifies the Lord: Jesus’ female disciples”.
“The traditional story of the birth of Christianity is dominated by men. It is often thought that Jesus only chose men to be his disciples and apostles, but evidence suggests that this is really only half the story. Were female disciples in fact crucial to the Jesus movement? Profoundly scandalous at the time, the idea remains highly controversial 2,000 years later. Two distinguished early church historians will present research that shows as many as half of Jesus’ disciples were women. They say the evidence shows that women were integral to his mission and only if we see men and women working together do we see the whole story, revealing the early church as far more radical than we thought.”
0:05 Andrew Carwood, chair
7:10 Helen Bond – opening address
23:10 Joan Taylor – opening address
35:55 Helen Bond – second address
52:35 Joan Taylor – second address
1:03:25 Helen Bond, Joan Taylor, and Andrew Carwood – Panel Q&A
On November 22, 2017, Professor Hindy Najman (Oriel College, Oxford University) presented a paper on “Philosemitism and Antisemitism in Biblical Criticism” at Tel Aviv University. There was also a reply from Dr. Ofri Ilany (The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute) and a further response from Prof Najman.
On May 25, 2018, The Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible at St Mary’s University, Twickenham held a one-day seminar, “Social-Scientific Criticism and Christian Origins: Past, Present and Future”.
‘Social-Scientific Criticism’ now serves in New Testament studies as an umbrella term for a variety of critical approaches to early Christianity, which include cultural anthropology, social identity theory, social history, ancient and modern media studies, memory theories, human geography, ancient and modern politics, race theory, trauma studies, and others. This conference gathers leading scholars to answer that question and track the progress of the scholarly discourse from initial applications to the current state of the discussion, as well as offer thoughts about the future.
9.10-9.20am Introduction to the Conference
Session 1 Theoretical Origins and Texts
9.20-9.50am ‘From Honour and Shame to Theorizing Christian Origins’
9.50-10.20am ‘Competitive Textualisation in the Jesus Tradition’
10.20-10.50am ‘The Letter to Titus as a Site of Memory’
Michael Scott Robertson
Session 2 Violence and Identity
11.20am-12.10pm ‘Violence as Social Currency in Early Christianity’
12.10-12.40pm ‘The Death of John the Baptist and the Sociology of Beheading in the Ancient World’
Session 3 Space and Language
2-2.40pm ‘Diverse Futures of Social-Scientific Criticism of the New Testament: Affective, Spatial, Cognitive and Digital Turns’
Louise J. Lawrence
2.40-3.20pm ‘Apocalyptic Language in the New Testament: Can Cognitive Linguistics Help?’
Session 4 Ethnicity, Race and Ideology
3.40-4.10pm ‘Whose Race Needs to be Noted? Further Reflections on Whiteness and Biblical Studies’
4.40-5.10pm ‘Social-Scientific Criticism and the Bible: Investigating Ideological Trends’
Session 5 Politics and Social-Scientific Criticism
5.30-6pm Keynote Address: ‘Cults, Martyrs, and Good Samaritans’
6-6.20pm Respondent: Hannah Strømmen
6.20-6.40pm Respondent: Yvonne Sherwood
Taylor Weaver (University of Kent) presents his talk on Class Struggle and Early Christianity, delivered to the Religious Studies department at the University of Kent, February 2018. The talk is available on YouTube, in two parts:
On July 21, 2017, Professor Barbara Reid (Catholic Theological Union at Chicago) delivered the lecture for the 9th Annual Mary of Magdala Celebration, at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry Continuing Education: “Mary Magdalene and the Women Disciples in the Gospel of Luke”.
Click here for a transcript of this presentation.
THE BIBLE IN POLITICS
2-3 June, 2017
The Bible in Politics conference was held earlier this month at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London. St Mary’s has made the videos of the presentations available on their YouTube channel.
Friday 2 June
10.30-11.15am Hugh Pyper, ‘“Don’t Mention the Bible! Religion, Identity and Contemporary Scottish Politics’
11.15-12.00 Christina Petterson, ‘The Politics of Biblical Translation’
12.15-1pm Fatima Tofighi, ‘Paul, the Mystic Who Wasn’t a Mystic: A Reexamination in Light of the Politics of Religious Scholarship’
2.05-2.50pm Tarcisius Mukaka, ‘“Let Every Person be Subject to the Governing Authorities”: Reading Rom. 13.1-7 against the Grain, or a Postcolonial Reading’
3-3.45pm Jo Carruthers, ‘The Bible, Aesthetics and the Origins of the American Self: Islamophobia and Protestant Aesthetics in Homeland’
4-4.30pm Taylor Weaver, ‘Trump’s Bible: Weakening Relevance in the American Political Sphere’
4.30-5pm Chris Meredith, ‘The Bible and the Poetics of Modern Militarism: The Good Samaritan and the UK’s 2016 Airstrikes in Syria’
Saturday 3 June
10-11.15am Erin Runions, ‘Carceral Technologies, Religious Affects, and US Theopolitics’
11.30am-12.15pm Lesleigh Cushing, ‘The “Good Book” in the “Promised Land”: The Bible in Contemporary American Politics’
12.15-1pm David Tollerton, ‘Alternative Facts from the Whirlwind: Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan and the Obfuscating Oppression of the Divine/State’
2.15-3pm Robert Myles, ‘Fishing for Entrepreneurs in the Sea of Galilee’
3-4pm or so James Crossley, ‘Italian Politics, Italian Westerns…and the Bible’
Ward Blanton, “Apostle of the Self-Help Entrepreneurs?”
The following video is a lecture by Ward Blanton (University of Kent) “Paul, Apostle of the Anarchists: The Invisible Committee, Agamben, and Anti-Terror Legislation”.
Professor David Tombs (University of Otago) presented a Public Lecture at the University of Auckland on July 20, 2016 entitled “Acknowledging Jesus as Victim of Sexual Abuse”.
Feminist and womanist theologians have questioned traditional Christian models of atonement that appear to render God complicit in the extreme violence of the cross, likening Jesus’ crucifixion to a form of ‘divine child abuse’. These models of atonement often reinforce unhealthy attitudes towards the acceptance of sexual violence and abuse.
Professor Tomb’s presentation will link the critiques of atonement to recent research on crucifixion, which re-reads the historical and scriptural evidence on Roman crucifixions to suggest that sexual humiliation and sexual violence were prominent features in this event. This will lead to discussion on the theological and ethical relevance of such an understanding of crucifixion, including its significance in light of recent sexual abuse scandals within the church.
h/t: Caroline Blyth