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
On February 11, 2016, at Yale Divinity School, Professor Fernando Segovia (Vanderbilt Divinity School) delivered a lecture on biblical criticism in the emerging world system, one in which the West will no longer dominate. His lecture, entitled “Toward Biblical Criticism as Global-Systemic: Analyzing the Global Framework as Departure”, was held at Yale Divinity School.
On February 4, 2016, Professor Nyasha Junior (Temple University) delivered a talk at Rowan University College of Humanities and Social Sciences entitled “Beyoncé, Black Women, and the Bible”, which outlines her approach to Womanist Biblical Interpretation. Junior is the author of An Introduction to Womanist Biblical Interpretation (Westminster John Knox, 2015), and her talk is largely based on this book.
African-American women have a complex relationship to feminism, which has often focused on the concerns of affluent, White women. Some African-American women choose to identify themselves and their scholarship as womanist, drawing on Alice Walker’s 1983 definition of the term. Based on her recently published book An Introduction to Womanist Biblical Interpretation (Westminster John Knox 2015), Dr. Nyasha Junior will discuss how scholars use womanist approaches within biblical studies. She will explain how womanist biblical interpretation is related to feminist biblical interpretation and also deeply rooted in the work of previous generations of African-American women interpreters of the Bible.
Professor Amy-Jill Levine (Vanderbilt Divinity School) delivered the 42nd Annual Antoinette Brown lecture on March 31, 2016, at Benton Chapel, Vanderbilt University Divinity School. The lecture also celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality.
Levine’s lecture was entitled “The Carpenter, Gender, and Sexuality: The Use and Abuse of the Gospels in Politics and Piety”. Her lecture looks at what the Bible teaches about rape, adultery, and women’s sexual pleasure. She also discusses the contemporary deployment of the Bible as a weapon: contemporary interpretations of the Bible which result in people dying, such as condemnations of homosexuality and abortion, and domestic abuse. Lastly, she examines the roles and authority of women in the Bible.
The lecture begins at 9:00.
Professor Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza delivered the 2015 Sprunt Lecture Series, titled “Liberating Scripture: Reading against the Grain,” on May 4-6, 2015, at Union Presbyterian Seminary.
Lecture 1: “Love the Brotherhood”
Lecture 2: “What is in a Name: Rediscovering our Jewish Ancestors”
Lecture 3: “Reading Otherwise – Reading for Liberation”
Professor Valarie Ziegler delivered a lecture at Trinity University on March 24, 2016 entitled “Submission, Sex, and Sinraptors: The Evangelical Adam as Alpha Male in American Popular Culture.” The lecture was delivered in the 2016 Lennox Series and Seminar at Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas).
From Kentucky’s famed Creation Museum to People Magazine’s obsession with the ever-expanding Duggar clan of 19 Kids and Counting, Christian conservative evangelical institutions are ubiquitous in American popular culture. Eager to recreate American society in the image of Eden, conservative evangelicals have given us eHarmony, princess purity balls, erotic wife spanking, militant fecundity, and a steady stream of illustrated Bibles depicting dinosaurs romping with Adam and Eve – not to mention a succession of spectacular sex scandals. Most people would be hard put to connect these colorful images to Christian devotion. But conservative evangelicals regard the subordination of women to men as central to God’s purpose in creation, and submissive wives and daughters, as well as dinosaurs in Eden, are useful signifiers of men’s primacy over women. This exaltation of male power and privilege not only gives license in the evangelical world to abusive behaviors (think Josh Duggar) but also impacts important levels of social discourse in the larger American culture, from romance to science, from procreation to presidential politics.
The latest Biblical Studies Online podcast (BSO06) is now available on iTunes for download here or, for non-iTunes users, here. It is an interview with Ward Blanton, Reader in Biblical Cultures and European Thought, University of Kent. Blanton talks about Paul, politics, philosophy, Jewishness, revolutionary thinking, Pauline studies, and his book, A Materialism for the Masses: St Paul and the Philosophy of Undying Life (Columbia University Press, 2014).
In an audio interview with Marginalia‘s Joseph Ryan Kelly, Roland Boer (Professor of Liberal Arts at Renmin University, Beijing) discusses his book The Sacred Economy of Ancient Israel (Westminster John Knox, 2015).
How a Marxist-inspired theory and Soviet-era Russian scholarship help us better understand the world of the Bible. Joseph Ryan Kelly talks with Roland Boer about his new book, The Sacred Economy of Ancient Israel.
Professor Adela Yarbro Collins delivered the 29th Carmichael-Walling Lectures at Abilene Christian University on November 12, 2015. Videos of both lectures are available.
The book of Revelation is rich in both Scriptural allusion and symbolic imagery. The first lecture will provide an overview and critical assessment of scholarship on intertextuality in Revelation, highlighting the book’s use of Scripture. The second lecture will consider female symbols in Revelation, particularly focusing on the symbolic woman of Revelation 17 often referred to as “The Whore of Babylon.”
Intertextuality in the Book of Revelation
Women as Symbols in the Book of Revelation
There is a symposium at Syndicate on James Crossley’s book, Jesus and the Chaos of History: Redirecting the Life of the Historical Jesus (2015).
The following critical responses to the book are available on the Syndicate website:
Symposium Introduction, by Chris Tilling.
“Historical Jesus, Epistemic Modesty”, by Helen Bond, November 23, 2015
Response by James Crossley, “Rethinking Upheaval: A Response to Helen Bond”, November 23, 2015
“How Chaotic is the Kingdom Tradition?” by Brent Driggers, November 25, 2015
Response by James Crossley, “The Dictatorship of God Is among You? A Response to Ira Brent Driggers”, November 25, 2015
Reply by Brent Driggers, “Clarifications and Further Questions”, November 25, 2015
Reply by James Crossley, “Imperialism or Liberation?”, December 12, 2015
“A Man in His Time”, by Rafael Rodríguez, November 30, 2015
Response by James Crossley, “Jesus and the Permanent Revolution? A Response to Rafael Rodriguez”, November 30, 2015
“Sin, the Law, and Purity“, by Paula Fredricksen, December 2, 2015
Response by James Crossley, “Living Legally in End Times: A Response to Paula Fredriksen”, December 2, 2015
Columbia Theological Seminary announced that it will livestream its upcoming conference on Bible, Empire, and Reception History during November 18-19. The Bible, Empire, and Reception History conference will explore the production and use of the Bible in various historical and geographic contexts of empire. It will consider the use of postcolonial criticism in interpreting biblical texts and its implications in modern contexts.
– Columbia Connections
8:30-9:00, Wednesday, November 18
Welcome, Introductions and Key Issues
9:00-12:30, Wednesday, November 18
Session # 1. The Bible and Ancient Empires
Keynote Speakers: Carol A. Newsom and Richard Horsley
Respondents: Warren Carter and Esther Menn
Panelists: Christine Yoder (Presider), Stephen Moore, Brent Strawn, Eric Barreto
2:00-5:30, Wednesday, November 18
Session # 2. The Bible, Empire, and the Americas
Keynote Speakers: Yvonne Sherwood and Jaime Lara
Respondents: Fernando Segovia and Rhondda Robinson Thomas
Panelists: Brennan Breed (Presider), Ana T. Valdez, Dianne Stewart, Gregory Cuéllar
9:00-12:30, Thursday, November 19
Session # 3. The Bible, Empire, and Asia
Keynote Speakers: Kwok Pui-Lan and Mitri Raheb
Respondents: Tat-Siong Benny Liew and Mrinalini Sebastian
Panelists: Raj Nadella (Presider), Jin Young Choi, Uriah Kim, Haruko Ward
2:00-5:30, Thursday, November 19
Session # 4. The Bible, Empire, and Africa
Keynote Speakers: Musa Dube and Hendrik Bosman
Respondents: Dora Mbuwayesango and Sarojini Nadar
Panelists: Emmanuel Lartey (Presider), Temba Mafico, Safwat Marzouk, Madipoane Masenya
Columbia have also made available videos of the conference presentations.
On March 26, 2015, Professor Emerson Powery (Mercy College) delivered the Jane D. Schaberg lecture in Scripture Studies, as a part of the 2015 Cushing Distinguished Lecture series at University of Detroit Mercy. His lecture discusses the origins of whiteness in slave narratives and the interpretation of the “Curse of Ham” narrative.
“The Origins of Whiteness and the Black (Biblical) Imagination: The Bible and the Slave Narrative”
Marxist theory is increasingly being viewed as the “next big thing” in Biblical Studies. To this end, Roland Boer (Professor of Liberal Arts at Renmin University of China) delivered a lecture entitled “What has Marxism to do with religion?” at the University of Auckland on September 9, 2015. The lecture is now available on YouTube.
This lecture explores some of the key questions in that extended engagement. It begins by reconsidering the metaphor of opium, or what Lenin called ‘spiritual booze’. Second, it examines Engels’s proposals concerning the revolutionary religious tradition, beginning with early Christianity. This would become a staple in Marxism, with subsequent thinkers and activists elaborating on this tradition. Finally, it considers the thorny question of a religious person being a member of the communist party. Did one have to tick the box marked ‘atheist’ before being allowed to join? On this matter we visit the First International, the Bolsheviks, the Cuban Communist Party and the Communist Party of China.