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.
Professor Gerald West (University of KwaZulu-Natal) presented the 2018 De Carle Lecture Series on the topic, “The Bible as a Site of Struggle”.
“The Bible as a site of struggle” allows me to bring my biblical scholarship work and my community-based activist work together. The Ujamaa Centre for Community Development and Research, established in the late 1980s as part of the struggle against apartheid, is the site of much of my work, intersecting the academy and the community. After nearly thirty years of work with the Ujamaa Centre I have recognised more clearly what it is that our work with the Bible offers to local communities of the poor and marginalised. Central to what we offer is a participatory praxis in which we work with the Bible as ‘a site of struggle’ – of multiple, often contending ideo-theological voices. Working with a Bible that is ‘a site of struggle’ offers forms of interpretive resilience to poor and marginalised communities who are often stigmatised and victimised by dominant monovocal appropriations of the Bible. In this lecture series I will reflect on both the academic and community dimensions of this work.
Wednesday 28 February – ‘Site of struggle’ in South African Liberation Theologies
Wednesday 07 March – The Bible as a Site of Struggle in South African Black Theology
Wednesday 14 March – Recovering a Co-opted Bible in Post-apartheid South Africa
Wednesday 21 March – Working with the Bible as a Site of Struggle in Local Communities
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?”
Professor Joel Baden (Yale Divinity School) has a timely look at what the Bible has to say about immigration.
See also: Joel Baden, “Franklin Graham said immigration is ‘not a Bible issue.’ Here’s what the Bible says“, The Washington Post, February 10, 2017.
On March 14-16th, 2016, The Goldstein-Goren Department of Jewish Thought at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev hosted a conference called “Perceiving the Other: Ancient and Modern Interactions with Outsiders”.
The purpose of this colloquium is to re-examine both ancient Christian, Jewish, and pagan portrayals of outsiders and modern construals of these portrayals. In what ways, both positive and negative, do ancient writers interact with and relate to those outside of their religious traditions? In what ways do modern scholars appropriate and even inflect these earlier portrayals in light of their own modern preconceptions? This colloquium will devote itself to the methodological questions surrounding the use of diverse ancient sources for the construction of the other. The goal is to shed new light on ancient interactions between different religious groups in order both to describe more accurately these relationships and to provide greater understanding and sympathy amongst modern religious traditions.
Monday, March 14
Opening Remarks and Greetings:
– Prof. Rivka Carmi, President, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
– Prof. David Newman, Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
– Prof. Uri Ehrlich, Chair, The Goldstein-Goren Department of Jewish Thought, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
-Prof. Haim Kreisel, Head, The Goldstein-Goren International Center for Jewish Thought, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Prof. Albert Baumgarten (Bar-Ilan University): John the Baptist and Jesus: An Ancient Dialogue of Disciples
Prof. Matthew Thiessen (Saint Louis University): Animalistic Gentiles according to Followers of Jesus
Prof. Uta Poplutz (University of Wuppertal): The Image of the Opponents in the Gospel of Matthew
Tuesday, March 15
Prof. Tobias Nicklas (Regensburg University): Revisiting the Other: ‘The Jews’ in the Gospel of John
Prof. Nathan Eubank (University of Oxford): Damned Disciples: the Permeability of the Boundary between Insiders and Outsiders in Early Christianity
Prof. Katell Berthelot (CNRS): The Paradoxical Resemblance of the Roman Other
Prof. Wolfgang Grünstäudl (University of Wuppertal): Different Approaches to the Core of Christianity
Prof. Shaya Gafni (Hebrew University of Jerusalem): Various ‘Others’ in Rabbinic Literature: Between Babylonia and the Land of Israel
Dr. Haim Weiss (Ben-Gurion University): The Bodily Images of Shimon Bar-Kosibah in Rabbinic Literature
Dr. Michal Bar-Asher Siegal (Ben-Gurion University): Christian Heretics in the Babylonian Talmud
Prof. Christine Hayes (Yale University): Different Differences: The Complicated Goy in Classical Rabbinic Sources
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.
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”
On March 25, 2013, Professor Paul Harvey (University of Colorado) delivered a lecture at Baylor University on the topic of the racialisation of Jesus as a white man in 19th-century USA.
The Civil War was a climactic moment, and its aftermath a turning point, not only in American national history, but in a lesser-known battle to bring Jesus into the sectional struggles of the mid-nineteenth century. – Lecture Paul Harvey, a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University (BA 1983), and the University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D. 1992), is the author/editor of eight books in American religious history, including The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in American History (co-authored with Edward J. Blum, University of North Carolina Press).
The 2014 Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism Annual Conference examined “Troubling Legacies: Anti-Judaism in Antiquity and Its Aftermath”. The four panels are available for viewing on YouTube.
Panel 1: Non-Christian Greek and Roman Anti-Judaism?
Erich Gruen, “Was there Judeophobia in Classical Antiquity?”
Benjamin Isaac, “Greek and Roman Hostility: Cultural Incompatibility”
Dale B. Martin (moderated session)
Panel 2: John’s “Jews” and their Effective Force in Reception History
Adele Reinhartz, “The Devil Incarnate: John’s anti-Jewish legacy”
Ruth Sheridan, “Reproducing Johannine Anti-Judaism: The Case of Commentary on John 8:32”
Harold Attridge (moderated session)
Panel 3: Nineteenth Century Philosophy and Theology
George Kohler, “Supersessionism in Jewish-Christian Debates in Germany between 1830-1870”
Anders Gerdmar, “The Construction of the Jews in 19th Century German Protestantism: the Case of Tübingen professors Beck and Baur.”
Paul Franks (moderated session)
Joshua Ezra Burns (respondent)
Panel 4: Contemporary Legacies
Sarah Hammerschlag, “The figure of the Jew and the New Universalism”
Ward Blanton, “What is an Apparatus?” Machineries of Paulinism and the Force of the Name ‘Jew'”
J. Kameron Carter, “(In-)Sovereignty in Palestine: Négritude and the Reproductions of Colonialism.”
James Crossley interviews Robert Myles, author of The Homeless Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew (Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014), and Michael Sandford, author of Poverty, Wealth, and Empire: Jesus and Postcolonial Criticism (Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014). In addition to discussing their latest books, the interview covers issues of class, postcolonialism, and biblical scholarship.
Professor Amy-Jill Levine delivered the Comparative Theology Lecture at Harvard Divinity School on October 17, 2012: “From Donation to Diatribe: How Anti-Jewish Interpretation Cashes Out”.
In Mark 12:41-44, Jesus says of a poor widow who makes a donation to the Jerusalem Temple: “she has thrown in her whole life.” Is the widow exploited by a Jewish system that values money over compassion? Is she a faithful worshiper who reveals the Temple’s welcome of rich and poor, male and female? Is she a foreshadowing of Jesus, who will give up his life as a “ransom for many?” The answers depend upon the reader’s sensibilities.
Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies, and Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School and College of Arts and Sciences.
Levine’s lecture commences at 5:57.
Claremont Graduate Univerity’s Institute for Signifying Scriptures held a roundtable discussion of Vincent L. Wimbush’s White Men’s Magic: Scripturalization as Slavery (OUP, 2012), on October 11, 2012. The book examines The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African (1789), the processes of scripturalization, and the production of discourse and counter-discourse, against the backdrop of slavery.
A roundtable book review of Vincent L. Wimbush’s “White Men’s Magic: Scripturalization as Slavery,” at Claremont Graduate University’s Institute for Signifying Scriptures. Moderator is Karen L. Yonemoto of Claremont McKenna College. Panelists are Ronne Hartfield, Robert Hill, Tat-siong Benny Liew, Charles H. Long, and Valorie Thomas.
On University of California Television, Professor Paula Fredricksen compares the views of Paul and Augustine on the divine redemption of Jews. The 2009 lecture was sponsored by the Herman P. and Sophia Taubman Endowed Symposia in Jewish Studies. Fredricksen discusses some of the content of her book Augustine and the Jews: A Christian Defense of Jews and Judaism (Yale University Press, 2009).
Paula Fredriksen, author and Aurelio Professor of Scripture, Boston University sheds new light on the origins of anti-Semitism and opens a path toward better understanding between two of the world’s great religions. She focuses in particular on the vast change from Paul to Augustine in the Christian message of Jewish redemption.
Rob Marshall interviews James Crossley about his book, Jesus in an Age of Neoliberalism (2012). The interview is available on Crossley’s webpage at the University of Sheffield.