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Meeting Program Units

2019 Annual Meeting

San Diego, CA

Meeting Begins11/23/2019
Meeting Ends11/26/2019

Call for Papers Opens: 12/19/2018
Call for Papers Closes: 3/6/2019

Requirements for Participation

Bible and Popular Culture


Program Unit Type: Section
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: The Bible and Popular Culture Unit will host three sessions in 2019. Our first session is an open session, and we invite proposals for papers focusing on any aspect of the reciprocal relationship between the Bible and popular culture. Our second session is co-sponsored with the AAR’s Religion and Popular Culture Unit, titled “Comic-Con at the Intersection of Religion, Bible, and Popular Culture.” Papers might address Comic-Con and other comic conventions as a ritual/festival act or pilgrimage site, cosplay as performative identity, fan culture as religion, fictional religions/sacred texts at Comic-Con, discussion of religion and atheism at Comic-Con, presence/absence of biblical and religious comics and figures from Comic-Con and fan culture, and the implications of the changing material presence of comics and sacred texts at cons and in various cultures. Our third session is co-sponsored with the Contextual Biblical Interpretation Unit, and is titled “The Use of the Bible in an Era of ‘Populist’ Politicians.” This is an open joint session on the use of the Bible in an era of “Populist” Politicians, to explore how populist politicians use the Bible (Trump, Duterte, Zuma, Bolsonaro, etc.). Populism is increasingly identified globally as a specific form of political/contextual action and often involves the Bible. We will investigate how the Bible is invoked by populist politicians and their followers, and the hermeneutics involved, exploring the intersections between populism, contextuality and biblical interpretation. Topics might include the notion of populist hermeneutics, general populist interpretations, or specific issues (immigration, authoritarianism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, etc.). Papers could include discussions of fake news, the question of objectivity, multiple truths, and one true interpretation. Do we critique objectivity when facts are disregarded? What is the role of biblical scholars in public/political contexts?

Program Unit Chairs

Dan W. Clanton Jr.

Propose a Paper for this Program Unit

If you are a SBL member, you must login before you can propose a paper for this or any other session. Please login by entering your SBL member number on the left in the Login box.

For all other persons wanting to propose a paper, you must communicate directly with the chair of the program unit to which you want to propose. Chairs have the responsibility to make waiver requests, and their email addresses are available above. SBL provides membership and meeting registration waivers only for scholars who are outside the disciplines covered by the SBL program, specifically most aspects of archaeological, biblical, religious, and theological studies.

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