Search SBL

Meeting Program Units

2020 Annual Meeting

Virtual Meeting

Meeting Begins11/29/2020
Meeting Ends12/11/2020

Call for Papers Opens: 1/7/2020
Call for Papers Closes: 3/11/2020

Requirements for Participation

Contextual Biblical Interpretation

Program Unit Type: Section
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: We welcome papers that examine biblical texts or methodology while explicitly engaging a reader’s contemporary context. (1) An open session invites papers that explore how LGBTQIA+ contextualized readings are being used to foster community engagement and activism. This includes LGBTQIA+ bible studies and community textual readings, activist engagements with texts, uses of contextualized readings to respond to violence and trauma experienced by LGBTQIA+ communities, the use of texts in broader activist contexts, etc. (2) A joint session with Ecological Hermeneutics, “Land and Home as Threatened,” welcomes proposals on ecologically oriented, contextually informed interpretations rooted in the impact on human, plant and animal habitat (“home”) of matters such as residence, migration/immigration (broader than occupation), along with the structures, human and natural, that drive these movements, and contemporary threats, such as “climate change,” “natural” disasters, or power/economic interests.  Of particular interest are the ways texts are used to resist or validate destruction and violence against parts of creation, both human and non-human. (3) An open session exploring “unexamined contexts” - those contexts taken for granted even when readers try to make explicit their contemporary contexts. We are particularly interested in intersectional aspects of interpreter’s contexts and how they navigate them in interpretations. How are gender expression, sexuality, race/ethnicity, white privilege, socio-economic status, geographic location, political position, etc. present in interpretations and where are certain contexts erased? Why is there resistance to contextualizing these contexts? What are the pitfalls of doing intersectional contextuality? How might our (lack of) response to hidden contexts expand/limit scholarship? (4) We join other program units in a "Talk with the President” session. See Asian and Asian American Hermeneutics Call for Papers for more information.

Program Unit Chairs

Karri Whipple Alldredge

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.

Questions About Membership?

  • Call 866-727-9955 Toll Free in the US
  • Call 404-727-9498 Outside the US
  • Fax us at 404-727-2419
  • Email us at


© 2023, Society of Biblical Literature. All Rights Reserved.