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Meeting Program Units

2020 Annual Meeting

Boston, MA

Meeting Begins11/21/2020
Meeting Ends11/24/2020

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

Requirements for Participation

Metacriticism of Biblical Scholarship


Program Unit Type: Section
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: For the 2020 Annual Meeting, the Metacriticism of Biblical Scholarship unit will convene 3 sessions. The first is an open session for which we solicit proposals on the topic of the political use of the Bible in the 21st century. The recent resurgence of political evangelicals and their alignment with state power around the world has seen the Bible emerge as a potent symbol. How does the Bible function in political spaces? Does its substantive content influence that function? Or is its operation in such contexts strictly iconic? What opportunities are there to disrupt or complicate its adjacency to state power? Finally, how does the political invocation of the Bible and biblical language more generally influence recent debates on secularism? Continuing our concern to foster spaces in which the past and future of the SBL may be addressed, and its institutional commitment to inclusive scholarship may be furthered, we will convene a second panel on the subject of “Justice in the SBL.” Our focus will be to sponsor a forum in which recent, organization-led efforts toward addressing marginalized communities, including LGBTQ+ scholars, will be discussed. We will also convene an invited panel to discuss Richard Newton's book Identifying Roots: Alex Haley and the Anthropology of Scriptures (Equinox 2020). This panel focuses on Newton’s critical reexamination of the category “scriptures." How might we envision alternatives to presuming the intrinsic importance of familiar, historical canons? How does an expansive conception scriptures challenge our understanding of the relationship between culture and text?

Program Unit Chairs

Edward Silver
Jill Hicks-Keeton

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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