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Meeting Program Units

2021 Annual Meeting

San Antonio, TX

Meeting Begins11/20/2021
Meeting Ends11/23/2021

Call for Papers Opens: 1/20/2021
Call for Papers Closes: 3/24/2021

Requirements for Participation

Metacriticism of Biblical Scholarship

Program Unit Type: Section
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: For the 2021 Annual Meeting, the Metacriticism of Biblical Scholarship unit will convene 3 sessions. The first is a session for which we solicit proposals on the topic of the political use of the Bible in the 21st century. Recent events have seen the resurgence of performative religiosity in connection with reactionary politics. The shifting alignment of state power and particular religious communities has seen the Bible emerge as a potent symbol. How does it function in political spaces? Does its substantive content influence that function? Or is the Bible's value in such contexts merely iconic? What opportunities are there to disrupt or complicate its adjacency to structured power? Finally, how does the political invocation of the Bible and biblical language more generally influence recent debates on secularism? 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 of scriptures challenge our understanding of the relationship between culture and text? Finally, we invite paper proposals for an open session on the topic of "the present and future of the academic study of the Bible." Participants are encouraged to propose essays that engage critically with the discipline's current heuristic frames and critical horizons while drawing attention to areas presently underrepresented in scholarship. In particular, we are interested in presentations that focus on the intersection of power and knowledge production, or that engage critically with the hegemonic construction of the Bible within contemporary culture. Presentations that synthesize critical textual engagement with metacritical reflection are especially welcome.

Program Unit Chairs

Edward Silver
Jill Hicks-Keeton

Propose a Paper for this Program Unit

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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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