James Crossley's blog Contact: jgcrossley10 - AT - yahoo - DOT - co - DOT - uk

Friday, February 29, 2008

Bible and Justice conference: more details

More details are now available for Matthew Coomber's Bible and Justice conference (University of Sheffield, 29 May - 1 June, 2008). There are plenty more papers to come and details of those will be available soon. Conference fees: before Friday 7th April, 2008: £50 (£27 student/non-wage rate); after Friday 7th April, 2008: £65 (£42 student/non-wage rate).

Although the full program details will not be published until March, here is a sample of papers to be presented by our keynote and invited speakers.

Keynote Speakers:
* Stanley Hauerwas - Justice in the Hebrew Bible
* Timothy Gorringe - Idolatry and Redemption: Biblical Perspectives on Economics (1 Kgs. 18-20, Lev. 25)
* John Rogerson - The Hebrew Bible and the Environment

A Short Sample of Papers to Be Presented:
* Paula Clifford - Fueling Our Carbon Habit: Climate Change and Justice For the Poor
* James Crossley - Caesar’s Willing Theologians: "Just War" Theory and the Art of Justifying the Unjustifiable
* Matthew Coomber – Globalization Then and Now: A Window Into the Prophetic Message
* Philip Davies - Socrates at Sodom
* David Horrell - Ecojustice in the Bible? Towards an Ecological Hermeneutic
* Walter Houston - “Rule” in a Non-Violent World: Cosmic Utopia and Environmental Justice
* Louise Lawrence - The Sound of Silence: Approaching a Deaf Hermeneutic
* Mary Mills - The Other City in the Book of Jonah
* Leo Perdue - Two Visions, Two Tomorrows, Two Worlds: Neocolonialism and the Fourth Paradigm
* Hugh Pyper - Rough Justice: God in an Unjust World
* Christopher Rowland - Blake and Justice
* Yvonne Sherwood - On the Genesis of the Alliance Between the Bible and Rights
* John Vincent - Scripture and Justice in the Inner City: The Sheffield Experience
* Gerald West - From a Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) for the Economy to the RDP of the Soul: Public Realm Biblical Appropriation in Postcolonial South Africa

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Bob Webb's blogging

Bob Webb, editor of JSHJ among many other things, is part of a larger blog network of other well known biblical scholars called PrimeTimeJesus. Here's what PrimeTimeJesus is all about:
PrimeTimeJesus features leading Christian professors, writers and thinkers who have come together to engage the media and culture about the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Jesus in an Age of Terror

A book which could be out by SBL Boston:

James G. Crossley, Jesus in an Age of Terror: Scholarly Projects for a New American Century (Equinox)

This book will apply the work of Noam Chomsky, Edward Herman, Edward Said and several others on international politics and the supportive role of the media, intellectuals and academics to contemporary Christian origins and New Testament scholarship. Part One will look at the ways in which New Testament and Christian origins scholarship has historically been influenced by its political and social settings over the past hundred years or so. Moving on to the present, the following chapter will then apply Herman and Chomsky’s propaganda model of manufacturing consent in the mass media to the recent explosion of biblical scholars writing on the internet, in particularly ‘biblio-bloggers’. It is clear that political views in ‘biblio-blogging’ conform strikingly to the emphases that come through in Herman and Chomsky’s analysis of the mass media and intellectuals, particularly with the standard lines on the ‘war on terror’ and views on the contemporary Middle East. The rest of the book will take up modified key areas of the propaganda model in more detail.

Part Two will look at the Orientalist rhetoric of clashing civilisations and how this relates to the ‘war on terror’ and the creation of Islam, Arabs, Middle East etc. as the Great Enemy in the media and relevant intellectual thought since the 1970s and, to use Derek Gregory’s phrase, ‘hideously emboldened’ in the ‘war on terror’. The next chapter will then show how this context has had a highly noticeable impact on the use of social sciences in New Testament and Christian origins scholarship, in particular the stark generalisations of scholars using cultural/social anthropology based on contemporary studies of ‘the Middle East’. Disturbingly, some of this scholarship has many rhetorical links with Anglo-American foreign policy interests in the Middle East and beyond, making some politically charged statements that cohere closely with recent intellectual defences of actions in Iraq, Palestine and beyond.

Part Three will look at issues of Palestine and Israel in the media alongside Christian, secular and relevant intellectual thought since the ‘Six Day War’ of 1967, focusing in particular on the dramatic shift towards widespread support for Israel. This will also include an analysis of the recent and controversial case of Nadia Abu el-Haj’s tenure at Barnard. The following chapter will show how this interest in Israel has had a profound impact on historical Jesus and Christian origins studies, particularly the strange emphasis on ‘Jewishness’ and misplaced allegations of ‘antisemitism’ since the 1970s. It will also be seen that despite the shift in support of Israel this is rarely done for love of Jews, Judaism, Israel or Israelis because there remains a notable cultural, political and religious superiority in Anglo-American scholarship. While owing much also to an Orientalist tradition, this too is strongly echoed in scholarship of Christian origins where, for all the emphasis on the ‘Jewishness’ of Jesus and the first Christians, it is extremely common to find Jesus or the first Christians being ‘better than’ Judaism or overriding key symbols of Judaism as constructed by scholarship, done, ironically, by frequent ignoring of relevant Jewish texts. The end results of contemporary scholarship are not dramatically different from the results of the anti-Jewish and antisemitic scholarship of much of the twentieth century.