Forthcoming Conference on the Bible, Zionism and Palestine

A number of bloggers have mentioned plans to chair or present at a session at the international or annual SBL meetings (here, here, hereherehere, here, here, here, here, here).  I made a proposal for the session on the Synoptic Gospels looking at Lukan redaction of Mark (as well as another proposal for the AAR session) but my plans for where I will be next Fall semester are up in the air at the moment so I had to withdraw the proposals and pass on SBL Chicago this time.  However, I will be participating in the conference organized at Sheffield on The Bible, Zionism and Palestine for May 24-26 and registration is available online (HT Sheffield Biblical Studies blog).  A preliminary program and list of presenters (I just picked whatever Facebook photo I could find :) ) is also available.  My paper “Who is the True Israel?  Ethnocentrism in Justin Martyr’s Dialogue with Trypho the Jew” will look at the importance of “ethnic reasoning” (cf. Buell, Hodge, Lieu, etc) and the Land to Justin’s construction of a Christian identity that continues to influence Christian supersessionism and seeks to challenge the unfair contrast drawn between the alleged “ethnocentrism” of Judaism with the “universalism” of Christianity in some modern scholarship.  I also want to look at what this means for contemporary ecumenical dialogue as religious Jews and Christians (and Muslims) have identified themselves as the people of God with connections to the land and scriptures of Israel and how to value the identity of one’s own group while respecting the rights of the Other.

6 Responses to Forthcoming Conference on the Bible, Zionism and Palestine

  1. Doug says:

    That sounds far too balanced for a conference where Naim Ateek and Ilan Pappe are the first listed speakers :-)

    • Mike K. says:

      Thanks Doug :) My friend Michael Sandford who is organizing the conference is interested in liberation theology and postcolonial criticism, but I know he has tried hard to get a diverse range of viewpoints at this conference. I feel I do not know enough about the modern issues that I need to learn more about, but I think my contribution is just to make sure that those who rightly have a concern about liberation theology do not paint a negative caricature of Judaism or an idealistic picture of the Christian tradition.

  2. Doug says:

    My comment was partly tongue in cheek and I hope the conference sheds more light than heat. If my diary had made attendance possible, I would have been very tempted.

    Nonetheless, I hope that people will feel able to challenge both Pappe and Ateek rather than accord them the guru status they seem to attract in the anti-Zionist movement. (Despite the latter’s claims as a Canon of Christ Church Jerusalem (where his wife is also the organist) his views seem less than representative of the community, or his ministry collegial with it!)

    • Doug says:

      Oops – Late night brain death – that comment should, of course, have said St George’s Cathedral. Christ Church is another kind of beast altogether!

      • Mike K. says:

        More light than heat is always a good goal. I had read something Naim Ateek wrote in Sugirtharajah’s “Voices from the Margins” that was an interesting reading of Ezra-Nehemiah but I have not read much else of his so I couldn’t say. And I trust you know more about different congregations in the Anglican communion as I just started going to a Church of England while at Sheffield :)

  3. Doug says:

    Well, I shall look forward to you blogging the conference in due course!

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