Politization of Bibles and Biblization of Politics in the Twenty-First Century


Biblical Interpretation today is characterized by a variety of different concerns and approaches. The focus of this programme unit is on the use and misuse of biblical texts in past and present politics, in the broadest sense; and conversely, on the use and misuse of politics in biblical interpretation and transmission. The scope may include analysis of the biblical and related texts and contexts, questions of method and theory, and especially attention to interpretations- interpreters and their contexts. Papers are welcome from such perspectives as psychology and psychoanalysis, philosophy, postcolonial studies, gender studies, social studies, economic studies, racial-ethnic studies, and queer studies.


Contemporary Biblical Interpretation, Political Interests and Impacts, Interpretive Communities, Bibles and Politics


Jeremy Punt
Stellenbosch University

Steffi Fabricius
University of Siegen

Member Area

Syracuse 2023 Call for Papers

Continuing our project of investigating how bibles are conceived today and how they are defined and enlisted for shaping societies and for remembering the future, be those societies religious or secular, over the past two years this group explored how populist leaders around the world invoked, used and fetishized the Bible. While the interplay between politics, populism and bibles was explored in 2022 for how they infracted human identity and biblical hermeneutics in the popular arena, the focus shifts in 2023 towards the contexts and situations that allow(ed) for and even encourage(d) the continuing (and in some areas the growing) entanglement of bibles and populist politics. Linking up with the overall ambition of the research unit, papers are invited that explore local and global scenario’s in which biblical rhetoric are present, resonate and in this way provide fertile ground for populists’ biblical rhetoric. Papers are particularly welcome when they explicitly explore how discursive contexts accommodate the intersections of bibles and populism and the hermeneutics at work, with a variety of methods (e.g. discourse analysis; conceptual metaphors and metonymy as well as other cognitive and linguistic theories) and approaches (particularly critical race theory; theory; gender studies; queer and crip theory).