Reading Biblical Texts – Understanding Contemporary Contexts


The purpose of this unit is to foster, develop, and encourage contemporaneous engagement with the Bible: the Biblical texts are read alongside and/or in conjunction with present day communities of real-life flesh and blood persons. Being fully cognizant that such readings are partial, subjective, and deeply contextual, they still need to be included in the history of interpretation. The aim of the unit is threefold: i.) we are interested in readings that shed light on contemporary culture/politics; ii.) we invite projects which aim at restoring the lost past behind the Biblical texts by drawing attention to parallel real-life experiences; iii.) we want to explore and develop methods that supports the above mentioned two goals. Although, a unit  such as this calls for an ethnographical approach, we also welcome the work of scholars who read the Biblical texts alongside current issues, be it social and/or political, in order to relate their interpretations to real life experiences. 


Real-readers, Ethnography, Reading-alongside, Talking-back, Cultural Studies


Sharon Jacob
Pacific School of Religion

Gitte Buch-Hansen
University of Copenhagen

Member Area

Wuppertal 2021 Call for Papers

The research group Reading Biblical Texts – Understanding Contemporary Contexts invites papers for two sessions. We call for papers for a session on the Bible and nationalism. We invite presentations in which contextual interpretations of the Biblical text, based on the experiences of real readers and/or contemporary flesh and blood communities, are used to address and illustrate the impact of nationalism in the modern context – or parallel phenomena in an ancient context. Proposals that use interdisciplinary approaches to the text and address issues related to gender, sexuality, and race are particularly encouraged. The second call is an open call for papers which fit the general aim of the unit.