Session one – Invited papers only. Theme: Methods for developing ‘ordinary’ European contextual interpretations of the Bible
Scholars who have extensive experience of working within this field of Biblical Studies will be invited to present papers on the methodologies typically used for carrying out research in this field (for example, Contextual Bible Study) and the unique challenges that using such methodologies within a European context bring. For example, the following issues could be addressed: i.) To what degree should the researcher interfere with the reading processes of the group? ii.) Must the documentation of the ‘ordinary’ readers’ interpretations be balanced by the researcher’s participatory/ethnographic observations? Scholars contributing to this session will draw upon case studies from their own work out in the field and the methodological challenges they experienced whilst completing their research.
Session two – Open call for papers. Theme: Examples of how modern ‘ordinary’ readers in a European context have interpreted the Bible
The goal of this session is provide a formal yet supportive platform upon which scholars working within the field of how the Bible can be interpreted by ‘ordinary’ readers in a European context can present and share their fieldwork findings. In order to support and develop the participants’ critical engagement with their data, an experienced respondent will be invited. Consequently, the papers must be submitted in advance.
The session welcomes contextual readings of any biblical texts by groups of ‘ordinary’ readers from faith, interfaith or non-faith perspectives, so long as such papers explore readings produced in a European context. ‘European’ in this context refers solely to the geographical borders of Europe, as opposed to any definition based upon ethnicity.