Contact for questions, thoughts, proposals: Roberta Sabbath, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chapter Abstract and C.V. Due: June 15
Paper Due: September 1
Length: 8-10,000 words
Title: Sacred Troubling Topics: Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and Qur’an
The production of sacred texts stems from multiple histories, contexts, and receptions. The synergy amongst these three organic dimensions produces collective identities that seek meaning, validation, and vindication. The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh, New Testament, and Qur’an, are case in point. For the first time, scholars not only excavate these works for their formative and continuing cultural impact on communities, identities, and belief systems. Here, scholars select some of the most troubling topics that global communities continue to negotiate. Cultural Studies, as developed in the twentieth century and now in the hands of twenty-first century authors, provides tools that identify, in texts and their reception, dynamic collective ideals, behaviors, and ethics.
Our scholars utilize a polymorphous range of analytic tools to examine cultural practices from ancient times to the present day grouped into six clusters: Gender and Sexuality, Body and Appearance, Women and Feminism, Death and Mourning, Life and Humour, and Crime and Disobedience. Scholarly readings tear away centuries of traditions, exegesis, simplistic binaries, and institutional doctrine that have ossified these works into artefacts. The strategy reveals amazingly porous texts open, even inviting, to a multiplicity of interpretations. The analysis forces us to reconfigure our vision of these works as forever unchanging commentary, established clarity, and comforting certitude. The exegesis thrusts us into the position of judge and jury. The commentary proves that their sometimes veiled, even hidden, but eternally powerful rhetoric can both destroy and build, exclude and include, and serve as the ultimate justification for cruelty or compassion. These Abrahamic scriptures are the ultimate pharmakon that can both kill and cure.
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