The 340th Meeting of the Chicago Society of Biblical Research convenes on Saturday, October 21, 2023 starting at 2:45 p.m. at Catholic Theological Union (5416 South Cornell Avenue, Chicago)
“Hauntings and the Afterlives of Exile in the Book of Ezekiel”
This presentation explores how exile – the forced dislocation and relocation under empire – shifts not only spatial orientations but also temporal orientations in the book of Ezekiel. In a textual landscape shaped and re-shaped by traumatic and compounding upheavals, the past haunts the present and shapes future anticipations, giving anxious yet hopeful breaths to the afterlives of exile. Thus, a linear chronology of a past that is past, a present that is present, and a future that is not yet collapses within this trauma literature. Attentiveness to these temporal dynamics illuminates the hauntings and afterlives that shape how exile and loss are (re)narrativized in this book.
“A Report on the State of Biblical Scholarship in the Philippines: An Unexpected Virtual Rhizomatic Emergence of Social Media as the ‘Publishing House’ of the Mass”
The Philippines has become one of the nations with the highest number of active daily users of social media in the world. From Facebook to Tiktok, watching and making videos and clips through the cellphone is an irrefutable phenomenon that permeated various sectors of the Philippines. Amplified by the pandemic, this phenomenon manifested as well even in redefining academic/religious publishing. Virtual grassroots religious communities are creating and publishing their worship service, Bible study, academic conference, daily devotion, and other religious and academic contents via the social media. Their work has created new rhizomatic connections whereby the lived realities of the mass and their instantaneous capacity to respond and co-create academic/religious contents have become an irrefutable re-emergence and reconfiguration of what is called “publishing.” By doing so, the rhizomatic connections that emerged out of these publishing networks have elevated and made more visible the presence, voices, and concerns of those who were previously deemed unworthy of being published.
“Engaging Agricultural Language in Christian Eschatological Imagination”
Insights from archaeological remains uncover the extent of agricultural activities of the ancient world. The evidence reveals that the agricultural activities of tilling the soil, planting of seeds, and harvesting of crops form an important part of the ancient economy, and the main source of livelihood for many households. It goes without saying then that the communities that welcomed the gospel message that the apostles proclaimed were mostly agrarian. Little wonder then that some selected texts from the New Testament with eschatological imaginations employ the language of sowing and reaping to describe divine judgement at the end of time, which the people of the ancient world will readily recognize. This paper will interpret Galatians 6:7-9, and Revelation 14:14-20, illustrating how the farming occupation of the inhabitants of Asia Minor, in particular, provides the context for Christian eschatological imagination, offering an assessment of human actions against the backdrop of divine judgement.