Call for Papers: The Bible, Race and Nation

Chosen Peoples, Promised Lands

The Bible, Race, and Nation in the Long Nineteenth Century 

July 14-16 2014 at CRASSH, University of Cambridge

Speakers include:

  • Stephen Haynes (Rhodes College)
  • Anthony D. Smith (LSE)
  • Stephen K. Batalden (Arizona State)
  • Alex Bremner (Edinburgh)
  • Hilary M. Carey (Bristol)
  • John Coffey (Leicester)
  • Hephzibah Israel (Edinburgh)
  • Halvor Moxnes (Oslo)

Chosen Peoples, Promised Lands will bring together scholars from across a variety of disciplines to throw new light on the biblical themes, ideas, and metaphors that undergird ideas about racial and national identity in the modern world. More specifically, we seek to explore the how biblical notions of lineage, descent, and inheritance continued to inform ideas of race and nation in the increasingly secular and scientific atmosphere of the long nineteenth century. Notwithstanding the publication of several recent works on religion and nationhood, nationalism and race are still often considered in secular terms. The aim of this conference is to explore the means through which a range of nations and races have forged their identities in conversation with the textual traditions of the Abrahamic religions.

Conference organisers: Dr Gareth Atkins, Dr Shinjini Das, Dr Brian Murray.

Topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • Race and the Noachic tradition  (Semites, Hamites, Japhites)
  • Nation as covenant
  • New Israel and Modern Babylon
  • Zionism
  • National Bibles: translation, criticism, scholarship, distribution
  • National (and transnational) Missions
  • Resistance to the Bible in anticolonial and nationalist contexts
  • The postcolonial Bible
  • The contested antiquity of nations/races
  • New worlds and promised lands
  • Exile and Exodus

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers from researchers to fill a limited number of slots in two open panels. Please send your proposal (max. 250 words) with a brief biography to by 11 April 2014. If accepted, finished papers will be precirculated on 27 June. Informal enquiries may also be directed to the above address.

This event is hosted by The Bible and Antiquity in Nineteenth-Century Culture project at CRASSH and supported by the European Research Council.