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New Book on Activism and the Bible

Books and major publications
CRPL research
Faith & Activism
Postgraduate student research

The Centre for Religion and Public Life is happy to announce the publication of Activism, Bible, and Research-Based Teaching: Practical Approaches for the Global Biblical Studies Classroom (Sheffield Phoenix, 2024). The volume is edited and with an Introduction by Centre director Johanna Stiebert and contains chapters by two Centre postgraduates, Yannis Wing Yan Ng (‘Reading Lot’s Wife with Marginalised Migrants: Promoting Critical Empathy in the Biblical Studies Classroom’) and Rabbi Robyn Ashworth-Steen (‘“If Not With Others, How?” Creating Rabbinic Activists Through Study’, co-authored with Rabbi Dr. Deborah Kahn-Harris). Also among the book’s fourteen chapters is one by Dr. Robert Kuloba Wabyanga, written during his time as LUCAS/LAHRI Virtual Research Fellow.

The aim of the book is to place simultaneous emphasis on academic rigour and practical application. It offers diverse and critical insights, as well as hands-on strategies for classroom settings, demonstrating that the cross-fertilisation between biblical studies and social justice activism generates a creativity that is powerful, empowering, and inspiring.

The socially engaged biblical scholars contributing to this volume come from Aotearora New Zealand, Botswana, Hong Kong, South Africa, Uganda, the UK and the USA and focus on a wide spectrum of activist causes. Topics include resistance to discrimination on the grounds of HIV/AIDS status, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, migrant status, and ethnicity, as well as advocacy for environmental protection, equity, and getting out of one’s ‘bubble’.

Twelve of the fourteen contributions were previously published in a special issue of the open access Journal for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies but several of these have been significantly revised – not least, to reflect on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on tertiary education. Two chapters, early versions of which were presented at a Bible and Activism event hosted at the University of Leeds (check out the slideshow here!), are published for the first time. New, too, are the two forewords by Dr. Richard Newton (University of Alabama, USA) and Dr. Emily Colgan (Trinity College, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand).