November 22, 2011, 2:07 am
Readers might recall my unforgivable screed in The Chronicle Review back in 2006. It was entitled “What’s Wrong with the Society of Biblical Literature?” and my answer five years ago was: everything.
The Society is now under new management with newly appointed executive director John Kutsko. Word on the scriptural street is that the new guy “gets it.” I hope he does because the field is afflicted by a variety of crises.
I enumerated many of these crises at the annual meeting of the SBL which took place in San Francisco this past weekend. At a panel on Sunday entitled “The Future of Biblical Scholarship,” I argued that the future lies squarely in the hands of the SBL’s leadership.
Among many other challenges, headquarters needs to figure out if it truly wants to be a learned society—one that fosters critical, open-ended scholarship on…