Columbia Hosts Conference on Bible, Empire, and Reception History

Columbia Hosts Conference on Bible, Empire, and Reception History

On November 18-19, 2015, Columbia Theological Seminary will host a unique conference exploring the production and use of the Bible in various historical contexts of empire. It will consider the use of postcolonial criticism in interpreting biblical texts and its implications in modern contexts.

“We deliberately scheduled the conference before the gathering of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) and the American Academy of Religion (AAR) to be held in Atlanta,” said Raj Nadella, assistant professor of New Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary. “Originally, we hoped to have one or two well-known scholars interact with a small group of about 50 participants. As it turns out, more than half of the participants will be top scholars taking turns as panelists responding to the speakers!”

The Bible, Empire, and Reception History Conference will consist of four sessions, each focusing on a particular geographical or historical set of contexts:

9:00-12:30, Wednesday, November 18
Session # 1. The Bible and Ancient Empires
Keynote Speakers: Carol A. Newsom and Richard Horsley
Respondents: Warren Carter and Annette Yoshiko Reed
Panelists: Christine Yoder (Presider), Stephen Moore, Brent Strawn, Eric Baretto

2:00-5:30, Wednesday, November 18
Session # 2. The Bible and the Americas
Keynote Speakers: Yvonne Sherwood and Jaime Lara
Respondents: Fernando Segovia and Rhondda Robinson Thomas
Panelists: Brennan Breed (Presider), Ana Maria Travassos Valdez, Dianne Stewart, Gregory Cuéllar

9:00-12:30, Thursday, November 19
Session # 3. The Bible, South and East Asia
Keynote Speakers: Kwok Pui-Lan and R. S. Sugirtharajah
Respondents: Tat-Siong Benny Liew and Mrinalini Sebastian
Panelists: Raj Nadella (Presider), David Joy, William Yoo

2:00-5:30, Thursday, November 19
Session # 4. The Bible and Africa
Keynote Speakers: Musa Dube and Hendrik Bosman
Respondents: Dora Mbuwayesango and Sarojini Nadar
Panelists: John Azumah (Presider), Temba Mafico, Safwat Marzouk, Madipoane Masenya

Columbia Seminary plans to host a live stream of the conference and post videos of presentations for later viewing. A publication of the presentation will also be produced. There is limited space available for alumni and others to attend. For more information about the Bible, Empire, and Reception History conference, please visit

Columbia Theological Seminary is committed to “educating imaginative, resilient leaders for God’s changing world.” As an educational institution of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Columbia is a community of theological inquiry and formation for ministry in the service of the Church of Jesus Christ. Columbia offers seven graduate degree programs and dozens of courses and events as a resource for church professionals and lay people through the Center for Lifelong Learning. For more information about Columbia Theological Seminary, please visit

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2 thoughts on “Columbia Hosts Conference on Bible, Empire, and Reception History”

  1. stephen says:

    I am looking bible college to learn God’s word deedly. I really need help from someone to find a college in united state of america.

    1. CTS Staff says:

      We are a graduate school, so you would have to go to college first before attending here. Is there a particular denomination with which you identify?

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