In this address, I argue that the value of the Society of Biblical Literature as a learned society and a scholarly community must be measured not by the experiences of those who flourish but by those who struggle. To live up to our own values, and to be of value to society at large, we must commit to equity and justice; we must engage in our teaching and scholarship with a spirit of collegiality, collaboration, and openness to change. To do so we must be accountable to one another as scholars and as human beings. As one way forward, I suggest a “hermeneutics of chutzpah” that challenges the norms of biblical scholarship that were developed in Europe of the eighteenth through twentieth centuries. One model for this hermeneutical mode can be found in African American biblical interpretation. The hermeneutics of chutzpah exercised by African American scholars benefits other marginalized people as well as those who have traditionally situated themselves at the core of our guild by helping us all to perceive the workings of whiteness, and to engage more honestly with the deep structures of our intellectual enterprise.

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1 Mark Bloch, The Historian’s Craft, trans. Peter Putnam (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1992). A year later Bloch joined the French resistance, and in 1944 he was captured, tortured, and executed by firing squad in an open field along with twenty-six others. That we have his book today is thanks to his friend and colleague Lucien Febvre, who created it from three drafts of the early sections.
2 Ibid., 4. The original reads, “What craftsman, grown old in his trade, has not asked himself with a sudden qualm whether he has spent his life wisely?”
3 In using the first-person plural (we, our), I am referring to all members of the SBL, or, more often, to all biblical scholars. The issues I am raising here are not simply the responsibility of SBL as an organization, or of its leadership. The onus is on every one of us. On the language of diversity and inclusion, see Sara Ahmed, On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012); Lori G. Beaman, Deep Equality in an Era of Religious Diversity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017); Beaman, “The Myth of Pluralism, Diversity, and Vigor: The Constitutional Privilege of Protestantism in the United States and Canada,” JSSR 42 (2003): 311–25.
4 Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, “The Ethics of Biblical Interpretation: Decentering Biblical Scholarship,” JBL 107 (1988): 3–17, https://doi.org/10.2307/3267820; Vincent L. Wimbush, “Interpreters—Enslaving/Enslaved/Runagate,” JBL 130 (2011): 5–24, https://doi.org/10.2307/41304184; Fernando F. Segovia, “Criticism in Critical Times: Reflections on Vision and Task,” JBL 134 (2015): 6–29, https://doi.org/10.15699/jbl.1341.2015.0002; Brian K. Blount, “The Souls of Biblical Folks and the Potential for Meaning,” JBL 138 (2019): 6–21, https://doi.org/10.15699/jbl.1381.2019.1382; Gale A. Yee, “Thinking Intersectionally: Gender, Race, Class, and the Etceteras of Our Discipline,” JBL 139 (2020): 7–26, https://doi.org/10.15699/jbl.1391.2020.1b.
5 Adele Reinhartz, Cast Out of the Covenant: Jews and Anti-Judaism in the Gospel of John (Lanham, MD: Lexington/Fortress Academic, 2018); Reinhartz, “The Vanishing Jews of Antiquity,” Marginalia Review of Books, 24 June 2014, http://marginalia.lareviewofbooks.org/vanishing-jews-antiquity-adele-reinhartz/; Reinhartz, “John 8:31–59 from a Jewish Perspective,” in Remembering for the Future: The Holocaust in an Age of Genocide, ed. John K. Roth and Elisabeth Maxwell, 3 vols. (New York: Palgrave, 2001), 2:787–97; Reinhartz, “A Nice Jewish Girl Reads the Gospel of John,” Semeia 77 (1997): 177–93.
6 Yee, “Thinking Intersectionally”; Yee, “The Process of Becoming for a Woman Warrior from the Slums,” in Asian and Asian American Women’s Contributions to Theology and Religious Studies: Embodying Knowledge, ed. Kwok Pui-lan, Asian Christianity in the Diaspora (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020); Joseph A. Marchal, “LGBTIQ Strategies of Interpretation,” in The Oxford Handbook of New Testament, Gender, and Sexuality, ed. Benjamin H. Dunning (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019), 177–96; Mike Gulliver and William John Lyons, “Conceptualizing the Place of Deaf People in Ancient Israel: Suggestions from Deaf Space,” JBL 137 (2018): 537–53, https://doi.org/10.15699/jbl.1373.2018.200601; Jione Havea, David J. Neville, and Elaine Mary Wainwright, eds., Bible, Borders, Belonging(s): Engaging Readings from Oceania, SemeiaSt 75 (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2014); Randall C. Bailey, Tat-siong Benny Liew, and Fernando F. Segovia, They Were All Together in One Place? Toward Minority Biblical Criticism, SemeiaSt 57 (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009).
7 Yee, “Thinking Intersectionally.” The “et ceteras” are often traced to Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, Thinking Gender (New York: Routledge, 1990), 143. See also Eike Marten, Genealogies and Conceptual Belonging: Zones of Interference between Gender and Diversity, Routledge Research in Gender and Society 55 (London: Routledge, 2017). On the general invisibility of Jewishness in discussions of intersectionality, see Marla Brettschneider, Jewish Feminism and Intersectionality, SUNY Series in Feminist Criticism and Theory (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2016).
8 Among the many works from which I benefitted are Emerson B. Powery and Rodney Steven Sadler, The Genesis of Liberation: Biblical Interpretation in the Antebellum Narratives of the Enslaved (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2016); Gay L. Byron, “Black Collectors and Keepers of Tradition,” in Womanist Interpretations of the Bible: Expanding the Discourse, ed. Gay L. Byron and Vanessa Lovelace, SemeiaSt 85 (Atlanta: SBL Press, 2016), 187–208; Johnnie M. Stover, “Nineteenth-Century African American Women’s Autobiography as Social Discourse: The Example of Harriet Ann Jacobs,” College English 66 (2003): 133–54; Shira Wolosky, “Claiming the Bible: Slave Spirituals and African-American Typology,” in Poetry and Public Discourse in Nineteenth-Century America, Nineteenth-Century Major Lives and Letters (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 83–96; Karen E. Beardslee, “Through Slave Culture’s Lens Comes the Abundant Source: Harriet A. Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,” MELUS 24 (1999): 37–58.
9 Harriet A. Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Oxford World’s Classics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015); Johnnie M. Stover, “Empowerment through an African-American ‘Mother Tongue’: Four Nineteenth-Century African-American Women Autobiographers” (PhD diss., The Florida State University).
10 After I came up with the term “hermeneutics of chutzpah,” a google search revealed that the term was used admiringly in a 1991 book review of Harold Bloom, The Book of J (New York: Grove, 2000). See Daniel M. McVeigh, “ ‘J’ as in Joke? Bloom, Rosenberg, and the Hermeneutics of Chutzpah,” ChrLit 40 (1991): 371–77. McVeigh describes Rosenberg’s deliberately audacious misreading of the Hebrew text of the Bible as a “hermeneutics of chutzpah.”
11 Like many Yiddish words, chutzpah is a word adopted from the Hebrew/Aramaic and treated according to the grammatical rules of Yiddish (see the use of the participle, farchutzpet—the condition of exhibiting chutzpah—below). See b. Sanh. 105a, where it is used in reference to talking back to “the heavens,” that is, God.
12 There are, of course, more elegant ways to express this stance. In a 1963 telegram to President John F. Kennedy in advance of an interfaith meeting on the issue of civil rights, for example, Abraham Joshua Heschel declared that “the hour calls for high moral grandeur and spiritual audacity” (Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, ed. Susannah Heschel [New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2001], 112).
13 Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Bread Not Stone: The Challenge of Feminist Biblical Interpretation (Boston: Beacon, 1984), xi and passim.
14 Perhaps the most influential exposition of this reading stance is by Judith Fetterley, The Resisting Reader: A Feminist Approach to American Fiction (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1978). See also Adele Reinhartz, Befriending the Beloved Disciple: A Jewish Reading of the Gospel of John (New York: Continuum, 2001); Reinhartz, “Nice Jewish Girl,” 177–93.
15 My mother wrote a brief memoir of her Holocaust experience, initially for her grandchildren and subsequently published as Henia Reinhartz, Bits and Pieces, The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs, Series I (Toronto: Azrieli Foundation, 2007). My aunt—my mother’s sister—was a well-known Yiddish writer, and, thanks to her daughter Goldie Morgentaler, much of her work is now translated into English. See, e.g., Chava Rosenfarb, Confessions of a Yiddish Writer and Other Essays, ed. Goldie Morgentaler (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019), and her major novel, Chava Rosenfarb, The Tree of Life: A Trilogy of Life in the Lodz Ghetto, Library of World Fiction (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2004).
16 For studies of the woman’s chutzpah, see Mitzi J. Smith, “Race, Gender, and the Politics of ‘Sass,‘ “ in Byron and Lovelace, Womanist Interpretations of the Bible, 95–112; Nancy Klancher, The Taming of the Canaanite Woman: Constructions of Christian Identity in the Afterlife of Matthew 15:21–28, SBR 1 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2013).
18 The category of caste systems is used in illuminating ways by Isabel Wilkerson, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (New York: Penguin, 2020). Wilkerson’s book analyzes three such systems—the caste system in India, Nazi anti-Semitism, and anti–African American racism—and underscores the structural similarities among these and other hierarchical social structures and ideologies that exist globally and historically. One of the fascinating points in this book concerns German research about and adoption of American racist laws and practices in their anti-Semitic genocidal program. See Wilkerson, Caste, 78–88; and James Q. Whitman, Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017).
19 For introductions to apartheid in South Africa, see David M. Gordon, Apartheid in South Africa: A Brief History with Documents, Bedford Series in History and Culture (Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s, 2017); William Beinart and Saul Dubow, Segregation and Apartheid in Twentieth-Century South Africa, Rewriting Histories (London: Routledge, 1995). Canada did not have such wide-ranging policies, but nevertheless segregation was a de facto policy in some municipalities. Housing covenants, restricting ownership or occupancy in specific neighborhoods in Canada to “white Gentiles” were in place well into the latter part of the twentieth century. The neighborhood in Hamilton, Ontario, where I lived in the 1970s and 1980s, forbade anyone of African descent, as well as “Asiatics, Bulgarians, Austrians, Russians, Serbs, Rumanians, Turks, Armenians, whether British subjects or not, or foreign-born Italians, Greeks or Jews” to reside there until after World War II. No doubt indigenous people were also restricted, though they are not mentioned, perhaps because those who drafted the covenants did not foresee a time when such requests might even be made. See John C. Weaver, “From Land Assembly to Social Maturity: The Suburban Life of Westdale (Hamilton), Ontario, 1911–1951,” Histoire Sociale–Social History 11.22 (1978): 411–40.
20 Samuel Sewall, The Selling of Joseph: A Memorial (Boston: Bartholomew Green and John Allen, 1700), 2.
21 Ibid., 3.
22 Hopkins’s 1776 “Dialogue concerning the Slavery of the Africans showing it to be the duty and the interest of the American colonies to emancipate all the African slaves with an address to the owners of such slaves” convinced the New York Manumission Society, which included Robert Livingston, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton, to petition the legislature of New York to prohibit the slave trade. See Samuel Hopkins, Timely Articles on Slavery (Boston: Congregational Board of Publication, 1854), iv, 548. See also Stanley K. Schultz, “The Making of a Reformer: The Reverend Samuel Hopkins as an Eighteenth-Century Abolitionist,” PAPS 115.5 (1971): 350–65.
23 Hopkins, Timely Articles on Slavery, 559, 583.
24 See Cheryl Anderson’s contribution to the SBL Black Scholars Matter Symposium Part 1, 12 August 2020, https://www.sbl-site.org/meetings/blackscholarsmatter.aspx.
25 W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk [1903], repr., Great Barrington Books (London: Routledge, 2016), 15.
26 Blount, “Souls of Biblical Folks,” 6.
27 Geraldine Cochran, “Guest Post: The Problem with Diversity, Inclusion and Equity,” The Scholarly Kitchen, 28 June 2018, https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2018/06/22/problem-diversity-inclusion-equity/.
28 This occurs, for example, when reading the work of scholars who claim that New Testament scholarship can and should be done only from a Christian faith perspective, as Richard B. Hays does in Hays, Reading with the Grain of Scripture (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2020), 60. Hays argues that, once one divorces the “intense academic study” of the Bible from the needs and concerns of faith communities, one “ultimately, inevitably, arrives at [a] dead end.” Given that the Bible “is a collection of documents gathered by and for the church to aid in preserving and proclaiming the church’s message,” the question is whether one can possibly justify any approach not dedicated toward those ends.
29 Ekaputra Tupamahu, “The Stubborn Invisibility of Whiteness in Biblical Scholarship,” The Politics of Scripture, 12 November 2020, https://politicaltheology.com/the-stubborn-invisibility-of-whiteness-in-biblical-scholarship/. See also the response essays linked there.
30 Ibid., 1.
31 John W. Waters, “Who Was Hagar?,” in Stony the Road We Trod: African American Biblical Interpretation, ed. Cain Hope Felder (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1991), 187–205, here 205.
32 William H. Myers, “The Hermeneutical Dilemma of the African American Biblical Student,” in Felder, Stony the Road We Trod, 40–56, here 42, 45.
33 See Falk’s translation in Wil Gafney, “Black and Beautiful and Sunburned,” https://www.wilgafney.com/2013/11/16/black-and-beautiful-and-sunburned/; see also Falk, The Song of Songs: A New Translation and Interpretation (San Francisco: Harper, 1990), 2. Alice Ogden Bellis provides a thorough review of the history of translation and interpretation of this verse, arguing that it is not about race or ethnicity at all but about the effects of the sun, reflecting the negative judgment, common in ancient Near Eastern societies, on sunburned skin. This judgment may also reflect hierarchies of class. She suggests, therefore, the translation: “I am burnt but beautiful” (“I Am Burnt but Beautiful: Translating Song 1:5a,” JBL 140 [2021]: 91–111, https://doi.org/10.15699/jbl.1401.2021.5).
34 Brittany E. Wilson, “ ‘Neither Male nor Female’: The Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8.26–40,” NTS 60 (2014): 403–22; Sean D. Burke, Queering the Ethiopian Eunuch: Strategies of Ambiguity in Acts, Emerging Scholars (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2013); Marianne Bjelland Kartzow and Halvor Moxnes, “Complex Identities: Ethnicity, Gender and Religion in the Story of the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:26–40),” R&T 17 (2010): 184–204.
35 Scott Shauf, “Locating the Eunuch: Characterization and Narrative Context in Acts 8:26– 40,” CBQ 71 (2009): 762–75. Most often the assumption is that the Ethiopian is a gentile. See Beverly Roberts Gaventa, The Acts of the Apostles, ANTC (Nashville: Abingdon, 2003), 143–44; Craig S. Keener, Acts: An Exegetical Commentary, 4 vols. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2012–2015), 2:877.
36 Clarice J. Martin, “A Chamberlain’s Journey and the Challenge of Interpretation for Liberation,” Semeia 47 (1989): 105–35, here 121.
37 Gay L. Byron, Symbolic Blackness and Ethnic Difference in Early Christian Literature (London: Routledge, 2002), 1.
38 See Wil Gafney’s video for the October 2020 Scholars Strike, “White Supremacy in Biblical Interpretation,” https://youtu.be/7hemIaya_Ic. See also Randall C. Bailey, “Beyond Identifications: The Use of Africans in Old Testament Poetry and Narratives,” in Felder, Stony the Road We Trod, 165–84, here 165; Joan E. Taylor, What Did Jesus Look Like? (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2018).
39 David A. Dorsey, The Roads and Highways of Ancient Israel, ASOR Library of Biblical and Near Eastern Archaeology (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991).
40 See, e.g., Steve Moyise, Introduction to Biblical Studies, Cassell Biblical Studies Series (London: Cassell, 1999; the most recent edition is 2013), 61. Textbooks may not always use the terms “objective” or “factual,” but the tone and content indicate that these methods are indeed given priority as the basic tools of historical criticism.
41 Shawn Kelley, Racializing Jesus: Race, Ideology and the Formation of Modern Biblical Scholarship, Biblical Limits (London: Routledge, 2002), 45.
42 Ibid., 47.
43 Ibid., 81.
44 Vincent L. Wimbush, “Reading Darkness, Reading Scriptures,” in African Americans and the Bible: Sacred Texts and Social Textures, ed. Vincent L. Wimbush and Rosamond C. Rodman (New York: Continuum, 2000), 1–43, here 5.
45 Myers, “Hermeneutical Dilemma,” 46–47.
46 Richard C. Steiner, “Contradictions, Culture Gaps, and Narrative Gaps in the Joseph Story,” JBL 139 (2020): 439–58, https://doi.org/10.15699/jbl.1393.2020.1.
47 For Paul within Judaism, see Paula Fredriksen, Paul, the Pagans’ Apostle (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017); Mark D. Nanos, Reading Paul within Judaism (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2017); Mark D. Nanos and Magnus Zetterholm, eds., Paul within Judaism: Restoring the First-Century Context to the Apostle (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2015). For Paul “without” Judaism, see, among many others, Steve Mason, “Paul without Judaism: Historical Method over Perspective,” in Paul and Matthew among Jews and Gentiles: Essays in Honour of Terence L. Donaldson, ed. Ronald Charles, LNTS 628 (London: Bloomsbury, 2021), 9–39.
48 Adele Reinhartz, “A Rebellious Son? Jesus and His Mother in John 2:4,” in The Opening of John’s Narrative (John 1:19–2:22): Historical, Literary, and Theological Readings from the Colloquium Ioanneum 2015 in Ephesus, ed. R. Alan Culpepper and Jörg Frey, WUNT 385 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017), 235–49.
49 See Emma England and William John Lyons, eds., Reception History and Biblical Studies: Theory and Practice, LHBOTS 615 (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2015). On reception history, womanism, and the Bible, see Febbie C. Dickerson, Luke, Widows, Judges, and Stereotypes, Womanist Readings of Scripture (Lanham, MD: Lexington/Fortress Academic, 2019).
50 Angela N. Parker, “One Womanist’s View of Racial Reconciliation in Galatians,” JFSR 34 (2018): 23–40, here 24.
51 Ibid., 37–38.
52 Smith, “Race, Gender, and the Politics of ‘Sass,‘” 95.
53 This point is discussed in Margaret M. Mitchell, “Gift Histories,” JSNT 39 (2017): 304–23; Adele Reinhartz, “Crucifying Caiaphas: Hellenism and the High Priesthood in Life of Jesus Narratives,” in Redefining First-Century Jewish and Christian Identities: Essays in Honor of Ed Parish Sanders, ed. Fabian E. Udoh, CJAn 16 (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2008), 227–45. Mitchell’s essay concerns some of the theological presuppositions in John M. G. Barclay, Paul and the Gift (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2015). My essay concerns the same issue in N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, vol. 2 of Christian Origins and the Question of God (London: SPCK, 1992).
54 Nyasha Junior, Reimagining Hagar: Blackness and Bible (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019).
55 Delores S. Williams, Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk, Black Women Writers (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1993), 3.
56 Renita J. Weems, “Reading Her Way through the Struggle: African American Women and the Bible,” in Felder, Stony the Road We Trod, 57–78, here 76.
57 Junior, Reimagining Hagar, 133.
58 Clarice J. Martin, “The Haustafeln (Household Codes) in African American Biblical Interpretation: ‘Free Slaves’ and ‘Subordinate Women,‘ “ in Felder, Stony the Road We Trod, 206–31, here 225.
59 Ibid., 227.
60 See, e.g., Wil Gafney, “Confessing Christ and Christian Anti-Semitism,” https://www.wilgafney.com/2017/04/23/confessing-christ-and-christian-anti-semitism/. The theme is explored at length in J. Kameron Carter, Race: A Theological Account (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008); Willie James Jennings, The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010); and David G. Horrell, Ethnicity and Inclusion: Religion, Race, and Whiteness in Constructions of Jewish and Christian Identities (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2020). This is not, however, to minimize the fraught history of Jewish–Black relations in the United States, explored, for example, in Cheryl Lynn Greenberg, Troubling the Waters: Black–Jewish Relations in the American Century, Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010).
61 Mitzi Smith, “Paul, Timothy, and the Respectability Politics of Race: A Womanist Inter(Con)Textual Reading of Acts 16:1–5,” Religions [Basel, Switzerland] 10.3 (2019): art. 190, pp. 1–13, https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10030190.
62 Ibid., 1.
63 Richard Landes and Steven T. Katz, eds., The Paranoid Apocalypse: A Hundred-Year Retrospective on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies Series 3 (New York: New York University Press, 2012). See also Kelley, Racializing Jesus, 73 and passim; Carter, Race, 76 and passim.
64 Smith, “Paul, Timothy, and the Respectability Politics of Race,” 4. Even if Jews have been described as a race, Jewishness is not a racial category, given that there are Jews of virtually all races and ethnicities. For a recent study of Black Jews, see Bruce D. Haynes, The Soul of Judaism: Jews of African Descent in America, Religion, Race, and Ethnicity (New York: New York University Press, 2018). For analysis of changing, ambivalent, and ambiguous connections between Jews and Whiteness, see Eric L. Goldstein, The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race, and American Identity (Prince ton: Princeton University Press, 2006).
65 It should also be noted that the notion that Paul, wandering in the diaspora, was under pressure from Jerusalem to have Timothy circumcised fits too well into Acts’ rhetorical agenda regarding the relationship between the Jerusalem and Pauline churches to be taken at face value. See, e.g., Joshua D. Garroway, “The Pharisee Heresy: Circumcision for Gentiles in the Acts of the Apostles,” NTS 60 (2014): 20–36.
66 This information is taken from the 2019 SBL membership report available at https://www.sbl-site.org/assets/pdfs/sblMemberProfile2019.pdf. See p. 10. The statistics are updated annually.
67 Wimbush and Rodman, African Americans and the Bible, 8.
68 Madipoane Masenya, “An African Methodology for South African Biblical Sciences,” in I Found God in Me: A Womanist Biblical Hermeneutics Reader, ed. Mitzi J. Smith (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2015), 68–79, here 69; Madipoane Masenya and Hulisani Ramantswana, “Anything New under the Sun of African Biblical Hermeneutics in South African Old Testament Scholarship? Incarnation, Death and Resurrection of the Word in Africa,” VeEc 36.1 (2015): art. a1353, pp. 1–12, https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v36i1.1353; David Tuesday Adamo refers to this as the process of “biblical de-Africanization” (“Teaching the History of Ancient Israel from an African Perspective: The Invasion of Sennacherib of 701 B.C.E. as an Example,” OTE 23 [2010]: 473–501, here 473).
69 Powery and Sadler, Genesis of Liberation, 1–2.
70 Weems, “Reading Her Way through the Struggle,” 63–64. See also Gay L. Byron and Vanessa Lovelace, “Introduction: Methods and the Making of Womanist Biblical Hermeneutics,” in Womanist Interpretations of the Bible: Expanding the Discourse, ed. Gay L. Byron and Vanessa Lovelace, SemeiaSt 85 (Atlanta: SBL Press, 2016), 1–18, here 3.
71 David Walker, Walker’s Appeal, in Four Articles together with a Preamble, to the Colored Citizens of the World, but in Particular, and Very Expressly, to Those of the United States of America, Written in Boston, Massachusetts, September 28, 1829, DocSouth Books ed. (repr., Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library, 2011), 68. The appeal, written in 1829, was revised and published by Walker in 1830. On the diverse racial connotations of the “mark of Cain,” see Nyasha Junior, “The Mark of Cain and White Violence,” JBL 139 (2020): 661–73, https://doi.org/10.15699/jbl.1394.2020.2.
72 Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited (New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury, 1949), 29–30. For a detailed study of the history of Paul’s reception and interpretation in African American history and exegesis, see Lisa M. Bowens, ed., African American Readings of Paul: Reception, Resistance, and Transformation (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2020).
73 Weems, “Reading Her Way through the Struggle,” 64 (emphasis original).
74 Wimbush and Rodman, African Americans and the Bible, 12.
75 Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza made a similar point in her 1987 presidential address, where she advocates “decentering the dominant scientist ethos of biblical scholarship by recentering it in a critical interpretive praxis for liberation” (“Ethics of Biblical Interpretation,” 9).
76 Wei Hsien Wan, “Re-Examining the Master’s Tools: Considerations on Biblical Studies’ Race Problem,” in Ethnicity, Race, Religion: Identities and Ideologies in Early Jewish and Christian Texts, and in Modern Biblical Interpretation, ed. Katherine M. Hockey and David G. Horrell (London: T&T Clark, 2018), 219–30, here 228.
77 Ibid., 229. See also the SBL presidential address of Beverly Roberts Gaventa, “Reading Romans 13 with Simone Weil: Toward a More Generous Hermeneutic,” JBL 136 (2017): 3–22, here 22, https://doi.org/10.15699/jbl.1361.2017.1362.
78 Angela N. Parker, “One Womanist’s View of Racial Reconciliation in Galatians,” 40.
79 This quotation is transcribed from Shively Smith’s panel presentation for the SBL Black Scholars Matter Symposium Part 1, 12 August 2020, https://www.sbl-site.org/meetings/blackscholarsmatter.aspx. The same view is expressed by Blount, “Souls of Biblical Folks,” 7: “Even though Du Bois knew at the time that America was not ready for it, he prophetically perceived that just societal transformation required that white Americans be as willing to cross into and respect the culture of African Americans as African Americans were required to cross into and learn, even demonstrate respect for, theirs.”
80 Du Bois, Souls of Black Folk, 84.