At present, 'high theory', epitomized by poststructuralism, is in a perceived state of decline in literary studies. This three-part article explores the complex ramifications of the 'after theory' debate for biblical studies, a field that, for the most part, still seems to be in a 'before theory' phase. Our intent, however, is not to sell biblical scholars on Theory, finally, before the supply runs out. Our aim, rather, is diagnostic and analytic. We want to look at what has happened, what has failed to happen, and what might yet happen in biblical studies in relation to Theory, and reflect on what these various appropriations, adaptations and missed encounters reveal about the very different disciplinary spaces occupied by biblical studies and literary studies, and the very different disciplinary histories that have brought each of these spaces into being. Contending that Theory's most important contribution is the self-reflexive and metacritical moves it makes possible, our reflection on Theory's reception in biblical studies is intended to defamiliarise the peculiarities of our own disciplinary space. What follows is the second instalment of this three-part article.