In an Age of Populism

Exploring the Intersections between Religion, Race, Whiteness, and Doing Biblical Studies

In: Religion and Theology
Jeremy Punt University of Stellenbosch South Africa Stellenbosch

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Populism on political, economic and various other levels, has become part of the discourse of the contemporary world, and in its intersections with race, has led to various mutations which also impact on scholarly tendencies within and perceptions about biblical studies. The many entanglements of populism with religion, often under the guise of secularism include also its engagement with the Bible as cultural artifact. The legacy of a deracialised Bible has meant that the value of the category of race, was until recently not considered for the study of the Bible, and race denied as factor to be considered in academic scholarship with the assumption that Jesus follower- or Christian identity excluded racial connotations. Re-introducing categories of race and ethnicity in biblical studies, in their intersections with whiteness and white privilege studies, resonates with but also stands in tension with the current age of populism.

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