Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Working on My SBL International Meeting Paper


Over the next few days, I'll be busy working on my paper to be read at the Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting in Rome, to be convened in 2 weeks' time.

In my paper entitled "Reading Romans 13:1-7 with Multiple Lenses: Some Reflections from A Multi-Faith Context with Malaysia as A Test Case", I attempt to employ the methodology developed by social scientist, James C. Scott (in both his works, Weapons of the Weak: Wveryday Forms of Peasant Resistance and Domination and The Art of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts), in reading Romans 13:1-7, especially in understanding the public discourse of the ruling elites and the hidden transcript of the masses in reacting to subordination, resistance and hegemony of the powerful elites.

It is interesting to note that James Scott develops his theory based on his fieldwork among the Muslim rural peasants in Kedah, the northern state in Peninsular Malaysia, in reacting against the Muslim ruling elites. I hope to extend Scott's discussion to include how the minority middle-class Christians in urban setting response to the Muslim ruling elites by drawing on both the public discourse and hidden transcript embedded in Romans 13:1-7. This paper will be an initial attempt to investigate whether Scott's theory developed among the majority Muslim rural peasants in Malaysia can be profitably extended to include the minority, middle-class urban Christians in Malaysia.

However, time is fast running out, and my paper remains very sketchy. Am I a chronic procrastinator?

12 comments:

不肖生 Sceptics said...

since this is social science method, I supposed you provide ample data, statistical supports and inferrance? also conducting field reseach/questionair, in the community you study into?

Paul Long said...

Are you going to Rome or is it just your paper?

Kar Yong said...

Hi Paul,
Yes, I will be going to Rome, and hope to seek the papal blessings for my ordination!

Kar Yong said...

Hi 不肖生 Sceptics,
Since this is an initial attempt, I will not do a full-fledge field research. However, there will be sufficient data and evidence drawn from various "hidden transcripts" as reflected in the community in reading the text. Depending on the response to the paper, I hope to further develop it, perhaps for publication in a peer-reviewed journal later.

Paul Long said...

Being a budding NT scholar does have some fringe benefits. Hope you get some some sights while in Rome.

Perng Shyang said...

I'm a bit 'encouraged' since my supervisor also running out of time in writing his paper as I running out of time in finishing my thesis!

Kar Yong said...

Hi Paul,
I do hope to be able to make it to the Vatican and perhaps Pompeii!

Kar Yong said...

Hi PS,
We are all in the same boat....plus the deadline of my book cowriten with 2 other friends is just around the corner too!

不肖生 Sceptics said...

wish KY all the best.

hope that you could storm the heart of catholic scholarship....as Professor Langhton did in "angel and Demon",,,haha

Kar Yong said...

Thanks for wishes. I won't storm the vatican - I will just seek for the papal blessings!

不肖生 Sceptics said...

EPC Rev seeking papal blessing, indeed very ecumenical! no wonder you in atesea, not ata...

I like that...

Kar Yong said...

Hi Sceptics,
Ecumenical? Nope - we are trying to be biblical...haha