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?