Religion scholar Wimbush brings talk on 'Signifying Scriptures' to Carleton

How are the scriptures used in society today?

It’s a question that religion scholar Dr. Vincent Wimbush has been exploring for a number of years now, and it’s a topic he’ll be discussing with his upcoming lecture at Carleton College.

The talk, “Signifying On Scriptures: The Black Atlantic Reads the King James Bible,” is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. on April 14 at the college’s Great Hall.

The lecture is part of the Phi Beta Kappa’s Visiting Scholar Program.

Wimbush is the author of numerous books on this topic, including “African Americans and The Bible,” “Scripturalizing The Human: The Written as The Political” and “Theorizing Scriptures.”

“I have been constructing and advancing what I think of as new, alternative and critical fields of studies that excavates what scriptures are, and the work human beings make them do for them in any particular part of history,” Wimbush said.

He said the use of scriptures is a broad way to explore discourse and the power of language.

“I use the scriptures as a lever to think about the whole phenomena of how human beings are shaped,” he said.

Following what he called training in classical approaches and studies to the history of religion early on in his academic career, Wimbush said he was aware that there was a great deal of the world that had been left out — specifically the identity of African Americans, or the “Black Atlantic,” following the onset of slavery.

“What I am presenting is a way to understand how we have been shaped into becoming what we are, to do what we do and to relate to one another,” he said. “It is really a project in social formation and human making.”

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