Steed Davidson is the new Executive Director of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), the largest and oldest academic society devoted to critical biblical studies. He previously served as Professor of Hebrew Bible, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Dean of the Faculty at McCormick Theological Seminary. BAR had a chance to talk with Davidson about his vision for SBL—and biblical studies.
As SBL’s new Executive Director, how will you navigate the current challenges in biblical studies?
DAVIDSON: The current time presents many challenges for the relevance of biblical studies, but these challenges also provide opportunities to innovate the field. This is a time where we see diminished attendance in organized religious communities as well as diminishing support for the humanities in higher education. Biblical studies must face these headwinds and adapt to reach audiences that still seek the knowledge and insights produced in them.
How do you hope to achieve SBL’s mission in the coming years?