What Just Happened: The rise of "biblioblogging" in the first decade of the twenty-first centuryI will also be presenting in a review session on Peter Schäfer's new book, The Origins of Jewish Mysticism, this for the Early Jewish and Christian Mysticism Group.
This paper recalls the rise of "biblioblogging" early in this decade, surveys its expansion and development since that time, and explores the ways in which it has affected the field of academic biblical studies. Biblioblogging has made possible rapid dissemination of information on new discoveries and other matters of interest – as well as dissemination of accessible specialist commentary on such matters – to a vastly enlarged audience, an effect increasingly amplified by the new "new media" such as podcasts, Facebook, and Twitter. It has helped to put a personal face on biblical scholarship by allowing scholars to speak with an informal public voice different from the voice of academic publication; it has encouraged biblical scholars to interact publicly with popular culture, including not only dubious television documentaries, but also the cinema and television series such as Lost; it has helped scholars to mobilize in support of their colleagues in an era of job cuts and financially threatened departments; and it has contributed at least a little to the accelerating erosion of the authority of the mainstream media. Blogging is likely to be with us for a long time to come and to be increasingly incorporated into our field as a fruitful contribution to biblical scholarship.
UPDATE (5 May): James McGrath and Michael Barber have also posted the abstracts for their papers in the Blogger and Online Publication Section.