Uriah Kim receives Lilly Research grant

Uriah Y. Kim, Professor of Hebrew Bible at Hartford Seminary, has received a prestigious 2011-2012 Lilly Theological Research Grant for his new book, ?The Politics of Othering in the Book of Judges.?

The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) announced the grant, in its Faculty Fellowship category. ATS?s theological research grants program is in its 14th year; funding is provided by the Lilly Endowment.

The Lilly Theological Research Grants program is designed to enhance the skill and capacity of faculty in ATS schools as theological researchers and scholars. It supports research efforts of faculty, seeks to enlarge the pool of faculty actively engaged as theological researchers; works to increase knowledge about grant seeking and the craft of theological research; and nurtures the habit of research as an ongoing aspect of scholarly life.

Kim will spend the fall 2011 semester on his research. His project is a multi-layered historical-critical and postcolonial reading of the Book of Judges in conversation with biblical studies, American history, and postcolonial interpretations

In the introduction to his book, Kim notes the application of ?the politics of othering? in colonial America where the varied groups of Europeans forged themselves together as ?Americans? in contrast to the indigenous people whom they viewed as the common enemy.

He then explores the evidence of this strategy in the Book of Judges, which may reflect, on the one hand, a historical struggle by a mixed multitude of highlanders to formulate a distinct identity in contrast to ?enemies all around them? during the Iron Age I (c. 1200 to 1000 BCE) and, on the other hand, a people?s concern for corporate survival and identity maintenance in imperial/colonial contexts.

In his reading of Judges, Kim identifies and analyzes four literary-rhetorical methods of ?anti-conquest? ideology, which postcolonial studies has identified as a literary strategy the colonizers used to justify their conquest of foreign lands while maintaining their innocence.

He argues, however, that even though the Israelites used such literary methods, the text also shows some uneasiness toward employing imperial ideologies to sanction their desire to dominate the others and to depict the others as the enemies since they themselves were victims of the empires.

The author will conclude the book by reflecting on how the politics of othering is still operative in today?s American society and how Judges speaks to this context.

Kim has been Professor of Hebrew Bible at Hartford Seminary since 2005. Previously he was Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible at Canisius College, Buffalo, NY. He was a visiting professor at Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, in 2009 and at Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA, in 2006.

Kim earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy at New York University, a Master of Divinity degree at Princeton Theological Seminary, a Master of Theology degree at Emory University and a Ph.D. at Graduate Theological Union.

Kim is the author of ?Decolonizing Josiah: Toward a Postcolonial Reading of the Deuteronomistic History? and ?Identity and Loyalty in the David Story: A Postcolonial Reading.?

He is Senior Editor of the journal Reviews in Religion and Theology and a member of the Society of Biblical Literature.

For a photo of Dr. Kim or an interview, please contact David Barrett, Director of Public and Institutional Affairs, at (860) 509-9519 or dbarrett@hartsem.edu.

Join our mailing list!

Keep up with all the latest happenings at Hartford Seminary

Sign-up now ›

Hartford Seminary