With the highly successful Shiloh Conference not long behind us, now seems a good time to reflect on the Shiloh Project’s activities and to celebrate how much has been achieved.
The Shiloh Project was conceived at a research day hosted by the Centre for Religion and Public Life of the University of Leeds on 13 January 2017. This was a small gathering attended by Emma Nagouse, Valerie Hobbs, Katie Edwards, Johanna Stiebert, Jessica Keady, Caroline Blyth and Nechama Hadari. A few months later the Project was launched officially and since then it has grown and flourished.
One focus of the Project is its lively blog and Twitter activity. With in the range of 80 contributions to date, the blog is a hub for exploring the intersections between rape culture, religion and the Bible. While contributions on the Bible authored by academics predominate, there are also pieces on how lived religion has impact on matters of contemporary concern and relevance (such as on access to women’s health care in the USA, or on the referendum vote in Ireland), as well as on lesser-known NGOs tackling different forms of gender-based violence (such as in the form of human trafficking, or harming women of Asian and Pacific Islander communities, vulnerable children in Honduras or women in forced marriages). Some contributions are in the form of interviews or poems or visual works of art. The blog is a dynamic resource and repository of diverse perspectives and media and we look forward to receiving and profiling many more voices and perspectives and genres.
Moreover, there have been publications, notably a three-volume series focused on rape culture and religion exploring intersections from all of international, Christian and biblical perspectives. The volumes were edited by Caroline Blyth, Emily Colgan and Katie Edwards. Next, we are hoping to announce a monograph series dedicated to this important topic (look out for announcements here!)
The Shiloh Project is also at the centre of several successful grant applications, which will see projects emerging and doing good work in Botswana and Lesotho (funded by the AHRC), Yorkshire (funded by the White Rose Consortium) and Ghana (funded by the Worldwide Universities Network). More applications are in the pipeline and the Shiloh Project will also be working with Saima Afzal on a project just funded by Lush charities (watch this space for more information!)
If that wasn’t enough The Shiloh Project research has also been profiled in international media this year, including work by David Tombs on #HimToo Jesus, Jayme Reaves and David Tombs on Jesus and sexual violence, Katie Edwards on Jesus, silence and sexual abuse and Emma Nagouse on the Bible and rape culture. We’re in discussions to do more radio and TV work so check the blog if you want to stay updated on our progress!
The Shiloh research day and conference organised by Emma Nagouse in Sheffield on 5–6 July were a tremendous success. The conference venue was filled to capacity and the quality and diversity of presentations was notable. We will be profiling the work of several contributors in the weeks to come (again: watch this space!)
All of this was only possible through collaboration. The Shiloh Project is so vibrant and so dynamic because very many people from all over have shared their energies, expertise, passion, and guidance. Thank you to all who have been and who continue to be a part of this! We couldn’t do this without all of you and we look forward to welcoming more contributors, readers, participants, and facilitators.