One of the aims of Eidolon is to explore the relevance of studying classical antiquity in today's world. Even so, only rarely does something happen in the discipline that our team feels calls for timely coverage — and it's even rarer for us to decide that an event calls for a timely special issue. We typically plan our content, particularly our special issues, months in advance. Although we have much more flexibility and speed in our publishing schedule than peer-reviewed journals, news hooks aren't usually a major consideration for us.
On October 14, the Egypt Exploration Society published an announcement claiming that Professor Dirk Obbink took papyri without authorization and sold them to Hobby Lobby's Museum of the Bible. This announcement was not entirely surprising to many. Rumors about Professor Obbink have been circulating for months, following the careful investigative work of several Biblical Studies scholars. But the formal statement by the EES and subsequent news reporting have brought the scandal out of academic circles and into the public eye.
Why do these thefts matter? We decided to approach several scholars familiar with the issues at play to write about this topic from different angles — papyrology, colonialism, Biblical studies, art history, and philology. This special issue will explore the broader academic and institutional culture that encouraged and tolerated Obbink's alleged actions. Our aim is to provide insight into the broader impact that this event will have on the field — and to begin to discuss how to move forward.
Special Issue on the Papyrus Thefts
The Greens' New Deal
How The Museum of the Bible's Illicit Acquisitions Impact Biblical Studies
-- Sent from my Linux system.