Mark K. George is Professor of Bible and Ancient Systems of Thought at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO, USA. I teach both Masters students and doctoral students (as part of the Joint Ph.D. Program between Iliff and the University of Denver). My scholarship and research is interdisciplinary in its focus, because I am continually looking for how I might think differently about bible, religion, government, and conduct. The other disciplines with which I spend the most time are thus philosophy, critical theory, spatial studies, and art. I anticipate thinking and working more intentionally in digital humanities as a result of my recent work learning the Python coding language, which I am undertaking in collaboration with a group of researchers and scholars at Iliff.
My scholarship and research reflects my interests and thus includes work on various topics. I am the author of Israel’s Tabernacle as Social Space (SBL Press, 2009), editor of Constructions of Space IV: Further Developments in Examining Ancient Israel’s Social Space (Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2013), and co-editor, with Dr. Daria Pezzoli-Olgiati, of Religious Representation in Place: Exploring Meaningful Spaces at the Intersection of the Humanities and Sciences (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). My current book project, tentatively titled, Deuteronomy’s Subject: Governmentality and the Creation of “Israel,” draws upon the work of Michel Foucault and Governmentality Studies to examine how the Israel created as a subject of the book of Deuteronomy. My argument is that Deuteronomy seeks to make Israel its loyal and docile vassal, that is, to make Israel subject to the book.
My approach to my work, both research and teaching, is to think differently about the Bible and religion more generally. Too often the Bible is represented in modern US culture as a monolithic book with a set interpretation and unquestioned authority. But it is not any of these things. Throughout its history of use and transmission, the interpretation and authority of the Bible are things being negotiated, contested, perpetuated, denied, affirmed, and argued, sometimes openly, but more often this is done subversively. The exercise of power in the use of the Bible is quite obscured, a situation that makes its power relations much more effective. Of interest to me is how the Bible/bible is made an object of knowledge and debate in history, both of the past and present, and how it is appropriated and (re-)deployed in order to serve multiple ends and objectives.