Reading between the lines, am I wrong to see that the welcome of "materials outside of the Jewish or Christian canons (broadly defined)" essentially means that the "Society of Biblical Literature" was now to be infiltrated by Islamic perspectives? My initial complaint received no response from the Society.Scope. JBL has the reputation as a very high-quality vehicle for historical-critical and philological studies of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament, and certainly it is that. The consequence is that many scholars in our field whose research concerns materials outside of the Jewish or Christian canons (broadly defined) or who make use of approaches other than historical criticism and philology do not consider JBL when thinking about where to submit their best work. A closer look at the JBL table of contents, however, shows that articles on noncanonical literatures and topics, as well as those that use other kinds of methods, are in fact being published. The growing diversity of articles, in terms of subject matter and approach, is in my view to be encouraged, for as the “flagship journal” of the Society of Biblical Literature, JBL should reflect the range of sources (textual and material), perspectives, and methodologies that are in use in the field of biblical studies at our own moment in time, and it should continue to change along with the field itself. I would strongly encourage you to think about JBL as a journal to which to submit your best work in the broad and varied field of biblical studies, even if you might have thought that its subject matter and approach place it outside the journal’s usual purview.
Thank you for your honest response. I am sorry you feel this way about the Qur’an initiative. I would remind you only this: that this initiative is not being funded by SBL, but by a grant to the SBL from the Luce Foundation. SBL will launch this independent organization, whose scholarship involves biblical traditions as a practice of reception history, an area our own members increasingly practice. The work of JBL, too, is not knew [sic]. It is trying to support, in addition to its current scope, work that our members do in reception history and history of interpretation.