Chris Greenough

Routledge Focus series: Rape Culture, Religion and the Bible

Chris Greenough is author of The Bible and Sexual Violence Against Men, which was first published in 2020. He is co-director of The Shiloh Project and is currently co-editing a great deal (see below!)

How do you reflect back on writing your book? 

I wrote a lot of the book during the first lockdown of the Covid pandemic in 2020. While this was a period of general worry and anxiety for the global population, writing helped me retain a daily focus and routine. The most fruitful part of working on the book, for me, was working with Caroline Blyth, Katie Edwards and Johanna Stiebert, series co-editors at that time. All of us checked in with one another regularly, sharing life updates and things to keep our spirits up! Caroline’s feedback on the drafts was immensely helpful and certainly shaped the final product.

What has been the response to your book?

Since the publication of the book, I’ve been invited to speak about its contents, including as a keynote speaker in the Finnish Institute in Rome in 2022. I’ve spoken at the Ehrhardt seminar series at the University of Manchester, too. There’s a real interest in how the biblical text speaks back to contemporary issues around masculinity, and especially male victims of sexual violence. 

How and where are you now and what are you doing or working on at present?

I’m currently working on Bible and Violence, a comprehensive volume I’m editing with Johanna Stiebert (University of Leeds), Johnathan Jodamus (University of the Western Cape) and Mmapula Kebaneilwe (University of Botswana). It’s an ambitious project, with around 120 chapters. My own chapter in the volume focuses on how religious language, imagery and biblical texts are used in the manosphere, particularly in incel forums. I’m also editing a volume with Caroline Blyth – T&T Clark Handbook of Sexualities in the Bible and its Reception. Both are due out later this year/early 2025. 

Do you have any advice for authors of future publications in this series?

Keep seeking feedback on your proposals and drafts – the editors are superb and generous!

What topics in the area of rape culture, religion and/or the Bible would you like to see a book on?

I think a focus on violence towards LGBTQ+ people would make an important contribution, given the often tense and hostile positions from religious organisations. I touch on this in some way in my book, but a volume dedicated to this topic would be significant. 

Do you have a shout-out to anyone working in this general area? Please shout about them!

The late, great David J. Clines’ work continues to be influential in the field. Deryn Guest’s work in Beyond Feminist Biblical Studies (2012, Sheffield Phoenix) continues to give me life, especially the chapter on the critical studies of masculinities. Barbara Thiede produces some of the most powerful and punchy work I’ve read on biblical masculinities. And David Tombs’ great work on the crucifixion of Jesus as sexual abuse offers much thought and reflection for those in faith-based communities and organisations. 

Tags : Chris Greenoughviolence against men

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