Papers from the 2018 Society of Biblical Literature’s review panel on Maia Kotrosits’s Rethinking Early Christian Identity: Affect, Violence, and Belonging (Fortress, 2015):
"The analysis found in Rethinking Early Christian Identity upsets these disciplinary categorizations through a theoretical analysis of so-called early “Christian” (and some Roman) texts using a combination of affect theory, queer theory, and diaspora theory."
"Something I am often asked, then, is how we can apply this to fields in the humanities where the object of study is exclusively linguistic or exclusively textual—such as Biblical studies. Leaving aside the way that the material culture archive supplements Biblical studies, this is a legitimate problem: how do you talk about the non-linguistic elements of embodied life when your only avenue of access is a text?"
"Therefore, instead of reading Acts as a charter document, is this text, perhaps, more akin to Anne Frank’s diary; an attempt to preserve a viewpoint that could be dying away? If Acts is a tragic document, this genre seems best suited to saying goodbye rather than an ascent to power. In other words, if Acts is a site of memory, is it being written in the guise of history in a conscious effort to reproduce what is at risk of being lost—a will to remember?"
by Eric Smith
"But what we call “early Christian art” is dominated not by figures from the New Testament, and not by triumphant stories and figures from Israel’s the biblical past, like David and Solomon and Samuel, but by depictions of precisely those stories from Israel’s texts that depict a people at its most precarious, its most shattered, its most diasporic, and at its most contingent."
"That is, affect theory in cultural studies is not about a technical discourse. It is a phenomenology of felt experience, in which the use of the hard sciences came less out of an interest in science itself than out of an exhaustion with the so-called “soft stuff” of the linguistic turn."