Gregory Cuéllar, associate professor of Old Testament, spent his sabbatical at the University of Oxford followed by summers in residence at the British Museum. His research has produced a new scholarly book, Empire, the British Museum, and the Making of the Biblical Scholar in the Nineteenth Century (Palgrave Press, 2019). Written especially for museum curators, biblical scholars, and graduate students, Cuéllar hopes, to expose how collecting practices in national museums often work to reproduce the privilege of those in power and to help the reader understand how the description of biblical artifacts can often reinforce racist ideas about ancient people groups.
In his research, Professor Cuéllar seeks alternative ways of reading the biblical text, in particular those rooted in liberation. He has written on topics related to the U.S. Mexico borderlands, Latino/a immigration, race, and empire. Within the parameters of postcolonial theory, migration studies, museum studies, and various types of advocacy criticism, he asserts that his biblical research “seeks to expose the nefarious forms of power in Western hermeneutical and epistemological regimes.”
Cuéllar serves on the editorial board of Connections: A Lectionary Commentary for Preaching and Worship and Horizons in Biblical Theology. He received a 2019 Project Grant for Researchers from the Louisville Institute which will enable him to research and write a book on the current immigrant detention crisis along the southern U.S. border.
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