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MemberTracy Lemos

I am Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible at Huron University College and a member of the graduate school faculty at the University of Western Ontario.  As a biblical scholar and historian, my interests are broadly social and cultural.   My first book is entitled Marriage Gifts and Social Change in Ancient Palestine, 1200 BCE to 200 CE, and was published by Cambridge University Press.  My second monograph, Violence and Personhood in Ancient Israel and Comparative Contexts, will be available in the fall of 2017 from Oxford University Press.  I live in London, Ontario with my wife Andrea Allen, an anthropologist and religion scholar.

MemberDaniel McClellan

I am a PhD candidate in theology and religion at the University of Exeter, where I am writing my doctoral dissertation under the supervision of Francesca Stavrakopoulou. My dissertation treats the concept of divine agency in the Hebrew Bible through the methodological lenses of cognitive linguistics and the cognitive science of religion. More specifically, I am interrogating the notion of communicable agency as represented by the ark of the covenant and the messenger of YHWH. My thesis at Trinity Western University interrogated the conceptualization of deity in the Hebrew Bible through the application of cognitive linguistic frameworks. Among other things, it concluded that the conceptual category of deity was not clearly delineated and extended well beyond the traditional dichotomous view of deity as “Wholly Other.” My thesis at the University of Oxford, “Anti-Anthropomorphism and the Vorlage of LXX Exodus,” examined the case for translator exegesis in the so-called anti-anthropomorphic variants in the Septuagint. It was awarded the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies’ annual award for “Best Dissertation.” While my primary areas of specialization are early Israelite religion, textual criticism, and Second Temple Judaism, my work in cognitive linguistics and the cognitive science of religion has expanded my research interests into broader studies of religion, religious identity, and linguistics.

MemberMatt Chalmers

I am currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at Washington and Lee University. I specialize in questions of identity, difference, representation, and pasts shared between Jews, Christians, and Samaritans. My research and teaching uses late ancient self-fashioning as a laboratory space for the critical approaches of the scholar of religion, as well as exploring the resonance of ancient identity in scholarship and intellectual history between the past and the present.

MemberPaul Michael Kurtz

My research centers on intellectual culture in Germany from 1795 to 1920, with a focus on the history of the humanities – especially classical, biblical, orientalist, and theological scholarship. Thus far, I have concentrated on representations of ancient Judaism and their embeddedness in modern cultural, political, and religious complexes. These inquiries contribute, more broadly, to historiography, European history, and history of knowledge.

MemberDustin Nash

Dustin Nash’s research straddles disciplinary boundaries through its exploration of the nexus between religion, politics, and identity in the formation of the Hebrew Bible, and the repercussions of scribal engagement with these categories in the development of Judaism. Dustin received his B.A. in 2004 from Luther College of Decorah, IA.  He was a visiting graduate student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem from 2004-2005, received an MTS from Harvard Divinity School in 2007, an MA in Near Eastern Studies from Cornell University in 2011, and his PhD from the same institution in 2015.  He is currently Assistant Professor of Religion Studies at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA.  His courses there include “Jewish Traditions,” “Paths in Jewish Thought,” “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” “Reading Biblical Hebrew,” “Rabbinic Texts and Traditions,” “Speaking with the Divine: Divination, Shamanism, and Prophecy,” and “Myth, Religion, and Creation.”

MemberAndrew Tobolowsky

I study the Hebrew Bible, so far, primarily as someone interested in how it presents the history of ancient Israel, and how this vision may have been constructed. My work has often drawn, and I suspect often will draw, on comparisons from the study of Greek myth in order to interrogate existing models. So, for example, in my first book, the Sons of Jacob and the Sons of Herakles, I argued that the resemblance between the genealogical tradition that made Jacob the father of the twelve eponymous ancestors of Israel and Greek traditions about Hellen, the Panhellenic ancestor, and Herakles, suggests something quite different than most studies of biblical tribal discourse presume. Rather than efforts to preserve a very distant past, biblical tribal lists and descriptions may be, as they are in Greek myth, the medium through which later efforts to redescribe and redeploy that past were advanced. I have also published on the books of Samuel and Judges, and on comparisons with Ugaritic myth.

MemberSean Burrus

Currently the Bothmer Fellow in Greek and Roman Art at the Metropolitan Museum, my research explores the role that material and visual culture played in the Jewish experience of the late ancient Roman world. I received my B.A. in Ancient Mediterranean Religions from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (2008), and went on to study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem before receiving an M.A. (2012) and Ph.D. (2017) in the History of Judaism from Duke University. I am an experienced instructor in Hebrew Bible and Jewish history from the Israelite period to Late Antiquity with an emphasis on the Greco-Roman World. I also have expertise in material and visual culture, archaeology and anthropology. I have archaeological field experience from important Roman period sites in Israel, and am a member of the publication team for the Duke excavations at Sepphoris. My dissertation research involved several enjoyable summers on site documenting and photographing in Rome and Beth She’arim. Having concluding my current research on Jewish sarcophagus patrons, I have begun work on a monograph more broadly exploring additional media of Jewish visual culture in Late Antiquity as evidence of cultural interaction and change. I am also developing a digital project that seeks to virtually reconstruct and reopen the destroyed Jewish catacombs of Monteverde.

MemberChristopher Hays

Christopher Hays is the D. Wilson Moore Associate Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. He has previously held teaching and research positions at Emory University, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the University of Notre Dame Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem. He has participated in archaeological research in Israel and conducts study trips there. In 2017-18, Hays is serving as president of the Society of Biblical Literature’s Pacific Coast region. Hays is the author of Hidden Riches: A Textbook for the Comparative Study of the Old Testament and the Ancient Near East (Westminster John Knox, 2014) and Death in the Iron Age II and in First Isaiah (Forschungen zum Alten Testament 79; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011). He is working on the Isaiah commentary for the Old Testament Library series, having translated the book for the Common English Bible and written the entry on Isaiah for the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible. In 2013, he was one of ten scholars around the world to receive the Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise. Hays has published articles on diverse topics in journals such as the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, the Journal of Biblical Literature, Vetus Testamentum, Biblica, Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, Ugarit-Forschungen, Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections, and the Journal of Theological Interpretation. He has also contributed essays to various edited volumes. Hays teaches courses in Old Testament and directs the master’s program in Ancient Near Eastern Studies in the School of Theology. His languages include Hebrew, Akkadian, Ugaritic, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin. Hays is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).