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MemberErica Mongé-Greer

Erica Mongé-Greer primarily works with Hebrew Bible texts in conversation with other ancient Near Eastern literature, such as Ugaritic, Akkadian, Phoenician, Aramaic and other photo semitic texts. Special interest in mythology and cultural-linguistic connections. Dissertation research focused on Myth and Ethics in the Hebrew Bible Psalms. Conference presentations include Singing the Exodus: Spiritual Songs that Exegete the Hebrew Bible in the Antibellum South (2013); The Story Does Not End Here: Pughat’s role as a human agent in the Aqhat narrative from Ugarit (2013); Who watches the watchers? אלהים as Kings, Judges and Gods (2017); Sing A Song for the Poor: A Study of the Language of Poverty in the Psalter (2018).

MemberChristopher Hays

‘Make Peace With Me’: The Josianic Origins of Isaiah 24-27. Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2018.

An Ugaritic Handbook: Paradigms, Vocalization Helps, and Select Bibliography (with Brent A. Strawn, Joel M. LeMon). Winona …

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.).

MemberJohn Hobbins

The languages of the Bible have been my passion since I was 15 years old. While in high school, I was introduced to modern Hebrew by Ruth Ann Driss (now Guthmann), biblical Hebrew by Menahem Mansoor, Aramaic and Ugaritic by Keith Schoville, and New Testament Greek by John Linton, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I went on to pursue ancient Near Eastern Studies at the University of Toronto. I studied Hebrew with E. J. Revell, J. J. M. Roberts, Stanley Walters, and John Wevers, Aramaic with E. G. Clarke, Hellenistic Greek with Al Pietersma, Syriac with D. J. Lane, Akkadian with A. K. Grayson, and Sumerian with R. F. G. Sweet. I would go back and forth to Wisconsin during my undergraduate days. I served as a research assistant for Michael V. Fox at the UW-Madison as he prepared his books on Song of Songs and Qohelet. I earned an M.A. degree at the UW-Madison and taught Elementary and Intermediate Biblical Hebrew there. My studies of Hebrew and other Northwest Semitic languages continued under Michael Fox, David McCarthy, and Ron Troxel. I studied for a year at the Pontifical Biblical Institute-Rome with Mitchell Dahood, Luis Alonso Schoekel, and many others. I earned a graduate degree at the Waldensian Theological Seminary-Rome with a dissertation under the supervision of J. Alberto Soggin on First Isaiah. Mario Liverani was the “corelatore.” The thesis was accepted for publication by Paideia editrice. I chose not to see it published at the time. I taught Hebrew at the seminary while a student there, and seminars on the Old Testament later while serving as a pastor in Sicily. I studied a year at the Kirchliche Hochschule Bethel in Bielefeld, Germany under the guidance of Frank Cruesemann and Christof Hardmeier. I am an ordained pastor in the Waldensian Church – Union of Waldensian and Methodist Churches in Italy. Currently my wife Paola serves United Methodist congregations in Wisconsin. I serve Lutheran congregations in the church body known as LCMC (Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ). We have three children: Giovanni, Elisabetta, and Anna. I taught Hebrew at the Waldensian Theological Seminary in Rome and the University of Wisconsin-Madison; I taught “Bible and Current Events” in the Anthropology & Religious Studies Department at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. I am a member of editorial board of the Journal of the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament. I currently teach Hebrew in July of each year for Trinity Lutheran Seminary (Lutheran Church of the South Sudan) in Gambella, Ethiopia.

MemberCollin Cornell

…ligion 19 (2016): 114-142.

“A Moratorium on God Mergers? The Case of El and Milkom in the Ammonite Onomasticon.” Ugarit-Forschungen 46 (2015): 49-99….

Collin Cornell is visiting assistant professor for the School of Theology at Sewanee: The University of the South. His dissertation, completed under the supervision of Brent A. Strawn at Emory University in spring 2018, addresses divine aggression in royal psalms and inscriptions. His interests include history of religions, biblical theology, and pedagogy.

MemberJacqueline Vayntrub

Interests Hebrew Bible; wisdom literature; instruction transmission; biblical poetry and poetics; philology; the history of biblical scholarship. I founded the Philology in Hebrew Studies program unit, which I now co-chair with David Lambert, and chair the Hebrew Bible, History, and Archaeology program unit at the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting. I am an editor of Studies in Cultural Contexts of the Bible, a new English, German, and French language monograph series with Brill. Together with David Lambert, Eva Mroczek, and Laura Quick, I run Renewed Philology, an international working group of scholars in biblical studies whose work reflects critically on the intellectual frameworks of the reader that are brought to bear in philological practice. Research My research focuses on the formation of the Hebrew Bible, its various genres and modes of discourse against the broader background of ancient Near Eastern literary production, and its reception in and impact on Western scholarship. Broadly, my work seeks to recover the values of ancient literary culture through the language of the texts and examines how these values were reshaped in their reception. On my first book: “Central to understanding the prophecy and prayer of the Hebrew Bible are the unspoken assumptions that shaped them–their genres. Modern scholars describe these works as ‘poetry,’ but there was no corresponding ancient Hebrew term or concept. Scholars also typically assume it began as “oral literature,” a concept based more in evolutionist assumptions than evidence. Is biblical poetry a purely modern fiction or is there a more fundamental reason why its definition escapes us? Beyond Orality: Biblical Poetry on its Own Terms changes the debate by showing how biblical poetry has worked as a mirror, reflecting each era’s own self-image of verbal art. Yet Vayntrub also shows that this problem is rooted in a crucial pattern within the Bible itself: the texts we recognize as “poetry” are framed as powerful and ancient verbal performances, dramatic speeches from the past. The Bible’s creators presented what we call poetry in terms of their own image of the ancient and the oral, and understanding their native theories of Hebrew verbal art gives us a new basis to rethink our own.” See the book on the Routledge page. A special offer of the book at the Yale Divinity School Bookstore can be found here. My next book is currently underway. Reframing Biblical Poetry (under contract with Yale University Press in the Anchor Bible Reference Library series), takes the central insight of my first book—that poetry’s narrative and non-narrative frames shape its meaning—to present fresh readings of well known texts. The book has three sections, where I will explore how poetry is framed by narrative, in character voices; how poetry is arranged in anthology, not in a character’s voice, but by the names and personages of legendary characters; and how some of these ideas manifest as literary features. Yet another project involves theorizing  knowledge transmission and its gendered dimensions through the lens of human mortality. For what will eventually be a book, tentatively titled Seeking Eternity: Transmission and Mortal Anxiety in Biblical Literature, I have already produced a number of essays examining the depiction of lineage and succession as strategies for transcending individual death in wisdom and narrative texts. One article forthcoming in the Pardee Festschrift, entitled “Transmission and Mortal Anxiety in the Tale of Aqhat,” shows how the Ugaritic tale of Aqhat constructs a father-daughter alternative to succession. A second forthcoming essay in a collected volume, “Ecclesiastes and The Problem of Transmission in Biblical Literature,” examines Ecclesiastes against ancient Near Eastern instruction and Platonic dialogues, recovering an ancient question about the stability of transmission: Is speech reliable when it is detached from the living speaker’s voice? A third essay, forthcoming in a volume on Ben Sira, “Wisdom in Transmission: Rethinking Ben Sira and Proverbs,” re-examines the evolutionary framework in the study of biblical wisdom literature, and presents an alternative framework, in which instruction can be read as a discourse of trans-generational survival. A fourth essay, “Like Father, Like Son: Theorizing Transmission in Biblical Literature,” forthcoming in an issue of the journal Hebrew Bible Ancient Israel, considers how literary techniques such as “command and fulfillment” manifest broader social and intellectual values and can give us hints as to what biblical authors understood by “transmission” in their depiction of the passage of objects, responsibility, instruction, and text from one generation to the next. These inquiries also intellectually situate the text editions I am currently producing with Matthew Suriano for the SBL Writings of the Ancient World Series, Hebrew and Aramaic Writings about the Dead from Judah and Judea: Eighth cent. BCE through First cent. BCE.

MemberDaniel Pioske

…. IV: Dabbesheth – Dreams and Dream Interpretation.Eds. Hans-Josef Klauck et al. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2012.
“Ugarit, History and Archaeology of.” Pages 699-701 in New Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. V. Nashville: A…

Dan Pioske is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Georgia Southern University where he teaches in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. His first book, “David’s Jerusalem: Between Memory and History,” was published by Routledge in 2015, and his second book, “Memory in a Time of Prose: Studies in Epistemology, Hebrew Scribalism, and the Biblical Past,” was published by Oxford in 2018. His research centers on the relationship between archaeology and the biblical writings, the history of ancient Israel, and how we read the Bible in the 21st century. He lives in Savannah, Georgia, with his wife Suzette and their two daughters, Eve and Esther.

MemberHeather D Baker

…, H.D., K. Kaniuth & A. Otto (eds) 2012. Stories of Long Ago. Festschrift für Michael D. Roaf. AOAT 397. Münster: Ugarit-Verlag.
Baker, H.D. (ed.) 2011. The Prosopography of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, 3/II: Š–Z. Helsinki: The Neo-…

As an Assyriologist who has also trained in archaeology and gained considerable experience of Near Eastern excavation, my primary interest is in combining textual information and material culture in the study of Mesopotamian society and economy. I apply this approach to the study of the Babylonian city and to investigating house and household. I am currently PI of an international project, Machine Translation and Automated Analysis of Cuneiform Languages (MTAAC), funded by SSHRC through the Trans-Atlantic Platform Digging into Data Challenge. Research Interests My work focuses on the social, political and economic history and material culture of 1st millennium BC Mesopotamia, with a particular interest in Babylonian urbanism and the built environment, and in the Neo-Assyrian royal household. My research and publications cover the following topics:

  • urbanism and the built environment
  • religious architecture
  • house and household
  • integration of textual and archaeological data
  • Hellenistic Babylonia (especially the city of Uruk)
  • the Assyrian royal palace and household
  • onomastics and naming practices
  • prosopography
  • slavery
  • society and economy
  • political history
  • cuneiform archives and archival practices

Employment

  • 2014–present: Assistant Professor in Ancient Near Eastern History, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto
  • 2009—2014: Senior Postdoc and PI of project “Royal Institutional Households in First Millennium BC Mesopotamia,” Institut fūr Orientalistik, University of Vienna
  • 2003–2009: Postdoc, START Project “The Economic History of Babylonia in the First Millennium BC,” Institut fūr Orientalistik, University of Vienna
  • 1999–2002: Research Associate, State Archives of Assyria Project, University of Helsinki; from July 1999, Editor-in-Charge of The Prosopography of the Neo-Assyrian Empire
  • 1993–1998: Editorial Assistant/IT Assistant (part-time), A Lexicon of Greek Personal Names (a British Academy Major Research Project)
  • 1994–1995: Curator Grade G (part-time), Department of the Middle East, the British Museum
  • 1984–1989: Field Archaeologist employed on various excavation and post-excavation projects in England, Cyprus, Turkey, Jordan, and Iraq