I am a scholar of religion, specializing in the Hebrew Bible and the histories and cultures of ancient Israel and the Near East. At Augustana, I teach courses on the religions of the world, theories of religion, biblical studies, the ancient Near East, and related topics; I also serve as Director of the Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life.
My work, in research and in the classroom, has focused mainly on how communities remember and imagine themselves, and how different social memories and imaginaries interrelate with one another. My first monograph, Kingship and Memory in Ancient Judah (Oxford University Press, 2017), explores these processes through the texts of the Hebrew Bible, revealing how ancient Judeans balanced and navigated various and even competing understandings of their monarchic past, with their literature. In 2018, the book won the R.B.Y. Scott Award from the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies. My research has also appeared in peer-reviewed publications such as Brill Research Perspectives, Harvard Theological Review, Vetus Testamentum, and Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft; and I co-edited the volume History, Memory, Hebrew Scriptures: A Festschrift for Ehud Ben Zvi (Penn State University Press / Eisenbrauns, 2015).
Recently, my research has addressed prophetic literature in particular: What can these literary artifacts tell us about historical thought in the ancient world, about how the communities responsible for this literature thought about (and with) conceptions of their past? What was the interrelationship between the literary forms of prophetic books and historical thinking in ancient Judean culture, and how has this interrelationship impacted the ongoing reading and interpretation of these texts?