Jonathan Homrighausen is a scholar, educator, calligraphic artist, and doctoral student in Hebrew Bible at Duke University, where he is writing a dissertation about the reception history of Esther in the tradition of the decorated megillat Esther. Currently he is also writing a book for Liturgical Press on the Song of Songs in calligraphy and lettering arts, especially The Saint John’s Bible. He is also author of Illuminating Justice: The Ethical Imagination of The Saint John’s Bible (Liturgical, 2018), and his writing has appeared in Religion and the Arts, Image Journal, Transpositions, and the Visual Commentary on Scripture.

More informally: My scholarship, teaching, and practice revolve around thinking about biblical texts in visual ways; I write about art and the Bible, engage with contemporary artists on sacred texts, and currently, think visually about the Bible with my own art. My major passion is calligraphy and lettering arts, both the long heritage of biblical manuscripts and contemporary creators.


2023 (expected)         Ph.D., Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Duke University.

            Dissertation topic: Esther’s Visual Reception in Decorated Megillot and Book Arts.

            Committee: Marc Brettler, Laura Lieber, Ellen F. Davis, Marc Michael Epstein.

2018    M.A., Biblical Studies, Graduate Theological Union.

            Thesis: “Growing the Garden: Interreligious Intertextuality Between the Song of                                Songs and the Qur’an.”

            Committee: John Endres, S.J., Ghazala Anwar, John Kaltner.

2018    Certificate in Jewish Studies, Center for Jewish Studies, Graduate Theological             Union.

2018    Certificate in Islamic Studies, Center for Islamic Studies, Graduate Theological Union.

2015    B.A., Religious Studies and Classics, Santa Clara University, summa cum laude.

2012    A.A., Humanities, Modesto Junior College, Honors Program.



Contracted     Visualizing the Garden: The Song of Songs in Word and Image. Liturgical Press.

2018    Illuminating Justice: The Ethical Imagination of The Saint John’s Bible. Liturgical Press.

2017    Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary by Conceptual Categories: A Student’s Guide to Nouns in the Old Testament, with J. David Pleins. Zondervan.

Art Exhibit Catalog:

2017    Art Interpreting Scripture: Characters in and Creators of the Bible. Santa Clara University Archives & Special Collections, Aug. 2017–April 2018.

Refereed Articles and Book Chapters:

Under review “Forgetting the Forgetter: The Cupbearer in the Joseph Saga (Genesis 40–41).”

Forthcoming  “‘I Sought Him Who My Soul Loves’: Symbol, Ornament, and Visual Exegesis of the Song of Songs in The Saint John’s Bible.” In The Art of Biblical Interpretation: Visual Portrayals of Scriptural Narratives, ed. Heidi J. Hornik, Ian Boxall and Bobbi Dykema. Bible and Its Reception. SBL Press.

2020    “Touching Sacred Texts, Touching History: Using Manuscripts to Teach Scribal Practices and Material Scripture in the Biblical Studies Survey Course.” Teaching Theology and Religion 23.4 (2020).

2019    “Words Made Flesh: Incarnational, Multisensory Exegesis in Donald Jackson’s Biblical Art.” Religion and the Arts 23 (2019): 240–72.

2015    “Spiritually Bilingual: Buddhist-Christians and the Process of Dual Religious Belonging.” Buddhist-Christian Studies 35 (2015): 57–69.

Non-Refereed Articles and Book Chapters:

Forthcoming  “Esther 5:1–2 / Greek Esther D: Esther Before Ahasuerus.” Visual Commentary on Scripture.

Forthcoming  “Imagining the Splendor of Wisdom (Sirach 24).” Sidebar in J. Laura Manzo and Leah Macinskas-Le, Sirach, Wisdom Commentary. Liturgical Press.

2020    “Letters, Music, Flesh: Calligraphy as Sacred Art among Christians and Jews.” Image Journal 105 (July 2020).

2019    “Psalm 93: The Waters Rise Up.” Visual Commentary on Scripture, Aug. 2019.

2015    “When Herakles Followed the Buddha: Power, Protection, and Patronage in Gandharan Art.” The Silk Road 13 (2015): 26–35. [Translated into Chinese in 信息与参考 [Information and Reference] 2016/11 (第22期): 150–61.]

Long Encyclopedia Articles:

Contracted     “Illustrated/Illuminated Bibles,” Oxford Encyclopedia of Religion and the Arts.

Brief Encyclopedia Articles:

2019–  Articles for Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception:

“Nut, Nuts | Visual Arts”

“Nail (Implement) | Visual Arts”

“Moses’ Rod | Visual Arts”

Marriage Contract/Ketubbah | Visual Arts” (17:1042–43)

Blog Posts


    Society of Biblical Literature

    Catholic Biblical Association

    Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies

    Society for Comparative Research in Iconic and Performative Texts

    Jewish Art Salon

    American Guild of Judaic Art

    Jonathan Homrighausen

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