I am a student and scholar of scripture. I specialize in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and examine its historical, literary, cultural and religious contexts. My particular focus is on the Persian period (540-332 BCE) --an era that profoundly impacted the content and formation of Hebrew Scripture. I also use archaeology, anthropology, and sociology to shed light on the worlds from which the biblical texts emerged and the ways in which these traditions helped shape culture and society.
My study of the Bible is not just academic. I am convinced that scripture is more than an artifact of human history and culture, that it is relevant to our 21st century global society. At its best, it calls for social and economic justice, challenges the status quo and political power, emphasizes community and commitment, promotes reconciliation, and struggles with life's difficult questions. My courses explore the ways in which religion informs and is informed by its cultural context --both for good and for ill. All of them embody one of my core beliefs: challenge everything.
- Ph.D., Duke University, 1992
- M.Div., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, 1985
- Barrington College, 1974
- "Social Scientific Approaches." (Book Chapter)
In B. T. Arnold and H. G. M. Williamson (Eds.), Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 905- 92, November 2005.
"The Teacher-Scholar as Activist: Musings and Professings." Inventio: Creative Thinking About Learning and Teaching, 7(1), May 2005.
"Going Beyond the Disciplines: Creating Spaces for `In-Between' Teaching and Learning." Inventio: Creative Thinking About Learning and Teaching, 3(1), May 2000.
- The Emergence of Yehud in the Persian Period: A Social and Demographic Study.
Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999.
- Community, Identity, and Ideology: Social Science Approaches to the Hebrew Bible.
Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1996.
- Catholic Biblical Association Visiting Professor 2002-03 academic year (Fall 2002: Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome; spring 2003: Ecole Biblique et Archéologique Française in Jerusalem).
- Carnegie Scholar, 1999-2000, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. One of 29 scholars working in eight disciplines chosen from the US to conduct projects on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, funded by the Pew Charitable Trust. Field: Interdisciplinary studies. Project Title: Promoting Student Learning through the Scholarship of Integration: Interdisciplinary, Multiple Instance, and Multi-Media Approaches.