Associate Professor, Theology
To say that the Bible is the most influential book in history, while true, would be too obvious. What is less obvious, though equally true, is that this collection of often contradictory texts provides major insights in understanding such human phenomena as violence, trauma, imperialism, social collapse, and social repair.
I am a scholar of religion, a biblical scholar, and a social and cultural historian of ancient Israel, early Judaism, and the Middle East in antiquity. In the past few years, I have published a book and various articles on violence that deal with not just ancient violence but violence in the contemporary world. Previously, I published a book on early Jewish marriage customs and articles on Israelite religion. My classes emphasize studying texts and history with an eye to ethics, in joining together critical, analytical thought with empathy because both critical thought and empathy are necessary for leading an ethical, impactful life, the type of life where we don't just live in the world but shape it for the better.
- Cambridge World History of Genocide, Volume 1: Genocide in the Ancient, Medieval, and Premodern Worlds Co-edited with Ben Kiernan and Tristan Taylor. General editor of the Cambridge World History of Genocide is Ben Kiernan. Forthcoming 2020-21.
- Violence and Personhood in Ancient Israel and Comparative Contexts
- Worship, Women, and War: Essays in Honor of Susan Niditch, edited by John J. Collins, T. M. Lemos, and Saul M. Olyan
- Marriage Gifts and Social Change in Ancient Palestine, 1200 BCE to 200 CE
"Shame and Mutilation of Enemies in the Hebrew Bible"
"The Universal and the Particular: Mary Douglas and the Politics of Impurity"
“Dispossessing Nations: Population Growth, Scarcity, and Genocide in Ancient Israel and Twentieth-century Rwanda”
"The Apotheosis of Rage: Divine Anger and the Psychology of Israelite Trauma"
"Where There Is Dirt, Is There System?: Revisiting Biblical Purity Constructions"
Did the Ancient Israelites Think Children Were People?
American Personhood in the Era of Trump
Letter to SBL on academic freedom--Please contact me if you wish your name to be added
"Were Israelite Women Chattel?: Shedding New Light on an Old Question"
Physical Violence and the Boundaries of Personhood in the Hebrew Bible"
"Response: Forging a Twenty-first-century Approach to the Study of Israelite Warfare"
“‘They Have Become Women’: Judean Diaspora and Postcolonial Theories of Gender and Migration.”
“The Emasculation of Exile: Hypermasculinity and Feminization in the Book of Ezekiel.”
"'Like the Eunuch Who Does Not Beget': Gender, Mutilation, and Negotiated Status in the Ancient Near East"
"Kinship, Community, and Society"
"Cultural Anthropology and the Hebrew Bible"
Weddings and Marriage Traditions in Ancient Israel
"Intermarriage," in Dictionary of Early Judaism
Asymmetries of exchange: Marriage gifts and the social structure of ancient Palestine from Iron I to the Roman period