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).
Selected topics that highlight the interdisciplinary nature of the Liberal Arts and Sciences. This seminar-style class is a key aspect of the Augustana First Year Experience. The focus and content of each course are determined by faculty interests, and vary from year to year.Fall Term 2020
An examination of religious texts and artifacts from the ancient world (e.g. biblical texts, Mesopotamian myths, iconography on statuary, reliefs, etc.), with a specific focus on representations of sex and gender. The course will introduce contemporary issues in gender theory to use as a lens for examining material from the ancient world, with the goal of better understanding various human beliefs and practices in relation to sexuality, the body and construction of gender.Winter Term 2021