Ian Wilson, PhD

Associate Professor, Augustana - Fine Arts & Humanities


Associate Professor, Augustana - Fine Arts & Humanities


Area of Study / Keywords

Hebrew Bible History Narrative Memory Anthropology Religion


I am a scholar of religion, specializing in the Hebrew Bible and the histories and cultures of ancient Israel and Judah, and of West Asia more broadly. At Augustana, I teach courses on the contemporary religions of the world, theories of religion, biblical studies, the ancient West Asian context, and related topics. I also serve as Associate Editor for the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures.

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 antiquity, 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? In my current book project, I am drawing on the concept of archive to address these questions, contending that prophetic literature had an archival function in Judean antiquity, and that the prophets' bodies—as represented in the literature—were also understood to be archival.


AUREL 100 - Introduction to Religion

An introduction to the study of religion, focusing on major religions of the world. The course briefly examines the histories of these religions and various social and cultural phenomena associated with them, and also introduces students to the contemporary discipline of religious studies and the theories and methods associated with it.

AUREL 212 - Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament)

An introduction to the literature of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), focusing on the history of its books, and on their contents and major themes. The course also introduces students to the issues of interpretation, examining how different religious communities and individuals read the texts, and surveying contemporary academic biblical studies.

AUREL 325 - Sex and Gender in Ancient Religions

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.

Browse more courses taught by Ian Wilson

Featured Publications

Ian D. Wilson

The Oxford Handbook of Ezekiel, ed. Corrine Carvalho (Oxford University Press). 2020 November;

Ian D. Wilson

Brill Research Perspectives in Biblical Interpretation. 2018 January; 3 (2):1-69

Ian D. Wilson

2017 January;

Ian D. Wilson

Vetus Testamentum. 2016 January; 66

Ian D. Wilson

2015 October; Political Memory in and after the Persian Empire, ed. Jason M. Silverman and Caroline Waerzeggers

Ian D. Wilson

Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft. 2014 January; 126

Ian D. Wilson

Harvard Theological Review. 2013 January; 106