The subjects I research are inspired by questions and critical reflections. Ideas come to me while reading, while researching for other projects, and sometimes through conversations with students or colleagues. Inspiration can strike anywhere. Many ideas come to me while playing video games or watching a television series with family members. Often, I begin research a concept by looking up a word or concept and tracing its linguistic heritage. I am fascinated by how culture and language are intertwined. My interests motivate much of my research in ancient religious texts. I am equally fascinated by expressions of culture and language in various forms of media, especially science fiction, superhero myths, and graphic novels.
Most of my research falls into one of three categories: Biblical Ethics, Mythopoeia, and Resistance Theory. My research often reflects on the intersections between these categories within ancient religious literature in order to encourage evaluating how we read and interpret these texts. As we refine our understanding of influential religious texts, like the Hebrew Bible, we better understand ourselves by better understanding the context of how the Bible was written, what its influences were, how the authors conceived God, and what that means for modern use of the text as Scripture.
This page is an overview of past, present, and future research. The links will take you to more details.
After I completed a Master of Arts degree in Biblical languages and ancient Near Eastern language and literature at Fuller Seminary, I became very interested in the topic of divine council in the Hebrew Bible and its correlations in Ugaritic mythology. This set me on a path of reading and research that ultimately led me to look more in depth at Psalm 82. While my research in divine council was fascinating, I discovered that the mythological Psalm 82 was rich in an ethical perspective of complaint about injustice against the poor. My dissertation thesis took up the discussion of various features in the psalm that work together to present an ethical virtue of justice. Some of the features include an emphasis on just leadership as well as justice for the poor, ambiguous language, and resistance literature.
Throughout grad school, I wrote and delivered presentations whenever presented with the opportunity. A number of presentations were given at local and national meetings of the Society for Biblical Literature (SBL). Others were delivered at international symposiums, like the Trinity PGR conference and Tyndale Study Group in Cambridge.
Working from the aspects of justice and ethics in the Hebrew Bible uncovered in my dissertation, I plan to continue to explore ethics that may provide responses to structural violence and restorative justice. The Hebrew Bible has a lot to say about how a person should live. The text is critical of itself in some ways, and there is a lt to explore in the realm of biblical ethics.
I am also very interested in other ethical expressions. For example, science fiction stories, films, and television series often try and work out the implications of scientific research and technological advancement. Studying ancient religious texts has inspired me to think about the ethical implications of such achievements. Can religious texts help humanity find answers to questions about suffering, restoring communities, and caring for marginalized beings in our world?