I began my doctoral research into the Host of Heaven in 2015, funded by an M3C (AHRC) doctoral studentship, and supervised by Dr. Carly Crouch. Prior to this I studied for my undergraduate degree in Theology and Religious Studies here at Nottingham in 2010-2013, winning the Ed Ball Prize for the best dissertation in Biblical Studies, before being awarded a HEFCE Oxford Graduate scholarship to pursue a Masters in Theology at the University of Oxford, under the supervision of Prof. John Barton.
Alongside my studies I have engaged in a number of ventures, including working on the Lautenschlager Azekah Expedition as an Assistant Area Supervisor (2012-15). This work was funded by grants from the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society (2013) and the Shirlee Myers Excavation Fellowship (2015). Since starting my doctoral research I have co-organised two conferences with fellow M3C doctoral researchers, including one on Iron Age Archaeology and another on Medical Humanites, and I am currently applying for funding for a series of biblical studies events to be held in 2017-18. Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of working alongside Dr. Jeremy Hutton and assisting in the digitization of Palmyrene inscriptions held at the Ashmolean Museum as part of the Wisconsin Palmyrene Aramaic Inscription Project. In 2016-17 I also worked as a research assistant on an online museum exhibition that forms part of the Society of Old Testament Study's centenary celebrations. This exhibition, entitled "Jerusalem: Fall of a City, Rise of a Vision" is freely available online and explores Jerusalem's development from a small Iron Age city to the Jerusalem of the imagination.
My research focuses on the development of the biblical traditions within their historical context. To this end I seek to contextualize the results of detailed examination of the biblical texts against the broader background of archaeological and extra-biblical material. This approach has informed all my undergraduate and graduate work and has resulted in articles on Proverbs and City Gates and Assyrian Inscriptions and Psalm 11, as well as a forthcoming article on Isaiah 48 and the Region of Benjamin.
Lecturer for Intermediate Biblical Hebrew, (Level 2/3), 2017-18. (Texts tbc)
Guest Lecturer for Prophets and Prophecy in the Hebrew Bible, (Level 2/3) 2017-18. (Lecture topics tbc)
Teaching Affiliate for History, Literature, and Theology of the Hebrew Bible, (Level 1) 2017-18. (Lecture topics tbc)
Teaching Affiliate for History, Literature, and Theology of the Hebrew Bible (Level 1, 3 per week), 2016-17.
Doctoral Dissertation: "Politics of the Stars: The Host of Heaven in Ancient Israel"
Many works have studied the various spheres in which the Host of Heaven appear, such as the divine council, Yahweh's warrior traditions, the debate over Assyrian and Babylonian imperial influence on the cult of Judah, and the development of monotheism in ancient Israel. As yet, however, no full-length study has focused on the Host of Heaven themselves. This project examines all the references to the Host of Heaven in the Hebrew Bible and reassesses previous scholarly assumptions pertaining to them. As with all my research, I place great emphasis on contextualizing the development of the Host of Heaven traditions in the Hebrew Bible within the broader context of ancient Near Eastern cultic, political, and cultural developments. I also give special consideration to the impact of intra-Judahite, as well as inter-national, politics and polemics.
'Reading the Host of Heaven Polemic as Compensation for Ritual Failure.' Ritual in the Biblical World Session; International Society of Biblical Literature, Berlin, August 2017.
'Reading the "House of Jacob" in Isaiah 48:1-11 in Light of Benjamin.' Nottingham Biblical Seminar, June 2017.
'Zephaniah's Astral Priests in Josiah's (Deuteronomistic) Reform.' The Book of the Twelve Session; Society of Biblical Literature, San Antonio, November 2016.
'Mizpah and Bethel in Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel: Arguments from Silence.' Prophets and Prophecy Session; European Association of Biblical Studies, Leuven, July 2016.
'Fortresses and Politics in 7th Century BCE Judah.' International Ancient Warfare Conference, University of Gothenburg, June 2016.
'The Host of Heaven in the Seventh Century BCE: Idolatrous Practice or Yahwistic Response to Cultic Crisis?' European Association of Biblical Studies Graduate Symposium, University of Cluj-Napoca [Romania], March, 2016.
'Laying Down the (Levitical?) Law: Cosmological Control in Deuteronomy 18:9-14.' Centre for Bible and Ethics Study Day, University of Nottingham, February 2016.
'The Host of Heaven in the Seventh Century BCE: The Politics of Polemic, The Politics of Piety.' Informal Biblical Seminar, University of Nottingham, 2015.
'Isaiah 41:18-20 as Anti-Assyrian Rhetoric?' Oxbridge Biblical Studies Conference, University of Cambridge, 2015.
'Rivers vs. Seas: The Role of Topography in Biblical and Mythological Presentations of Nature as Caution Against Extracting "Theologies of Nature" from Biblical Texts.' Twentieth Postgraduate Religion and Theology Conference, University of Bristol, 2015.
'Learning from Lachish: Interdisciplinary Approaches at Azekah and the Increasing Importance of Archaeology for Biblical Studies.' Faculty of Theology Old Testament Seminar, University of Oxford, 2015.
'"Oh my People Remember Now": Sacred Texts within a Sacred Text - Micah 3:12, 4:1-5, 6:5.' Birmingham Postgraduate Biblical Studies Conference, University of Birmingham, 2014.
'The Diversity of the Dragons of Ezekiel 29 and 32: A Re-Examination of the Unification Proposed by Academic Tradition.' Birmingham Postgraduate Biblical Studies Conference, University of Birmingham, 2013.
I completed my MSt in Theology at the University of Oxford, under the supervision of Prof. John Barton in 2014-15. My dissertation was titled: 'בפתחי שׁערים בעיר - Wisdom in the Gates: A New Proposal for the Location of Wisdom Schools,' and was an interdisciplinary project bringing together archaeological evidence of city gates and discussions surrounding wisdom schools and the book of Proverbs.
Prior to this I completed my undergraduate degree in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Nottingham. My undergraduate dissertation (supervised by Dr. Crouch) focused on water in the book of Ezekiel and was awarded the Ed Ball Prize for the best dissertation in biblical studies.
My previous work on politics, polemic, and the development of the biblical traditions within their ancient context has resulted in my developing a growing interest in the formation and presentation of Israelite and Judahite identity in the Hebrew Bible. This forms the basis of my next research project, which will be a comprehensive investigation of Benjamin - region, tribe, and literary/narrative character - in the Hebrew Bible. I have presented papers on this subject in the Nottingham Biblical Seminar (2017) and the European Association of Biblical Studies Conference (2016) and have an article forthcoming in the Journal of Biblical Literature that touches on some of these matters.