Robert Williamson, Jr.
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
Ph.D., Hebrew Bible, Emory University
M. St., Jewish Studies, Oxford University
M. Div., Columbia
Teaching and Research Interests:
Biblical Wisdom Literature
Jewish and Christian Apocalypticism
Death and Symbolic Immortality in Biblical
Classical Jewish Biblical Interpretation
Books and Edited Collections:
The History of Biblical Interpretation of 1835: A Reader (with J.H. Hayes and M.S. Rindge; Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, forthcoming 2015)
Writing the Moral Self: Essays in Honor of Carol Newsom; special issue of Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, coedited with B.W. Breed and C.D. Hankins (forthcoming 2015)
Imagination, Ideology, and Inspiration: Biblical Studies after Walter Brueggemann (coedited with J. Kaplan; Sheffield Phoenix Press, forthcoming 2014).
Articles and Dictionary Entries:
"'In the Way of Righteousness is Life': Symbolic Immortality in Proverbs 10-29," Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 38.1 (2014)
"Using Twitter to Teach Reader-Oriented Biblical Interpretation," Teaching Theology and Religion 16.3 (2013): 274-86.
Wörterbuch zu den Qumrantexten /The Theological Dictionary of the Qumran
Manuscripts [ThWQ] (ed. H–J Fabry and U. Dahmen; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer,
“Pesher: A Cognitive Model of the Genre,” Dead
Sea Discoveries 17 (2010): 307-31.
“Reading Job from the Margins: Dialogical
Exegesis and Theological Education,” in SBL Forum (Summer 2008;
“Lament and the Arts of Resistance: Public
and Hidden Transcripts in Lamentations 5,” in Lamentations in Ancient and
Contemporary Contexts (ed. Nancy C. Lee and Carleen Mandolfo; SBL Symposium
Series; Leiden/Atlanta: Brill/SBL, 2008), 67-80.
My scholarly work focuses primarily on the Wisdom literature
of the Hebrew Bible and cognate literatures. I am presently working on a volume
that examines the construction and break-down of symbolic immortalities in the
Wisdom literature, employing social-psychological research known as Terror
Management Theory. The work focuses primarily on the book of Qohelet
(Ecclesiastes), but also examines Proverbs, Ben Sira, and 4QInstruction. My
other areas of scholarly interest include: the history of biblical
interpretation, classical Jewish interpretation, and the recovery of
theological insights from the “forgotten” books of the canon: Job,
Lamentations, and Song of Songs, among others.
My teaching is an expression of my passion for the texts of
the Jewish and Christian scriptures and the fundamental conviction that both
these texts and my students have the potential to act in the world for the
common good. I strive to create a
classroom atmosphere in which these three—student, text, and world—can
interact, collide, and wrestle with one another in ways that illuminate new
possibilities for both interpretation and action. My teaching reflects my
belief that the Bible is always more rich and complex than any premature
settlement allows—thus, I hope my students will always be surprised by what
they find in my classroom. For those who think the Bible has no value, I seek
to demonstrate the richness of human experience and the profound grappling with
fundamental issues of identity, justice, despair, and hope that fill its pages.
For those who think that the Bible provides a simple and transparent guide to
life, I aim to illuminate the multiplicity of claims, beliefs, and interests it
brings to expression. I hope that no one who enters my class (including myself)
will emerge on the other side without having had their view of the Bible
challenged, enriched, and transformed.
RELI 123 Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (Old
RELI 124 Introduction to the New Testament
RELI 227 Skeptics in Scripture: Ecclesiastes and
RELI 228 Gospels and Literary Theory
RELI 121 Introduction to Biblical Hebrew I
RELI 122 Introduction to Biblical Hebrew II
RELI 327 Race, Gender, Empire, and the Bible:
Contemporary Approaches to Interpretation
RELI 328 The Bible and/as History
RELI 331 Revelation and Resistance
RELI 497 Senior Colloquium
Curriculum Vitae: http://hendrix.academia.edu/RobertWilliamson/CurriculumVitae