Rewriting the Exodus: Susan Docherty’s Inaugural Professorial Lecture

On May 23, 2016, Professor Susan Docherty (Newman University, Birmingham) delivered her Inaugural Professorial Lecture, “Rewriting The Exodus”.

The biblical account of the Exodus has always been significant for Jews in constructing their history, identity and theology. The story of how God acted through Moses to free the Israelite slaves from their suffering in Egypt is, not surprisingly, retold in numerous Jewish writings throughout the centuries.

In Graeco-Roman times, the large number of Jews living outside of Palestine in cities and towns throughout the Empire particularly enjoyed celebrating Moses as a Hebrew hero who triumphed over hostile foreign powers. One of the most interesting of these retellings, known as the Exagoge, takes the form of a Greek Tragedy. I will discuss the interpretation given to the Exodus in this play, and how this compares to that found in other early Jewish sources and the New Testament.

This text raises questions which are still relevant today, including how far religion can be assimilated to different cultures, and how free theologians should feel to adapt authoritative sacred texts to respond to new circumstances.

The lecture is available for viewing on Panopto:



Peter Hawkins – 1995 Stone Lectures: “Dante and the Bible”

Professor Peter Hawkins (Yale University) delivered the 1995 Stone Lectures at Princeton Theological Seminary, on the topic of “Dante and the Bible”.

The five lectures are available in mp3 (audio) format:

  1. “Dante: Theologian and Poet”
  2. “The Old Parchments and the New: Writing Biblical Poetry”
  3. “Descendit ad infernos: The Bible in Hell”
  4. “Reforming the Spirit: The Bible in Purgatory”
  5. “Authors and Authority: The Bible in Paradise”

Choon-Leong Seow Lectures on Job: The 2016 Thomas Burns Memorial Lectures

Professor Choon-Leong Seow (Vanderbilt Divinity School) delivers the 2016 Thomas Burns Memorial Lecture Series at the University of Otago, on “The Story of Job: A Contested Classic”

Tuesday 26 July: Job in the Cradle of World Literature [video] [audio]

Wednesday 27 July: The Artistry of the (Hebrew) Book of Job [video] [audio]

Thursday 28 July: Theological Conversations in Job [video] [audio]

Tuesday 2 August: Job as a Contested Classic [video] [audio]

Wednesday 3 August: Job Through the Eyes of Artists [video] [audio]

Thursday 4 August: Job in Modern Literature [video] [audio]


Choon-Leong Seow is the author of Job 1-21: Interpretation and Commentary (Eerdmans, 2013), the first in the Illuminations series, which examines “the reception history of Job, including Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Western secular interpretations as expressed in theological, philosophical, and literary writings and in the visual and performing arts.”

Annette Yoshiko Reed: The Bible Beyond the Bible – From Apocrypha to Anime

Annette Yoshiko Reed delivered a lecture at Trinity University on February 17, 2016, on the topic, “The Bible Beyond the Bible: From Apocrypha to Anime.” The lecture was delivered in the 2016 Lennox Series and Seminar at Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas).

Much has been written about the continued creativity surrounding the biblical past in relation to rich histories of Jewish and Christian interpretation of the Bible. But to what degree does the creativity of biblical memory-making go beyond biblical texts and canons? What do we miss when we limit our consideration of the culturally productive encounter with the biblical past to the textual bounds of the most dominant canons today? This lectures explores these questions by looking to some prominent “Old Testament pseudepigrapha” and “New Testament apocrypha” but also by tracing their reception from medieval art to modern novels to contemporary anime.

The slides for the lecture are available here.

The King James Bible Lecture Series, University of Oxford


In March 2011, the University of Oxford hosted a lecture series in Corpus Christi College, in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible 1611-2011. The lectures are available in audio and video format at the links below. In addition, there is audio and video of a conversation between broadcaster Melvyn Bragg and Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch on the King James Bible, chaired by civil servant Christopher Patten, which took place on July 7, 2011, at the University Church of St Mary the Virgin.

# Episode Title Description People Date
1 The King James Bible: The End of the Road? A conversation between Melvyn Bragg and Diarmaid MacCulloch, chaired by the Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Christopher Patten. Recorded at the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, High Street, Oxford, Thursday 7 July, 6.00 pm. Diarmaid MacCulloch,Melvyn Bragg, Chris Patten 25 Jul 2011
2 The Authorised Version in Modern Literature: David and Job get makeovers Prof Terence Wright (Newcastle University) gives the fourth lecture in the Manifold Greatness; The King James Bible 1611-2011 lecture series held at Corpus Christi College. Terrence Wright 14 Mar 2011


3 This book of starres’: biblical constellations in the poetry of Herbert and Vaughan Prof Helen Wilcox (Bangor University) gives the third lecture in the Manifold Greatness” Oxford Celebrations of the King James Bible 1611-2011 lecture series held at Corpus Christi College. Helen Wilcox 14 Mar 2011


4 Scissored and Pasted: readers and writers redoing and undoing King James Prof Valentine Cunningham, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, gives the second lecture in the King James Bible series. Valentine Cunningham 08 Mar 2011


5 The Making of the King James (Authorised) Version of the Bible 1604-1611 Professor Pauline Croft, Royal Holloway, University of London, first in the King James Bible Anniversary lecture at Corpus Christi College. Pauline Croft 08 Mar 2011

Ilana Pardes on the Song of Solomon and Shmuel Agnon


Professor Ilana Pardes, of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, delivered the 2010 Samuel & Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies at the University of Washington. The lectures discuss Shmuel Agnon’s novel Yesteryear and the methods of Zionist and modern secular exegesis of the Hebrew Bible. The audio of each lecture is available in mp3 format.

April 25
“‘Upon the Handles of the Lock’: Agnon, Balak and the Israeli Bible”

April 27
“Agnon’s Ethnographies of Love and the Quest for the Ultimate Song”

Salomé in Reception History: “The Veils of Salomé”

On October 9-10, 2014, the University of Rochester hosted a two-day symposium examining the reception history of Salomé.


A number of the presentations at the symposium have been made available on YouTube.

October 9, 2014:

9:00-9:30 am
“Josephus on Salomé and Her Times”
Aaron Hughes
9:30-10:00 am
“Salomé in the New Testament and Later Christianity”
Anne Merideth
10:00-11:00 am
“From Dancing Daughter to Femme Fatale: Salome in Western Art”
Grace Seiberling
11:00 am-Noon
“Late-Medieval Music for John the Baptist and the Dancing Girl.”
Michael Anderson
Matthew Brown
1:00-1:30 pm
“A Heady History: Salomé and John the Baptist in English Literature”
Jonathan Baldo
1:30-2:30 pm
“Writing Salomé’s Dance: Mallarmé, Flaubert, Huysmans, and Wilde.”
Francoise Meltzer
2:30-3:00 pm
“Salome at the Theatre: Oscar Wilde in Paris and London”
Jean Pedersen
3:00-3:30 pm
“Staging Scandal with Salomé”
Joy Calico
3:45-4:30 pm
“P. Craig Russell and a recent interpretation of Salomé”
Emil Homerin

October 10, 2014:

“The Dance of Seduction”
Deirdre Towers
“Twisted, Tangled, and Tied Up in Knots: Finding Salomé’s Motivation to Dance Beneath the Mystique, Double Standards, and a Pile of Fabric”
Betty Jenkins and Leanne Rinelli

Northrop Frye, “The Bible and Literature”

The University of Toronto hosts videos of a lecture series given by Northrop Frye in 1980-81 called “The Bible and Literature“. Transcripts of the videos are also available on the site. The lecture series coincided with Frye’s composition of his landmark work on the same topic, The Great Code: The Bible and Literature (1982).

Between 1980 and 1981 Prof. Northrop Frye held 25 lectures under the title ‘The Bible and Literature’. Each of these lectures was recorded and for each of them a transcript was provided.  The lectures are listed below.

Lecture 1 Introduction: An Approach
Lecture 2 The Shape of the Bible
Lecture 3 Images of Paradise: Trees and Water
Lecture 4 Parody and Manifest Demonic: Trees and Water
Lecture 5 Sexual Imagery: The Bride and the Bridegroom (Part 1) & The Great Whore and the Forgiven Harlot (Part 2)
Lecture 6 Pastoral and Agricultural Imagery: Parts 1 & 2
Lecture 7 The World of Angels
Lecture 8 The Hero from Across the Sea  
Lecture 9 The Double Mirror: Exodus and the Gospel
Lecture 10 The Metaphor of Kingship
Lecture 11 King, Priest and Prophet
Lecture 12 The Question of  Primogeniture
Lecture 13 Revelation: After the Ego Disappears
Lecture 14 Genesis: In the Beginning
Lecture 15 Exodus: A Revolutionary Heritage
Lecture 16 Law: Ordering a Society
Lecture 17 Wisdom: The Proverb
Lecture 18 Wisdom: Playing Before God (Part 1) & Ecclesiastes: Vanity of Vanities (Part 2)
Lecture 19 Untitled
Lecture 20 Job: A Test
Lecture 21 Job and the Question of Tragedy
Lecture 22 Job and Restored Humanity
Lecture 23 The Language of Proclamation: Style and Rhythm in the Bible
Lecture 24 Revelation: Removing the Veil
Lecture 25 Conclusion: The Language of Love

James Kugel at Pardes Institute on ‘Has Modern Scholarship Killed the Bible’?

The third annual Hershdorfer-Kantrowitz-Brettler Lecture Series at Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in 2012 was presented by James Kugel on the topic of ‘Has Modern Biblical Scholarship Killed the Bible?’

Lecture 1 (January 4, 2012): ‘The Very Beginnings of Biblical Interpretation’

Lecture 2 (January 11, 2012): ‘The Book of Jubilees: the Oldest Commentary on the Book of Genesis’

Lecture 3 (January 18, 2012): ‘The Rise of Modern Biblical Scholarship’

Lecture 4 (January 25, 2012): ‘Has Modern Biblical Scholarship Killed the Bible?’

In Our Time: Online and Podcasts (BBC Radio 4)

In Our Time is a BBC Radio 4 programme on the history of ideas and is presented by Melvyn Bragg. Its range of episodes are classified under the headings ‘Religion’, ‘History’, ‘Culture’, ‘Philosophy’, and ‘Science’. The format consists of Bragg asking questions to, and leading a discussion with, a panel of academics. There are over 600 episodes – either for listening online and/or download – and the full archive is available here. There are numerous episodes covering topics in biblical studies and relevant areas:

Prophecy (13 June, 2013)

Gnosticism (2 May, 2013)

King Solomon (7 June, 2012)

Judas Maccabeus (24 November, 2011)

The Dawn of the Iron Age (24 March, 2011)

The City [Part 1] (25 March 2010)

The Augustan Age (11 June 2009)

St Paul (28 May, 2009)

Miracles (25 September, 2008)

The Greek Myths (13 March, 2008)

Hell (21 December, 2006)

Heaven (22 December, 2005)

Archaeology and Imperialism (14 April 2005)

Angels (24 March, 2005)

Zoroastrianism (11 November, 2004)

Babylon (3 June 2004)

The Fall (8 April, 2004)

The Alphabet (18 December, 2003)

The Devil (11 December, 2003)

The Apocalypse (17 July, 2003)

The Lindisfarne Gospels (20 February, 2003)

The Soul (6 June 2002)

In addition to the episodes listed above, there are episodes on a range of topics and individuals which will be directly relevant to certain areas of biblical studies research (e.g. Plato, Pliny, Roman satire, Wyclif, Erasmus, Milton, historiography, cultural memory).