“Biblical interpretation requires an awareness of the social context of ancient biblical texts and the social context of modern audiences as well, whether within religious institutions or outside them. Issues of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and so on are never far from the surface of the biblical tests, and were contested then as they are today. By discussing the variety of ways of locating meaning in the biblical texts, I hope to facilitate a dialogue among the modern heirs to these texts and others as well.”
Lawrence Wills, Ethelbert Talbot Professor of Biblical Studies, has taught at Harvard Divinity School and Wesleyan University, and came to Episcopal Divinity School in 1994, where he has taught courses in both Hebrew Bible and New Testament. Employing a number of interdisciplinary methods, he enjoys exploring the parallels and differences between the issues of the biblical world and today.
His most recent book is Not God’s People: Insiders and Outsiders in the Biblical World, and his Jewish Novels in the Ancient World was named an Outstanding Academic Book of 1995 by CHOICE magazine for academic librarians. His present research involves two different areas: religious identity among ancient Jews, Christians, and others, and the social world of popular literary genres in Judaism and Christianity. Both of these areas inform his present project, a commentary on the Book of Judith for the Hermeneia series.