J. W. Cannon Professor of Religion
B.A. Hanover College
M.Div., M.A., and Ph.D. Vanderbilt University
Teaches Biblical Studies and Jewish Literature and Thought and has special research interest in biblical intertextuality, midrash and hermeneutics, modern Jewish poetry, religion and law, and monastic spirituality. Has published in journals such as Judaica, Judaism, CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly, Religion and Literature, Literature and Theology, Anglican Theological Review, and Cistercian Studies. Selected recent publications include Mother of the Wire Fence: Inside and Outside the Holocaust (Westminster John Knox, 1994); "Why Dead Men Don't Praise God: A Post-Holocaust Reckoning in the Poetry of Glatstein and Osherow," Religion and Literature 42/3 (Fall 2010): 75-92; "Lou Silberman's 'The Theologian's Task': An Episode in the History of American Jewish Theology," CCAR Journal 57/4 (Fall 2010): 84-97; "By the Waters of a Death Camp: An Intertextual Reading of Psalm 137," Literature & Theology 22 (2008): 180-194; "'When an A-Dieu Takes on a Face': The Last Testament of Christian de Chergé, OCSO" Spiritual Life 53/3 (Fall 2007): 136-147; "Breakthrough of the Word: Thomas Merton and Martin Buber on Reading the Bible," in Merton and Judaism: Holiness in Words (Fons Vitae, 2003); and "Ascent to Darker Hills: Psalm 121 and its Poetic Revision," Literature & Theology 11 (1997): 152-167. Winner of Thomas H. Carter Prize for Non-fiction Prose (Shenandoah, 1993). Recipient of the Davidson College Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award (October 2002), Boswell Faculty Fellowship (October 2008) and Hunter Hamilton Teaching Award (May 2009). At Davidson since 1982.
"Ultimately, the interpretive act becomes similar to the creative act.
One reads, and one begins to hear a certain hum in one's ears."
--Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg
"It is tempting to rush to broad thematic generalizations about a work or an author, but how can you answer a big question about what something means if you can't parse the meanings of the words in one enigmatic sentence? It takes a willingness to puzzle over small things--and often to admit that one doesn't understand some particular turn of phrase or twist of argument--to earn the right to answer the bigger and more glamorous questions."
Rel 100w Religion and the Tragic Vision
Rel 120 Introduction to the Hebrew Bible
Rel 221 Poets, Prophets, and Priests
Rel 222 Tragedy and Comedy in Biblical Narrative
Rel 232 Parables in the Jewish and Christian Traditions
Rel 233 Ethics and Scripture
Rel 244 Modern Jewish Literature
Rel 275 Jewish Religious Life
Rel 320 The Genesis Narrative
Rel 321 The Exodus Tradition
Rel 330 Wisdom Literature
Rel 345 Religion and the Self
Rel 346 Modern Jewish Thought
Davidson, NC 28035-7014
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"Lou Silberman's 'The Theologian's Task': An Episode in the History of American Jewish Theology"
"The Radical Orthodoxy of Rowan Williams: The Discourse on Sexuality, Religious Pluralism, and the Recent Crisis"
"Teaching When the Air Smells Like Smoke"comments to the Davidson College Faculty and the Board of Trustees
"The Last Testament of Christian de Chergé"
"Why Dead Men Don't Praise God: A Post-Holocaust Reckoning in the Poetry of Glatstein and Osherow"