Durham University

Department of Theology and Religion

Profiles

Dr David Janzen, M.Div., Ph.D. Princeton Theological Seminary

Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible / Old Testament in the Department of Theology and Religion
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43958
Room number: Abbey House 103

Contact Dr David Janzen (email at david.janzen@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

David Janzen received his M.Div. and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has taught in the United States and Guatemala, and has been in the Theology and Religion Department at Durham since 2015. His research has focused on the Deuteronomistic History, as well as Persian period material from the Hebrew Bible, and he is currently at work on a two-volume commentary on Chronicles for Eerdmans Press.

Besides more traditional historical-critical approaches to biblical literature, David has explored other hermeneutical avenues. He used social anthropology to investigate sacrifice as ritual and ritualized action in The Social Meanings of Sacrifice in the Hebrew Bible and to explore the story of the divorce of the foreign women in Ezra-Nehemiah in Witch-hunts, Purity, and Social Boundaries. He has used trauma theory to explore the deconstruction of the narrative of the Deuteronomistic History in The Violent Gift, and contrasted trauma and postcolonial theory to make sense of the emphasis on monarchy and leadership in the same biblical writing in The Necessary King. In Trauma as Anti-History, he uses postmodern theory to describe history as a narrative creation of the present and its worldviews and interests, and contrasts this with trauma as something that cannot be narrativized and so cannot be a part of history. In one of his most recent monographs, Chronicles and the Politics of Davidic Restoration, he investigates the political motivations behind the composition of the book of Chronicles at the end of the Persian period.

Books

Trauma and the Failure of History: Kings, Lamentations, and the Destruction of Jerusalem. Accepted for publication by Society of Biblical Literature Semeia Series. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, forthcoming.

 Chronicles and the Politics of Davidic Restoration: A Quiet Revolution. Library of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, 657. London: Bloomsbury, 2017.

 The Necessary King: A Postcolonial Reading of the Monarchy in the Deuteronomistic History. Hebrew Bible Monographs, 57. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2013.

 The Violent Gift: Trauma’s Subversion of the Deuteronomistic History’s Narrative. Library of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, 561. London: T & T Clark, 2012. Re-released in paperback by Bloomsbury in 2013.

 The Social Meanings of Sacrifice in the Hebrew Bible: A Study of Four Writings. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 344. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2004.

 Witch-Hunts, Purity, and Social Boundaries: The Expulsion of the Foreign Women in Ezra 9-10. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series, 350. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002.

Books in progress

1 Chronicles. To be published in the Illuminations commentary series by William B. Eerdmans Publishing House. 1,000 page manuscript.

 2 Chronicles. To be published in the Illuminations commentary series by William B. Eerdmans Publishing House. 1,000 page manuscript.

Peer reviewed articles and essays

“Claimed and Unclaimed Experience: Problematic Readings of Trauma in the Hebrew Bible.” Biblical Interpretation. Forthcoming.

“A Monument and a Name: The Primary Purpose of Chronicles’ Genealogies.” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Forthcoming.

 “The Deuteronomistic History as Trauma/Defeat Literature” in The Oxford Handbook on the Historical Books of the Hebrew Bible. Edited by Brad Kelle and Brent Strawn. Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

 “Sin and Expiation” in The Oxford Handbook of Ritual and Worship. Edited by Samuel Balentine. Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

 “Yahwistic appropriation of Achaemenid ideology and the function of Nehemiah 9 in Ezra-Nehemiah.” Journal of Biblical Literature 136 (2017) 839-56.

 “A Colonized People: Persian Hegemony, Hybridity, and Community Identity in Ezra-Nehemiah.” Biblical Interpretation 24 (2016) 27-47.

 “Festivals and Holy Days” in Oxford Encyclopedia of Bible and Theology. Edited by Samuel Balentine. 2 volumes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. 1:351-62.

 “‘What He Did for Me’: David’s Warning about Joab in 1 Kings 2.5.” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 39 (2015) 265-79.

 “The Sins of Josiah and Hezekiah: A Synchronic Reading of the Final Chapters of Kings.” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 37 (2013) 349-70.

 “The Condemnation of David’s ‘Taking’ in 2 Samuel 12:1-14.” Journal of Biblical Literature 131 (2012) 209-20.

 “Gideon’s house as the ’āṭād: A proposal for reading Jotham’s fable.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly (2012) 465-75.

 “An Ambiguous Ending: Dynastic Punishment in Kings and the Fate of the Davidides in 2 Kings 25:27-30.” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 33 (2008) 39-58.

 “The Cries of Jerusalem: Cultic, Ethnic, Legal, and Geographic Boundaries in Ezra-Nehemiah” in Unity and Disunity in Ezra-Nehemiah: Redaction, Rhetoric, and Reader. Edited by Mark J. Boda and Paul L. Redditt. Hebrew Bible Monographs, 17. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2008. 117-35.

 “Priestly Sacrifice in the Hebrew Bible: A Summary of Recent Scholarship and a Narrative Reading” Religion Compass 2 (2008) 38-52.

“Scholars, Witches, Ideologues and What the Text Said: Ezra 9-10 and Its Interpretation” in Approaching Yehud: New Approaches to the Study of the Persian Period. Edited by Jon L. Berquist. Semeia Series. Atlanta: SBL Press. 2007. 55-75.

“A Response (to Melody Knowles: Review article).” The Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 7.7 (2007) 9-15.

“Why the Deuteronomist Told the Story of Jephthah’s Sacrifice.” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 29 (2005) 339-57.

“Saul’s Sacrifices thoroughly Examined: An Essay in Honor of James Franklin Armstrong.” Princeton Seminary Bulletin 36 (2005) 136-43.

“The God of the Bible and the Nonviolence of Jesus” in Teaching Peace: Nonviolence and the Liberal Arts. Edited by J. Denny Weaver and Gerald Biesecker-Mast. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003. 53-63.

“Politics, Settlement, and Temple Community in Persian-Period Yehud.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 64 (2002) 490-510.

“The ‘Mission’ of Ezra and the Persian-Period Temple Community.” Journal of Biblical Literature 119 (2000) 619-43.

“The Meaning of Porneia in Matthew 5.32 and 19.9: An Approach from the Study of Ancient Near Eastern Culture.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 80 (2000) 66-80.

“Why Rationality is Reasonable (and What Biblical Scholars Can Do with It).” Koinonia 10 (1998) 199-209.

Selected scholarly presentations

“Claimed and Unclaimed Experience: The Anti-therapeutic Effects of Social Narratives of Trauma.” The Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting. November 2017.

“What Historians Do, and What the Chronicler (an Historian) Did.” Society for Old Testament Study meeting. January 2017.

“The Death of Josiah and Prophecy in Chronicles.” The Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting. November 2015.

“The Violent Gift.” The Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting. November 2014.

“2 Kings 25:27-30: An Ambiguous Ending to the Forced Migration and the Future of the Davidides.” The Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting. November 2010.

“Blood in the Narrative of Leviticus 1-8.” Central States Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting. March 2008.

“Perspectives on Post-Exilic Judah: A Response to Melody Knowles.” The Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting. November 2006.

“Sin, Murder, and Sacrifice: Israel Searches for God.” A series of three lectures given as the Patrick Lecture Series speaker at Montreat, North Carolina. October 2006.

“The Expulsion of the Foreign Women in Ezra 9-10: Current Scholarship and an Anthropological Proposal.” The Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting. November 2001.

“Money, Politics, and Religion: Israel within the Persian Empire.” Ohio Northern University Western Civilization Lecture Series. September 2001.

“The Settlement and Society of the Persian-Period Temple Community.” The Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting. November 2000.

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

  • Janzen, David (2018). Sin and Expiation. In The Oxford Handbook of Ritual and Worship. Balentine, Samuel Oxford University Press.
  • David Janzen (2015). Festivals and Holy Days. In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Theology. Samuel E. Balentine Oxford University Press. 1: 351-362.

Journal Article

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