Research

My first book project, Living Landscapes: Non-Human Characters in the Hebrew Bible (based on my dissertation) addresses the understanding of nature in the Hebrew Bible, specifically the understanding of non-animal nature (what is often referred to as inanimate nature). I argue that in the Hebrew Bible the heavens and the earth, the sun, the moon, and the stars, the topsoil, mountains, trees, and rivers are considered alive and active. God and humans addresses and commands them, they are expected to keep aspects of Torah (especially laws related to Sabbath observance and blood guilt), they intervenes in human affairs, and they expresses themselves with mourning and rejoicing. Though much have been written on the doctrine of creation in the Hebrew Bible, the Bible’s contribution (or lack thereof) to current debates on ecology and climate change, and the relationship between humans and nature, no systematic study exists of such texts.

I am currently working on a project in which I relate my experience as an immigrant and convert to stories of land and migration in the Bible. I explore the biblical uses of place names, and how they relate to genealogy, biblical methods for resisting cultural appropriation and assimilation, and stories of foreigners, especially foreign women, in the Bible. Each essay of the work will be accompanied by visual art pieces on the same topic.