I am fundamentally a biblical scholar who works on the reception history of the Bible, particularly its handling by Pentecostals and Evangelicals throughout the world today and its interpretation in the arts, particularly music. My PhD, in the field of biblical ethics, provoked my interest in literary-critical approaches to the Hebrew Bible (particularly in the use of a resistant reader-response methodology for reading biblical texts), and in the use of the Bible as a moral resource. However, both these concerns have encouraged my broader fascination with the role and function of the Bible and religion in general in today’s world, their relevance for people of all faiths and none, and their cultural, social and political significance. I'm really interested at the moment in why people think religion and sacred texts are so important to them in making lifestyle choices and how faith commitments impact our interactions with and contributions to society and the public and political spheres.
I joined the University of Birmingham in January 2010, after ten years of working in the theological college sector, the last five of them as Vice Principal. I now combine a variety of leadership responsibilities as Deputy Director of Education for the College of Arts and Law, Head of the Department of Theology & Religion and Director of the Edward Cadbury Centre with teaching and supervision in the Department of Theology & Religion, and research including the AHRC-funded Megachurches and Social Engagement in London project and most recently the Commonwealth Initiative for the Freedom of Religion or Belief (CIFORB).