Dr Andrew Davies BD (Hons) (London), MA, PhD (Sheffield)

 

Reader in the Public Understanding of Religion
Deputy Director of Education, College of Arts and Law
Director of the Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion

Department of Theology and Religion

Photograph of Dr Andrew Davies

Contact details

ERI Building
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

About

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.

Feedback and office hours

I am available for feedback and tutorial meetings with students by appointment.

Qualifications

  • BD(Hons) in Divinity, University of London (1992)
  • MA in Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield (1994)
  • PhD in Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield (1998)

Teaching

In the 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years I will be heading up the Birmingham Project for the University and so will not be teaching any modules in the Department of Theology & Religion.

Postgraduate supervision

I would be interested in talking to potential research students who would like to work in any of the following fields:

  • The use of the the Bible in the Pentecostal and Evangelical traditions
  • Cultural-critical approaches to the Bible
  • Pentecostal music and worship
  • Biblical ethics
  • Hebrew Bible generally, particularly the prophetic books
  • Contemporary Christianity
  • The public understanding of religion
  • Religion and social/public/foreign policy
  • Global freedom of religion or belief

PhD opportunities

Research

My research interests include:

  • Contemporary (especially cultural-critical and postmodern literary) approaches to biblical interpretation and hermeneutics
  • Biblical ethics
  • Pentecostal and Evangelical approaches to the Bible
  • Religion and Culture, particularly the public understanding of religion and its impact upon areas of social and public policy
  • Global freedom of religion or belief

 

Other activities

I am joint Series Editor of Brill’s monograph series, Global Pentecostal & Charismatic Studies with Professor William Kay as well as a member of the editorial boards of three peer-reviewed journals: Journal of the European Theological Association, Biblical Reception and Journal of Biblical and Pneumatological Research.

In November 2011, I recorded an IdeasLab Predictor Podcast on the future of Christianity in the UK

I was awarded a University of Birmingham Teaching Fellowship in June 2014.

Publications

Books

  • Double Standards in Isaiah: Re-evaluating Divine Justice and Prophetic Ethics (Biblical Interpretation Series, 46; Leiden: Brill, 2000)

Articles and chapters in books

  • '"My God … Why?" Criticising the Actions and Inaction of God in the Psalms' in L. Snow Flesher, C. J. Dempsey & M.J. Boda (eds), Why?... How Long? Studies on Voice(s) of Lamentation Rooted in Biblical Hebrew Poetry (LHBOTS, 552; London: Continuum, 2014).
  • 'The Spirit of Freedom: Pentecostals, the Bible and Social Justice', JEPTA, 31/1 (2011).
  • 'Reading in the Spirit: Some Brief Observations on Pentecostal Interpretation and the Ethical Difficulties of the Old Testament', Journal of Beliefs and Values 30:3 (2009)
  • ‘The Bible Under the Joshua Tree: Biblical Imagery in the Music of U2', SBL Forum January (2009)
  • 'What Does It Mean to Read the Bible as a Pentecostal?', Journal of Pentecostal Theology 18.2 (2009)
  • 'Oratorio as Exegesis: The Use of the Book of Isaiah in Handel's Messiah', in J. Cheryl Exum (ed.), Retellings: The Bible in Literature, Music, Art and Film (Leiden: Brill, 2007)
  • 'A New Teaching Without Authority: Preaching the Bible in Postmodernity', Journal of the European Pentecostal Theological Association, 27.2 (2007)
  • 'The Great Divorce', in W.C. Williams (ed.), They Spoke From God: An Integrative Survey of the Old Testament  Springfield, MO: Logion Press, (2003)

Expertise

Contemporary Christian belief and practice; Christianity and contemporary culture; the Bible in the modern world; biblical ethics; Christianity and social engagement; Christian engagement with politics; global freedom of religion or belief.

Expertise

Contemporary Christian belief and practice; Christianity and contemporary culture; the Bible in the modern world; biblical ethics; Christianity and social engagement; Christian engagement with politics; global freedom of religion or belief.

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