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

Dr Andrew Davies

Department of Theology and Religion
Reader in the Public Understanding of Religion
Director, Edward Cadbury Centre
School Head of Education

Contact details

Address
ERI Building
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Although my interests are varied, I am fundamentally a biblical scholar who works on the reception history of the Bible, particularly its influence on society, its handling by Pentecostals and Evangelicals throughout the world today and its interpretation in music and the arts. 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 role of the Bible as a resource for moral thinking. 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 serve as Director of the Edward Cadbury Centre and am presently Head of Education for the School of Philosophy, Theology & Religion.

Feedback and office hours

I am available for feedback and tutorial meetings with students by appointment, in person or via skype or telephone.

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 2018-19 academic year I will be focussing on research impact but will be supervising undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations and serving as a personal tutor.

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
  • The public understanding of religion
  • Religion and social/public/foreign policy
  • Global freedom of religion or belief

Find out more - our PhD Theology and Religion  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.

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 was awarded a University of Birmingham Teaching Fellowship in June 2014 and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2018.

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

Publications

Book

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

Book chapters

  • (2007) ‘Oratorio as Exegesis: The Use of the Book of Isaiah in Handel's Messiah’, in J.C. Exum (ed.), Retellings: The Bible in Literature, Music, Art and Film (Leiden: Brill).
  • (2012) ‘Tears in Jerusalem: David’s Response to the Death of Absalom in 2 Samuel and Tomkins’s '”When David Heard”’, in D.J.A. Clines and E. van Wolde (eds), A Critical Engagement: Essays in Honour of J. Cheryl Exum (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2012).
  • (2013) ‘What Does it Mean to Read the Bible as a Pentecostal?’, in L.R. Martin (ed.), Pentecostal Hermeneutics: A Reader (Leiden: Brill, 2013).
  • (2014)  ‘“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: T&T Clarke, 2014).
  • (2014) ‘Jeremiah’, in T.J. Burke and K. Warrington (eds.), A Biblical Theology of the Holy Spirit (London: SPCK, 2014).
  • (2017) ‘Because They Can: Hillsong and Social Transformation’, in T. Riches and T. Wagner (eds.), You Call Me Out Upon The Waters: Critical Perspectives on the Hillsong Movement (London: Palgrave Macmillan).
  • (2019) '"The Evangelisation of the Nation, the Revitalisation of the Church and the Transformation of Society": Megachurches and Social Engagement’, in S. Hunt (ed.), The Brill Handbook of Megachurches (Leiden: Brill).
  • (2019) 'Heritage and Hope: A Story of British Pentecostalism’, in J. Aldred (ed.) Pentecostals in Britain (London: SCM).

Journal articles

  • ‘A New Teaching Without Authority: Preaching the Bible in Postmodernity’, Journal of the European Pentecostal Theological Association, 27.2 (2007).
  • ‘Oratorio as Exegesis: The Use of the Book of Isaiah in Handel's Messiah’, BibInt 17.1 (2007).
  • ‘The Bible Under the Joshua Tree: Biblical Imagery in the Music of U2’, SBL Forum January 2009 <http://www.sbl-site.org/publications/ article.aspx?articleId=795>.
  • ‘What Does It Mean to Read the Bible as a Pentecostal?’, Journal of Pentecostal Theology 18.2 (2009), pp. 216-229.
  • ‘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), pp. 303-11.
  • ‘The Spirit of Freedom: Pentecostals, the Bible and Social Justice’, JEPTA, 31/1 (2011).
  • 'A Megachurch in a Megacity: A Study of Cyberspace Representation’, PentecoStudies 13.1 (April 2014) (with Mark J. Cartledge).
  • ‘Texts, Themes, and Theologies: A Response to John Goldingay’s The Theology of the Book of Isaiah’, Journal of Pentecostal Theology 25.1 (2016), pp. 16-20.
  • ‘Introduction: Pentecostals and Social Engagement’ in Journal of the European Pentecostal Theological Association Special Volume 38/1 (2018), ‘Pentecostalism and Social Engagement’ (as guest editor).
  • ‘Reading Politics Through Scripture: International Relations, the Bible and Conservative Protestant Christianity’ in Journal of the European Pentecostal Theological Association Special Volume 38/1 (2018), ‘Pentecostalism and Social Engagement’.

Selected blog posts

Policy reports

  • (2016) ‘Birmingham Conversations 2016: Practical Insights for Faith Communities and Policymakers’, Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion.
  • (2016) ‘Megachurches and Social Engagement in London: Policy Options and Opportunities’ (with Heather Buckingham), Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion.

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

  • Megachurches and and wider conservative Christian traditions including Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism
  • The Bible's influence on society
  • 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
  • Religion and humanitarian intervention