Prof. Susan Gillingham

Worcester College 
Fellow and Tutor in Theology
Professor of the Hebrew Bible
Phone: 01865 278300
Email: susan.gillingham@worc.ox.ac.uk

Research and Teaching Interests

Hebrew poetry; biblical prophecy; Israelite religion before and after the exile; biblical archaeology; biblical hermeneutics; the literary shaping of the Psalter; and, most especially, the aims and methods of reception history with reference to the Psalms, and the liturgical, artistic, musical and literary representations of psalmody, both in Jewish and Christian tradition.  

Selected Publications

Hebrew poetry

1994 - The Poems and Psalms of the Hebrew Bible, Oxford Bible Series, Oxford:  OUP (pp. xii + 287). 

Biblical prophecy

2010 - ‘New Wine and Old Wineskins.  Three Approaches to Psalmody and Prophecy’ in Prophecy and the Prophets in Ancient Israel,   Proceedings of the Oxford Old Testament Seminar (ed. J. Day),  London: T & T Clark , pp. 370-90.

2002 - ‘From Liturgy to Prophecy: The Use of Psalmody in Second Temple Judaism’,  Catholic Biblical Quarterly  64/3,  pp. 470-489.

1996 - 'Psalmody  and Apocalyptic in the Hebrew Bible:   Common  Vision,  Shared Experience'   in  After  the Exile.  Essays in  Honour of Rex Mason  (eds.  J. Barton and D.J.  Reimer), Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, pp. 147-69.

1996 - ‘Messianic Prophecy and the Psalms’,  Theology  99,  pp. 114-24 (adapted from the University MacBride Sermon on the Application of Messianic Prophecy at Hertford College, January 1993).

Israelite religion

2015 - ‘Psalms 105 and 106 and the Participation in History through Liturgy’ in Hebrew Bible Ancient Israel,  Vol. 4: The Historical Psalms, pp. 450-475.

2015 - ‘Psalms 90-92: Text, images, music’, Revue des Sciences Religieuses 89/3:  Le Psautier: poésie et théologie, pp. 255-76. 

2013 - ‘ “Moab  is my Washpot.” (Ps.60:8 [MT10]): Another Look at the MLF (Moabite Liberation Front)’ in Interested Readers: Essays on the Hebrew Bible in Honor of David J. A. Clines, edited by James K. Aitken, Jeremy M. S. Clines and Christl M. Maier (Atlanta, Ga.: SBL, 2013)   pp. 61-71.  

2013 - ‘Praying to the gods in the Psalms: Pursuing John Barton’s “Plain Meaning” Approach’ in Biblical Interpretation and Method. Essays in Honour of John Barton (eds. K.J. Dell and P.M. Joyce) Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 63-73.  

Hermeneutical approaches

2015 - ‘“My mouth shall speak wisdom:  I shall incline my ear to a proverb” (Ps. 49.3,4): The Wisdom Tradition and the Psalms’ in Wisdom and the Wise. Proceedings of the Oxford Old Testament Seminar,  (ed. J.J. Jarick),  London: T & T Clark, pp. 277-309.

2008 - ‘Studies of the Psalms: Retrospect and Prospect’ in Expository Times 119,  pp. 209-16. 

2002 - The Image, the Depths and the Surface: Multivalent Approaches to Biblical Study,  JSOT Sup 354, Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press  (pp. viii + 118).  

1998 - One Bible, Many  Voices:  Different  Approaches to Biblical Studies,  London:  SPCK  (pp. xx + 280).

The literary shaping of the Psalter 

2015 - ‘Psalms 90-106: Book Four and the Covenant with David’,  European Judaism 48/2, pp. 83-101.

2015 - ‘The Doxologies and the Editing of the Hebrew Psalter’,  in "Canterò in eterno le misericordie del Signore" (Sal 89,2). Studi in onore del prof. Gianni Barbiero in occasione del suo settantesimo compleanno (eds. S. M. Attard and M. Pavan), Analecta Biblica – Studia 3;  Rome: Gregorian & Biblical Press, pp. 205-219.

2014 - ‘The Levites and the Editorial Composition of the Psalms’ in The Oxford Handbook of the Psalms  (ed. William P. Brown), New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.201-13.

2012 - ‘Entering and Leaving  the Psalter:   Psalms 1 and 150 and the Two Polarities of  Faith’ in Let us Go up to Zion. Essays in Honour of H.G.M. Williamson on the Occasion of his Sixty-Fifth Birthday (eds. I. Provan and M.J. Boda) , SVT 153, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2012, pp. 383-93.

2011 - ‘A Ninth-Century Irish Bog Psalter and Reading the Psalms as “Three Fifties”’ in Studies on the Text and Versions of the Hebrew Bible in Honour of  Robert Gordon (eds. G. Khan and D. Lipton), VTS 149, Leiden: Brill, pp. 373-85.

2010 - ‘The Levitical Singers and the Editing of the Hebrew Psalter’ in The Composition of the Book of Psalms, Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium 238 (ed. Erich Zenger), Leuven: Peeters Publishing, pp. 91-123.

2006 - ‘Power and Powerlessness in the Psalms’ in What is it that Scripture Says?  Essays in  Biblical Interpretation, Translation and  Reception in Honour of  Henry Wansbrough OSB  (ed. P. McCosker),  Library of New Testament Studies 316,  London:  T &T Clark International, pp.25-49.

2005 - ‘The Zion Tradition and the Editing of the Hebrew Psalter’ in Temple and Worship. Proceedings of the Oxford Old Testament Seminar (ed. J. Day), Sheffield:  Sheffield Academic Press, pp. 308-341.

Reception History

2016 - ‘David and Christ Sing the Psalms: the Psalter as Prophecy and Liturgy’ in A Book of Psalms from Eleventh-Century Constantinople. On the Complex of Texts and Images in Vat.gr.752  (eds. B. Crostini and G. Peers), Studi  e Testi Series,  Rome: Vatican Library Publications, pp. 241-260.

2013 - A Journey of Two Psalms:  The Reception of Psalms 1 and 2 in Jewish and Christian Tradition, Oxford: Oxford University Press (pp. xx and 344).

2013 - ‘The Reception of Psalm 137 in Jewish and Christian Traditions’ in  Jewish and Christian Approaches to the Psalms. Conflict and Convergence.  (ed. S.E. Gillingham) Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 64-82.

2012 - ‘Seeing and Hearing Psalm 137’ in Mótun Menningar/ Shaping Culture. Afmoelisrit/Festschrift Gunnlaugur Jónsson (ed. K. Eyjar), Reykjavík, Hid Íslenska Bókmenntafélag, pp.91-107. 

2011 - ‘Reception History and Psalmody: An Introduction to its Aims and Methods with particular reference to Psalm 1’  Revue de Sciences et Religion.  Faculté de Théologie Catholique, Université de Strasbourg 85/4 (2011), pp. 571-99.

2008 - Psalms through the Centuries, Volume I,   Blackwell Bible Commentaries (eds. J.A. Sawyer,  J. Kovacs, C. Rowland and D.M. Gunn), Oxford:  Wiley-Blackwell Publishing  (pp. xx + 381). Paperback edition, with new Preface and minor revisions 2012 (pp. xviii + 382).

2007 - ‘Psalm 8 through the Looking Glass: Reception History of a Multi-Faceted Psalm’ in Diachronic and Synchronic:  Reading the Psalms in Real Time: Proceedings of the Baylor Symposium on the Book of Psalms (eds. J.S. Burnett, W.H. Bellinger Jr. and W.D. Tucker Jr.), Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies 488 London: T & T Clark International, pp. 167-96.   

1998 - 'The  Messiah in the  Psalms:  A  Question  of  Reception History  and the Psalter'  in  King and Messiah in Israel and the  Ancient  Near  East. Proceedings of the Oxford Old Testament Seminar (ed. J. Day), Sheffield:  Sheffield Academic Press,  pp. 209-37.

Other aesthetic approaches

2014 - ‘Worcester Chapel, William Burges and the Art of Illumination’ in Worcester: Portrait of an Oxford College (eds. J. Bate and J. Goodman) London: Millennium Publishing, pp. 82-9.

2009 - Encountering Burges:  Reflections on the Art and Architecture of the Chapel at Worcester College, Oxford,  London: Millennium Publishing.

2002 - ‘The Arts: Architecture,   Music,  Poetry,  Psalmody’ in  The  Biblical  World,  Vol. 2 (ed. John Barton), London: Routledge,  pp. 53-74.

Selection of  Papers and Lectures given outside Oxford

2014 - ‘The Story of Moses and David in Book Four of the Psalter (Psalms 90-106)’: guest speaker at Bibel Forum, an annual Jewish-Christian Colloquium near Munster, hosted by Rabbi Jonathan Magonet.

2013 - ‘From Biblical Exegesis to Reception History through Psalm 137’: Gastvortrag, Centrum Oribis Orientalis et Occidentalis, Universität Göttingen, (im Rahmen der Vorlesung von Hermann Spieckermann).

2012 - ‘Die levitischen Tempelsänger als Endredaktoren des Psalters’:  Trägerkreise in den Psalmen, Forschungskolloquium, DFG-Projekt Theologie des Psalters,  Katholisch-Theologische Fakultät, Universität Bonn.

2012 - ‘Reception History: Biblical Studies on Holiday?  A Personal View’: The Society for Old Testament Study Summer Meeting, Manchester University. 

2012 - ‘David and Christ Sing the Psalms: the Psalter as Prophecy and Liturgy’:  an interdisciplinary analysis of the complex of texts and images in Vat. Gr. 752,  a Psalter from Eleventh-Century Constantinople.  Convened by Dr. Barbara Crostini (as an Ars edendi Workshop) at the Vatican Library, Rome.

2012 - ‘Seeing and Hearing Psalm 137’:  Invited speaker for the presentation of Professor Gunnlauger Jónsson’s  Festschrift, University of Reykjavik.

2011 - ‘Introduction to the Psalter as Songs of the First and Second Temples’ and  ‘Jewish Meta-Narratives and Christian Allegories in Reception History: Psalm 137 as a Test-Case’:  Singing the Lord’s Song: Day Conference for Clergy and Lay Ministers, Diocese of Rochester.

2011 - ‘Jewish and Christian Approaches to Suffering in the Reception of Psalm 137’: Project Psalms: OTSSA Annual Conference on Psalms, hosted by Professor Dirk Human, University of  Pretoria, SA.

2011 - ‘Reception History and Psalmody: An Introduction to its Aims and Methods with Particular Reference to Psalm 1’:  two papers given to École Doctorale,  Faculté de Théologie Catholique, Université de Strasbourg.   

2010 - ‘The Reception of Psalm 137 in Jewish and Christian Traditions’, Conference entitled ‘Conflict and Convergence. Jewish and Christian Approaches to the Psalmsconvened at Worcester College Oxford, 22-24 September 2010; associated with the Theology Faculty and the Society for Old Testament Study and hosted by Professors Barton and Gillingham.

General Interests

Travel, especially as it relates to research interests.

Gardening,  with the challenge of maintaining a (small) two-tier Mediterranean-style garden (with fountains) in the heart of Oxford.

Music and Art,  particularly through the reception of psalmody.   


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