My Teaching and Research Interests




M.Th. (Bonn); Ph.D. (Montreal)


Research Interests:


My primary research interest is the Old Testament in its Ancient Near Eastern environment. The Hebrew Bible and with it Ancient Israelite religion did not develop and was not written and edited in one piece or separate from its cultural neighbours. To the contrary, many Old Testament texts show a marked affinity to Ancient Near Eastern literature known from Ugarit, Mesopotamia or Egypt. I have a passionate interest in studying those relationships, be it in text, image or archaeological form. I am specifically intrigued by a possible reconstruction of the Canaanite religion by way of the Hebrew Bible and analogies with neighbouring civilizations, since we do not possess any other written sources of that period of time and space. In this context, I have worked on topics like female divine imagery in the Ancient Near East and their hidden presence in the Old Testament. I have analyzed Hosea’s criticism of the Canaanite religion in order to extrapolate information about the “true” character of that religion.


My current research focuses on the relationship between disability and religion throughout history. In this context I have studied the situation of disabled people in the Old Testament and the Ancient Near East, as well as the relationship between forgiveness and sin in the New Testament regarding various healing episodes. At the centre of each investigation stands the question how health care issues and their presumed divine implications are impacting the actual life of the disabled persons. As part of my further research, I am going to examine Buddhism and Shintoism and their relation to medicine. Some results of this initial research have been published in various journals (see publications).


My teaching interests reflect my research interest and past publications. I have previously taught “Medicine in Ancient Israel” as well as a general introduction into “Ancient Near Eastern Religions”, both at McGill University. I have also taught “World Religions” and “Monotheistic Religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam” at George Brown College in Toronto, which broadened my horizon regarding Eastern religions. I am competent and qualified to teach Introductory Hebrew, Exegetical Methodology and Prophets in the Old Testament.

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