Scholars You Should Know: Francesca Stavrakopolou

Francesca is at the University of Exeter and there serves in the capacity of Professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Religion.

Her research is primarily focused on ancient Israelite and Judahite religions, and portrayals of the religious past in the Hebrew Bible. Her doctoral thesis explored the misrepresentation of the past in the Hebrew Bible and was published as King Manasseh and Child Sacrifice: Biblical Distortions of Historical Realities (de Gruyter, 2004). Her most recent book, Land of Our Fathers: The Roles of Ancestor Veneration in Biblical Land Claims (T&T Clark, 2010), furthers her somewhat morbid interests by examining the relationship between the veneration of the dead and territorial claims in the Hebrew Bible. Thanks to a research grant from the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council), she is now writing a book about the corpse and its social and religious impacts upon the living.

She has edited a volume on ancient Israelite and Judahite religions (with John Barton, University of Oxford) called Religious Diversity in Ancient Israel and Judah (T&T Clark, 2010) and another on environmental readings of biblical texts, called Ecological Hermeneutics (with her Exeter colleagues David Horrell, Cherryl Hunt and Chris Southgate; T&T Clark, 2010). Further projects underway include a book about the deities Baal and Asherah, a two-volume commentary on the book of Kings and a volume introducing students to the socio-religious world of the Hebrew Bible. She is also co-editor of a new series of books focusing on biblical characters, called Biblical Refigurations, published by Oxford University Press.

Alongside her specialism in ancient Israelite and Judahite religions, her research interests include social and religious responses to the dead; kingship in ancient West Asia/Near East; history and ideology in the Hebrew Bible; methods of historical reconstruction; constructs of ‘popular’ and ‘official’ religion; and ‘secular’ approaches to teaching and learning in biblical studies.

She’s a brilliant scholar and an authentically warm and delightful person. She’s a scholar you should know.

[Previous installments in the series are here].