Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiter*innen

 

Dr. Sophia R. C. Johnson

Contact

Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Evangelisch-Theologische Fakultät
Heisenberg-Professur für Literaturgeschichte des Alten Testaments
GA 8/158
Universitätsstraße 150
44801 Bochum

Tel. 0234. 32-23262
sophia.johnson@rub.de 

Academic Career

From 2023 Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin at the Heisenberg-Professur für Literaturgeschichte des Alten Testaments (Prof. Dr. Joachim J. Krause), Evangelisch-Theologische Fakultät Postdoctoral Project: “Self-Essentialism within and without Pan-Israelite Identity in the Book of Joshua” funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft as part of grant project 492891937 “Josua postkolonial”

2023 Research associate to Prof. Nathan MacDonald on the Cambridge grant project “Is the Bible the Origin of Nationalism? The Nation-State in the Hebrew Bible and its Modern Reception”

2019–2023 University of Cambridge, UK
Doctoral thesis on the diachronic development of the concept of “covenant” (ברית) in the Book of Samuel (Doctor of Philosophy)
Doktorvater Prof. Nathan MacDonald, funded by the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture

2022–2023 Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Research stay hosted by Prof. Dr. Reinhard Müller, funded by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst

2020–2023 Affiliated Researcher at the Centre for Geopolitics, POLIS, University of Cambridge Co-chair of the “Protestant Political Thought” project funded by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst-Cambridge Hub with Dr. Marietta van der Tol (Oxford)

2019–2022 Affiliated Lecturer in Hebrew Bible and tutor in Biblical Hebrew at the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge

2018–2019 University of Cambridge, UK
Master’s thesis on the orientalist background of modern interpretations of “ברית” (Master of Philosophy with Distinction)

2018 Jerusalem University College, Jerusalem
Subject: Historical and Geographical Settings of the Bible (Course Certificate)

2018 Biola University, USA
Subject: Biblical and Theological Studies (Bachelor of Arts with Honors, Summa Cum Laude)  

Research Interests

Postcolonial Approaches to Imperial Ancient West Asia and North Africa

Portrayal of Group Identities in the Hebrew Bible

Social-Political Structure of the Ancient Levant

Political Reception History of the Hebrew Bible

Metacriticism of Biblical Scholarship

Ancient West Asian Law and Legal Literature  

Publications and Lectures

Books and Articles

Christian Identity Within and Beyond the State: European Ecumenical Perspectives, ed. Marietta van der Tol, Petr Kratochvíl, Zoran Grozdanov, and Sophia Johnson (Political and Public Theologies Series) Brill: Leiden. Under contract, anticipated 2023.

“Covenant and Kingship: Reconsidering the Oath of David and Jonathan,” Journal of Biblical Literature 141.4 (2022): 635-651.

“Old Testament Imaginaries of the Nation in German, Dutch, and Anglo-American Political Thought,” ed. Sophia Johnson and Marietta van der Tol, Special Issue of the Journal of the Bible and Its Reception 8.2 (2021): 139-141.

“‘We the People of Israel’: Covenant, Constitution, and the Supposed Biblical Origins of Modern Democratic Political Thought,” Journal of the Bible and Its Reception 8.2 (2021): 247-268.

Reviews

“‘A Voice Without End: The Role of David in Psalms 3-14’ by Andrew C. Witt,” Journal of Theological Studies 73, no 1 (April 2022): 275-278.

“‘An Introduction to Biblical Law’ by William S. Morrow,” Modern Believing 62.3 (2021): 266-268.

Popular-level Outputs

“We Need to Keep Talking About Sexism in the Academy.” Logia Theology Blog, St Mary’s College, University of St Andrews, 15 April 2023.

“Theology after Christendom? The Ecumenical Movement towards Post-Nationalist Religious Engagement.” Commentary Blog, Centre for Geopolitics, University of Cambridge, 27 May 2022.

“Consequences for the Orthodox who reject the Russkii Mir.” Commentary Blog, Centre for Geopolitics, University of Cambridge, 4 May 2022.

Selected Lectures

“A ‘Jewish’ Approach to History? Harry M. Orlinsky, the Baltimore School, and the Christian Theological Claim to History,” European Association of Biblical Studies, Syracuse, Italy, 11 July 2023.

“David the Covenant-Maker: Redaction across the Covenant Texts of Samuel,” Seminar für Altes Testament – Doktorandenkolloquium, Theologische Fakultät, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany, 24 January 2023.

“Raiders of the Lost Law? Linking the Ark of the Covenant and the Book of the Law in the Deuteronomistic History,” Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado, 21 November 2022.

“The Great League of Israel? Historical Skepticism and the Amphictyony Hypothesis in 20th Century Biblical Studies.” Oxbridge Bible Conference, University of Cambridge, 29 April 2022.

“Blood of the Covenant: The Orientalist Origins of the Anglo-American Conception of Covenant.” Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, San Antonio, Texas, 21 November 2021.

“Kingship and Covenant: Reconsidering the Oath of David and Jonathan.” Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting (Virtual), 7 December 2020.

“‘We the People of Israel’: Biblical Covenant in the Formation of the American Constitution.” DAAD-funded Workshop, “Old Testament Imaginaries of the Nation in German, Dutch, and Anglo-American Political Thought” (Virtual), Centre for Geopolitics, University of Cambridge, 14 April 2020.

“Thou Shalt Not Mis-Tweet: Biblical Proverbs in American Political Social Media.” St. John’s College, Old Divinity School, University of Cambridge, 21 February 2020.  

Public Engagement

“Covenant across the Ages,” Vacation Term for Biblical Studies, classes on the Bible for laypeople, Westminster College, Cambridge, 24 July – 4 August 2023.

“Ancient Religion, Ancient Record: Reconstructing History through the Lens of the Old Testament.” Christ’s College, Cambridge, LPN Summer School, online outreach workshop to Year 11 students from underrepresented areas to inspire interest in Theology & Religious Studies, 27 August 2021, 8 March 2022, 17 August 2022.

“Summer PhD Interviews – Hebrew Bible!” Digital Hammurabi YouTube channel, 25 April 2021.

“Seeking the Common Good: The Role of Churches in a Post-Secular and Post-Christendom Context.” Public webinar hosted by the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, 15 April 2021.

“Racism, Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism: Othering and the Weakness of Christian Identity.” Public webinar hosted by the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, 14 April 2021.