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Rev’d Dr Jeanette Mathews

Bachelor of Theology course advisor | Senior Lecturer in Old Testament

ABOUT JEANETTE MATHEWS

  • Position

    • Senior Lecturer in Old Testament
    • Bachelor of Theology course advisor
  • Contact

    Phone: 02 6272 6249

    Email: jmathews@csu.edu.au

  • Subjects

    THL 100 Intro to Biblical Languages (Hebrew)
    THL 105/408 Intro to the Old Testament Studies
    THL 202 Old Testament History and Narrative
    THL 209 Wisdom and Worship Traditions
    THL 304 The Pentateuch
    THL 308 The Prophetic Literature

Profile

BAppSc (LI), BD (IBTS), MA (UCT), PhD (CSU)

Jeanette Mathews is Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies (Old Testament and Biblical Hebrew) at St Mark’s National Theological College, Canberra, a partner in the School of Theology of Charles Sturt University. She holds a PhD from Charles Sturt University, a Master of Arts (Theological Studies) from the University of Cape Town, a Bachelor of Divinity from the International Baptist Theological Seminary (Rüschlikon, Switzerland) and a Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) from Lincoln Institute, Melbourne. Jeanette is an accredited minister in the Baptist Churches of NSW and ACT, and was Associate Minister at Canberra Baptist Church from 1997 – 2007 where she was ordained in 1999. She has been teaching at St Mark’s since 2006.

Jeanette’s area of research is Biblical Performance Criticism of the Old Testament. This method is explained and illustrated in her article ‘Scripture as Performance’ in St Mark’s Review No. 249, 2019 (3). Her PhD thesis on the book of Habakkuk was published as a monograph entitled Performing Habakkuk: Faithful Re-enactment in the Midst of Crisis (Pickwick, 2012), and a new monograph entitled Prophets as Performers: Biblical Performance Criticism and Prophetic Literature was published in 2020 by Cascade Books. Her current research project will be a contribution to the Smyth and Helwys ‘Reading the Old Testament’ series, with a focus on the Megilloth (Festival Scrolls) and Biblical Performance Criticism.  In addition to a number of essays in journals and edited books, Jeanette has edited two editions of a handbook for new theological students entitled God, by Degrees (Barton Books, 2014, 2019).

Jeanette Mathews is Co-chair of the Steering Committee of the Performance Criticism of Biblical and Other Ancient Texts section of SBL, and a Senior Fellow of the Baptist Scholars International Roundtable.

What got you into theology?

I began studying theology in my early 20s with a view to becoming a missionary. At the time I had no role models for women in ministry other than female missionaries. While studying theology overseas my focus returned to ministry in an Australian setting and I took up pastoral work in Baptist churches in Melbourne (1991-1993) and Canberra (1997-2006). My ministry strengths were teaching and preaching, so my move into a teaching role following completion of my PhD was a natural outcome of postgraduate study in theology.

I have always loved good literature so Biblical Studies is a natural fit for me. The diversity and complexity of Old Testament literary traditions provides a wealth of material for study. An appreciation for Performance Criticism is a reminder that scripture is a living entity and therefore open-ended, offering opportunities for upholding, transmitting, and improvising those literary traditions for new settings in our own times and places.

What do you enjoy about teaching at St Mark’s?

The rewards of teaching are in those ‘a-ha’ moments, not only on the part of students who tell me how they have developed a new and deepened appreciation for the biblical literature, but also in the marking of assignments where I am offered new perspectives and insights.


Publications

Books

  • Prophets as Performers: Biblical Performance Criticism and Prophetic Literature. Biblical Performance Criticism Series (Cascade Books, 2020)
  • God, by Degrees (Ed.) (Barton Books, 2014, 2019).
  • Performing Habakkuk: Faithful Re-enactment in the Midst of Crisis (Pickwick Publications, 2012)

Articles

  • ‘Godcomes to Job’ in St Mark’s Review  239, 2017 (and editorial with David Neville)
  • ‘The Third Commandment: Lifting the Lord’s Name’ in Review and Expositor No. 113(4), 2016
  • ‘Jonah as a performance: Performance critical guidelines for reading a prophetic text’ in Bible and Critical Theory No. 12(1), 2016
  • ‘Old Testament Epics: revisualising familiar texts’ inSt Mark’s Review  234, 2015
  • ”Hush before him all the earth’: An ecological reading of Habakkuk via Biblical Performance Criticism’ inColloquium  46(1), 2014.
  • ‘Deuteronomy 30: Faithfulness in the Refugee Camps of Moab, Babylonia and beyond’ inBible, Borders, Belongings: Engaging Readings from Oceania, edited by Jione Havea, David Neville and Elaine Wainwright, SBL Semeia Studies series (Society of Biblical Literature, 2014).
  • ‘Prophets performing as Public Theologians’ inBTh Bible, Justice and Public Theology, edited by David Neville, Sheffield Phoenix Press (2014)
  • ‘Preaching a many-splendoured God’ inSt Mark’s Review  227, 2014.
  • ‘Translating Habakkuk as a performance’ – contributing essay toOrality Studies, Performance Criticism and their Implications for Bible Translation, edited by James Maxey and Ernst Wendland, (Cascade Books, 2013).
  • ‘Framing Lament: Providing a context for the expression of pain’ – contributing essay toSpiritual Complaint, edited by Miriam J. Bier and Tim Bulkeley (Pickwick Publications, 2013)
  • ‘Preaching from the Minor Prophets’ inSt Mark’s Review  223, 2013.
  • ‘Lament Psalms’ inSt Mark’s Review  219, 2012.
  • ‘Rachel and Leah: Rivals or Partners?’ inOn the Road (Journal of the Anabaptist Association of Australia and New Zealand) 51, December 2011
  • ‘Reading the Scriptures as Scripts’ inOn the Road (Journal of the Anabaptist Association of Australia and New Zealand) 49, July 2011
  • ‘What are we to make of violence in the book of Habakkuk?’ inOn the Road (Journal of the Anabaptist Association of Australia and New Zealand) 45, June 2010

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