studia rerum iudaicarum (Jamesplenius humanum esse … to be more fully human) is James Waddell’s blog for reflecting on religious literature from the Second Temple period and Late Antiquity. It is also a place to discuss issues of justice, as we learn from our past and as we live today to love God and each other, to learn what it is to be more fully human.

As Professor of New Testament at Ecumenical Seminary in Detroit, James earned the Ph.D. in Second Temple Judaism from the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan. He has taught Biblical Studies, Classics, Religious Studies, World Religions, and Liturgical Theology. He has published a number of books and peer-reviewed articles, has delivered numerous papers at professional conferences, and is a member of the Society for Classical Studies and the Society of Biblical Literature.

He is the author of The Messiah: A Comparative Study of the Enochic Son of Man and the Pauline Kyrios (London: T&T Clark, 2011) and The Struggle to Reclaim the Liturgy in the Lutheran Church: Adiaphora in Historical, Theological and Practical Perspective (Mellen: 2005), which was referred to by Bryan Spinks (Yale Institute of Sacred Music) as “a major contribution to the wider debate on liturgical theology,” and was included by Frank Senn (North American Academy of Liturgy) in a select bibliography for the article on Lutheran Worship in The Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity (2010), Daniel Patte, ed.

Select academic works:

History and Faith: Reading the Texts of Our Religious Past with Hermeneutical Self-Awareness. in progress.

Wisdom Poured Out Like Water: Studies on Jewish and Christian Antiquity in Honor of Gabriele Boccaccini. J. Harold Ellens, Jason von Ehrenkrook, Isaac Oliver, James Waddell, and Jason Zurawski editors. Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature Studies 38. Edited by Friedrich V. Reiterer, Beate Ego, Tobias Nicklas, and Kristin de Troyer. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2018.

“‘I Have Been Born Among You’: Jesus, Jews, and Christians in the Second Century.” Wisdom Poured Out Like Water: Studies on Jewish and Christian Antiquity in Honor of Gabriele Boccaccini. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2018. 526-538.

“The Shadow and the Substance: Early Reception of Paul the Jew in the Letter to the Colossians.” The Early Reception of Paul the Second Temple Jew: Text, Narrative and Reception History. Isaac Oliver and Gabriele Boccaccini editors.  The Library of Second Temple Studies 92. Lester Grabbe editor. London: Bloomsbury T.&T. Clark, 2018. 75-87.

Teaching responsibilities …

His teaching entails reading the New Testament documents in their natural context of Second Temple Judaisms and Greco-Roman culture as an essential approach for understanding the extraordinarily complex dynamics of the social, political, economic, and religious forces that shaped the emergence of the early church as Christianity. His teaching also highlights early Jewish and early church views of exploitation of the economically marginalized in the context of empire, and postmodern/post-colonial appropriations of justice regarding wealth, poverty, racism, violence, endurance, and liberation. His research focuses on early christology as a development of the complex social and ideological intersections of Judaism and Christianity in the first and second centuries CE.

Select graduate courses taught

1)  Koine Greek I & II, and Biblical Greek Exegesis

2) Faith, Politics, and Justice in the World of Jesus

3) Empire, Wealth, and Poverty in the New Testament

4) Protest and Resistance in the Gospels: Faith’s Response to the Forces of Empire

5) Postcolonial Bible

With more than 25 years of experience as a parish pastor, James’ current ministry is in an urban setting where his congregation hosts the Huron Valley Urban Farm in Ypsilanti. HVUF is currently developing its capacity to support pollinators.