Elaine T. James, Associate Professor of Old Testament, joined the faculty in 2019. She is the author of An Invitation to Biblical Poetry (Oxford University Press, 2021) and Landscapes of the Song of Songs: Poetry and Place (Oxford University Press, 2017). Her work focuses on the literature of the Hebrew Bible, especially its poetry, examining its significance in ancient contexts and its legacies for the contemporary world. Guiding her research are questions about how aesthetic practices shape religious experience and theological thought. She is particularly interested in ancient concepts of ecology, art and creativity, and gender.
James earned her PhD and MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary. She previously served as Associate Professor of Theology at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota.
- An Invitation to Biblical Poetry (Oxford University Press, 2021)
- Landscapes of the Song of Songs: Poetry and Place. (Oxford University Press, 2017)
- Biblical Poetry and the Art of Close Reading, eds. J. Blake Couey and Elaine T. James (Cambridge University Press, 2018)
- “The Aesthetics of Biblical Acrostics,” Journal for the Study of Old Testament 46 (2022): 319–338
- “‘What Kind of Likeness?’ The Aesthetic Impulse in Biblical Poetry,” with Sean Burt, Prooftexts 38 (2020): 1–33
- “The Ekphrastic Figure(s) in Song 5:10-16” with F. W. Dobbs-Allsopp, Journal of Biblical Literature 138 (2019): 297-232
- “‘Silence is Praise’: Art and Knowledge in Psalm 65.” Pages 32-48 in Biblical Poetry and the Art of Close Reading, edited by J. Blake Couey and Elaine T. James. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, August 2018
- “Battle of the Sexes: Gender and the City in the Song of Songs,” Journal for the Study of Old Testament 42 (2017): 93–116
- “The Plowers Plowed: The Violated Body in Psalm 129,” Biblical Interpretation 25 (2017): 172-189