Elaine T. James

Associate Professor of Old Testament

Elaine T. James
Biblical Studies
Phone: 609.497.7920

Elaine James, PhD '13, ThM '08, MDiv '07, is associate professor of Old Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary. Her work focuses on the literature of the Hebrew Bible, especially its poetry, examining its significance in its ancient context and its legacy for the contemporary world. Guiding her research are questions about how artistic literary practices shape ethical and theological thought, especially around issues of land, ecology, gender, and sexuality. Her first book, Landscapes of the Song of Songs (Oxford University Press, 2017) is an exploration of how the Song of Songs conceptualizes the natural world. She is currently completing a handbook of biblical poetry.

James earned her PhD and MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary. Before joining the faculty at Princeton, James previously served as associate professor of theology at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Select Publications

  • Landscapes of the Song of Songs: Poetry and Place. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017
  • Biblical Poetry and the Art of Close Reading, eds. E. James and J. B. Couey. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018
  • “‘What Kind of Likeness?’ The Aesthetic Impulse in Biblical Poetry” with Sean Burt, Prooftexts, forthcoming
  • “The Nature of Nature: The Song of Songs and Ecology,” Oxford Handbook to the Song of Songs. Edited by Fiona Black. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming
  • “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 E. James and J. B. Couey. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, August 2018
  • “The Plowers Plowed: The Violated Body in Psalm 129,” Biblical Interpretation 25 (2017): 172-189

Educating faithful Christian leaders.

PhD Student

Isaac Kim, Class of 2015

“One of the biggest lessons I learned was how to be charitable to views other than my own. Christian charity was shown to me, not just in the readings for class, but from the professors, and the Seminary community.”