Eric Jarrard

Eric Jarrard
ej101@wellesley.edu
Religion
B.A., Virginia Commonwealth University; M.T.S., Emory University ; Th.D., Harvard University
Founders 223C

Eric Jarrard

Elisabeth Luce Moore Postdoctoral Fellow in Religion

Scholar of Biblical Studies with a focus on the Hebrew Bible, its ancient Near Eastern context, and the history of its interpretation.


His current project, Sea & Sinai, revises and expands his dissertation completed at Harvard University. Generally speaking, this book investigates how an idea can crystallize into a physical space—a monument—and then metastasize in a specific way in the imagination of a group. More specifically, the research explores the broader significance of the historical prologue to the Ten Commandments in the Hebrew Bible. By examining the frequent interlinking between the sea and Sinai events, the project considers how non-legal texts from the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple period adopt the ancient Near Eastern treaty prologue formulary to develop a stable and predictable model of time. His research has been published in Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, the Harvard Divinity Bulletin, and is forthcoming in Biblical Interpretation.

His research and courses also address the resonances of biblical themes within contemporary popular culture. Examples include the use of horror theory to discuss the externalization of social anxieties as monsters in Jordan Peele’s Get Out and the book of Daniel, and an investigation of the biblical deed-consequence nexus and Game of Thrones. His work also exposes how trends and themes in contemporary popular culture are able to inform more aptly our understanding of biblical literature, including the contrast of orthodox and heterodox wisdom in the Broadway musical Hamilton, or the notion of biblical and sit-com predictability in The Good Place. On the topic of the Bible and popular culture, Eric has a monograph, The Bible and Hip Hop, under contract with Lexington/Fortress Press, in addition to a forthcoming chapter in an edited volume on Game of Thrones, and an essay on Jewish identity and biblical exposition in the films of Darren Aronofsky published with the Harvard Divinity Bulletin.

He holds a doctorate in Hebrew Bible from Harvard University, an MTS from Emory University, and BA in Religious Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University.

He lives near Wellesley, Massachusetts with his wife, Amber, and their two dogs.