Brent A. Strawn

Professor Strawn’s research focuses on ancient Near Eastern iconography, Israelite religion, biblical law, the Psalms, poetry, and Old Testament theology. He joined the Duke Divinity School faculty in 2019 and has a secondary appointment at the Duke University School of Law. Before that, he taught at Asbury Theological Seminary for three years and then, for eighteen years, at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, where he was the William Ragsdale Cannon Distinguished Professor of Old Testament. Strawn has published over two hundred articles, chapters in books, contributions to reference works, and reviews. He is the author of What Is Stronger than a Lion? Leonine Image and Metaphor in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2005), The Old Testament Is Dying: A Diagnosis and Recommended Treatment (Baker Academic, 2017), and The Old Testament: A Concise Introduction (Routledge, 2019). He has edited or coedited over twenty volumes, including The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law (Oxford, 2015), which received the 2016 Dartmouth Medal from the American Library Association for most outstanding reference work. Strawn is an ordained elder in the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church and regularly speaks and preaches at churches across the country. He has appeared on CNN on matters ranging from Easter celebrations to Pope Francis to gun violence, and served as both translator and member of the editorial board for The Common English Bible. 

Updated: June 16, 2021

Professor of Old Testament; Professor of Law
Duke Divinity School
Religious Affiliation: 
United Methodist Church




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