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Dr Hilary Marlow

Dr Hilary Marlow

Senior Researcher, Faraday Institute for Science and Religion

Director of Studies, Girton College

Director of Studies, St John's College

Bible and environment

Science and religion

Scriptural Reasoning

Hilary Marlow is accepting applications for PhD students.

Office Phone: 01223 748888


Hilary Marlow is a Senior Researcher at the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Divinity, and Fellow and Director of Studies at Girton College. She teaches Hebrew Bible and Biblical Hebrew to students in the Faculty of Divinity and in a variety of other contexts.

Hilary’s research focuses on reading religious Scriptures in the context of modern society, with two main emphases: interfaith dialogue and ecological hermeneutics. Her current research project, ‘Science and Scripture in Christianity and Islam’, investigates the ways that Christian and Muslim scientists from different contexts relate their Scriptures and traditions to the scientific worlds in which they operate. It examines the challenges that individuals and groups face in trying to do this and evaluates the strategies that are adopted to minimise potential cognitive dissonance. Her other research focus is the depiction of the interaction between people and the natural world in the Hebrew Bible. This includes textual studies on the portrayal of nature, analysis of creation texts and their interpretation in later Jewish and Christian traditions, and work on ecological hermeneutics and the use of the Bible in environmental ethics.

Hilary has honours degrees in Social Sciences (University of Manchester) and Biblical Studies (King’s College London), and a PhD from the University of Cambridge (2007) that examines Old Testament prophets in the light of contemporary environmental ethics. Before joining the Faraday Institute in January 2013, she was a Research Associate for the Scriptural Reasoning Online project at Cambridge Inter-faith Programme. Prior to this she taught Old Testament and Biblical Hebrew in the Faculty of Divinity and was Research Associate in Theology and Science at the Faraday Institute. She is a member of the Editorial Committee of the Grove Books Biblical Series, a member of the Steering Group for the Society of Biblical Literature’s Ecological Hermeneutics Programme Unit and on the editorial board of the Earth Bible Commentary Series.

For many years Hilary has been actively involved in the Christian conservation charity A Rocha and is currently a Trustee of A Rocha UK. She is also a Director of the John Ray Initiative. She regularly speaks on her environmental research to lay and specialist audiences.

Subject area and speciality

Old Testament specialists:
  • The natural world in the Old Testament.
  • Ecological hermeneutics and environmental ethics
  • Old Testament prophetic texts
  • Creation texts and their interpretation in later Jewish and Christian writings


Girton College:
Director of Studies

Research Interests

  • Religious motivations for environmental concern and the use of the Bible in environmental ethics;
  • The Bible’s portrayal of relationship between human beings and the natural world;
  • Current debates in science and religion, including the interpreting  the Bible in a scientific world;
  • The theory and practice of Scriptural Reasoning as a means of inter-faith dialogue.

Other Professional Activities

  • Editor (with Dr Ailsa Hunt (Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge) of multi-disciplinary conference proceedings Greening the Gods: Ecology and Theology in the Ancient World (under contract with Bloomsbury for publication in 2018)
  • Editor (with Dr Helen Van Noorden, Girton College and Prof Karla Pollmann, Reading University) of multi-disciplinary volume Eschatology in Antiquity (under contract with Routledge for publication in 2019).
  • Editor (with Dr Mark Harris, Edinburgh) of The Oxford Handbook of Bible and Ecology (under contract with Oxford University Press for publication in 2020). 

Key Publications

Academic Publications

  • The City in the Hebrew Bible. Eds James Aitken and Hilary Marlow (London: Bloomsbury -T & T Clark: 2018 forthcoming)
  • “The Human Condition” in The Old Testament: A Princeton Guide. Ed. John Barton (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016)
  • What am I in a Boundless Creation?’ An Ecological Reading of Sirach 16 & 17” (Biblical Interpretation 22 (2014) pp. 34-50)
  • “The Hills are Alive: The Personification of Nature in the Psalter” in Leshon Limmudim: Essays on the Language and Literature of the Hebrew Bible in honour of A.A. Macintosh. Eds. David Baer and Robert Gordon (London: T & T Clark, 2013)
  • “Law and the Ruining of the Land: Deuteronomy and Jeremiah in Dialogue” (Political Theology 14 (2013) pp. 650-660)
  • “Ecology, Theology, Society: Physical, Religious and Social Disjuncture in Biblical and Neo-Assyrian Prophetic Texts” in “Thus Speaks Ishtar of Arbela”: Prophecy in Israel, Assyria and Egypt in the Neo-Assyrian Period. Eds. Robert P. Gordon and Hans M. Barstad, (Winona Lake: Eisenbraun, 2013)
  • “Creation Theology” and “Land” in  Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets. Eds Mark J. Boda and J. Gordon McConville (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2012)
  •  “Creation Themes in Job and Amos: An Intertextual Relationship?” in Reading Job Intertextually. Eds. Katharine Dell and William Kynes (London: T & T Clark, 2012)
  •  “Justice for Whom? Social and Environmental Ethics and the Hebrew Prophets” in Ethical and Unethical Behaviour in the Old Testament. Ed. Katharine Dell (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 2010)
  • Biblical Prophets and Contemporary Environmental Ethics: Re-Reading Amos, Hosea and First Isaiah. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009)
  •  “The Other Prophet! The Voice of the Earth in the Book of Amos” in Exploring Ecological Hermeneutics. Eds. Norman Habel and Peter Trudinger, (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2008).
  • “The Lament over the River Nile – a Study of Isaiah 19:5-10” (Vetus Testamentum 57 (2007) pp. 229-242).

Other Publications

  • Becoming Truly Human: Biblical Perspectives on Humanity (Cambridge: Grove Books, 2017)
  • “The Environment” in Votewise Now!. Ed. Rose Lynas (London: SPCK, 2009)
  • “Justice for All the Earth: Society, Ecology and the Biblical Prophets” in Creation in Crisis: Christian Perspectives on Sustainability. Ed. Robert White (London: SPCK, 2009)
  •  The Earth is the Lord’s: A Biblical Response to Environmental Issues (Cambridge: Grove Books, 2008)


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