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Dr Hilary Marlow

Dr Hilary Marlow

Course Director, Faraday Institute for Science and Religion

Director of Studies, Girton College

Bible and environment

Science and religion

Scriptural Reasoning

Hilary Marlow is accepting applications for PhD students.

Office Phone: 01223 741284


Hilary Marlow is the Course Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion and an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge. She has honours degrees in Social Sciences (University of Manchester) and Biblical Studies (King’s College London). Her PhD from the University of Cambridge (2007) examined the 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 Secretary of the Society for Old Testament Study and a member of the Editorial Committee of the Grove Books Biblical Series. Since 2010 she has been 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.

Hilary’s research focuses on reading religious Scriptures in the context of modern society, with two main emphases. The first is the Bible’s depiction of the interaction between people and the natural world and relevance of this in contemporary debates on religion and science. This includes textual studies on the portrayal of nature, study of creation texts and their interpretation in later Jewish and Christian traditions, and theological and exegetical study on what it means to be human in the light of current scientific developments. The second concerns the ways that fruitful dialogue between different religious traditions may be enhanced by the practice of Scriptural Reasoning, in which religious believers of different faiths (in particular the three Abrahamic faiths) gather in small groups to read their Scriptures together. This includes the creation of online materials to facilitate such interactions. For many years she 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 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.

Key Publications

Academic Publications

  • “The Human Condition” in The Old Testament: A Princeton Guide. Ed. John Barton (Princeton University Press, forthcoming)
  • 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

  • “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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