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Faculty of Divinity

Bible and environment
Interfaith dialogue
Scriptural Reasoning


Hilary Marlow is Fellow, Graduate Tutor and Director of Studies at Girton College and an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Divinity. She teaches Hebrew Bible and Biblical Hebrew to students in the Faculty of Divinity and in other contexts. Hilary’s research focuses on reading religious Scriptures in the context of modern society, with several emphases. The first is the Bible’s depiction of the interaction between people and the natural world, and the relevance of this in contemporary contexts. She is particularly interested in religious, especially Christian, motivations for environmental concern and the use of the Bible in environmental ethics. Her work includes textual studies on the portrayal of nature, study of creation texts and their interpretation in later Jewish and Christian traditions, ecological hermeneutics and theological and exegetical study on what it means to be human in the light of current scientific developments. She is currently editing the Oxford Handbook on Bible and Ecology, to be published in 2021. The second research emphasis 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.: interfaith dialogue and ecological hermeneutics. From 2016-18 she was PI for a research project, ‘Science and Scripture in Christianity and Islam’, that investigated how Christian and Muslim scientists from different contexts relate their Scriptures and traditions to the scientific worlds in which they operate (outputs published in a special edition of the Journal of Quranic Studies October 2019). Thirdly, she is co-editor with Dr Helen Van Noorden (Cambridge) and Prof Karla Pollmann (Bristol) of a interdisciplinary volume in Routledge's Rewriting Antiquity series, on Eschatology in Antiquity, for publication in 2021. 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. 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. Hilary is a committed environmentalist and for many years has been actively involved in the Christian conservation charity A Rocha where she is currently a Trustee. She regularly speaks on her environmental research to academic and non-specialist audiences.


  • The Hebrew Bible’s portrayal of relationship between human beings and the natural world;
  • Religious motivations for environmental concern and the use of the Bible in environmental ethics;
  • Eschatology in the biblical world and beyond;
  • The theory and practice of Scriptural Reasoning as a tool for inter-faith dialogue.


Key publications: 

Academic Publications

  • Ecology and Theology in the Ancient World. Eds. Ailsa Hunt and Hilary Marlow (Bloomsbury, 2018)
  • "The Anguish of the Earth: Ecology and Warfare in the First World War and the Bible" in Ecology and Theology in the Ancient World. Eds. Ailsa Hunt and Hilary Marlow (Bloomsbury, 2018)
  • The City in the Hebrew Bible. Eds. James Aitken and Hilary Marlow (London: Bloomsbury -T & T Clark: 2018)
  • "A Land of Fine Large Cities: Mapping the Landscapes of Deuteronomy" in The City in the Hebrew Bible. Eds. James Aitken and Hilary Marlow (London: Bloomsbury -T & T Clark: 2018)
  • “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)
Director of Studies, Girton College
Graduate Tutor, Girton College
Dr Hilary  Marlow

Contact Details

Email address: 
01223 338943
Takes PhD students
Not available for consultancy