Ellen Davis, professor of Bible and practical theology and associate dean for faculty development at Duke Divinity School, has been named the Amos Ragan Kearns distinguished professor of Bible and practical theology. Her new position is effective July 1.
She succeeds Professor David Steinmetz, who is retiring at the end of this year, as the holder of the Kearns Chair. On July 1, Steinmetz will become the Amos Ragan Kearns distinguished professor of the history of Christianity, emeritus.
“Ellen is an outstanding scholar, teacher, and colleague,” said Dean L. Gregory Jones. “This distinguished professorship recognizes her tremendous accomplishments and her important intellectual leadership at the Divinity School, at Duke, and in the wider academic world.”
Professor Davis  is interested in theological interpretation of the Old Testament, with particular concern for exegesis as it is useful for Christian preaching and for developing a biblically based response to the current ecological crisis. She also is a leader of the Divinity School’s partnership with Renk Theological College in Southern Sudan.
She is the author of “Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible,” “Swallowing the Scroll: Textuality and the Dynamics of Discourse in Ezekiel's Prophecy,” “Imagination Shaped: Old Testament Preaching in the Anglican Tradition,” “Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs,” “Getting Involved with God: Rediscovering the Old Testament,” “Who Are You, My Daughter? Reading Ruth through Image and Text,” and “Wondrous Depth: Preaching the Old Testament.” She is co-editor (with Duke Divinity Professor Richard Hays ) of “The Art of Reading Scripture.”
A lay Episcopalian, she has been involved in inter-religious dialogue for more than 30 years. Her previous teaching appointments were at Union Theological Seminary (New York City), Yale Divinity School, and the Virginia Theological Seminary.