Anathea Portier-Young

Associate Professor of Old Testament

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202 Gray

Duke Divinity School
Box 90968
Durham, NC 27708-0968


B.A., Yale University
M.A.B.L, Graduate Theological Union/Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley
Ph.D., Duke University

Professor Portier-Young specializes in biblical prophetic literature, early Jewish apocalyptic literature and novellas, and historiographic literature of the late second temple period. Her teaching and research also include practical application of scripture for social justice and preaching. Her current research examines biblical prophecy through the lens of embodiment, including embodied cognition, religious experience, materiality, affect and emotion, and embodied reception. Her work also addresses themes of incarceration, identity, sexuality, gender, and ethnicity, and traditions of violence and nonviolence in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and other early Jewish literature. Her award-winning first book Apocalypse Against Empire: Theologies of Resistance in Early Judaism (Eerdmans, 2011) views the first Jewish apocalypses as literature of resistance to imperial domination and hegemony. Her second book, The Prophetic Body: Embodiment and Mediation in Biblical Prophetic Literature (Oxford University Press, 2024), establishes the body's centrality to prophetic mediation. She is co-editor with Gregory Sterling of Scripture and JusticeCatholic and Ecumenical Essays (Lexington Press, 2018). Portier-Young has published scholarly articles and essays on monster theory, empire and resistance, violence in biblical literature, apocalyptic literature and imagination, and on the books Daniel, Judges, Esther, Tobit, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, 1 EnochTestament of Job, and Joseph and Aseneth, among others. She writes regularly for the website

News and Stories

The 50th Anniversary of the Duke Divinity School Women's Center

The Women's Center, established 50 years ago at Duke Divinity School, serves as both a healing place for women-identifying people and as an educational space for everyone in the Divinity School community.

Thea Portier-Young Builds Community in Online Classroom

Teaching the Old Testament with Zoom, dance parties, and blue suede shoes.