Ellen Davis

Amos Ragan Kearns Professor of Bible and Practical Theology
303 Gray

Duke Divinity School
Box 90968
Durham, NC 27708-0968

(919) 660-3561
Curriculum Vitae: 
PDF icon CV-EFD-0718.pdf

A.B., University of California, Berkeley
Cert. Theo., Oxford University
M.Div., Church Divinity School of the Pacific
Ph.D., Yale University

Ellen F. Davis is Amos Ragan Kearns Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke Divinity School.

The author of eleven books and many articles, her research interests focus on how biblical interpretation bears on the life of faith communities and their response to urgent public issues, particularly the ecological crisis and interfaith relations. Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible (Cambridge University Press, 2009) integrates biblical studies with a critique of industrial agriculture and food production. Biblical Prophecy: Perspectives for Christian Theology, Discipleship and Ministry (Westminster John Knox, 2014) explores the prophetic role and word across both Testaments of the Christian Bible. Her most recent books are Preaching the Luminous Word (Eerdmans, 2016), a collection of sermons and essays, and Open My Eyes: Reading Israel’s Scriptures (Oxford, forthcoming 2019), a comprehensive theological reading of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament.

A lay Episcopalian, she has long been active as a theological consultant within the Anglican Communion. Her current work explores the arts as modes of scriptural interpretation.


The National Prairie Writers Circle



  • Jon Levenson, Sinai and Zion: An Entry into the Jewish Bible
  • Christopher R. Seitz, Word Without End: The Old Testament as Abiding Theological Witness
  • Andrew Louth, Discerning the Mystery: An Essay on the Nature of Theology
  • Walter Brueggemann, The Covenanted Self
Selected Publications


  • Preaching the Luminous Word, Eerdmans, 2016
  • Biblical Prophecy: Perspectives for Christian Theology, Discipleship and Ministry, Westminster John Knox, 2014
  • Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible, Cambridge University Press, 2009
  • Wondrous Depth: Old Testament Preaching, Westminster John Knox, 2005
  • The Art of Reading Scripture, a volume of essays co-edited with Richard Hays, Eerdmans, 2003. The essays (which include four of my own) were written by members of the Scripture Project, a project of the Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton. Named in fourth place on the Academy of Parish Clergy Top Ten Books of the Year for 2004.
  • “Who Are You, My Daughter?”: Reading Ruth through Image and Text, my translation and commentary, with woodcuts by Margaret Adams Parker, Westminster John Knox Press, 2003.
  • Getting Involved with God: Rediscovering the Old Testament, Cowley Publications, 2001.
  • Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and The Song of Songs: A Theological Commentary, in the Westminster Bible Companion Series, Westminster John Knox Press, April 2000.
  • Imagination Shaped: Old Testament Preaching in the Anglican Tradition, Trinity Press International, 1995.
  • Swallowing the Scroll: Textuality and the Dynamics of Discourse in Ezekiel’s Prophecy, Almond Press, 1989.


  • "Losing a Friend," Pro Ecclesia
  • "Critical Traditioning," Anglican Theological Review
Recent Courses
  • Anatomy of the Soul: The Psalms in Christian Life
  • Isaiah in Christian Theology and Preaching
  • Living with Exodus