In one of my earliest memories I am standing on a BIC church pew while music rises all around me, trying to figure out how the squiggles in the hymnal my parents are holding can yield such glory. The church, Christ who is its head and the people His body, has formed the matrix of my life. I grew up in the rhythms of church life: Sunday morning worship and Sunday evening youth group; choir practice and pot-lucks; bible-reading at home (my father making the prophets leap off the page so that Elisha and the she-bear, Ezekiel and the wheels of fire are burnt into my brain); in Advent the Advent wreath, the candles and the carols; in Lent ashes and the long purple; white of Easter after the darkness of the tomb and Pentecost red, blaze of the Holy Spirit and of the martyr’s death. These are largely Anglican rhythms: my pietist-evangelical parents fell in love with Anglicanism at Oxford, at St. Aldate’s, where I was baptized; I grew up in the Episcopal church in a small college town in Pennsylvania. So my life turns by the seasons of the Christian year, and the music of the church from the ancient poems of Venantius Fortunatus to the hymns of the Wesleys and Vaughan Williams is in my ears. But I have, too, a love of and immersion in the Bible and a deep unease with cultural Christianity that is my BIC and Free Methodist heritage.
As a teenager I wanted to be a priest—and I wanted also to be a theologian. So I studied Classics at the University of Toronto, intending to read the Bible and the early theologians in the original; after an MA in Classics (Queen’s) and a year in the MAR at Yale I moved to Toronto with my brand-new husband and completed an MDiv at Trinity. I have served as a priest in the Diocese of Toronto for 25 years. When my youngest child started school I started a PhD in Biblical Studies, and now teach New Testament and Greek at Wycliffe.
I seek to be a scholar-priest, because I am convinced that the study of theology finds its beginning and end in the life of Christ’s church, as theology also nurtures the church and challenges it. Because I am convinced that all good biblical study is theological—the study of God’s ways and purpose—I seek to work at the intersection of historical critical studies and theology, taking seriously the historical claim and location of the Scriptures as well as their witness and function as Word of God.
David and I live in Toronto’s Greektown; we have four (mostly) adult children across eastern North America and two incomprehensibly beautiful grandchildren. In addition to visiting them, we enjoy good music and good books, Indian food, cycling and hiking and exploring new places and—I in particular—all things Italian.
Select Publications and Media:
Writing the Gospels: A Dialogue with Francis Watson. Edited by Catherine Sider Hamilton, with Joel Willitts. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2019.
The Death of Jesus in Matthew: Innocent Blood and the End of Exile. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.
In Spirit and in Truth: The Challenge of Discernment for Canadian Anglicans Today. Edited by Catherine Sider Hamilton, Peter M. B. Robinson, and George Sumner. Vancouver: Regent, 2009.
“The Death of Judas in Matthew: Matt 27:9 Reconsidered.” JBL 137.2 (2018): 419-437.
“Jonathan Edwards, Paul, and the Priority of Holiness: A Variant Reading.” JTI 7 (2013): 1-20.
“Blood and Secrets: The Re-telling of Genesis 1-6 in 1 Enoch 6-11 and its Echoes in Susanna and the Gospel of Matthew.” In “What Does the Scripture Say?” Studies in the Function of Scripture in the Gospels and Letters of Paul, Volume I: The Synoptic Gospels, edited by Craig A. Evans and H. Daniel Zacharias, 90-141. London: T&T Clark, 2012.
“‘His Blood Be upon Us’: Innocent Blood and the Death of Jesus in Matthew.” CBQ 70 (2008): 82-100.
“Egeria: Christianity.” Pages 462-3 in Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception, vol. 7. Edited by Hans-Josef Klauck et al. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2009—.
“Sex and the Garden: Genesis 3 and the Sanctity of Human Relationships.” Pages 177-84 in In Spirit and in Truth: The Challenge of Discernment for Canadian Anglicans Today. Edited by Catherine Sider Hamilton, Peter M. B. Robinson, and George Sumner. Vancouver: Regent, 2009.
“Remembrance Day.” Pages 177-81 in Best Sermons 5. San Francisco: Harper/Collins, 1992.