Professor Louise Lawrence

Associate Professor in New Testament Studies


Extension: 4433

Telephone: 01392 724433

I completed my BA, MA, and PhD at Exeter before moving north of the border for six years as Teaching Fellow in New Testament Studies at the University of St Andrews (2000-2003) and then Lecturer in New Testament Studies at the University of Glasgow (2003-2006). I returned to Exeter as Lecturer in New Testament Studies in 2006, and became a Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies in 2011. In 2018 I was promoted to Associate Professor in New Testament Studies.  My major research interests are anthropological approaches to, and cultural and contextual implications of, the interpretation of biblical texts. Latterly this has been particularly focussed on embodiment and disability.

 My PhD thesis was published as An Ethnography of the Gospel of Matthew (Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002). My second book, explicitly brought cultural anthropology into dialogue with biblical texts. See Reading with Anthropology: Exhibiting Aspects of New Testament Religion, Paternoster, 2005. See also my co-edited volume with M. Aguilar, Anthropology and Biblical Studies: Avenues of Approach, Deo 2004.

After my return to Exeter, I undertook a three year research project (2006-2009), sponsored by the South West Ministry Training Course ( entitled ‘Texts of Land, Sea and Hope’. This project initiated a number of community readings of the bible across the region in a wide diversity of contexts (rural; urban; coastal) and amongst a variety of people (intentional communities; artists, D/deaf groups etc.) Results of this project were published in my third monograph entitled: The Word in Place: Reading the New Testament in Contemporary Contexts (SPCK 2009).

In 2009-2013 I undertook a British Academy funded project exploring sensory-disability in New Testament texts and interpretation. This culminated in my fourth monograph: Sense and Stigma in the Gospels: Depictions of Sensory-Disabled Characters (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013) .

My fifth monograph entitled, Bible and Bedlam: 'Madness' ,Sanism, and New Testament Interpretation (T&T Clark/Bloomsbury 2018) is in press and will be out in August 2018.                                                                                                                                                                                        

I am Director of Education for Theology and Religion and the Liberal Arts Programmes at Exeter.

I serve on the editorial board of the Journal for the Study of the New Testament (JSNT) and am the editor-elect of JSNT - taking over the editorship from September 2018.

I have also served as secretary for the British New Testament Society (