Dr David Tollerton
Lecturer in Jewish Studies and Contemporary Biblical Cultures
Telephone: 01392 724238
I am particularly interested in (i) religious responses to the Holocaust, (ii) concepts of blasphemy and sacredness, and (iii) contemporary receptions of the Bible. Most of my work engages with interconnections between these areas within the modern world.
My 2012 monograph, The Book of Job in Post-Holocaust Thought, considered the use of Job’s archetypal story amidst Jewish reflections on persecution during the Nazi period, highlighting the extent to which interpretive traditions, contemporary politics, and debates about history shape the meaning given to the biblical text. In recent work I have continued to explore religious responses to the Holocaust, examining ongoing debates about representation and sacralisation.
In the last couple of years I have also particularly looked at receptions of the Bible in film, especially when associated with perceptions of blasphemy and the transgression of sacred boundaries. Case studies have involved Monty Python’s Life of Brian, Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings, and Darren Aronofsky's Noah. More broadly, I am interested in wider ideas of blasphemy and offence, particularly when interacting with evolving ideas of secularity and identity.