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Dr Rebekah Van Sant-Clark

BA, MPhil, DPhil

Rebekah is a DPhil candidate in Theology specializing in the Old Testament working on Second Isaiah and the book of Esther. Rebekah is interested in using her background in comparative literature to analyse how these texts and their reception history demonstrate a poetics of displacement among ancient Jewish literature. I am broadly interested in how exile and diaspora affect communal formation, and I want to explore the benefits that multidisciplinary approaches can have for the study of ancient Jewish literature. In my work, I draw on the insights of trauma studies, gender studies, conceptual metaphor theory as well as post-colonial criticism to explore how the ancient texts contain nuanced reflections on displacement and its effect on identity.

Research Interests

My DPhil project will focus on the reception history of the wilderness traditions from the Hebrew Bible, particularly how they interact with the concept of exile in antiquity up to contemporary literature. My wider interest is how exile and diaspora affect the transfer of cultural memories between generations, particularly how later traditions which are inspired from the biblical narratives develop this theme. I am also interested in the benefits that multidisciplinary approaches can have for the study of biblical texts and texts from antiquity, so I am hoping to draw on my background in comparative literature as well as employ the insights of other disciplines in the humanities, such as psychology and sociology, to bring these texts into dialogue with each other.