UWTSD Home  -  Institutes and Academies  -  Institute of Education and Humanities  -  Institute of Education and Humanities Staff  -  Prof Martin O’Kane

Prof Martin O’Kane BA; MA; PhD

Professor of Biblical Studies

Tel: +44 (0) 1570 424866

I teach a number of undergraduate modules and I am Programme Director for the MA in Biblical Interpretation. I also am Director of Studies for a number of Phd students. I am an active researcher.

Since completing my PhD in Edinburgh, I have taught at Trinity College Dublin, been Head of Theology and Religious Studies department at Newman College, Birmingham and I now teach at TSD. I have continued to be an active researcher since completing my PhD. I am currently on the AHRC Peer Review School.

  • Society for Study of the Old Testament
  • Society of Biblical Literature
  • European Association of Biblical Studies
  • Irish Biblical Association

Teaching areas:

(I either teach full or share the teaching of the following undergraduate modules):

  • Biblical Studies
  • Hebrew Bible
  • Satan and his World of Darkness
  • Religion and Media
  • Jesus through Faith and Culture
  • Abrahamic Faiths
  • Sex and Violence
  • Methods and Approaches to Sustainability
  • Study trips to Jerusalem and Egypt

(I either teach full or share the teaching of the following postgraduate modules):

  • Study Skills
  • The Bible: Text and Transmission
  • The Book of Genesis
  • The Book of Isaiah

I direct PhD students in the following areas:

  • Textual studies in Hebrew Bible
  • Bible and visual culture
  • Interfaith (Christian-Muslim) relations
  • Palestinian Christianity
  • Biblical memorials from World War 1.

My research interests are as follows:

  • The Bible and the Arts
  • The Reception History of the Hebrew Bible
  • Topography and archaeology of biblical sites of Palestine and the Levant
  • Christian minorities in the Middle East
  • Christian-Muslim relations

My professional expertise lies in teaching Biblical Studies at all levels and organising field trips to the Middle East.  Also the organisation of interdisciplinary projects related to the Bible.

  • 1995-1999 (at Newman University):  I ran a project on the Bible and Arts at Newman University in conjunction with the Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham, funded by HEFCE (£140K)
  • 2005-2008 (at Lampeter): I ran a project on The Bible and Art in Wales funded by AHRC (£330K)
  • 2006 (at Lampeter) Interdisciplinary project with School of Art at Aberystwyth funded by British Academy (£10K)

"Gwaddol artistig Thomas Charles", in   D. Densil Morgan (ed.),   Thomas Charles O’r Bala (Caerdydd: gwasg Prifysgol cymru, 2014), pp. 111-134.

"Thomas Charles: An Artistic  Legacy?" The Welsh Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vols 7-8 (2014), pp. 51-72.

"Trauma in Biblical Literature and Art",  Interpretation, (forthcoming January 2015)

‘Biblical Interpretation and the Visual Arts’ in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel (Emory University, Atlanta). 2012.

‘The Bible and Orientalism’ in Ellen van Wolde (ed.), A Critical Engagement (Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2012).

‘Who is Esau?’ in Martin O’Kane (ed.), Bible, Art, Gallery (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2011).

‘Biblical Art from Wales: from Text to Image’, in Martin O’Kane (ed.), Biblical Art from Wales (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2010).

‘Wirkungsgeschicte and Visual Exegesis’, Journal for the Study of the New Testament (October, 2010).‘Visual Interpretation of the Book of Ruth’, Interpretation, 2010

‘Biblical Landscapes in Wales’ in The Bible and its Reception (ed. Mary Mills, Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2010).

‘The Prophet Jonah in Iconographical Tradition’ in Michael Caspi (ed.), Jonah in Judaism, Christianity and Islam (NJ: Gorgias Press, 2009).

‘The Cave of Elijah in Theology and Iconography’, in J. Cheryl Exum (ed), Between the Text and the Canvass (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2007).

‘Literary and Cultural Approaches to the Hebrew Bible’, in Patricia Kieran (ed.), Conversing with Catholicism (Dublin: Veritas, 2007).

Entries on ‘Absalom in the Visual Arts’, ‘Baptism of Christ in the Visual Arts’ and ‘Ascension in the Visual Arts’, in Encyclopaedia of the Bible and Its Reception (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter Publishing House, 2007).

‘The Bosom of Abraham (Lk. 16:22): Father Abraham in Medieval Iconography’, Biblical Interpretation (Special issue, The Bible and Painting, June, 2007).

‘Concealment and Disclosure: The Function of Metaphor in Isaiah 28-32’, Revue Biblique 113-114 (2006), pp. 481-505.

‘Elijah as Founder of the Carmelites: Elijah in Carmelite Iconography’, in Michael Caspi (ed.), Elijah in Judaism, Christianity and Islam (NJ: Gorgias Press, 2007).

‘Isaiah 53: ‘Picturing “The Man of Sorrows”’ Religion and The Arts 9.1 (2005), pp. 62-101.‘Visual Exegesis and the Adoration of the Magi’, Biblical Interpretation, 13.4 (2005), pp. 337-373.

‘The Flight into Egypt: Icon of Refuge for the H(a)unted’in Scripture Bulletin 31(2002), pp. 15-60.

‘Isaac Blessing Jacob (Genesis XXIII): Literary and Artistic Interpretations’, Scripture Bulletin, 30 (2001), pp. 3-24.

‘King David’, in J. Cheryl Exum (ed.), Beyond the Biblical Horizon (Leiden: Brill, 1999).

‘The Biblical King David and his Literary and Artistic Afterlives,’ Biblical Interpretation 6 (1998), pp. 314-347.

‘Understanding David: Reflections on King David, a novel by Allan Massie as an Interpretation of the Biblical Story of David’, Scripture Bulletin, 26 (1996), pp. 59-73.

‘Isaiah: A Prophet in the Footsteps of Moses”, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 69 (1996), pp. 29-51.

Interpreting The Bible and its Visual Expression Within the Cultural Landscape of Wales 1825-1975. AHRC, £323,518.00. 01 September 2005 - October 2008. Over the course of four years (2005-2009), the project team visited, photographed, recorded and documented some 10,000 images throughout Wales relating to artefacts that depicted biblical scenes and characters.

These artefacts witnessed the rich cultural religious diversity that existed throughout Wales in the latter half of the 19th century. The recording of these images also ensured that images at risk (especially in Welsh chapels that are closing and being sold off at an alarming rate) will be available for posterity as a rich archive for scholars and communities in the future.

All 10,000 images are now hosted on a fully searchable open-access database hosted by the National Library of Wales. The database is searchable by topic, artist, location, biblical reference and other key words.

Peer esteem indicators

Honorary Professor, Newman University, Birmingham.

Member of AHRC Peer Review School.

Member of Leverhulme Grants Assessment Panel Editorial Board, The Bible in the Modern World Series (Sheffield Phoenix Press) Editorial Board, Biblical Interpretation Journal (Leiden, Brill).