Judith Lieu Named Frothingham Visiting Professor

April 30, 2019
Judith Lieu Named Frothingham Visiting Professor
Frothingham Visiting Professor in New Testament and Early Christianity Judith Lieu. Photo courtesy Judith Lieu

Judith Lieu, Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity Emerita at the University of Cambridge, will be the Frothingham Visiting Professor in New Testament and Early Christianity at HDS starting in January 2020.

A biblical scholar, theologian, and historian of religion, Lieu’s current research is on letters in Early Christianity, exploring their changing function through their reception and embedding in new contexts, as well as the production of letter-like writings.

“Professor Lieu is an international acclaimed scholar of New Testament and early Christianity in the Jewish and Graeco-Roman contexts,” says HDS Dean David N. Hempton. “Former Lady Margaret’s Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, fellow of the British Academy, and recently elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she brings decades of distinguished scholarship and preaching experience to HDS. We are very fortunate to have her with us as the Frothingham Visiting Professor and look forward to extending her a warm welcome to our community.”

Lieu holds a PhD in New Testament from the University of Birmingham. She previously taught at The Queen's College, Birmingham, King's College London, and Macquarie University, Sydney. She is also a fellow of Robinson College at the University of Cambridge. Lieu continues to work on aspects of the formation of a Christian identity and has a particular interest in heresiology. She is on the editorial board of a number of journals and series, and was previously editor of New Testament Studies. Some of her most recent books are: Marcion and the Making of a Heretic (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and I, II, & III John: A Commentary (Westminster John Knox Press, 2008).

“The opportunity to work alongside colleagues in New Testament and Early Christianity, whose work I know well and admire, and to get to know other faculty, is very exciting,” says Lieu. “In my own research, I shall enjoy using the rich resources at Harvard as I continue to explore new perspectives from which to examine the emergence of what comes to be called ‘Christianity’ in the second century, and I Iook forward to sharing my enthusiasm for that period and for the Johannine literature with students. I am a keen walker and enjoy discovering new places, so I also am thrilled to get to know ’the other Cambridge.’”

In 2014, Lieu was elected a fellow of the British Academy, a fellowship of around 1,400 leading national and international academics elected for their distinction in the humanities and social sciences. She was also named an international honorary member of the 2019 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

“We are delighted to have this extremely accomplished and innovative scholar join our faculty,” says Hollis Professor of Divinity Karen King. "Judith Lieu’s work has been foundational for the history of early Christianity, not least Christian identity, the relations between Jews and Christians, and her recent stunning reexamination of the ‘arch-heretic’ Marcion. She is also an extremely kind person, whom everyone can look forward to meeting.”

The Frothingham professorship was previously held by preeminent New Testament scholar and religious historian François Bovon until his death in 2013. Lieu will serve as visiting professor through May 2021.