Robert Cousland

    • The Gospel of Matthew
    • The Infancy Gospel of Thomas and New Testament Apocrypha
    • 3 Maccabees, the Lives of Adam and Eve, Tobit and other Apocryphal/Pseudepigraphal Literature
    • Parabolic Interpretation

Religion and Popular Music

I have just completed a book examining the figure of Jesus in the Early Christian Apocryphal work, The Infancy Gospel of Thomas (= Paidika). After a preliminary introductory chapter, it attempts to explain the "unchristian" behaviour displayed by the infant Jesus in the work by assessing the various facets in which Jesus is portrayed. It argues that even though the work demonstrates a "high" and proto-orthodox Christology, it also displays notable affinities with Graeco-Roman conceptions of the divine, and is designed to introduce Jesus' miraculous power to an unsophisticated "pagan"readership.

(a)    Books:

With D. Arbel, P. Burns, R. Menkis, and D. Neufeld (eds.). Not Sparing the Child: Human Sacrifice in the Ancient World and Beyond. Studies in Honor of Paul Mosca. New York: Bloomsbury: T&T Clark, 2015. xx + 252 pages.

With D. Arbel and D. Neufeld (joint authors). “…So They Went Out.” The Lives of Adam and Eve as Cultural Transformative Story. New York: T&T Clark/Continuum Press, 2010. xi + 230 pages.

With James Hume (eds.). The Play of Texts and Fragments. Essays in Honour of Martin Cropp. Supplements to Mnemosyne 314. Leiden/Boston: E.J. Brill, 2009. xii + 508 pages.

The Crowds in the Gospel of Matthew. Supplements to Novum Testamentum 102. Leiden/New York: E.J. Brill, 2002. xii + 366 pages.

(b)    Commentaries:

“The Gospel of Matthew” for The New Oxford Annotated Bible. 4th Edition. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Pp. 1746-1790; (10,000 words).

(c)    Journal Articles:

“Toxic Tares: The Poisonous Weeds (ζιζάνια) in Matthew’s Parable of the Tares (Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43).” New Testament Studies 61 (2015) 395-410.

“The Much-Suffering Eye in Antioch’s House of the Evil Eye: Is it Mithraic?” Religious Studies and Theology 24 (2005) 61-74.

“Tobit: A Comedy in Error?” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 65 (2003) 535-553.

“Reversal, Recidivism and Reward in 3 Maccabees: Structure and Purpose.” Journal for the Study of Judaism 34 (2003) 39-51.

“Dionysus Theomachos?: Echoes of the Bacchae in 3 Maccabees.” Biblica 82 (2001) 539-48.

“‘Her Flesh was as Grass’: Vita Adam et Evae 10.1.” Biblica 81 (2000) 507-10.

“The Feeding of the Four Thousand Gentiles in Matthew? Matthew 15:29-39 as a Test Case.” Novum Testamentum 41 (1999) 1-23.

(d)    Book Chapters:

“Deus Necans: Jesus in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas” in Cousland et al. (eds.). Not Sparing the Child: Human Sacrifice in the Ancient World and Beyond. Studies in Honor of Professor Paul G. Mosca. London/New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2015. Pp. 165-89.

“Introduction” in Arbel et al. (eds.). Not Sparing the Child: Human Sacrifice in the Ancient World and Beyond. Studies in Honor of Professor Paul G. Mosca. London/New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2015. Pp. xv-xx.

“Salvation in Third Maccabees” in Daniel M. Gurtner (ed.); This World and the World to Come: Soteriology in Early Judaism. LSTS 74. London: T&T Clark, 2011. Pp. 31-49.

“Matthew’s Earliest Interpreter: Justin Martyr on the Formula Quotations” in Thomas Hatina, (ed.). Biblical Interpretation in Early Christian Gospels. Vol. 2; The Gospel of Matthew. SSEJC; LNTS (JSNTS) 310; London: T&T Clark, 2008.
Pp. 45-60.

“José Saramago’s Kakaggelion: The ‘Badspel’ according to Jesus Christ.” Paul C. Burns (ed.). Jesus in Twentieth Century Literature, Art, and Movies. UBC Studies in Religion: 1. New York/London: Continuum, 2007. Pp. 55-74.

“God, the Bad and the Ugly: The Vi(t)a Negativa of Nick Cave and P.J. Harvey.” Michael J. Gilmour (ed.). Call Me the Seeker: Listening to Religion in Popular Music. New York/London: Continuum, 2005. Pp. 129-157.

“The Choral Crowds in the Tragedy according to St. Matthew.” Jo-Ann Brant, Charles W. Hedrick, and Chris Shea (eds.). Ancient Fiction: The Matrix of Early Christian and Jewish Narrative. SBL Symposium Series 32. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2005. Pp. 255-73.

FORTHCOMING AND IN PREPARATION

Book: Holy Terror. Jesus in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. Library of New Testament Studies: London/New York: Bloomsbury Press. Appearing 2016.

Commentary: “The Gospel of Matthew” for The New Oxford Annotated Bible. 5th Edition. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press. 2018. (13,000 words).

Article: “Lust in Space: Eve and Satan in the Greek Life of Adam and Eve.”

Article: “Do the Birds in Matthew’s Parable of the Mustard Seed Represent Gentiles?”

Article: "Soundings in the Christology of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas: The Rewriting of Luke 2:41-52 in Paidika 17"

DICTIONARY AND ENCYCLOPEDIA ARTICLES

Katherine Doob Sakenfield et al. (eds.). The New Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible. 5 vols, Nashville: Abingdon Press (2006-9).

Volume 1 (2006):

“Adasa,” p. 52.
“Adoraim,” p. 56.
“Akrabattene,” p. 95.
“Alema,” p. 96.
“Antipater,” p. 183.
“Aphairema,” p. 188.
“Apollonius,” p. 203.
“Arbatta,” p. 232.
“Arbela,” p. 232.
“Aristobulus, Letter of,” p. 262.
“Aristobulus (Old Testament Pseudepigrapha),” pp. 262-3.
“Arsaces,” p. 274.
“Attalus,” p. 348.
“Aretas,” p. 258.

Volume 2 (2007):

“Dathema,” p. 26.
“Herod Antipas,” p. 812.

Volume 3 (2008):

“India,” p. 41.

Volume 4 (2009):

“Michael,” pp. 77-8.
“Nicanor,” p. 269.
“Parthia, Parthians,” pp. 385-6.
“Philo of Byblos,” pp. 513-4

Volume 5 (2009):

“Samaria,” pp. 72-3.

Graham Shipley, John Vanderspoel, David Mattingly, and Lin Foxhall (eds.). The Cambridge Dictionary of Classical Civilization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

“Capitolium,” p. 161.
“Fortuna,” p. 359.
“Gods and Goddesses (Greek and Roman),” pp. 395-99.
“Isis,” pp. 465-66.
“Mother Goddesses,” pp. 592-93.
“Mystery Religions,” pp. 600-601.
“Roma,” pp. 761-62.
“Silvanus,” p. 824.
“Vestal Virgins,” p. 926.

Robert Todd (ed.). The Dictionary of British Classicists. 3 volumes. Bristol: Thoemmes Continuum, 2004.

As Supervising Editor for Religion and Myth: 27 entries.

As author: 6 entries.

“Bevan, Edwyn (1870-1943),” vol. 1, 76-77.
“Charles, Robert Henry (1855-1931),” vol. 1, 171-72.
“Farnell, Lewis Richard (1856-1934),” vol. 1, 309-11.
“Hatch, Edwin (1835-1889),” vol. 2, 431-32.
“Max Müller, Friedrich (1823-1900),” vol. 2, 684-85.
“Thackeray, Henry St. John (1869-1930),” vol. 3, 956-57.

Craig Evans and Stanley Porter, (eds.). Dictionary of New Testament Background. Downers Grove/Leicester: InterVarsity Press, 2000.

“Athletics,” pp. 140-42.
“Prophets and Prophecy,” pp. 830-35.
“Temples,” pp. 1186-88.
“Theaters,” pp. 1218-21.

BOOK REVIEWS

Book Review: Jan Bremmer, Initiation into the Mysteries. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2014 in REVIEW OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE (2016.3.47).

Alberto Bernabé et al. Eds. Redefining Dionysus, MythosEikonPoiesis Vol. 5: Berlin: de Gruyter, 2013 in BRYN MAWR CLASSICAL REVIEW (2014.7.44).

Peter Yaw Oppong-Kumi. Matthean Sets of Parables. WUNT 2.340. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013 in REVIEW OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE (2014.2.13).

Fritz Graf and Sarah Iles Johnston, Ritual Texts for the Afterlife: Orpheus and the Bacchic Gold Tablets. Second edition (first published 2007). London; New York: Routledge, 2013 in BRYN MAWR CLASSICAL REVIEW (2013.10.45).

N. Clayton Croy, 3 Maccabees. Septuagint Commentary Series 2. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2006. JOURNAL FOR THE STUDY OF JUDAISM 39 (2008) 97-98.

Raban von Haehling (ed.). Griechische Mythologie und frühes Christentum. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2005 in BRYN MAWR CLASSICAL REVIEW (2008.01.07).

Lidija Novakovic, Messiah, the Healer of the Sick: A Study of Jesus as the Son of David in the Gospel of Matthew. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe 170. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003 in REVIEW OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE 8/12/2006 (electronic) (reprint of the JBL review below) (http://www.bookreviews.org/BookDetail.asp?TitleId=5317)

Sara Raup Johnson, Historical Fictions and Hellenistic Jewish Identity. Third Maccabees in its Cultural Context. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004 in CATHOLIC BIBLICAL QUARTERLY 68 (2006) 118-19.

Boris Repschinski, The Controversy Stories in the Gospel of Matthew. Their Redaction, Form and Relevance for the Relationship Between the Matthean Community and Formative Judaism. Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments 189. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2000 in REVIEW OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE (4/16/2005) (reprint of the JBL review below) (electronic). (http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=4734&CodePage=4734)

Lidija Novakovic, Messiah, the Healer of the Sick: A Study of Jesus as the Son of David in the Gospel of Matthew. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe 170. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003 in JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE 124 (2005) 768-71. Published 8/12/2006

Wesley G. Olmstead, Matthew’s Trilogy of Parables. The Nation, the Nations and the Reader in Matthew 21.28-22.14. Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series 127. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. STUDIES IN RELIGION 34 (2005) 287-88.

Jean-François Racine, The Text of Matthew in the Writings of Basil of Caesarea. The    New Testament in the Greek Fathers 5. Atlanta: SBL, 2004. REVIEW OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE 03/2005 (electronic). (http://www.bookreviews.org/pdf/4142_4342.pdf)

Boris Repschinski, The Controversy Stories in the Gospel of Matthew. Their Redaction, Form and Relevance for the Relationship Between the Matthean Community and Formative Judaism. Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments 189. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2000 in JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE 122 (2003) 761-64.

T. L. Carter, Paul and the Power of Sin. Redefining ‘Beyond the Pale.’ Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series 115. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002 in BRYN MAWR CLASSICAL REVIEW 2002.12.39 (2002) (electronic). (http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/2002/2002-12-39.html)

Abraham J. Malherbe, The Letters to the Thessalonians. Anchor Bible 32B. New York: Doubleday, 2000 in JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE 121 (2002) 380-83 (reprint of the BMCR review below).

Abraham J. Malherbe, The Letters to the Thessalonians. Anchor Bible 32B. New York: Doubleday, 2000 in BRYN MAWR CLASSICAL REVIEW 2001.10.05 (2001) (electronic). (http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/2001/2001-10-05.html)

Stanley D. Anderson (ed.), Documenta Q: Reconstructions of Q Through Two Centuries of Gospel Research Excerpted, Sorted and Evaluated. Q 11:2b-4. Leuven: Peeters, 1996 in REVIEW OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE 4-02-01 (2001)  (electronic). (http://www.bookreviews.org/pdf/369_1041.pdf)

Joseph M. Bryant, Moral Codes and Social Structure in Ancient Greece: A Sociology of Greek Ethics from Homer to the Epicureans and Stoics. Albany: State University of New York, 1996 in STUDIES IN RELIGION 29 (2000) 210-11.
(http://www.wlu.ca/~wwwpress/cgi-bin/wlup.cgi?page=sr/issues-full/29_2/couslandr.html&journal=sr&get_journal=yes&volume=29&issue=2&cart_id=&login=&password)

Bruce W. Winter, Philo and Paul among the Sophists. Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series 96. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997 in BRYN MAWR CLASSICAL REVIEW 99.2.13 (electronic). (http://www.stwing.upenn.edu/~shengx/1999-02-13.html)

J. T. Forestell, As Ministers of Christ: The Christological Dimension of Ministry in the New Testament. New York/Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1991 in STUDIES IN RELIGION 23 (1994) 105-106.

Benjamin J. Smillie, Social Ethics: A Biblical Perspective. The McGeachy Papers 3. Toronto: The United Church Publishing House, 1992 in STUDIES IN RELIGION 22 (1993) 379-80.

"Soundings in the Christology of the Infancty Gospel of Thomas. The Rewriting of Luke 2:41-52 in Paidika 17." INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in Seoul, Korea, July 2016.

"Do the "Birds of Heaven in Matthew's Parable of the Mustard Seed Represent Gentiles?" AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY BIBLICAL AND EARLY CHRISTIAN STUDIES SEMINAR in Melbourne, March 2016.

Demystifying Matthew’s Mysteries. INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 2015.

Born to be Wild? Jesus in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in San Diego, USA. November 2014.

The Kingdom of God is Like a Mustard Tree…”? INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in Vienna, Austria, July 2014.

The Christology of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE: PACIFIC NORTHWEST REGION in Calgary, May 2014.

The Mysteries of Dionysus under the Ptolemies. CLASSICAL ASSOCIATION OF THE CANADIAN WEST / CLASSICAL ASSOCIATION OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST in Vancouver, March 2014.

Do the Birds in Matthew’s Parable of the Mustard Seed Represent Gentiles? INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in St. Andrews, Scotland, July 2013.

‘Poison Ivy:’ The Dionysiac Brand in 3 Maccabees. THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in Chicago, USA, November 2012.

‘Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow in our sustaining corn’: The Parable of the Tares and the Third World. INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, July 2012.

Narrative Closure and the Failure of the Mission to Israel in Matthew’s Gospel. INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in London, England, July 2011.

Salvation in 3 Maccabees. INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in Tartu, Estonia, July 2010.

Leaving Judaism? Matthew 13:33 again. THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in New Orleans, USA, November 2009.

Heilsgeschichte in the Gospel of Matthew? THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in Boston, USA, November 2008.

What do you do with a Drunken Elephant? 4TH INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON THE ANCIENT NOVEL in Lisbon, Portugal, July 2008.

Once More: The Son of God in Matthew. INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in Aukland, New Zealand, July 2008.

When, Where, and Why: Space and Time in the Books of Adam and Eve. INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in Edinburgh, Scotland, July 2006.

Resurrection of the Holy Ones: Matthew 27:51-3. INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in Edinburgh, Scotland, July 2006.

“KAI SU?”: The Mosaic of the Evil Eye from Antioch. CLASSICAL ASSOCIATION OF THE CANADIAN WEST in Victoria, B.C., February 2005.

Matthew’s Chorus. SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in San Antonio, Texas, USA in November 2004.

The Gospel of Adam and Eve. INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in Groningen, The Netherlands, in July 2004.

Matthew’s Ochlos and the Keys to the Kingdom. INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in Groningen, Netherlands in July 2004.

Saramago’s Gospel: Renan’s Vie, Redivivus? NORTHWEST PACIFIC REGIONAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in Vancouver, May 2004.

Shaken not Stirred: St. Matthew's Situation of Jerusalem on a Moral Faultline. INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in Cambridge, UK, July 2003.

Revitalizing the Vita: A Ritual Approach to the Vita of Adam and Eve. INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in Berlin, Germany, July 2002.

Reversal, Reward and Recidivism in 3 Maccabees. INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in Rome, Italy, July 2001.

“One Shepherd, My Servant David” and Matthew’s Therapeutic Son of David. INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in Capetown, South Africa, July 2000.

Theolepsy and Theomachy in Third Maccabees. CLASSICAL ASSOCIATION OF THE CANADIAN WEST in Victoria, B.C., March 2000.

Something to do with Dionysus? Thematic Resonances of the Bacchae in Third Maccabees. SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in Boston, USA, November 1999.

Polarity and Prophecy: Matthew’s Taxonomy of the People of Israel. SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in Boston, USA, November 1999.

The Ironical Tobit. INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in Cracow, Poland, July 1998.

Tobit: A New Comedy? CLASSICAL ASSOCIATION OF THE CANADIAN WEST in Vancouver, March 1998.

The Choral Crowds and Jesus, the Tragic Hero. SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE in New Orleans, USA, November 1996.

The Crowds and the Historical Jesus. CANADIAN SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL STUDIES in Calgary, Alta., June 1994.

The ‘Following’ of the Crowds in Matthew. CANADIAN SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL STUDIES in Quebec City, Quebec, April 1989.

Honours and Awards
2009-2010 Visiting Scholar at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
2006 UBC Visiting Scholar at Ritsumeikan University, Japan
Awards for Teaching
Honourable Mention, University of Calgary Teaching Excellence Award 1995
Competitive research grants
1995 HSS–UBC Small Grant, University of British Columbia. Project title ‘The Feeding of the Five Thousand in Matthew’
1996 HSS–UBC Small Grant, University of British Columbia. Project title ‘The Crowds in the Gospel of Matthew’
1998 HSS–UBC Small Grant, University of British Columbia. Project title ‘Humour in the Book of Tobit’
1999 Large Hampton Grant, University of British Columbia (with Dr Daphna Arbel and Dr. Dietmar Neufeld). Project Title ‘So they went out – lives of Adam and Eve as cultural transformative story’
1999 HSS–UBC Small Grant, University of British Columbia. Project title ‘Jerusalem in the Gospel of Matthew’
2000 HSS–UBC Small Grant, University of British Columbia. Project title ‘3 Maccabees and Euripides’ Bacchae’
2000 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Board of Canada (SSHRC) Travel Grant
2001 HSS–UBC Small Grant, University of British Columbia. Project title ‘Matthew’s Therapeutic Son of David’
2002 HSS–UBC Small Grant, University of British Columbia. Project title ‘Writing and Editing articles for: Robert B. Todd (General Editor). The Dictionary of British Classicists’
2003 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Board of Canada (SSHRC) Travel Grant
2003 University of British Columbia, HSS–UBC Small Grant. Project title ‘The Crowds as Chorus in the Gospel of Matthew’
2005 University of British Columbia, HSS–UBC Small Grant. Project title ‘Adversaries of the Much-Suffering Eye and Mithraism’
2006 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Board of Canada (SSHRC) Travel Grant
2007 HSS–UBC Small Grant, University of British Columbia. Project title ‘Editing The Play of Texts and Fragments. Essays in Honour of Martin Cropp.’
2008 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Board of Canada (SSHRC) Travel Grant

Courses Currently Taught

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