Anders Runesson new professor in the New Testament
After 12 years in Canada, Anders Runesson has returned to Scandinavia. This summer, he started in his new position as professor in the New Testament at the Faculty of Theology.
Anders Runesson started his academic career at Lund University. Here he took a BA in Jewish Studies, M.Div. and M.A. in Religious Studies, and his Ph.D in 2001. After finishing his Ph.D. at Lund, he worked there at a research project on the Formation of Christian Identity.
Then, in 2003, he was offered the position as Assistant Professor in Early Christianity and Early Judaism at McMaster University in Canada.
“After twelve good years at McMaster I now look forward to working with colleagues and students at the Faculty of Theology in Oslo”, Runesson tells us.
Focus on the formation of theology
Runessons work spans form the Persian Period to Late Antiquity, with a focus on the first century and the New Testament.
“Somehow, though, most of my research seems to converge on questions relating to Jewish and Christian origins, relations, and dialogue”, Runesson explains.
“I have published on the nature and origins of the synagogue, the Gospel of Matthew, Paul, and the historical Jesus.”
Runesson tells us that he is particularly interested in the formation of theology in the intersection between institution, space, and politics.
His reasons for coming to Oslo stems from the path his research interests took.
“The Faculty of Theology in Oslo is internationally recognised for its work on critical methodology as applied to Biblical and related texts”, he says.
“To learn in and contribute to such a setting of academic excellence is a privilege and I hope that together, as a team, we will further our mutual research and teaching interests. I cannot think of a better reason to join the Faculty. My first impressions since I arrived have confirmed this to me.”
Several upcoming publications
Runesson is working on several research projects at the moment. The first book to come out will be a book on divine wrath and salvation in Matthew’s Gospel. Then he will continue to work on a new book which aims to use ancient institutions as explanatory categories in order to understand how the thought patterns we call theology developed from Jesus to Paul.
“This book may be seen within the larger frame of a research project that I am currently involved in together with three other scholars. My part of that project, which is called Beyond Theology: Ancient Polemics, Identity Formation, and Modern Scholarship, attempts to contribute to discussions about the creation of Christian anti-Judaism from the first to the fourth century”, Runesson explains.
In addition to this, he is working on a couple of edited volumes which study the Gospels of Mark and Matthew in comparative perspective, as well as on a volume on Matthew’s Gospel for a new series named The New Testament After Supersessionism (NTAS).
Runesson also tells us he is the Editor-in-Chief for another exciting project he is involved in. This is the new peer-reviewed open-access Journal of the Jesus Movement in its Jewish Setting: From the First to the Seventh century (JJMJS). After many years of preparation, the journal was launched last year and the second issue is forthcoming in October 2015.
“We believe that this journal, with its interdisciplinary focus, fills a gap in academic publishing and invite all who are interested to sign up for a free subscription”, Runesson concludes.