hero image
Daniel Smith-Christopher - Loyola Marymount University. Los Angeles, CA, US

Daniel Smith-Christopher

Professor of Theological Studies | Loyola Marymount University


Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts







Dr. Smith-Christopher (he prefers simply "Daniel") is Professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University with specialization in Old Testament Studies and Theology. He is the author of several books, including Micah: A Commentary (The Old Testament Library, 2015); A Biblical Theology of Exile (Overtures to Biblical Theology, ); as well as two textbooks for Catholic high schools: Introduction to the Old Testament: Our Invitation to Faith and Justice, and (with Fr. Patrick Mullen), Sacred Scripture: A Catholic Study of God's Word (both Ave Maria Press). Dr. Smith-Christopher is also the author of “The Books of Ezra-Nehemiah” in The Oxford Bible Commentary, and “Daniel” in the New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary. He is the editor of, and a contributor to: Subverting Hatred: The Challenge of Religious Nonviolence (Orbis Books). Dr. Smith-Christopher's teaching reflects wide interests. He has taught on topics in scripture, particularly of the Exilic and Persian periods, and on issues of peace, justice and non-violence, but also on the role of Scripture in African-American Gospel and Blues musical and lyrical traditions, the Bible in Maori/New Zealand cultural contexts, and cross-cultural interpretation of the Bible more generally. Dr. Smith-Christopher has taken both undergraduate and graduate students to New Zealand often, but also regularly takes classes on local visits to culturally-based parishes and congregations in the Los Angeles area, as well as taking students on a Train trip through the Southwest to visit and listen to Native American Christians share their traditions and perspectives. Dr. Smith-Christopher also team-teaches a course on Lamentations and the Blues in Memphis, TN. He has also consulted on many television and multimedia projects in these areas. "Besides teaching the Old Testament, and especially those Scriptures that arise from ancient Israel's traumatic experiences of conquest and subordination under empires - I am especially committed to finding ways to listen to diverse voices today. I am fascinated by the intellectual challenges, and the gifts, of readings from ethnically, culturally, and spiritually diverse Christians - and I seek to invite Christians from many backgrounds to share their readings of the Scripture and how their own insights can transform everyone's readings of the book we share. My reading of the Bible, and my life, has been transformed by listening to experiences other than my own."

Education (3)

Oxford University: Ph.D., Theology 1986

Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries: M.Div., Biblical Studies and Peace Studies 1981

George Fox University: B.A., Philosophy and Sociology 1977

Areas of Expertise (5)

Old Testament Studies

Old Testament Theology

Religion and Peace Nonviolence

Cross-Cultural Interpretation of the Bible and Indigenous Christianity

Postcolonial Interpretation of Bible

Accomplishments (5)

Fulbright Lecturer Award (professional)

Spain, 2013

Outstanding Professor (professional)

Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, LMU, 2011

University Teacher of the Year (professional)

Associated Students of LMU, 2007

Undergraduate Theology Teacher of the Year (professional)

Augsburg Fortress Press, 2006

Lilly Summer Seminar Program (professional)

Peace and Justice in Bible and the Quran, 2003

Affiliations (2)

  • Society of Biblical Literature
  • Society of Old Testament Studies

Languages (3)

  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Greek

Courses (7)

Introduction to the Old Testament

Introduction to the Old Testament

Prophecy and Society in Ancient Israel (and New Zealand)

Prophecy and Society in Ancient Israel (and New Zealand)

The Bible and the Blues

The Bible and the Blues

Prophecy and Social Justice

Prophecy and Social Justice

Imago Dei: The Bible and Modern Debates on Hominid Identity

Imago Dei: The Bible and Modern Debates on Hominid Identity

Text in Context: Cross Cultural Interpretation of the Bible

Text in Context: Cross Cultural Interpretation of the Bible

The Bible, War, Peace, and Nonviolence

The Bible, War, Peace, and Nonviolence

Articles (43)

Biblical Lamentations and Singing the Blues

The Oxford Handbook on Biblical Narrative

Ed. Danna N Fewall Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2016 Chapter 48: 550-560.

Ezekiel as Jose Posada: An Experiment in Cultural Exegesis of the Bible

Ezekiel: Current Debates and Future Directions

ed. W. A Tooman and P. Barter Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016.

Deconstructing Terror: Ezekiel’s Vision of Dry Bones as a Response to Trauma

Ezekiel: Current Debates and Future Directions

ed. W. A Tooman and P. Barter Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016: 389-411.

Thinking on Islands

Islands, Islanders, and the Bible

Ed. J. Havea M. Aymer and S. Davidson SBL Press: Atlanta, 2015: 207-216

“Blues Music”; “Folk Music”, and artist profile on “Colin McCahon” (with Sue Gardner)

The Oxford Encyclopedia on the Bible and the Arts

Ed. Timothy Beal. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Trauma and the Old Testament: Some Problems and Prospects

Trauma and Traumatization in Individual and Collective Dimensions: Insights from Biblical Studies and Beyond

E. E. Becker, J. Dochhorn and E. K. Holt. SANT 2: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2014: 222-242.

Singing Lamentations and Reading the Blues

The Oxford Handbook on Biblical Narrative

Ed. Danna N. Fewall. Oxford University Press, 2014.

Political Theology and the Hebrew Bible

The Oxford Handbook of Political Theology

Ed. Shaun Casey and Michael Kessler, 2013.

“Reading the Christian Old Testament in the Contemporary World” and “Commentary on 1 Esdras”

The Fortress Press Commentary on the Bible

The Fortress Press Commentary on the Bible: 43-66; 1073-1082

`…and if not now, when?’ A Sociology of the Future in Micah 4.1

Biblical Interpretation and Method: Essays in Honour of John Barton

Eds. Katharine J. Dell and Paul M. Joyce. Oxford University Press, UK: 149-162 (2013).

Cross Cultural Exegesis of the Bible

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Biblical Interpretation

Ed. Steven L. McKenzie. Oxford University Press: 138-150, 2013.

A Postcolonial Reading of Apocalyptic Literature: On Mixing Monsters

The Oxford Handbook of Apocalyptic Literature

Ed. John J. Collins. Oxford University Press: 180-198, 2013.

Reading Exile Then: Reconsidering the Methodological Debates for Biblical Analysis in Dialogue with Sociological And Literary Analysis

By the Irrigation Canals of Babylon: Approaches to the Study of Exile

Ed. J.J. Ahn & J. Middlemas London: T&T Clark: 139-157, 2012.

Reading War and Trauma: Suggestions Toward a Social-Psychological Exegesis of Exile and War in Biblical Texts

Interpreting Exile: Interdisciplinary Studies of Displacement and Deportation in Biblical and Modern Contexts

Eds. B. Kelle, F. Ritchel Ames, J Wright Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature: 2011: 253-274

Daniel, Book of

Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception (EBR)

De, Gruyter, Berlin: 2011

Engendered Warfare and the Ammonites in Amos 1:13

Aspects of Amos

ed. A Mein and A. Hagedorn London: T&T Clark, 2011: 15-40

Reading Jeremiah as Frantz Fanon

Jeremiah (Dis)Placed: New Directions in Writing/Reading Jeremiah

ed. A. R. Pete Diamond and Louis Stulman London/New York: T&T Clark, 2011: 115-124.

Re-Reading Nelson Graburn

Caught Reading Again

ed. R. S. Sugirtharajah London, SCM Press, 2009: 90-109

Teaching Sugirtharajah: A Field Report from Los Angeles

Festschrift for R. S. Sugirtharajah

ed. Liu Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2009: 240-255.

On the Pleasures of Prophetic Judgment: Reading Micah 1:6 and 3:12 with Stokely Carmichael

Aesthetics of Biblical Violence

ed. C. Franke & J.M. O'Brian 2009: 72-87

Gideon at Thermopylae: Mapping War in Biblical Narratives

Writing and Reading War: Rhetoric, Gender, and Ethics in Biblical and Modern Contexts

eds. Brad E. Kelle and Frank Ritchel Ames SBL: Atlanta, 2009

Abolitionist Exegesis: A Quaker Proposal for White Liberals

Still at the Margins

ed. R.S. Sugirtharajah London: T&T Clark, 2008: 128-137.

The Quiet Words of the Wise: Biblical Developments Toward Nonviolence as a Diaspora Ethic

Character Ethics and the Old Testament: Moral Dimensions of Scripture

ed. M. Daniel Carroll R. and Jacqueline E. Lapsley Westminster/John Knox Press, 2007: 129-151

Are the Refashioned Weapons in Micah 4:1-4 a Sign of Peace or Conquest? Shifting the Contextual Borders of a Utopian Prophetic Motif

Utopia and Dystopia in Prophetic Literature

ed. Ehud Ben Zvi Helsinki: Finnish Exegetical Society and Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2006: 187-210.

"Ezra" and "Nehemiah" - Commentary Articles

A Theological Bible Commentary

Westminster/John Knox Press, 2005

Ezekiel in Abu Ghraib: ReReading Ezekiel 16:37-39 in the Context of Imperial Conquest

Ezekiel's Hierarchical World: Wrestling with a Tiered Reality

ed. S. Cook, C. Patton SBL Symposium Series Society of Biblical Literature Press, Atlanta, 2002: 141-158

That was Then...: Textual Defenses of Nonviolence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Ethics in World Religions

ed. J. Runzo and N. M. Martin One World Publishers, Oxford, 2001: 251-269.

Prayers and Dreams: Powers and Diaspora Identities in the Social Setting of Daniel Tales

The Book of Daniel: Composition and Reception

ed. John J. Collins and Peter W. Flint Fetus Testamentum Supplementum, 2001 (Leiden: E.J. Brill); Vol 1, 266-290.

Ezekiel on Fanon's Couch: A Postcolonist Critique in Dialogue with David Halperin's Seeking Ezekiel

Peace and Justice Shall Embrace

(FS Millard Lind) Telford, PA: Pandora Press, 1999: 108-144.

Returning to the Sources: The Hebrew Bible

Contemporary Catholic Theology: A Reader

ed. Michael Hayes & Liam Gearon Gracewing: Leominster, 1999: 40-61.

Reassessing the Historical and Sociological Impact of the Babylonian Exile (597/586 - 539 BCE)

Exile: Old Testament, Jewish and Christian Conceptions

ed. James Scott (E.J. Brill, Leiden): 1997: 7-36.

Resistance in a Culture of Permission

Truth's Bright Embrace Essays and Poems in Honor of Arthur O. Roberts

ed. H. Macy and P. Anderson George Fox University Press: Newberg, OR) 1996: 15-38.

Between Ezra and Isaiah: Exclusion, Transformation, and Inclusion of the 'Foreigner' in Post-Exilic Biblical Theology

Ethnicity and the Bible

ed. Mark Brett (E.J. Brill, Leiden) 1996: 117-142.

The Mixed Marriage Crisis in Ezra 9-10 and Nehemiah 13: A Study of the Sociology of the Postexilic Judean Community

Second Temple Studies, Vol Two: Temple and Community in the Persian Period

ed. Tamara C. Eskenazi and Kent H. Richards, (Sheffield, U.K) 1994.

Gandhi on Daniel 6: A Case of Cultural Exegesis

Biblical Interpretation

Vol 1, No. 3: 321-338. 1994.

Reading the Bible in the Shadows: Captivity and the Meaning of Exile

The Bible Today

September, Vol 31, No. 5, 1993.

Hebrew Satyagraha: The Politics of Biblical Fasting in the Post-Exilic Period (Sixth to Second Century B.C.E.)

Food and Foodways: An Interdisciplinary Journal

(Paris/N.Y.) 1993, Vol. 5(3): 269-292.

On a Theology for Modern Babylonians: The Exile as a Basis for Doing "Biblical Theology"

Quaker Religious Thought

Fall, 1992 (#79): 3:15.

The Second Israel: Peace in the Middle East and the Implications of Militant Oriental Jewish Ethnicity

Dialectical Anthropology

1991, Vol. 16, No. 2.

The Politics of Ezra: Sociological Indicators of Post-Exilic Judaean Society

Second Temple Studies, 1 Persian Period

ed. Philip R. Davies, Sheffield Academic Press: Sheffield England, 1991. [selected for reprinting in: Community, Identity, and Ideology: Social Science Approaches to the Hebrew Bible ed. Carol Meyers, Charles Carter Eisenbrauns, 1996: 537-556.]

Political Atheism and Radical Faith

Towards a Theology of Peace

ed. Stephen Tunnicliffe European Nuclear Disarmament, London, England, 1990.

Jeremiah as a Prophet of Nonviolent Resistance

Journal for the Study of the Old Testament

(Sheffield, UK) 43 (1989) 95-107; (selected for reprint in The Prophets: A Sheffield Reader, 207-218; ed. Philip R. Davies, Sheffield University Press, 1996).

The Rewards of Allah: Cultural Analysis of Reconciliation

Journal of Peace Research

(Oslo, Norway) 26 (4), 1989: 385-398.