Photo of Mark FinneyDr Mark Finney

BA, MLitt, PhD

Lecturer in Religion

Conflict and violence in the sacred texts and traditions of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and contemporary aspects of religion and conflict in the Middle East, concepts of afterlife and in religion and art.

+44 (0)114 22 20512 | Jessop West 1.07

Semester Two Office Hours: Mondays 11:00-13:00



Mark's fascination with the role and function of religion in both ancient and contemporary perspectives led him to begin his academic studies at the London School of Theology. He later did research in middle eastern studies at the University of Nottingham where he explored areas such as Orientalism, Islamic studies, and religion, identity and conflict. He also held a teaching post at the ministerial training institution, St John´s College, Nottingham. Mark joined the University of Sheffield at the beginning of 2009.

One of Mark's major research interests is conflict and violence in the sacred texts and traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and also in contemporary aspects of religion and conflict in the Middle East (e.g., the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Zionism, Christian Zionism, and the influence of the Christian Right in US foreign policy). In addition, he is a member of the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies and has research interests in concepts of afterlife and in religion and art.

Professional Roles

External Examiner, the University of Aberdeen

Member of the Sheffield Interdisciplinary Institute for Biblical Studies

Society of Biblical Literature

British New Testament Society

Book reviewer: Journal for the Study of the New Testament; Journal of Theological Studies; Palestine Exploration Quarterly; Classical Review


Research interests

  • Afterlife
  • Early Christianity in its Greco-Roman Environment
  • Judaism
  • Islam
  • Religion & Art
  • Religion, Conflict & Violence
  • Religion, Politics, & the Modern Middle East
  • Social-scientific approaches to interpreting ancient religious texts

Current research projects / collaborations

Areas of supervision for potential PhD students

  • Afterlife
  • Judaism and Christianity in their Greco-Roman contexts
  • Religion and Violence
  • Religion, Politics, and the modern Middle East
  • Social-scientific approaches to Biblical Interpretation

How to apply

To make an application to study for a PhD in Biblical Studies with Mark Finney as your supervisor please go to and search for him under the Department of History as you proceed through the Postgraduate online application form.


Recent publications

Resurrection, Hell and the Afterlife: Body and Soul in Antiquity, Judaism and Early Christianity(London: Routledge, forthcoming 2015).

‘Jesus & the Contours of Oppression: Labelling & Deviance in the Johannine Passion Narrative’ in David Chalcraft (ed.), New Directions in Social Scientific and Cultural Studies: Approaches to the Bible (Sheffield: Phoenix Press, 2014).

‘The Priority of the Soul: Constructions of Afterlife in Second Temple Judaism’ (forthcoming, 2014).

‘Christian Zionism, the US and the Middle East: A Sketch & Brief Analysis’ in M. Sandford (ed.), The Bible, Zionism and Palestine: A Sheffield Colloquium (Relegere, forthcoming, 2014).

‘Social Identity and Conflict in Corinth: 1 Corinthians 11.17-34 in Context’ in J. Brian Tucker and Coleman A. Baker (eds), T&T Clark Handbook for Social Identity and the New Testament (London: T&T Clark, 2014), 273-87.

‘Afterlives of the Afterlife: The Development of Hell in its Jewish and Christian Contexts’ in J. Cheryl Exum & David J. A. Clines (eds), Biblical Reception 2 (Sheffield: Phoenix Press, 2013), 150-71.

‘Servile Supplicium, Shame and the Deuteronomic Curse: Crucifixion in Its Cultural Context’ in Biblical Theology Bulletin 43.3 (2013), 124-34.

‘Jesus in Visual Imagination: The Art of Invention’ in J. Cheryl Exum & David J. A. Clines (eds), Biblical Reception 1 (Sheffield: Phoenix Press, 2012), 1-28.

'Honour, Head-coverings & Headship: 1 Corinthians 11.2-16 in its Social Context' in Journal for the Study of the New Testament 33.1 (2011), 31-58.



Paths from Antiquity to Modernity, HST112

Paths from Antiquity to Modernity, HST112

Taking you from the height of the Roman Empire to the Fall of the Berlin Wall, this module is an introduction to the dominant narrative of History, from a European perspective (though the module ventures widely beyond Europe when appropriate). Each lecture looks at a particular historical ‘turning point’, while the weekly seminar takes a more thematic approach, tackling historical notions such as revolutions, progress, globalisation and renaissance. By the end of the module, you’ll have a sense of the broad sweep of History, fascinating in itself but particularly useful for single and dual honours students as preparation for more detailed study at Levels II and III. You will also have an appreciation of the importance of periodisation (how historians divide up time), and the problematic concept of modernity. This module is explicitly intended to aid with the transition to the study of History at University.

Public Engagement Mark has recently given a number of interviews on BBC Radio Sheffield on the conflicts in the Middle East. These include interviews with Andy Crane on the conflict in Gaza (Sunday 10th August, 2014); with Paul Walker on the conflict in Iraq (Tuesday 12th August, 2014); and with Toby Foster on the conflict in Iraq (Tuesday 26th August, 2014).
Administrative Duties

Administrative Duties

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