Dr Mark Finney

Lecturer in Religion

BA, MLitt, PhD

Email: m.t.finney@sheffield.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 0512

Department Address: The Department of History

Brief personal biography

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 has research interests in concepts of afterlife and in religion and art.

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

  • Religion and Violence in Judaism,  Christianity, and Islam: Ancient and Modern Perspectives
  • Resurrection and Life after Death in Second Temple Judaism and early Christian traditions

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


  • PhD supervision
  • Greek Language and Texts (MA)
  • Research Methods (MA)
  • Religion and Violence (level 3 and MA)
  • The Letters of Paul (level 3)
  • The Bible and the Arts (level 3)
  • Biblical Texts (level 3)
  • An Introduction to Islam (level 1)
  • Myth, Ritual, and Afterlife (Level 1)

Recent publications

  • Resurrection, Hell and the Afterlife: Body and Soul in Antiquity, Judaism and Early Christianity
     (London: Routledge, forthcoming 2015)
  • ‘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, 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).
  • ‘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. pdf available (268kb)

Other professional activities

  • External Examiner, the University of Aberdeen
  • 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

How to Apply for a Research degree

To make an application to study for a PhD in the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies with Mark Finney as your supervisor please go to http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/apply and search for him under the Department of History as you proceed through the Postgraduate online application form.