Kristin Swenson (April 2014)
Kristin Swenson is visiting associate professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia and continues to be affiliated with Virginia Commonwealth University, where she earned tenure as a professor of the history and literature of ancient Israel. After taking a fellowship at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and moving to Charlottesville, she resigned from VCU to write full-time. She serves as editor for the Society of Biblical Literature's NEH-supported Bible Odyssey website project and is a regular contributor to the religion arm of Publishers Weekly and to The Huffington Post.
A graduate of Boston University Dr. Swenson earned a Ph.D. in the history and literature of ancient Israel (2001) and a Master of Theological Studies in biblical studies (1993). She and attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, where she majored in biology and religious studies (B.A., 1988). Raised Lutheran in Garrison Keillor's Minnesota, Kristin has long been captivated by the Bible's unique literature, its development and the ways that it has endured and continues to influence pop culture, music, literature, and faith.
Dr. Swenson is the author of Living through Pain: Psalms and the Search for Wholeness and Bible Babel: Making Sense of the Most Talked About Book of All Time. She co-authored What Is Religious Studies? A Journey of Inquiry and provided creative translations with commentary of the books of Isaiah and Lamentations for The Voice Bible. In addition to academic articles and news outlets, Dr. Swenson has written for The Christian Century, Beliefnet., CNN.com, The Washington Post's On Faith, and Good Morning America's online religion page. She is presently writing a series of historical fiction set in ancient Babylon and Persia featuring Cyrus the Great and the forgotten woman who made him famous.