Martien Halvorson-Taylor

Associate Professor, Associate Chair

Gibson Hall, S-236


  • BA, Yale University
  • MDiv, Harvard Divinity School
  • AM and PhD, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations (Hebrew Bible), Harvard University

Research Interests

  • Hebrew Bible
  • Second Temple literature and interpretation
  • History, religion and literature of ancient Israel
  • Exile (forced migration) and diaspora in biblical history and literature
  • Wisdom literature (for example, the book of Job)
  • Biblical narrative (for example, the books of Genesis and Esther)
  • Biblical poetry (for example, the Song of Songs)
  • Canonical process
  • Literary approaches to the Hebrew Bible in Judaism and Christianity
  • Collective memory and identity in the Jewish Diaspora
  • History of biblical scholarship
  • Classical (biblical) Hebrew language
  • Global Humanities


  • Introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
  • The Book of Job & Its Traditions
  • The Song of Songs
  • The Book of Genesis & Its Interpretation
  • Elementary Classical (Biblical) Hebrew

I also currently serve as director of the Pavilion Seminars Program. Taught in the spring semester and aimed at advanced 3rd and 4th year students, these seminars focus on big topics with enduring relevance across disciplines and are taught by distinguished faculty from across the University. To see our spring offerings, please look here: http://college.as.virginia.edu/PAVS

Selected Publications

My first book, Enduring Exile, charts the transformation of exile from a historically bound and geographically constrained concept into a symbol for physical, mental, and spiritual distress. I continue to publish on the concept of exile and diaspora, particularly in biblical narratives. I am currently working on two different book-length manuscripts. The first is on the Song of Songs (Song of Solomon), which will be published by Kohlhammer as part of their International Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament (2017–18). The second is a popular book that is based on my UVA course on the biblical book of Job and its interpretation.

  • The Song of SongsInternational Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer (forthcoming).
  • Edited with Katherine Southwood, Women and Exilic Identity in the Hebrew Bible. T & T Clark, 2017.
  • “Exile and Dislocation.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Theology, edited by Samuel E. Balentine. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.
  • “Displacement and Diaspora in Biblical Narrative.” In The Oxford Handbook to Biblical Narrative, edited by Danna Nolan Fewell. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.
  • “Secrets and Lies: Secrecy Notices (Esth 2:10, 20) and Diasporic Identity in the Books of Esther.” Journal of Biblical Literature 131 (Fall 2012): 467–485.
  • “There is No One!: The Redaction of Exile in Jeremiah’s Book of Consolation (31:15–22).” In By the Irrigation Canals of Babylon: Approaches to the Study of the Exile, edited by John Ahn and Jill Middlemas, 107–122. New York, NY: T & T Clark, 2012.
  • Enduring Exile: The Metaphorization of Exile in the Hebrew Bible. Supplements to Vetus Testamentum 141. Leiden: Brill, 2011.
  • “The Strange Case of the Disappearing Woman: Biblical Resonances in Kafka’s Fräulein Bürstner.” In From the Margins: Women of the Hebrew Bible and Their Afterlives, edited by Peter Hawkins and Lesleigh Cushing Stahlberg, 159–73. Sheffield: Phoenix, 2009.