Professor Katherine Southwood

Professor Katherine Southwood

Tutorial Fellow in Theology & Religion


I came to St John's in October 2013 having previously held a post at St Mary's University College, Twickenham. Prior to that I was Kennicott Fellow at the Oriental Institute, Oxford.

I have a wide range of teaching experience and I enjoy teaching at all levels.  I am keen to supervise doctoral students, especially those with an interest in interdisciplinary approaches to ancient texts.  As organizing tutor in Theology at St John’s College I make arrangements for undergraduate tutorials for Theology and Religious Studies students as well as Philosophy and Theology students.

Research Interests

My research combines philology with interdisciplinary approaches to the Hebrew Bible. Thus, a rigorous and detailed analysis of relevant aspects of language is combined with vibrant evaluations of texts using other disciplines and with thoroughly structured methodological underpinnings.

This was helpful in my first monograph which engaged with social anthropology to understand Israelite marriage practices and the impact of forced and return migrations on Israelite identity (Ethnicity and the Mixed Marriage Crisis in Ezra 9-10: An Anthropological Approach, 2012). For example, studies concerning migration and especially return-migration, phenomena which can often trigger a vital need for ethnic-re-identification, have ignited the potential for informative and imaginative heuristic comparisons to the community which has returned from exile to Yehud. This issue can be discerned particularly in light of the significance of language (‘“And they could not understand Jewish Speech”: Ethnicity, Language, and Nehemiah’s Intermarriage Crisis’, 2011). Through this methodology, some of the most challenging biblical texts can be read with fresh insight (Marriage by Capture in Judges 21: An Anthropological Approach, 2017).