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David Tollerton

Lecturer in Jewish Studies and Contemporary Biblical Cultures at University of Exeter

David Tollerton’s two main research interests are (i) religious responses to the Holocaust and (ii) uses of the Bible in relation to modern identities, conflicts and concepts of blasphemy.
These two foci are reflected in his first monograph, The Book of Job in Post-Holocaust Thought (Sheffield Phoenix, 2012). This publication considered the use of Job’s archetypal story amidst Jewish reflections on persecution during the Nazi period, highlighting the extent to which interpretive traditions, contemporary politics and debates about history shape the meaning given to Job in this context.
David is also interested in screen representations of religion and has published on film and television portrayals of both the Book of Job and post-Holocaust theology. Having previously been involved in an AHRC project that examined contemporary British controversies about religion and free expression, he has also retained a broad interest in debates about multiculturalism and freedom of expression in contemporary society.
Looking forward, his continuing work within Holocaust studies has particular focus on the relationship between witness testimonies and theology. During 2014 he has also given conference papers on a range of topics, including associations of the Bible and violence in modern art, the place of Monty Python’s Life of Brian in the history of blasphemy, and the reception of Darren Aronofsy's Noah. In November he will deliver an invited paper on Job and Jewish-Christian relations at the Society of Biblical Literature meeting in San Diego.
David arrived in Exeter in 2013. He was a lecturer at Bangor University in north Wales from 2010–2013, having previously been an AHRC Research Assistant at Plymouth University.