Monday, June 28, 2010

Theology department welcomes new professor with expertise in environmental science

This summer, the Whitworth Department of Theology will welcome the arrival of its newest professor, Jonathan Moo, an expert on apocalyptic literature who also has an extensive background in science.

Moo will teach New Testament courses primarily, specializing in apocalyptic literature, hermeneutics, and a biblical theology course on the "redemption of creation." He is especially interested in matters relating to creation, eschatology, and the relationship between Christian theology and science.

"Jonathan has a sturdy faith, a gentle spirit, and tremendous competence in several areas of expertise that we need, including apocalyptic literature and science and theology," says Jerry Sittser, professor of theology and current chair of the department." It was his combination of academic competence, both as a scholar and teacher, with his deep love for Christ and people that impressed us the most. We are very excited about having him join us."

Moo was chosen for the position in 2007, but the theology department allowed him to complete a post-doctoral fellowship in the University of Cambridge before joining the faculty. This highly competitive fellowship was based in the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at St. Edmund's College. Moo has also earned a doctoral degree in New Testament and Early Judaism from the University of Cambridge, master's degrees in both Old and New Testaments from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, a master of science degree in wildlife ecology from Utah State University, and a bachelor's degree in biology and English at Lake Forest College.

During his post-doctoral studies, Moo worked on a project sponsored, in part, by the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics on "Hope for Creation"; he also taught New Testament as an affiliated lecturer at the University of Cambridge.

"I think I am most excited by the chance to teach and learn in a community that values Christian scholarship and the spirit of open inquiry that a Christian worldview fosters," says Moo. "I look forward to studying Scripture in a place where we are prepared to face seriously the challenges with which a biblical perspective presents us, where we are willing to ask the big questions and where rigorous academic study of the Bible is not considered antithetical to experiencing the transforming power of God's grace."

Moo's recent publications include "Continuity, Discontinuity, and Hope: The Contribution of New Testament Eschatology to a Distinctively Christian Environmental Ethos," in the Tyndale Bulletin (2010); "The Sea That is No More: Rev 21.1 and the Function of Sea Imagery in the Apocalypse of John," in Novum Testamentum (2009); "Environmental Unsustainability and a Biblical Vision of the Earth's Future," in Creation in Crisis: Christian Perspectives on Sustainability (2009); and "Romans 8.19-22 and Isaiah's Cosmic Covenant," in New Testament Studies (2008).

Moo and his wife, Stacey, will move to Spokane this summer, and he will begin teaching at Whitworth this fall.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.