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Eleanor Vivian

Theology, Divinity and Religion, University of Birmingham

Thesis title:

The Function of Metaphor in the Depictions of Disability in the Hebrew Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls

My project will investigate how metaphorical language is used to both describe and conceptualise disabled bodies in the Hebrew Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls. The aim of my research is to expose the ways in which ancient authors and their communities considered and constructed boundaries, identities, and values in terms of bodily difference.

Research Area

  • Theology, Divinity and Religion


"Review of Psalms as a Grammar for Faith: Prayer and Praise by W.H. Bellinger Jr. (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2019)." JSOT 44.5 (2020): 57.

"Review of The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Biblical Interpretation edited by Paul M. Blowers and Peter W. Martens (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019)" JSOT 44.5 (2020): 75.


Leuven-Groningen-Oxford Dead Sea Scrolls Network, June 2019: 
"An Understanding of the Hapax Legomena of the Hebrew Bible in light of the Dead Sea Scrolls"

Categories and Boundaries in Second Temple Jewish Literature (M4C CDF), March 2021:
"Complicating the Category of ‘Disability’: The Role of the Body in Boundary Construction and Identity Formation in the Dead Sea Scrolls"

Divine Bodies, April 2021 (proposal accepted):
"Infertile Bodies as Disabled Bodies in the Hebrew Bible: A Cognitive Linguistic Approach"

Public Engagement & Impact

UNIQ  Widening Access and Participation, University of Oxford.
Subject Ambassador (Easter and Summer Vacations 2017)
Digital Ambassador (Trinity Term and Summer Vacation 2018, 2019)
Site Manager (Summer Vacation 2018)


Society for Old Testament Study 
BRANE Collective

Lectures and Seminars

Theology Study Day - St. John's College, Oxford (September 2019):
"An Introduction to the Reception History of the Hebrew Bible"

KCL Graduate Seminar, March 2021 (invited):
"'Your wife will be like a fruitful vine': A Cognitive Linguistic Approach to the Language of Fertility in the Hebrew Bible"

Teaching and Experience

Introductory Biblical Hebrew Tutor – Worcester College, Oxford (2016)
Supplementary Biblical Hebrew Tutor – St. Benet's Hall, Oxford (2018–19)
Supplementary Biblical Hebrew Tutor – Worcester College, Oxford (2019–20)

Research Assistant to Prof. Susan Gillingham – Worcester College, Oxford (2019) 
Research Assistant to Prof. Katherine Southwood – St. John's College, Oxford (201920) 

Scholarships, Prizes, and Bursaries

Junior Pusey and Ellerton Memorial Prize for Biblical Hebrew – University of Oxford (2016) Senior Pusey and Ellerton Memorial Prize for Biblical Hebrew – University of Oxford (2018)         

Exhibitioner Worcester College, Oxford (2016–17) Scholar Worcester College, Oxford (201718) College Prize for performance in MPhil Theology Worcester College, Oxford (2020)

Rebecca Flowers Bursary, Squire and Marriott Fund (2018–19, 2019–20)
St. Luke’s Foundation Personal Award (2019–20)

Education History

I completed my BA in Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford in 2015, graduating with First Class Honours. I then continued my study at the same institution, completing an MPhil in Theology (Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies) in 2020, graduating with a distinction.