Dr. Jennifer T. Kaalund is associate professor of New Testament, a position she has held since 2021. She is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, where she serves as an editorial board member for the Bible Odyssey and co-chair of the steering committee for “Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity.” She is also a member of the American Academy of Religion, the North American Patristic Society, and the Catholic Biblical Association, and she is an editorial board member for the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion. Her numerous publications and lectures include the monograph Reading Hebrews and 1 Peter with the Great Migration: Diaspora, Identity, and Place (Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, 2018), part of the Library of New Testament Studies series. She previously served as assistant professor of religious studies at Iona College, where she received the Junior Faculty Award in 2020. Kaalund received her Ph.D. in New Testament and early Christianity from The Theological School at Drew University. Her current research interests include contextual biblical hermeneutics, contemporary uses of the New Testament, and material culture.
Dr. Jennifer T. Kaalund is passionate about equipping the next generation of Christian leaders to face the world’s biggest crises: poverty, climate change, and systemic racism. She sees theological education as a vital resource in this endeavor, and she draws from a wide range of scholarship—and an emphasis on context—to bring energy and life to the classroom.
“My teaching philosophy reflects my interests in collaborative and contextual learning,” says Jennifer. “I believe that students should understand that the New Testament is inextricably linked with issues of politics, history, economics, and culture. Welcoming the various contexts of the students into the classroom allows them to learn from each other. Hence, my goal is to leverage the diverse and specific cultural experiences of my students to enrich the pedagogical encounter.”
Because of this educational philosophy, Jennifer’s teaching is dynamically linked to her scholarship. Her research considers contextual biblical hermeneutics, contemporary used of the New Testament, and material culture. Specifically, she brings focus to various ways Christians, in the past and present, make meaning, while examining how race, ethnicity, gender, and class facilitate complex identity negotiations. Her studies also account for issues of power and violence, particularly the context of empires.
She invites students into these very topics, encouraging them to explore what this meaning-making and identity-negotiation mean for their own lives and ministries. “It is my aim to prompt my students to consider how their own contexts influence their readings of texts and their understanding of religion more generally,” Jennifer explains. “My research informs my approach to teaching.”
Reading Hebrews and 1 Peter with the Great Migration: Diaspora, Identity, and Place (London and New York: Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, November 2018).
“In Christ, but Not of Christ: Reading Identity Differences Differently” in Minoritized Women Reading Race and Ethnicity, Mitzi J. Smith and Jin Young Choi, eds. (Fortress/Lexington Press, September 2020), 23-44.
“Flowing from Breast to Breast: An Examination of Dis/placed Motherhood in Black and Indian Wet Nurses,” (with Sharon Jacob) in Womanist Biblical Interpretation: Expanding the Discourse, Gay Byron and Vanessa Lovelace, eds. (Atlanta: Semeia, November 2016), 209-238.