Ellen F. Davis

Ellen F. Davis

Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor of Bible and Practical Theology in the Divinity School

External address: 
303 Old Divinity, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Duke Box 90967, Durham, NC 27708-0967
(919) 660-3561

Ellen F. Davis is Amos Ragan Kearns Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke University Divinity School in North Carolina.

The author of eight books and many articles, her research interests focus on how biblical interpretation bears on the life of faith communities and their response to urgent public issues, particularly the environmental crisis and interfaith relations. Her most recent book, Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible (Cambridge University Press, 2009), integrates biblical studies with a critique of industrial agriculture and food production.  Her other publications include Wondrous Depth: Old Testament Preaching (Westminster John Knox, 2005); Who Are You, My Daughter? Reading Ruth through Image and Text (Westminster John Knox, 2003), an annotated translation accompanying woodcuts by Margaret Adams Parker; Getting Involved with God: Rediscovering the Old Testament (Cowley, 2002); and The Art of Reading Scripture (Eerdmans, 2003), co-edited with Richard Hays.

She has long been involved in inter-religious dialogue and is now cooperating with the Episcopal Church of Sudan to develop theological education, community health, and sustainable agriculture.


  • Ph.D., Yale University 1987
  • M.Div., Church Divinity School of the Pacific 1983

Davis, Ellen F. “Preserving Virtues: Renewing the Tradition.” Studies in Christian Ethics 14, no. 2 (August 2001): 14–22. https://doi.org/10.1177/095394680101400202. Full Text

Davis, E. F. “Losing a Friend : The Loss of the Old Testament to the Church.Pro Ecclesia 9, no. 1 (December 1, 2000): 73–84.

Davis, E. F. “Critical traditioning: seeking an inner Biblical hermeneutic.” Anglican Theological Review 82, no. 4 (September 1, 2000): 733–51.

Davis, E. F. “Romance of the Land in the Song of Songs.Anglican Theological Review 80, no. 4 (September 1, 1998): 533–46.

Davis, E. F. “Sabbath : The Culmination of Creation.Living Pulpit 7, no. 2 (April 1, 1998): 6–7.

Davis, E. F. “And in Him all things hold together.” Virginia Seminary Journal, 1997, 2–6.

Davis, E. F. “Reading Leviticus in the Church.” Virginia Seminary Journal, 1996, 30–34.

Davis, E. F. “Psalm 98.Interpretation 46, no. 2 (April 1, 1992): 171–75.

Davis, Ellen F. “Exploding the Limits: Form and Function in Psalm 22.” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 17, no. 53 (February 1992): 93–105. https://doi.org/10.1177/030908929201705306. Full Text

Davis, E. F. “Self-consciousness and conversation: reading Genesis 22.” Bulletin for Biblical Research 1 (January 1, 1991): 27–40.