Samuel Ross

Profile

I joined the PhD program in the school of Philosophy, Religion, and History of Science at the University of Leeds in 2018. My doctoral project is fully funded by the AHRC through the White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities Doctoral Training Partnership.

 

I completed my MA and my MTh (both in Theology and Religious Studies) at the University of Glasgow. During my undergraduate degree, I developed a keen interest in the study of the Hebrew Bible. In particular, I became interested in the ways in which biblical texts construct gender and sexuality, the interaction between biblical texts and contemporary culture, and the ways in which marginalised groups, particularly LGBT people, can read biblical texts and reappropriate them in order to better understand their own experiences. These interests shaped my undergraduate dissertation, entitled 'He sank, he fell, he lay still at her feet: Female Masculinity in Judges 4&5'. I developed these interests further in my MTh Thesis, 'Queer Themes in the Book of Jonah and its Contemporary Analogues', in which I made use of an interdisciplinary methodology to produce a queer reading of the Book of Jonah, focusing on experiences of shame, abuse, and loneliness. During my time at Glasgow I also studied Biblical Hebrew, Koine Greek, and Classical Latin.

While studying at the University of Glasgow I was jointly awarded the Hector & Jane MacClennan MacLeod Prize for most distinguished male graduate in Theology and Religious Studies. I was also awarded the Rev Robert Montgomery Hardie Prize and the Cleland & Rae Wilson Medal and Prize in Hebrew Bible in recognition of my honours dissertation.

Research interests

My research project aims to produce readings of biblical poetry concerned with pain and trauma which resonate with the experiences of LGBT people and communities in contemporary society. The project will range from a consideration of the individual pain of the closet, to a reflection on the HIV/AIDs crisis as an example of communal trauma. Biblical texts of particular interest include Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, and Lamentations. This project will utilise a radically diverse methodology, drawing on literary studies, critical theory, sociological research, and contemporary culture. I will also make use of autoethnography, drawing on my own experiences in order to reflect on the presentation of pain and trauma in biblical texts and the experiences of other queer people. My research is intended to confront some of the threats to queer wellbeing posed by our current political climate, and to contribute to a growing body of mental health research in the Arts and Humanities.

Outside of my PhD thesis, I maintain wider interests in feminist and minority intepretation of the Hebrew Bible, literature and the Bible, theologies of the body, and critical theory.

Qualifications

  • MA Theology and Religious Studies

Research groups and institutes

  • Theology and Religious Studies