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Professor David Tombs

David Tombs 2020 imageHoward Paterson Professor of Theology and Public Issues,
and Director, Centre for Theology and Public Issues
MA(Oxford), STM(Union Theological Seminary, NY), MA, PhD(London)

Room 4S8, Arts Building
Tel +64 3 479 8450
Email david.tombs@otago.ac.nz

David Tombs took up the Director role at the Centre and the Howard Paterson Chair of Theology and Public Issues in January 2015. David is a lay Anglican theologian and has a longstanding interest in contextual and liberation theologies. He is author of Latin American Liberation Theologies (Brill, 2002).

His current research focusses on religion, violence, and public theology, and especially on Christian responses to gender-based violence, sexual abuse and torture. He welcomes proposals for Ph.D. projects in these areas. Previously David was a Lecturer in Theology at the University of Roehampton London (1992–2001). From 2001–2014 he lived and worked in Belfast, Northern Ireland, as Assistant Professor of Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation for the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin.

View David's Inaugural Professorial Lecture "Latin American Liberation Theology and its Ongoing Legacy"

The Centre for Theology and Public Issues is a founding member of the Global Network for Public Theology (GNPT), which is an academic research partnership that promotes theological contributions on public issues, especially those issues affecting the poor, the marginalized and the environment.

Teaching

  • CHTH233 Faith in the Public Square
  • CHTH333 Faith in the Public Square (Advanced)
  • CHTH305 The Roots of Public Theology
  • CHTH405 The Roots of Public Theology (Advanced)
  • CHTH319 Reconciliation, Christian Ethics and Public Theology
  • CHTH415 Reconciliation, Christian Ethics and Public Theology (Advanced)

Current Postgraduate Students

  • Jonathan Ayling (MTheol) Christ and Culture
  • Gray Baldwin (MTheol) Creation Care as a New Direction for the "Oikoumene" Following a Century of Attempted Ecclesial Unity
  • Robert Fakafu (PhD) The Forau model: The Diaspora experiences of a relocated people in the face of climate change with special reference to the Polynesian people of Tikop
  • Tamsyn Kereopa (PhD) A Wahine Maori Theology of Liberation
  • Latuivai Latu (PhD) Honouring Tautua As Suli: A Postcolonial Reading of Identity Politics in Samoan Jurisprudence and Relational Hermeneutics
  • Sarah Pidgeon (MTheol) Nobody Heard Us: A theological response to the contextual hearings of the Royal Commission on Abuse in Care in New Zealand

Recent Postgraduate Students

  • Gray Baldwin (MTheol) Creation Care: A New Direction for the Oikoumene
  • Peter Dobbs (PhD) How Theology Shapes Practice in Faith-Based Organisations Supporting Families in NZ

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Publications

Tombs, D. (2021). 'It is not your fault. It is not your shame': Why seeing Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse is important. Proceedings of the Australian & New Zealand Association of Theological Schools (ANZATS) Conference: Theological Ethics. Retrieved from https://anzats.edu.au/conferences

Figueroa, R., & Tombs, D. (2021). Seeing his innocence, I see my innocence. In J. R. Reaves, D. Tombs & R. Figueroa (Eds.), When did we see you naked? Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse. (pp. 287-312). London, UK: SCM Press.

Tombs, D. (2021). Crucifixion and sexual abuse. In J. R. Reaves, D. Tombs & R. Figueroa (Eds.), When did we see you naked? Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse. (pp. 15-27). London, UK: SCM Press.

Reaves, J. R., & Tombs, D. (2021). Introduction: Acknowledging Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse. In J. R. Reaves, D. Tombs & R. Figueroa (Eds.), When did we see you naked? Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse. (pp. 1-11). London, UK: SCM Press.

Reaves, J. R., Tombs, D., & Figueroa, R. (Eds.). (2021). When did we see you naked? Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse. London, UK: SCM Press.

Reaves, J. R., Tombs, D., & Figueroa, R. (Eds.). (2021). When did we see you naked? Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse. London, UK: SCM Press.

Edited Book - Research

Figueroa, R., & Tombs, D. (2021). Seeing his innocence, I see my innocence. In J. R. Reaves, D. Tombs & R. Figueroa (Eds.), When did we see you naked? Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse. (pp. 287-312). London, UK: SCM Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Reaves, J. R., & Tombs, D. (2021). Introduction: Acknowledging Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse. In J. R. Reaves, D. Tombs & R. Figueroa (Eds.), When did we see you naked? Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse. (pp. 1-11). London, UK: SCM Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Tombs, D. (2021). Crucifixion and sexual abuse. In J. R. Reaves, D. Tombs & R. Figueroa (Eds.), When did we see you naked? Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse. (pp. 15-27). London, UK: SCM Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Tombs, D. (2020). Unspeakable things: Drawing upon the Nanjing massacre to read crucifixion as an assault on human dignity. In Z. Xie, P. Kollontai & S. Kim (Eds.), Human dignity, human rights, and social justice: A Chinese interdisciplinary dialogue with global perspective. (pp. 33-51). Singapore: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-981-15-5081-2_3

Chapter in Book - Research

Figueroa Alvear, R., & Tombs, D. (2019). Lived religion and the traumatic impact of sexual abuse: The Sodalicio case in Peru. In R. R. Ganzevoort & S. Sremac (Eds.), Trauma and lived religion: Transcending the ordinary. (pp. 155-176). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-91872-3_8

Chapter in Book - Research

Tombs, D. (2019). Confronting the stigma of naming Jesus as a victim of sexual violence. In C. Pearson (Ed.), Enacting a public theology. (pp. 71-86). Stellenbosch, South Africa: SUN MeDIA. doi: 10.18820/9781928314684/07

Chapter in Book - Research

Tombs, D. (2018). Abandonment, rape, and second abandonment: Hannah Baker in 13 Reasons Why and the royal concubines in 2 Samuel 15-20. In C. Blyth, E. Colgan & K. B. Edwards (Eds.), Rape culture, gender violence, & religion: Biblical perspectives. (pp. 117-141). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-70669-6

Chapter in Book - Research

Tombs, D. (2018). Siphiwo Mthimkhulu, Daniel Grootboom, and the art of forgiveness. In P. Halstead & M. Habets (Eds.), The art of forgiveness. (pp. 179-203). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Chapter in Book - Research

Tombs, D. (2017). Lived religion and the intolerance of the cross. In R. R. Ganzevoort & S. Sremac (Eds.), Lived religion and the politics of (in)tolerance. (pp. 63-83). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.

Chapter in Book - Research

Tombs, D. (2017). Public theology and reconciliation. In S. Kim & K. Day (Eds.), A companion to public theology. (pp. 119-149). Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

Chapter in Book - Research

Tombs, D. (2017). Under the surface: Archibald Baxter's Christian faith. In G. Troughton (Ed.), Saints and stirrers: Christianity, conflict and peacemaking in New Zealand, 1814-1945. (pp. 122-143). Wellington, NZ: Victoria University Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Tombs, D. (2015). Towards a public theology of reconciliation in Northern Ireland. In J. O'Grady, C. Higgins & J. Lal Fernando (Eds.), Mining truths: Festschrift in honour of Geraldine Smyth OP: Ecumenical theologian and peacebuilder. (pp. 109-129). Sankt Ottilien, Germany: EOS.

Chapter in Book - Research

Morris, N., & Tombs, D. (2014). 'A solid and united phalanx'? Protestant churches and the Ulster Covenant 1912-2012. In J. Wolfe (Ed.), Irish religious conflict in comparative perspective: Catholics, Protestants and Muslims. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave MacMillan.

Chapter in Book - Research

Tombs, D. (2014). Conflict-related sexual violence, news media and reconciliation in the Balkans. In D. V. Nedeljković, S. Sremac, N. Kneżević & D. Gruhonjić (Eds.), Uloga medija u normalizaciji odnosa na zapadnom Balkanu [The role of media and reconciliation in the post-conflict society: An example of the Balkans]. (pp. 31-46). Novi Sad, Serbia: Novi Sad University Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Tombs, D. (2014). Sexual ethics and the scandal of the cross. In A. H. Cole, Jr (Ed.), Theology in service to the church: Global and ecumenical perspectives. (pp. 122-138). Eugene, OR: Cascade Books.

Chapter in Book - Research

Tombs, D. (2014). The cross and the reconciliation of enemies. In K. M. Heffelfinger & P. G. McGlinchey (Eds.), Atonement as gift: Re-imagining the cross for the church and the world. (pp. 67-78). Milton Keynes, UK: Paternoster.

Chapter in Book - Research

Tombs, D. (2012). Archbishop Romero and reconciliation in El Salvador. In M. Leiner & S. Flämig (Eds.), Latin America between conflict and reconciliation. (pp. 41-56). Bristol, CT: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Chapter in Book - Research

Reaves, J. R., & Tombs, D. (2020). #Metoo Jesus: Naming Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse. In H. Paynter & M. Spalione (Eds.), The Bible on violence: A thick description. (pp. 282-308). Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Phoenix Press.

Chapter in Book - Other

Figueroa, R., & Tombs, D. (2020). Recognising Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse: Responses from Sodalicio survivors in Peru. Religion & Gender, 10, 57-75. doi: 10.1163/18785417-01001003

Journal - Research Article

Tombs, D. (2020). Hidden in plain sight: Seeing the stripping of Jesus as sexual violence. Journal for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies, 2(1), 224-247. doi: 10.17613/ek9a-mx94

Journal - Research Article

Reaves, J. R., & Tombs, D. (2019). #MeToo Jesus: Naming Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse. International Journal of Public Theology, 13, 387-412. doi: 10.1163/15697320-12341588

Journal - Research Article

Tombs, D. (2019). Crucificação e abuso sexual [Crucifixion and sexual abuse]. Estudos Teológicos, 59(1), 119-132. doi: 10.22351/et.v59i1.3579

Journal - Research Article

Figueroa Alvear, R., & Tombs, D. (2017). Listening to male survivors of church sexual abuse: Voices from Sodalicio abuses in Peru. Canonist, 8(1), 135-167.

Journal - Research Article

Tombs, D. (2014). Silent no more: Sexual violence in conflict as a challenge to the worldwide church. Acta Theologica, 34(2), 147-165. doi: 10.4314/actat.v34i2.9

Journal - Research Article

Tombs, D. (2019). How recognising Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse might help shift Catholic culture. The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/how-recognising-jesus-as-a-victim-of-sexual-abuse-might-help-shift-catholic-culture-112754

Journal - Research Other

Boodoosingh, R., Beres, M., & Tombs, D. (2018). Research briefing: Violence against women in Samoa. Women's Studies Journal, 32(1/2), 33-56.

Journal - Research Other

Edwards, K., & Tombs, D. (2018). #HimToo: Why Jesus should be recognised as a victim of sexual violence. The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/himtoo-why-jesus-should-be-recognised-as-a-victim-of-sexual-violence-93677

Journal - Research Other

Tombs, D. (2017). [Review of the book Crucifixion in the Mediterranean world]. Bible & Critical Theory, 13(1), 103-107. doi: 10.2104/bct.v13i1.678

Journal - Research Other

Reaves, J. R., & Tombs, D. (2020). #MeToo Jesus: Naming Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse. Review & Expositor, 117(2), 204-221. doi: 10.1163/15697320-12341588

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Tombs, D. (2018). Lord, when did I see you naked? Anglican Taonga, (Winter), 22-23.

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Tombs, D. (2017). Archibald Baxter's christian faith and conscientious objection. Proceedings of the Rethinking Pacifism for Revolution, Security and Politics Conference. Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/ncpacs/otago638243.html#programme

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

Tombs, D. (2021). 'It is not your fault. It is not your shame': Why seeing Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse is important. Proceedings of the Australian & New Zealand Association of Theological Schools (ANZATS) Conference: Theological Ethics. Retrieved from https://anzats.edu.au/conferences

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Figueroa Alvear, R., & Tombs, D. (2019). A missional theology in response to sexual violence. Proceedings of the Australian & New Zealand Association of Theological Schools (ANZATS) Conference: Missional Theology. (pp. 78). Retrieved from https://anzats.edu.au/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Kioa Latu, L., Tombs, D., & Roxborogh, J. W. (2019). Suli theology: Towards a postcolonial and relational reading of inheritance in Samoa. In A. Finigan, P. Vakaoti, R. Richards & M. Schaaf (Eds.), Proceedings of the Pacific Postgraduate Symposium: Pacific Voices XVI. (pp. 21). Dunedin, New Zealand: The Pacific Islands Centre, University of Otago. Retrieved from https://www.otago.ac.nz/pacific

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Tombs, D. (2019). A faith-based approach to addressing the stigma and self-stigma of sexual abuse. Proceedings of the Spirituality and Mental Health Symposium. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/2OptcDh

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Tombs, D. (2019). Rolling out the fine mat of scripture: Strengthening church responses to violence against women in Samoa. Proceedings of the Global Network for Public Theology (GNPT) Conference: Place and Space: Theological perspectives on living in the world. Retrieved from https://www.uni-bamberg.de/en/fs-oet/place-space-2019/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Tombs, D. (2018). "When did we see you naked?" Re-reading the stripping of Jesus in the context of #MeToo. Proceedings of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) & Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) Joint Annual Meeting. Retrieved from https://www.sbl-site.org/meetings/congresses_pastmeetings.aspx

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Tombs, D. (2020, November-December). A contextual bible study on crucifixion: Matthew 27:26-31. Verbal presentation at the Joint Conference of the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Biblical Studies (ANZABS) & the Systematic Theology Association of Aotearoa New Zealand (STAANZ), Christchurch, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Ah Siu-Maliko, M., Beres, M. A., Boodoosingh, R., & Tombs, D. (2019, October). Church responses to gender-based violence against women in Samoa. Verbal presentation at the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) Forum, Cape Town, South Africa.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Tombs, D. (2019, June). Interpreting sexual violence against men in scripture. Verbal presentation at the Trajectories in the Interpretation of Scripture Models, Issues and Prospects Conference, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Tombs, D. (2018, November). Testifying to unspeakable violence: Crucifixion, rape, and impalement in Aurora Mardiganian's "Ravished Armenia". Verbal presentation at the American Academy of Religion (AAR) & Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) Joint Annual Meeting, Denver, CO.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Taylor, S., & Tombs, D. (2017, July). Sexual violence in the line of David: The possibilities and limits of recapitulation. Verbal presentation at the Australian & New Zealand Association of Theological Schools (ANZATS) Conference: Kinship and Family in Contemporary Australia & New Zealand, Adelaide, Australia.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Figueroa, R., & Tombs, D. (2016, December). Telling difficult stories: Pastoral care issues for male survivors of church-related abuse. Verbal presentation at the Chaplaincy in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Development, Dialogue & Diversity: Telling Our Stories, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Tombs, D. (2016, July). Sexual abuse and the violence of the cross. Verbal presentation at the Australian and New Zealand Association of Theological Schools (ANZATS) Conference, Melbourne, Australia.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Tombs, D. (2016, June). Sexual abuse and the violence of the cross. Verbal presentation at the New Zealand Association of Theological Schools (NZATS) Combined Conference, Auckland, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Tombs, D. (2016, October). Naming Jesus as a victim of sexual violence: The role of the churches in confronting sexual abuse. Verbal presentation at the Global Network for Public Theology (GNPT): Democracy & Social Justice in Global Contexts, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Tombs, D. (2015, August). Truth, forgiveness and reconciliation. Verbal presentation at the The Art of Forgiveness Conference: A Richer Appreciation of the Breadth and Depth of Forgiveness, Auckland, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Tombs, D. (2015, November). Breaking the silence: The role of churches in responding to sexual violence in South Africa. Verbal presentation at the American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Meeting, Atlanta, USA.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Tombs, D. (2015, November). Crucifixions and controversies in the First World War. Verbal presentation at the "Peace, Not War, Shall Be Our Boast": Historical, Theological and Contemporary Perspectives on Peace and Christianity in New Zealand Conference, Wellington, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

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