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Professor David Tombs

Photo of David TombsHoward Paterson Professor of Theology and Public Issues,
and Director, Centre for Theology and Public Issues
MA (Oxford), STM (Union Theological Seminary, NY), MA (London), 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. He has a longstanding interest in contextual and liberation theologies and 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 especially 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

Reconciliation, Christian Ethics and Public Theology

Faith in the Public Square

The Roots of Public Theology

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Publications

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

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

Tombs, D. & Reaves, J. (2018, 20 January). #MeToo Jesus: Interview with David Tombs and Jayme Reaves. BBC Radio Sheffield. Retrieved from http://shiloh-project.group.shef.ac.uk/?p=2026

Tombs, D. (2018, May). Reactions to the naming of Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse. Bioethics Centre, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Department Seminar].

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.

Working Paper; Discussion Paper; Technical Report

Tombs, D. (2017). Preface: Everyone has a role to play. In Christian faith and family violence: A report for Samoan communities in New Zealand by Mercey Siu-Maliko. (pp. 1-2). Dunedin, New Zealand: Centre for Theology and Public Issues, University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/7050

Figueroa Alvear, R., & Tombs, D. (2016). Listening to male survivors of church sexual abuse: Voices from survivors of Sodalicio abuses in Peru. Dunedin, New Zealand: Centre for Theology and Public Issues, University of Otago. 41p. Retrieved from https://ourarchive.otago.ac.nz/handle/10523/7052

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Other Research Output

Tombs, D. & Reaves, J. (2018, 20 January). #MeToo Jesus: Interview with David Tombs and Jayme Reaves. BBC Radio Sheffield. Retrieved from http://shiloh-project.group.shef.ac.uk/?p=2026

Tombs, D. (2018, May). Reactions to the naming of Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse. Bioethics Centre, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Department Seminar].

Tombs, D. (2017, October). Abandonment, rape, and second abandonment: Hannah Baker in 13 Reasons Why and King David's concubines in 2 Samuel 15-20. The Shiloh Project: Rape culture, religion, and the Bible blog. Retrieved from http://shiloh-project.group.shef.ac.uk/?p=1708

Tombs, D. (2015, September). Latin American liberation theology and its ongoing legacy. University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Inaugural Professorial Lecture].

Tombs, D. Lived religion, (in)tolerance and the dehumanising violence of the cross. Center for the Study of Lived Religion, Free University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. [Public Lecture].

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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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. Houndmills, UK: Palgrave MacMillan.

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.

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.

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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.

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

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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

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

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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

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

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Tombs, D. (2015, November). Trauma, denial, and memory: Reading crucifixion as sexual violence. Verbal presentation at the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Atlanta, USA.

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.

Tombs, D. (2015, October). The massacre at Nanking, crucifixion and public theology. Verbal presentation at the International Symposium on Religion and Social Justice, Shanghai, China.

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.

Tombs, D. (2014, May). The churches and transitional justice in Latin America. Verbal presentation at the Faith Communities and Transitional Justice Conference, Belfast, UK.

Tombs, D. (2013, September). Regarding the shame of others. Verbal presentation at the Global Network for Public Theology, The Word and the World Conference: Public Theology in an Age of Global Media, Chester, UK.

Tombs, D. (2013, November). Crucifixion as a ritual of power, desecration and sexualized violence. Verbal presentation at the American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Meeting, Baltimore, USA.

Tombs, D. (2013, October). News media, sexualized violence and theology: Regarding the shame of others. Keynote presentation at the Role of Media in Normalizing Relations in the Western Balkans International Conference, Novi Sad, Serbia.

Tombs, D. (2013, October). Torture, crucifixion and eucharist: Sacramental imagination and human flourishing. Verbal presentation at the Irish Theological Association Conference: Theologies of Human Flourishing, Dublin, Ireland.

Tombs, D. (2012, November). The cross, the lynching tree, and the silences. Verbal presentation at the American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Meeting, Chicago, USA.

Tombs, D. (2012, April). Conflict transformation, ecumenical imagination and Christian hope. Verbal presentation at the Assisi Gathering: Where We Dwell in Common: Pathways for Dialogue in 21st Century, Assisi, Italy.

Tombs, D. (2012, September). The Irish churches and the Ulster Covenant 1912-2012. Verbal presentation at the Religious Conflict and Difference Conference, Belfast, UK.

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