Dr. Rebecca S. Hancock

Adjunct Instructor of Sacred Scripture
rhancock [at] stmarys.edu
Office: 410/864-4202

Curriculum vitae

Dr. Rebecca Hancock came to St. Mary’s in 2011 as adjunct faculty in Old Testament, having done her doctoral work in Harvard University’s Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations department. In 2017, she joined the administration of St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute, and now serves as Associate Dean of Administration for the E.I. She teaches in both the School of Theology and the Ecumenical Institute.

Dr. Hancock was drawn to the field of Sacred Scripture because the work is an inherently cross-cultural venture. Her interest in the Hebrew Bible is rooted in her love for learning languages, encountering other cultures, and contemplating the ethical and theological implications of biblical interpretation for contemporary communities. Dr. Hancock loves the work of teaching theology students, both that of interpreting the text together in community and that of fostering love for the biblical text, especially texts that may feel intimidating or foreign.  

Selected Courses Taught

  • Psalms and Wisdom Literature
  • Gospels of Mark and Matthew
  • Orientation to Biblical Studies
  • Jewish-Christian Dialogue Course on the Decalogue
  • Literature and Theology of the Hebrew Bible
  • Eighth-Century Prophets: Hosea, Amos, Isaiah & Micah

Service to the Church

  • Presenter for numerous adult Sunday forums and Bible studies
  • Contributor to church advent devotional series
  • Planner and leader of Vacation Bible School at various churches

Selected Publications

  • Contributing editor for The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law (ed. Brent Strawn; New York: Oxford University Press, 2014)
  • Esther and the Politics of Negotiation: Public and Private Spaces and the Figure of the Female Royal Counselor (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2013)
  • “Canon: Hebrew Bible,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible (ed. Michael D. Coogan; New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 87–96
  • “1 and 2 Samuel,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible (ed. Michael D. Coogan; New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 287–385

Recommended Reading

  • Jon Levenson, Creation and the Persistence of Evil: The Jewish Drama of Divine Omnipotence
  • Patrick D. Miller, Interpreting the Psalms
  • Ellen Davis, Opening Israel’s Scriptures
  • Robert Alter, The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary

A Favorite Quotation

Can a woman forget her nursing child,
or show no compassion for the child of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands;
 your walls are continually before me. — Isaiah 49:15-16