Christine Trotter is a biblical studies scholar and educator, with particular expertise in the New Testament, whose research and teaching also includes the Hebrew Bible, Second Temple Judaism, early Christian literature, Greek, and the intersection of biblical interpretation and ethics.
Her dissertation, “Hellenistic Jews and Consolatory Rhetoric: Four Case Studies from 2 Maccabees to the Letter to the Hebrews,” explores how the authors of 2 Maccabees, the Wisdom of Solomon, 1 Thessalonians, and Hebrews sought to interpret suffering for readers who had endured or witnessed persecution, offer comfort, and issue advice about how to live admirably in distress. In this project, Trotter analyzes how ancient Jews and the earliest Christians employed ancient consolatory rhetoric in order to comfort suffering people, reinvigorate their hope, and replace their grief with joy. At the heart of this study is the question of how people draw upon their cultural inheritances and reflect on their past to make sense of their present and garner strength in hardship.
Trotter’s courses equip students to engage respectfully in debates about the meaning(s) of the Bible in pluralistic contexts. In the 2021-2022 academic year, she is teaching The Bible and Ecology, a course which analyzes key passages employed in contemporary discourse about the Bible and the environment from a historical-critical perspective, while also investigating how these texts are being invoked today in support of various agendas. Future courses include The Historical Jesus and Women in the Bible.