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Reed Carlson

Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies


Th.D. – HarvardUniversity
Fulbright Fellow - Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
M.A. – Luther Seminary
B.A. – North Central University

The Rev. Dr. Reed Carlson specializes in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the literature of Second Temple Judaism—a diverse body of pre-Christian writings including the Dead Sea Scrolls, Jewish Pseudepigrapha, and parts of the Old Testament. Dr. Carlson’s first book, The Spirit and the Self: Possession and Related Phenomena in the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Literature (forthcoming from De Gruyter Publishers), focuses on stories of spirits and ecstatic religious experience in biblical and Second Temple Jewish literature—especially as they relate to anthropological and ethnographic studies of possession, trance, and other similar practices in the Global South and its diasporas.

An ordained minister in the Episcopal Church with Pentecostal roots, Dr. Carlson is passionate about ecumenism in the church, especially among charismatic and progressive Christians. A former campus minister, Dr. Carlson embodies a pastoral concern for the whole student in his teaching—especially for learners from traditionally underserved and underrepresented communities.

Dr. Carlson’s scholarly activity reflects his teaching and research interests. He has given over twenty presentation at academic conferences, including meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars, the Society of Pentecostal Studies, and the Association of Jewish Studies. In addition to a Fulbright Fellowship which brought him to Göttingen for a year of study, Dr. Carlson’s work has also been funded by the Episcopal Church Foundation, the Louisville Institute, the American Schools of Oriental Research, and the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland.

 Dr. Carlson is married to the Rev. Britta Meiers Carlson, an ELCA pastor, mission developer, and Ph.D. student in Practical Theology at the Boston University School of Theology. They have one child, Anthony. Dr. Carlson and his family enjoy traveling and cooking together, as well as exploring the urban and rustic locales of the northeast.

Select Publications


Under Contract - The Spirit and the Self: Possession and Related Phenomena in the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Literature. Ekstasis: Religious Experience from Antiquity to the Middle Ages. Berlin: DeGruyter.


Forthcoming    “The Last Days: How Early Jews and Christians Found the End of the World in the Structure of the Pentateuch.” Sola Structura: Essays in Honor of Mark A. Throntveit. Word and World Supplement Series, 8 (2020).

Forthcoming    “Provocateurs,Examiners, and Fools: Divine Opponents to the Aqedah in Early Judaism.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly.

2018    “Hannah at Pentecost: On Recognizing Spirit Phenomena in Early Jewish Literature.” Journal of Pentecostal Theology,” 27 (2018): 245–58.

2017    “Rescaling the Margin and the Center in Early Judaism: Kratz’s Historical and Biblical Israel.” Die Welt des Orients, 47.1 (2017): 106–23.

2016    “The Boy Who Lived: Transformation of a Theological Motif in Biblical Tradition.” Word and World, 36.3 (2016): 276–84.