Reed Carlson

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

The Rev. Dr. Reed Carlson specializes in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Second Temple Jewish literature, and postcolonial approaches to studying ancient religious texts. An overarching goal of his work is engaging the fraught hermeneutical issues involved in critically examining ancient and modern religious experience. He also maintains active research interests in the modern reception history of the Hebrew Bible, particularly in matters related to Jewish-Christian relations and the interpretation of scripture in religious communities historically marginalized by traditional biblical scholarship. His published work includes research on spirit possession, apocalyptic expectation, and other phenomena present in biblical texts and prevalent in many minoritized communities of faith. His work develops frameworks whereby scholars and ministers can interact with these topics critically and pastorally, and in ways that are not reductionist or hegemonic. 

Dr. Carlson’s first book, Unfamiliar Selves in the Hebrew Bible: Possessionand Other Spirit Phenomena (DeGruyter, 2022) was awarded the2021 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise. You can hear Dr. Carlson discuss his book in an interview on the biblical studies podcast On Script.

An ordained minister in the Episcopal Church with Pentecostal roots, Dr. Carlson is passionate about ecumenism, 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 communities.

Dr. Carlson is married to the Rev. Britta Meiers Carlson, an ELCA pastor and Ph.D. student in Practical Theology at the Boston University School of Theology. They enjoy exploring the urban and rustic locales of the northeast with their two children.



 Unfamiliar Selves in the Hebrew Bible: Possession and Other Spirit Phenomena (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2022).
DOI: 10.1515/9783110670035


“Provocateurs, Examiners, and Fools: Divine Opponents to the Aqedah in Early Judaism.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 83.3 (2021): 373-389. DOI: 10.1353/cbq.2021.0080.

“A Structure for the End of the World: 4QFlorilegium and the ‘Latter Days’ in Early Jewish Tradition,” Word and World 40.3 (2020): 246–54.

“Hannah at Pentecost: On Recognizing Spirit Phenomena in Early Jewish Literature.” Journal of Pentecostal Theology,” 27 (2018): 245–58. DOI: 10.1163/17455251-02702005.

“Rescaling the Margin and the Center in Early Judaism: Kratz’s Historical and Biblical Israel.” Die Welt des Orients, 47. 1 (2017): 106–23. DOI: 10.13109/wdor.2017.47.1.106.

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

“The Open God of the Sodom and Gomorrah Cycle.” Journal of Pentecostal Theology, 21.2(2012): 185-200. DOI: 10.1163/17455251-02102001.

 Mailing address:
7301 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA  19119