Karen Wenell


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am interested in supervising research students who would like to work in any of the following areas:

Spatial-critical approaches in Biblical Studies
Ethical Consuming and the Bible (especially NT and Gospels)
Human Rights and the Bible (especially NT and Gospels)
The Bible and Sacred Space (especially NT and Gospels)
The Bible in Religious Education (especially in relation to ethical issues and parables)


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Prior to joining the Department of Theology and Religion in Birmingham in 2011, I was co-editor of the Expository Times (2005-2011), and Lecturer in Creativity, Culture and Faith at the University of Glasgow (2006-2011), where I had previously completed my doctoral research, focussing on ideas about land as sacred space in Second Temple Judaism and Early Christianity. 

Research interests

A common theme running through various strands of my research activity is ethics and morality in relation to biblical texts and contemporary life. My current monograph research is on the Kingdom of God in the New Testament and contemporary reception, exploring aspects of ethical consuming and human rights in relation to the biblical conception of the Kingdom.

I am currently Principal Investigator on the AHRC Network Grant ‘Women, Faith and Humanitarian Interventions’, part of the wider Global Challenges Research Fund. With co-investigator Andrew Davies and project partners Global One, we will be exploring religious needs of refugee women and spaces of activation, support and empowerment of women. 

Multidisciplinary investigation of the role of texts and theologies is crucial to the ‘Women, Faith and Humanitarian Interventions’ network, as it has also been for previous projects I have been involved with. I have been co-investigator on the AHRC-funded workshop (led by Damian Sutton) ‘Not Just for Christmas: Consumption, Popular Culture and Religious Observance’, exploring ethical consuming as it relates to cultural and biblical narratives of Christmas and everyday life. I have also engaged with the role of texts and ethical issues in Religious Education provision across the UK as co-investigator on the large grant ‘Does Religious Education Work?’, led by Jim Conroy under the AHRC’s ‘Religion and Society’ programme.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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