Information for

Alicia Batten

Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Theological Studies

Alicia BattenContact
(519) 885-0220 ext. 24246
Office:  CGUC 2116


BA, McGill University, 1989
MA, University of St. Michael’s College, 1992
PhD, University of St. Michael’s College, 2000

Research Areas:

The Letter of James, Social History of Christian Origins and Early Christianity, History of Biblical Interpretation 

Courses Taught:

RS 225 – Sacred Beauty: Religion and the Arts
RS 235 - Jesus: Life and Legacy 
RS 236 – Paul: Life and Letters 
RS 260 - The Study of Religion
RS 327/CLAS 326 - The Body, Dress, and Religion

TS 611 – Studying the New Testament
TS 617 – Unity and Diversity in the New Testament
TS 718 – Selected Topics in New Testament Exegesis: James; Gospel of Mark


Alicia Batten received her BA in Humanistic Studies from McGill University, and completed an MA and PhD in Theology, with a focus on the New Testament, at the University of St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses upon the origins and development of early Christianity, with particular emphasis upon the ancient Mediterranean cultural context (s), including material culture. She also thinks it important to study the shifting manner in which biblical texts have been interpreted over the centuries, and is currently writing a commentary examining the text reception and impact of the Letter of James. Beyond her academic interests, Alicia enjoys gardening, art, and reading works of fiction and poetry.

Selected Publications:

  • Friendship and Benefaction in James. Emory Studies in Early Christianity 15. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2017. Reprint of 2010 book.
  • Philippians, Colossians, Philemon (with Elsa Tamez, Cynthia Briggs Kittredge and Claire Miller Colombo). Wisdom Commentary Series¸ Volume 51. Collegeville:  Liturgical Press, 2017.
  • “Fish Tales.” Biblical Theology Bulletin 47 (2017) 5-14.
  • “(Dis)orderly Dress.”Pages 567-84 in Scribal Practices and Social Structures Among Jesus’ Adherents. Essays in Honour of John S. Kloppenborg. Edited by William E. Arnal, Richard S. Ascough, Robert A. Derrenbacker and Philip Harland.  BETL 285. Leuven: Peeters,  2016.
  • “The Letter of Jude and Graeco-Roman Invective” HvTSt 70 (2014) 7 pgs (6800 words).
  • “The Characterization of the Rich in James 5.” Pages 45-61 in To Set at Liberty. Essays on Early Christianity and Its Social World in Honor of John H. Elliott. Edited by Stephen K. Black. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2014.
  • Dressing Judeans and Christians in Antiquity. Edited by Kristi Upson-Saia, Carly Daniel-Hughes and Alicia J. Batten. Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2014.
  • “The Paradoxical Pearl: Signifying the Pearl East and West.” Pages 233-250 in Dressing Judeans and Christians in  Antiquity. Edited by Kristi Upson-Saia, Carly Daniel-Hughes and Alicia J. Batten. Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2014.
  • James, 1 & 2 Peter and Early Jesus Traditions. Edited by Alicia J. Batten and John S. Kloppenborg. LNTS 478. London: Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, 2014.
  • “The Urbanization of Jesus Traditions in James.” Pages 78-96 in James, 1 & 2 Peter and Early Jesus Traditions. Edited by Alicia J. Batten and John S. Kloppenborg. LNTS 478. London: Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, 2014.
  • “Thematic Affinities between the Letter of James and the Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles.” Pages 245-62 in Apocrypha. Receptions of the New Testament in Ancient Christian Apocrypha. Novum Testamentum Patristicum 26. Edited by Tobias Nicklas and Jean-Michel Roessli. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014.
  • “The Urban and the Agrarian in the Letter of James,” Journal of Early Christian History 3.2 (2013) 4-20.
  • “Rotting Riches: Economics in the Letter of James,” Vision 14, 1 (2014) 6-11.
  • “Clothing” Oxford Bibliographies in Biblical Studies.  Edited by Christopher Matthews. New York: Oxford, 2013.

    (See research web page for a fuller listing...)

Selected Activities: 

  • Associate Editor, Biblical Theology Bulletin

  • Associate Editor, Hervormde teologiese studies (University of Pretoria, South Africa)

  • Associate Editor, Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity, SBL Press

  • Associate Editor, Review of Biblical Literature, SBL Press

  • Leadership Team Member, 2015-16 Workshop for Pre-Tenure Undergraduate Religion Faculty, Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, Wabash Center, IN

  • Board Member, Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support

Recent Conference Papers and Addresses

  • “Early Anabaptist Reception of the Letter of James.” Annual International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Berlin, Germany, August, 2017
  • “André Trocmé interprète du Sermon sur la montagne” André Trocmé: Une figure du protestantisme au 20ème siècle. Geneva, Switzerland, November, 2016.
  • “Fish for Thought in the Early Church” Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, San Diego, November 2014.

Selected Public Speaking

  • “A Political Jesus?” UWaterloo Campus Ministry Student Group, March, 2016
  • “Peace and Justice in the New Testament” for a Multi-faith Dialogue Series, organized by the Renison Institute for Ministry and the Studies in Islam programme, Renison University College, October, 2015
  • "Doubting and Enduring in the Letter of James” MCEC Pastors’ Breakfast, Conrad Grebel University College, October, 2013.
  • “The Roles of Women in Christianity” for the Sudbury Multi-faith Dialogue, Sudbury, ON, October, 2011.
  • “Sin, Repentance and Forgiveness in the Christian Tradition” for the Sudbury Multi-faith Dialogue, Sudbury, ON, March 2011.

Fellowships and Awards:

  • Research Fellow, 2011-2014 – University of South Africa
  • Graves Award in the Humanities – American Council of Learned Societies
  • Society of Biblical Literature Regional Scholar – SBL
  • Fortress Press Undergraduate Religion Teaching Award
  • Wabash Centre Colloquys and Research Grants, Wabash Center, Indiana
  • Joachim Jeremias Graduate Student Essay Prize, Canadian Society of Biblical Studies
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarships

Web Page:

University of Waterloo

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