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Information for

W. Derek Suderman

Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Theological Studies

Derek Suderman

Contact:
(519) 885-0220 ext. 24212
dsuderman@uwaterloo.ca
Office:  CGUC 4207
*email is preferred

Editor of the Conrad Grebel Review

Education:
BTh, Canadian Mennonite Bible College (now Canadian Mennonite Univ.), 1993.
BA (History/PACS), University of Waterloo, 1996
BEd, Brock University, 1997
MTS, Conrad Grebel University College, 2000
PhD, University of St. Michael’s College, 2007
 

Research Areas:

Psalms, lament, prophets, Wisdom literature, violence and the Bible, and the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament

*Profiled by the Centre for Teaching Excellence at the University of Waterloo: 

Courses Taught:

Undergraduate
RS 130/JS 131 - Big Ideas of the Bible
RS 232 - The Hebrew Prophets
RS 335 - The Violence of the Bible
RS 338 - Seeking Wisdom in the Bible

Graduate
TS 610 - Studying the Old Testament
TS 612 - Teaching the Bible
TS 715 - Special Topics: Isaiah
TS 715 - Special Topics: Psalms
TS 715 - Special Topics: Wisdom Literature
TS 715 - Special Topics: Job
TS 715 - Special Topics: Minor Prophets

About:

Derek Suderman teaches in both the undergraduate Religious Studies and graduate Master of Theological Studies programs. A Hebrew Bible/Old Testament specialist, Suderman's current research focuses on individual lament psalms.  Though often described as "prayers addressed to God," he demonstrates that most of these psalms include speech to a human audience as well and explores the meaning and function of this social address. In his teaching Suderman “seeks to make the Bible strange” by showing how the language and culture “gives students a mirror to look at their own contemporary culture in which they are challenged to confront alternative ways of seeing the world and their place in it. Suderman is particularly interested to explore how diverse cultural and historical contexts inform biblical interpretation, both positively and negatively.
 

Selected Publications:

Publications

  • “From Dialogic Tension to Social Address: Reconsidering Mandolfo’s Proposed Didactic Voice in Lament Psalms.” In Journal of Hebrew Scriptures vol. 17, article 10 (2017): 1-26.
  • “Los Salmos de Lamentación: Implicaciones teológicas a partir de un análisis de su audiencia social. (Lament Psalms: Theological Implications Emerging from an Analysis of their Social Audience)” Aportes Bíblicos: Revista de la Escuela de Ciencias Bíblicas 24. San José, Costa Rica: Universidad Bíblica Latinoamericana, 2017.
  • “Conversion to Wisdom.” In Quest for Respect: The Church and Indigenous Spirituality, Intotemak 46 (2017): 109-113.
  • “The Vocative Lamed and Shifting Address in the Psalms: Reevaluating Dahood’s Proposal.” Vetus Testamentum 65:2 (2015): 297-312.
  • “‘Is it Lawful?’ Interpretation and Discernment in Light of Sabbath Controversies.” In Vision: A Journal for Church and Theology 16:1 (2015): 79-88.

  • Wrestling with Our Identity.” In Canadian Mennonite 17.9 (April 29, 2013): 4-7.  

  • “Psalms.” In Fortress Commentary on the Old Testament and Apocrypha. Edited by Matthew Coomber, Gale Yee, and Hugh Page. Minneapolis MN: Fortress Press, 2014: 547-599.

  • “Assyria the Ax, God the Lumberjack: Jeremiah 29, the Logic of the Prophets, and the Quest for a Non-Violent God,” Conrad Grebel Review 32:1 (2014): 44-66.
  • “The Cost of Losing Lament for the Community of Faith: On Brueggemann, Ecclesiology, and the Social Audience of Prayer.” Journal of Theological Interpretation 6.2 (2012): 201-17.
  • “Created as Male and Female: ’adam, Gender, and the Legacy of Disobedience.” In On Being Human: Essays from the Fifth Shi‘i Muslim Mennonite Christian Dialogue. Edited by Harry Huebner and Hajj Muhammad Legenhausen. Winnipeg MB: CMU Press, 2013.  Pp 211-230.

  • “Reflections of a Christian Settler in the Haldimand Tract.” In Buffalo Shout, Salmon Cry: Conversations on Creation, Land Justice, and Life Together. Edited by Steve Heinrichs. Harrisonburg VA and Waterloo ON: Herald Press, 2013. Pp 263-74.

  • “The Cost of Losing Lament for the Community of Faith: On Brueggemann, Ecclesiology, and the Social Audience of Prayer.” Journal of Theological Interpretation 6.2 (2012): 201-17.

  • Wrestling with Violent Depictions of God: A Response to Eric Seibert’s Disturbing Divine Behavior,” Direction, Fall, 2011.
  • “In Search of Divine Wisdom: Perspectives on MCC from Old Testament Wisdom,” Conrad Grebel Review, Winter 2011, pp. 71-89.
     

Selected Activities: 

Conference Presentations

  • “Seeking Shalom as the End of Lament.” At Word, Spirit and the Renewal of the Church: Believers’ Church, Ecumenical and Global Perspectives Conference. Goshen College, Goshen IN, Sept. 16, 2017.
  • “The Beginning of Lament in the Psalms.” Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, Ryerson University, Toronto ON, May 27, 2017.
  • “Domesticating Shalom: Biblical Lament as a Resource for Addressing Violence.” Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference, Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo ON, June 11, 2016.
  • “From Dialogic Tension to Social Address: Reconsidering the Rhetoric of Lament.” Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, St. Catherines, ON, May 25, 2014.
  • “The Other Prophetic Imagination: Brueggemann, Isaiah of Jerusalem, and the Internal Critique of Empire.” Society of Biblical Literature, Chicago IL, Nov. 17, 2012.
  • “Assyria the Ax, God the Lumberjack: Jer. 29, the Logic of the Prophets, and the Quest for a Non-Violent God,” Mennonite Scholars and Friends Forum, SBL Additional Meetings, Chicago IL, Nov. 17, 2012.
  • “Hearing Jussives at Work: An Exploration of Rhetorical Function in Individual Lament Psalms.” Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta GA, Nov. 23, 2010.
     

Additional Teaching and Speaking Engagements

  • 2018, Feb. 5: “Reading the Bible as a Community of Learners… & Teachers,” offered through the Anabaptist Learning Workshop, Tavistock Mennonite Church, Tavistock ON. (approx. 20 participants

  • 2017, Apr. 26: Bible Study “Reconsidering the Gospel in Indigenous Relations,” during the Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights, St. Margaret’s Anglican Church, Toronto ON.
  • 2016, May 6: Keynote Presentations, Brethren in Christ Theological Study Day, Oakville ON. 
    - (How) Can Violent Language Be a Theological Resource?
    - The Transformation of the Messiah: From Royal Psalms of Conquest to Jesus’ Suffering and Passion
  • 2016, May 17-19: “Leading Dynamic Bible Study” - 15 hrs. workshop on Bible study and Bible study facilitation,  “Mennonite Church Saskatchewan Leader’s Event,” Saskatoon SK
  • 2016, Mar. 20: “Hot Topics 2: God and Violence,” Conrad Grebel Chapel event, Waterloo ON. 
  • July 22-24, 2015: Led Workshops at the Mennonite World Conference, Harrisburg PA: “Hearing Prayers for Peace;” “More Than a ‘Fish Story’: Jonah’s Challenge for Today;” and “Wrestling with Scripture: The Art of Facilitating Dynamic Bible Study.”
  • 2014, Oct. 24: Eby Lecture, Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, ON: “Seeking Shalom as the End of Lament.”  
  • 2014, Apr. 9: Universidad Bíblica Latinoamericana, San José, Costa Rica. Invited academic presentation: “El Reto Social del Llanto: Implicaciones Teológicas y Eclesiales de los Lamentos del Individuo” (“The Social Challenge of the ‘Cry: Theological and Ecclesiological Implications of Individual Laments”).
  • Mennonite World Conference, Harrisburg PA: Workshops “Hearing Prayers for Peace;” “More Than a ‘Fish Story’: Jonah’s Challenge for Today;” and “Wrestling with Scripture: The Art of Facilitating Dynamic Bible Study.” July 22-24, 2015.

  • Oct. 24, 2014: Eby Lecture, Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, ON: “Seeking Shalom as the End of Lament.” 

  • 2014, Apr. 9: Universidad Bíblica Latinoamericana, San José, Costa Rica. Invited academic presentation: “El Reto Social del Llanto: Implicaciones Teológicas y Eclesiales de los Lamentos del Individuo” (“The Social Challenge of the ‘Cry: Theological and Ecclesiological Implications of Individual Laments”).

  • 2013, Dec. 2: Jewish Educational Manna (JEM) continuing education program, Jewish Community Centre, London ON. Presentation: “A Prophet’s Job Description as Examined through Jonah.”

  • 2013, May: Institut Biblique du Bénin in Cotonou, Bénin, West Africa. Taught:
    - Introducción au Ancien Testament (Introduction to the Old Testament), translated into French
    - Les Psaumes (Psalms), translated into French and Fon (Institut Biblique du Bénin, Cotonou, Bénin), Open course with 200 students, May, 2013.

 

Web Page:  http://uwaterloo.academia.edu/DerekSuderman
 

Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo

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