Dr. Coomber's primary areas of teaching and research focus on how biblical texts interact with the cultures and societies into which they are adopted, both past and present, with particular emphases on economics, social-justice movements, and the arts. With a focus on marginalized voices, his courses emphasize how the ancient stories of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament continue to find relevance in the lives of people whose cultures, societies, and worldviews differ greatly from those of the biblical authors.
Coomber has studied and taught in Europe, Canada, Japan, and India and has a background in Buddhist Studies and the Sanskrit language. He is an ordained Episcopal priest and works to bridge his academic and spiritual life with his human-rights concerns through work at the Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice, as well as in various other endeavors.
His personal interests include playing old-time and Celtic mandolin and banjo, travel, film, spending time with his wife and son, and supporting his favorite soccer team, Sheffield Wednesday F.C.
PhD, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, England
MDiv, Trinity College, University of Toronto
Graduate Study, Naropa University, Boulder, Co.
Buddhist Studies and Sanskrit
BA, Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn.
Religion and Philosophy (double major)
Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice, Director
Society of Biblical Literature, Co-Chair of Poverty in the Biblical World Section
Society for Old Testament Study
Catholic Biblical Association of America
THEO 130 - Introduction to the Old Testament
THEO 335 - Love, Land, and Law: Torah and the Ongoing Human Experience
THEO 336 - Bible and the Arts
THEO 337 - Bible and Social Justice
HON 101 - World of Ideas: War and Peace
UMAIE T4465 - Genocide, Rebellion, and God in Nazi Germany (Study Abroad course)
Re-Reading the Prophets through Corporate Globalization: A Cultural-Evolutionary Approach to Understanding Economic Injustice in the Hebrew Bible. Biblical Intersections 4: Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2010.
Amos and Micah Through the Centuries. Blackwell Bible Commentaries. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, forthcoming.
Fortress Commentary on the Bible: The Old Testament and Apocrypha. Edited by Gale A. Yee, Hugh R. Page, Jr., and Matthew J.M. Coomber. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014.
Bible and Justice: Ancient Texts, Modern Challenges. Edited by Matthew J.M. Coomber. BibleWorld: New York: Routledge Publishing, 2011.
Political Theology 11, No. 3, 2010. Guest editor of this special edition, which is comprised of selected papers from the 2008 Conference on Bible and Justice
"Reading the Old Testament in Ancient and Contemporary Contexts." Pages 5-29 in Fortress Commentary on the Bible: The Old Testament and Apocrypha. Edited by Gale A. Yee, Hugh R. Page, Jr., and Matthew J.M. Coomber. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014.
"Jonah." Pages 861-69 in Fortress Commentary on the Bible: The Old Testament and Apocrypha. Edited by Gale A. Yee, Hugh R. Page, Jr., and Matthew J.M. Coomber. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014.
"Micah." Pages 870-84 in Fortress Commentary on the Bible: The Old Testament and Apocrypha. Edited by Gale A. Yee, Hugh R. Page, Jr., and Matthew J.M. Coomber. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014.
"Debt as Weapon: Manufacturing Poverty from Judah to Today." Diaconia: Journal for the Study of Christian Social Practice 4, No. 2 (2013): 141-58.
"Before Crossing the Jordan: The Telling and Retelling of the Exodus Narrative in African-American History," in Exodus and Deuteronomy: Texts @ Contexts. Edited by Athalya Brenner and Gale A. Yee. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012.
"Prophets to Profits: Ancient Judah and Corporate Globalization." Pages 212-37 in Bible and Justice: Ancient Texts, Modern Challenges. BibleWorld. Edited by Matthew J.M. Coomber. Oakville, CT: Equinox Publishing, 2011.
"Subsistence and Greed: Revisiting the Eighth-Century Prophets in an Age of Globalization." Masihi Sevak 24, No. 3 (2009): 14-30.
"Occupying the Temple in Ancient Judah: Resisting Debt Exploitation, from Jerusalem to Wall Street," in How to Read the Bible in a Global Crisis. Edited by Bruce Worthington and Jonathan Bernier. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, Forthcoming.
"The Problem of Corruption in the Book of Micah: A Contributing Voice." In Micah. Authored by Julia O'Brien. Wisdom Commentary Series: Chicago: Liturgical Press, Forthcoming.
St. Ambrose Conference on Bible and Justice, Co-Organizer and Director
Society of Biblical Literature, Co-Chair of the Poverty in the Biblical World Section
International Society of Biblical Literature, Co-Chair of the Bible and Empire Section
Center for Teaching Excellence, Advisory Board
Middle East Institute, Advisory Board
Dean Search Committee, College of Arts and Sciences
SAU Center for International Education, Regional Expert: United Kingdom and Japan