Martin, Dale B. 1954-
MARTIN, Dale B. 1954-
(Dale Basil Martin)
PERSONAL: Born 1954. Education: Abilene Christian University, B.S. (summa cum laude), 1976; Princeton Theological Seminary, M.Div., 1982; Yale University, M.A., M.Phil., 1986, Ph.D., 1988.
CAREER: Educator, theologian, and writer. Yale University School of Divinity, New Haven, CT, teaching fellow in Yale College, 1983–87, professor of religious studies, 1999–2005, chair of department of religious studies, 2002–05, fellow of Whitney Humanities Center, 2003–, Woolsey professor of religious studies, 2005–; Rhodes College Department of Religion, instructor, 1987–88; Duke University, Durham, NC, assistant professor, 1988–95, associate professor of religion, 1995–99.
MEMBER: Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, American Academy of Religion, Society of Biblical Literature (member of steering committees, Pauline Epistles Section, 1990–95), Southeastern Regional Society of Biblical Literature (vice president and program chair, 1997–98; president, 1998–99).
AWARDS, HONORS: Senior fellow in New Testament, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1982; Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award, Duke University, 1990; Augustine Family Endowment Award, Duke University, 1991; Lilly Teaching fellow, 1990–91; National Endowment for the Humanities fellow for University Teachers, 1992–93; Alexander von Humboldt Research fellow, 1995; study leave fellow, Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, 2005–06.
Slavery as Salvation: The Metaphor of Slavery in Pauline Christianity, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 1990.
The Corinthian Body, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 1995.
Jews, Antiquity, and the Nineteenth-Century Imagination, University Press of Maryland (Bethesda, MD), 2003.
Inventing Superstition: From the Hippocratics to the Christians, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2004.
(Editor, with Patricia Cox Miller) The Cultural Turn in Late Ancient Studies: Gender, Asceticism, and Historiography, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 2005.
Contributor to journals, including Academy of Religion, Fides et Historia, Journal of Roman Studies, Journal of New Testament Studies, Princeton Seminary Bulletin, Journal of Biblical Literature, Religious Studies Review, Modern Theology 6, Modern Theology 7, Church History, and Journal of Theological Studies. Contributor to books, including To Each Its Own Meaning: An Introduction to Biblical Interpretations and Their Applications, edited by Stephen Haynes and Steven L. McKenzie, John Knox Press (Westminster, MD), 1993, revised and expanded 1999; The Jewish Family in Antiquity, edited by J. Shaye and D. Cohen, Scholars Press (Atlanta, GA), 1993; Biblical Interpretation 3, 1995; The Boswell Thesis: Essays for the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of John Boswell's Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, edited by Mathew Kuefler, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL); Biblical Ethics and Homosexuality: Listening to Scripture, edited by Robert L. Brawley, Westminster John Knox (Louisville, KY), 1996; Conventional Values of the Hellenistic Greeks: Studies in Hellenistic Civilization VIII, edited by Per Bilde and others, Århus University Press (Århus, Denmark), 1997; Constructing Early Christian Families: Family as Social Reality and Metaphor, edited by Halvor Moxnes, Routledge (London, England), 1997; Generation and Degeneration: Literature and Tropes of Reproduction, edited by Valeria Finucci and Kevin Brownlee, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 2001; Kropp og oppstandelse (title means "Body and Resurrection"), edited by Troels Engberg-Pedersen and Ingvild Saelid Gilhus, Pax (Oslo, Norway), 2001; Paul beyond the Judaism-Hellenism Dualism, edited by Engberg-Pedersen, Westminster John Knox, 2001; Naturlig sex?: Seksualitet og kjonn i den kristne anti-kken (title means "Natural Sex?: Sexuality and Gender in Ancient Christianity"), edited by Halvor Moxnes, Jostein Børtnes, and Dag Øistein Endsjø, Gyldendal (Oslo, Norway), 2002; Early Christian Families in Context: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue, edited by David L. Balch and Carolyn Osiek, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 2003; and Authorizing Marriage? Canon, Tradition, and Critique in the Blessing of Same-Sex Unions, edited by Mark Jordan, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2006.
SIDELIGHTS: Dale B. Martin studies religion with a focus on the Bible and has written or cowritten numerous theological books. In The Corinthian Body Martin focuses on the Graeco-Roman world's view of the individual and social body and how this view played a role in the disagreement in the Bible between Paul and the Corinthians, a conflict Martin reconstructs in detail. Martin closely examines the letters of Paul to the Corinthians and places the apostle within the context of his era as he discusses anachronistic interpretations of the text. He also analyzes how the social teachings in early Christianity were tied to parts of ancient ideologies. Much of the author's analyses focuses on Paul and delves into his reputation on a number of issues, including his strong advocacy for a patriarchal society. The book is broken down into two primary parts. One section focuses on "hierarchy" based on the valued importance of specific parts of the body and social class. The other section explores the concept of "pollution" based not only on disease but also on social "pollution" associated with such issues as sex.
"Especially noteworthy are Chapters 1 and 6, devoted specifically to Greco-Roman views of the body and of disease and pollution respectively," wrote Thomas H. Tobin in a review of The Corinthian Body in Theological Studies. Tobin noted that "this book is well worth reading for anyone interested in a sophisticated and nuanced analysis of 1 Corinthians." David Horrell, writing in the Journal of Theological Studies, commented that "one of Dale Martin's main concerns is to appreciate and understand ancient 'theories' and thought-patterns and to avoid the common pitfall of assuming that modern 'constructions' of the body, the self, the psyche, sexuality, and so on, were essentially similar in the ancient world." Horrell also pointed out that "this valuable and wide-ranging book will stimulate [numerous questions and thoughts] in its readers." In a review in the Journal of Religion, Margaret Mitchell felt that the author "has produced a fascinating and engaging interpretation of Paul's first letter to the Corinthians" and also called Martin's wrok an "imaginative, serious book." Interpretation contributor Scott Frady commented that "Martin shows that Christianity, while in many ways not conforming to first-century society, is itself a product of that society and the ideas which permeated it."
In Inventing Superstition: From the Hippocratics to the Christians Martin explores the meaning of "superstition" and how it has changed through the centuries, from the times of ancient Greece to the fourth century and the Christian Roman Empire. He discusses the works of Plato, Aristotle, Hippocrates, and other Greek thinkers. Gary P. Gillum, writing in the Library Journal, called Inventing Superstition "the perfect mind opener for readers desiring a better understanding of the religious climate of antiquity."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Choice, June, 2005, J.C. Hanges, review of Inventing Superstition: From the Hippocratics to the Christians, p. 1836.
Interpretation, October, 2000, Scott Frady, review of The Corinthian Body, p. 434.
Journal of Religion, April, 1997, Margaret Mitchell, review of The Corinthian Body, p. 290.
Journal of Theological Studies, October, 1996, David Horrell, review of The Corinthian Body, p. 624.
Library Journal, September 1, 2004, Gary P. Gillum, review of Inventing Superstition, p. 157.
Theological Studies, December, 1996, Thomas H. Tobin, review of The Corinthian Body, p. 740.
Yale University Department of Religious Studies Web site, http://www.yale.edu/religiousstudies/ (June 4, 2005), "Dale B. Martin."