Colleen Shantz

Dr. Colleen Shantz is a professor of New Testament at the Faculty of Theology.

For the past 3 years, Dr. Shantz also served as Director of The Graduate Centre of Theological Studies (GCTS) at the Toronto School of Theology. Dr. Shantz is also currently serving on the Advisory Board of the Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion. Dr. Shantz is also a member of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, a member of the International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion, and a member of the American Academy of Religion.

Dr. Shantz earned her BA at the University of Waterloo, and then went on to complete her MDiv at the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary. Dr. Shantz then completed her PhD at the University of St. Michael’s College.

 

  • Area of Expertise
    • New Testament Social World
    • Social Scientific Approaches
    • Early Christian Religious Experience
    • Cognitive Science of Religion
  • Publications

    Monograph

    Paul in Ecstasy: The Neurobiology of the Apostle’s Life and Thought. New York, Cambridge University Press: 2009.

    Edited Books

    With Rikard Roitto and Petri Luomanen, eds. Social and Cognitive Perspectives on the Sermon
    on the Mount. Sheffield, UK: Equinox, in press (October, 2020).

    With Rodney A. Werline, eds. Experientia: Volume 2: From Text to Experience. Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2012.

    With Frances Flannery and Rodney A. Werline, eds. Experientia: Volume 1. Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2008.

    Articles/Book Chapters

    Co-authored with Rikard Riotto and Petri Luomanen. “The Contribution of Social and Cognitive Perspectives to the Interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount.” Introduction, Cognitive and Social Readings of the Sermon on the Mount. Sheffield, UK: Equinox, [October, 2020].

    “It’s All in How You Look at It: The Eyes and Morality in Matt 6:22–23.” Chapter in Cognitive and Social Readings of the Sermon on the Mount. Sheffield, UK: Equinox, [October, 2020].

    “Altered States of Consciousness.” In The Ancient Mediterranean Social World: A Sourcebook,
    edited by Zeba Crook, 207-221. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2020. R

    “Ritual and Religious Experience.” In The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Ritual, pp. 477-490, edited by Risto Uro, Juliette Day, Richard DeMaris, Rikard Roitto, 477-489. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2019. R

    “In the Divine (Mental) Image: Theological Anthropology and the Structures of Cognition.” In Theology as Interdisciplinary Inquiry: Learning with and from the Natural and Human Sciences, edited by Robin W. Lovin and Joshua Mauldin, 50-67. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, March, 2017.

    “The Bible and Divine Sanctioning of Governments.” In Bible in Political Debate: What Does It Really Say?, edited by Frances Flannery and Rodney Alan Werline, 101–12, Bloomsbury, 2016.

    “Religious Feeling and Social Change: The Case of Galatians 3:28,” Mind, Morality, and Magic: Cognitive Science Approaches in Biblical Studies, edited by Istvan Czachesz and Risto Uro, 251-70. Durham, UK: Acumen, 2013. R

    “‘I Have Learned to Be Content’ Happiness According to the Apostle Paul.” In The Bible and the Pursuit of Happiness, edited by Brent Strawn, 187-201. New York: Oxford University Press,2012. R

    “Opening the Black Box: New Prospects for Analyzing Religious Experience.” In Experientia, Volume 2: Linking Text and Experience, edited by Colleen Shantz and Rodney Werline, 1–16. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Lit, 2012.

    “The Confluence of Trauma and Transcendence in the Pauline Corpus” Experientia: Volume I. Ed. Frances Flannery, Colleen Shantz, and Rodney A. Werline, 193-206. Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2008.

    “Editorial,” Toronto Journal of Theology 24/2 (2008): 169.

    “Wisdom Is as Wisdom Does: The Use of Folk Proverbs in Q 7:31-35,” Toronto Journal of Theology 17/2 (2002): 249-62. R

    Manuscripts in Preparation

    “Take a Chance on Me: Trustworthy Initiation Rituals in Galatia.” Article for submission to Journal for the Study of the New Testament. Penultimate draft complete.

    “Speaking in Character but From Experience: Reconsidering Romans 7:7-25.” Article for submission to Catholic Biblical Quarterly. In progress.

    “Satire as an Emotional Strategy.” For submission to Classical Antiquity. In progress.

    Reviews

    Jeffrey B. Gibson, The Temptations of Jesus in Early Christianity (1995), in Toronto Journal of Theology 14/1 (1998): 93-94

    Francis Watson, Agape, Eros, Gender: Towards a Pauline Sexual Ethic (2000), in Religious Studies Review 29/2 (2003): 200.

    Karl Olav Sandnes, Belly and Body in the Pauline Epistles (2002), in Religious Studies Review 30/1 (2004): 71.

    David R. Bauer, An Annotated Guide to Biblical Resources for Ministry (Hendrickson, 2003), Toronto Journal of Theology 20/1 (2004): 93-94.

    Renate Nummela Caine, et al, 12 Brain/Mind Learning Principles in Action: The Fieldbook for Making Connections, Teaching, and the Human Brain (Corwin, 2005), Teaching Theology and Religion 9/3 (2006): 189-90.

    Petri Luomanen, Ilkka Pyysiäinen, and Risto Uro, eds. Explaining Christian Origins and Early Judaism: Contributions from Cognitive and Social Science. (Brill, 2007), in Biblical Theology Bulletin: A Journal of Bible and Theology, 39/3 (2009): 166-167.

    John J. Pilch, Flights of the Soul: Visions, Heavenly Journeys, and Peak Experiences in the Biblical World (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2011), in Biblical Theology Bulletin: A Journal of Bible and Theology, 42/4 (2012): 221-222.

    Thomas Kazan, Emotions in Biblical Law: A Cognitive Science Approach. Hebrew Bible Monographs 36. Sheffield: Sheffield-Phoenix, 2011. Swedish Exegetical Yearbook, 79, (2014): 183-185.

  • Keynote or Lectureship

    “What the Body Knows,” keynote address for symposium, What the Body Knows: Embodied Senses & Meaning-Creation in the Biblical Imagination, sponsored by
    University of Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (Sheffield/virtual).

    “Did Early Christians Believe the Bible?,” 10th Annual Meagher Lecture, University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto.

    “Imagine There’s a Heaven: The Role of Imagination in Niche Construction,” keynote presentation in Future Directions on the Evolution of Rituals, Beliefs, and Religious Minds, Erice, Sicily. Sponsored by the Majorana Foundation (Sicily) and the Centre for the Study of Human Evolution, Cognition, and Culture (University of British Columbia).

    “Natural and Unnatural Religion: Considering the Science and Religion Debate,” Allan R. Sharp Religion in Life Annual Lecture, Barton College, North Carolina.

  • Invited Academic

    “Bio-cultural Explanations for Ritual Practices,” Religion in Ancient Judaism and Christianity Seminar, Canadian Society of Biblical Studies. (conference cancelled)

    Panelist, review of Handbooks on Ritual (Oxford and ) co-sponsored by Meals in the Greco-Roman World, Ritual in the Biblical World sections, Society of Biblical
    Literature (November, San Diego).

    “Take a Chance on Me: Trustworthy Initiation Rituals in Galatia,” Rituals, Emotions, and Identity, International Conference at the University of Rostock (June, Germany).

    Panelist, “Computational Modeling at the Interface of Traditional Religious Studies and Cognitive Science of Religion,” Cognitive Science of Religion Unit, American
    Academy of Religion (November, Denver).

    “It’s All in How You Look at It: The Eyes and Morality in Matt 6:22-23,” Mind, Society, and Religion Section, Society of Biblical Literature (November, Denver).

    Respondent to panelists, “Comparative Forms of Religious Expertise,” Historical Paul Section, Society of Biblical Literature (November, Denver).

    Response to J.T. Lamoreaux, R.E. DeMaris, and S.C. Muir (eds.), Early Christian Ritual Life (Routledge, 2018), Canadian Society of Biblical Studies (Regina, May).

    “Diagnosing the Pathogen, Treating the Source: Spirit Possession as a Biocultural Phenomenon,” Historical Jesus Section, Society of Biblical Literature, Boston.

    “When Actions Speak more loudly than Words: Re-evaluating the Galatians Debate,” Amsterdam New Testament Colloquium, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.

    Panellist, Review of Gil Anidjar, Blood: A Critique of Christianity (Columbia UP,2014), Theory in Biblical Studies Seminar, Canadian Society of Biblical Studies,
    Calgary.

    “On Rehabilitating Religious Experience.” Seminar in Early Christianity, Early Judaism, and the Study of Religion, Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, Edmonton.

    “’Curiouser and Curiouser’: Developments in Understandings of Embodiment and Contexts in Religious Experience.” Religious Experience in Early Judaism and Early
    Christianity sections, SBL, San Antonio.

    “Divine Accommodation and the Hermeneutics of Enculturation.” Women, the Diaconate, and the Future of Ministry, study day, University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto.

    “’I Do Not Understand My Actions’: Some Cognitive Bases for Natural Dualisms.” Joint session between Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Interpretation and Mysticism,
    Esotericism, and Gnosticism in Antiquity sections, SBL, Atlanta.

    Respondent for papers on “Cooperation, Manipulation, and Violence: Evolutionary Perspectives on Ancient Texts” in Mind, Society and Religion section, SBL, Atlanta.

    Respondent to Ara Norenzayan, Big Gods: How Religions Transformed Cooperation and Conflict (Princeton, 2013). Cognitive Science of Religion and Religion, Brain, and
    Behavior session of the American Academy of Religion, San Diego.

    “Religious Experience in the Wild: Multi-Level Explanations of Religion.” University of Toronto Interdisciplinary Symposium on the Mind, organized by the Cognitive Science
    and Artificial Intelligence Students’ Association, Toronto.

    “The Eye as a Lamp on Cognition: Matt 6:22-23 as Embodied, Embedded, and Extended Cognition.” Keynote presentation, Social and Cognitive Sciences in the Analysis of the Sermon on the Mount, Nordfosk Network, Helsinki, Finland.

    Respondent to panel on “Baptism and Religious Experience.” Religious Experience in Antiquity and Ritual in the Biblical World sections, SBL, Baltimore.

    “Cognitive Science of Religion and Christian Origins.” Society of Biblical Literature; Mind, Society, and Religion section, SBL, Chicago.

    “Religion and Self-Consciousness: Technologies for Well-Being.” In Search of Well-Being: Perspectives on Health and Religious Traditions, Department of New Testament and Early Christian Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria.

    “The More We Get Together: Reflections on Synchrony and Ritual.” Society of Biblical Literature, Ritual and the Biblical World section, San Francisco.

    Respondent to presenters in “Responses to Colleen Shantz, Paul in Ecstasy: The Neurobiology of the Apostle’s Life and Thought (New York: Cambridge, 2009).” Society of Biblical Literature/American Academy of Religion, Religious Experience in Early Judaism and Early Christianity/Cognitive Science of Religion co-sponsored session, San Francisco.

    “Neurobiological Perspectives on Paul.” Cognitive Science and the Bible: A Symposium about Cognitive Approaches in Biblical Studies, Nordic Scholars Network, Stockholm, Sweden.

    “The Varieties of Resurrection Beliefs.” Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament section, SBL, Atlanta.

  • Academic Conferences

    “Constructing Heaven: The Cultural Adaptation of Afterlife Belief,” Cognitive Science of Religion section, American Academy of Religion and Mind, Society, and Religion
    section, Society of Biblical Literature section, Boston.

    “Phineas Gage Reads the Satirists: Emotion as Communication,” Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, Regina.

    “Neurocognitive Analysis of Pre-modern Religious Texts: Ideation, Affect, and Insight.” Cognitive Science of Religion section, American Academy of Religion, San Diego. Co-presented with Dr. Andrea Hollingsworth.

    “Experiencing Transformation that Was Already Underway.” Second Corinthians: Pauline Theology in the Making Seminar, Society of Biblical Literature, New Orleans.

    “’This Story Is Going to Take a Long Time: The Unbinding of Stories in Green Grass, Running Water.” The Bible in Ancient and Modern Media section, Society of Biblical Literature, New Orleans.

    “What Are We Looking for and How Would We Know if We Found It?” Religious Experience in Early Judaism and Christianity section, Society of Biblical Literature,
    Boston.

    “Corinth and the ‘Invention’ of Christianity.” Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, Vancouver.

    “Enduring Experience in Formative Christianity.” European Society of Biblical Studies, Lisbon.

    “Resetting the Emotional Dynamics of Identity.” Mind Society and Tradition section of the International Society of Biblical Literature, Vienna.

    “Possession and Inspiration: Two Neurological Modes of the Spirit.” Religious Experience in Early Judaism and Christianity section, Society of Biblical Literature, Washington, DC.

    “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Paul’s Religious Experience.” Religious Experience in Early Judaism and Early Christianity session, Society of Biblical Literature, Philadelphia.

    “Cloaking History in Beauty: The Crucifixion in the Interpretations of Dali and Luke,” The Bible and Visual Art session, Society of Biblical Literature, Philadelphia.

    “Arrested Development: Catching up to Gal 3:28,” Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, London, Ontario.

    “In His Own Image and Likeness: Albert Schweitzer’s Portrait of the ‘Mystical’ Paul,” Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

    “The Neural Pathway to Paradise: a Medical-Anthropological Reading of 2 Cor 12:1-4,” Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, Laval, Quebec, May, 2001.