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David Lyle Jeffrey

Distinguished Professor of Literature and the Humanities, Honors College

Distinguished Senior Fellow, Director of Manuscript Research in Scripture and Tradition

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David Lyle Jeffrey has been Distinguished Professor of Literature and Humanities at Baylor University since 2000.  He is also Professor Emeritus of English Literature at the University of Ottawa, and has been Guest Professor at Peking University (Beijing) since 1996 and Honorary Professor at the University of International Business and Economics (Beijing) since 2005.

Jeffrey graduated from Wheaton College in 1965 and received his PhD from Princeton in 1968. He was first tenured (1973) at the University of Rochester, where he was inaugural director of the Medieval House Living-Learning Center. He was Reckitt and Coleman Visiting Professor at the University of Hull (UK) in 1970-71, Professor and Chair of the Department of English at the University of Victoria and subsequently Professor and Chair at the University of Ottawa in Canada. He has been a visiting professor for graduate programs at Regent College, The University of Notre Dame, The University of Toronto, Peking University and Regent College (UBC).

Among the honors he most values include being made inaugural Professor of the Year in Arts and Humanities at the University of Ottawa in 1995, election to the Royal Society of Canada in 1996, being chosen for the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Conference on Christianity and Literature in 2003, and invitation from St Andrews University in Scotland to give the Andrew Laing Lecture on the occasion of the 65th Anniversary of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Laing lecture in 2004.

Jeffrey teaches courses on medieval literature, the Bible as literature, medieval exegesis, biblical hermeneutics and literary theory, biblical tradition in the arts, art and biblical theology, literature and philosophy, and in other universities has taught also both biblical theology and literary theory.

Jeffrey is known as a medievalist and as a scholar of biblical tradition in Western Literature and art. His books include A Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature (1992), The Early English Lyric and Franciscan Spirituality (1975);  Chaucer and Scriptural Tradition (1984); English Spirituality in the Age of Wesley (1987; 1994; 2000); The Law of Love: English Spirituality in the Age of Wyclif (1988; 2001);  People of the Book: Christian Identity and Literary Culture (1996) ; Houses of the Interpreter: Reading Scripture, Reading Culture (2003). He has edited William Cowper:Selected Poetry and Prose (2006) and a co-authored book on The Bible and the University ( 2007). Most recently he has published Christianity and Literature: Philosophical Foundations and Critical Practice (IVP, 2011), co-authored by Gregory Maillet, and at press are The King James Bible and the World it Made (2011) and Luke: a Theological Commentary (Brazos Press, forthcoming).

His articles have appeared in Chinese as well as western academic journals, including Foreign Literature (Beijing), the Journal for Biblical Literature Studies (Henan) and the Journal of Christian Culture Studies (Renmin). Currently he has a wide range of article in both Chinese and English venues, including forthcoming chapters for the Cambridge History of Literary Criticism and Cambridge Companion to the Hebrew Bible, and a series of articles on Christianity and Marxism as well as Christianity and Confucianism in China. His western articles have appeared in such journals as the Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Shakespeare Studies, Viator, Christianity and Litearature, Interpretation, The American Benedictine Review, Franciscan Studies, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Church History, The University of Toronto Quarterly, Religion and Literature, Shofar and Current Issues in Catholic Higher Education. His current project is a book on the role of art in the development of Christian doctrine, entitled Arts of the Holy.