Distinguished Professor of Literature and the Humanities, Honors College
Distinguished Senior Fellow, Director of Manuscript Research in Scripture and Tradition
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. He was also Reckitt and Coleman Visiting Professor at the University of Hull (UK) in 1970-71. Subsequently he became Professor and Chair of the Department of English at the University of Victoria and then 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 Institute for Christian Studies (University of Toronto), Peking University, and Adjunct Professor of Art History at Augustine College.
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, an 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, and receiving the Cornelia Marschall Smith Outstanding Professor Award at Baylor in 2015.
Jeffrey teaches courses on the Bible as literature, medieval exegesis, biblical hermeneutics and literary theory, biblical tradition in the arts, and philosophy of art (aesthetics).
Jeffrey is known as a medievalist and 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). More recently he has published Christianity and Literature: Philosophical Foundations and Critical Practice (IVP, 2011), co-authored by Gregory Maillet, and The King James Bible and the World it Made (2011) and Luke: a Theological Commentary (2012). His In the Beauty of Holiness: Art and the Bible in Western Culture will appear this year (Eerdmans).
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 articles 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 Bible and literary imagination.