Francis Landy

Professor Emeritus

Mailing Address: History and Classics
University of Alberta
2-28 Tory Building
Edmonton AB Canada T6G 2H4


Ph.D. University of Sussex (1983)
B.A. Cambridge University (1969)

Expertise & Research Interests

Francis Landy specializes in the literary study of the Hebrew Bible. He is particularly interested in questions of language, identity, and the relationship of poetry to trauma in the book of Isaiah, on which he has been writing for many years. His focus in this work has been sexuality and gender; death; alterity; and the constitutive enigma, whereby Isaiah is commissioned to speak so as not to be understood. Future topics on which he intends to write are parable and metaphor; maternal imagery in Deutero-Isaiah; and Trito-Isaiah. Other interests are Midrash, Kabbalah and theory in the study of religion, in which he straddles the divide between poetic and socially orientated approaches. His books include Paradoxes of Paradise: Identity and Difference in the Song of Songs, Hosea, a commentary in the Readings series published by Sheffield Phoenix Press, and Beauty and the Enigma and Other Essays on the Hebrew Bible. He is editor of the Canadian journal Studies in Religion, and is currently President of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies. As graduate coordinator, he steered through the establishment of the doctoral program in Religious Studies at the University of Alberta.

Research & Publications


The Tale of Aqhat (Introduction, Translation, Commentary). Menard Press, London, 1981.

Paradoxes of Paradise: Identity and Difference in the Song of Songs. Almond Press: Sheffield, 1983

Hosea Readings. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press. 1995.

Beauty and the Enigma and Other Essays in the Hebrew Bible (JSOT Sup. 312; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001).


"The Song of Songs and the Garden of Eden" JBL 98 (1979) 513-528.

"Beauty and the Enigma: An Inquiry into Some Interrelated Episodes in the Song of Songs" JSOT 17 (1980) 53-106.

"The Name of God and the Image of God and Man" Theology 84 (1981) 164-170.

"Irony and Catharsis in Biblical Poetry: David's Lament over Saul and Jonathan" European Judaism 15/1 (1981) 3-13.

"Structure and Mythology in the Song of Songs" Prospice 11 (1981) 97-117.

"The Serpent in the Garden of Eden" Harvest 27 (1981) 38-44.

"Two Versions of Paradise: The Metaphor of the Garden in the Song of Songs and the Garden of Eden" Harvest 28 (1982) 112-129.

"The Case of Kugel: Do we Find ourselves when we Lose ourselves in the Text?" Comparative Criticism 5 (1983) 305-316.

"Eros and Hieros in the Song of Songs" The Heythrop Journal 24 (1983) 301-307.

"Poetics and Parallelism: Some Comments on James Kugel's 'The Idea of Biblical Poetry'" JSOT 28 (1984) 61-87.

"Are we in the Place of Averroes?" Semeia 32 (1985) 131-148.

"A Possible Trace of the Theme of the Centaur in the Midrash" Synkresis D 156-161, E 121-130 (1986).

"Gilead and the Fatal Word" Proceedings of the Ninth World Congress of Jewish Studies (1986) 39-44.

"Recent Developments in Biblical Poetics" Prooftexts 7 (1987) 163-178.

"The Song of Songs" The Literary Guide to the Bible ed. Robert Alter and Frank Kermode (Harvard U.P.: Cambridge and Collins: London, 1987) 305-319. Paperback edition 1990.

"Lamentations" The Literary Guide to the Bible, pp. 329-334.

"Vision and Poetic Speech in Amos" HAR 11 (1987) 223-246.

"Between the Bible and Torah" in Approaches to the Hebrew Bible in Translation ed. Barry N. Olshen and Yael S. Feldman (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1989) pp. 83-86.

"Narrative Techniques and Symbolic Transactions in the Akedah" in Signs and Wonders: Biblical Texts in Literary Focus ed. J. Cheryl Exum (Scholars Press: 1989) 1-40.

"Literariness and the Bible" Jewish Quarterly 135 (Autumn, 1989), 53-57.

"Shibboleth: The Password" Proceedings of the Tenth World Congress of Jewish Studies (1990) 91-99.

"On the Gender of God and the Feminist Enterprise: A Response to Shannon Clarkson" Studies in Religion 19 (1990) 485-487.

"Humour as a Tool in Biblical Exegesis" in On Humour and the Comic in the Hebrew Bible ed. A. Brenner and Y.T. Radday (Sheffield Academic Press: Sheffield, 1990) 101-117. Reprint of "Humour in the Bible" Jewish Quarterly 29/1 (1980) 13-19.

Preface to Jan Fokkelman Narrative Art in Genesis: Specimens of Stylistic and Structural Analysis (JSOT Press: The Biblical Seminar 12: Sheffield, 1991) xi-xvi.

"Jouissance and Poetics." Union Seminary Quarterly Review 45 (1991) 51-64.

"In Defense of Jakobson" in JBL III(1992) 105-13.

"Mishneh Torah: A Response to Myself and Phyllis Trible" in A Feminist Companion to the Song of Songs ed. A Brenner (Sheffield Academic Press: Sheffield 1993) pp. 260-265.

"Tracing the Voice of the Other: Isaiah 28 and the Covenant with Death." For The New Literary Criticism and the Hebrew Bible ed. David J. Clines and J. Cheryl Exum (Sheffield Academic Press: Sheffield, 1993) 140-162.

"The Construction of the Subject and the Symbolic Order: A Reading of the Last Three Suffering Servant Songs." Among the Prophets: Language, Image and Structure in the Prophetic Writings ed. Philip Davies (Sheffield Academic Press: Sheffield, 1993) pp. 60-71.

"On Metaphor, Play and Nonsense." Semeia 61 (1993) 219-237.

"Sacred Space and Public Pleasure." Muse II (1993) 22-27.

"Ruth and the Romance of Realism, or Deconstructing History" JAAR 62 (1994) pp.285-317.

"In the Wilderness of Speech: Problems of Metaphor in Hosea." Biblical Interpretation 3 (1995) pp.35-59.

"Fantasy and the Displacement of Desire in Hosea 2.4-17" in Athalya Brenner (ed.) A Feminist Companion to the Latter Prophets (The Feminist Companion to the Bible 8; Sheffield Academic Press: Sheffield), 1995 pp.145-160.

"Sex and Sadism in Hosea" in J. Magonet (ed.) Jewish Explorations of Sexuality London: Duckworth, Providence: Berghahn, 1995, pp. 17-26.

"Do We Want our Children to Read this Book?" Semeia 77 (Danna Nolan Fewell and Gary A. Phillips (eds) The Bible and the Ethics of Reading, 1997) pp.155-175

"Flood and Fludd" in J.Cheryl Exum and Stephen D. Moore (eds). _Biblical Studies/Cultural Studies: The Third Sheffield Colloquium_(Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998) pp.117-159.

"Strategies of Concentration and Diffusion in Isaiah 6" Biblical Interpretation 6 (1999) pp.58-86.

"Leviticus, Deconstruction and the Body." Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 2 (1999)

"Seraphim and Poetic Process." In Fiona C.Black and Erin Runions (eds) The Labour of Reading: Essays in Honour of Robert C. Culley at the Time of His Retirement ( Semeia Studies; Atlanta: ScholarsPress, 2000), pp.15-34

"The Song of Songs." For David N. Freedman (ed.). Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000) pp.1242-44

"Vision and Voice in Isaiah." Journal for the Study of the Old Testament.88 (2000) pp.19-36.

"The Covenant With Death." In Tod Linafelt (ed) Strange Fire: The Hebrew Scriptures After the Holocaust. (The Biblical Seminar 71; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000) pp.220-232.

"Récits d'amour dans la Bible hébraique" Le Monde du Bible 128 (2000) pp.53-55.

"Ghostwriting Isaiah." In Philip R. Davies (ed.) First Person: Essays in Biblical Autobiography (London and New York: Continuum, 2002) pp.93-114

"Perversity, Truth and the Readerly Experience" in Ingrid Rosa Kitzberger (ed) Autobiographical Biblical Criticism (Leiden: Deo, 2002). Pp.60-78.

"Prophetic Intercourse" in Alastair Hunter and Philip R Davies (eds), Sense and Sensitivity: Essays on Reading the Bible in Memory of Robert Carroll (JSOTS 348, Sheffield: SAP, 2002) pp,.261-279.

"Between David and David: Psalm 24 and David Clines" in J.Cheryl Exum and Hugh G. M. Williamson (eds) Reading from Right to Left: Essays on the Hebrew Bible in Honour of David J. A. Clines (London: Continuum, 2004), pp.275-289.

"Torah and Anti-Torah: Isaiah 2:2-4 and 1:10-26" Biblical Interpretation 11 (2003) pp,317-34.

"The End of the World: Qohelet 12.1-7 and Lamentations Rabbah" in Yvonne Sherwood (ed) Derrida's Bible (New York: Palgrave, 2004), pp.231-46.

"A Rejoinder to A. Brenner, 'Regulating "Sons" and "Daughters" in the Torah and in Proverbs: Some Preliminary Insights" Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 5 (2005) (on-line)

"The Parable of the Vineyard (Isaiah 5.1-7) or What is a Love Song doing among the Prophets?" Studies in Religion 34 (2005) pp. 147-164.

"The Ghostly Prelude to Deutero-Isaiah" Biblical Interpretation (forthcoming)

"Isaiah 2: Torah and Terror." For Duncan Burns (ed) Philip Davies Festschrift. (London and New York: T & T Clark, forthcoming, July 2007).

"The Temple in the Akedah" in Isaac Kalimi and Peter J. Haas (eds) Biblical Interpretation in Judaism and Christianity (eds) (London: T & T Clark, forthcoming).

"Judges 1: The City of Writing, the Sacred, and the Fragmentation of the Body"

"Shibboleth." For the New Interpreters' Dictionary of the Bible (Nashville: Abingdon, forthcoming).

"Song of Songs." For Yudit Greenberg (ed) Encyclopaedia of Love in World Religions (ABC Clio, forthcoming).