St. Joseph’s College at the University of Alberta is excited to welcome Dr. Shawn W. Flynn,
Associate Professor of the Hebrew Bible, as Academic Dean. The appointment follows an
international search for this key senior administrative role. Originally from Prince George, British
Columbia, and having worked in Vancouver, Dublin, Jerusalem, and Toronto, Dr. Flynn has recently
served as Director of Theology programs and taught courses in Religion and Theology at St. Mark’s
College/Corpus Christi College at the University of British Columbia.
Dr. Flynn earned his PhD at the University of Toronto, in Ancient Near Eastern Studies, and
specializes in the formation of Israelite beliefs during the Iron Age (1200-586 BCE). He employs a
comparative analysis between the Hebrew Bible and its larger cultural matrix, primarily
Mesopotamia, to explore emerging and shifting ideas of divinity or ancient children. These are
influenced by a variety of interdisciplinary factors like political, religious, economic and military
pressures experienced by ancient peoples.
Dr. Flynn’s multiple scholarly books include YHWH is King: The Development of Divine Kingship in
Ancient Israel. Vetus Testamentum Supplements 159; Leiden: Brill, 2014. This was followed by his
second book: Children in Ancient Israel: The Hebrew Bible and Mesopotamia in Comparative
Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, the cover of which features the work of
Aboriginal artist Maxine Noel. A third study is being completed: A Story of YHWH: Cultural
Translation and Subversive Reception through Israelite History. Studies in the History of the Ancient
Near East; Ed. Greg Fisher; Routledge, 2018. He is also preparing a fourth book, an edited
collection for Routledge that gathers international experts on childhood studies, the bible, and
historical approaches in ancient contexts. Dr. Flynn supports these studies with published articles
in peer-reviewed journals and edited collections including the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Biblica,
Irish Theological Quarterly, New Blackfriars, and Oxford Bibliographies in Biblical Studies, De Gruyter’s
Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception, and is completing a series of invited articles. In addition,
he has published 20 book reviews and over 100 article abstracts.
Dr. Flynn has generated scholarly funding and awards from Ontario Graduate Scholarship, SSHRC,
University of Toronto Fellowships, the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Award in Israeli Studies, the
Canadian Friends of the École Biblique (Jerusalem), and the Naïm S. Mahlab Award in Jewish
Studies. He has also served as a researcher in residence at the École biblique et archéologique
française de Jérusalem.
The staff and faculty would like to thank Dr. Denise Young and Dr. Paul Flaman for their service to
the College in the role of Interim Dean prior to Dr. Flynn’s appointment. Please join us in
welcoming Dr. Shawn W. Flynn to the St. Joseph’s College and University of Alberta community.
St. Joseph's College is a university community established in 1926 by the Roman Catholic
Archdiocese of Edmonton and affiliated with the University of Alberta. Administered by the
Congregation of the Priests of St. Basil (the Basilian Fathers), the College is committed to engaging
with and promoting the Church’s traditional openness to exploring the unity of Faith and Reason.
It also operates two residences that house 350 University of Alberta students of all faiths and
backgrounds. The College strives to help students live balanced and successful lives by promoting
the development of the spiritual, intellectual, social, physical, and emotional dimensions of human
thriving. St. Joseph’s College has nine tenured/tenure-track faculty engaged in world-leading
research and teaching excellence in addition to a skilled group of professionals teaching
contractually for the College. This year, University of Alberta students occupy over 2200 seats in
various courses offered by the College for credit toward a broad range of the University’s degree
For more information, please contact:
St. Joseph's College, University of Alberta