#50-2-Follow: 50 NT Scholars to Read and Follow—Raj Nadella

#50-2-Follow: 50 NT Scholars to Read and Follow—Raj Nadella April 7, 2020

This blog series spotlights 50 NT scholars and their research. The goal of this series is to introduce readers to a wider circle of scholarship than they have encountered. The majority of people on this list are early or mid-career NT scholars who are doing great research and writing. 

Explain why you love teaching and/or writing, and why it brings you vocational satisfaction.

I fell in love with the gospels at age twelve and have had a fascinating journey with them. Teaching and writing afford me the joy of exploring with fellow scholars and my students the various dimensions of gospel texts and explicating their relevance in current socio-political contexts. Watching biblical texts come alive in such conversations gives me the greatest vocational satisfaction. Teaching and writing are also essential aspects of my identity that allow me to partake in my students’ intellectual and spiritual formation.

What is one “big idea,” emphasis, or theme in your scholarship that you hope impacts the way students and scholars read and understand the NT?

Like many postcolonial scholars, I am especially interested in examining how most of the New Testament texts that were written in the context of empire, and often in order to attenuate it, have ironically been used to justify empire and other oppressive structures. I am committed to exploring interpretive strategies for reclaiming biblical texts for liberative purposes.

Who is your academic hero and why?

R.S. Sugirtharajah for his pioneering role in introducing postcolonial discourse to the field of biblical studies.

Name a few academic books that were formative for you as a student.

Postcolonial Criticism and Biblical Interpretation (Oxford University Press, 2002) by R.S. Sugirtharajah


Jesus and Empire: The Kingdom of God and the New World Disorder (Fortress Press, 2002) by Richard Horsley

Postcolonial Feminist Interpretation of the Bible (Chalice Press, 2000) by Musa Dube


 Read Nadella’s Work

Dialogue Not Dogma: Many Voices in the Gospels of Luke (T&T Clark, 2010)

“Privilege and Solidarity in Asian American Context” in T&T Clark Handbook of Asian American Biblical Hermeneutics. Edited by Seung Ai Yang and Uriah Y. Kim. (New York: T&T Clark, 2019).

Christianity and the Law of Migration, co-edited with Silas Allard and Kristin Heyer, Routledge, forthcoming in early 2021.

Follow Nadella on Social Media



Nadella’s Online Resources

“Fear and Wisdom in the Immigration Debate” (Huffington Post)

“Seeking Wholeness in an Inherently Flawed System (John 5:1-9)” (HuffPost)

Commentaries on Matthew 4:12-23; Mark 1:1-120; Mark 1:21-45; Acts 10:34-43;  (Working Preacher)

If you ran into me at SBL, and you didn’t want to talk about New Testament studies, what would you want to talk about?

Novels, basketball, and politics

What is a research project you are working on right now that you are excited about?

An introductory textbook on postcolonial biblical studies that I am co-authoring. It is intended for both scholars and students alike. 

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