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Isabelle Hamley is currently Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury. She previously taught Biblical Studies and Practical Theology at St John’s College, Nottingham, as well as being the vicar of the parish of Edwalton. Her interest in academia has been nurtured through the years with a spell as a university chaplain at the university of Leicester and ten years teaching in the school of continuing education at the university of Nottingham. She has always had a passion for integrating theology, ministry and engagement with the wider world, and therefore trained and practiced as a Probation Officer whilst also teaching theology in the evenings in Nottingham.

Research interests and PhD supervision

  • Theological readings of the Deuteronomistic History, in particular the book of the Judges
  • Issues of violence, in particular gender-based violence in Scripture
  • The relationship between narrative and the construction of identity, with a focus on contemporary philosophies of identity
  • The relationship with the Other in Scripture and philosophy
  • Theological anthropology, particularly in relation to questions of gender and sexuality

My main area of research has concentrated on understanding how texts reveal the interplay of individual and corporate identity, of constructions of the self and other and how these leads to patterns of victimisation and violence. I am particularly interested in issues of gender and sexual violence, partly due to previous work with both offenders and victims. I am currently working on a theological commentary on Judges.

Selected publications

  • Forthcoming: Hamley, I. Unspeakable Things Unspoken: Otherness, gender and victimisation in Judges 19-21. Wipf and Stock.
  • Hamley, I. (2019). Dis(re)membered and Unaccounted for: Concubines in the Hebrew Bible. (Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 42.4), 415-434)
  • Hamley, I. (2017) ‘Messy Teamwork: The Impact of Messy Church on Helpers’, in Paul. I. (ed). Being Messy, Being Church. London: BRF.
  • Hamley, I. (2015). What’s the Matter with ‘Playing the Harlot’? The Meaning of זנה in Judges 19.2 (Tyndale Bulletin 66.1, May 2015), 41-61.


I have taught a range of modules in Biblical Studies with a main focus on narrative and Biblical theology, as well as practical theology (preaching, spirituality).

Expertise and public engagement

Currently part of the group working on the episcopal teaching document on sexuality for the Church of England.

Lead for the Archbishop of Canterbury’s priority of prayer and the renewal of the religious life, which includes chairing the board of and giving oversight to the Community of St Anselm and extensive networking with religious communities, particularly emerging new communities.