Emeritus Professor Elaine Mary Wainwright

BA(Hons) , BSS Pontifical Biblical Commission, Rome , Élève Diplomée École Biblique, Jerusalem , MTheol CTU, Chicago , PhD, University of Queensland

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Emeritus Professor


  • Professor of Theology

Research | Current

  • Developing multi-dimensional frames for reading biblical texts
  • Ecological readings of Biblical texts
  • The Bible in/and popular culture
  • Contextual issues and biblical interpretation

I am currently undertaking an ecological reading of the Gospel of Matthew. This has entailed the development of a framework for reading. Using this hermeneutical lens, I am preparing a reading of the gospel for publication in the new Earth Bible Commentary Series being published by Sheffield Phoenix.

I am also a co-author of the Gospel of Matthew in the new Wisdom Commentary Series edited by Barbara Reid.

Postgraduate supervision

  • Being Human in the Image of God in a Samoan Gendered Church.
  • The Study of Luke-Acts as a Vehicle and Model of Holistic Mission in the Anglican Church of Central Tanzania.
  • Jesus and Homelessness in the Gospel of Matthew
  • The Impolite Jesus: An Analysis of Jesus "Rudeness" in the Gospel of Matthew from the Perspective of a First-Century Reader.
  • Local Family First: A Samoan Postcolonial Interpretation of Discipleship in the Matthean Gospel.
  • Narrative readings of the Satanic: Mimetic theory and the development of the synoptic demonic.
  • Biblical Theologies of Land in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • A Contextual reading of Woman Wisdom in Proverbs 1-9 and the totimi kuchou (true woman) concept of womanhood in Sumi Naga tribes of India.


Areas of expertise

Biblical Hermeneutics

New Testament - especially Gospel of Matthew

Bible and Popular Culture

Feminist and ecological readings of the New Testament

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Society of Biblical Literature Programme Committee International Meeting

President - Society of Asian Biblical Studies


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Wainwright, E. M. (2014). "Save Us! We are Perishing!": Reading Matthew 8:23-27 in the Face of Devastating Floods. In J. Havea, D. J. Neville, E. M. Wainwright (Eds.) Bible, Borders, Belonging(s): Engaging Readings from Oceania (pp. 21-37). Atlanta, Georgia: Society of Biblical Literature.
  • Wainwright, E. M. (2013). Of Borders, Bread, Dogs and Demons: Reading Matthew 15.21-28 Ecologically. In A. H. Cadwallader, P. Trudinger (Eds.) Where the Wild Ox Roams: Biblical Essays in Honour of Norman C. Habel (pp. 114-126). Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Phoenix Press.
  • Wainwright, E. M. (2013). Of Dogs and Women: Ethology and Gender in Ancient Healing. The Canaanite Woman’s Story – Matt 15:21-28. In S. Alkier, A. Weissenrieder (Eds.) Miracles Revisited: New Testament Miracle Stories and their Concepts of Reality (pp. 55-69). Berlin: De Gruyter.
  • Wainwright, E. M. (2013). Reading the Gospel of Matthew Ecologically in Oceania: Matthew 4:1-11 as Focal Text. In N. W. Duran, J. P. Grimshaw (Eds.) Matthew (pp. 255-270). Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA: Fortress Press.
  • Wainwright, E. M. (2012). Images, words and stories: Exploring their transformative power in reading Biblical texts ecologically. Biblical Interpretation, 20 (3), 280-304. 10.1163/156851512X651096
  • Caesar, A. H., & Romani, G. (2011). INTRODUCTION. In A. H. Caesar, G. Romani, J. Burns (Eds.) (pp. 1-+). MANEY PUBLISHING.
  • Wainwright, E. M. (2011). Text@Context to Borrow a Phrase: A Contribution from Oceania. Paper presented at Contextuality and Intercontextuality in Public Theology, University of Bamberg, Germany. 23 June - 25 June 2011. Contextuality and intercontextuality in public theology: proceedings from the Bamberg Conference 23.-25.06.2011.
  • Wainwright, E. M. (2011). Beyond the Crossroads: Reading Matthew 13,52 Ecologically into the Twenty-First Century. The Gospel of Matthew at the Crossroads of Early Christianity (pp. 375-388). Leuven: Peeters.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/14022

Contact details

Primary office location

49 SYMONDS STREET - Bldg 620
Level 1, Room 100C1
New Zealand