Book Series Spotlight / Matrix: The Bible in Mediterranean Context: An Interview with K. C. Hanson and Douglas E. Oakman

Book series spotlights provide a closer look at one of our many series via an interview with series editors and/or authors.

In this inaugural book series spotlight, we sit down with K. C. Hanson and Douglas E. Oakman, series editors of Matrix: The Bible in Mediterranean Context.

The volumes in the Matrix series explore the biblical text within the social context of the ancient Mediterranean and employ a variety of historical and social-scientific methods (including cultural anthropology, macrosociology, social psychology) to illuminate the text in said ancient Mediterranean world. 

K. C. Hanson received his MA and PhD from Claremont Graduate School in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies. He has taught at several colleges, universities, and seminaries. For more than seven years he was senior editor for biblical studies at Fortress Press; and for the past seventeen years he has been editor-in-chief at Wipf and Stock Publishers, overseeing both the Cascade Books and Pickwick Publications imprints. He co-authored with Douglas E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus: Social Structures and Social Conflicts (1998; 2nd ed. 2008), and he is currently working on a new book: Israel and Judah in the Time of Kings: Social Structures and Social Conflicts. He has also published translations of books from German and French.

Douglas E. Oakman is Emeritus Professor of Religion at Pacific Lutheran University where he served on the faculty since 1988. He is the author of numerous books, including Matrix series titles, Jesus and the Peasants (2008) and The Radical Jesus, the Bible, and the Great Transformation (2021). Oakman was born and reared in Iowa and is an ordained minister on the roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He is a connoisseur of classical music, long-time railfan, and Ham Radio operator. He resides in Tacoma, Washington, with wife, Debbie.

Show Notes


Series page:

K. C. Hanson’s author page:

Douglas E. Oakman’s author page:


Carney, Thomas F. The Shape of the Past: Models and Antiquity.

Craffert, Pieter F. The Life of a Galilean Shaman: Jesus of Nazareth in Anthropological-Historical Perspective.

Elliott, John H. A Home for the Homeless: A Social-Scientific Criticism of 1 Peter, Its Situation and Strategy.

Guijarro, Santiago. The Gospel of Mark in Context: A Social-Scientific Reading of the First Gospel.

Malina, Bruce J. The New Testament World: Insights from Cultural Anthropology.

Neyrey, SJ, Jerome H. By What Authority?: Luke Gives Jesus Public Voice.

Oakman, Douglas E. Jesus and the Peasants.

———. The Radical Jesus, the Bible, and the Great Transformation.

Pilch, John J., and Bruce J. Malina, eds. Handbook of Biblical Social Values.

Rohrbaugh, Richard L. The Biblical Interpreter: An Agrarian Bible in an Industrial Age.

———. The New Testament in Cross-Cultural Perspective.

Scott, James C. The Moral Economy of the Peasant: Rebellion and Subsistence in Southeast Asia.

van Eck, Ernest. The Parables of Jesus the Galilean: Stories of a Social Prophet.


(01:41) – Matcha tea, lemon ginger tea, and dark-roast coffee

(05:38) – The emergence of the Matrix series

(14:26) – Cross-cultural experiences and social-scientific approaches

(19:56) – Biblical scholarship for other scholars, churches, and students

(23:46) – Mapping social-scientific interpretation

(27:43) – Ancient context and modern global context


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