Robert Myles  from Murdoch University in Perth Australia.

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    Dr Robert Myles
    BA, BTheol(Hons), PhD (Auckland)


    About me

    Originally from New Zealand, Dr Robert Myles received his PhD in New Testament Studies from the University of Auckland winning the Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Best Doctoral Thesis in the year 2013. He now lectures in Religion and New Testament at Murdoch University.

    Robert’s research focuses on the intersection of religion and politics in both ancient and modern contexts. This involves understanding how the political and socio-economic realities of first-century Jewish Palestine gave rise to the Jesus movement and earliest Christianity. He has also researched the use of the Bible in contemporary politics and popular culture.

    Robert is the author of The Homeless Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew (2014), editor of Class Struggle in the New Testament (2019), and co-editor of The Bible, Ideology and Sexuality (2015).


    Research areas

    As a New Testament critic, Robert’s interests include: Historical Jesus studies, the Gospel of Matthew, Ideological Criticism, and Reception History. As a cultural critic, his interests include: Marxist Criticism, Frankfurt School Critical Theory, and Gender/Sexuality Studies.

    In his first monograph, The Homeless Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew (2014), Robert argued that Jesus’s homelessness has become romanticized in recent biblical scholarship due to capitalist ideological assumptions. By contrast, he suggests Jesus’s itinerancy is best understood not as a ‘chosen lifestyle’ but within the broader context of economic, political, and social life in first-century Roman occupied Palestine.

    Reviews/endorsements of The Homeless Jesus:

    “Robert Myles rightly discerns that [the] romanticization of Jesus’ itinerant ministry in Gospel interpretation reinforces the dominant neoliberal ideology that views homelessness today as an individual choice, and not a result of unemployment, housing shortage, and other effects of global capitalism run amok.” – Prof Richard A. Horsley, Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and the Study of Religion at the University of Massachusetts

    “Robert Myles’ monograph is a major contribution to ideological biblical criticism and a cutting-edge intervention for the discourse of New Testament Studies. Myles is thorough and convincing in his demonstration of the way in which scholarship on Matthew’s Gospel (and also the historical Jesus) has been shaped by neoliberal ideological currents, especially in relation to the ‘homelessness’ of Jesus.” – Dr Michael J. Sandford, author of Poverty, Wealth, and Empire: Jesus and Postcolonial Criticism (in The Bible and Critical Theory)

    “Myles offers a rich and provocative study that is a welcome addition to the studies of Matthew that take seriously the socioeconomic and political factors shaping the Gospel’s production and the homelessness it reinscribes.” – Prof Warren Carter, Professor of New Testament at Brite Divinity School (in Review of Biblical Literature)

    “That book offers many provocative observations, and I recommend it to anyone interested in issues of poverty and homelessness in the Bible.” – Prof Hector Avalos, Professor of Religious Studies at Iowa State University

    “Myles’s reading of Matthew as a narrative of displacement is convincing on many counts. His exegesis is competent, thorough, and well-argued—particularly his sharp insights on Matthew’s genealogy.” – Wongi Park, Vanderbilt University (in Horizons in Biblical Theology)

    “Myles’s work seems especially timely today, when forced migration, refugee crises, and homelessness demand our attention and thoughtful response.” – Dr Amy Richter, St Mary’s Seminary and University (in Religious Studies Review)

    Current projects

    Robert’s current research seeks to develop a revitalized approach to the political interpretation of the Gospels. He is currently authoring a book, Jesus in the Ruins of Neoliberalism, under contract with Cascade Books.

    He also recently put together an edited collection of essays entitled Class Struggle in the New Testament (Lexington Books/Fortress Academic, 2019).

    Uploaded versions of journal articles and book chapters can be found on his page.

    Awards and grants

    • 2017   Australian Research Theology Foundation Inc. (ARTFinc) grant
    • 2015   Faculty Research Development Fund (University of Auckland) for project on Marxism and the New Testament
    • 2014   Visiting Scholar at the University of Sheffield, UK
    • 2014   The Vaughan Park Resident Scholar (March-May)
    • 2013   The Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Best Doctoral Thesis (University of Auckland)
    • 2013   Dean of Graduate Studies List for PhD Thesis (University of Auckland)

    Events and speaking engagements

    Robert regularly attends and presents to the Society of Biblical Literature Annual and International meetings and the Bible and Critical Theory Seminar in Australia/NZ.

    Professional and community service

    Robert is the managing co-editor of the international peer-reviewed journal The Bible and Critical Theory. He serves as co-chair of the “Bible and its Influence: History and Impact” section for the Society of Biblical Literature international meeting, and is on the steering committee for the “Ideological Criticism” section of the annual meeting. From 2013-2016 he was the secretary for the Aotearoa-New Zealand Association of Biblical Studies.

    Robert is regularly invited to make comment on matters of public interest concerning the Bible and religion. See, for example:

    Doctoral and masters supervisions

    Please contact Robert directly if you are interested in pursuing postgraduate research in New Testament studies.

    Completed supervisions:
    • Aaron Chidgzey, “The Unification of Heaven and Earth: A Postfoundationalist Constructive Realist Interpretation of Jesus’ Resurrection”, PhD.
    • Sosefo Sateki Raass, “Fafangu to Discipleship: A Socio-Rhetorical Analysis of Mark 8:27-9:13″, MTheol (University of Auckland, 2016).



    • Myles, R.J. (ed) Class Struggle in the New Testament, Lanham, Lexington Books/Fortress Academic, 292 pages, 2019.
    • Myles, R.J. & Blyth, C. (eds) Sexuality, Ideology, and the Bible: Antipodean Engagements, Sheffield, Sheffield Phoenix Press, 202 pages, 2015.
    • Myles, R.J. The Homeless Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, Sheffield, Sheffield Phoenix Press, 233 pages, 2014.


    Book Chapters:

    • Myles, R.J. & Blyth, C. “Radicalism, Violence, and Religious Texts,” The Bible and Critical Theory 12, i-iv, 2016.

    Other Articles (Popular and Web):