Scholarly Publications

Book – Out now!

Embodied Performance. Mutuality, Embrace, and the Letter to Rome 

2020, Pickwick Publications.

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Embodied Performance cover

Agnew has not just laid out a new method of textual analysis. In this book, she argues for a mode of interpretation that understands what happens when you draw us all in, text and performers and audience, grandmothers and grandchildren, even insiders and outsiders to the community of faith. Biblical Performance Criticism creates a space within which we all are partners in making and exploring meaning.

This book can transform your understanding of that whole process. We are all in this together, and Sarah Agnew has handed us a powerfully insightful way of understanding our mutual work. For that, I am deeply thankful to her.

—Richard W. Swanson, Foreword

the best survey and critical assessment of the development of performance criticism I have seen

Thomas E. Boomershine, Founder, Network of Biblical Storytellers

a highly engaging and personal story of discovery of importance to anyone who takes the Bible seriously and wants to understand it better.

Alison Jack, University of Edinburgh School of Divinity

Sarah Agnew uncovers a performance space filled with mutual interactions that can be studied using social scientific methods

Richard W. Swanson, Augustana University

Sarah Agnew offers us a method that will transform both biblical scholarship and congregational audiences.

Jeanette Mathews, St Mark's College, Charles Sturt University
[Sarah’s] perspective as performer-interpreter and her development of ‘Embodied Performance Analysis’ offers significant insights for biblical scholars and church people alike.

Alison Jack, University of Edinburgh School of Divinity

This book argues for a mode of interpretation that understands what happens when you draw us all in, text and performers and audience, grandmothers and grandchildren, even insiders and outsiders to the community of faith. 

Richard W. Swanson, Augustana University

In this pioneering and multifaceted book, Sarah Agnew has developed an embodied performance methodology that builds on the foundations laid by biblical performance criticism in new and highly creative ways.

Thomas E. Boomershine, Founder, Network of Biblical Storytellers

Book Chapter

‘Choice: Story. Reception Theory and Storytelling: Choosing Stories to Tell and Ways to Tell Them.’ in Lena Moller, Minerva Ahumada and Laurinda Brown (Eds) Perspectives in Storytelling. Framing Global and Personal Identities, Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2014.

Journal articles

“Romans 16: a call to embrace one another in love”. Oral History Journal of South Africa, 5(2), 2017.

‘Ill-treated traditions. Two lecterns lament, then offer hope to their speakers.’ Scottish Episcopal Institute Journal, 1(4) Winter, 20–31, 2017.

‘“Whispered in the Sound of Silence”: Traumatising the Book of Jonah’ (Second author with Elizabeth Boase), The Bible and Critical Theory, 12(1), 2016, 4–22, 2016.

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Web articles

‘The Beginning of the New Testament: oral, written, or both?’, Centre for the Study of Christian Origins, New College, University of Edinburgh, 6 October 2016.

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Conference presentations

‘God’s Story: Ours for the Telling’. Keynote addresses, Network of Biblical Storytellers International Festival Gathering, 2020.

‘Love and honour as an invitation to ‘glorify’ God? Embodying and performing the Great Command with the letter to the Romans’. Exploring the Glory of God, Durham 6–9 July 2016

‘Let the children come: Inviting humans to the Word in all their fullness’. Postgraduate Conference, New College, University of Edinburgh, March 2015

Keynote One
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‘A story about grace’. TEDxAdelaide ‘Explore’; 4 May 2013

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