Dr Christina Petterson

Dr Christina  Petterson

Position: Gerda Henkel Research Fellow
School and/or Centres: Centre for European Studies

Email: christina.petterson@newcastle.edu.au

Location: Level 2, Room 2.18, Desk C, 146 Ellery Cres



Christina Petterson moved from Denmark to Australia in 2006 when she was awarded an international PhD scholarship from Macquarie University. After completing her thesis on the role of Protestantism in the Danish colonisation of Greenland, she worked as a postdoc for 2 years at the Postgraduate Research “Gender as a Category of Knowledge” in Berlin. She then returned to Australia to take up a three year Research Associate position at Newcastle University after which she was awarded a Gerda Henkel Research Fellowship, which she will take up here at the ANU.


From October 1st: Gerda Henkel Stiftung Research Fellowship Balancing Economy and Christ: The Brüdergemeinde in Greenland and Australia The emergence of capitalism generated a profound change in social relations. This comparative project demonstrates how this change is manifested in the missionary practice of the global Protestant missions of the Herrnhuter Brüdergemeinde to Greenland (1733-1901) and the Australian colonies (1848-1919). Drawing on unpublished archival material (church records, correspondence, journals, and ledgers), the project aims to show how the missionary practice of the Brüdergemeinde changed from an earlier approach, practiced in Greenland, and embedded in a local subsistence economy to a more dis-embedded economic approach, practiced in Australia; and analyse how this affected the missionaries’ attitude to and engagements with the Indigenous populations.

Books (single authored)

2014   The Missionary, the Catechist and the Hunter: Foucault, Protestantism and Colonialism. Studies in Critical Research in Religion Series, Leiden: Brill

2012   Acts of Empire. The Acts of the Apostles and Imperial Ideology. CCLM Publishing, Taiwan.

In Press From Tomb to Text: Pleromatic Presence and the Body of Jesus in the Book of John. London: Bloomsbury T. & T. Clark (2016)

Books (co-authored)

2014   With Roland Boer, Idols of Nations: Biblical Myth at the Origins of Capitalism, Minneapolis: Fortress Press

Refereed journal articles

2016   ‘"Pestis Republicae & Ecclesiae:" Johann Gottlob Seidel's “Haupt-Schlüssel zum herrnhutischen Ehe-Sacrament” and its Social Context’ in Journal of Moravian History 16/1: 45-60.

2014   ‘“Gar Nicht Biblisch!” Ephesians, Marriage, and Radical Pietism in 18th Century Germany’ in Journal for the Bible and its Reception vol. 1, issue 2: 191-207.

2013   'Gospodăria familială ca locus privilegiat pentru schimbul social' (The Household as Privileged Locus of Social Change) in memoria ethnologica nr. 48 - 49 * iulie - decembrie 2013 (An XIII): 120-137.

2012   ‘Colonial Subjectification: Foucault, Christianity and Governmentality’ in Cultural Studies Review 18/2: Secular Discomforts: Religion and Cultural Studies: 89-108.

2012   ‘Colonialism and Orthodoxy in Greenland’ in Postcolonial Studies 15/1 (2012): 69-86

           2008  ‘Moses and Abraham go Arctic’ Biblical Interpretation 16: 363-374.

2007   ‘The Land is mine. Place and Dislocation in the Letter to the Hebrews’ Sino-Christian Studies: An International Journal of Bible, Theology & Philosophy 4: 1-25, Taiwan

2006   ‘The Spirit of Greenland and the Friend of the Emperor’ The Bible and Critical Theory 2/2: 16/1-16/13 (DOI: 10: 2104/bc06006.

Book chapters

Forthcoming ’ Zinzendorf's New Testament and the Production of Gender’ in Jesper Tang Nielsen, Jesper Høgenhaven and Heike Omerzu (eds), Rewriting and Reception in/of the Bible, (WUNT), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2017

2015  ‘Solidarity! Conditions Apply’, in Bruce Wotherington (ed),  Reading the Bible in an Age of Crisis: Political Exegesis for a New Day, Minneapolis: Fortress Press: 85-107

2015   ‘Imagining the Body of Christ’ in Caroline Blythe and Robert Myles (eds.),  Sexuality, Ideology and the Bible: Antipodean Engagements, Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press 2015: 35-55

2014   ‘Männlichkeit im Radikal-Pietismus des 18. Jahrhunderts’, in Männlichkeit und Reproduktion. Zum Gesellschaftlichen Ort Historischer und Aktueller Männlichkeits-produktionen (ed. Andreas Heilmann et al;      Wiesbaden: Springer VS): 251-268

2013   ‘”Nothing like it was ever made in any Kingdom”: The Hunt for Solomon’s Throne’ in Roland Boer (ed.) Postcolonialism and the Hebrew Bible: The Next Step, Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature: 93-108

2012   ‘Configuring the Language to Convert the People: Translating the Bible in Greenland’ in Scott S. Elliott and Roland Boer (eds) Ideology, Culture and Translation, Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature: 139-150

2012   ‘Colonialism, Anthropology and Exceptionalism’ in Lars Jensen and Kristín Loftsdóttir (eds.) Whiteness and Postcolonialism in the Nordic Region: Exceptionalism, Migrant Others and National Identities, London: Ashgate: 29-42

2008  ‘Mission of Christ and Local Communities in Acts’ in Bengt Holmberg & Michael Winnige (eds.),  Identity Formation in the New Testament (WUNT 227), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck: 247-267.

At the moment I am completing a bookmanuscript based on archival studies of 400 speeches given by the founder of the Moravian Brethren (Herrnhuter Brüdergemeinde), Count Zinzendorf to the congregation in Herrnhut (eastern Germany) in the mid-eighteenth century. The speeches are in handwritten German, and are fabulous sources to the changes in social relations, the establishment of gender roles, and individualisation. The book is under contract with Brill.

2014   Vice-Chancellor’s award for Research Excellence in Faculty of Education and Arts.

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