Skip to main content

The Bible in Crime Fiction and Drama: Day Conference

Keynote speaker: Professor Liam McIlvanney, University of Otago and author of 'The Quaker', winner of the Bloody Scotland McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year 2018.

About the event

The Bible has always enjoyed notoriety within the genres of crime fiction and drama; numerous authors have drawn on biblical traditions as thematic foci to explore social anxieties about violence, religion, and the search for justice and truth.

This conference explores the issues raised by the forthcoming volume, The Bible in Crime Fiction and Drama (Bloomsbury Press, 2019), which brings together multi-disciplinary scholarship from the fields of biblical interpretation, literary criticism, criminology, and studies in film and television to discuss international texts and media spanning the beginning of the 20th century to the present day.

Papers on the day will explore both explicit and implicit engagements between biblical texts and crime narratives, analysing the multiple layers of meaning that such engagements can produce.


As well as Professor Liam McIlvanney, speakers and panellists will include Dr Caroline Blyth, Dr Alison Jack, Dr J.C. Bernthal, Dr Matthew Collins, Professor Penny Fielding.

The conference fee is £25, and includes lunch. 


10 am Welcome from the Head of School and Introductions

10.05-11am Liam McIlvanney’s Keynote Address

11-11.30am Coffee

11.30am-12.15pm Caroline Blyth, “Faith in a Cold Climate: The Bible and Religion in Henning Mankell's Before the Frost”

12.15-1pm Alison Jack, “Lost and Found: The Bible in Peter May’s Lewis Trilogy”

1-2pm Lunch

2-2.45pm Jamie Bernthal, “Agatha Christie, the Bible, and the End Times”

 2.45-3.30pm Mat Collins, “On the Trail of a Biblical Serial Killer: Sherlock Holmes and the Book of Tobit”

 3.30-4.15pm Panel session, with Penny Fielding (English Literature) and speakers.  "Why is the Bible, and religious themes generally, so popular in crime fiction and drama?"

 4.15pm Concluding comments


To register, please use this link:

Further details are available from Dr Alison Jack (  


Book cover for The Bible in Crime Fiction and Drama, published by Bloomsbury