Robert recently completed his PhD in Theology at the University of Auckland, receiving a place on the Dean of Graduate Studies List for excellence in doctoral research. A revised version of his thesis is due to be published in 2014 by Sheffield Phoenix Press, entitled The Homeless Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew.
Robert's research focuses on the interaction between the Bible and contemporary culture and politics. His current research project,The Bible and Class Struggle, draws on Marxist criticism to investigate the extent to which social class has been engaged by recent configurations of feminist, minority, postcolonial, and ecological approaches to the Bible. During his time at Vaughan Park, he will work on a section dealing with ecological approaches to the Bible in light of class and capitalism. How, for example, is climate change refracted through global capital to accentuate its underlying logics of inequality? While some eco-theologians and biblical scholars have called for a shift from liberation theology's "preferential option for the poor" to a more inclusive "preferential option for the Earth", Robert intends to determine whether this shift ends up displacing the concept of class struggle from its scope of analysis, and the relevance of class to ecological interpretations of the Bible.