Dermot Nestor

Professor of Hebrew Bible
Faculty of Theology and Philosophy

Dermot Nestor

Areas of expertise: Hebrew bible/old testament; biblical studies; ancient Israelite history; religion and language; biblical archaeology; material culture studies; ethnicity and identity in ancient Israel; sociological and anthropological approaches to the old testament.

Phone: +61 2 9704 4510


Location: ACU North Sydney Campus

ORCID ID: 0009-0000-0177-6677

Dermot Nestor is Professor of Hebrew Bible in the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy. He has served as National Head of School (Theology) and an extended period as Executive Dean for the Faculty. He joined ACU in 2011 from the School of Religion and Theology at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) where he completed his PhD on the topic of Ancient Israelite Identity. Conducted under the supervision of Professor A.D.H. Mayes, and supported by a prestigious Government of Ireland Postgraduate Fellowship, this thesis has provided the foundation for several publications and the inspiration for more recent work on material culture and concepts of materiality, intersectionality and Israelite hstory, religion and identity. Professor Nestor welcomes enquiries from prospective students who are interested in pursuing HDR studies in any of the areas of expertise that are identified above.

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Select publications

  • Cognitive Perspectives on Israelite Identity (Bloomsbury, 2010)
  • "Phantoms, Factoids and Frontiers: Social Anthropology and the Archaeology of Palestine", in Emmanuel Pfoh (ed.) Anthropology and the Hebrew Bible (Bloomsbury, T&T Clark, 69-97), 2023
  • "Joshua" in, John J. Collins, Gina Hens-Piazza, Barbara Reid OP, Donald Senior OP (eds.) The Jerome Bible Commentary for the 21st Century (Bloomsbury, 373-401), 2022
  • "Merneptah's Israel and the Absence of Origins in Ancient Israel," Currents in Biblical Research, Vol. 13(3), 293-329, 2015
  • "Somewhere under the Rainbow: Noah's Altar and the Archaeology of Cult in Ancient Israel," in J.M. Silverman (ed.) Opening Heaven's Floodgates: The Genesis Flood Narrative, its context and reception (Gorgias Press, 249-291), 2013
  • "We are Family: Deuteronomy 14 and the Boundaries of an Israelite Identity," The Bible and Critical Theory Vol. 9 Nos. 1&2, 2013
  • "If Not Now, When? The Ecological Potential of Isaiah's New Things," in, M.L. Coloe PBVM (ed.) Creation is Groaning: Biblical and Theological Perspectives (Liturgical Press, 33-57), 2013


  • 2023 - Present

In partnership with the Society fo Jesus in Australia, I had a lead role in the establishment of The Loyola Institute at ACU. The Loyola Institute is a research initiative designed to promote and sustain collaboration among Jesuit scholars and their colleagues in Australia and abroad in research and advocacy in the areas of the Society's apostolic priorities and the University's strategic and mission objectives. Key focus areas for Joint Research Projects include (but are not limited to); Christian Theology in Conversation with Islam, Reconciliation with Indigenous Australians, Refugees and Immigration, The Church and Theology for the 21st Century, Teaching and Training in Ignatian Spirituality, and the Laudato Si Action Platform.

  • 2022 - Present

Laudato Si Action Platform - led Univeristy commitment to the Laudato Si Action Platform. This project involves partnership and collaboration with the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and strives to establish local, national, and global networks for research led education and engagement on the core principles of Pope Francis' Laudato Si'.

  • 2022 - Present

Global Compact on Education - led the Univeristy's commitment to this invited initiative in partnership with Javeriana University, Bogota, Columbia. This project also involved partnership with Professor Quentin Grafton (Professor of Economics, Australian Laureate Fellow, Convenor of the Water Justice Hub, and Director of the Centre for Water Economics, Environment and Policy (CWEEP) at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University) and the Instituto Javeriana del Aqua has resulted in a dedicated transational unit of study assessing global developmental frameworks hosted at the ACU Campus di Roma. Collaborative work also includes a series of global Societal Dialogues exploring the impacts of Water Security including participation at the 2023 UN Water Conference in New York.

  • 2022 -

Ancient Israel Program (AIP) - secured $1.9 million in philanthropic funding to establish Australia's only academic program dedicated to the archaeology, history and languages of Ancient Israel.

  • 2019 - 2023

Secured $428,571 in funding through the NSW Boosting Business Innovation Program (BBIP) to support and advance the work of ACU's dedicated Business Incubator, Co-Lab. That funding has supported a range of innovative 8-week themed innovation series and has inspired a range of research commercialisation initiatives that advance University Strategic objectives.

Accolades and Awards

  • 2018 - Vice-Chancellor's Postgraduate Teaching Excellence Award
  • 1998 - Government of Ireland Postgraduate Research Scholarship
  • 1998 - Ussher Fellowship (Trinity College Dublin)
  • 1996 - Elected Foundation Scholar of Trinity College Dublin
  • 1995 - Carson Biblical Prize (Trinity College Dublin)
  • 1995 - Haddick Memorial Prize (Hebrew) (Trinity College Dublin

Appointments and Affiliations

Professor of Hebrew Bible,
Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, Australian Catholic University

June 2023 - Present

Executive Dean
Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, Australian Catholic University

November 2014 - June 2023

National Head of School (Theology)
Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, Australian Catholic University

December 2012 - November 2014

Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies
Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, Australian Catholic University

July 2011 - December 2012

Postgraduate Student Advisory Service Senior Tutor's Office
Trinity College, Dublin

August 2008 - June 2011

Lecturer in Biblical Studies
School of Religions and Theology, Trinity College, Dublin

August 2004 - June 2008

Public engagement activities

Current and graduatated HDR students

  • Co-Supervisor: Mr Caleb Harris, Apostasy in the Divine Council? Resheph, Giants and the Starry Host in the Canonical Hebrew Book of Job (to commence 2024)
  • Co-Supervisor: Ms Ann-Maree O'Beirne, Graced Encounters of an Ecological Kind: Exploring an Ignatian Motif (to complete 2023)
  • Principal Supervisor: Mr John Kumar, Message Received and (Mis)Understood: Identifying Trajectories in Pentecostal Biblical Hermeneutics (Completed in 2022)
  • Principal Supervisor: Ms Rena McLeod, Liberating Female Scapegoats: Mimetic Theory, Feminist Theory and the Biblical Representation of Gendered Violence and Victimhood (Completed in 2019)
  • Principal Supervisor: Mr John Andersen, The Eden Narrative and the Psychology of Shame (Completed 2017)
  • Principal Supervisor: Ms Lucie Breingan, Economic Implications of the Deuteronomistic Reform and the Elimination of the Goddess Asherah (Completed in 2015)

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