Seminary bids farewell to Safwat Marzouk

Professor served AMBS teaching Old Testament/Hebrew Bible

August 25, 2021 | People | Volume 25 Issue 18D
Annette Brill Bergstresser | Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary
Elkhart, Int.
Safwat Marzouk

In July, Safwat Marzouk concluded his roles as associate professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and chair of the Bible Department at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS), after 10 years of service. He is now serving as associate professor of Old Testament at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Va.

Marzouk, who came to AMBS in July 2011, taught courses on the Old Testament, biblical Hebrew, biblical interpretation, migration in the Bible and the church, and biblical foundations for peace and justice. He also co-led “Encountering Egypt: Past and present” learning tours in his home country in 2016 and 2020. He has become a sought-after speaker and workshop presenter across the Mennonite church in the U.S. and Canada.

“Safwat is an engaged and thoughtful scholar-teacher, modelling how scholarship informs teaching and vice versa,” says Beverly Lapp, the seminary’s vice-president and academic dean. “He is intensely invested in intersecting his work as a scholar with anti-oppression analysis and intercultural awareness, and he skillfully engages people across a broad spectrum of educational backgrounds and learning styles. He has the heart and mind of a pastor, and cares deeply about the life of the church.”

During his time at AMBS, Marzouk published his doctoral dissertation, Egypt as a Monster in the Book of Ezekiel, and Intercultural Church: A Biblical Vision for an Age of Migration. These works reflect his deep interest in how to read the Bible as a Christian Egyptian in light of the negative representation of Egypt in the Bible, and in the implications of this interpretation for the life of the church in the Middle East and North America, and for Jewish-Muslim-Christian dialogue.

His research also has focused on reading the Bible with, and through, the eyes of migrants, inviting congregations not only to welcome migrants but also to integrate them, and to strengthen their commitments to shared power and justice-making. In his teaching, speaking and writing, he encourages faith communities to enter into relationships with people who are different from them, to foster alternatives to the politics of fear and exclusion.

Marzouk earned bachelor of theology and master of arts in theological studies degrees from Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, Egypt; a master of sacred theology degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City; and a PhD in Old Testament from Princeton (N.J.) Theological Seminary. He has been a frequent presenter at meetings of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature, and he is working on Exodus: A Commentary for the New Interpretation Series.

Before coming to AMBS, he was an adjunct instructor at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pa.; a teaching fellow at Princeton Theological Seminary; and an adjunct instructor at the Evangelical Theological Seminary and the Coptic Catholic Seminary in Cairo. He served as a pastor at the Arabic American Evangelical Church in Jersey City, N.J., and El-Saraya Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, Egypt.

Marzouk is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Synod of the Nile of the Presbyterian Church in Egypt, and the Wabash Valley Presbytery of Presbyterian Church U.S.A. While at AMBS, he and his family attended Sunnyside Presbyterian Church in South Bend, Ind.

Safwat Marzouk

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