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Iain W. Provan

Marshall Sheppard Professor of Biblical Studies
MA (Glasgow), BA (London Bible College), PhD (Cambridge)
Iain Provan has been the Marshall Sheppard Professor of Biblical Studies at Regent College since 1997.

He was born and educated in the UK and retains strong family, academic, and church connections with his homeland. He received his MA at Glasgow University in Mediaeval History and Archaeology, his BA from London Bible College in Theology, and his PhD from Cambridge, where his thesis focused on the books of Kings, and was subsequently published as Hezekiah and the Books of Kings. Iain Provan's academic teaching career took him to King’s College London, the University of Wales, and the University of Edinburgh, where he was a senior lecturer in Hebrew and Old Testament Studies.

He has written numerous essays and articles, and several books including commentaries on Lamentations, 1 and 2 Kings, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs, and co-authored with Phil Long and Tremper Longman A Biblical History of Israel. Most recently he released Convenient Myths: The Axial Age, Dark Green Religion, and the World that Never Was. Iain is an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland; a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge; and the recipient of an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship. He and his wife, Lynette, have four children. Iain Provan is also a qualified Provincial B Licence soccer coach (BC) and ARA rowing coach (UK).


Listen to Dr. Provan's book launch lecture on his most recent publication: Convenient Myths.


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About the Book: Convenient Myths: The Axial Age, Dark Green Religion, and the World that Never Was
The contemporary world has been shaped by two important and potent myths. Karl Jaspers’ construct of the “axial age” envisions the common past (800–200 BC), the time when Western society was born and world religions spontaneously and independently appeared out of a seemingly shared value set. Conversely, the myth of the “dark green golden age” as narrated by David Suzuki and others asserts that the axial age, and the otherworldliness that accompanied the emergence of organized religion, ripped society from a previously deep communion with nature. Both myths contend that to maintain balance we must return to the idealized past. In Convenient Myths, Iain Provan illuminates the influence of these two deeply entrenched and questionable myths, warns of their potential dangers, and forebodingly maps the implications of a world founded on such myths.
Visit Regent Audio to download lectures, courses, chapel talks, and more from Iain Provan.

Areas of expertise

  • Old Testament Narrative Literature, especially the Books of Genesis & Kings
  • The Books of Lamentations, Song of Songs, & Ecclesiastes
  • Old Testament Theology & Ethics
  • The Bible, Hermeneutics, & Culture

Courses Taught

  • BIBL 501 - Old Testament Foundations
  • BIBL 635 - Living with Beastly Empires: The Book of Daniel

Media & Publications

328 iprovan@regent-college.edu www.iainprovan.com