Dr Havilah Dharamraj

Dr Havilah Dharamraj

Dr Havilah Dharamraj entered SAIACS as an MA student in 1999, on the completion of which she went on to doctoral studies as a faculty trainee. She returned in 2006 to full-time employment as faculty. She became Head of the Department of Old Testament in 2008, and Academic Dean in 2012.  


Her area of specialization is Old Testament narrative, from which springs her interest to help students recover the art of storytelling as a tool for ministry. She works with reception-centred intertextuality (reading biblical texts side by side) and comparative literature (reading biblical texts alongside on-Christian sacred texts). Long years of teaching have led to a keen interest in innovative, learner-centred pedagogy and assessment strategies.


Dr Havilah taught high school chemistry for about a decade before she commenced her theological education. She preaches and teaches on invitation both within and outside India, including at the Keswick Convention in Keswick, UK. She has been on the Committee for Bible Translation, NIV, and is currently on the committee of another English translation. She writes for academia, for the training of Christian laypersons and those in ministry, and for popular Christian publications.


Dr Havilah is currently working on two projects, a South Asia Study Bible, and a comparative reading of the Song of Songs with the twelfth-century Hindu sacred text, Gita Govinda. Forthcoming in 2019 is Ruth in the Asia Bible Commentary Series, which is published by the Asia Theological Association, Manila, Philippines.


Dr Havilah has written, edited, and contributed to numerous additional works, including, Altogether Lovely: A Thematic and Intertextual Reading of the Song of Songs (Minneapolis, Minn: Fortress, 2018); Challenging Tradition: Innovation in Advanced Theological Education (Perry Shaw and Havilah Dharamraj, eds., Carlisle, UK: Langham Global Library, 2018; contributed: “Boldly Go! Tracking Trends in Comparative Literature” and “Telling Tales: Stories that Embox Theology”); South Asia Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2015; OT editor; contributed articles, “Introduction to the Old Testament,” “Introduction to the Historical Books,” and “Introduction to Hebrew Poetry”; contributed the books: Judges, 1-2 Kings, 1-2 Chronicles); and A Prophet Like Elijah? A Narrative-Theological Reading of the Elijah Cycle (Paternoster Biblical Monographs Series; UK: Paternoster, 2011).


Selected articles written by Dr Havilah include, “Green-Eyed Lovers: A Study of Jealousy in Song of Songs 8:5-7” (Priscilla Papers, 32.1, 2018); “We Reap What We Sow: Engaging Curriculum and Context in Theological Education” (Evangelical Review of Theology, 38/4, 2014); and “The Idea of the Idyll: Why it may not Work for the Song of Songs” (Expository Times, 124/9, 2013).


Dr Havilah is married to Pandu Dharamraj. They have two married children and a grandson.



  • PhD in Old Testament, University of Durham, UK
  • MA in Christian Studies, SAIACS, Bangalore, India
  • MSc in Biochemistry, University of Bangalore, India