Dr. Margaret Christian

Margaret Christian
Professor, English
Lehigh Valley, 217-R
2809 Saucon Valley Road
Center Valley, PA 18034

Margaret Christian is a native of Southern California and grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, but the Lehigh Valley has been her home since 1986.  Christian became a faculty member at Penn State Lehigh Valley in 1989, teaching courses in writing and literature. She also advises the Creative Writing Club.

Her research areas of interest include 16th and early 17th century English poetry, drama, and religious rhetoric, including the English Bible. She is currently editing and creating commentary notes for the King James Version of the New Oxford Annotated Bible for Oxford University Press, working primarily on Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts.


Christian’s work on early modern English poetry and religious rhetoric involves thinking about 16th century sermons and liturgy as dramatic texts. She is also interested in how people read the Bible during the early modern period and what it reveals about how they understood allegorical poetry.

Christian’s articles have appeared in the Sixteenth Century Journal, Spenser Studies, Christianity and Literature, Studies in Philology, and Reformation. Her book Spenser’s Allegory and Elizabethan Biblical Exegesis was published by Manchester University Press as part of its Spenser series.

She has spoken to community groups on topics ranging from Shakespearean authorship to family life, environmental footprint, devotional poetry, and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

“‘The dragon is sin’: Spenser’s Book One as Evangelical Fantasy.” Spenser Studies XXXI (2018).

Spenserian Allegory and Elizabethan Biblical Exegesis. Manchester University Press. 2016.

“‘given what I know about lions’: How They Read Book One at the Two-Year Campus” in “How to Read The Faerie Queene: A Forum.” Spenser Review 44.3 (Winter 2015).

“Peter McCullough, Hugh Adlington, and Emma Rhatigan, eds. The Oxford Handbook of the

Early Modern Sermon.” Spenser Review 44.1 (Spring-Summer 2014).

“A Manuscript of the King’s Book.” Anglican Theological Review 87 (2005):  423-46. 

“Academic and Personal Connections to the Text:  The Bible as Literature.” Profession 2004


“Zepheria (1594. STC 26124): A Critical Edition.” Studies in Philology 100 (2003): 177-243. 

“From Commentary to Conference.” Teacher Commentary on Student Papers: Conventions,       

         Beliefs, and Practices. Ed. Ode S. Ogede. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2002. 89-94. 

“Spenser’s Theology: The Sacraments in The Faerie Queene.” Reformation 6 (2002): 103-107. 

“‘Waves of weary wretchednesse’: Florimell and the Sea.” Spenser Studies 14 (2000): 133-61.

Ph.D., English, UCLA

M.A., English, UCLA

B.A., English, La Sierra University, Riverside, CA