Kuntz, Kenneth J. '59 B.D.
J. Kenneth Kuntz has been on the Department of Religious Studies faculty at the University of Iowa for 39 years, offering courses on the Hebrew Bible and serving for a decade as Director of Graduate Studies in the department. He retires in summer 2006. His first teaching experience (four years) was at Wellesley College in its Department of Biblical History.
Kuntz grew up St. Louis, pursued an English major at Grinnell College (B.A., 1956), concentrated on biblical studies at Yale Divinity School (B.D., 1959), and focused on the Old Testament at Union Theological Seminary (married a classmate in 1962 and received the Ph.D. in 1963). Coming to terms with Greek and Hebrew and serving as organist-choir director at the Cheshire Methodist Church kept him busy at YDS. In his last semester he was elected class secretary and has not yet been replaced.
In addition to writing two books (The Self-Revelation of God on biblical theophanies and The People of Ancient Israel, a college-level textbook in Hebrew Bible), Kuntz is author of numerous journal articles and book chapters, mainly in the area of Psalms and biblical wisdom literature. He has been active in the Society of Biblical Literature and served for six years as chair of its Biblical Hebrew Poetry section. He took part in the Tell Gezer excavation in Israel years ago and has had the benefit of one sabbatical in Heidelberg, Germany, and three in Cambridge, England. An ordained United Methodist, he served a rural parish near Iowa City for five years and currently is a board member on the Wesley Foundation at the University of Iowa.