Research Programme on Religious Communities and Sustainable Development

Ekkardt Sonntag, PhD

Ekkardt Sonntag was born in 1978 in Hamburg, Germany and studied Protestant Theology and Aspects of Biblical Interpretation (MA). He received his PhD from the chair for the study of the Church in Islamic Contexts at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands. His dissertation analysed the mediatorship of Jesus in the Epistle to the Hebrews, using the sociology of mediation in the Middle East as a reading environment. Ekkardt was a guest lecturer at the Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary (MA course on Hebrews). He has fulfilled different pastoral positions and consulting roles for international churches. Besides his academic work, Ekkardt works for Danmission, an independent Danish INGO for development cooperation with roots in the Lutheran church of Denmark.


Curriculum Vitae

  • 2020-present: researcher at the Research Program on Religious Communities and Sustainable Development
  • 2019-present: Program Advisor Theology and Church Development MENA at Danmission, Jordan and Lebanon
  • 2018-2019: Senior Consultant at Vision Hope International, Jordan and Germany
  • 2019: Consultant Theology at CityKerk Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 2013-2018: Associate Pastor at Oasis Church Amman, Jordan
  • 2009–2018: Lecturer at German Jordanian University, Amman, Jordan
  • 2016: Guestlecturer at Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary, Fuheis, Jordan
  • 2015: PhD from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 2006–2008: Pastoral Ministry Assistant at Saint Michael’s Anglican Church, Paris, France
  • 2006: MA from Middlesex University / London School of Theology, UK
  • 2004–2005: Study year in Beirut, Lebanon
  • 2000–2004: Undergrad Studies in Theology, Hamburg and Tübingen, Germany
  • 1998–1999: Civil service in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
  • 1998: A-Levels in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany



Fowler, Randall, and Ekkardt A. Sonntag. ‘For King and Country: Jordanian Protestants as a Religious Counterpublic.’ Journal of Communication & Religion 42, no. 2 (2019).

Sonntag, Ekkardt A. ‘Christian Higher Education in the Middle East’. In Encyclopedia of Christianity in the Global South, edited by Mark A. Lamport and George Thomas Kurian. Rowman & Littlefield, 2018.

———. ‘Jesus the Good Wasta? Reading the Epistle to the Hebrews in Light of a Middle Eastern Social Phenomenon’. VU University Amsterdam, 2015.


Presentations (selection)

“Wasta, Patronage and Mediation in Arab Cultures.” The Patronage Symposium, Arab Baptist Theological Seminary. Beirut, Lebanon, October 2018.

“The NT and the Refugee Crisis - In Search of a Hermeneutic for the German Church’s Welcome to Middle-Eastern Muslim Migrants.” Joint International Meeting, Society for Biblical Literature (SBL) and
European Association for Biblical Studies (EABS). Berlin, August 2017.

“The Sonship Argument in Hebrews: Jesus, the Supreme Mediator. Insights from Middle Eastern Sociology.” The St. Andrews Symposium for Biblical and Early Christian Studies “Son of God: Divine Sonship in Jewish and Christian Antiquity.” St. Andrews, Scotland, June 2016.

“Son, Brother, Priest and Wasta: A Middle Eastern Interpretation of Jesus’ Role as Mediator in Hebrews.” Conference on Reading the Bible in Islamic Contexts, 
Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies (CMCS). Oxford, UK, September 2015.

“Jesus, Mediator of the New Covenant, Ultimate Wasta? Hebrews Read against the Backdrop of Arab Middle Eastern Mediation.” Joint International Meeting, Society for Biblical Literature (SBL) and
European Association for Biblical Studies (EABS). Vienna, Austria, July 2014.

“Jesus, the Good Wāsṭa? The Sociology of Middle Eastern Mediation as a Key to Christian-Muslim Dialogue.” European Conference on the Social Sciences, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR).
 Brighton, UK, July 2013.

“Jesus, the Good Wasta?” Joint Meeting “‘Similarities’ between Christianity and Islam: Problems and Potentials”,
Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies Oxford (CMCS), 
Centre for Islamic Studies Northwood (CIS). Northwood, UK, April 2011.