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SBL promotes the academic study of biblical texts to foster the understanding of religion and to cultivate empathy in our diverse world. Resources for teaching biblical studies in a variety of settings, including public schools, are available here and here.

Status of Women in the Profession Committee - Activities
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The Status of Women in the Profession Committee supports and, when necessary, advocates for the female members of the SBL by:
  • Tracking the academic and professional situations of women in Biblical Studies and related fields
  • Creating forums for women members to discuss academic and professional issues and conditions
  • Providing mentoring and networking opportunities
It seeks to open the Society to greater participation by women and to call attention to the various ways in which the Society speaks to and about women. CSWP advocates for:
  • The development of programs and policies that support the full inclusion of women in the activities of SBL
  • Information-gathering regarding women's experiences within the academy at all career stages
  • Women biblical scholars in contexts beyond the Society
  • Developing policies and monitoring complaints of sexual harassment and ethical misconduct

Committee Handbook

CSWP also has an active Facebook page that facilitates discussion.

The Status of Women in the Profession Outstanding Service in Mentoring Awards

Each year at the SBL Annual Meeting, CSWP honors women who have been excellent mentors to women in the field. Learn more about CSWP mentor awards here.

Gender and Racial Bias in the Classroom

In higher education, teaching is a critical component of faculty review and in promotion and tenure cases. The classroom is also the place where the scholarship on teaching and learning has documented a clear gender and racial bias. These articles have been collected to help women members of SBL understand the classroom climate and student expectations, so that they can better succeed in this area of their professional careers. The members of CSWP also hope that administrators will make summative decisions with these considerations in mind and work to address the systematic bias that exists in higher education classrooms which disadvantages women and faculty of color. Click here for access to this collection of articles.

 Members of this committee serve a three-year term, renewable for a second term.

Members of the committee:



Years of Term

Valerie Bridgeman 1 2019-2021
Angela Kim Harkins 1 2017-2019
Marianne Bjelland Kartzow 1 2017-2019
Dominika A. Kurek-Chomycz 1 2017-2019
Christl M. Maier (Chair) 2 2019-2021
Heidi Marx-Wolf 2 2017-2019
Julia M. O'Brien 2 2017-2019
Janette H. Ok 2 2017-2019
Cecilia Wassén 1 2019-2021

Glory Emekeme - Staff Liaison

Member Bios:

  • Valerie Bridgeman is Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs, as well as Associate Professor of Homiletics and Hebrew Bible at Methodist Theological School of Ohio. She also is founding president and CEO of WomanPreach! Inc. —the premiere non-profit organization that brings preachers to full prophetic voice. She has been in ordained ministry since 1977. As an interdisciplinary scholar, Dr. Bridgeman is active in several professional guilds and has been inducted into the Society for the Study of Black Religion. She also sits on several boards, including the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference. She served associate editor and author for The Africana Bible: Reading Israel’s Scriptures from Africa and the African Diaspora. She earned her Ph.D. in biblical studies (Hebrew Bible concentration) and secondary studies in ethics from Baylor University. She earned her master of divinity from Austin Theological Seminary in Austin, Texas and a bachelor of arts degree with a double major of Communication and Religion from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She is a peace activist and advocate for human rights, and was inducted into the 2010 class of Martin Luther King, Jr. Collegium of Scholars and Preachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA.

  • Angela Kim Harkins is an Associate Professor of New Testament at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. In 2014-2016, she was a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellow at the University of Birmingham in England where she conducted research into religious experience and the Dead Sea Scrolls in the late Second Temple period. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal for the Study of the New Testament and Ekstasis: Religious Experience from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, a book series published by De Gruyter press. She currently co-chairs the Prayer in Antiquity program unit at the annual meeting of the SBL and co-chairs the Qumran and Dead Sea Scrolls unit of the ISBL. She is the past chair of the Religious Experience in Antiquity unit. Harkins is the author of Reading with an “I” to the Heavens (de Gruyter, 2012) which was recently published in paperback (2018). In addition to this, she has collaborated on several edited volumes. She is the author of numerous articles and essays on prayer and emotion. Her most recent research interest investigates the role of emotions and grief in the generation of interpretation and visionary experiences in the late Second Temple period.

  • Marianne Bjelland Kartzow is Professor of New Testament Studies at the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo, Norway. Her interests include gender theory in all its complexity and variety, early Christian texts, and social history. She is also concerned about how teaching, research and societal involvement can be better connected. Kartzow has, in addition to several articles and book chapters, published three monographs, most recently by Routledge in 2018, The Slave Metaphor and Gendered Enslavement in Early Christian Discourse: Double Trouble Embodied (2009, Gossip and Gender: Othering of Speech in the Pastoral Epistles, DeGruyter; 2012, Destabilizing the Margins: An Intersectional Approach to Early Christian Memory, Pickwick). She has co-edited several volumes, among them Bodies, Borders, Believers: Ancient Texts and Present Conversations (Pickwick 2015; festschrift for Turid Karlsen Seim).

  • Dominika Kurek-Chomycz (Ph.D., KU Leuven, Belgium) is Lecturer in New Testament Studies at Liverpool Hope University, UK. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the olfactory metaphor in 2 Cor 2:14-17, and the motif of scent in ancient Jewish literature more generally. Her expertise and research interests include also the significance of material evidence for the interpretation of the New Testament; emotions, sense perception and sense imagery in ancient Jewish and Christian literature; women and gender in Early Christianity; and biblical hermeneutics. She has published a number of articles in various journals and edited volumes, is co-author of 2 Corinthians: A Bibliography (Peeters, 2008) and co-editor of Theologizing in the Corinthian Conflict: Studies in Exegesis and Theology of 2 Corinthians (Peeters, 2013). She serves on the editorial board for the Journal for the Study of the New Testament, and is actively involved in the governance of several scholarly societies, including her current position of the Executive Officer of the European Association of Biblical Studies.

  • Christl M. Maier is Professor of Old Testament at Philipps-University Marburg, Germany. In 2003-2006 she taught at Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT. Her academic specialties include OT wisdom literature, Jeremiah, feminist hermeneutics, and studies of space. She is Editor-in-Chief of Supplements to Vetus Testamentum and serves on the editorial board of the feminist electronic journal lectio difficilior. Currently she is writing a commentary on Jeremiah 1-25 for the International Exegetical Commentary of the Old Testament series. She is the author and coeditor of many books, e.g., The Writings and Later Wisdom Books (ed. with Nuria Calduch-Benages, 2014), Prophecy and Power: Jeremiah in Feminist and Post¬colonial Perspective (ed. with Carolyn J. Sharp, 2013), Constructions of Space V: Place, Space, and Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean World (ed. with Gert Prinsloo, 2013), and Daughter Zion, Mother Zion. Gender, Space, and the Sacred in Ancient Israel (author, 2008).

  • Heidi Marx-Wolf is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Manitoba. She is also an Acting Associate Dean in the Faculty of Arts at her institution. Her book, Spiritual Taxonomies and Ritual Expertise: Platonists, Priests, and Gnostics in the Third Century CE was published by UPenn Divinations Series in 2015. She is currently working on a biography of the fourth-century female philospher, Sosipatra of Pergamum, under contract with Oxford University Press' Women in Antiquity Series, as well as she is co-editing and co-authoring a source book on ancient medicine under contract with the University of California Press.

  • Julia M. O’Brien is Paul H. and Grace L. Stern Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Her academic specialties include the Minor Prophets and feminist and gender studies. She is Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Gender Studies(forthcoming 2014) and the author of Micah for the Wisdom Commentary Series (Liturgical Press, 2015). Publications include Challenging Prophetic Metaphor (Westminster John Knox, 2008); Nahum through Malachi (Abingdon Old Testament Commentary series, 2004); Nahum (Sheffield Academic Press, 2002; 2nd ed. 2009); and Priest and Levite in Malachi (Society of Biblical Literature Dissertation Series, 1990). With Chris Franke, she co-edited Aesthetics of Violence in the Prophets (T & T Clark, 2010).

  • Janette Ok (Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary) is Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Azusa Pacific University. She conducts research on 1 Peter and the formation of early Christian identity and is interested in Asian American, intersectional, feminist, and social-scientific approaches to biblical interpretation. In addition to serving on the SBL Status of Women in the Profession Committee, she is a member of the steering committee for the Asian and Asian-American Hermeneutics program unit of the SBL and has also served on the steering committee for the Minoritized Criticism and Biblical Interpretation program unit. Her dissertation examines how the author of 1 Peter creates an ethnic identity for addressees in order to strengthen their sense of what it means to be Christian. She has contributed to Intersecting Realities: Race, Identity, and Culture in the Spiritual-Moral Life of Young Asian Americans (Cascade, 2018) and the T&T Clark Handbook of Asian American Biblical Hermeneutics (T&T Clark 2019).

  • Cecilia Wassén (PhD McMaster University, Canada) is an Associate Professor of New Testament Exegesis at Uppsala University, Sweden. A scholar of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian origins, her research interests include Jewish purity laws, the historical Jesus, families, apocalypticism, and exorcism. She has published numerous articles and essays and is the author of two books: Women in the Damascus Document (Atlanta: SBL/ Leiden: Brill, 2005) and with Tobias Hägerland, The Unknown Jesus: The Story about A Prophet who Failed (in Swedish; Stockholm: Bokförlaget Langenskiöld, 2016). She has co-edited multiple volumes, e.g., with Sidnie White Crawford, Apocalyptic Thinking in Early Judaism: Engaging with John Collins’ The Apocalyptic Imagination(Leiden: Brill, 2018). Presently she serves as a co-chair of the Historical Jesus section for the SBL Annual Meeting and has previously (2009-2015) served as a co-chair of the section Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls for the International Meeting of the SBL. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Biblical Literatureand Dead Sea Discoveries.


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