The Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible at Brite Divinity School, will give her inaugural lecture at 11 am, Tuesday, April 14, in the Robert Carr Chapel on the campus of Texas Christian University. Her lecture, “Poesis: A Womanist Hermeneutic of Biblical Translation – Who Says These Are God’s Words,” will be followed by a luncheon in the Bass Conference Center. The lecture is open to the public.
Dr. Gafney has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Earlham College, a M.Div. with Special Recognition in Homiletics and Hebrew Bible, Howard University School of Divinity; a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies, Duke University; and a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible, Duke University.
Read her blogs and hear her lecture and preach at http://www.wilgafney.com/, from which this biographical information was taken.
She is the author of Daughters of Miriam: Women Prophets in Ancient Israel and editor of (Prophets and the Deuterocanonical Writings/Apocrypha) in The Peoples’ Bible and The Peoples’ Commentary on the Bible, Fortress Press. Her most recent essays include: “A Womanist Midrash on Zipporah” (I Found God in Me: A Womanist Biblical Hermeneutics Reader, Cascade Press), “It Does Matter If You’re Black or White, Too Black or Too White, but Mestizo is Just Right” (Re-Presenting Texts: Jewish and Black Biblical Interpretation, Society of Biblical Literature) and “A Queer Womanist Midrashic Reading of Numbers 25:1-18” (Leviticus and Numbers: Texts @ Contexts, Fortress).
Among her research interests are feminist biblical studies, rabbinic studies, and issues in translation. Her current projects are Womanist Midrash (Westminster/John Knox, submitted) and a commentary on Habakkuk, Nahum and Zephaniah for the (forthcoming) Liturgical Press Wisdom commentary series.
Other projects include series of bible studies in Genesis in the Abingdon Pastor’s Bible Study, Volume III, an exploration of motherhood in messianic genealogies in “Mother Knows Best: Messianic Surrogacy and Sexploitation in Ruth” in Mother Goose, Mother Jones, Mommie Dearest: Biblical Mothers and their Children (Brill), and a commentary on Ruth and article on “Responsible Christian exegesis of the Hebrew Scriptures” in The Africana Bible (Fortress). She also has contributed to the Lutheran Study Bible, (Fortress), and is anticipating publication of a commentary on the book of Numbers in the African Women’s Bible Commentary. She also has an essay on transformative teaching practices, “Intoxicating Teaching as Transformational Pedagogy” in Transforming Graduate Biblical Education: Ethos and Discipline published by the Society of Biblical Literature.
Her interest in the ancient Near Eastern and biblical portrayals of Lilith and other night-stalking creatures led to her participation in two HBO documentaries on the origin and evolution of vampire mythologies, True Bloodlines: Vampire Legends and True Bloodlines: A New Type in 2008, airing before the series premiere of True Blood.
Dr. Gafney, an Episcopal priest, remains a member of the historic African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in Philadelphia, PA as she is canonically resident in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. Founded in 1792, it is the first Episcopal church in the U.S. founded by and for African Americans. She is a former member of the Dorshei Derekh Reconstructionist Minyan of the Germantown Jewish Centre, in Philadelphia. She remains actively engaged in inter-religious work and is particularly interested in how Jews and Christians interpret the texts they hold in common. She also is licensed in the Diocese of Fort Worth and worships at Trinity Episcopal Church, Fort Worth.
Dr. Gafney is a former US Army Reserve chaplain who served the Thompson Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church as pastor before joining The Episcopal Church.