Wil Gafney

Brite Divinity School educates women and men to lead in the ministry of Christ’s church, the academy and public life as witnesses to God’s reconciling and transforming love and justice.

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Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible, Duke University, 2006
Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies, Duke University, 2000
M.Div. with Special Recognition in Homiletics and Hebrew Bible, Howard University School of Divinity, 1997
B.A., Earlham College, 1987


  • Introduction to Interpreting the Hebrew Bible
  • Exegesis in the Hebrew Bible: Exodus


  • Womanist Midrash: A Reintroduction to the Women of the Torah and of the Throne (Westminster John/Knox Press, 2017)
  • Nahum, Habakkuk and Zephaniah (Liturgical Press, In Production)

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

  • "Womanist Midrash of Delilah: Don't Hate the Playa Hate the Game" Womanist Interpretations of the Bible: Expanding the Discourse, Gay L. Byron and Vanessa Lovelace, eds., (SBL, 2016)
  • "Judges" The CEB Women's Bible (Christian Resources Development Corporation, 2016)
  • “A Womanist Midrash on Zipporah” Womanist Biblical Interpretation: A Reader. Mitzi Smith, ed. (Submitted, Fortress)
  • “It Does Matter If You’re Black or White, Too Black or Too White, but Mestizo is Just Right” in Re-Presenting Texts: Jewish and Black Biblical Interpretation, Society of Biblical Literature, W. David Nelson, and Rivka Ulmer. 2013.
  • . “A Queer Womanist Midrashic Reading of Numbers 25:1-18.” in Brenner, Athalya, and Archie Chi Chung Lee. Leviticus and Numbers. Minneapolis, Min: Fortress Press, 2013.
  • “A Prophet-Terrorist(a) and an Imperial Sympathizer: An Empire-Critical, Postcolonial Reading Of The No'adyah/Nechemyah Conflict.” Black Theology: An International Journal 9, no. 2 (July 2011): 161-176.
  • “Intoxicating teaching as transformational pedagogy.” in Schüssler Fiorenza, Elisabeth, and Kent Harold Richards. Transforming Graduate Biblical Education: Ethos and Discipline. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2010.


  • A Womanist Hermeneutic, Reading From, With and For A Black Christian Community Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion Section, Society of Biblical Literature Annual Conference, Baltimore MD, November 2013
  • A Legion of Preaching Women: The Darkly Radiant Image of God: Black and Female, Women Prophets in Ancient Israel, Bathsheba’s Legacy: Royal Women of Israel and Judah, Todd Lectures, Memphis Theological Seminary, Memphis TN, March 2013
  • Wil’s Words of Wisdom for the Womanists Catching Up to Me: You Betta Werk! AAR/SBL Womanist In-Gathering 2012: Rituals of Wisdom and Healing, American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, November 2012
  • From Slavery to Slavery: No Exodus for Trafficked Women in Israel Or – Do Not Covet Your Neighbor’s Sex-Slave But you Can Rape Her Slavery, Resistance and Freedom/African-American Biblical Hermeneutics: Enslaved Persons as Persons Session Society of Biblical Literature 2012 Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, November 2012
  • It Does Matter If You’re Black or White, Too-Black or Too-White, But Mestizo is Just Right African American Biblical Hermeneutics & Mishnah Group, Wilda (Wil) C. M. Gafney 5 A Queer Womanist Midrashic Reading of Numbers 25 the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion Section and A Womanist Midrashic Reading of Job for the Pulpit, Homiletics and Biblical Studies, Society of Biblical Literature Annual Conference, San Francisco CA, November 2011

Professional Affiliations

Editorial Team, Journal of Biblical Literature
Career Development Committee
Society for the Study of Black Religion