Dr Jessica M. Keady
Lecturer in Biblical Studies and Gender
Tel: +44 (0)1570 424750
I currently teach Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism to undergraduate students on a variety of degree programmes (including, BA Religious Studies, BA Study of Religions and the Graduate Diploma in Bible and Theology). I also teach and supervise postgraduate students on the MA in Biblical Interpretation.
I am also part of the Admissions and Marketing Team in the Faculty, which includes managing social media activities and the Faculty of Humanities Blog.
After graduating from Bangor University with BA in Theology and Religious Studies in 2010, I went to study for MA in Religions and Theology at The University of Manchester, 2010; funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council). I then went on to secure further AHRC funding to complete a PhD in Religions and Theology at the University of Manchester (2011-2014). I submitted my doctorate within three years and graduated in July 2015.
From October 2015 – February 2017, I worked as a Researcher in Biblical Studies and Gender at the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Chester and taught on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules and worked on a funded project entitled, Sexuality and Anglican Identities (with Dr Paul Middleton). I also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education and became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
In March 2017, I secured funding as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Academy of Finland, Centre of Excellence (Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions), University of Helsinki, where I worked on masculinities and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
In September 2017 I was appointed Lecturer in Biblical Studies and Gender at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David.
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
- Society for Biblical Literature
- Society for Old Testament Studies (also Postgraduate and Early Career Representative for the SOTS Committee)
- British New Testament Society
- European Association of Biblical Studies
Most of my teaching falls within the area of Judaism, although at undergraduate level I also contribute to modules relating to the New Testament. At present I contribute to the following undergraduate modules:
- Introduction to Judaism and Christianity
- Women and Religion
- Interpreting the Hebrew Bible
- Satan and his World of Darkness
For the MA in Biblical Interpretation I contribute to the following modules:
- Study Skills for Biblical Interpretation
- The Bible: Contemporary Approaches
- The Book of Genesis
My main research interests are based on Second Temple Jewish texts and their ancient/social context. I am particularly interested in the portrayal of gender in the Dead Sea Scrolls (especially as portrayed in the sectarian manuscripts) and the constructions of Jewish purity and impurity laws. My first monograph, Vulnerability and Valour: A Gendered Analysis of Everyday Life in the Dead Sea Scrolls has recently been published (Library of Second Temple Studies 91, Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017) and used theories from Gender Studies to investigate the Hebrew purity texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls. By using methodological insights from Masculinity Studies, embodiment theories, and the understandings of the social scientific every day, I was able to broaden the current abstract critique of Jewish purity laws to include a wider range of gender issues and permit exploration of the male experience, which is currently poorly understood.
I am currently researching for a second monograph on the topic of gendered positioning, focusing particularly on masculinities and the literary constructions of purity in the Dead Sea Scrolls.
My expertise falls into the following categories:
- The Dead Sea Scrolls (particularly the sectarian manuscripts and the Purity Texts)
- The interpretations of the Hebrew Bible/Second Temple literature from a gendered perspective
Jessica M. Keady, Vulnerability and Valour: A Gendered Analysis of Everyday Life in the Dead Sea Scrolls Communities (Library of Second Temple Studies; London: Bloomsbury Press/T&T Clark, 2017).
Scripture as Social Discourse: Social Scientific Perspectives on Early Jewish and Christian Writings (eds. Jessica M. Keady, Todd Klutz and Casey Strine; London: Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, submitted to publisher, forthcoming 2018).
Jessica M. Keady, “Rape Culture Discourse and Female Impurity: Genesis 34 as a Case Study” in Rape Culture, Religion and Gender Violence (eds. Caroline Blyth, Emily Colgan and Katie Edwards; Basingstoke: Palgrave, forthcoming 2018).
Jessica M. Keady, “Reviewing Purity and Impurity from a Gendered Perspective: The War Scroll (1QM) as a Case Study” in Scripture as Social Discourse: Social Scientific Perspectives on Early Jewish and Christian Writings (eds. Jessica M. Keady, Todd Klutz and Casey Strine; London: Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, forthcoming 2018).
Commissioned for 2019 as joint editor (alongside Professor Jutta Jokiranta), for a special editorial collection on the Dead Sea Scrolls and Gender for the Dead Sea Discoveries. There will be 6 articles in the collection.
Review of John Swinton, Dementia: Living in the Memories of God (Eerdmans, 2012) for Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice.
Review of Namsoon Kay, Diasporic Feminist Theology: Asia and Theopolitical Imagination (Augsburg Fortress, 2014) for the Journal for the Study of the New Testament Book List.
Review of Victor Matthews, The Cultural World of the Bible: An Illustrated Guide to Manners and Customs (Baker Publishing, 2015) review for the Journal for the Study of the New Testament Book List.
Review of Géza G. Xeravits, (ed.), Religion and Female Body in Ancient Judaism and its Environments (De Gruyter, 2015) review for SBL Review of Biblical Literature.
Review of Joan Taylor, The Body in Biblical, Christian and Jewish Texts Series (Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2014) for the Journal of Semitic Studies, Spring 2016.
2013 Arts and Humanities Research Council, facilitated through The University of Manchester (£3,000 external funding) After writing a proposal to the “Collaborative Skills Development Call: Student-led” (AHRC Programme) on the importance of interdisciplinary studies and the Bible, I successfully secured external funding for the event entitled, “The Bible and the Social Sciences: Modern Methods and Ancient Texts.” Also completed the AHRC – End of Award Report.
- Project Co-ordinator for ‘Sexuality and Anglican Identities’ Project (funded by the Church Universities Fund).
- Successfully organised 2 Open Forums held at Chester Cathedral.
Sample of Presented Papers (since 2013)
July 2017, Berlin (ISBL Qumran and Dead Sea Scrolls Session), “Masculinities and the Men of the Qumran Communities: Re-evaluating the ideals of Purification, Power and Performance in the Dead Sea Scrolls.”
July 2017, The Society for Old Testament Study, King’s College London (Centenary event), “Masculinities and the Men of the Qumran Communities: Re-Evaluating the Ideals of Purification, Power and Performance in the Dead Sea Scrolls.”
April 2017, University of Helsinki, Centre of Excellence, ‘Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions’ (Workshop on ‘Social-Scientific Theorizing and Biblical Studies’), “From PhD to Postdoctoral Studies: Gender, Purity and Positioning in the Dead Sea Scrolls.”
October 2016, Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (The University of Sheffield), “Female Impurity in Rape Culture Discourse: A Gendered Perspective on Genesis 34.”
February 2016, University of Chester (Theology and Religious Studies Series), “Rape Culture and the Bible.”
December 2015, The University of Manchester (Ehrhardt Biblical Studies Seminar), “The Role of Female Impurity in Rape Culture Discourse: Genesis 34 as a Case Study.”
May 2015, University of Chester (Theology and Religious Studies Series), “Bodies and Religion: The Role of Masculinity and Femininity in the Dead Sea Scrolls”
April 2014, The University of Manchester-University of Lausanne (Joint Seminar Series, The Bible and the Social Sciences), “Femininities and Masculinities in the Dead Sea Scrolls.”
January 2014, University of Sussex (Gender Seminar Series), “A Gendered Reading of Purity in the Dead Sea Scrolls: The Construction of the Perfect and Imperfect Bodies in the War Scroll.”
November 2013, Baltimore (SBL Gender, Sexuality and the Bible Session), “A Gendered Reading of Purity in the Dead Sea Scrolls: The Construction of the Perfect and Imperfect Bodies in the War Scroll.”
July 2013, St Andrew’s (ISBL Dead Sea Scrolls Session), “Re-reading Purity in the Dead Sea Scrolls: A Gendered Perspective.”