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Prof. dr. A. (Athalya) Brenner

Faculty of Humanities
Photographer: onbekend

Visiting address
  • Spuistraat 134
Postal address
  • Postbus 15540
    1001 NA Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Profile

    SHALOM. I was Professor of Hebrew Bible / Old Testament in the Biblical Studies section of Religious Studies at the Department of Art, Religion and Culture (KRC), Faculty of the Humanities, University of Amsterdam. As such, I was the Chairperson of the Biblical Studies group; coordinator of the Bibles & Cultures (B&C) MA Program, co-coordinator (with Professor Irene Zwiep of Hebrew and Jewish Studies) of the Jewish Cultures (JC) MA program, and a member of the ASCA board.
    As planned, in August 2008 I retired from the HB/OT Chair and am now Professor Emerita at the UvA. The Chair has now been discontinued. 
    I am now teaching one semester per year at Tel Aviv University, in the Department of Hebrew Culture Studies, the Biblical Studies Section, and working there with graduate (MA and PhD) students.
    My regular UvA e-mail address continues to be valid. A second e-mail address is
    My Tel Aviv homepage can be accessed through the first link below, and a short CV through the second link.

    MY Tel Aviv Homepage

    Academic Degrees

    BA in Biblical Studies and English from the University of Haifa; MA in Biblical Studies from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem; PhD from the University of Manchester, England (department of Near Eastern Studies, 1979), and Honorary PhD from the University of Bonn, Germany (2002).

    My main interests are...

    feminist criticismof the Hebrew bible and early Judaisms; transdisciplinaryapproaches to the Hebrew bible; bibles andcultures; Semitic philology; and computer applications in the Humanities.

    I am the compiler/editor of the Feminist Companion to the Bible, First and Second Series (19 volumes; published1993--2003 by Sheffield Academic Press, now Continuum); The Bible in the 21st Century (BTC) Series with Continuum/T& T Clark, 5 volumes); the Amsterdam Studies in Bible and Religion new Series (Sheffield Phoenix Press; click on the 'Publications' page above); and a member of the advisory board of the Amsterdam University Press (AUP)/UvA Digital Bible Project and the editorial boards of Biblical Interpretation, Brown Judaic Studies, and JSOT (Journal for the Study of the Old Testament).

    In the past, I was member of the JBL (Journal of Biblical Literature; until end 2003) and Semeia (until 2002) editorial boards.

    AUP Digital Bible Project

    For an updated list of my publications in two formats, Word and PDF, click on the links below.  The list under the 'Publications' button is not full and runs up to 2007.

  • Current Events

    Contextual Interpretation Sessions, Hebrew Bible, SBL AM, San Francisco, November 2011

    S19-113 Contextual Biblical Interpretation
    9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
    Room:  Sierra K - Marriott Marquis

    Theme:  Hebrew Bible: Papers on Joshua-Judges
    This session will consist of paper presentations, roundtable style, and an extended discussion. Full drafts of papers will be available on Athalya Brenner's homepage,, at the beginning of November 2011.

    Athalya Brenner, Tel Aviv University/Universiteit van Amsterdam, Presiding (5 min)

    Wes Bergen, Wichita State University
    Reading Joshua/Judges in Oz: Postcolonialism in Kansas?  (20 min)

    Ryan Bonfiglio, Emory University
    Choosing Sides in Judges 4-5  (20 min)

    Cheryl Kirk-Duggan, Shaw University Divinty School
    Conquest and Liberation Personified: Rahab and Lady GagaMeet the Press  (20 min)

    Break (10 min)

    Kari Latvus, University of Helsinki
    The Use of War Rhetoric in Finnish History during the Second World War  (20 min)

    Athalya Brenner, TAU/UvA
    Women Frame the Book of Judges--How and Why?   (20 min)

    Discussion (35 min)

    S20-313 Contextual Biblical Interpretation
    4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
    Room:  Salon 8 - Marriott Marquis

    Theme:  Hebrew Bible: Leviticus--Numbers and More
    This session will consist of paper presentations, roundtable style, an extended discussion of papers, and a Business Meeting to discuss the ongoing program of publishing the Texts@Contextsseries, HB part.Full drafts of papers will be available on Athalya Brenner's homepage,, at the beginning of November 2011. Potential contributors to the series are cordially invited to attend the Business Meeting at the end of this sessions: we shall be grateful for suggestions, contributions and tips.

    Archie Lee, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Presiding (5 min)

    Kristel Clayville, University of Chicago
    Landed Agency: An Environmental Ethicists Reads Leviticus  (20 min)

    Joseph Ryan Kelly, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
    USDA or YHWH? Pursuing a Divinely Inspired Diet  (20 min)

    Nasili Vaka'uta, University of Auckland
    Indicting YHWH: Interpreting Numbers 25 in Oceania  (20 min)

    Ingeborg Löwisch, Utrecht University
    Gendered Genealogies in Response to Trauma: InquiringProcesses of Othering in 1 Chronicle 1-9 from a German Perspective  (20 min)

    Break (10 min)

    Discussion(30 min)

    Business Meeting (15 min)

  • Recent Conferences

    ISBL. London, July 2011, First Session

    4-30 Contextual Interpretation of the Bible (Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and New Testament)
    7/04/2011, 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM, Room: 2.46 - Franklin Wilkins
    Theme: Hebrew Bible Papers
    Jeremy Punt, University of Stellenbosch, Presiding
    Alexander Izuchukwu Abasili, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
    Seeing Tamar through the Prism of an African Woman: A Contextual Reading of Genesis 38 (20 min)
    Dohyung Kim, University of Sheffield
    Tamar's Double Roles in Genesis 38 within the Primary Narrative (Genesis - 2 Kings) (20 min)
    Yael Shemesh, Bar-Ilan University
    Aaron's Family Tragedy (Leviticus 10): Mourning and Refraining from Mourning in the Bible (20 min)
    Anthony Rees, Charles Sturt University
    Numbers 25 and Beyond: Phinehas and other Detestable Practice(r)s (20 min)
    Helen R. Jacobus, University of Manchester
    Slave Wives and Transgressive Unions: Ancient Near East Laws, Biblical Laws and Literature(20 min)
    Discussion (30 minutes)
    During the session papers will be summarized, not read in full, then extensively discussed. Fuller drafts are available below via the links.

    ISBL London, July 2011, Second Session

    6-31 Contextual Interpretation of the Bible (Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and New Testament)
    7/06/2011, 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM, Room: 2.46 - Franklin Wilkins
    Theme: Papers on the Hebrew Bible and theNew Testament
    Archie Lee, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Presiding
    Brad Embry, Northwest University (Washington)
    The Rape andDismemberment of the Levite's Concubine in Judges 19: A Case for Reassessing the (Important) Role of Women in the Biblical Narrative (20 min)
    Katherine Southwood, University of Oxford
    "What shall we do for wives for those who are left?": Reactionsto Judges 21 When Placed within An Analytical Framework Informed by Modern Social-anthropological Theories of Marriage (20 min)
    Kar-Yong Lim, Seminari Theoloji Malaysia
    Paul's Use of Temple Imagery in the Corinthian Correspondence and the Formation of Christian Identity: A Contextual Reading from the Perspectives of A Chinese Malaysian (20 min)
    Break (30 min)
    Jeremy Punt, Universiteit van Stellenbosch - University of Stellenbosch
    Foolish Rhetoric in 1 Corinthians 1:18-31: Paul's Discourse of Power as Mimicry (20 min)
    Mary Phil Korsak, Society of Authors-Translators Association
    Glad News from Mark (20 min)
    Galen L. Goldsmith, Independent Scholar
    Who Healeth All Thy Diseases (20 min)
    Discussion (30 min)
    Papers will be summarized during the session, not read in full, then extensively discussed. Fuller drafts are availabale via the links below.

    SBL 2010--ATLANTA, GA, USA

    S21-208 Contextual Biblical Interpretation
    11/21/2010 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
    Room: Fairlie - Hyatt Regency
    Theme: Hebrew Bible: Preparing Volumes for the TEXTS@CONTEXTS Series, Fortress Press
    Athalya Brenner, Tel Aviv University and University of Amsterdam, Presiding
    Athalya Brenner, Tel Aviv University and University of Amsterdam
    Territory and Identity: The Beginnings and Beyond (15 min)
    Magdi S. Gendi, Evangelical Theological Seminary, Cairo, Egypt
    Egyptian Perspective on Pharaoh as a Character in the Exodus Narrative: Exodus 1-15 (15 min)
    Naomi Graetz, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
    Miriam and Me (15 min)
    Joseph Ryan Kelly, Harding University Graduate School of Religion
    What Would Moses Do?: On Applying the Test of a False Prophet to the Current Climate Crisis (15 min)
    Sonia Kwok Wong, Vanderbilt University
    The Notion of kpr in the Book of Leviticus and Chinese Popular Religion (15 min)
    Kari Latvus, University of Helsinki
    The debt in the Hebrew Bible: thesilent indebted persons (15 min)
    Cheryl Kirk-Duggan, Shaw University Divinity School
    Precious Memories: Rule of Law in Deuteronomy as Catalyst and Contradiction of Domestic Violence (15 min)
    Discussion (45 min)
    Roundtable discussion in preparation for eventual publication of above papers
    Links to several papers are now available below,all of them fullerdrafts,and hopefully all will be available about a week before the Meeting.
    At the session papers will be discussed (not read) after a short summary, in preparation for the eventual publication.
    For a list of all Contextual Biblical Interpretation sessions this year, go to

    ISBL in Tartu, Estonia, July 2010: Program and Papers

    The session program is reproduced here. Links to the session program in Word format and to the papers are to be found below.
    Theme: Families in Late Biblical Time, Revisited
    This session will be based on invited panel-discussion papers. The papers' full text will be put on Athalya Brenner's homepage ( before the IM. At the Meeting, papers will be summarized and discussed by panelists and audience. The general setup will be thatof a seminar or roundtable discussion group, following the panelists' introductory remarks.
    Athalya Brenner,Tel Aviv University, Presiding
    Athalya Brenner, Tel Aviv University
    Alternative Families: From the Hebrew Bible to Early Judaisms (20-25 min)
    Marianne Kartzow,University of Oslo
    Striking Family Hierarchies: Luke 12:35-48, Gender, and Slavery (20-25 min)
    Lilly Nortje-Meyer, University of Johannesburg
    Whyquestioning theheteronormative Family as strategy in biblical discourse? (20-25 min)
    Break (30 min)
    Jeremy Punt, University of Stellenbosch
    Family in the NewTestament. Sociallocation,households and "traditionalfamily values" (20-25 min)
    Dirk van der Merwe, University of South Africa
    Domestic architecture: Culture, fictive kinship and the Johannine community (20-25 min)
    Discussion (30 min)
    Length of session: approximately 180 minutes.


    Athalya Brenner, Tel Aviv University, Presiding (5 min)
    Kari Latvus, Helsinki University; Hagar in Finland?, Panelist (15-20 min)
    Jione Havea, Charles Stuart University; Jacob encounters Job, on the streets of Manila, Panelist (15-20 min)
    Joseph Kelly, Harding University Graduate School of Religion; Is YHWH Faithful to Israel: Joel and Jonah's Use and Non-Use of Exodus 34:6-7, Panelist (15-20 min)
    Diana Lipton, Kings College London; Longing forEgypt: Dissecting 'TheHeart Enticed', Panelist (15-20 min)
    Cheryl Kirk-Duggan, Shaw University Divinity School; How Liberating is the Exodus and for Whom? Deconstructing Exodusmotifs inScripture,Literature, and Life, Panelist (15-20 min)
    Discussion: Papers will be discussed (not read) after a brief summary, in preparation for eventual publication.

  • Publications


    • Brenner, A. (2007). On Foreign Women in the Bible. In Y. Yovel, & Y. Tsaban (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Jewish Culture [details]
    • Brenner, A. (2007). Recreating the Biblical Creation for Western Children: Provisional Reflections on Some Case Studies. In C. Vander Stichele, & A. G. Hunter (Eds.), Creation and creativity: from Genesis to genetics and back (pp. 11-34). (Bible in the Modern World; No. 9). Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press. [details]
    • Brenner, A. (2007). Vayeishev, Genesis 37.1-40.23: Trials, Tribulations and Changing Circumstances. In T. C. Eskenazi, & A. Weiss (Eds.), The Torah: A Women's Commentary New York: URJ press. [details]


    • Brenner, A. (2006). Jaël: Geweldig of geweldadig? Schrift, 12. [details]
    • Brenner, A. (2006). Ohola en Oholiba (Ezechiël 23). Of: Wat moeten we met deze tekst? Schrift, 4. [details]


    • Brenner, A. (2007). Editorial Board of Biblical Interpretation. (Studies in Theology and Religion; No. 1 en 2). Leiden: Brill. [details]
    • Brenner, A. (2007). Editorial Board. Providence: Brown Judaic Studies. [details]
    • Brenner, A. (2007). Bookreview '2 Samuel' [Review of: F. Anthony, S.J. Campbell (2005) 2 Samuel (Forms of the Old Testament Literature)]. Interpretation. [details]
    • Brenner, A. (2007). Entries on Jezebel, Tamar and Rahab. In Encyclopedia of Jewish Culture Jeruzalem: Shalvi.
    • Brenner, A. (2007). Women, Ideology and Violence : Critical theory and the Construction of Gender in the Book of the Convenant and Deuteronomic Law [Review of: Anderson, C., pp xii + 148 in : Journal for the study of the Old testament Supplement Series, 394, New York, T & T Clark, , (2005) Women, Ideology and Violence : Critical Theory and the Construction of Gender in the book of the Convenant and Deuteronomic Law]. Journal of Hebrew Scriptures, 7. [details]
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    No ancillary activities