Dr Johanna Stiebert

Dr Johanna Stiebert

Associate Professor of Biblical Studies

+44 (0)113 343 7454

Summary: Emotion terminology of the Hebrew Bible; ideological sub-texts of prophetic Hebrew Bible literature; father-daughter relations; reading Hebrew Bible texts in the light of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Location: Botany House, 2.01

Johanna Stiebert studied Biblical Hebrew and Hebrew Bible at the Universities of Otago (Dunedin, New Zealand), Cambridge and Glasgow. She has taught Hebrew language, Hebrew Bible and Judaism courses at St. Martin's College, Lancaster (1998-1999, now the University of Cumbria), the University of Botswana (1999-2002) and the University of Tennessee  (2003-2009) before joining Theology and Religious Studies at Leeds in September of 2009.

Her academic interests include Biblical Hebrew philology and semantics of self-conscious emotions, ideological-critical and social-scientific readings of Hebrew Bible Prophets, gender- and queer-critical interpretation, and contemporary African-centred readings of Hebrew Bible texts. Her latest book is First-Degree Incest and the Hebrew Bible: Sex in the Family (Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2016). A second recent monograph of hers is Fathers and Daughters in the Hebrew Bible (OUP, 2013).


Dr Stiebert was co-recipient, together with Professor of Biblical Studies Musa W. Dube (University of Botswana) of a British Academy funded International Partnerships grant. The title of their project was 'Biblical Studies in Southern Africa and the UK in Dialogue: Trends and Challenges'. 

She is the current recipient of a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel research award from the Humboldt Foundation and will be spending one year from August 2017 at the University of Bamberg.

Dr Stiebert is co-lead for The Shiloh Project, investigating intersections between rape cultures, religion and the Bible.

Research Interests

  • Emotion terminology of the Hebrew Bible
  • Ideological sub-texts of prophetic Hebrew Bible literature
  • Reading Hebrew Bible texts in the light of the HIV/AIDS pandemic
  • Social-scientific criticism of the Hebrew Bible
  • Family relationships in the Hebrew Bible
  • The Hebrew Bible and human rights
  • Gender criticism and queer criticism of the Hebrew Bible

Research Supervision

Dr Stiebert welcomes applications from students wishing to conduct research on Biblical Hebrew philology and/or literature of the Hebrew Bible and feminist, social-scientific and ideological criticism.



First-Degree Incest and the Hebrew Bible: Sex in the Family. London/New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2016.

Fathers and Daughters in the Hebrew Bible. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

The Exile and the Prophet's Wife: Historic Events and Marginal Perspectives. Interfaces
Series. Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2005.

The Construction of Shame in the Hebrew Bible: The Prophetic Contribution (JSOT
Supplement Series 346). Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002.

Refereed articles

'The Voice of God in the Hebrew Bible.' Journal for Religion, Film and Media 2/1 (2016): 23-32.


'Man and New Man: David's Masculinity in Film.' Journal of the Bible and Its Reception 2/2 (2015): 197-218.


'The Eve-ing of Bathsheba in Twentieth Century Film.' The Bible and Critical Theory 10/2: 22-31.


'The Peoples' Bible, Imbokodo and the King's Mother's Teaching in Proverbs 31.' Biblical Interpretation 20/3 (2012): 223-258.

'Human Conception in Antiquity: The Hebrew Bible in Context.' Theology & Sexuality 16/3 (2010): 209-227.

'The African Holocaust: What Is In a Name?' Missionalia 37/2 (2009): 192-209.

'Shame and the Body in Psalms and Lamentations of the Hebrew Bible and in Thanksgiving Hymns from Qumran.' Old Testament Essays 20/3 (2007): 798-829.

'The Inculcation of Social Behaviour in Proverbs.' Old Testament Essays 17/2 (2004): 282-293.

'Human Suffering and Divine Abuse of Power in Lamentations: Reflections on Forgiveness in the Context of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Process.' Pacifica16 (2003): 195-215.

'Riches in Isaiah and Ezekiel: An Example of Prophetic Inversion.' Concilium 2002/1 (The Many Voices of the Bible), 33-40 (English edition).

'The Woman Metaphor of Ezekiel 16 and 23: A Victim of Violence, or a Symbol of Subversion?' Old Testament Essays 15/1 (2002): 200-08.

 'Does the Hebrew Bible Have Anything to Say About Homosexuality?' (co-authored with Jerome T. Walsh) Old Testament Essays 14/1 (2001): 119-52.

'Does the Hebrew Bible Have Anything to Tell Us About HIV/AIDS?'
Missionalia 29/2 (2001): 174-85. (Republished in revised form in HIV/AIDS and the
Curriculum: Methods of Integrating HIV/AIDS in Theological Programmes, ed. by Musa W. Dube, Geneva: World Council of Churches Publications, 2003, 24-34.)

'Homosexuality in Botswana and in the Hebrew Bible.' All Africa Journal of Theology 1/1(Africa Challenge) (2001): 21-29. (Republished in revised form in Verbum et Ecclesia 23/1 (2002): 196-208.)

'Shame and Prophecy: Approaches Past and Present.' Biblical Interpretation 8/3 (2000): 255-75.


Contribution to a book

'Within and Without Purity, Danger, Honour, and Shame: Anthropological Approaches in Feminist Hebrew Bible Studies,' in Scholz, Susanne (ed.), Feminist Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Retrospect (volume 3, Methods). Sheffield: Phoenix (2016): 111-135.


'Social-Scientific Approaches,' in O'Brien, Julia M. (ed. in chief), The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Gender Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2014): 411-420. 


'Ezekiel at the Twin Towers,' in Chalcraft, David J., Frauke Uhlenbruch and Rebecca S. Watson (eds.), Methods, Theories, Imagination: Social Scientific Approaches in Biblical Studies. Sheffield: Phoenix (2014): 172-83. 

'The Bible: The History of Interpretation and Methods,' in Amanze, James N., F. Nkomazana and O.N. Kealotswe (eds.), Biblical Studies, Theology, Religion and Philosophy: An Introduction for African Universities. Eldoret, Kenya: Zapf Chancery, 2010, 11-36.

'Diagnosing Ezekiel' (178-79), 'Ezekiel's Inaugural Vision' (179-80), 'Lamentations: Reading Poetry of Distress in Distressing Times' (228-29), three separate contributions in Roncace, Mark and Patrick Gray (eds.), Teaching the Bible: Practical Strategies for Classroom Instruction. SBL Resources for Biblical Study. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2005.

'Women's Sexuality and Stigma in Genesis and the Prophets,' in Dube, M. W. and M.
Kanyoro (eds.), Grant Me Justice! HIV/AIDS and Gender Readings of the Bible
New York: Orbis and Natal: Cluster, 2004, 81-97.

'The Maligned Patriarch: Prophetic Ideology and the "Bad Press" of Esau,' in Hunter, A G and P R Davies (eds.), Sense and Sensitivity: Essays on Reading the Bible in Memory of Robert Carroll (JSOT Supplement Series 348), 33-48.Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2004.

'Material "Supplementary" to Biblical Literature' & 'What is the Relationship
of The Qumran Community to the Essenes?,' in Barclay, J M G (ed), Frequently Asked
Questions on the Dead Sea Scrolls, 15-20 and 34-39. Glasgow: Trinity St Mungo Press,



Stiebert, J and Edwards, K 2016. The Greatest Taboo? The Surprising Truth of what the Bible Says About Incest. The Conversation (May 9, theconversation.com).

Stiebert, J and Walsh, J T 2001. Chaos Cries For A King (Judges 19-21). The Bible Today  39/4, 210-15.