Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for the Humanities, 113
Near Eastern and Judaic Studies
Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
DegreesHarvard University, Ph.D.
University of Portland, B.A.
ExpertiseChristian studies. New Testament, Post-Biblical Judaism, Early Christian Literature and History, Women and Religion, History of Sexuality, Feminist Sexual Ethics (including focus on law and sexuality), History of Slavery
ProfileBernadette J. Brooten, Kraft-Hiatt Professor of Christian Studies, of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, of Classical Studies, and of Religious Studies at Brandeis University, is founder and director of the Brandeis Feminist Sexual Ethics Project. This project aims to create Jewish, Christian, and Muslim sexual ethics rooted in freedom, mutuality, meaningful consent, responsibility, and female (as well as male) pleasure, untainted by slave-holding values. These religions’ sacred texts and traditions have all tolerated slavery, which has frequently involved the sexual exploitation of women and girls. Brooten heads a team of scholars, activists, artists, and policy analysts who are disentangling the nexus of slavery, religion, women, and sexuality. They aim to help religious and other people complete the abolition of slavery and move beyond harmful racial and sexual stereotypes. Because religion is a powerful social force, transformed religious sexual ethics, based not on scriptural literalism or the hierarchies of ancient slave-holding societies but on respect, will benefit the whole of society. Webpage
|CLAS||192b||Slavery in the Roman World (1st-4th C. CE)|
|NEJS||29a||Feminist Sexual Ethics in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam|
|NEJS||130a||The New Testament: A Historical Introduction|
|NEJS||148b||Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Jews and Christians: Sources and Interpretations|
|NEJS/SOC||171b||Religions in Greater Boston|
|WMGS||208b||Women's and Gender Studies Research Seminar|
Awards and Honors
Doctor of Theology, honoris causa, Universität Bern, Switzerland (2014)
Fellow, Israel Institute for Advanced Studies (2014)
Faculty Ally to LGBT Students Award, Brandeis University (2013)
Elected President of the New England Society of Biblical Literature (2002)
Elected Vice-President of the New England Society of Biblical Literature (2001)
Ford Foundation grant for Feminist Sexual Ethics Project (2001 - 2002)
Outstanding Service in Mentoring, Society of Biblical Literature (2001)
Liberal Arts Fellowship in Law, Harvard Law School (1999)
MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (1998 - 2003)
Fulbright Fellowship (1997 - 1998)
Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction (Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism) (1997 - 1998)
American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion (historical studies) (Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism) (1996 - 1997)
Lambda Literary Award (lesbian studies) (Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism) (1996 - 1997)
American Council of Learned Societies Grant-in-Aid (1993)
American Association of University Women Faculty Career Enhancement Grant (1992)
Naruth Foundation Fellowship (1992)
American Academy of Religion grant (1991)
Bunting Institute Fellow (1989)
National Endowment for Humanities Fellowship (1989)
Harvard University President's Fund for Innovation: seminar, "The Bible and Public Policy" (1988)
Danforth & Kent Foundations Fellowship (1978)
Arthur Darby Nock Award (1977)
Roothbert Foundation Fellowship (1977)
Sinclair Kennedy Traveling Fellowship (1977)
Danforth & Kent Foundations Fellowship (1976)
Danforth & Kent Foundations Fellowship (1975)
Risq. G. Haddad Foundation grant for students of Lebanese and Syrian origins (1968)
Brooten, Bernadette. "Gender and Slavery in the Acts of Andrew." Bible and Women, Apocrpypha: Early Christian Writings. vol. 3.2 Ed. Silke Petersen and Outi Lehtipuu. Atlanta, Leiden: Society of Biblical Literature, Brill, 2016 (forthcoming)
Brooten, Bernadette. "Early Christian Enslaved Families (1st–4th C.)." Children and Family in Late Antiquity: Life, Death and Interaction. First ed. Ed. Christian Laes, Katariina Mustakallio, and Ville Vuolanto. Leuven: Peeters, 2015. 111–134.
Brooten, Bernadette. "Enslaved Women in Basil of Caesarea’s Canonical Letters: An Intersectional Analysis." Doing Gender, Doing Religion. First ed. Ed. Ute Eisen, Christine Gerber, and Angela Standhartinger. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013
Brooten, Bernadette. "Homosexuality (female)." Encyclopedia of Ancient History. First ed. 2012.
Bernadette J. Brooten, with the editorial assistance of Jacqueline L. Hazelton, ed. Beyond Slavery: Overcoming Its Religious and Sexual Legacies. First ed. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
Brooten, Bernadette. "Introduction." Beyond Slavery: Overcoming Its Religious and Sexual Legacies. First ed. Ed. Bernadette J. Brooten, with the editorial assistance of Jacqueline L. Hazelton. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 1–29.
Brooten, Bernadette. "Reading the Bible Through the Lens of Freedom: Feminist Sexual Ethics." Seminary Ridge Review 13. 1 (2010): 1–15.
Brooten, Bernadette. "Patristic Interpretations of Romans 1:26." Studia Patristica XVIII: Papers of the 1983 Oxford Patristics Conference. Ed. Elizabeth Livingstone.. (1985): 338-340. The Writings of St. Paul: Annotated Texts, Reception and Criticism. 2d ed. vol. 1 Ed. Wayne A. Meeks and John T. Fitzgerald. New York: Norton, 2007.
Brooten,Bernadette. "Der lange Schatten der Sklaverei im Leben von Frauen und Maedchen." Dem Tod nicht Glauben: Sozialgeschichte der Bibel: Festschrift fuer Luise Schottroff zum 70. Geburtstag., 2004. 488-503.
Brooten,Bernadette. Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism. University of Chicago Press, 1996.
Brooten,Bernadette, 36. Women Leaders in the Ancient Synagogue: Inscriptional Evidence and Background Issues. Brown Judaic Studies, 1982.
Brooten,Bernadette, co-ed. Norbert Greinacher. Frauen in der Maennerkirche?, Co-editor. Mainz: Gruenewald; Munich: Kaiser, 1982.