Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Women's and Gender Studies


Dagmar Herzog

Subject Categories

Sociology of Religion


feminism, womanism, religion, christianity, theology, race


Womanist Bible scholars Renita Weems, Kelly Brown Douglas, and Wil Gafney’s offerings to the world of biblical scholarship have had a profound impact on Christian faith in the United States. Womanist biblical scholarship is the hermeneutics, ethics, critique, theology, and more, done with a specific lens on Black women and how we are understood within and as a result of biblical texts. Weems, Douglas, and Gafney’s work has asked the tough questions of Christianity, and bravely tackled taboo topics like sexuality, abuse, and racism. Their aim has been to interrogate whose voices have not been present in popular Christian discourse, and the historical context that has led to such silencing. Thus, this paper looks deeply at the scholars’ work in three areas: the legitimacy of Black women’s biblical interpretation and analysis; their use of sacred texts to contextualize gender-based oppression, and their use of sacred texts to examine the racialized dimension of American Christianity. By analyzing the scholars’ books, articles, media appearances, speeches, and more, this paper intends to highlight Weems, Douglas, and Gafney’s work as imperative to the world of biblical scholarship.