Professor Cheryl Exum

Department of Philosophy

Emeritus professor

Full contact details

Professor Cheryl Exum
Department of Philosophy
45 Victoria Street
S3 7QB

Cheryl Exum received her BA, summa cum laude, from Wake Forest University in North Carolina, and her MA and PhD, with distinction, from Columbia University in New York. As a doctoral student, she spent a year studying theology and German literature at the University of Göttingen. Before her appointment to a personal chair in Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield in 1993, she taught at Yale University (1975-77) and Boston College (1977-1993). She has done research in Israel (first as a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research and later as a Visiting Research Associate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and in Germany (as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow in Göttingen and in Heidelberg).

From 2003 to 2005 she was Director of the University of Sheffield’s Centre for the Study of the Bible in the Modern World. In 2004, with two Sheffield colleagues, David J.A. Clines and Keith W. Whitelam, she founded Sheffield Phoenix Press, now a leading publisher in the field of Biblical Studies.

Research interests
  • Literary criticism of the Hebrew Bible
  • Feminist and gender criticism
  • Cultural studies
  • The Bible in art, music and film
  • The Song of Songs and ancient Near Eastern love poetry

Current Research Projects

  • A monograph provisionally entitled Behold the Woman: Feminist Visual Criticism from Hagar to Mary the Mother of Jesus
  • A collection of essays on Samson and Delilah
  • Song of Songs, for the Phoenix Guides to the Old Testament series, a Society for Old Testament Study project
Professional activities and memberships

Cheryl Exum has served on the editorial boards of numerous scholarly publications, including the Journal of Biblical Literature, the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Religion and the Arts, and the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series. From 1992 to 2007 she was Executive Editor of the journal Biblical Interpretation (Brill), which under her direction became one of the leading journals in the field. She is currently co-editor, with David Clines, of the journal Biblical Reception (Sheffield Phoenix Press), and an editor of two Sheffield Phoenix Press series, the Bible in the Modern World and Hebrew Bible Monographs. She is a consulting editor to the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew.

An active member of the Society of Biblical Literature, she has served on the Research and Publications Committee, Council, and Nominating Committee, as well as chairing program units for many years. She is currently Co-chair, with Christine Joynes (Oxford) of the Bible and Visual Art Section of the SBL.

Professor Exum has served on the Arts and Humanities Research Board Peer Review Panel for Philosophy, Law and Religious Studies (now the Arts and Humanities Research Council) and the UK Research Assessment Exercise for Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies. She was President of the Society for Old Testament Study in 2010. In 2011 she was presented with a Festschrift entitled A Critical Engagement: Essays on the Hebrew Bible in Honour of J. Cheryl Exum, edited by David J.A. Clines and Ellen van Wolde. In January 2015 she will be awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Uppsala.