Dr Jessica M. Keady

Researcher in Biblical Studies and Gender

My main research interests are based on biblical texts and their ancient/social context, the Dead Sea Scrolls (particularly the sectarian manuscripts), the constructions of Jewish purity and impurity laws, the application of social scientific methodologies to ancient texts – especially gender theories and the constructions of masculinities and femininities in relation to identity.

Email: j.keady@chester.ac.uk
Tel: 01244 512231

Qualifications

BA (Hons) in Theology (Bangor University), MA in Religions and Theology (University of Manchester), PhD in Religions and Theology (University of Manchester)

Overview

After completing my funded MA in Religions and Theology (University of Manchester, 2010; funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council), I went on to secure further AHRC funding to complete a PhD in Religions and Theology at the University of Manchester (2011-2014). I submitted my doctorate within three years and graduated in July 2015. My doctoral work used theories from Gender Studies to investigate the Hebrew purity texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls. By using methodological insights from Masculinity Studies, embodiment theories, and the understandings of the social scientific everyday, I have been able to broaden the current abstract critique of Jewish purity laws to include a wider range of gender issues and permit exploration of the male experience, which is currently poorly understood.

In October 2015, I started working as a Researcher in Biblical Studies and Gender at the Department of Theology and Religious Studies.

Teaching

Undergraduate

I am currently teaching TH4046 The Bible: Readers and Perspectives and will be covering Research Leave for Dr Matthew A. Collins in 2017 (February-June 2017).

Research

  • Biblical Texts and their ancient/social context

  • Dead Sea Scrolls (particularly the sectarian manuscripts)

  • Constructions of Jewish purity and impurity laws

  • Gender Theories (particularly the constructions of masculinities and femininities in relation to identity)

  • Social scientific methodologies as applied to ancient texts

 

External Funding

2013       Arts and Humanities Research Council, facilitated through The University of Manchester (£3,000 external funding)

After writing a proposal to the “Collaborative Skills Development Call: Student-led” (AHRC Programme) on the importance of interdisciplinary studies and the Bible, I successfully secured external funding for the event entitled, “The Bible and the Social Sciences: Modern Methods and Ancient Texts.”

2011       Arts and Humanities Research Council, Block Grant Partnership PhD Programme, facilitated through The University of Manchester (fully funded over a three year PhD programme)

I successfully secured AHRC funding to complete my PhD in Religions and Theology based on my written proposal to carry out interdisciplinary research on the Dead Sea Scrolls with Gender Studies. The PhD was completed within three years.

2010       Arts and Humanities Research Council, Block Grant Partnership MA Programme, facilitated through The University of Manchester (fully funded over a one year MA programme)

I successfully secured AHRC funding to complete my MA in Religions and Theology based on my written proposal to carry out interdisciplinary research on ancient texts. The MA was completed within one year.

Published work

Jessica M. Keady, Vulnerability and Valour: A Gendered Analysis of Everyday Life in the Dead Sea Scrolls (London: Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, 2017).

Jessica M. Keady, “Gendered Reading of Purity in the Dead Sea Scrolls: The Constructions of the Perfect and Imperfect Bodies in the War Scroll,” in Bible and the Social Sciences, (eds. Jessica Keady, Todd Klutz and Casey Strine; London: Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, 2017). 

Review of Joan Taylor, The Body in Biblical, Christian and Jewish Texts Series (The Library of Second Temple Studies 85: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, London 2014) for the Journal of Semitic Studies, 2016.

Review of Victor H. Matthews, The Cultural World of the Bible: An Illustrated Guide to Manners and Customs (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2015 (1988, 19991, 2006) for the Journal of the Study of the New Testament, 2016.  

 

Conference Papers

May 2015, University of Chester (Theology and Religious Studies Seminar Series), “Masculinity Studies and the Men of the Dead Sea Communities: An Interdisciplinary Reading of Purity/Impurity in the Rule of the Community (1QS).”

February 2015, Oxford University (Seminar on Jewish History and Literature in the Greco-Roman Period), “Masculinity Studies and the Men of the Dead Sea Scrolls Communities: An Interdisciplinary reading of purity/impurity in the Rule of the Community and the War Scroll.”

April 2015, University of Leeds, Invited Keynote Speaker for the “Biblical Studies Conference: A Research Day for Undergraduates, Postgraduates and Academics,” “Gender Theories and Ancient Texts.”

April 2014, The University of Manchester-University of Lausanne (Joint Seminar Series, The Bible and the Social Sciences), “Femininities and Masculinities in the Dead Sea Scrolls.”

January 2014, University of Sussex (Gender Seminar Series), “A Gendered Reading of Purity in the Dead Sea Scrolls: The Construction of the Perfect and Imperfect Bodies in the War Scroll.”

November 2013, Baltimore (SBL “Gender, Sexuality and the Bible” Session), “A Gendered Reading of Purity in the Dead Sea Scrolls: The Construction of the Perfect and Imperfect Bodies in the War Scroll.”

July 2013, The University of Manchester, The Bible and the Social Sciences: Modern Methods and Ancient Texts, (with George J. Brooke and Jutta Jokiranta) What is the Importance of the Social Sciences?”

July 2013, The University of Manchester, Implicit Allusions to Patriarchs Workshop, “Constructions of Patriarchal Ideologies: The Three Nets of Belial Revised from a Masculine Perspective.”

July 2013, St Andrews University (ISBL “Dead Sea Scrolls” Session), “Towards Social Realities: The Constructions of the Everyday Body in the Laws of the Damascus Document.”

March 2013, Durham University, Postgraduate Training Day, “A Gendered Reading of Purity in the Dead Sea Scrolls: The Constructions of the Perfect and Imperfect Male and Female in the War Scroll.”

December 2012, University of Manchester, Religions and Theology Postgraduate Seminar, “A Gendered Reading of Purity in the Dead Sea Scrolls: The Construction of the Male Body in the War Scroll.”