Professor Yvonne Sherwood

Honorary Professor


Professor Yvonne Sherwood has degrees in English Literature, Jewish Studies and Religious Studies, and she received her PhD - in which she focussed on the Hebrew Bible - in 1995. 

Having taught for over twenty years at the University of Sheffield, King's College London, Roehampton University, and the University of Glasgow, she moved to the University of Kent in January 2013. 

Yvonne was appointed as the Speakers Lecturer at the University of Oxford in 2015 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Oslo in 2017. She was a visiting fellow at the Centre for Advanced Studies at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich in Spring 2018. 

Well-known internationally (especially in Europe and North America), Yvonne is the author of four monographs, six edited collections and over seventy articles and book chapters. Her publications include Biblical Blaspheming: Trials of the Sacred for a Secular Age (Cambridge University Press, 2012) which was shortlisted for the American Academy Awards for Excellence Book Prize; The Invention of the Biblical Scholar: A Critical Manifesto (with Stephen D. Moore; Fortress, 2011); Derrida and Religion: Other Testaments (with Kevin Hart; Routledge, 2004); and The Bible and Feminism: Remapping the Field (Oxford University Press, 2017). 

Research interests

Yvonne's research focuses on the politics of migration and the figure of the 'resident alien'; blasphemy; sacrifice (especially the sacrifice of Abraham/Ibrahim); colonial Bibles; and genealogies of religion and the secular. 

Yvonne enjoys the intensive one-to-one work of the UK PhD system and has seen fourteen students to successful completion of their PhDs. 

One such student was Dr Norma Stewart, who was awarded her PhD in 2017 for the thesis A Critical Study of the "Settlement Narratives" in Judges 1-5 using insights from Postcolonial Studies, to consider the relevance of these texts for the peoples of Israel/Palestine today, about the biblical conquest narratives in the politics of contemporary Israel/Palestine. At 81, Norma was the oldest student ever to qualify for a doctorate at the University of Kent.

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