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Ashley Tate

PhD 2020


  • B.A. - Kenyon College - Religious Studies and English (2008)
  • M.A. - University of Virginia - Scripture, Interpretation, and Practice (2013)
  • Ph.D. - University of Virginia - Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity (2018)

Research Interests

My research primarily focuses on on the application of literary theory and criticism to biblical literature—and thinking about how and why the twain should meet. Of late, I am particularly interested in the potential of narratology for mediating between the subjective tendencies of reader-response criticism and the claims to objectivity of more formal modes of literary analysis.

To that end, my dissertation draws on narratology to offer an alternative mode of feminist engagement with biblical texts by moving beyond those well-worn texts in which gender and gendered dynamics are explicit, and toward texts that raise questions about the sometimes uneasy relationship between the subjective experiences of characters and the ideologies of which they find themselves a part. This, I think is the dynamic that marks feminist encounters with patriarchal biblical texts, and I hope that this approach will be a way of drawing these ancient texts and the concerns of contemporary feminism into the same conversation. 

Other research interests include:

  • Feminist theory and criticism of the Hebrew Bible
  • Redaction Criticism
  • Inner-biblical exegesis
  • Reader-response criticism
  • Rhetorical criticism
  • Ideological criticism
  • Comparative hermeneutics of the patristic and rabbinic traditions
  • Hermeneutic theory more generally

Fellowships and honors

  • Rachel Winer Manin Fellowship of Jewish Studies (2014-2016)

  • University of Virginia Doctoral Fellowship (2013-present)

  • Magna cum laude, Kenyon College (2008)



    Courses taught as adjunct professor at the University of Virginia:

    • Jesus and the Gospels (Spring 2017)

    • Mothers, Wives, and Harlots: Women and Gender in the Bible (upcoming Summer 2017)

    Course taught as teaching assistant at the University of Virginia:

    • Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (Fall 2015, Fall 2014, Fall 2013)

    • Introduction to the New Testament and Early Christianity (Spring 2016, Spring 2014)

    • Introduction to Judaism (Spring 2015)

    Course assisted as substitute instructor at the University of Virginia:

    • Elementary Classical Hebrew (Fall 2015, Spring 2016)

    • Intermediate Classical Hebrew (Fall 2015, Spring 2016)

    Pedagogical Development

    Workshops attended:

    • “Teaching through Difficult Questions,” sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies and the Wabash Center for Teaching Theology and Religion, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia (Fall 2015-Spring 2016)

    • “Teaching Theology and Religion in the Twenty-First Century,” sponsored by the Wabash Center for Teaching Theology and Religion, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia (Summer 2015)

    • Graduate teaching workshop sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia (Summer 2013)

    Professional and Service Experience

    • Coordinator, National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute in “Problems in the Study of Religion in the Academy (2015-2016)

    • Coordinator, Virginia Center for the Study of Religion (2014-2016)

    • Coordinator, Alumni Symposium on Teaching Theology and Religion in the 21st Century (2014-2015)

    • Coordinator, Books and Readers in the Pre-modern World: A Conference in Honor of Harry Gamble (2014-2015)

    • Managing editor, The Journal of Scriptural Reasoning (2013-present)

    • Managing editor, The Journal of Textual Reasoning (2013-present)

    Professional Affiliations 

    • Society for Biblical Literature

    Research Languages

    • Classical and Rabbinic Hebrew

    • Classical, Koine, and Patristic Greek

    • French

    • German