Bernon Lee

Job Title


Bernon Lee's interest is in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and its reception, with particular emphases in prescriptive texts, nineteenth-century interpretation and postcolonial hermeneutics.

Started at Bethel



  • University of Calgary - B.A. in History, 1995
  • University of Calgary - M.A. in Religious Studies, 1997
  • University of St. Michael's College in the University of Toronto - Ph.D. in Theology, 2003


Bernon Lee lived in Singapore and Canada before coming to the United States of America. The cultural ambivalence from these migrations informs his scholarly agenda. And so, of late, the seemingly tortured and torn views of readers in the conception of aesthetics, prestige, and power in biblical interpretation have been his preoccupation. His most recent book Marginal(ized) Prospects through Biblical Ritual and Law: Lections from the Threshold (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) interrogates the construction of prized and pristine entities (holy heads, sacred foods, women's wombs, etc.) in the Torah through the sometimes disparate perspectives of feminist and decolonizing hermeneutics. His current project is a study of select readings of biblical law and narrative by women caught within the cultural norms of the time while, also, forging change in the world of nineteenth-century British imperialism.

A member of the Society of Biblical Literature, Lee is a co-convenor of the Multicultural Perspectives on Theology, Religion and Biblical Interpretation section (Upper Mid-West Region), and a member of the steering committee for the Recovering Female Bible Interpreters section for the national conference.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to the Bible
  • Reading the Hebrew Bible
  • Cultural World of the Old Testament
  • The Pentateuch
  • Poetic Books of the Old Testament
  • Introductory Biblical Hebrew (I and II)
  • Introduction to Religious Studies
  • Seminar: Biblical Studies
  • Christianity and Western Culture
  • Humanities IV: Modern and Contemporary Western Culture



Marginal(ized) Prospects through Biblical Ritual and Law: Lections from the Threshold. Postcolonialism and Religions Series; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

Between Law and Narrative: The Method and Function of Abstraction. Gorgias Biblical Studies 51; Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2010 (paperback in 2014).


Selected Articles and Chapters

"Grace Aguilar, the Jealous Man, and Imperialism's 'Pleasure'," Biblical Interpretation (forthcoming in 2019).

"Grace Aguilar's Double-Vision to a Feminized Religiosity through the Torah's Laws on Inheritance and Vows," Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 43.4 (2019), 539-55.

"Unity in Diversity: The Literary Function of the Formula of Retaliation in Leviticus 24.15-22," Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 38.3 (2014), 297-313.

"'Face to Face': Moses as Prophet in Exodus 11:1-12:28," in Mark Boda and Lissa Wray-Beal (eds.), Prophets and Prophecy in the Historiography of the Old Testament. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2013, 3-21.

"Psalm 89: A Community Lament," in Herbert Bateman IV and D. Brent Sandy (eds.), Interpreting the Psalms for Preaching and Teaching. St. Louis: Chalice, 2010, 107-18.

"Eliza Smith's The Battles of the Bible: Biblical Interpretation in Service of a Christian Social Agenda in Nineteenth-Century Urban Scotland," in Nancy Calvert-Koyzis and Heather Weir (eds.), Breaking Boundaries: Female Interpreters who Challenged the Status Quo. New York/London: T & T Clark International/Continuum, 2010, 69-84.

"Conversations on the Bible with A Lady of Philadelphia," in C. de Groot and M. A. Taylor (eds.), Recovering Nineteenth-Century Women Interpreters of the Bible. SBL Symposium Series 38; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2007, 45-62.

"Diachrony and Exegesis: Reading Exodus 21:18-27," in Joyce Rilett Wood, John E. Harvey, and Mark Leuchter (eds.), From Babel to Babylon: Essays on Biblical History and Literature in Honour of Brian Peckham. LHBOTS 445; New York/London: T & T Clark International/Continuum, 2006, 48-55.


Selected Presentations

"Grace Aguilar on the Law of the Jealous Man (Numbers 5:11-31): A Nineteenth-Century Engagement with England's 'Others'"; Annual National Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (Recovering Female Bible Interpreters Section); November, 2018.

"Speaking to Power: Grace Aguilar's Reading of the Tale of Zelophehad's Daughters"; Annual National Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (Recovering Female Bible Interpreters Section); November, 2016.

"The Assembly, the People, the Uterus, and the Land: A Feminist and Postcolonial Deconstruction of the 'Israelite' Subject in Conceiving the Sacred Spaces of Deuteronomy 22:13-24:4"; Annual National Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (Postcolonial Studies and Biblical Studies Section); November, 2014.

"Asian American Ruminations between Judges and Exodus in the Shadow of Cultural Hegemony"; Annual Meeting of the Upper Mid-West Region of the Society of Biblical Literature (Asian Perspectives in Biblical Studies, Theology, and Religious Studies Section); April, 2014.

"'Upon the Threshold': Perceptions of (Asian-American) Identity between Judges 19 and Exodus 11-12"; Annual National Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (Asian and Asian American Hermeneutics Section); November, 2013.