Mahri Leonard-Fleckman



Religious Studies

Associate Professor
Ph.D., New York University
Fields: Hebrew Bible, Ancient Middle Eastern Studies

Contact Information

Office: Smith 431


Mahri Leonard-Fleckman is an associate professor of Religious Studies and an affiliate of the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program. She earned her Ph.D. and M.Phil. from New York University in Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East, and an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in New York. She received her B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis in Spanish and English Literature, after which she served in the Peace Corps Dominican Republic. Before transitioning to Holy Cross, Leonard-Fleckman was an assistant professor at the University of Scranton (2015-2016) and at Providence College (2016-2018). 

Leonard-Fleckman is a historian of the ancient Middle East who specializes in ancient Israel/Palestine and the Hebrew Bible. Her current interests include scribal practices and methods of history writing in the ancient Middle East and early Judaism. She is author of Scribal Representations and Social Landscapes of the Iron Age Shephelah (Oxford University Press, forthcoming), The House of David: Between Political Formation and Literary Revision (Fortress, 2016), co-author of The Book of Ruth in the Wisdom Commentary Series (Liturgical Press, 2017), and co-editor of "A Community of Peoples" (Brill, 2022). She is currently working on two books, one on the Assyrian Royal Annals (Cambridge University Press), and a second on the poetics of history writing in the ancient Middle East.

Leonard-Fleckman is also engaged in public scholarship, and she is the author of the award-winning popular series Ponder: Contemplative Bible Study (Liturgical Press, 2022, 2021, and 2020). She is currently Book Review Editor of the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, co-editor of the Cambridge University Press Elements series The Ancient Near Eastern World and the Bible (ANEWB), and she is active on numerous other editorial boards and professional committees.


  • HEBR 101 Introduction to Biblical Hebrew
  • RELS 126 Hebrew Bible/Old Testament 
  • CLAS 199 Religious Resistance in the Hellenistic World
  • RELS 241 Scripture & Script: The Bible and Contemporary Art, Media, and Literature
  • RELS 242 Sex, Gender, & the Hebrew Bible 
  • RELS/CLAS 299 God(s) and (Wo)men in Antiquity
  • HONS 299 Resistance, Then and Now
  • RELS 304 Land and Creation 

Select Recent Publications 

  • "Irresolution as Historical Practice and the Case of the Unnamed Woman in Timnah." Journal of Biblical Literature 142/3 (2023): 409-429.
  • “1–2 Samuel.” Pages 415–500 in Steven L. McKenzie, et al., eds. Introduction and annotation revisions to The SBL Study Bible, Updated Edition. New York: HarperCollins, 2023.
  • "Betwixt and Between: The Elusiveness of Israel's Iron Age Timnah." Pages 65-81 in Sara Mohr and Shane Thompson, eds. Power and Identity at the Margins of the Ancient Near East. Denver: University of Colorado Press, 2023.
  • With Peter Dubovský and Shuichi Hasegawa, eds. Special volume on "Israel and Phoenicia." Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel. Volume 11/2. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2022.
  • "Lamenting Tyre (Ezekiel 27): A Unique Perspective on Judah's Proximate Other." Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel 11/2 (2022): 134-151.
  • "Tamar, Delilah, and a Nameless Timnite: Women as (De)constructions of Social Landscape." Pages 60-72 in Barbara Reid, ed. Forget Not God's Benefits (Ps103:2): Festschrift in Honor of Leslie J. Hoppe. CBQI 3. Baltimore: Catholic Biblical Association, 2022.
  • "Judges." Pages 402-21 In John J. Collins, et al., eds. The New Jerome Biblical Commentary. London: Bloomsbury, T & T Clark, 2022.
  • "Binding Samson to Yhwh: From Disorder to Order in the Samson Cycle." Pages 49-68 in Corrine Carvalho and John L. McLaughlin, eds. God and Gods in the Deuteronomistic History. CBQI 2. Baltimore: Catholic Biblical Association, 2021.
  • "Ally or Enemy? Political Identity and Ambiguity in the Tales of David and Gath." Pages 211-224 in Sara Kipfer and Jeremy Hutton, eds. The Book of Samuel and its Response to Monarchy. BWANT 228. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2021.
  • "'All the גבול of Israel': Israel's 'Boundaries' in David's Wanderings. Pages 103-126 in Hannes Bezzel and Reinhard G. Kratz, eds. David in the Desert: Tradition and Redaction in the "History of David's Rise." BZAW 514. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2021.