Mahri Leonard-Fleckman



Religious Studies

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

Contact Information

Office Phone: 508-793-3435
Office: Smith 431


Mahri Leonard-Fleckman is an assistant professor of Religious Studies and an affiliate of the Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program. She holds a Ph.D. and an 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). 

Prof. Leonard-Fleckman's work has focused on Iron Age history and the composition history of the Hebrew Bible, especially the books of Judges, Samuel, and Kings. She is the author of The House of David: Between Political Formation and Literary Revision (Fortress Press, 2016) and co-author of The Book of Ruth in the Wisdom Commentary Series (Liturgical Press, 2017). In her current book project, she explores scribal representations of the "Other" in ancient Israel in relation to broader questions of identity in the Iron Age Levant (under contract, Oxford University Press). Prof. Leonard-Fleckman is Book Review Editor for the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, and she is active on numerous editorial boards and professional committees.

Prof. Leonard-Fleckman is also engaged in public scholarship, and she is the author of the award-winning series Ponder: Contemplative Bible Study (Liturgical Press, 2022, 2021, and 2020). She has published in Commonweal and America Magazine, and is a regular contributor to Give Us This Day (Liturgical Press). 


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

Select Publications

  • 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.
  • With Lauren A.S. Monroe, Michael J. Stahl, and Dylan R. Johnson, eds.  "'A Community of Peoples': Studies on Society and Politics in the Bible and Ancient Near East in Honor of Daniel E. Fleming. Harvard Semitic Studies. Boston; Leiden: Brill, 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.
  • "Julian of Norwich believed ‘All will be well.’ Would she say so today?” America Magazine. June 24, 2020.
  • "Song of Plagues: How Psalm 91 Helps Us Pray during Pandemic.” Commonweal. April 18, 2020.
  • "Blurred Lines: The Enigma of Iron Age Timnah.” Biblical Archaeology Review. July-Oct (2019): 79-83.
  • "Life in the Ruins. Reading the Hebrew Bible in a Time of Crisis.” Commonweal. May 4, 2019.
  • "Scribal Innovation, Education, and the Female Body in Ezekiel and Proverbs.” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 35/1 (2019): 35-50.
  • “The House of X Formula in Assyrian Documentation and Aramaean Social Structure.” Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel 7/2 (2018): 140-171.
  • “Utterance of David, the Anointed of the God of Jacob (2 Sam 23:1-7).” Journal of Biblical Literature 137/3 (2018): 667-683.
  • "Stones from Heaven and Celestial Tricks: The Battle at Gibeon in Joshua 10." Catholic Biblical Quarterly 79/3 (2017): 385-401.
  • “Samson and Our Reactions to the Strong Man.” Word & World, 37/3 (2017): 217-225.
  • “Judah Bookends: The Priority of Israel and Literary Revision in the David Narrative.” Vetus Testamentum 65/3 (2015): 401-413.