The Charles Franklin Finch Lecture Series is proud to welcome Rev. Dr. Renita J. Weems to High Point University.
Dr. Renita J. Weems is a nationally renowned theologian whose scholarly insights into biblical text and the role of spirituality in everyday lives have made her a popular author and speaker. Weems is founder of Something Within a monthly e-newsletter and blog that explores issues of faith in the context of the challenges women face on a daily basis.
An ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Weems recently concluded a two-year appointment as the William and Camille Cosby Professor of Humanities at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to her tenure at Spelman, Weems spent nearly two decades as a Professor of the Hebrew Bible at the Divinity School at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Weems has written numerous books on women’s spirituality, including, What Matters Most: Ten Passionate Lessons from the Song of Solomon (2004) and Showing Mary: How Women Can Share Prayers, Wisdom and the Blessings of God (2003). Her 1999 book Listening for God: A Minister’s Journey through Silence and Doubt (Simon Schuster) won the Religious Communications Council’s prestigious Wilbur Award. In addition to her books and newsletter, Weems also writes a popular column for beliefnet.org that focuses on love and relationships.
A former contributing writer for Essence Magazine, Weems is a highly sought after expert on issues of faith. She has provided commentary and analysis for the Discovery Channel, BBC and Washington Post and was a panelist on Bill Moyer’s award-winning “Genesis Project,” an analysis of women in the Bible that aired on A&E and the Hallmark Channel. She also joined “Washington Week’s” Gwen Ifill and anchor Bryant Gumbel for “FlashPoints,” a report and discussion on the role of religion in politics, government and public life. More recently she appeared as a guest commentator on a BBC/Discovery documentary which aired Christmas Eve 2005 entitled, “The Miracles of Jesus.” Her bi-weekly Q&A column on relationships appears on www.beliefnet.com entitled “Whispering Hope,” and there she answers questions from Beliefnet readers on issues of male-female relationships, human sexuality, self-esteem, and spirituality.
Weems has numerous academic books and articles to her credit related to issues of sex, gender, and religion. The include Battered Love: Marriage, Sex, and Violence in the Hebrew Bible (1995); Song of Songs: A Commentary for the New Interpreter’s Bible Series published by Abingdon Press (1990), focusing on issues of sex and sexuality in the bible; and Jeremiah: A Commentary for the Global Bible Commentary, (2004). Over the years her contribution to the field has included writing articles on various topics as varied as race and gender ideology in the book of Exodus, marriage and sexual violence imagery in the book of Hosea, African American women readers and the Bible.
Weems obtained her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College and holds a Master’s and PhD. from Princeton Theological Seminary.