The Rev. Yolanda Norton is the Crump Visiting Professor and Black Religious Scholars Group Scholar-in-Residence for the 2020-2021 academic year at Seminary of the Southwest. Norton will be the third visiting scholar as part of the five-year partnership between Southwest and BRSG.
Norton is a Ph.D. candidate in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel and Theology and Practice Fellow at Vanderbilt University. Her current research interests include womanist interpretation, narrative and literary criticism, and the Persian period. In particular, her work focuses on the books of Genesis and Ruth, and how each text treats foreign women, and considers the ways in which insider-outsider paradigms in Scripture influence constructions of identity and facilitate the vilification and/or oppression of women of color who encounter the biblical canon in the modern world.
Currently, Norton is Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible and H. Eugene Farlough Chair of Black Church Studies at San Francisco Theological Seminary, a Visiting Instructor at Moravian Theological Seminary, and adjunct faculty at Wesley Theological Seminary. She is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and has served in various ministerial capacities in the Washington, D.C. area and Nashville, TN.
Norton is also creator/curator of the notable Beyoncé Mass, which evolved out of a chapel service developed by students in Norton’s class “Beyoncé and the Hebrew Bible” at San Francisco Theological Seminary. The class explored female-centric interpretations of the Bible and how Scripture reflects Black female identity. Like the worship service, the class explored how Beyoncé’s personal life, career trajectory, music and public persona reflects aspects of Black women’s stories.