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Joel B. Kemp is an Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology.   Prior to joining the Candler faculty in 2020, Dr. Kemp served as an Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Scranton. He holds a PhD in Hebrew Bible from Boston College; an M.Div. from Andover Newton Theological School; a J.D. from Harvard Law School; and an AB from Harvard College.


His first monograph, Ezekiel, Law, and Judahite Identity (Mohr Siebeck, 2020), analyzes how the book of Ezekiel uses legal elements to advocate for the proper conceptualization of Judahite identity in light of the experiences of imperial domination. His current monograph, Blackness in 3D: Biblical Race, American Law, and Contemporary Crises (Oxford University Press, under contract) focuses on the racialized reception of biblical texts from the Primeval History and how those interpretations contributed to constructions of “Blackness” in America’s legal system.


Prior to working in the academy, Dr. Kemp worked in various capacities as a youth minister, tutor, and mentor for teenagers and young-adults within the Greater Boston and Cambridge communities. Additionally, Dr. Kemp worked as an attorney in a Boston law firm and subsequently served as general counsel for a consulting company.


He is a former member of the Board of Directors of Roxbury Youthworks – a Massachusetts not-for-profit focusing upon the rehabilitation of inner-city youth with DYS and/or DSS involvement.  Currently, Dr. Kemp serves as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cornerstone Ministries, Inc. He is also the President and Founder of Just Enough Light Institute, LLC (JEL Institute) – an institute created to provide insightful and inspirational engagement of biblical Hebrew to Christian leaders, seminarians, and laity.

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