On the Job Market

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On the Job Market

This page introduces advanced doctoral candidates from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill currently seeking teaching appointments in the following fields:

Ancient Mediterranean Religions

Jason StaplesStaples.jpg
B.A., Florida State University
M.A., Florida State University



Research Interests: New Testament, Second Temple Judaism, Paul and Israel, Paul and the Torah, Jewish-Christian Relations, Hebrew Bible, Apocalypticism, Exile and Restoration, Race and Ethnicity, Imperial Platonism, Wisdom & Apocalyptic Literature, Hebrew Bible Prophets, Gospels, Historical Jesus, Dead Sea Scrolls

Dissertation: “Paul, the Gentiles, and the Restoration of Israel”

Summary: The dissertation reexamines the apostle Paul’s statements about Israel and his mission to the Gentiles from the perspective of apocalyptic restoration eschatology. My thesis is that Paul believed that the “new covenant” restoration of all twelve tribes of Israel promised in the prophets was coming to pass as a result of the death and resurrection of Jesus—but since the northern house of Israel had long before intermarried with the nations into which they had been scattered by the Assyrians and thereby become ethnically indistinct from the Gentiles, Paul comes to the radical conclusion that Israel’s full restoration could happen only through the ingathering and incorporation of faithful spirit-filled Gentiles into the community of the redeemed. The dissertation thus shows Paul’s proclamation and Gentile mission to be firmly grounded within the “restoration eschatology” familiar to students of first-century apocalyptic Judaism and the early Jesus movement while also making sense of Paul’s seemingly contradictory statements about the fate of Israel.


Religion And Culture

Vincent GonzalezVINT.jpg
B.A., Arizona State University
M.A., Emory University


Research InterestsReligion in America; religion and media; Jewish studies; science and technology studies; theories of play; critical theory; cultural studies; ethnography

Dissertation: “Born Again Digital: The Video Game Worlds of Bible Believing America”

Summary: My dissertation explores the creative engagements of American Evangelicals with digital technologies and the cultural narratives of promise and danger that surround them. Since 1982 approximately 300 video games have been created for Evangelical players, and my dissertation applies methods from both religious studies and science and technology studies to give them their first systematic theoretical elaboration. These games are sites where diverse expert systems interact – players, programmers, game critics, and computer programs themselves colluding to create new theological formations and religious worlds. Thus they offer critical vantage upon the diverse ways that contemporary religious practice is changing and being changed by digital media more generally, from kosher cel phones, to Pagan online dating.



Religion In The Americas

Leif TornquistTornquist.jpg
B.A., The College of New Jersey
M.A., University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Research Interests: American religions; modern religious expression; religion and the body; religious materiality; religion and race; religion and the family; ‘spirituality’ and health; ‘biopolitical’ theory; critical cultural theory

Dissertation: “Propagating the Divine: Modernist Protestantism, Eugenics, and Reproductive Fitness in Turn-of-the-Twentieth Century America”

Summary: My dissertation traces the influence of Anglo-American Protestantism upon the development of eugenic thought and practice in the United States through a political history of reproduction. I focus on the “modernist” Protestant practice of writing evolutionary theologies, showing how this discourse encouraged the development of a gendered, middle class Anglo-American piety that expressed itself as a propagative love for the race. I also show how this discourse fostered the rise of eugenic modes of discrimination that championed the white middle-class Christian family as a reproductive ideal. My analysis begins by exploring the evolutionary theologies of Horace Bushnell and Henry Ward Beecher. It concludes by demonstrating how modernist theologies helped to facilitate the socialization of eugenic reproductive morality in the early twentieth century, including eugenic initiatives that sought to strengthen marriage, restrict immigration, and sterilize the “feebleminded.”