On the Job Market
This page introduces advanced doctoral candidates and recent graduates from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill currently seeking teaching appointments in the following fields:
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.
Ph.D., UNC-Chapel Hill
M.A., Emory University
B.A., Arizona State University
Research Interests: Religion 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 cell phones, to Pagan online dating.
Matthew W. Dougherty
Ph.D., UNC-Chapel Hill, 2017
M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School, 2011
B.A., Amherst College, 2008
Professional Biography: I am a historian of religion and empire in the Americas. Within that field, I focus on Native American religions and Christianity in English- and Spanish-speaking America from about 1700 to about 1850. My research shows how religious ideas and practices shaped contests between Indigenous peoples and European empires over land and influence. Combining my theoretical training in religious studies with my expertise in early American history, I uncover new connections between how peoples in early North America thought about the supernatural and how they thought about their rights to control land, to own others’ bodies, and to wield political and economic power. Outside of the field of religion in the Americas, my research is in conversation with Native American history, Latin American history, Mormon history, and African-American history.
My dissertation, “Land of the Jewish Indians: How the Hebrew Bible made race and territory in the early United States,” traces the influence in the early United States of the “Jewish Indian theory,” that is, the idea that Native Americans were descended from Ancient Israelites. It argues that white evangelicals, Native Americans, American Jews, and early Mormons all told stories about “Israelite Indians” to make claims to land and political sovereignty in the context of rapid territorial expansion. It contributes to our understanding of religion and politics in North America by showing that a broad range of Americans, not just white Protestants concerned with their country’s “manifest destiny” to rule the continent, used religious narratives to understand U.S. expansion.
My dissertation work has led to an article in the Journal of Mormon History as well as presentations at the American Academy of Religion and American Society of Church History annual meetings. I am currently writing a monograph based on my dissertation, tentatively titled Land of the Jewish Indians: Religious speculation and the birth of Manifest Destiny.