The Institute of Historical Theology and the Institute of Jewish Studies at the University of Bern invite applications for four PhD positions. The four positions are funded by the Swiss NationalScience Foundation and are part of the research project “The Jewish and Christian Samuel: Connections, Demarcations, Entanglements”, co-directed by Prof. René Bloch (Jewish Studies) and Prof. Katharina Heyden (Ancient History of Christianity and Interreligious Encounters).
The debate between Judaism and Christianity in antiquity was in part an exegetical one: The interpretation of biblical scripture was the arena in which connections and demarcations were drawn, developed and discussed. It is therefore obvious to explore the intensely discussed questions of "shared worlds" and "parting of the ways" of Judaism and Christianity with a particular emphasis on exegesis and reception of the Bible in antiquity and early Middle Ages. In this research project, we address the connections, demarcations, and entanglement on the basis of one particular example that has received little attention in previous research: the biblical figure of Samuel. The figure of Samuel was used as a prism through which the social and theological questions of authority were negotiated: such as eligibility for religious office, the summoning of spirits from the death, or the role of prophesy in both Jewish and Christian sources. The project aims at a double comparison: on the one hand between different linguistic communities within Judaism and Christianity, and on the other hand between the two religious traditions.
The positions are full-time and limited to four years, starting on January 1, 2023 or shortly thereafter. The four doctoral students will write their dissertation thesis, attend regular meetings in the project team and contribute to activities such as workshops and conferences. Candidates must hold a MA degree or equivalent degree in Theology, Jewish Studies, Classics, Interreligious Studies or History and demonstrate thorough knowledge in the respective languages.
- Position 1: Jewish Studies or Classics: Samuel in Hellenistic Judaism (Greek/Latin)
- Position 2: Jewish Studies or Classics: Samuel in Rabbinic Judaism (Hebrew)
- Position 3: Christian Theology or Classics: Samuel in Greek Christianity (Greek)
- Position 4: Christian Theology or Classics: Samuel in Latin Christianity (Latin)