I am honored to have received one of the Marty Center's Junior Fellowships, which will help me complete the remaining chapters of my dissertation, a project about three biographical narratives by the fourth-century theologian Gregory of Nyssa. My work explores how Gregory's texts not only depict their subjects as exemplars of virtue but simultaneously outline and institute a consistent educational program, modeled on classical forms of rhetorical and philosophical training but aimed at creating a community of skilled Christian readers and interpreters. My project gives particular attention to Gregory’s use of metaphors drawn from Scripture and the natural world, and to his treatment of the human body as a site that can reveal aspects of internal virtuous character to discerning viewers.
The dual opportunity provided by the Marty Center to collaborate with other scholars of various backgrounds and to teach undergraduate students will, I hope, play an invaluable role in honing my ability both to recognize and to articulate various intersections between research, writing, and teaching. I look forward to developing productive working relationships with new colleagues and with professionals from outside the academy.