Jeffrey Turco is Associate Professor of German, Religious Studies, and Comparative Literature at Purdue University. Prior to joining the faculty at Purdue he taught at the Universities of Western Ontario and Alberta, and served as Visiting Curator of the Fiske Icelandic Collection at Cornell University. His scholarship has examined questions of religious conflict, conversion, and co-existence, particularly at the intersection of the Germanic cultures of Europe and medieval Christianity. He is editor of New Norse Studies: A Journal on the Literature and Culture of Medieval Scandinavia, and has published articles on Old Norse, medieval German, and Italian literature in Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte, History of Religions, Dante Studies, Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Studi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni, Italian Studies, and elsewhere. He has held Fulbright Fellowships to Germany and Iceland. Recently, he completed his first book project, The Sense of the Sagas: Reading, Myth, and Monarchy in Medieval Iceland.
Of the fellowship, Professor Turco says, “As a fellow at the Martin Marty Center I plan to work on a second book project focused on the intersection of religious, literary, and proverbial language in Grimms’ Children’s and Household Tales as a lens on what the Center’s namesake and founding director has (in a different context) referred to as the tangled “juncture of realities code-named ‘religious’ and ‘secular’”—for my purposes, in German literature and society in the nineteenth century. My scholarship and teaching to date have been guided by a fascination with the often obscure theological underpinnings of putatively secular cultural formations, medieval and modern. I’m honored to have the opportunity to engage with my co-fellows in the Marty Seminar, as well as with the wider University of Chicago community, in the kind of spirited dialogue on religion for which the Divinity School and the Marty Center are renowned."