PhDs Available for Appointment

We are proud to present these recent graduates and advanced doctoral students who are available for academic appointment in their chosen field of study and research.



Doctoral students at the Divinity School concentrate their work in one of the School's eleven areas of study, and also engage other disciplines within the academic study of religion. Their programs include completion of general requirements in the methodologies of the academic study of religion, fulfillment of the requirements of their area of study, and significant coursework in areas across the Divinity School as well as the University of Chicago.   In addition to faculty appointed in the Divinity School's eleven areas of study, faculty across the University whose work is in the study of religion are associated faculty in the Divinity School, and often serve as qualifying examiners, and advisors or readers on dissertation committees.  The doctoral qualifying exams, which must also include at least one exam outside the student's area of study, provide the student with a comprehensive grounding in the current scholarship in the chosen field of research, and emphasize the importance and value of interdisciplinary research.

The dissertation, an original contribution to research in a chosen field, is the capstone of the PhD program.  Throughout the doctoral program, students are also engaged in the Committee on Advanced Studies (CAS) graduate workshops, where students present their research for peer and faculty review, and invite scholars, including faculty at the University of Chicago and scholars at other institutions, to present their own work for discussion.  The workshops are topically organized, but subscribed to by students across the Divinity School, and the Divisions of the Humanities and Social Sciences.  Students routinely "workshop" a paper prior to conference presentation or publication.  Doctoral students in the Divinity School are thus encouraged to engage a wide range of interlocutors with their research, acknowledging the reality that their scholarship will and must speak to a variety of publics beyond the academy.   

Doctoral students are also required to complete teaching assignments, which may include teaching assistantships and lecturerships in the Divinity School, the College or local colleges and universities in the Chicagoland area.  The Craft of Teaching is the Divinity School's program of pedagogical development for its graduate students, dedicated to preparing a new generation of accomplished educators in the field of religious studies. This innovative pedagogical program brings together Divinity School faculty, current students, and an extensive alumni network of decorated teachers to share their craft and to advance critical reflection on religious studies pedagogy.  Doctoral students may earn the Divinity School's Certificate in the Craft of Teaching in the Academic Study of Religion, an important milestone in their pedagogical development.  

The Divinity School also sponsors many events designed to enhance professionalization and career advancement.  From workshops to assist in preparing professional dossiers to mock interview sessions to prepare for conference or campus interviews, Divinity School faculty are actively engaged in the professional as well as intellectual development of the next generation of scholars and educators.  


Jeffrey D. Jay  (jeffreyj@uchicago.edu)
 "The Tragic in Mark: A Literary-Historical Interpretation" 

Romulus D. Stefanut (romulus@uchicago.edu)
"The Therapeutae as Philo’s Paradigm for a Jewish Bios Theoretikos. A Contextual Reading of Philo’s De vita contemplativa"

History of Christianity

Erika Tritle (erikat@uchicago.edu)
"To the Jew First and to the Greek: Alonso de Cartagena’s Defensorium unitatis christianae and the Problem of Jewish Flesh in Fifteenth-Century Spain" 

Daniel Yingst (dyingst@uchicago.edu)
"Towers in the Mud: Honorius Augustodunensis through the Lens of Pedagogy"

History of Judaism

Erik Dreff (
"On God, Humankind, and Well-Being: The Intellectual Love of God in Spinoza"

Ruchama Johnston-Bloom ( )
"Oriental Studies and Jewish Questions: German-Jewish Scholarship on Early and Modern Islam"

History of Religions

Andrew Durdin (adurdin@uchicago.edu)
"Redescribing Magic: Discourse, Alterity, and Religion in the Roman Empire"


Susan Zakin (zakin@uchicago.edu)
“Buddhism in Transition: The Transformation of a Tibetan Ritual into a Healing Science“

Islamic Studies

New Testament and Early Christian Literature (Humanities) 

Allison Gray (algray@uchicago.edu)
"Text and Embodiment: Gregory of Nyssa’s Biographical Works and the Literary Formation of Virtue"

Philosophy of Religions

Jason Cather (cather@uchicago.edu)
"The Ontological Argument, Its Criticisms and Consequences" 

​Religion, Literature, and Visual Culture

RL Watson (rlwatson@uchicago.edu)
"Children of Darkness, Children of the Mask: An Examination of the Moral Effects of Metaphors of Darkness and Light on the Representational and Societal Lives of Black Americans"

Religious Ethics

Willa Lengyel ( )
“Scientific Prediction and Theological Hope: Human Hope in Response to the Environmental Crisis”

Michael R. Turner (mrichit@msn.com)
"Does the Laborer Deserve to Be Paid? The Place of Desert in a Christian Conception of Distributive Justice"


Aaron Hollander (athollander@uchicago.edu)
"The Multimediation of Holiness: Hagiography as Resistance in Greek Orthodox Theological Culture"

Evan Kuehn (efkuehn@uchicago.edu)
"Troeltsch's Eschatological Absolute"

Ekaterina Lomperis ( ) 
"Human Bodies in Pain as Spiritual Battlefields: Illness, Medicine, and Healing in Early Modern and Contemporary Christian Thought"

Bryce E. Rich (berich@uchicago.edu)
"Beyond Male and Female: Gender Essentialism and Orthodoxy"

Dilara Kadriye Üsküp (duskup@uchicago.edu)
"Sex in God’s City: Theology as Political Persuasion”