Rebecca Raphael (PhD'97) is Professor of Religious Studies and Philosophy at Texas State University. Her primary research agenda has been disability studies and analysis of embodiment in the Hebrew Bible and cognate texts. She also does work in literary criticism, classics, and film studies, with thematic interests in the poetics, monstrosity, metacriticism, and the construction of textual authority.
At the Marty Center, her main project will be the completion of a monograph on atypical embodiments in Second Temple apocalypses, specifically 1 Enoch, 4 Ezra, 3 Baruch, Daniel, and selected Dead Sea Scrolls. This literature shows a florid imagination of the body, including disabled human beings, apocalyptic monsters, angelic bodies, and resurrections. Further, representations of the body are central to the text’s overall cosmology and religious ideology: as the body goes, so goes the cosmic structure. Literary representations of the body will be contextualized with Greco-Roman medicine, and the study of embodiments will be used to develop metacriticism of biblical scholarship on apocalypses.
In addition to her scholarly work, Raphael is a poet, memoirist, and amateur musician. She hopes to pursue these interests within Hyde Park’s lively arts community. As a Divinity School doctoral candidate, she was a junior fellow at the Marty Center in 1995-96; she looks forward to returning home for her sabbatical of 2017-18.