Senior Fellows Symposium, 2018

Senior Fellows in the Marty Center are scholars from the United States and other countries throughout the world, on sabbatical leave from their home institutions. At the Marty Center, they situate their research within a broader cultural frame of reference, bringing their perspectives to bear on religious questions facing the wider public.

Our Senior Fellows Symposia are open to the public. A reception will follow.


Join us at our Senior Fellows Symposium to hear from all three of our 2017-2018 Senior Fellows.

February 27, 2018 | 4:30 pm
Swift Common Room (1st floor)


Gaspar MartinezGaspar Martinez is a professor of theology at the Facultad de Teología de Vitoria (Basque Country), where he teaches Eschatology, Spiritual Theology, and History of Religions, as well as other courses and seminars for graduate students. Always interested in issues related both to the interplay between religion and culture, and to contextual theology, he is developing a research project while at the MMC, focused on the category of inculturation and on the impact of the new technological developments (AI and everything related to it), on Christianity in general and on Roman Catholic theology in particular.

An alumnus of the Divinity School (PhD'97), he is enjoying the rich environment of the University of Chicago and to profiting from the numberless intellectual stimuli such an environment provides. He sees his Fellowship at MMC as a great opportunity to interact with and learn from the rest of the fellows and their diverse projects and interests.



Lauren OsborneLauren Osborne: "Evenly Spaced Teeth: Orality and the Qur'an's Self-Presentation"

Osborne is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Whitman College, in Walla Walla, Washington. Specializing in the study of Islam, she brings a multidisciplinary lens to both her research and her teaching. With backgrounds in both the academic study of religion and music, she considers the relationships between the sound, experience, poetics, and text of the recited Qur’an. While a senior fellow at the Marty Center, Prof. Osborne will continue her work on her book manuscript on this topic, Recite!: Aesthetics and Experience of the Recited Qur’an. In Recite!, she asks how we may understand meaning in the recited Qur’an; specifically, how the relationships between its discursive meanings, poetics, melodic renderings, and the non-discursive experiences of it, such as affective resonances and performance practices, may relate to one another, or merely coexist in tandem. In her research beyond this book, Prof. Osborne is interested in exploring the life of the quranic sensorium within and beyond the text, through a combination of textual and ethnographic methods, bringing the epistemologies of the senses within the Qur'an into conversation with its roles in everyday life.

Prof. Osborne notes that while she will miss the variety of outdoor activities readily available to her in eastern Washington state, she is overjoyed to return to the rich intellectual community and resources (the Reg!) available at the University of Chicago. The opportunity for broader public engagement via the MMC provides a unique opportunity for humanistic conversation about and around the Qur’an at what Prof. Osborne would argue is a particularly crucial moment for doing so.

Rebecca RaphaelRebecca 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 is 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.



Persons with a disability who need an accomodation to attend this event, please call Sandra Peppers in advance: 773-702-8219.