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Meet the Fellows: 2017 Newcombe Fellow Jennifer Quigley

The Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship is the nation’s largest and most prestigious award for Ph.D.doctoral candidates in the humanities and social sciences addressing questions of ethical and religious values. The 2017 class of Fellows includes Jennifer Quigley, a Th.D. candidate at Harvard Divinity School. Ms. Quigley talks about the experiences that influenced her dissertation focus:

When I began college at Boston University, I enrolled in a course my first semester based solely on its title, “The Problem of Evil,” which sounded slightly rebellious. Little did I know I had signed up for an advanced religion seminar. I was quickly hooked, especially when we read sacred texts. I found that the study of the Bible was a way for me to continue to pursue a love of history, literature, and religion. After obtaining a B.A., M.Div., and S.T.M. from Boston University, I began doctoral work at Harvard Divinity School in New Testament and early Christianity. The first semester of my new program marked the height of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Harvard Yard restricted access to persons with Harvard ID cards as students camped out day and night in protest. Some Harvard Divinity School students deeply involved themselves in the movement by protesting, participating in community decision making, and offering chaplaincy to the protestors in Zuccotti Park in New York City, in downtown Boston, and in Harvard Yard. Living through this moment in history spurred an interest in the ways that contemporary Christians use the Bible in diverse ways to think about economy and theology as intertwined, to consider God’s role in both the structural and personal financial systems of God’s followers, and to regulate right practices and beliefs around money, giving, savings, banking, wealth, and even retirement investments. I wondered how persons in antiquity thought about divine and human beings interacting financially, and my research takes up this topic in a study of what I call theo-economic rhetoric in Paul’s Letter to the Philippians and in some of its later interpreters.

Ms. Quigley’s dissertation title is Divine Accounting; Theo-economic Rhetoric in the Letter to the Philippians. For more information on the 2017 Newcombe Fellows and to see a list of their dissertation titles, click here.


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