The University of Southern Denmark invites applications PhD fellowship in Total Devotion – Passions and Plots in Radical Religion in the Ancient World in the 2020/21 academic session

Project details:

1 PhD fellowship is available at the Study of Religion, Department of History, University of Southern Denmark, starting January 1, 2021. The successful candidate will work within the project Total Devotion – Passions and Plots in Radical Religion in the Ancient World funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. The fellowship runs for 3 years and candidates are expected to hold an MA in the study of religion, Jewish/Judaic studies, or another relevant discipline, with a specialization in the ancient world (e.g., based on courses taken or MA thesis subject). The fellowship is fully salaried and wage levels are excellent for PhD-students in Denmark

The successful candidate will work on Jewish texts from the 2nd to the 6th centuries CE, the formative era of Rabbinic Judaism. The PhD candidate is expected to develop his/her own project on radical religion, relating to the framework of the collective project and working in close cooperation with project leader Laura Feldt, who will supervise the project and collaborate closely on related 2nd Temple era texts.

A required area of research in the proposed PhD-project is narratives/texts about total devotion ideals, but a more specific focus should be more closely delimited by the applicant – e.g., martyrdom, the bond of suffering, the command to love God, etc. Possible directions of research include mapping relevant sources from the 2nd-6th centuries CE and a more detailed analysis of a selected set of sources, tracing the reception and transformation of total devotion ideals from earlier Jewish literature (e.g., Maccabees, Deuteronomy), specific emotion expressions and scripts for totalizing devotion, gender issues, or narrativity and ritualization.

The successful candidate will be attached to the section for the Study of Religion, University of Southern Denmark, but we will also collaborate with the vibrant research milieu at the Centre for Medieval Literature (CML). CML is a Danish centre of excellence founded in 2012, based jointly at SDU and at the University of York, with expertise in literary approaches and Classics, as well as late antique and medieval literature.

Worth of Award

  • A PhD Fellowship is a three-year position. Employment ends automatically by the end of the period.
  • The holder of the fellowship is not allowed to have other paid employment during the three-year period.
  • The successful applicant will be employed in accordance with the Protocol on PhD Research Fellow signed by the Danish Ministry of Finance and AC Cirkulære om overenskomst for Akademikere i staten 2019 (the document only exists in Danish).


  • To qualify for a PhD position you must have completed a relevant master’s degree with a good assessment by the application deadline.
  • As the candidate will be working from the texts in the original language, the applicant is expected to document sufficient philological skills (Hebrew/Aramaic).

How to Apply

The application must include:

  • Special PhD-application form
  • A letter stating your specific interest, motivation and qualifications for the project in question (max. two pages) Please attach this under box “Application form
  • Detailed CV, including personal contact information
  • A research proposal/description of your approach to the project (max two pages excluding references)
  • Copies of diplomas, Bachelor as well as Master’s degree, including transcript of notes/grades.
  • A maximum of 2 of the most relevant publications or writing samples, including MA thesis. Please note that publications are not a requirement for this position. Please attach one pdf-file for each piece of writing. For any publication with a co-author, a co-author statement must be submitted as part of the pdf-file
  • One or two signed reference letters. Should your referee/s wish to send their letters directly to us, please have them to use email: [email protected] (Marie-Louise Wethje-Raabe) mentioning your name and the title of the position in the subject line. And please note that these also need to reach us before the deadline.

The expected requirements must be clearly documented in the submitted CV, otherwise applications will not be considered. The candidate should be independent, possess good interpersonal skills and be able to communicate efficiently in English both orally and in writing (as the language of the dissertation will preferably be English).

Deadline: Applications will remain open until October 1, 2020.

Click here for more details and to apply