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Dr Charlotte Hempel has won a Marie Curie Incoming Fellowship to host Dr Angela Harkins, Associate Professor at Fairfield University CT, for two years at UoB.

Dr. Angela Kim Harkins, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT, USA, has been awarded a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship (IIF) from the 7th Framework Programme for Research funded by the European Commission for 24 months of continuous research at the total sum of 309,000 Euros. Dr. Harkins will conduct research at the University of Birmingham in collaboration with Dr. Charlotte Hempel on a project entitled, “The Teacher of Righteousness and Religious Experience in the Dead Sea Scrolls.” The proposed project is an interdisciplinary and comprehensive assessment of the evidence for the figure known as the ‘Teacher of Righteousness’ in the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered at Khirbet Qumran.

Dr. Harkins will use integrative approaches to understanding the body and its experiences, with special attention to how the instrumentalization of emotions can shed light on the experience of religion during this time. While emotion’s role in the construction and reconstruction of memory has long been acknowledged, this study examines how the strategic arousal of affect generated by texts that mention the Teacher of Righteousness serves to reinvigorate and intensify his memory among his followers.This innovative study is part of an emerging field of research known as ‘Religious Experience’ that seeks to recover the phenomenal experience of religion. The Fellowship is worth approximately £250,000.

Marie Curie Incoming International Fellowships (IIF) are individual fellowships that aim to attract top-class researchers from outside Europe to undertake innovative research in Europe from 1 to 2 years (incoming phase), with a view to developing mutually-beneficial research co-operation. Proposals from all areas of scientific and technological research of interest to the European Community are accepted and there are no pre-defined priority areas.