Two PhD’s in Narrative Perspective

We are pleased to announce and help get the word out about two funded PhD positions at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in a research group led by friend of, Christoph Heilig.

Details can be read here or on Facebook here, but we want to share some of the highlights of this opporutnity:

The international junior research group “Focalization in Early Christian Texts: Retelling the Story of Jesus from Different Perspectives” conducts research at the intersection of narratology and exegesis of the New Testament and other early Christian writings. The narratological concept of narrative perspective is applied to early Christian accounts of Jesus Christ, which still shape our culture today. Such an endeavor is important because understanding narratives is not only about what is told, but also about how it is told. The group is part of the Faculty of Protestant Theology and associated with the International Doctoral Program Philology. It is funded by the Bavarian Elite Network, which aims to enable international cutting-edge research at Bavarian universities. The head of the junior research group is Dr. Christoph Heilig.

There are two positions available, both of which investigate the narratological category of narrative perspective using different text corpora.

  • Dissertation on the Pauline epistles: The Pauline epistles contain a variety of “miniature narratives” about Jesus Christ. Differences between the various versions have been controversially discussed in the past (e.g., community traditions, part of an overarching narrative structure, etc.). This doctoral project should examine the extent to which differences can be attributed to different choices of narrative perspective.
  • Dissertation on apocryphal literature: Apocryphal literature contains numerous retellings of canonical texts. This project aims at examining how the retelling in new contexts is associated with differences in narrative perspective. The topic can be chosen quite freely within this broad framework.


  • Excellent degree that qualifies for a doctorate in theology (completed or foreseeable; the start date of the position is flexible).
  • Excellent knowledge in the field of New Testament studies.
  • Familiarity with narratological concepts and debates.
  • Language skills: excellent English skills; German skills can be acquired/improved during the research stay.
  • Interest in international dialogue, bridging different research traditions.
  • Interest in interdisciplinary dialogue. The junior research group will be in constant exchange with researchers from diverse philologically-oriented disciplines, and an active contribution to this discourse is expected. Details about the International Doctorate Program Philology can be found here.
  • Motivation to contribute to the Faculty of Protestant Theology, e.g., through teaching.
  • Strong skills both in independent work and in collaboration as a team.
  • Willingness to actively communicate the research results of the junior research group (e.g., at conferences, to the broader public)


  • Up to four years of funded doctoral study (66% TV-L E13; progress review after three years to determine funding for the fourth year).
  • Generous funds for research materials, conference participation, a two-month research stay at a leading international university, open-access publications, further education, etc.
  • Research context at the highest international level. The LMU Munich is one of thirteen universities of excellence in Germany. It regularly achieves excellent results in international rankings. For example, in the Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2023, it comes out as the best German university for the Arts and Humanities. It regularly ranks high in other international rankings as well. Dr. Christoph Heilig is an expert in the field of New Testament and narratology. In addition, with Prof. Loren Stuckenbruck and Prof. Jan Heilmann, the doctoral students will have two leading New Testament scholars at their disposal for advice and support. The libraries in Munich provide access to scholarly literature that is second to none.

Anyone interested should include a CV, a brief statement on the applicant’s qualifications and experience, and a brief project outline (for the position related to apocryphal literature), should be sent by email to by March 31, 2023.