Introducing the

Westar Institute's Christianity Seminar Graduate Student Essay Contest

Call for Submissions

The Christianity Seminar of the Westar Institute is now introducing prizes for the best graduate student essay on a subject related to the Seminar’s topics in the Fall and Spring meetings each year. Westar is an organization devoted to fostering new scholarship on religion and communicating that scholarship to the public, and this contest aims to encourage up-and-coming scholars in the fields of Christian origins, early Christian literature, and related areas to join in this educational task. The winning academic paper will be among the contributions discussed at the meeting itself, which brings together scholars and members of the public interested in the study of religion.

Congratulations to the Fall 2016 winner, Peter McClellan, a Ph.D. student at Drew University, and New Testament and Early Christianity Adjunct Lecturer in Philosophy at William Paterson University, with his paper entitled, "Decapolis Death Worlds: Necropolitics, Specters, and Gerasene Ethnicity among the Tombs." Peter will present his paper at the Fall 2016 Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

Process and Criteria

This contest is currently closed. Please check regularly for updated topics and deadlines. Contest entries must be:

  • 15–30 pages
  • double-spaced
  • 12-point font, including notes
  • PDF format

An email (to the same address) from a professor verifying the candidate’s active status as a graduate student is required.

Submissions will be judged by members of the Christianity Seminar’s steering committee based on: clarity of argument, quality of research, knowledge of original languages, contribution to the seminar’s discussion, and overall contribution to the field. Contest entries may draw on work already completed at the graduate level, so long as this relates to the topics of the year. (Work that has been published or submitted for publication is not eligible.) The Seminar reserves the right not to award a prize in any given year.

Please read submission guidelines carefully and submit your entry to contest coordinator Philip Harland: pharland – at – yorku – dot – ca