The Rev. Lydia Hernández-Marcial, a doctor of philosophy student at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), has been selected to receive the Hispanic Theological Initiative/Lilly fellowship for the 2018-19 academic year. She is also an Honorary Fellow with the Louisville Institute for the same period.
Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs Esther Menn, who is also Hernández-Marcial’s advisor at LSTC, said, “I am delighted that Lydia’s innovative research is being recognized by both the Hispanic Theological Initiative and the Louisville Institute. They will allow her to continue her important work and expand her network among fellow scholars.”
Benjamin Stewart, director of advanced studies at LSTC, said, “This is a considerable honor and a fantastic opportunity. These programs represent a network of world-class mentors and conversation partners that will further strengthen the research agenda that Ms. Hernández-Marcial is carrying out here at LSTC. It is wonderful to see others recognizing her potential as an emerging scholar.”
Hernández-Marcial’s doctorate will be in biblical studies. She is specializing in Hebrew Bible, particularly Wisdom Literature. Her dissertation will focus on the book of Ecclesiastes. “I feel drawn to parts of the Hebrew Bible that are not studied in a church context,” Hernández-Marcial said. “There are several voices in the Bible that question tradition. It is important to hear those voices, as well. I am interested in opening spaces for the study of the Bible from the perspective of voices that are silent in the dominant culture. I read the Bible as a Puerto Rican and a Latina.”
As an HTI Fellow, Hernández-Marcial will be assigned a professional editor to work with her on her dissertation. She will participate in a summer workshop and two writers’ workshops. She will also have a stipend of up to $750 to attend networking events.
She will be required to develop a writing agreement with her editor and submit monthly progress reports. She is expected to work full-time on her dissertation.
As an Honorary Fellow of the Louisville Institute, Hernández-Marcial will participate in the 2018 meeting of American Academy of Religion or the Society of Biblical Literature in November 2018. In January 2019 she will attend the Institute’s Winter Seminar, where she will get to meet and interact with scholars at every stage of their careers.
Hernández-Marcial has already published two essays in a commentary on the lectionary and another is included in a forthcoming book honoring Mexican scholar Elsa Tamez. Hernández-Marcial has taught at Seminario Evangelico de Puerto Rico and was a visiting scholar at Austin Presbyterian Seminary in spring 2018.
Hernández-Marcial holds degrees from the University of Puerto Rico, Seminario Evangelico de Puerto Rico, Union Theological Seminary and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
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The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere.