PhD Position on the ERC BICROSS project (bilingual manuscripts)
Last modification : Monday, September 19, 2022
The KU Leuven, Belgium, invites applications from suitably qualified
candidates for a 4-year 100% PhD position examining bilingual evidence in New
Testament manuscripts. The successful candidate will form part of the research
team of the European Research Council (ERC) funded Consolidator Grant
project “BICROSS – The Significance of Bilingual Manuscripts for Detecting
Cross-Language Interaction in the New Testament Tradition”. The project is
situated within the Research Unit of Biblical Studies of the Faculty of
Theology and Religious Studies.
BICROSS is an interdisciplinary project linking Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic,
Gothic, Armenian and Arabic philology, New Testament textual criticism,
manuscript studies, ancient history and digital humanities. The project
investigates bilingual New Testament manuscripts from the 4th century to the
15th century. It aims at establishing the significance of bilingual
manuscripts for the formation and transmission of New Testament texts by
uncovering mutual exchange and cross-language interaction through a
multilingual approach. The project team will assess bilingual manuscripts as
artefacts (codicology) and analyse their texts by means of digital tools in
order to classify their readings and relationships.
Working as part of a team of researchers, the successful candidate will
contribute to the project's objectives by focussing on one of the following
aspects in a dissertation that is expected to be published as a monograph
(a) Codicological and Textual Analysis of Individual Bilingual
The PhD candidate will focus on one single bilingual codex or on a group of
bilingual manuscripts to investigate their text in both languages. Research
questions to be addressed are the relation of the two texts to each other and
in the wider context of each language tradition.
The dissertation is expected to make an innovative contribution not only to
the specific questions of the individual codex but also to the fuller
understanding of the bilingual New Testament tradition.
(b) Cross-language Analysis of so-called “Western” Readings
The PhD candidate will investigate so-called “Western” readings in a selection
of bilingual manuscripts and characterise these readings within the tradition.
The research will provide a critical assessment of the classification
“Western” in a post-text-type era.
The dissertation is expected to give new insights into the origin, development
and transmission of the so-called “Western” readings and to provide new
explanatory models from a bilingual manuscript perspective.
(c) Cross-language Analysis of New Testament Text in Bilingual Codices
The PhD candidate will investigate the relation of a certain New Testament
writing or set of New Testament texts in the bilingual tradition across at
least two languages. The research will comprise comparative linguistic
analyses, including aspects of translation, syntax and semantics in the wider
context of each language tradition of the chosen New Testament text.
The dissertation is expected to give new insights into the correlation and
potential mutual influence of biblical text across languages and times.
The successful candidate will
• produce a complete and acceptable doctoral thesis proposal.
• comply with all the requirements of KU Leuven for doctoral studies.
• research, complete, and successfully defend a doctoral thesis within 4 years
of full-time work.
• contribute to the wider project and its publications through digital
transcriptions, study and textual analysis.
• present research results at international and national conferences and
• contribute to the organisation of events, activities and other tasks related
to the project and its research (colloquia, team events, visits from external
• contribute to the Biblical Studies Research Unit and the Faculty of Theology
and Religious Studies by participating in its regular programme of academic
activities and undertaking administrative activities.
The successful candidate
• has an excellent Bachelors and Masters degree in Theology (New Testament
Studies or Patristics), Classics or a related field.
• has a high level of proficiency in (Hellenistic) Greek and at least one
other of the project's languages (depending on the proposed bilingual
• is familiar with the principles and application of textual criticism and is
computer literate. Prior experience of working with biblical or patristic
manuscripts and codicological analyses is desirable.
• has an excellent command of English (project language) and (the
willingness to obtain) sufficient competence in other languages to access
relevant secondary literature.
• is capable of working independently, possesses organisational skills and has
a cooperative attitude.
• is willing to conduct the PhD research being present in Leuven and to travel
on project business (incl. conferences).
• meets the entrance requirements for a PhD at KU Leuven. Further information
can be obtained on: https: // theo.kuleuven.be/en/doctorate &
https: // www. kuleuven.be/personeel/jobsite/en/phd/phd-information.
We are offering a full-time position in an intellectually challenging and
inspiring environment. KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally
oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied research. It
is highly inter- and multidisciplinary focused and strives for international
The successful candidate will benefit from guidance and research training from
experts in the field, a work space and resources to attend and present at
conferences. The successful candidate will be part of an innovative research
team in Leuven, a historic, dynamic and lively city located in the heart of
Belgium, within 20 minutes from Brussels, and less than two hours from Paris,
London and Amsterdam. KU Leuven provides practical support with regard to
immigration & administration, housing, childcare, learning Dutch, etc.
The position is subject to admission to the Faculty's doctoral programme. The
contract will initially be for 1 year and may be extended for a further 3
years subject to a positive performance review. The project team is led by
Prof. Christina M. Kreinecker.
Your application should include (and be limited to) the following
• letter of motivation (max. 1 page);
• curriculum vitae including details of linguistic skills;
• contact details for two people who are willing to provide a reference;
• outline of the intended doctoral research on one of the above mentioned
aspects of the BICROSS project (max. 2 pages).
Further enquiries may be addressed to Prof. Christina M. Kreinecker, email:
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish,
regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If
you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us