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Meghan Henning

Associate Professor; Director of Undergraduate Programs

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: Religious Studies


Email: Meghan Henning
Phone: 937-229-4671
HM 332
Website: Visit Site


  • Ph.D., New Testament, Emory University
  • M.A., Yale
  • B.A., Denison University


Meghan Henning is an Associate Professor of Christian Origins at the University of Dayton. She specializes in New Testament and Early Christianity, and holds an undergraduate degree in Religion and Economics from Denison University, a Masters degree in Biblical Studies from Yale Divinity School, and a doctorate in New Testament from Emory University.

Meghan’s book (Mohr Siebeck) on the pedagogical function of Hell in antiquity is entitled Educating Early Christians through the Rhetoric of Hell. She has written a number of articles, essays, and invited papers on Hell, the New Testament, apocalyptic literature, apocryphal literature, ancient rhetoric, disability studies, and pedagogy. In addition to the New Testament she is interested in the theme of suffering in antiquity, women in early Christianity, Petrine literature, historiography, contemp orary philosophy, the work of Michel Foucault, disability studies, feminist hermeneutics, and post-colonial theory. Meghan is currently working on a book about the conceptualization of gender, disability and the body in the early Christian apocalypses (Hell Hath No Fury, under contract with Yale University Press).

She is the recipient of grants and awards from the Jacob K. Javits foundation, the Society of Biblical Literature, Yale Divinity School, and Emory University. Dr. Henning has been interviewed by the Daily Beast, and has appeared in a documentary for the National Geographic Channel, and on CNN.

Courses Taught


  • Magic, Medicine, or Miracles? Disability and the Bible
  • The Road to Hell: The Apocalypse in its Classical and Contemporary Forms
  • The Gospels
  • Introduction to the Bible
  • History of Early Christianity
  • Introduction to Religion and Theological Studies
  • Faith and Justice in Ireland


  • New Testament Greek
  • Foundations of Biblical Studies
  • Intertestamental Literature and Early Christian Apocrypha
  • Bible for Ministers: Suffering and the Bible
  • Afterlife (Directed Reading)


  • Women, Gender, and Religious Studies (Directed Reading)
  • Resurrected Bodies and Disability Studies (Directed Reading)

Professional Activities

  • Book Review Editor, Journal of Disability and Religion
  • Co-Chair, Disability Studies and Healthcare in the Bible and Ancient Near East Section, Society of Biblical Literature

Research Interests

  • Afterlife
  • Gender
  • Disability
  • Ancient Medicine
  • Eschatology and Apocalypticism
  • Apocrypha and Pseudephigrapha
  • Peter
  • Women’s Studies
  • Human Rights
  • Rhetoric
  • Narrative Theory
  • Foucault 
  • Religion and Media
  • Apocalyptic Rhetoric

Selected Publications


Educating Early Christians through the Rhetoric of Hell: “Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth” as Paideia in Matthew and the Early Church. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament II. 382. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014.


“Eternal Punishment as Paideia: The Ekphrasis of Hell in the Apocalypse of Peter and the Apocalypse of Paul.” Biblical Research 58 (2013) 29-48. (This journal is behind, so this issue was actually published in Spring 2015)

“Paralysis and Sexuality in Medical Literature and the Acts of Peter.” Journal of Late Antiquity. 8.2 (2015) 306-21.

"Chreia Elaboration and the Un-healing of Peter's Daughter: Rhetorical Analysis as a Clue to Understanding the Development of a Petrine Tradition." Journal of Early Christian Studies 24.2 (Summer 2016) 145-71.

“Metaphorical, Punitive, and Pedagogical Blindness in Hell.” Jared Secord, Heidi Marx-Wolf, Christoph Markschies, eds. Studia Patristica 81.7 (Fall 2017) 139-52.

In collaboration with Kirk VanGilder, “Learning While Teaching: Disability and Religion in the Classroom.” Introduction to a Special Issue of Journal of Disability and Religion 21.4 (2017), 347-59.

Peer Reviewed Invited Essays and Book Chapters

“In Sickness and in Health: Ancient ‘Rituals of Truth’ in the Greco-Roman World and 1 Peter,” in Candida R. Moss and Jeremy Schipper, eds., Disability Studies and Biblical Literature. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2011, 186-203.

In collaboration with T. Nicklas, “Christian Contexts of the Ascension of Isaiah,” in: J. Bremmer/T. Karmann/T. Nicklas eds., The Ascension of Isaiah (Studies in Early Christian Apocrypha), Leuven: Peeters, 2015, 175-98.

“Narrating the Future” in Sarah Iles Johnston, ed. Religion: Narrating Religion. Part of the Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks: Religion series. Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2017, 191-206.

“Lacerated Lips and Lush Landscapes: Constructing This-Worldly Theological Identities in the Otherworld.” In The Other Side: Apocryphal Perspectives on Ancient Christian ‘Orthodoxies.’ Candida R. Moss, Tobias Nicklas, Christopher Tuckett, and Joseph Verheyden eds. Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 2017, 99-116.

“Weeping and Bad Hair: The Bodily Suffering of Early Christian Hell as a Threat to Masculinity.” In Phallacies: Historical Intersections of Disability and Masculinity. Kathleen M. Brian and James W. Trent, Jr. eds., Oxford University Press, 2017, 282-300.

“Niedergestreckt und zerstört: Strafwunder und ihre pädagogische Funktion” in: R. Zimmermann et al. eds., Kompendium der frühchristlichen Wundererzählungenchichten II: Wunder der Apostel, Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlag, 2017, 76-81.

“Hell as ‘Heterotopia’: Edification and Interpretation from Enoch to the Apocalypses of Peter and Paul.” In Between Canonical and Apocryphal Texts: Processes of Reception, Rewriting and Interpretation in Early Judaism and Early Christianity. Jörg Frey, Claire Clivaz and Tobias Nicklas eds., with the collaboration of Jörg Röder, 2018, 297-318.

“Substitutes in Hell: Schemes of Atonement in the Ezra Apocalypses.” In The Ezra Apocalypses. (Studies in Early Christian Apocrypha), Leuven: Peeters, 2018, 185-204.