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Meghan Henning

Associate Professor; Assistant Provost for the Common Academic Program (CAP)

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: Religious Studies; Office of the Provost


Email: Meghan Henning
Phone: 617-599-9110
HM 333
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 and the Assistant Provost for the Common Academic Program (CAP). 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.

Dr. Henning’s book (Mohr Siebeck) on the pedagogical function of Hell in antiquity is entitled Educating Early Christians through the Rhetoric of Hell. Her second book, Hell Hath No Fury: Gender, Disability and the Invention of Damned Bodies in Early Christianity (Yale University Press) examines hell through the lenses of gender and disability studies (reviewed in the LA Review of Books). 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 and related ancient literature, she is interested in apocalyptic literature, non-canonical literature, disability studies, gender, hell, afterlife, ancient medicine, prayer, body politics and economics. Dr. Henning’s current research is focused on prayer and the body.

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 Introduction
  • Foundations of Disability Studies


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


  • Women, Gender, and Religious Studies (Directed Reading)
  • Resurrected Bodies and Disability Studies (Directed Reading)
  • Beyond the Normate Hermeneutic: Dis/ability and Theology

Professional Activities

  • Society of Biblical Literature (Disability and Accessibility Task Force, Bible Odyssey Board)
  • Catholic Biblical Association (Catholic Biblical Quarterly Board)
  • Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (SNTS)
  • North American Patristics Society
  • American Society of Church History

Research Interests

  • Afterlife
  • Gender
  • Disability
  • Eschatology and Apocalypticism
  • Apocrypha and Pseudephigrapha
  • Peter
  • Women’s Studies
  • Human Rights
  • Rhetoric
  • Narrative Theory
  • Foucault 
  • Religion and Media
  • Apocalyptic Rhetoric
  • New Testament and related ancient literature
  • Apocalyptic literature
  • Non-canonical literature
  • Hell
  • Ancient Medicine
  • Prayer
  • Body politics
  • Economics

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.

Hell Hath No Fury: Gender, Disability, the Body, and the Conceptualization of Suffering in Ancient Christian Depictions of Hell. Yale Anchor Reference Library. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2021.

Apocalypse of Peter: A Commentary. Hermeneia Commentary Series. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, under contract, expected completion date 2023.

Journal Issues (Edited)

Disability and Religion in the Classroom. Co-edited with Kirk VanGilder. Journal of Disability and Religion 21.4 (2017).

Selected Peer Reviewed Articles and Essays

“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.

 “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. 

“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.

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

Co-authored 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.

“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.

“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, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2019, 309-332.

“Apocalyptic Literature.” In The Cambridge Companion to the Bible and Literature. Calum MacNeill Carmichael, ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020.

Co-authored with Candida Moss, “Pulling Apart and Piecing Together: Wholeness and Fragmentation in Early Christian Visions of the Afterlife.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion (2022).

“Holy Impairment: The Body as the Nexus of Apocalyptic Ekphrasis in Acts 2:1-13.” Journal of Biblical Literature 141.3 (2022), 537-556.