Heiko Wenzel, Ph.D. 2008
Recipient of the Hansen Endowed Fellowship
Professor of Old Testament and Islamic Studies
Freie Theologishe Hochschule; Gießen, Germany
My dissertation "Reading Zechariah with Zechariah 1:1-6 as the Introduction to the Entire Book" (supervised by Dr. Andrew Hill and published by Peeters) draws on the literary insights of the Russian philosopher Mikhail M. Bakhtin, who argues that all words are a response and anticipate a response. The case studies that I present from Zechariah resonate with Bakhtin's thesis. The call for Israel to repentance and to a behavior different from that of their ancestors sounds throughout the book. We can observe in Zechariah's call a response to previous Scripture and an anticipation of further revelation. The book of Zechariah, I thus argue, is both a response to the audience's past unfaithfulness and a call for their future faithfulness.
Though far from my native Germany, my time in Wheaton was an immeasurably enriching experience on many levels. The academic insights of scholars from various departments along with their willingness to engage other points of view greatly influenced my dissertation project. The value of such an interdisciplinary opportunity to interact with faculty inside and outside the classroom cannot be overestimated. It provided me with models for living, researching, and teaching in the service of Christ and his kingdom. To fellowship with and study alongside of wonderfully bright and dedicated Ph.D. colleagues was likewise stimulating and formative. Iron truly sharpened iron. Most important of all, however, was the unfailing help and encouragement of faculty, peers, and staff at Wheaton College. I will be forever thankful for this infrastructure of support to both me and my family during our time in Wheaton and while far from home.