Adelina Alexe, a PhD student in theology at Andrews Theological Seminary, Berrien Springs, Michigan, has been named the 2014-2015 winner of the annual Word & World Essay Prize for Doctoral Candidates. Word & World: Theology for Christian Ministry is the quarterly journal published by the faculty of Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Alexe’s winning essay, “Irony and Spirituality in Matthew 8:23-9:1: A Narrative Analysis,” will be published in the journal’s Summer 2015 issue. Alexe reads two accounts in Matthew’s Gospel together: the calming of the storm and the freeing of the Gadarene demoniacs, exploring the common elements of sea, peril, power, and rescue. She notes that “within this complex web of parallels, Jesus stands out as a unique character whose very nature exhibits an ironic polarity of power and vulnerability, displayed in resolute action and active submission.” Addressing her work to the readers of Word & World, she suggests that “an exegetical practice that includes the search for irony can be of great aid to pastors desiring to bring freshness and depth of message to their congregations.”

Adelina Alexe was born and raised in a Christian home in Romania, where she earned two BA degrees. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, she taught in Palau and China, after which she completed a Master of Divinity degree at Andrews University and a hospital chaplaincy residency in Delaware. Adelina has presented several papers at professional meetings and has published chapters in two books. She is currently cowriting a book on biblical hermeneutics with one of her professors at Andrews. She enjoys nature and arts and pursues holistic health. Upon completing her doctoral studies, Alexe hopes to teach religion at the college or university level.

Alexe’s essay emerged as the winner from a group of entries submitted by doctoral candidates in religion and theology from major US seminaries and universities. In addition to having her essay published, Alexe will receive a cash prize of $1000.

The annual Word & World essay contest, now in its fifteenth year, was designed by the journal’s editorial board to provide incentive for doctoral candidates to write directly for the Christian church during a time in their careers when their work is generally focused more specifically within the academic world. Doctoral students interested in entering the 2015-2016 essay contest can find more information at the journal’s website.

Copies of the Summer issue, which will contain Alexe’s essay, can be ordered from Word & World, 2481 Como Ave., St. Paul, MN, 55108; (651) 641-3482; ww@luthersem.edu