The end of the year is almost upon us. The University has been decked out in all its festive finery and now the corridors and classrooms are emptying as students head homeward for Christmas vacation…
OPEN SEMINAR PROGRAMMES
It has been an exciting year for the NRCBR at Newman. We started by launching a programme of PUBLIC seminars in the spring.
The title of the series was ‘Encountering the Gospel through First-century Eyes‘. Over five seminars we explored the prologue of Mark in its first-century Jewish and Graeco-Roman setting and we began to discover an extremely provocative and very challenging voice.
CONFERENCE AND SUMMER GREEK
Two particular highlights of this years for me were the conference ‘Voices from the Desert’ and our first Summer Greek school. You can read more about these events here.
Plans are in progress for next year’s conference that will develop some of the themes explored this year.
I am especially grateful for all those who joined us for the Summer Greek course and who rather acted as guinea pigs helping us gauge how best to run an event like this. It was great, fun, exhilarating and exhausting and we ALL came away having learned more than we thought we could (and that includes the tutor!). Next year we will also be running the Summer Greek school again, but in a less intense format over 5 days instead of three and incorporating more of the ‘excursive’ sessions that went down so well (as well as a proposed visit to encounter some real manuscripts).
Details of the conference and Summer Greek will follow in due course.
We finished the year with a series of three public seminars that examined the story of the Nativity in its present form and asked ‘What might Matthew and Luke response to this be?’ The final seminar explored the development of the nativity story after the Gospels in three later writings. We saw the way that the two accounts began to merge together and how (and why) new elements were added. Old themes were accentuated while new ones also emerged. We also began to see how these themes continue to be developed today, sometimes in surprising ways, in art and advertising. There are examples of some of the images on our Facebook group page.
Another of the year’s highlight for the department was the publication of Susan Docherty‘s latest book; The Jewish Pseudepigrapha: An introduction to the literature of the Second Temple period. Sue is Reader in Biblical Studies and Head of Theology here at Newman University and her book is an indispensable introduction for anyone wanting to study Second Temple Judaism and origins of the early Christian movement.
The Jewish Pseudepigrapha refer to the writings attributed to notable figures in Israel’s history that circulated in the intertestamental period spanning a wide range of genres from history and apocalyptic to liturgical texts, poems, plays and novels.
- Rewritten Bible
- Para-biblical literature or biblical expansions
- Non-narrative literature: poems, hymns and drama
- Apocalyptic literature
You will meet new friends and old – including Joseph and Aseneth that received so much attention in the biblioblogs and social media a few months ago!
Steve will be here at Newman on Thursday 12th February 2015 when he will be speaking at two sessions:
- 15.00 – 16.00 – A short lecture and Q&A session on ‘The Use of Scripture in Paul’s Letters’
- 16.30 – 17.30 – Research seminar “Was the Birth of Jesus According to Scripture?“
Lloyd is booked to speak again at our 2015 conference.
More details about both these events (and others planned for 2015) will follow shortly.
All that remains is for all of us from the NRCBR to thank you for all your support and encouragement and, for those who celebrate it, to wish you a very happy Christmas, and for those who don’t, to wish you a wonderful break…