Centre News (Summer 2015)

The rather hectic second semester is now drawing to a close with a flurry of marking, deadlines and planning meetings for the new academic year. After the colourful chaotic bustle of the last few weeks, the campus is now settling down into quiet summer reflection, where research rather than teaching and assignments become the main focus.

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Looking back, it has been a great semester. It was a real joy to have Steve Moyise with us in February and we are looking forward to hearing from him again at our conference in a few week’s time (see below).

Unfortunately, it was not logistically possible to hold the evening seminars. However, looking ahead, we are hoping to be able to host more events in the summer and autumn.

Dead Letters and Living Words Conference (June 6th)

NRCBR Conference 2014
NRCBR Conference 2014

We are  really looking forward to the NRCBR summer conference. It is great to welcome back Lloyd Pietersen who, this year, will begin the day by presenting a session on an anarchist’s reading of Romans 13. David McLoughlin will be picking up on the activist theme with his rereading of the parable of the the Judge and the Widow (Luke 18:1-8). His paper is intriguingly entitled ‘From Persistent Prayer to Effective Activism.’

Following the work of scholars such as Geza Vermes and EP Sanders, the Jewishness of Jesus has become central to our understanding of his teaching, context and person. However, it is not always easy to actually locate him within a more specific setting. Steve Moyise will be reimagining the Jewish Jesus.

Prof Martin O'Kane
Prof Martin O’Kane

Martin O’Kane will be our guide as we explore the artist as biblical interpreter. Martin’s sessions are always fascinating and this time we will be discovering the Bible through the eyes and works of four great artists: Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Chagall.

Richard Goode will be taking a short session on the anthropology of reading in the early church and investigating the relationship between the text, the reader and its hearers. This session will, again, pick up on the themes of continuity and creativity in the use and interpretation of the Bible.

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NRCBR Conference 2014

This will lead us into the main session for the afternoon which will provide everyone present to discuss, challenge and develop what we have heard in the earlier sessions. There will opportunities, to ask questions, pool ideas and to re-examine the understanding of the Bible as something very old, but also something that speaks to us today. This will take the form of small group sessions and culminate with a round-table discussion.

For more information, click here

To register, click here

Summer Greek (July)

Greek at Newman
Summer Greek course at Newman

We are also really excited to be holding our First Steps into the World of New Testament Greek summer course again. Learning from our trial run last year – and thank you so much to all of you who came and who were such good-natured and forgiving guinea pigs – this year we are running it for the  full five days. This will mean that we can progress further and at a slightly more dignified pace!

Summer Greek
Summer Greek 2014

If you are interested in an informal introduction (with the emphasis on enjoyment rather than formal qualifications) to ancient Greek, there are still a few places left.


For more information, click here

To register, click here

Student News

The Goodbyes

The joy of welcoming the summer weather is always tempered by having to say ‘goodbye’ to our graduating students. It has been lovely and a real privilege to be part of their journeys and wonderful to see the way they have grown, developed and blossomed over the last three years.

One of the most rewarding aspects of this job is supervising dissertations, where students have the opportunity of conducting in-depth research in an area of their choosing. Here again, it is great to watch students develop and grow in confidence. Two dissertations that site visitors may be particularly interested in were; an exegetical examination of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, and the theme of motherhood in the book of Judges.

So we wish all our graduands every blessing for your futures and thank you for all that you brought to the lectures and seminars to make it a truly joint learning environment.

The Hellos
Reading Sacred Texts module 2015
Reading Sacred Texts module 2015

The first year introductory module, ‘Reading Sacred Texts: The Jewish and Christian Bibles’ is always good fun to teach. Former students may know this as ‘Introduction to Biblical Studies’. This year was particularly fun, with a great bunch of first years who have really got to grips with the subject and who have submitted some really impressive work already. I can see that, but the third year, they will really be pushing me!!

Early Christian Writings

One of the jobs for the summer is to complete the finishing touches to a module that we are giving a revamp; former students may know it as as ‘Paul and Acts.’ We will be keeping the central focus on Paul and Acts and the context of the development of Christianity and the church, but I am particularly looking forward to including a wider range of non canonical early Christian literature to the course. It was an incredibly exciting and creative time and the intention of the module is that we explore continuity, development and change within the formation of the early church.


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