Public talk by Symon Hill on ‘The Up-Side Down Bible’

How is the Bible understood by someone reading it for the first time? What do people outside the church make of Jesus’ teaching? Do they hear a different message to the ones preached within the church? Can their understanding offer insights that we, who are more familiar with the texts and the underpinning layers of theological teaching, might miss?

We are delighted to have Symon Hill visit us on Thursday 7th April to talk about his latest book, The Up-Side Down Bible.  This book is the fruit of Symon’s work with using the Bible amongst groups of people who have no church background or awareness of traditional church interpretation.

Symon Hill

The Up-Side Down Bible

Thursday 7th April

5.00 – 6.00


Upside down bible slanted

When Symon Hill started writing a book about the parables of Jesus, he didn’t turn to commentaries and sermons, but to people who had never heard the words of Jesus before, including atheists, trade unionists and sex workers. The result is a revelation.

Ship of Fools feature

Biblical studies includes numerous alternative readings and perspectives of the Bible. However, most of these (perhaps unsurprisingly) come from different groups situated within Christianity. What makes Symon’s book so fascinating and important is that he explores how the Bible is read and understood today outside the church and its theological structures.

“I sought to interview people whose experiences or beliefs seemed particularly relevant to the passage in question. What do trade unionists make of Jesus’ parable of the workers in the vineyard? How do sex workers react to his comments on prostitutes? What do Jews say about the good Samaritan?”

Ship of Fools feature

Symon is a teacher and writer, and former associate director of Ekklesia, a Christian political think-tank, for which he still continues to work. He is also a member of the steering committee for the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT). Alongside his interest in the Arms Trade, he also writes and is actively involved in campaigning on sexual ethics and mental health. Symon also works alongside grass-roots campaigning groups and faith-based communities and offers training in the use of media, conflict resolution, political activism with a range of groups, including: Action Aid, People & Planet, the Dundee Violence Against Women Partnership and the UK Youth Climate Coalition.

Symon is also the author of Digital Revolutions: Activism in the internet age (2013) and the very well received The No Nonsense Guide to Religion (2010), both published by New Internationalist.

This event is free and open to everyone.

There is plenty of free on-site parking.

Please go to main reception for directions to room


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