Biblical Studies, the Academy and the Pew: Public talk by Dr Jim West

Earlier this year, due to ill health, we sadly had to cancel a public talk by Dr Jim West on the relationship between the academic study of the Bible and the Church. We are delighted to announce that Jim has very graciously offered to come to the UK specifically to give this talk. We are both touched and extremely grateful for such a generous gesture and we would like to invite you to come to what promises to be an informative and fascinating talk on a subject that will be close to the heart of many people.

The Intersection of Academic Biblical Studies and the Life of the Church

25th September 2015


Dr Jim West (Ming Hua Theological College)

Newman University

Time: 10.00 – 11.00 am

Room: CH116

One of the most demanding aspects that many of our students have to address when studying theology and the Bible in a university setting is how does it sit with their own experience and understanding of faith? Theology is one of those rare academic disciplines that requires of its students an (often) highly personal as well as intellectual engagement. This is what makes teaching it so rewarding and fun. However, I am also very conscious that a number of the approaches and concepts that we introduce can be deeply  disorienting and challenging and some Christian students (particularly in the first year) can be left feeling that studying the Bible (and wider issues in theology) has a more corrosive than positive effect on their faith. It is therefore a real joy to announce the forthcoming visit of Jim West (Ming Hua Theological College) to Newman in January.

Dr West is very well placed to discuss the intersection between the academy and faith. He is the minister of the Petros Baptist Church (Tennessee) and a Hebrew Bible (and Reformation) scholar who has authored and edited numerous books and articles, including (most recently), Huldrych Zwingli’s Friendly Rejoinder to Luther’s Sermon against the Fanatics, Translation and Introduction (Pitts Theology Library, 2016), and contributing to and being one of the editors of History, Politics and the Bible from the Iron Age to the Media Age. (Bloomsbury, 2016) and also Finding Myth and History in the Bible Scholarship, Scholars and Errors. Essays in honor of Giovanni Garbini (Equinox. 2016) and the forthcoming, Zwingli to Amyraut: Exploring the Growth of European Reformed Traditions. (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2017). Jim is also the Associate Editor/ Book Review Editor (North America) for the Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament and for the Copenhagen International Seminar.

Jim also writes extensively for a lay audience and has recently completed his ‘Person in the Pew‘ commentary series that covers the entire Bible and is published by Quartz Hill. This monumental work illustrates Jim’s passionate commitment for making scholarly research accessible (and importantly) relevant for those in ‘the pews’.

Jim is one of the foremost bibliobloggers (bloggers who have a specific focus on biblical studies) many will know him through his Zwinglius Redivivus blog (a must-read for anyone with an interest in what is happening ion the biblical studies scene) which is a head-spinning miscellany of biblical and reformation research, waspish-satire and comment.

This is a perfect excuse to blow away the post-holiday cobwebs, so come and join us to listen to someone who practices his scholarship at the sharp-end!


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