It was a real joy to have Lloyd Pietersen with us recently to present a paper on ‘Does the Matthean Jesus really love his enemies?’ He was participating as part of the Humanities Research Group Seminar Series for the Newman Humanities Research Centre.
(full text of paper available to download below)
Lloyd began by conceding that this was his first time presenting an academic paper on the Synoptics (or Matthew in particular) and that this was very much a work in progress. The focus was Jesus’ instruction in Matt 5:44 to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”, from the Sermon on the Mount, and argued that this idea broadly conflicted with the canonical and non-canonical Jewish understanding of ‘enemy hatred’. Continue reading →
This year’s theme will be the ‘Rewritten Bible’and Sue’s paper is titled, ‘“Why So Much Talk?” Direct Speech as a Literary and Exegetical Device in Rewritten Bible‘. Those of you who heard Sue’s Inaugural Professorial Lecture on the Exagoge (it can still be viewed here: ‘Rewriting the Exodus‘) earlier this summer will appreciate how examining the way different biblical texts are appropriated and re-worked is helpful in building a clearer picture of the development of the biblical tradition within later historical and cultural landscapes.
A pdf programme of the day can be downloaded here.
The sun is at last shining. Most of the undergraduates have dispersed leaving the library and atrium feeling strangely empty and rather lonely. However, the campus is far from quiet. Major building work is underway; buildings are cordoned off, the chapel stands gutted and open to the elements, and the sound of heavy plant machinery fills the hot summer air. All this tells us that the spring/summer semester has now drawn to a close and this affords me a brief respite in time to give you a round up of news about the centre for the year so far – and a very busy year it has been!
In case you missed anything, here is the centre’s news of 2016 (to date)… Continue reading →
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.
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. Continue reading →
Dead Letters and Living Words: Continuity and creativity in the interpretation and use of the Bible Conference.
6th June 2015
We are very excited to announce this year’s conference for the NRCBR at Newman University to which you are warmly welcome.
The Hebrew and Christian scriptures hold an important place within their respective communities as authoritative texts rooted within their ancient past. However, there is a tension between the continuity of traditional scriptural readings and a renegotiation of those texts when applied to new contexts. This conference will explore that relationship examining different ways that texts have been given life throughout centuries and how this might impact upon the text’s status as authority.
This year the emphasis will again be placed upon participation for all and providing the opportunity for everyone present to engage with the questions and issues presented in each of the session. Therefore we are developing a more inclusive round-table style format to the afternoon, structuring it so that we can all be part of the on-going conversation about the relationship between continuity and creativity, historical and contextual readings, and the boundaries of biblical interpretation and use.
Speakers are still being finalised, but among those who are booked to speak include:
Dr. Lloyd Pietersen (Centre of Anabaptist Studies, Bristol Baptist College) who will give the key note address
• Professor Martin O’Kane (University of Wales, Trinity Saint David)
• David McLoughlin (Newman University)
• Dr. Richard Goode (Newman University)
More details will be uploaded as they become available.
Students and unwaged free
Teas and coffees will be provided
Please bring own lunch – hot food, drinks and snacks can be purchased at the University
Talking to Voice of Israel’s Eve Harrow, Sue explains how the significance of this often overlooked collection of Jewish texts is so important to our understanding of Second Temple Judaism and early Christianity.
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. Continue reading →
Christmas is fast approaching! Decorations are beginning to appear and we’ve even had a couple of frosts in central England. Adding to this sense of festive expectation is the news that Wednesday 3rd December will be the first of this year’s Advent Seminarsat Newman University.
The story of the nativity is arguably the most widely known story from the New Testament (if not the entire Bible). For many people, especially those who do not consider themselves religious, it probably forms one of the most important foundation blocks for their understanding of Jesus and Christianity. This is perhaps not surprising, both Matthew and Luke use their accounts of Jesus’ birth in exactly this way; to introduce to the reader their presentation of Jesus and the kingdom that he us bringing.
Although complaints about the secularisation and commercialisation of Christmas have become as much part of this season as tinsel, holly and mince-pies, images of the nativity remain close to the heart of the celebration. There is something about this story that appears to be able to bridge cultures. This story about a young couple and the birth of a child, attended by donkeys, kings and angels, is something that most people can enjoy and understand. Its message is simple and clear… or is it?
How has this story developed over the centuries? What has been added and what has been lost? Would Matthew and Luke recognise the scenes portrayed on Christmas cards and annually recreated in school plays and advertisements? Moreover, does it matter if things have been added and lost?
Starting with Matthew, over the next three weeks we will be looking at these questions. Instead of dismissing our familiar ‘Christmas story’ and trying to go back to the ‘orginal(s)’, we will take as our starting point the nativity as we know it today and we will then explore what Matthew, Luke and later traditions can add to our understanding and appreciation of it.
Just to get you into the Christmas spirit and also brush up on some Matthean cheer (…or is it?!), meet some of the coolest camels ever to appear beside the manger…
It is a real delight to announce that Newman University has just appointed Dr. Lloyd Pietersen as Visiting Research Fellow in Biblical Studies.
Lloyd has been an important voice within New Testament scholarship for a number of years and has just recently retired as Senior Lecturer and Research Coordinator in New Testament Studies at the University of Gloucestershire.
Lloyd undertook his PhD research at the University of Sheffield where he explored the development of Pauline communities, as represented in the Pastoral Epistles. This has subsequently been published in the Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series as The Polemic of the Pastorals (T & T Clark, 2004). Lloyd has been particularly active in NT social-scientific criticism, often chairing sessions at theBritish New Testament Society Conference. Lloyd’s other research interests also include the Bible and Spirituality and he is the co-editor of The Bible and Spirituality: Exploratory Essays in Reading Scripture (2013).
A number of you will know Lloyd as the key note speaker at our Voices fromthe Desert Conference in July, where he gave a very well received and thought-provoking paper, as well as running a workshop after which many of us will never again read the parables of Jesus in quite the same way! We are excited to announce that he is already booked for next year’s conference (further details to follow). Past and present Newman students will also be familiar with Lloyd’s work (particularly his Reading the Bible after Christendom) where we study it during our Text, Culture and Interpretation module.
Lloyd will be a real asset to the centre’s work and it is a real joy to welcome him to the centre and we look forward to working with him and know that we will benefit from his boundless enthusiasm and thoughtful input.