The God Who Speaks: The Bible in Today’s World

(Part of the CCBEW ‘The God Who Speaks’ – The Year of the Word 2020)

9th January 2020

13:30 – 19:30

Newman University

Is there still a place for the Bible in the world of the 21st century? Why is it still read? In what ways is it still being used? Does it still have the capacity to influence our ideas and values?

Exploring these questions concerning the place and function of the Bible in today’s world is the focus of the ‘God who Speaks: The Bible in Today’s World‘ event at Newman University on January 9th. The event forms the launch of the Birmingham ‘The God who Speaks’ programme for the Catholic ‘Year of the Word (2020)‘ that celebrates the 10th anniversary of Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini (The Word of the Lord) and the 1,600 of the death of St Jerome.

The event will comprise talks and workshops that explore the different ways the Bible is used and read within the contemporary world. Richard Goode (Senior Lecturer in Theology at Newman) will open with an overview and discussion of the contemporary use of the Bible within social media and non-faith settings. This will be followed by a choice of two workshops. Symon Hill (writer and campaigner), author of The Upside-Down Bible, will lead a workshop that reflects his experience with working with people from non-traditional church backgrounds reading the Bible for the first time. David McLoughlin (Founder member of the Movement of Christian Workers and Emeritus Research Fellow, Newman University) will lead a workshop on what the Bible has to say about the contemporary world of work.

Speakers (clockwise): Fleur Dorrell, Symon Hill, Jim West, Richard Goode, David McLoughlin

We are particularly delighted to have with us Rev. Dr. Jim West (Ming Hua Theological College) who will draw upon his experiences as an Old Testament scholar and church minister (Petros Baptist Church,Tennessee). He has a long standing commitment to make biblical scholarship accessible and relevant to the church and to that end has recently completed a massive undertaking of producing a 42 volume ‘Person in the Pew‘ commentary series and is “the only series of Commentaries in modern history written by a single person on the entire Bible and aimed at layfolk.” Jim will be examining the pervasive presence of the Bible in Britain and America, in art, literature, film, and music, and how having an understanding of the Bible enriches our experience of our own culture.

The ‘God who Speaks’ initiative is a partnership between the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and the Bible Society and we are especially delighted that Fleur Dorrell, who is the national co-ordinator of the programme, will be with us. She will describe introduce the programme that includes a range of events and resources at the wine reception.

The event is open to schools, parishes, Theology students, and to everyone with an interest in the relevance of the bible today.


1.30 – 2.00           Arrival and Registration
2.00 – 3.15          The Bible in the Social Media World – Richard Goode
3.15 – 3.45          Tea Break
3.45 – 5.00          Workshops

Participants choose 1 from:
– Reading the Bible for the First Time – Symon Hill
– Re-reading Parables in the World of Work – David McLoughlin

5.00 – 6.00          Wine Reception to launch the Birmingham ‘Year of the Word (2020)’ programme with Fleur Dorrell (National Co-ordinator).

6.00 – 7.30          Keynote: Scripture Abides: The Reception of the Bible in Western Culture – Jim West

FREE OFFER to all Attendees!!

We are also delighted to announce that De Gruyter, the publishers of Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (EBR), which to date runs to 17 volumes, has very generously offered to give everyone who books a place on this event 30 days free access to the online EBR database containing thousands of articles.

Registration is essential and a charge of £10 to cover light refreshments and administration is payable on booking (students are free).


Booking can be made through the Newman Estore facility: Newman Estore.

Students are free and can book here

How to find us:

For more information, please contact:

Richard Goode – 

                            0121 476 1181 ext. 2472

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