Is there still a place for the Bible in the modern world? It might be the sacred text of Christianity and as such central to the Christian faith and community. It might also be frequently counted as one of the most influential pieces of writing within Western history and (in regards to the King James Version) to English language. However, does this collection of ancient writings really have a place 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?
A number of Bible Societies have joined together to support the year 2020 as the ‘Global Year of the Bible’. Consequently, a wide range of events and activities have been planned to highlight the place of the Bible within contemporary life, to foster a wider awareness of it, and to encourage its use. The year 2020 has added significance for the Roman Catholic tradition as it marks the 10th anniversary of Verbum Domini– Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Exhortation on ‘The Word of the Lord’ – and the 1,600 anniversary of St Jerome’s death. To this end the Catholic Church with the Bible Society are launching a series of events, resources and initiatives for the ‘The God who Speaks – Year of the Word, 2020‘.
David McLoughlin’s sessions are always a highlight and at this year’s NRCBR conference it was no exception. David’s re-reading of Luke’s parable of the persistent widow (sometimes referred to as ‘the corrupt/unjust judge’) in Luke 18:1-8 exemplifies David’s engaging style and his ability to look at familiar texts with fresh eyes (video and text below).
Understanding this parable can be quite a tricky task and David took us through the more traditional reading, pointing out some of the difficulties that attend it. After challenging its (rather un-Lukan) acceptance of the status quo, he then places it within its historical and literary context to explore a much more radical underlying message. A message that even challenges us (the hearers) to reconsider what we understand as the nature of prayer.
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 →
Newman Research Centre for the Bible and its Reception
Dead Letters and Living Words: Continuity and creativity in the interpretation and use of the Bible.
June 6th 2015
Registration 9.00 to 9.30
The Hebrew and Christian scriptures hold an important place within their respective faith communities as authoritative texts rooted within their ancient pasts. 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. 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