March 2011

My friend Angus Paddison down at the University of Winchester raised this interesting conference to my attention, so I’m passing it along to you as well:

The Bible: Culture, Community and Society
July 11th – 13th 2011
University of Winchester, Centre for the Study of Theology and Religion

In what ways is the Bible an authority?
How is the Bible to be read in ‘public’?
How does the Bible shape Christian living?

An international conference to explore these questions with the following keynote speakers:

Richard Bell David Fergusson Zoë Bennett
Neil Messer Andrew Bradstock Angus Paddison
Ellen Davis Ben Quash Gavin D’Costa

Open to all: residential and non-residential rates available.

Proposals for short papers from scholars and research students are welcome.

For programme, booking forms and call for papers please visit
or email


A friend of mine was asking about Aberdeen, and I happened to visit their Divinity page.  While there I noticed that they had finally filled the Kirby Laing Chair of NT Exegesis with Steve Mason, the well-known Josephus scholar.  I’m glad they’ve got somebody good for the position, especially since the NT faculty is facing more transition with Jane Heath leaving to fill Durham’s NT opening created by the retirements of Stephen Barton and Bill Telford.

Just as important, though, is the announcement that Tom Greggs was appointed as a systematics professor.  I met Tom when he was on a summer sabbatical here in Durham a couple of years ago.  He’s definitely a smart chap, reaching the professor position at a young age, but also very approachable.  With Webster and Greggs in Aberdeen, I can’t think of a better place to study systematics in the UK.