Archives of Reception of the Bible

Past blogging in more ways than one.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Call for papers, British New Testament Conference

The call for papers for the British New Testament Conference has now been placed on-line at the BNTC home page. There are ten seminars which run three 90 minute seminars each. Papers can take up half sessions or full sessions and any offers should be submitted either through the web page or directly to the Seminar Chairs. Short papers are also catered for (45 minutes slots).
As a participant for the last ten years I can say it is a great conference to attend. Intimate, but with very committed and interesting participants. Go. You'll enjoy it. (I'm beginning to notice a theme here. I keep talking about enjoying scholarship. One of my students today scolded me for being apologetic all the time about how sad I am to be interested in what I do. She was right-its great fun).

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Centre for Reception History of the Bible seminars, Summer term

Centre for Reception History of the Bible

Seminar Series: The Bible in Art, Music and Literature

Mondays: 5pm, The Danson Room, Trinity College, Oxford

(1 May) Very Revd John Drury(University of Oxford), Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Christ Crucified.

(15 May) Prof Robin Leaver(Westminster Choir College of Rider University), What makes Church Music Church Music? Biblical Principles and Implications.

(29 May) Dr Deborah Rooke(King's College, London), A Gender Agenda: Deborah in Holy Writ and Handel ('Biblical Women and their Afterlives' series).

(12 Jun) Prof Mary Carruthers(New York University & University of Oxford), Remembering the Bible: the arts of memory and the art of invention in the Middle Ages.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

BNTS conference, University of Sheffield, 30th Aug-2nd Sept 2006

An 'official' call for papers for the British New Testament Conference at the end of August should be out any day now, but just to give some early warning here. I will be wearing two hats this year: as a participant in--at least some of--the New Testament: Use & Influence Seminar run by Chris Rowland and Chris Joynes (previous papers--2003, 2004, 2005) and as co-Chair of the Synoptics Seminar (previous papers--2003, 2004, 2005). I had stepped down from the latter a year ago to join the former and spend more time with those involved in Reception issues, but the Synoptics Chair, Helen Bond, won't be in Sheffield and so I am going to still be involved for one more year. Anyone who wants to offer either a 20-25 minute paper or a 45 minute paper for either of these seminars can contact either Chris Joynes (for the Reception seminar) or myself. We'd be delighted to hear from you.

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Hoping to attain my level of incompetency

Perhaps I am just being complacent, but I have just two responses to Alan Bandy's latest interviewee, Thomas Thompson.

The first is that the academy simply won't change into being what he wants it to be. Secular theology is still theology (or ideology as some might insist), and while many, if not most, academic disciplines have adopted it as a working premise, that does not make it correct in some absolute sense. An institution that is supposed to be open to any discussion should not be happy to adopt wholesale this essentially liberal premise. To adopt it for the sake of certain projects is no doubt pragmatically fruitful (a Lakatosian Research Project model?) but to try to insist on its adoption as the 'universal truth' of the academy amounts to an illegitimate and imperialistic quest for domination--when God's non-existence been decisively proven by the academy, it can claim legitimacy, but not before. Despite Thompson and Philip Davies' rhetorical attempts to distinguish Science from Religion, it still seems to me that the differences that do exist are not those that they would need to achieve a pristine academy.

The second is that I am slightly upset that Thompson sets the bar of achievement so high. If I am to attain the level of being 'incompetent' (all I can achieve apparently), then all I need to do is equal the achievements of scholars like John Rogerson, Richard Bauckham, George Brooke, and so on.

Jacques Berlinerblau suggests that secular scholars can add to the academy. I certainly agree. But let us hope their contribution goes way beyond such hopeless attempts to annex the discipline.

Why so serious? Let's just have some fun, guys.

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