Bravo, Eric Clouston! A new book on Acts in its literary context

Eric Clouston, How Ancient Narratives Persuade: Acts in its Literary ContextLanham, MD: Fortress Academic/Rowman & Littlefield, 2020ISBN 978 1 9787 0660 6 I am delighted to receive my copy of my student Dr Eric Clouston’s revised doctoral thesis, How Ancient Narratives Persuade: Acts in its Literary Context. Scholars have long studied the speeches in Acts as persuasive; Eric looks at how the whole book functions as persuasion, by comparing it with other first-century Jewish writers: Philo, Josephus, the author of Joseph and Aseneth, and the Continue reading →

Some helpful pieces on planning and study

I’ve been finding a number of really helpful pieces on different aspects of planning, research and study recently, and here share three of my favourites. Here is a belter of a piece by the wonderful Katherine Firth about ‘Taking a critical distance break’, explaining the very helpful process of stepping back from a project you’re engrossed in, to give yourself time and head space to see what’s really going on, what’s most important, how things fit together, etc. Here is a very helpful piece on Continue reading →

A fascinating discussion of Matthew Novenson’s The Grammar of Messianism

There’s a really interesting conversation about Matthew Novenson’s fascinating The Grammar of Messianism going on at Syndicate, the home of many such book discussions, at present. A key claim of the book is that it helps to think about ‘Messiah’ passages in Jewish and Christian texts as engaging in a ‘language game’ in which they use the term in a variety of ways—and this is better than the ‘idealist’ tradition of constructing one view of ‘Messiah’ and then reading the texts in the light of Continue reading →

Tavis Bohlinger on choosing the life of the mind

Tavis Bohlinger posted this excellent reflection on choosing the life of the mind, highly relevant for scholars, doctoral students, and those considering doctoral study. He has kindly given me permission to share it here as a ‘guest post’ on my blog. Over to Tavis… Why, in the face of material prosperity and the endless production of greater and better goods, would anybody choose the life of the mind? I use the definite article with purpose. There are plural “lives” of intellectual priority that one might Continue reading →

New Principal for Trinity College, Bristol

I’m delighted to share this good news from my college, announced today. The Revd Dr Sean Doherty, Director of Studies and Assessment and Tutor in Ethics at St Mellitus College (https://www.stmellitus.ac.uk/), is to be the new principal of Trinity College Bristol (https://www.trinitycollegebristol.ac.uk/). Trinity is one of the leading theological colleges in England, and is dedicated to equipping its students holistically through community to lead churches and Christian ministries.  Sean was ordained in St Paul’s Cathedral and served in the Diocese of London as Curate in Continue reading →