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 →

My slides on improving your academic writing

I led a workshop at Trinity College, Bristol’s postgraduate research conference on improving your academic writing today, drawing on lots I’ve learned over the years of writing myself, and supervising and editing others who write. Here are the slides for those who’d like them. See also my review of How to Fix Your Academic Writing.

An excellent new book on fixing academic writing problems

Inger Mewburn, Katherine Firth and Shaun Lehmann,How to Fix Your Academic Writing Trouble:A Practical Guide London/New York: Open University Press, 2018ISBN 978-0-3352-4332-7xi + 163 pages; £23.99 (paperback) £20.51 (Kindle edition) This outstanding short book will be of immense value to research students and their supervisors. The authors aim to address common issues which PhD students face in writing their thesis, and provide practical advice on how to tackle those issues. All three authors are experienced in advising and helping research students to write at universities in Australia, and their academic expertise ranges across 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 →

A new book: Poverty in the Early Church and Today—A Conversation

I’m delighted to announce the publication of a new book which I’ve co-edited with Hannah Swithinbank of Tearfund, Poverty in the Early Church and Today—A Conversation (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2019). Here’s an abstract for the whole book: Poverty, its causes and alleviation, are a perennial concern for humanity, and particularly for Christians because of their belief that all people are made in God’s image, and therefore valued and valuable. This book offers creative engagement with issues concerning people in poverty by bringing into conversation perspectives from the earliest church and today’s world. Continue reading →