Prof Chris Keith, Chair of the New Testament and Early Christianity at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham, recently delivered his inaugural lecture called ‘Social Memory Theory and the Gospels: Assessing the First Decade.’ at the University College’s Strawberry Hill campus.
Formally introduced to English-speaking New Testament studies in 2005, social memory theory has quickly reached a position of prominence in New Testament scholarship. Many key questions in Gospels studies, especially with regard to the historical Jesus, the new historiography, and the transmission of the oral Jesus tradition, are now being answered in terms of this ‘memory approach.’ The lecture assessed the first decade of this interdisciplinary discussion.
Prof Keith is also the Director for The Centre for the Social Scientific Study of the Bible, which launched last year. It aims to be a leading voice in the application of social-scientific criticism to Scripture in the UK and worldwide.