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St Mary's University

Renowned Scholar to Open Biblical Studies Centre at University College

A new Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible is to be launched at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham on Friday 3rd May. The Centre will be headed by Chris Keith, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at St Mary’s. It aims to advance research in Biblical Studies and the social sciences, aiding St Mary’s goals of becoming an international leader in critical study of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures. Prof Keith has published several books and journal works, including The Pericope Adulterae, the Gospel of John, and the Literacy of Jesus (Brill, 2009), Jesus among Friends and Enemies (Baker, 2011), Jesus’ Literacy (T&T Clark, 2011), Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity (T&T Clark, 2012), and Jesus against the Scribal Elite: The Origins of the Conflict (Baker, 2014).  He is also a contributor to the forthcoming New Cambridge History of the Bible (2013) and co-founder of the The Jesus Blog, which is dedicated to historical Jesus research. To mark the launch of the Centre, an inauguration lecture is being held at 5.30pm Friday 3rd May, which will be led by Prof John Barclay (Lighfoot Professor of Divinity at Durham University). Prof Barclay will deliver his lecture called ‘Paul and the Gift: Gift-theory, Grace and Critical Issues in the Interpretation of Paul’. The lecture will look at ancient perspectives on gift-giving and the apostle Paul’s theology of grace. It will attempt to raise the appropriate questions about Pauline and early Christian discourses, outline ways in which gift-giving has been perfected for polemic advantage, and outline the key configurations of grace in the history of reception of Paul. After the lecture there will be an opportunity to ask questions and debate, with refreshments served afterwards. It will be held in the Waldegrave Drawing Room at St Mary’s Strawberry Hill campus at 5.30pm. To RSVP, please contact Samantha Chant at

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