Saturday, April 4, 2015

Dr. Christopher Rowland's Pierce Visiting Scholar Lecture

Dr. Christopher Rowland

I thought I would post a couple pictures I took of Dr. Rowland as he prepared to give his Pierce Visiting Scholar lecture at Oxford College of Emory University on March 24, 2015.

The lecture, "From Impulse Not From Rules: Jesus and His Radical Followers," was well-received by the students and faculty members who attended. 

Dr. Rowland also met with my Honors Seminar on the Reception History of the Parables and gave the students valuable feedback on their projects and advice about how to proceed.

Dr. Rowland is this year's Pierce Visiting Scholar, a faculty exchange program between the Pierce Institute of Oxford College of Emory University and the University of Oxford.

P.S. I have added the text of my introduction for Dr. Rowland in the comments section of this post, for those who are interested.

1 comment:

  1. Here is the text of my introduction for Dr. Rowland:

    Good evening. Welcome to the 2015 Pierce Visiting Scholar lecture. My name is David Gowler. I teach Religion here at Oxford College, and I am delighted to introduce tonight’s speaker: Dr. Christopher Rowland, the recently retired Dean Ireland’s Professor for the Exegesis of Holy Scripture at The Queen’s College of Oxford University. It was with Dr. Rowland’s assistance, in fact, that we were able to begin this faculty exchange program between Oxford College and the University of Oxford a decade ago.

    Dr. Rowland earned his doctorate from the University of Cambridge and began his teaching career at the University of Newcastle. Shortly thereafter, he returned to Cambridge as lecturer and as dean of Jesus College. In 1991, Dr. Rowland was appointed as Dean Ireland’s Professor at Oxford University, the most prestigious chair in New Testament Studies in Great Britain.

    Needless to say, Dr. Rowland is a brilliant scholar. His three books entitled The Open Heaven, Apocalyptic, Mysticism, and the New Testament, and his commentary on Revelation demonstrate his expertise on the interpretation of the New Testament, the apocalyptic tradition in ancient Judaism and Christianity, and the reception history of the Apocalypse. His book Christian Origins is one of the standard works on early Christianity. His book Introduction: The Theology of Liberation is an important primer on liberation theology. His book, Radical Christian Writings, is about the radical Christian tradition—his topic for tonight—and his recent book, Blake and the Bible, is a study of William Blake’s poetic genius and his unique contributions to the interpretation of the Bible in text and image.

    Dr. Rowland’s distinguished career has included many honors and accolades, but I will mention just one example: A small number of renowned scholars receive a Festschrift, a published collection of scholarly essays presented as a tribute to them. An even smaller number of scholars receive two such volumes. Dr. Rowland is the only New Testament scholar, to my knowledge, who has received three Festschriften in his honor: Radical Christian Voices and Practice (2012), Revealed Wisdom (2014), and The Open Mind (2015).

    Dr. Rowland is distinctive if not unique in New Testament Studies, because his scholarship is as impressive for its breadth as for its depth, and it is also distinctive because of his concern for liberation, justice, and equality that stems from an ethical response to and critique of biblical texts.

    I had the privilege of studying with Dr. Rowland when he taught at Cambridge University—it’s been a few years now. I learned a tremendous amount from him, but it just wasn’t about our field of New Testament studies; I also learned, more importantly, what it meant to be a professor, both inside and outside the classroom. Our relationship as professor and student still serves for me as one of the primary models for what teaching and learning should involve, a dialogue of mutual respect in the search for knowledge. So I invited Dr. Rowland here tonight not only because he is a brilliant scholar, but also because I respect him greatly as a person, teacher, and friend.

    His lecture tonight is entitled, “From Impulse Not from Rules: Jesus and His Radical Followers.” Please welcome Dr. Christopher Rowland.


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