Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Croke Park Banner-John 3:7

As the mighty Co. Louth are gearing up for the Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship final on July 11th in Corke Park it's good to know that Frank Hogan and his John 3:7 banner will be back to support us.

For those of you not familiar with Frank, he's a 72 year old Limerick man who takes a big yellow banner with John 3:7 printed on it in black to every single televised gaelic football or hurling match and to pretty much every big event in the country and stands with his sign. He's become a bit of a celebrity (I got to shake his hand and have a hold of the banner on a train to Limerick a few years ago) and caused a furore last August when some (Kildare) supporters nicked the sign. Last week he was asked not to bring the banner into the stadium last week (that's something the Dubs can blame!). Sighs of relief all round then as he's been welcomed back by the GAA!

Photo by Valentia

Monday, June 21, 2010

Work Update

Just to let you know that I'm on a bit of a go-slow blogging wise until I finish the postdoc in July. By the looks of the job market I shall have lots of time for blogging afterwards. My paper "Biblical Theology and Interfaith Dialogue-Is there a Need for a Clearer Language?" last week went great-read my speaking notes here.

And to illustrate my feelings these days I give you:

And what has been posted on my wall above my desk since I started:

Monday, June 14, 2010

From World Mission to Interreligious Witness-Visioning Ecumenics in the 21st Century

Now there's a conference title :) And it's the reason I have been so quiet of late-I'm trying to boil down the exciting things I've been working on into a 20 minute paper and trying not to think about how I'm trying to persuade people I know something about interreligious dialogue. If in doubt, talk in Arabic. And I'm not that good at that either :) The conference is in Trinity College, Dublin and starts on Wednesday. My paper is on Thursday afternoon.

Anyways, forgive my lack of blogging, and have a look at my abstract instead :)

Biblical Theology and Interfaith Dialogue-is there a need for a clearer language?
While the three Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) share a wealth of common themes in their respective sacred scripture, there exists a marked difference in the reception of these texts. This is present both in terms of a more critical study of the texts themselves in an academic environment, and in the response to and use of the texts by a modern audience, regardless of a faith based or a secular viewpoint.

In order therefore to facilitate a more fruitful and universal understanding and respect of the sacred texts of the three religions, it is necessary to explore both the commonalities and differences between the three theologies based on the texts. Many adherents of the three religions are not familiar with the thread of commonality that runs through the three sacred texts (Hebrew Bible, New Testament and the Qur'an); particularly in relation to the images of God presented in each and it is my argument that this would provide a viable starting point for interfaith dialogue.

To keep this study at manageable level, I propose that examining the divine designations used to develop an image of God in all three texts makes a worthwhile foundation so that both academics and lay followers of all three religions may develop a deeper understanding of each others faiths. In order to illustrate this argument, this paper shall use the image of God as Creator, and related divine designations (names, titles and epithets) in each of the key texts in the discussion.

My chair for the Parallel Paper Sessions is Gladys Ganiel from TCD. She has a rather cool blog and I'm glad to see she lectures on (and coordinates) the Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation Studies Programme in the ISE. The only handier qualification in a chairperson is a boxing referees certificate :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Great News! Revised Dates for IBA Conference!

After the committee meeting of the IBA last night, we've finalised the rescheduled Annual Conference that was cancelled due to the spoutings of Eyjafjallajökull. Larry Hurtado and Eddie Adams will be presenting their papers on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th October 2010 (Le cúnamh Dé). We’re already well on schedule with very exciting presenters for the Annual Conference in February 2011 and our Belfast Meeting in November 2010 which I’ll let you know as soon as all is finalised.
So get writing in the diaries and join our Facebook group if you haven't already!

Update on Bibledex

The Bibledex Facebook Fan page announced yesterday that the Apocryphal Books are "coming soon" to the website.

My breath is bated :) I've had lots of great feedback after my review from people using the videos in class and referring students to them-we'll see how they work next semester on a longer time frame too. My thesis supervisor Brendan McConvery got permission to put them on his Moodle site and reported great feedback from the students. I do like a success story :)

And here's a gratuitous use of the video of the Holy Sepulchre-just because!