The Department of Theology and Religious Studies is excited to welcome Professor John Barclay to deliver our biennial Firth Memorial Lectures on 17-18 April 2018, where he will talk about Gift-Reciprocity and Community Construction in the New Testament. The programme will consist of two lectures entitled Beyond Charity: Gift-Reciprocity and Community Construction in the New Testament, both given at 4pm on their respective days, as well as a special postgraduate seminar for students within the faculty at 11.30am on the Wednesday (18th), on Reciprocity and Risk at the Economic Margin: Some Early Christian Examples – all events will be held in Humanities Room A03, University Park Campus.
Professor John Barclay is Lightfoot Professor of Divinity in the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Durham. After undergraduate studies (at Queens', Cambridge) in Classics and Theology, he received his PhD (on Galatians) from Cambridge, before becoming Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer and then Professor at Glasgow University (1984-2003).
His most recent major book is a study of Pauline theology from the perspective of his theology of grace, called Paul and the Gift (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2015). If we read Paul's theology of grace in the light of ancient notions of gift, Barclay argues we can understand in a new way his relationship to Judaism, his theology of the Christ-event and his ethic of reciprocal generosity. Paul and the Gift explores the theological and social significance of the incongruity of grace in the formation of innovative communities, going beyond Sanders and the current antithesis between old and new perspectives on Paul. This book, focusing on divine gift/grace, is the first of a two-part series.
Professor Barclay is also currently President of the British New Testament Society, which has its annual conference each September.
About the Firth Lectures
The Firth Memorial Lectureship was founded by the Reverend John d’ewe Evelyn Firth in memory of his father, John Benjamin Firth, Historian of Nottingham and his mother Helena Gertrude Firth. The lecturer is appointed biennially by the Council of the University on the recommendation of the Senate of the University, and under the terms of the Trust the lecturer delivers a public lecture or lectures on some aspect of the Christian Faith in relation to contemporary problems.
The first person to hold the Lectureship was the renowned theologian Paul Tillich and there has been a series of eminent theologians and philosophers who have included among others Baroness Warnock and Professor Jϋrgen Moltmann.