Department of Theology and Religious Studies

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Jonathan Rowlands

PhD Candidate,


Teaching Summary

I am a teaching assistant for the modules "Introduction to Biblical Greek" and "Intermediate Biblical Greek."

I am also a guest lecturer and seminar leader for the module "Important Thinkers Through History" teaching material on Jesus of Nazareth.

Research Summary

My doctoral thesis is entitled "The Metaphysics of Historical Jesus Research." It is an attempt to identify and outline what I suggest is an implicit secular metaphysical framework that one must… read more

Recent Publications

"Creative Speech in Heb. 1.5a" (British New Testament Conference, St. Mary's College, Twickenham, 6th- 8th September).

"Doing the Will of God in the Epistle to the Hebrews" (University of Nottingham Philosophy and Theology Study Day, University of Nottingham, 10th May 2018).

"Reception History and the Future of New Testament Studies" (European Association of Biblical Studies Graduate Symposium, Institutum Romanum Finlandiae, Rome, 23rd-25th March 2018).

"The Divine Self-Understanding of Jesus in the Lament Over Jerusalem" (British New Testament Conference, St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, 31st Aug-2nd Sep 2017).

"Musical Instruments and the Biblical Understanding of the Gift of Tongues" (Integrating Theology and Contemporary Worship Conference, London School of Theology, 17th July 2017).

"The 'Holy City' as Heavenly Jerusalem in Matthew's Gospel" (Tyndale House Biblical Theology Conference, 5th - 7th July 2017).

"A Christian Approach to History in a Secular Age" (Nottingham Trent University History Conference, 21st June 2017).

"The Structure and Origin of Col. 1.15-20" (University of Nottingham Biblical Seminar, 31st March 2017).

"The Cosmological Activity of the Son in Heb. 1.3" (British New Testament Conference, University of Chester, 1st - 3rd September 2016).

"The Historical Evidence Regarding the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth" (University of Nottingham Theology Network outreach event, 17th February 2016).

"Peter's Offer to 'build three tents' in Mark 9.5" (Graduate Research Seminar for New Testament Studies, University of Cambridge, 19th May 2015).

"The Historicity of Jesus' Birth in Bethlehem" (University of Nottingham Theology Network Conference, 13th June 2014).

Current Research

My doctoral thesis is entitled "The Metaphysics of Historical Jesus Research." It is an attempt to identify and outline what I suggest is an implicit secular metaphysical framework that one must conform to in order engage in debates surrounding the historical Jesus. I also discuss some of the implications this has for notions of religious plurality and academic freedom.

Past Research

In 2014-15 completed my MPhil in New Testament at the University of Cambridge, supervised by Dr. James Carleton Paget and Dr. Simon Gathercole. As part of this I wrote essays on the methodological problems with 'mirror-reading' Galatians to ascertain the identity of the 'agitators' in Galatia, and an exegetical essay on 1 Tim. 2:15. My MPhil thesis (supervised by Dr. Carleton Paget) was entitled "Peter's Offer to Build 'Three Tents' in Mk. 9:5" and asserted that Peter's offer to build τρεῖς σκηνάς at the transfiguration of Jesus may have been interpreted, by some readers of the Gospel, as a reference to the σκηνή in Greek theatre. The thesis examined the audience(s) of Mark's Gospel and previous interpretations on Peter's offer before moving onto studying the use of the σκηνή in Greek theatre and how this interpretation would connect the transfiguration pericope to the broader Markan secrecy motif.

Before this, I completed my BA in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Nottingham, graduating in 2014. My BA dissertation (Supervised by Prof. Roland Deines) was entitled "The Use of Irony in the Fourth Gospel to Polemicize against the Disciples of John the Baptist." This dissertation drew upon literary studies and especially theories of irony. By focusing on Jn. 1:1-18 and 1:29-34 I asserted that the Fourth Gospel portrays John the Baptist in an ironic manner in an attempt to polemicize against his disciples in Ephesus.

Future Research

I have various research interests that I would like to pursue in future projects. I am very interested in the methodology of New Testament studies and Historical Jesus research. This is evident in my doctoral research wherein I examine the metaphysical framework(s) employed by Jesus historians. Elsewhere I have spoken at conferences on various developments in New Testament studies, and my forthcoming publication in Journal of Pentecostal Theology is an attempt to employ a creative methodology to bring the New Testament into dialogue with modern Jazz music. I am also interested in the theological interpretation of the New Testament (and the Bible more generally). Again, this is evident in some of the papers I have presented at conferences, which have sought to engage with modern theological discussions in order to take seriously the theological element(s) of the New Testament. In future research projects I would like to continue the work begun in my doctoral thesis on the metaphysics of historical Jesus research by attempting to construct a genuinely Christian historical method that takes seriously God's agency in history and human affairs as a problem for historiography. I would also like to undertake research on the notion of 'authorship' in antiquity and how this alters our understanding of the Pauline corpus. Specifically, I think this has significant implications regarding which texts might be considered 'Pauline' and how one interprets the thoughts contained therein.

Department of Theology and Religious Studies

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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