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The Kirby Laing Centre's

Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar

The Bible is made up of a library of books that came into existence over hundreds of years. Biblical hermeneutics asks how we can approach and interpret this inspired corpus to hear God’s address today.

The first of The Scripture and Hermeneutics consultations took place in Cheltenham in April 1998. The theme for this meeting was the crisis in biblical interpretation and the sort of answers to it being proposed by advocates of speech act theory such as Anthony Thiselton, Nicholas Wolterstorff and Kevin Vanhoozer, all of whom were present. We were not agreed at this consultation whether speech act theory has the resources to take biblical interpretation forward, but it became clear that any attempt to renew biblical interpretation in the academy would require a process with multiple consultations to address the key areas we thought required attention.

Thus was born The Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar (SAHS), a project based in Theology and Religious Studies at The University of Gloucestershire, where it was headed up by Craig Bartholomew. Our second consultation was held in September 1999 at Selwyn College, Cambridge, at which Prof Brevard Childs and Prof Walter Brueggemann were present. The theme of that consultation was the crisis in biblical interpretation. Not all of us were agreed that there was a crisis but we all agreed that a renewal of biblical interpretation was urgent, hence the title of the first volume, Renewing Biblical Interpretation.

From 1998 – 2008 the Seminar was a partnership project between British and Foreign Bible Society and The University of Gloucestershire. Later in the process Baylor University and Redeemer University College joined in the venture as partners. In its first phase the Seminar identified eight topics that required attention and each year for eight years it organised an international, interdisciplinary seminar somewhere in the world to address one of these key issues. 

A volume in the Scripture and Hermeneutics Series (Paternoster and Zondervan) emerging from each consultation was published each year (volumes). The final volume in the Series, The Bible and the University, was published in 2007.

Since the completion of its initial eight volume series SAHS has continued to publish, producing Hearing the Old Testament: Listening for God’s Address (Eerdmans), edited by Craig G Bartholomew and David Beldman, and in 2016 A Manifesto for Theological Interpretation (Baker Academic) appeared, edited by Craig Bartholomew and Heath Thomas.

In 2016 and 2017 SAHS focused on the theme of the kingdom of God. In 2018 it engaged in a dialogue with Jeremiah Unterman’s Justice For All: How the Jewish Bible Revolutionized Ethics (Philadelphia: JPS, 2017), an important new work on the ethics of the Hebrew Bible.

In 2019 the topic of SAHS was “A Critical Engagement with Oliver O’Donovan’s ‘Ethics As Theology’ Trilogy”, building out from the 2002 SAHS volume: A Royal Priesthood? The Use of the Bible Ethically and Politically. A Dialogue with Oliver O’Donovan (Scripture and Hermeneutics Series, Volume 3). A stellar group of scholars from multiple disciplines revisited and engaged O’Donovan’s ongoing work in a review panel, especially his recent “Ethics as Theology” Trilogy (Self, World and Time; Finding and Seeking; Entering into Rest), with the aim of exploring some new trajectories in contemporary Christian Ethics.

The Committee

A.J. Culp (co-chair), PhD, Pastor & Director of Theological Training Lakewood Baptist Church; David Beldman (co-chair), PhD, Director of KLC North America, Professor of Old Testament at The Missional Training Center (Phoenix); Megan Roberts, PhD, Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Prairie College, Alberta; Megan DeVore, PhD, Professor of Church History and Early Christian Studies, Colorado Christian University; William Olhausen, PhD, Anglican minister and part-time faculty member at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute and adjunct lecturer Trinity College Dublin.

For any enquiries regarding the Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar, contact Dr. David Beldman or Dr. AJ Culp.

SAHS: Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar at SBL / IBR in November 2023.

Seminar Description

19 November 2023   |  1:00 PM – 3:30 PM   |   Room: Salon M – Marriott Rivercenter

Scripture, Memory and Formation

The Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar is continuing its multi-year project: Spiritual Formation and Biblical Interpretation. In a paper presentation at last year’s seminar Dr. Megan Roberts introduced the notion of memory into the discussion of spiritual formation and sparked a stimulating discussion. Catalyzing on that discussion and in recognition of the foundational role memory has to play biblically in communal and individual formation, this year’s theme will explore the intersection of Scripture, memory, and formation. This is obviously a massive and multifaceted topic. Through an introductory presentation and three more focused papers, we hope to open up a fruitful discussion about this important topic. For more information, contact Dave Beldman ( and AJ Culp (

Seminar Programme

William Olhausen, Church of Ireland Theological Institute, Welcome (5 min)

Opening Liturgy

Susan Bubbers, The Center for Anglican Theology, Presiding (5 min)

1. David Beldman, The Missional Training Center and AJ Culp, New College, University of New South Wales: Memory, Spiritual Formation, and Interpretation (25 min)

2. Megan Roberts, Prairie College, Poetic Imagination as a Memory Vector for Emotional Healing: Zion’s Memory Formation in Isaiah 49-54 (25 min)

Break (10 min)

3. Lissa Wray Beal, Wycliffe College, Toronto: The Book of Jeremiah: Memory as Repentance and Restoration (25 min)

4. Lindsey Croston, Southeastern University: Forming Identity Through Gospel Participation: Memory, Testimony, and Calling in Galatians (25 min)

Discussion (25 min)

Closing Liturgy

Susan Bubbers, The Center for Anglican Theology, Presiding (5 min)