The conference on hermeneutics in honour of Anthony Thiselton occurred on Friday 29th June, at the University of Nottingham. After years of planning, I was pleased and relieved that it went extremely well. The papers were of a very high quality, the engagement and discussion was excellent, Thiselton was moved, and I have received a number of kind emails since the conference expressing people’s enthusiasm for the day. Pre-orders have already begun to come in for the resulting volume, which I will be co-editing with Stanley Porter.
Porter gave the opening paper on the day, defining terms and calling for a fearlessly robust approach to hermeneutics among those who would be biblical interpreters:
After four morning sessions, James Dunn was the first of the afternoon presenters, arguing that historical rigour ought to represent one parameter of limitation on the proliferation of valid readings of biblical texts:
In the evening, Professor Thiselton was presented with an advance copy of his Festschrift, before presenting the climactic paper of the conference:
I am excited about the links between papers that emerged throughout the day, and I think the resulting book has the potential to be a focused and timely contribution to the study and progress of biblical hermeneutics. I very much look forward to working on a concluding chapter together with Stanley Porter. The book already has a cover (although Porter’s name needs to be added!), and has been enthusiastically endorsed by the commissioning editor of Paternoster, Michael Parsons, who was present at the conference:
‘Probably the greatest scepticism about biblical truth today arises from the mistaken notion that you can make the Bible mean anything you like. We must resist this by applying questions about context, genre and formation. We must be cautious about pluralism, especially in historical report or in theology,’ Anthony Thiselton, from a new book, edited by Matthew Malcolm and Stanley Porter, The Future of Biblical Interpretation. Responsible Plurality in Biblical Hermeneutics (2013). This exceptional book is the result of an excellent conference in honour of Anthony Thiselton in Nottingham last month. Other contributors include Walter Moberly, Richard Briggs, Robert Morgan, James Dunn and Tom Greggs. A must-buy for both those interested in the subject and for practitioners alike.
Thank you to all those who helped to make the day a success.