Baker Academic

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cities of God? Conference at St Mary’s University—Chris Keith

My colleague Steve Walton has passed along the schedule of speakers and topics for the Cities of God? Conference here at the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible of St Mary's University.  We're very excited to host these scholars and look forward also the published proceedings of the conference.  If you haven't registered yet, you can do so here.



Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible


An interdisciplinary and international assessment of early Christian engagement with the ancient urban environment(s)

Friday 22 May 2015

12.00–13.30     Registration and coffee/tea available
Lunch available to purchase in St Mary’s dining room

13.30–13.45     Welcome

13.45–14.15     ‘Early Christianity in its Colonial Contexts in the Provinces of the Eastern Empire’
David Gill, Professor of Archaeological Heritage and Director of Heritage Futures, University Campus, Suffolk and University of East Anglia

14.15–14.45     Paul’s Mission Strategy in the Urban Landscape of the First-Century Roman Empire
Volker Rabens, Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Lehrstuhl für Neues Testament, Friedrich-Schille-Universität, Jena (Germany)

14.45–15.15     Paul’s Caesarea’
Joan Taylor, Professor of Christian Origins and Second Temple Judaism, King’s College London

15.15–15.45     Coffee and tea break

15.45–16.15     ‘Spiritual Geographies of the City: Exploring Spiritual Landscapes in Colossae’
Paul Cloke, Professor of Human Geography, University of Exeter

16.15–16.45     Paul, Pentecost and the Nomosphere: The Final Return to Jerusalem in the Acts of the Apostles’
Matthew Sleeman,
Lecturer in New Testament, Oak Hill College, London

16.45–17.15     ‘Heavenly citizenship and earthly authorities: Philippians 1:27; 3:20 in dialogue with Acts 16:11-40’
Steve Walton, Professorial Research Fellow, St Mary’s University, Twickenham

17.15-17.30      Break

17.30–18.45     Keynote paper: Engaging—or Not Engaging—the City: Reading 1‑2 Timothy and the Johannine Letters in the City of Ephesus’
Paul Trebilco, Professor of New Testament, University of Otago (New Zealand)

19.15 onwards  Conference dinner (La Dolce Vita)

Saturday 23 May 2015

7.00–9.00        Breakfast (your own arrangements)

9.30-9.45         Welcome, and introducing the Centre’s poverty conference in December 2015 (Chris Keith)

9.45–10.15       Diaspora Jewish Attitudes to Metropoleis: Philo and Paul on City Life, Jerusalem and Rome’
Jutta Leonhardt-Balzer, Senior Lecturer in New Testament, University of Aberdeen

10.15–10.45     ‘The Making of Social Vertigo: Spatial Production and Non-belonging in 1 Peter’
Wei-Hsien Wan, Research student, University of Exeter

10.45–11.15     ‘Placing 1 Peter: Proposed Locations and Constructions of Space’
David G. Horrell, Professor of New Testament, University of Exeter

11.15–11.45     Coffee and tea break

11.45–12.15     ‘Both Jews and Judeans: Claiming Jerusalem as Polysemy in Urban, Rural, and Diaspora Settings’
Anthony Le Donne, Assistant Professor of New Testament, United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio (USA)

12.15–12.45     Jerusalem according to Matthew: The Sacred City of God’
Anders Runesson, Professor of New Testament, University of Oslo (Norway)

12.45–14.00     Lunch available to purchase in St Mary’s dining room

14.00–14.30     ‘The City as Foil (not Friend nor Foe): Conformity and Subversion in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31’
Helen Morris, Research student, St Mary’s University, Twickenham

14.30–15.00     ‘A Tale of Two (or Seven) Cities’
Ian Paul, Honorary Assistant Professor in New Testament, University of Nottingham

15.00–15.30     Coffee and tea break

15.30–16.00     Urbanization and Literate Status in the New Testament and Early Christian Rome’
Chris Keith, Professor of New Testament and Director of the Centre for Social-Scientific Study of the Bible, St Mary’s University, Twickenham

16.00–16.30     Alexandria ad Aegyptum—The City Which Inspired Polyphony of Early Christian Theologies’
Piotr Ashwin-Siejkowski, Visiting Research Fellow, King’s College London

16.30–17.00     Round table reflections and discussion


  1. This seems like a great conference. I'm especially interested in all of the papers discussing Jerusalem. Unfortunately, travel is expensive, and it takes place at the same time as the CSBS annual meeting, so I won't be there, but I'd be interested in hearing how the presentations go.
    - Jordan Ryan

    1. Whoops, actually, it's the week before CSBS, but I still can't swing the funding. It'd be great to see some recap posts on here of this conference, though!
      - Jordan

    2. We will try to do some live updates, Jordan.

  2. Many have claimed to be the beginning of the promised ideal kingdom or city.