Conference Approaches

Does the Bible Have a Future?

Academics, broadcasters and Christians gather for Symposium in East London


A National Symposium which will look at how the bible has coped and will cope in the future as British culture continues to change is to be held on Wednesday 4 June in East London. It will take place at St Bartholomew's Centre, East Ham.

Bishops, clergy, laity, broadcasters and academics will be amongst the audience as a day is set aside to look at what is meant by the term "biblical literacy" in the 21st century.

The gathering will include a wide range of delegates from across the country.

The day will be chaired by Professor James Crossley, Professor of Bible, Culture and Politics at the University of Sheffield.

Amanda Hancox, an award winning senior producer at BBC Religion & Ethics, will look at the issues involved in using the bible in broadcasting in the current cultural context where Christianity is often perceived as being on the back foot.

The bible itself, and it durability over the centuries, will be the theme of Philip Esler's paper. He is Professor in New Testament Studies in the University of Gloucestershire.

Dr Katie Edwards, who has edited a book on biblical literacy due out later in the year is also a specialist in how the advertising industry mines biblical and religious objects to capture audiences. The key question once again, of course, will be how the audience then understands such campaigns if they are unaware of the books of the bible?

The idea for the day came out of conversations at Sheffield University following research into the use of the bible in various cultural contexts.

Notes for editors:

The Biblical Literacy Project will be launched at this Symposium to look at understanding the bible in 21st century culture. Perspectives from theology, the media and advertising will be taken into account.

Interviews with Katie Edwards and James Crossley can be arranged


Rob Marshall

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