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November 2014

£205 – £345

Biblical Study Break: Pondering the Parables

Mon 3 November 2014, 1:00 pm to Thu 6 November 2014, 2:00 pm
In preparation for the lectionary year of the Gospel of Mark the parables are a vital source of insight. According to Mark (4.34), Jesus never said anything except in parables! That is, at first sight, surprising, not least because what we are used to labelling parables appear so little in this Gospel. Equally surprising perhaps is Mark’s summing up of everything that Jesus says under the ‘catch all’ heading of wisdom (6.2). So, without being exclusively confined to Mark, we can… Read more

February 2015

£205 – £345

Biblical Study Break: The Book of Judges: Exploring its Meanings

Mon 2 February 2015, 1:00 pm to Thu 5 February 2015, 2:00 pm
The book of Judges is about judges who do not appear to judge, a community which ceases to be a community, who choose gods which are not gods, in a land that is ostensibly theirs but which they cannot fully possess. It is an account of people who gradually but inexorably lose direction, conscience and humanity. Judges is a bridge of nothing that spans two somethings – theocracy (or hierocracy) and monarchy. It is the dark night between two days,… Read more

April 2015

£205 – £345

Biblical Study Break: The Bible and Christian Ethics

Mon 27 April 2015, 1:00 pm to Thu 30 April 2015, 2:00 pm
Questions about what it means to be human and how to live well are as acute now as they have ever been. For most Christians, the Bible is a fundamental source of moral guidance. But what kind of guidance does the Bible offer, given that it was written in a world so different from our own? How is it to be interpreted, given that some of the issues we face today were unthinkable in biblical times? How should we deal… Read more

July 2015

£380 – £630

New Testament Greek in a Week

Mon 27 July 2015, 9:15 am to Sat 1 August 2015, 3:30 pm
To read the New Testament in the language of the Apostles is to discover the text afresh, unencumbered by the expectations of translation. The Greek of the New Testament is distant from today’s English both linguistically and culturally. The poetry and prose of the original texts speak of long vanished empires, the abuse of power and the plight of the poor and disadvantaged. To encounter the text in its original language is to step into a world of priests and kings,… Read more

November 2015

£215 – £365

Biblical Study Break: The Gospel of Luke the Physician

Mon 2 November 2015, 1:00 pm to Thu 5 November 2015, 2:00 pm
“Luke creates a symbolic universe which orders history in such a way as to provide a past, present and future for his Christian contemporaries. He links them with their predecessors and successors in a meaningful totality” (Philip Esler). Luke’s Gospel places the story of Jesus within a grand narrative of Christian origins rooted in the Jewish scriptures. In this study week we shall explore the structure and wider themes of the Gospel within its canonical framework as a foundation document… Read more

February 2016

£215 – £365

The Book of Ruth

Mon 8 February 2016, 1:00 pm to Thu 11 February 2016, 2:00 pm
Ruth is the story of the ancestry of David and Jesus that starts when the ‘house of bread’ (Bethlehem) has run out of bread. Off to a bad start hindsight might not be all there is to this tale. Is this an agricultural idyll or a brutal tragedy? Is this an example of feminist liberation or patriarchal oppression? Is this a tale of ancestry begetting and begotten or a theology of redemption? Should we wonder about the ethics of immigration… Read more

May 2016

Promises and Problems: The Bible and the Holy Land Today

Mon 9 May 2016, 1:00 pm to Thu 12 May 2016, 2:00 pm
Starting from a discussion of some of the concerns raised by the realities of the Middle East, the Holy Land and Jerusalem today, this Bible study break will explore what resources the Bible can offer to engage with them. It will also acknowledge that certain readings of the biblical material have clearly contributed to current tensions and difficulties. A selection of texts from different parts of the Bible, both Old Testament and New Testament, will be explored in some detail… Read more

July 2016

Reading Scripture Together: Great Grandmothers of Jesus (Part One)

Thu 7 July 2016, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Why does Matthew mention four women in his genealogy of Jesus? What do those four women tell us about who Jesus is and how we can follow him? These are questions we want to explore in these two days. In this first day we explore the stories of Tamar in Genesis 38 and Bathsheba (or ‘the wife of Uria’ – as Matthew calls her) in 2 Sam. 11:1-12:24. These stories are intriguing in more ways than one. We do not only… Read more

New Testament Greek in a Week

Mon 25 July 2016, 9:15 am to Sat 30 July 2016, 3:30 pm
To read the New Testament in the language of the Apostles is to discover the text afresh, unencumbered by the expectations of translation. The Greek of the New Testament is distant from today’s English both linguistically and culturally. The poetry and prose of the original texts speak of long-vanished empires, the abuse of power and the plight of the poor and disadvantaged. To encounter the text in its original language is to step into a world of priests and kings, wandering… Read more

November 2016

Biblical Study Break: Revisiting the Riddles of the Gospel of Matthew

Mon 7 November 2016, 12:45 pm to Thu 10 November 2016, 2:00 pm
A gospel that can scale the heights of theological wisdom and at the same time seem to descend to a low level of judgmental bitterness in its treatment of Jews and Judaism has to pose challenges for all who make it the focus of a year’s reflection and worship. No shunner of controversy with Jews or, for that matter, Christians of an alternative outlook, Matthew invites us once again to understand and make up our own minds about his convictions… Read more

April 2017

Biblical Study Break: Resurrection

Mon 3 April 2017, 1:00 pm to Thu 6 April 2017, 2:00 pm
Interpreting the resurrection of Jesus is a task at the cutting edge of Christian theology: the publication of scholarly and popular literature on the subject continues unabated. Given contemporary cultural and intellectual shifts, there are signs that old ways of thinking are breaking down and new ones are taking their place. While concern with ‘what actually happened’ remains vital, the focus has expanded to include other ways of discerning the truth or otherwise of the resurrection. Included in these developments… Read more

November 2017

Biblical Study Break: Song of Songs

Mon 6 November 2017, 1:00 pm to Thu 9 November 2017, 2:00 pm
What an extraordinary book the Song of Songs is – wedged between Ecclesiastes and Isaiah! On the surface it seems so effortlessly sexual and erotic, and yet it also embraces our deepest human and spiritual longings. How can this happen? How can it span these supposedly separate worlds? In order to get to grips with this beautiful book, we will begin by reading it as an Old Testament Hebrew and Jewish text. Engaging in detailed study of the text, we… Read more

February 2018

Biblical Study Break: Creation, Christian Faith and a Precious World

Mon 5 February 2018, 1:00 pm to Thu 8 February 2018, 2:00 pm
This study break offers a unique opportunity to explore what the Bible and Christian theology has to say about God’s creation and discuss how this relates to today’s scientific understanding. How did the world get to be the way that it is? Why is the earth habitable and what is our place within it? Does the Bible contradict scientific accounts of beginnings? In what ways have we damaged the planet? What do we need to do? The sessions will focus… Read more

May 2018

Biblical Study Break: The Bible and Spirituality

Tue 8 May 2018, 1:00 pm to Fri 11 May 2018, 2:00 pm
This Biblical Study Break will look at how the Bible nurtures spirituality. We will explore biblical texts that develop our understanding of spirituality; look at different ways of experiencing the Bible (e.g. through Benedictine lectio divina, or Ignatian meditation) and consider radical readings, such as those of St Francis or liberation theology. Contact Alison Ogden for all booking enquiries aogden@sarum.ac.uk  |  01722 424826  |  01722 424800 (main reception) Read more

November 2018

Biblical Study Break: Love the Stranger – Migration, the Bible and our Societies

Mon 5 November 2018, 1:00 pm to Thu 8 November 2018, 2:00 pm
This study addresses one of the most important issues that the United Kingdom and, indeed, the wider global population must deal with today: migration. What is not widely known, either within faith communities or in culture more broadly, is that the Bible speaks extensively about migration. As a result of following this course, participants will be encouraged to explore what practical and positive steps they might take to deal with the issues related to migration that we face today in… Read more

May 2019

Biblical Study Break: The World of Jesus – Archaeology, Geography and Texts

Mon 20 May 2019, 1:00 pm to Thu 23 May 2019, 2:00 pm
This Biblical Study Break is an immersion into the world of Jesus through archaeology, geography and New Testament texts. It will begin by exploring the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (the temples of Solomon and Herod) and the significance of the temple in ancient Judaism. It will then look at related texts and the importance of the temple for understanding Jesus in the New Testament. Other locations such as Bethlehem, Bethsaida, Nazareth and Caesarea Philippi will then be explored with a… Read more

November 2019

Biblical Study Break: Digging into Isaiah 40-66

Mon 4 November 2019, 1:00 pm to Thu 7 November 2019, 2:00 pm
These courses offer a sustained study of a single biblical book or biblical topic led by emerging and eminent scholars who bring fresh perspectives to the study of scripture. For more information surrounding the Biblical Study Breaks in general, check page 38 of our Programme. This course will offer the opportunity to read all the text of these 27 lyrical, carefully-edited chapters, which are much-quoted in the New Testament. We will look at the famous Servant Songs, and consider the… Read more

February 2020

Biblical Study Break: Sacrifice and Salvation: The Epistle to the Hebrews

Mon 10 February 2020, 1:00 pm to Thu 13 February 2020, 2:00 pm
The biblical concept of sacrifice is an essential component in understanding the significance of Jesus’s death and resurrection in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Sacrifice is no longer part of our world: we find the whole idea alien and repulsive. And yet the sacrifice is fundamental to the human imagination, especially to the relationship between earth and heaven, between humanity and the divine. Sacrifice is one of the basic concepts adopted by the early Christians to understand the significance of… Read more

May 2020

Biblical Study Break: Biblical Models for Conflict Transformation

Mon 11 May 2020, 1:00 pm to Thu 14 May 2020, 2:00 pm
Jesus said ‘Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God’ (Matthew 5:9). Today the phrase “conflict transformation” has been used to describe the various processes whereby people and nations seek to establish constructive and positive dynamics and institutions in their communities in place of the destruction and sorrow of war and civil strife. Conflict transformation includes the work of confronting evil nonviolently, establishing justice, negotiating agreements, peace-building and forging reconciliation. This participative, experimental course will… Read more

November 2020

Biblical Study Break: Minor Prophets in the Hebrew Bible

Mon 2 November 2020, 1:00 pm to Thu 5 November 2020, 2:00 pm
This course will consider historical contexts and theological concepts in minor prophetic literature There will be a focus on Amos, Jonah, Zephaniah and Malachi in particular, as well as considerations of the reception of minor prophets in ancient religious literature more broadly. Minor prophetic literature is an understudied and often misunderstood genre of the Hebrew Bible. What did Amos intend to accomplish with his rousing, politically-laden speeches? Why did Jonah disobey God’s command? What does Zephaniah understand justice and love… Read more
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