Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What's Become of Scotland?

For the last 5 - 10 years, maybe more, Aberdeen has been the place to do Biblical Studies, particularly at the Post Grad level. There NT department in recent years, in particular, has been one of their strong suits. Much discussion has taken place in the blogosphere in the last year or suggesting that Scotland was replacing the "Oxbridge" axis as the place to do biblical and theological studies, with leading scholars like Bauckham and Longenecker at St. Andrews, Hurtado at Edinburough and Marshall, Clarke, Watson, Gathercole and Williams at Aberdeen. Yet with Bauckham stepping down next year and the impending exodus from Aberdeen, things may be tilting bank towards cheery ole England. With Gathercole and Williams going to Cambridge and Watson heading to Durham, it will be interesting to see who the replacements are. In fact, Marshall is already an emeritus professor, so it is open to speculation as to how long it will be before he retires.

I'm always curious about the events that transpire behind the scenes of such transitions. If you haven't heard the story about how Grudem ended up leaving TEDS for Phoenix, you should listen to his audio interview at 9 Marks; it's fascinating...and probably not what you'd expect.


chris bruno said...

No kidding. I don't know how they are going to keep the doors open in the NT department at Aberdeen! I guess I am glad it happened before I actually got over there. I am still accepted there and haven't officially told them no, but they only have one guy left who could supervise after next year!

P J Williams said...

Replacement appointments in Aberdeen should be public knowledge within the week. Some good news here. I think it's now official that St A's has retained Macaskill (wise move), so I'm not as pessimistic about Scotland as others might be.

Pete Williams

Nate Mihelis said...

Bruno, I know the feeling. Pete, thanks for the heads up. I was wondering how soon replacements would be in. I hadn't heard about Macaskill, but it still seems like Cambridge and Durham will be hard to beat.

Mark McD. said...

Fear not, ye of little faith, the North East shall rise! Well, maybe... Aberdeen has made some astute Lectureship appointments and is actively looking to appoint a professorial chair in New Testament. Here are the lectureships:

Dr Jutta Leonhardt-Balzer (beginning September 2007)
Dr Tomas Bokedal (beginning September 2007)
Jane Heath (beginning September 2008)

Nate Mihelis said...

Thanks for the heads up Mark. Not familiar with the lecturers, but then as a typical american, I'm not as familiar with UK scholars. I'm looking forward to hearing of the chair appointment, I've also been wondering if they'd try to woo Mike Bird (one of the sweet guys of scotland I failed to mention previously). Of course, Webster is still the man too, so all hope is not lost :-)