The Establishment of Constantinian ‘Christendom’ in Europe & Decline of the Roman Empire in Britain, c. AD 210-410:

The Growth of Christianity under Persecution, c. 180-260: The Roman Empire bequeathed by Marcus Aurelius in AD 180 was recognisably the same state as that created by Augustus in the previous century. After two more centuries, however, it had been transformed by the triumph of barbarism and Christianity. The key changes had been the extensionContinue reading “The Establishment of Constantinian ‘Christendom’ in Europe & Decline of the Roman Empire in Britain, c. AD 210-410:”

Good King Lucius & The Establishment of Christianity in Britain: War, Economy & Religion, c. AD 60 – c. AD 210

The Christian Faith, Native Religious Traditions & Society: In the first and second centuries AD, the Christian faith spread very widely among the the poor and the slaves, to whom Christ’s teaching offered new hope and comfort. Excellent new communications by land and sea, and the movement of Roman troops, assisted the spread of theContinue reading “Good King Lucius & The Establishment of Christianity in Britain: War, Economy & Religion, c. AD 60 – c. AD 210”

Paul’s Mission to ‘The Farthest Limits of the West’ – Did the Apostle Visit Britain? The Roman Conquest & Religion, AD 43-63

‘And did those feet …?’ – Glastonbury Myths: When I moved out of my grandparents’ house (which I bought from my mother) in Coventry in 1991, I discovered a copy of George F. Jowett’s popular book on her old rotating bookshelf, where it had sat for thirty years. The Arthurian legends had always fascinated me,Continue reading “Paul’s Mission to ‘The Farthest Limits of the West’ – Did the Apostle Visit Britain? The Roman Conquest & Religion, AD 43-63”

The Radical Messiah and The Politics of Love in the Bible: Part 2 – Christianity, Church and Society over two Millennia.

‘The Farthest Limits of the West’: I will always remember my first visit to Bangor, North Wales (originally the furthest western outpost of the Roman Empire), to attend an interview for a university place in Biblical Studies and History. It was a long journey by train from Birmingham, where I grew up as the sonContinue reading “The Radical Messiah and The Politics of Love in the Bible: Part 2 – Christianity, Church and Society over two Millennia.”

The Radical Messiah and the Politics of Love in the Bible: Part 1 – from Kings to Apostles.

Revisiting the Story of Israel – “the Children of Abraham”: The Bible is about the story of Israel, and of the new Israel which is the Christian Church. Christianity was nurtured in the cradle of Judaism, and the ministry of Jesus cannot be properly understood apart from the political situation of the first century A.D.Continue reading “The Radical Messiah and the Politics of Love in the Bible: Part 1 – from Kings to Apostles.”

The Bible as Action Manual: Radical Reflections on Siding with the Poor.

Liberation Stories: The focus of The Radical Bible, published in 1972, was social justice and ‘The Third World’ as it was then known, meaning the poor and powerless peoples of the earth, most of whom live in Asia, Africa and Latin America. This is not to say that justice is all the Bible is concernedContinue reading “The Bible as Action Manual: Radical Reflections on Siding with the Poor.”

Mythical Hymns of Creation: The Radical Story of Genesis and the Covenants of the Bible.

The Very Root and Origin of All Creation: According to dictionary definitions of ‘radical’, from the Latin radicalis, for ‘having roots’ or ‘proceeding from the root’ and meaning ‘fundamental; reaching to the centre or ultimate source’. The twentieth-century philosopher Raymond Williams wrote, in his 1976 publication Keywords, that ‘radical’ had been used as an adjectiveContinue reading “Mythical Hymns of Creation: The Radical Story of Genesis and the Covenants of the Bible.”

‘Something About Jesus’ – The Judaean Ministry and His ‘Last Week’: Gospel Stories.

The Servant King: Jesus’s close friends and followers from Galilee had great difficulty in getting out of their heads the widespread Jewish conviction that God’s chosen leader when he came would establish some kind of national kingdom, with a king and government. They had grown up with this idea, as Jesus himself had done, andContinue reading “‘Something About Jesus’ – The Judaean Ministry and His ‘Last Week’: Gospel Stories.”

Jesus as Story-teller and Poet: The Authenticity and Urgency of His Message.

Narratives from Nazareth: Jesus put what he had to say into stories. As Alan T Dale wrote in his Portrait of Jesus, he must always have have loved telling stories, even in his boyhood: Evening meals in Nazareth must have been hilarious times, and people must often have dropped into the builder’s yard for moreContinue reading “Jesus as Story-teller and Poet: The Authenticity and Urgency of His Message.”

Christmas to Candlemas: The History of the Gospel Narratives of the Incarnation, Nativity and Epiphany.

Have you taken down your Christmas tree yet? For many people, the ‘Twelfth Night’ of Christmas, the Eve of Epiphany, is the time to remove the decorations, but this is perhaps more of a pagan custom, or superstition, than a tradition that has its origins in the Christian faith. The ‘Christmas Season’: Traditionally, the ‘ChristmasContinue reading “Christmas to Candlemas: The History of the Gospel Narratives of the Incarnation, Nativity and Epiphany.”