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The Armies of Gog, the Merchants of Tarshish, and the British Empire

You and your students are cordially invited to a lecture by British Hebrew Bible scholar Andrew Mein, Westcott House, Cambridge, on Wednesday, January 23 at 5:00 pm. The lecture will be held in Beasley 206. Andrew is a close colleague of mine and is a leader in the new area of biblical studies that we call reception history, that is, the study the popular use and influence of the Bible in different cultural contexts after the ancient period. He is currently writing a commentary on the book of Ezekiel for a Wiley Blackwell series, The Bible Through the Centuries.




Here’s a warm-up on the lecture:




The Armies of Gog, the Merchants of Tarshish, and the British Empire




The mysterious and terrifying figure of Gog in Ezekiel 38-39 has long offered a rich resource for millenarian speculation. Successive generations of Christian interpreters have identified Gog with the most pressing enemy of the moment, from fifth-century Goths to sixteenth- century Turks to twentieth-century Soviets. In the contemporary world such identifications are more often associated with American fundamentalism than with British imperialism, yet at the height of the British Empire, Gog and his armies were often pressed into service by British preachers and pamphleteers. As the various political crises of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries progressed, Gog might represent Napoleon, or the Russian Empire, or the Kaiser. While these millenarian readings were never official (or even very mainstream), many of their writers and readers belonged to the Church or military establishments, and their pamphlets were often popular enough to be printed in their thousands. Moreover, a fascinating thread within this work is a process of interpretation by which increasingly the hero of the piece is not the all-powerful God of Ezekiel, but God’s proxy, the British Empire. The lecture will include discussion of the culture of apocalyptic writing in mid-century with reference to George Eliot (who wrote a scathing article about one of the pamphleteers) and some reflection on the consumption of this kind of writing.


The Language of Cross-Cultural Ministry

The Language of Cross-Cultural Ministry

Donation Box Drive for Juliet Fowler Home- (Sponsored by BSA)

Hello fellow Brite Sojourners!

As we begin to barrel forward to the end of the semester, I know there is much weighing on our minds; school, work, families, and much more begin to form a hectic schedule. Here at the fulcrum of our semester, BSA wants to take an opportunity to invite you to participate in a way to give back.

As you’ll see in the  ATTACHED POSTER BELOW, we are looking to give back to those who are in need. Up until the week of Finals, you should be able to find a box in Weatherly Hall that provides a place for you to place items in that will be donated to Juliet Fowler Homes. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to remember those in need and for us to give to a community.  I know you’ll join me otherwise in praying for this community and those all over the world who are in need of God’s presence and in need for the physical things that we so often take for granted in having ourselves.

May this greet you warmly as we enter into a colder winter season!

Blessings to you and yours,

Jonathan Brink, BSA Moderator

Fall Box Drive

What is Church? It may be different than you think.

Student scholarships are available on a first come, first serve basis for the following conference:

What is Church?  It may be different than you think.

December 7-8, 2012
at Brite Divinity School (Friday) and TCU BLUU (Saturday)

Featured Speakers (Saturday, December 8)


Brian McLaren, Author, speaker, activist and Theologian in Residence at Life In The Trinity Ministry

Suzanne Stabile, Internationally renowned Enneagram teacher, retreat director and co-founder of Life in the Trinity Ministry

Ian Morgan Cron, Author, retreat leader, counselor, theologian

Enuma Okoro, Award-winning writer, speaker and spiritual director

Pre-Conference Workshops (Friday, December 7)
1. Enneagram: Know Your Number – Suzanne Stabile
2. Worship Leaders & Songwriters Workshop – Brian McLaren
3. Fundraising & Finance for Church and Nonprofit Leaders – Business and Financial Leaders
4. The Awakened Heart: The Goal, Hope and Future of Religion – Msgr. Donald Fischer, retired, St. Joseph Parish

For more information go to News and Events on the Brite website.


A limited number of scholarships are available on a first come basis for Brite and TCU students to attend both the conference and pre-conference workshop for $35 (or conference only for $10).  To apply for a scholarship contact Eilene Theilig (Moore building, room 21; 817-257-7582; or   Send me your name, contact information and which workshop you would like to attend by November 27.

Our Brains … and Our Faiths

Our Brains … and Our Faiths

Saturday, November 17  (9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.)

Ralph Mecklenburger, Rabbi, Beth-El Congregation, Fort Worth

Presented by:  Stalcup School of Theology for the Laity, Brite Divinity School

Northway Christian Church, 7202 W. Northwest Hwy., Dallas, TX


Recent scientific research on the way the brain functions has revolutionized more than clinical psychology and medicine.  Our brains do not simply process information, they construct our reality and construe its meaning.  This has dramatic implications not only for medicine, but for education, investments, the arts … and religion.  Even as this concept might entail rethinking some classic religious doctrines it buttresses others and underlines the importance of religious faith and community.  Though he writes and speaks as a Rabbi, the way the brain functions is a universal, and after teaching Jewish-Christian Dialogue for many years at Brite Divinity School he seeks to address Christian as well as Jewish religious concerns.  This seminar will focus particularly on spirituality, free will and morality.


Ralph Mecklenburger has long served as adjunct faculty at Brite Divinity School.  His path-breaking new book, Our Religious Brains, was jointly published this year by a Jewish and a Christian imprint.  He earned a BA from the University of Cincinnati, and holds earned degrees and an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati.  He has been President of the Southwest Association of Reform Rabbis, has co-chaired the Jewish-Christian Forum of the Texas Conference of Churches, and serves on the national Union for Reform Judaism’s Commission on Worship, Music and Religious Living.


Student registration is $5 and includes a light lunch.  To register see Sandy Brandon in MOR 20.

APSA (Advanced Program Student Association

APSA (Advanced Program Student Association — for PhD, ThM, and DMin students) is hosting a Brown Bag (bring your own) lunch discussion

Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 12noon
Room TBD (to be determined later)

Topic: “Getting Published and Presenting Academic Papers”
Speaker: Dr. Coleman Baker (recent Brite PhD graduate and published author)

Contact Ron Serino, Jon Reeves, or Josh Toulouse

Cross Purposes: Reading and Living the Gospels in the Roman Empire

Cross Purposes: Reading and Living the Gospels in the Roman Empire

Saturday, November 3 (9:00 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.)

Warren Carter, Professor of New Testament, Brite Divinity School

Presented by:  Stalcup School of Theology for the Laity, Brite Divinity School

First Christian Church, 4202 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler            , TX


How do our New Testament Gospels help early Christians as followers of one crucified by Rome but raised by God negotiate the Roman empire on a daily basis? There is no evidence for empire-wide, state-instigated persecution of Christians in the first-century though there were some local hostilities. Rather, the New Testament Gospels exhibit a range of strategies by which followers of Jesus made their way in Rome’s world including accommodation, self-protective resistance, fantasies of revenge and destruction, imitation, and alternative social experiences. Interwoven throughout is the very pressing question: how do contemporary followers of Jesus negotiate contemporary forms of empire?


Warren Carter’s scholarly work has focused on the gospels of Matthew and John, particularly on the issue of the ways in which early Christians negotiated the Roman empire. In addition to numerous scholarly articles, he is the author of ten books including Matthew and the Margins (2000), Matthew and Empire (2001), The Roman Empire and the New Testament (2006), John and Empire (2008), and What Does Revelation Reveal? (2011). He has also contributed to numerous church resources and publications such as contributing 15 studies on Matthew in The Pastors Bible Study Vol 1 (2004). He is a frequent speaker at scholarly and ecclesial conferences.


Student registration is $5 and includes a light lunch.  To register see Sandy Brandon in MOR 20.