Today Eduard and I woke up a bit late having the rush out the door in hopes to make it to the first session that started at 9am. We made it on time but the room was completely packed offering no seating other some uncomfortable stairs. We decided to forgo the first half of the session and check out the book stalls. After reaffirming my opinion that academic publishing was something akin to the inflated prices of prescription drugs in the USA, we went outside and ran into William Campbell of Univ. of Wales.(http://www.trinitysaintdavid.ac.uk/en/schooloftheologyreligiousstudiesandislamicstudies/staff/drbillcampbell/)
At one point Eduard was thinking about studying with Dr. Campbell before coming to Aberdeen, which had established a connection that lead to an inpromtue conversation out in the parking lot. I was struck by Dr. Campbell’s passion for the success of future scholars (like Eduard and I) and the unrequested but much appreciated advice that he offered us. He told us we needed to be true to our calling to glorify Jesus in our work. He also told us not to be intimidated by our supervisor’s own opinions and not be worried about disagreeing with him on points. He told us to make sure we interacted with opposing points and make sure we mentioned them in citations but not let them intimidate us. Basically he was exhorting us to believe in ourselves; that our well thought through ideas are worthy to be explore just as much as any other scholar (even the world famous ones). It was an succinct but overwhelmingly encouraging conversation.
The day continued with a few seminars honoring Richard Bauckham, a prolific writer and scholar. We worked it out that he probably publishes on average one serious monograph a year, not including his many conference presentations. These are no mere books read by only a few people. My illustrious friend Mickey Klink, John scholar and all in a a pretty cool guy, called them “paradigm changing” books biblical scholarship. I agree (but the again I wouldn’t argue with Mickey because he is a very large man:)).
Later we listened to a panel discussing N.T. Wright’s new 1600 or so page monograph on Paul. It was interesting to hear the differing opinions offered, some more graceful than others. I am excited to read it when if finally comes out in October (as confirmed by the publishers present). It is supposed to be Wright’s definitive work on Paul so it will cross over with my thesis in several areas (hopefully). You have to respect a scholar so prestigious that he can use the colloquial phrase “sqauage it up into a bunch” twice during his presentation and get away with it.
Eduard and I ate dinner at a great little hole in the wall place called Le Rendezvous. It had very tasty homemade pizzas at about half the price of other more popular franchise restaurants. I had The Beast, a conglomeration of meat products including Salami, Pepperoni, Chicken, Sausage, and Ham. It was amazing and very filling.
We ended the night by meeting up with one of my fellow NT scholars at UoAberdeen, Joseph Lear, and his wife Holly for some Ice Cream at another local place called Jeanette’s. I had a scoop of Scottish Tablet flavored. It was pretty fantastic. Joseph’s brother in-law Ronald, a PhD candidate from South Africa, treated us all and for that I am very grateful. We all had fun sitting around talking for a while. Afterwards, filled with great pizza and tastes ice cream, I basically waddled back to the house while talking to the boys on the cell phone. I fell asleep with a full stomach and mind saturated with scholarship.