On November 16, Shepherds Theological Seminary graduate (’12 MACM and ’15 MDiv) and CRBMI contributor published his PhD dissertation. The work, entitled Remembering the Unexperienced: Cultural Memory, Canon Consciousness, and the Book of Deuteronomy, was jointly published by Bonn University Press and V&R unipress and appears in the monograph series Bonner Biblische Beiträge.
According to the V&R website, “The book argues that a helpful framework within which to interpret the paraenesis of Deuteronomy 4:1–40 can be constructed through interaction with the cultural memory interests of German Egyptologist Jan Assmann and the canonical approach of U.S. biblical theologian Brevard Childs. By bringing Assmann’s cultural memory concerns to bear on the world within the text, Deuteronomy is brought into fruitful contact with questions from the field of sociology; by asking these questions in interaction with the theologically rich formulation of canon offered by Childs’s canonical approach, Deuteronomy is interpreted as an authoritative witness to God for contemporary communities of faith. As a result of this reading strategy the communal and trans-generational nature of covenant stands out. This emphasis, in turn, influences the way Horeb is remembered by later generations and how that memory is transmitted from one generation to the next through ritual practice and the text of Scripture.”
The cover art is provided by Israeli artist Darius Gilmont and is taken from his piece Moses and the Fire of Sinai. The contemporary representation of Moses reflects the thesis of the book: that Sinai remains relevant for contemporary communities of faith despite the antiquity of the event.
Stephen is a 2019 graduate of Durham University where he earned an MA and a PhD in theology under R.W.L. Moberly. He is now living in Bonn Germany where he works and serves in a dual role. He is pastor the International Baptist Church of Bonn and is also the Academic Director of Aquila Initiative, a non-profit organization that is working to train marketplace missionaries and church planters for Europe.
His current projects include the editing of three different books. He is also beginning to gather notes for further book projects. One particularly exciting book project on his radar takes the insights he gained from his PhD research and attempts to address the importance of an intentional and self-aware use of liturgy and ritual within the family and local church.