Report on of the August Melbourne Symposium
Mary Coloe Appointed Vice-President of FBS
2016 FBS National Conference
August Sydney Meeting
Vale FBS Member Dr Rod Doyle CFC
Dr Rachelle Gilmour To Assist Sydney FBS Coordinator
2017 Australian Biblical Review Rates Unchanged
Report on June Melbourne Symposium
May Sydney Meeting
March Melbourne Symposium
FBS Member Achievements for 2015
2015 Annual General Meeting and 2016 Events
Submitting FBS News Items or Comments
Current issue of
Australian Biblical Review
News and Coming Events

Report on the August Melbourne Symposium

The August symposium of the Fellowship for Biblical Studies in Melbourne was held on Thursday, 25 August 2016 at Queen’s College with a paper titled: Wisdom, Where Can She Be Found? Following the Way of Ancient Scientists, given by Norman Habel as a Powerpoint presentation in an interactive ‘discussion’ with those attending.
Abtract: There has long been a tradition that has identified Wisdom as a capacity of God or astute humans. In Proverbs humans are encouraged to ‘acquire wisdom.’ There is, however, another tradition among the wise, the scientists of the ancient world, that Wisdom is a factor in creation, a factor sometimes identified as the‘'way’ of a given phenomenon of nature, whether that be an ant or eagle, a thunderstorm or a fleecy cloud.

In this study I shall explore Wisdom as a force of nature, an innate life-force and a primal blueprint. We begin with Job 28 where God is introduced as a model scientist/sage who discovers Wisdom in nature. We explore how Wisdom functions as an innate force in living creatures. We are surprised when God ‘acquires’ Wisdom. And, if we have time, we might even join Job on his eco-tour of the cosmos with God as his tour guide.
Bio: Norman Habel is a professorial fellow at Flinders University. He obtained his ThD in 1962 and taught Old Testament for 14 years at Concordia Seminary St Louis. He then established the first Religion Studies Dept in Australia at Adelaide CAE which later became UniSA. From 1984–87 he was principal of an International School in South India.

He is well known for his writings and research in Hebrew Scriptures, his commentary on The Book of Job, the initiation of The Season of Creation, and his work in ecological hermeneutics, including The Earth Bible and The Earth Bible Commentary Series, two of which he has written: An Ecological Reading of Genesis 1–11, and An Eco-wisdom Reading of Job. A recent Festschrift in his honour was entitled: Where the Wild Ox Roams.
The final meeting in Melbourne for 2016 will be the Annual General Meeting on 3 November, with Dr Chris Monaghan CP (President of YTU) giving the Presidential Address), also at Queen’s College.

Mary Coloe Appointed Vice-President of FBS

Mary Coloe, who had to step down as FBS President and as a member of the Executive early in 2016, has now become available again, and the Executive has appointed her as Vice-President for the remainder of the year. Chris Monaghan remains as President.

2016 FBS National Conference Update

The 2016 National FBS Conference will be held Monday and Tuesday, 26–27 September 2016, at Yarra Theological Union, 34 Bedford Street, Box Hill. The keynote speaker will be Matthias Henze, Professor of Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism at Rice University, Houston, Texas.

A copy of the Program for the conference can now be downloaded from here. Enquiries should be directed to Chris Monaghan. The cost of the conference is $100, which includes lunches. Registration with payment should be made to the Treasurer, Brian Incigneri, by 26 August, accompanied by a completed Registration Form.

August Sydney Meeting

The next FBS Sydney event was held on Friday, 19 August, with a special international guest speaker, Dr Iain Provan, Marshall Sheppard Professor of Biblical Studies at Regent College, Canada. The topic for his talk was: “Pain in Childbirth? Further Thoughts on ‘An Attractive Fragment’ (1 Chronicles 4:9–10).”

Vale FBS Member Dr Rod Doyle CFC

Very Rev. Assoc. Prof. Shane Mackinlay has advised the following: “Dr Rod Doyle CFC died peacefully on 1 August in St Catherine’s home, where he had been living for some time. Rod commenced at Catholic Theological College in 1984 and has served the College with great devotion, generosity and humility since then. As well as twenty-two years as Academic Dean, he was a conscientious lecturer in biblical studies, where at times he single-handedly ensured the continuation of New Testament studies. He was appointed a Senior Fellow of the College in 2006.

After his retirement from lecturing, he continued to work at the College in supervising research students and assisting lecturers with advice and corrections, as well as his own research. Even in declining health over the last year or so, Rod ensured that he visited CTC regularly to update his displays in the Mannix Library, including the College’s collection of antique coins, which he curated with such care and attention.

We will miss Rod’s scholarship, friendship, generosity, eye for detail and quiet wit, as well as the living connection he provided to the earlier life of our building as Cathedral College, where he had taught in the 1960s. We pray that Rod now enjoys the reward of his faithful service.

The funeral arrangements for Dr Rod Doyle are: Vigil Prayers on Tuesday, 2 August at 7:30pm in the Treacy Centre, 126 The Avenue, Parkville; Requiem Mass on Wednesday, 3 August at 11.00am at St Damian’s Church, 5 Settlement Rd, Bundoora. Burial will follow the Mass at the Christian Brothers Cemetery, at the back of the Parade College property, followed by refreshments at Parade College.”

Dr Rod Doyle was a Life Member of FBS, that is, he had been a member for more than 35 years.

Dr Rachelle Gilmour To Assist Sydney FBS Coordinator

In 2009 the FBS Executive appointed Dr Ian Young as Coordinator of FBS events in NSW (especially Sydney). Now Dr Rachelle Gilmour has agreed to assist Ian, especially with mailing lists and coordinating activities. Rachelle can be contacted at Ian’s contact details are:

Dr Ian Young
Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies
School of Languages and Cultures
University of Sydney NSW 2006

2017 Australian Biblical Review Rates Unchanged

The subscription rates for the 2017 issue of Australian Biblical Review will remain the same as for 2016. The subscription rates for ABR have remained unchanged since 2011. Current subscription rates and postage can always be found on the main ABR page.

June Melbourne Symposium

The June symposium of the Fellowship for Biblical Studies in Melbourne was held on Thursday, 2 June 2016 at Queen’s College, followed by a paper titled: “The First Days of Jesus and the Role of the Disciples. A Study of John 1:19–51,” by Revd Prof. Frank Moloney, Director, Centre for Biblical and Early Christian Literature, ACU.
Bio: Born in Moonee Ponds, Melbourne, Professor Francis J. Moloney joined the Salesians of Don Bosco in 1960, and was ordained a Priest in 1970. After studies and teaching experience in Melbourne, he spent 11 years in Europe where he completed degrees in Theology (Salesian Pontifical University), Biblical Studies (Pontifical Biblical Institute) and a D. Phil. at the University of Oxford. Since then he has taught in Europe, Israel, the USA, and in Australia. After a number of years at CTC, he was the Foundation Professor of Theology at Australian Catholic University (1994-98), Professor of New Testament and Dean of the School of Theology and Religion at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC (1999–2005), and the Provincial Superior of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Australia and the Pacific (2006-2011). He is currently a Senior Professorial Fellow at ACU, and Director of the Centre for Biblical and Early Christian Literature. He is the author of numerous books and articles, both scholarly and popular. His most recent books have been Love in the Gospel of John. An Exegetical, Theological, and Literary Study of the Gospel of John (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2013) and A Body Broken for a Broken People. Divorce, Remarriage, and the Eucharist (Melbourne: Garratt, 2015).
Abtract: The interpretation of John 1:19–51 seldom devotes detailed attention to the steady passing of “days” across the narrative. Most recently, Richard Bauckham (Gospel of Glory. Themes in Johannine Theology [2015]) has focused on them, arguing that 1:19–2:11 is the first of “two momemtous weeks,” the second being 12:1–20:31. The Gospel is “framed” by a “momentous week” at the beginning and another at the end. Commentators generally read the calling of the first disciples in a positive sense, as that is the tenor of all NT vocation narratives. Narrative critical criteria, however, direct the audience to a reading of 1:19–51 in the light of the Prologue (1:1–18). The witness of the Baptist (1:19–34) affirms the Prologue, while the response of the disciples (1:3551) falls short. Such a response is part of the overall narrative strategy. It opens the door to the rest of the Gospel. Greater faith will be required, so that the disciples will see “greater things.”
There was a very good attendance at this symposium and there were many questions and some valuable discussion following the delivery of the paper.

May Sydney Meeting

A meeting of the Fellowship for Biblical Studies, Sydney and NSW Branch, was held on Friday, 27 May, at Macquarie University.

Mark Smith spoke on “The Formation and Date of Judges 5” and Elizabeth Bloch-Smith will be talking on “Archaeological Insights into the Formation of Biblical Historical Narratives.”
March Melbourne Symposium

The first Melbourne gathering of the Fellowship for Biblical Studies for 2016 was held on Thursday, 17 March 2015 at Queen’s College. The paper, entitled “Exceeding and Exuding Life: Towards an Ethics of Life in the Gospel of John,” was delivered by Professor Ruben Zimmermann, Professor of New Testament, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität of Mainz.
FBS Member Achievements in 2015

The list of achievements by FBS members during 2015 is now online at the Achievements Page.

2015 Annual General Meeting and 2016 Events

The Annual General Meeting of FBS was held on Thursday, 5 November, at Queen’s College. After the AGM, a paper was delivered by our outgoing President, Dr Catherine Playoust, titled: “The Location of the Cloud of Witnesses: Complexities of Time and Space in Hebrews”.
The hearers of Hebrews are told in Heb 12:1 that as they run toward their heavenly goal they are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. These witnesses are evidently the people of faith who were described in the previous chapter, but their role in relation to the runners is not as clear as most recent scholarship implies. Moreover, the declaration is disconcerting from the perspective of the witnesses, who are neither peacefully asleep in the dust until the general resurrection nor settled safely in heaven. Their situation is no mere artefact of the phrasing, for the text states just beforehand that these people have not received what was promised to them, since their perfection will not take place apart from that of the hearers. Indeed, the awkward position in which the witnesses find themselves points to certain challenges of time and space that pervade the text.
Dr Catherine Playoust is a Lecturer at Catholic Theological College, University of Divinity, working in New Testament and related areas. She previously taught at Jesuit Theological College in the United Faculty of Theology. Catherine comes from Sydney and did her postgraduate studies in Boston, where she received an STL (WJST) and a ThD (Harvard). Her research interests include apocalyptic texts and the transformation of Jewish and Christian traditions in early Christian literature.

Good discussion followed. At the meeting, a vote of thanks was passed for the work of the outgoing President, Catherine Playoust, the outgoing Secretary, Keith Dyer and especially the outgoing NT Editor, Jamie McLaren, after his many years in the role. The following officers and members of the Executive were elected for 2016:

President:Mary Coloe PBVM
Vice-President:Chris Monaghan CP
Secretary:Merryl Blair
Treasurer:Brian Incigneri
ABR OT Editor:Anne Gardner
ABR NT EditorKeith Dyer
ABR Book Review Editor:Michael Theophilos
Committee Member:Mark O’Brien OP
Committee Member:Sunny Chen

The following dates for the 2016 FBS Melbourne Symposiums were announced:

March 17 (Speaker: Rubin Zimmermann, from Halle, Germany)
June 2 (Speaker: Frank Moloney)
August 25 (Speaker: Norm Habel, from Adelaide)
November 3 (AGM; Presidential Address by Mary Coloe).

The 2016 FBS Conference will be held in Melbourne on Monday–Tuesday, 26–27 September, at Yarra Theological College, Box Hill.

FBS News

Keep watching this page for news, or check out the Updates Page to see recent changes to the site.

News items or suggestions about the content of the site are welcome. Please email the Site Administrator, Brian Incigneri.