St Mary’s Professor receives British Academy / Leverhulme award for Early Christianity research

Professor Chris Keith, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham has been awarded a British Academy/Leverhulme Grant to work with colleagues from the University of Edinburgh and Humboldt Universität zu Berlin towards a three-volume reference work on the reception of the Jesus tradition in the first three centuries of Christianity.

The grant has been awarded to facilitate a planning year, which will lead to this major collaborative project. The research aims to standardise treatment of the reception-history of Jesus traditions in textual and visual cultures. Prof Keith is the principal investigator for the project, with co-investigators Dr Helen K Bond (University of Edinburgh) and Prof Dr Jens Schröter (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin).

The volume will include receptions of Jesus tradition in gospel literature (canonical and non-canonical), apocryphal texts, other early Christian texts, and material culture. The planned larger project is multi-phased and aimed toward both scholarly and popular audiences.  It will include funds for postgraduate students, a companion website, a museum display of ancient manuscripts and a documentary on “Jesus before the Creeds”.

Prof Keith has recently launched the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible at St Mary’s. The Centre aims to advance research in Biblical Studies and the social sciences, aiding St Mary’s goals of becoming an international leader in critical study of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures.

Prof Keith commented, “This British Academy/Leverhulme grant for a planning year is an important step toward this significant project. I am fortunate to be working with two of the world’s leading scholars in Gospels studies, and we look forward to inviting PhD students to work alongside us in the future. This entire project means that the future of Biblical Studies at St Mary’s University College is very bright.”

For further details please visit the St Mary’s website: