Centre for Biblical Literacy and Communication (CBLC)
What is CBLC?
The Centre For Biblical Literacy and Communication (CBLC) is a research community exploring the use and understanding of the Bible in contemporary society. The Centre is set within the World Heritage Site of Durham's medieval Cathedral and Castle and is an integral part of St John's College, Durham University. We have close links to the Department of Theology and Religion at the University.
Listen to the podcast of Radio 4's Sunday Programme on Biblical Literacy
CBLC will focus especially on:
- clarifying the present state of biblical literacy in the UK and 'western' culture in general
- exploring the interrelationship of biblical literacy and contemporary culture
- working with Bible agencies and other organisations internationally to explore the impact of biblical literacy as a global phenomenon
- providing a focus for inter-disciplinary dialogue and furthered academic conversation
- developing research or r&d projects which will enhance biblical literacy
- exploring the impact of decreasing biblical literacy on social cohesion, marginalisation or exclusion
- opening up research opportunities to explore biblical literacy in the UK and internationally
- assessing the impact of the digital environment on biblical literacy
- developing appropriate and contemporary ways of communicating the Bible and faith stories in a digital culture
- resourcing the Christian community to explore and enhance its own biblical literacy through research papers and journals, seminars, conferences and training courses
- seeking to extend the use of the Bible within the arts, digital communication and entertainment cultures
CBLC will work closely with others at St John's College and Durham University, especially its Department of Theology and Religion, recently ranked number one among the UK's Theology research departments
Director of Research: Revd Dr Peter Phillips
Peter Phillips gained a degree in Latin and Greek at University College, Aberystwyth before moving to Bristol to train as a Methodist Minister. While there he gained a PG Diploma in Theology and an MA in Biblical Studies from Bristol University. Having served for a number of years in a Methodist Circuit in the Midlands, Pete took up a teaching post at Cliff College in Derbyshire in 1995 and served as New Testament Tutor there for 13 years, also working on his PhD on the Prologue of John's Gospel from Sheffield University which he gained in 2004. Pete also served as Dean of Students and Director of Undergraduate Studies during his time at Cliff College - focussing especially on links between Cliff and its valdiating universities - Sheffield and then Manchester. Pete steered the College through two major validation projects.
An Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Manchester, in 2006 Pete gained a MEd in Teaching and Learning for Higher Education and became a Fellow of the Higher Education Teaching Academy in 2007.
Pete's research areas include Johannine Literature and he co-chairs the Johannine Literature section of the British New Testament Conference. Pete has also given papers at international conferences on John's Gospel and on postmodern interpretation. Another key research area is in Theology and Contemporary Culture and Pete is now exploring how this can be fused with an exploration of Biblical Literacy in a globalised environment increasingly denuded of its cultural heritage. As such, Pete has taken up the post of Director of Research for the new Centre for Biblical Literacy, which is seeking to map out the terrain for this merging field of enquiry.
Pete is married to Theresa and they have three children. Passionate about mission, the Bible and teaching, his interests also include postmodernism, theology and arts, film and football.