King's Evangelical Divinity School

26 April 2013

BMJA annual conference, London, 27 April

Tomorrow I'm speaking at the BRitish Messianic Jewish Alliance annual conference, which is being held at The Bridge Fellowship, Bridge Lane, Golders Green, London. It begins at 10.30 am and further details can be found on the BMJA website at

17 April 2013

Jerusalem in 1896

Yesterday I came across the piece of film below here, which is reputed to be the first moving picture of Jerusalem, dated 1896 (the sound track was added much later). 

I'm interested in 19th century photos and first-hand travel accounts of the land because, as someone who takes B.Th. students to Israel to examine (among other things) how topography contributes to a better understanding of some Bible texts, urbanisation has made topographical studies difficult and such pictures can sometimes help us picture Jerusalem's topography more easily.

The situation in the land prior to 1948 also gives valuable historical insight into the current conflict. The film shows Jewish people and Hebrew shop signs a year before the First Zionist Congress and only a few years after the start of the  First Aliyah (return of diaspora Jews to their homeland). This is long before the Holocaust (often cited by Israel's opponents as the cause of Western guilt which allowed an influx of Jews to displace the Arab indigenous population - in fact the evidence suggests the opposite is true, that Britain, for example, turned away Jewish refugees from Mandate Palestine). Meanwhile, and what many people don't realise, is that there has been a continuous Jewish presence in the land since the Babylonian exile almost 600 years before the birth of Christ. For anyone interested I commented several years ago on a very interesting book exploring the land before Zionism. It's well worth a read.

11 April 2013

Another Time, Another Life...

From L to R: Rachael Heyhoe Flint OBE DL (famous female cricketer, since ennobled); Rt. Hon. Margaret Thatcher MP, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Head of Her Majesty's Government; Maureen Hicks, Conservative MP for Wolverhampton North East; Calvin Smith (aged 23 then, I think... it's me, I promise), slim upstart with little education and grinning insanely. How things have changed (no longer slim, slightly better educated, but still grinning insanely!).

4 April 2013

Renewal in the Americas

Renewal across the Americas:
Pentecostal-Charismatic Movements in Latin America and among Latinas/os

I've been asked by one of the organisers of the above conference, which will be held at Regent University, Virginia (USA), to circulate details to our students. As some people read this blog because they have an interest in Latin American Protestantism/Pentecostalism I also thought I would post details here. I will likely attend and present a paper. 

The event features some very well-known academics in the field of Latin American Pentecostalism, and this conference is well-worth attending for anyone with an interest in the subject area, region, Pentecostal Studies more generally, and religion and culture. A conference volume is planned. Further details are available on the conference website.

I know the area and campus (which is impressive) and there is plenty to do in this area (Regent is not far from some of the most historic parts of the US, where early English settlers established themselves), so if anyone plans to go and make a holiday of it, it's a good spot to visit.