The Institute for Bible, Theology and Hermeneutics seeks to overcome fragmentation within the field of Divinity. It promotes intra-disciplinary conversation between Biblical Studies, Theology, Hermeneutics, and the Reception of scripture. In this way, it strives for a more integrated discipline competent to engage in inter-disciplinary research. With the study of general hermeneutical theory and practice at its centre, it is outward-looking and keen to engage with issues arising from the contemporary world, even as it seeks to learn from and enrich our understanding of past encounters with scripture.
Although the germ went back as far as the Seminar run by Chris Seitz and the conferences initiated by Richard Bauckham in the early 2000s, the Institute for Bible, Theology & Hermeneutics was established in 2009 to give formal identity to that long-standing project of research into Scripture and Theology associated with the work at St Mary’s School of Divinity. It took significant shape under the direction of Professor Mark Elliott, between 2009 and 2018. The Institue is currently co-directed by Dr William Tooman and Dr T.J. Lang.
Through its research and the Institute for Bible, Theology and Hermeneutics has aimed to look at the living text within communities of interpretation, then and now, showing how canonical scripture works to shape as well as fit interpretive communities.
The emphases over the last few years have been: patristic, medieval and Reformation biblical interpretation; the bible and moral theology; ecumenical biblical theology.