Practi[s]ing Biblical Literacy

Case Studies from the Sheffield Conference

With Nicky Hallett (University of Sheffield, UK), Carl Tighe (Derby University, UK), and José Luis Lopez Calle (Universidad Valladolid / Carlos III University, Madrid, Spain).

When and how does the Bible enter the classroom? In May 2011, the department of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield hosted a conference on the role of the Bible in secondary and higher education. This paper addresses the notion of biblical literacy, providing an account of the emergent practices discussed, with in-depth treatment of three case studies. The examples are drawn from the fields of English Literature, Economics, and Creative Writing. The different role of the Bible in education in North American and British contexts is also considered, and the article concludes with considerations for future collaboration.

Keywords: Biblical Literacy; Creative Writing; Economics; English Literature; Higher Education; King James Version; Religious Education; Secondary Education; Curriculum.

Published in:
Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts and Contemporary Worlds, 7.2 (2011) pp. 173-196. DOI: 10.1558/post.v7i2.173

On biblical literacy

In the run up to the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible translation, I facilitated a conference at the University of Sheffield exploring how shifts in biblical literacy affect teaching in a range of academic subjects. The three-day conference brought together professional educationalists from school and university contexts, to improve our understanding of issues posed by biblical illiteracy and share different ways in which the Bible could be encountered productively in the classroom.

Delegates heard results from a comparative study of texts in religious education undertaken Continue reading On biblical literacy

Telling Tales

Above: The Telling Tales of King James’ Bible exhibition at Lichfield Cathedral (photo courtesy of the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield).

In 2011, the Telling Tales of King James’ Bible exhibition appeared in churches and cathedrals around the UK Continue reading Telling Tales

Religious Education

In 2007, I gained a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from Roehampton University, qualifying as a Religious Education specialist and subsequently working as a secondary school teacher in Sheffield. 

One of my mentors during my training combined her role in the R.E. department with a separate responsibility as “Head of LIFE”.   Continue reading Religious Education


To my undergraduate peers, I was a “Theologian”. This (and I guess still is) was the standard shorthand for those pursuing a degree in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Cambridge. It felt like an odd label, and only two of my fifteen module choices contained “Theology” in the title. Continue reading Theologian