IN THIS ISSUE

 


 

BLESSINGS OF AN ACADEMIC LIFE



As I write these words, the 2006-2007 academic year is winding down at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where I teach mathematics. It has been a good year. I had the privilege of teaching the freshman honors calculus sequence this year, giving me an opportunity to work with some very talented students. The Department of Mathematics and Statistics hosted two research conferences, both of which were stimulating and worthwhile. And with lots of interesting things going on, two more semesters have flown by.

 

Living in a college town has some definite advantages. One of the main ones is easy access to a first-rate academic library. If I'm looking for a certain book, I can often find it in the stacks of the Miami University Libraries. If the book isn't available at Miami, then another academic library in Ohio probably has it. In that case I can borrow the book for up to fifteen weeks through Ohiolink, an online catalog that includes the holdings of every college and university library in the state.

 

Miami's libraries play a major role in the writing of this magazine. For example, several months ago I saw a reference to a paper by noted New Testament scholar Richard Bauckham on the subject of how Jews in the time of Jesus thought about the northern ten tribes of the House of Israel. The paper had appeared in Revue Biblique, a journal to which the library at Miami subscribes, so it was easy for me to photocopy the paper and find out what it said. An article on this subject, "Anna the Prophetess and Hope of All Israel," appears in this issue of Grace & Knowledge.

 

A second example: Recently I saw a review of some research on the role and content of the law of God in the book of Genesis. This research is described in the book Implied Law in the Abraham Narrative: A Literary and Theological Analysis, the doctoral dissertation of Professor James K. Bruckner of North Park Theological Seminary. In this case, Miami didn't have the book, but it was readily available via Ohiolink. Bruckner's book contains some valuable insights on the trial of Sodom and Gomorrah, as explained in the article "Law and Order in Genesis: The Trial of Sodom and Gomorrah" in the current issue of Grace & Knowledge.

 

Another major advantage of life on campus is the opportunity to hear public lectures on a variety of topics. This issue contains reports on four lectures that took place during the 2006-2007 academic year:




Olympic fencer Daniel Alon, one of the few members of the 1972 Israeli Olympic team to survive the infamous terrorist attack at the Munich Games, gave his firsthand account of what happened at Munich.



Art historian Linda Maria Gigante of the University of Louisville described how slaves and freedmen in the Roman Empire were memorialized in their tombs and epitaphs. Gigante has spent years studying and cataloging a collection of Roman epitaphs that is housed at the Speed Museum in Louisville.



Princeton historian Jan T. Gross analyzed the prevalence of anti-Semitism in Poland in the aftermath of the Second World War.



Richard S. Hess of Denver Seminary gave a lecture on archaeology and a Bible study on Joshua 1:1-9 during a visit to Miami in March 2007. An article on the Bible study appears in this issue. I hope to report on the archaeology lecture in a future issue.



I do not know what intellectual and spiritual adventures lie in store for the next academic year. But I look forward to finding out, and I will try to keep our readers posted.

 

Doug Ward

Issue 23

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