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27th February 2019

Visiting US lecturer demonstrates exciting way of reading and interpreting scripture

Visiting US lecturer Professor Daniel Smith-Christopher recently facilitated professional development in scripture for around 700 teachers in Catholic Primary schools and Secondary colleges in major regional centres throughout the Diocese of Rockhampton.

A lecturer at Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles and regular presenter at Catholic, Presbyterian and United Methodist Church congresses in Southern California, Dr Smith-Christopher conducted sessions in Bundaberg, Rockhampton, the Capricorn Coast, Mackay and Emerald prior to the commencement of the school year.

Dr Smith-Christopher investigated the historical context in which the Bible was written, what factors influenced the authors at the time of writing and the profound effect this has on how the scriptures are read and understood today.

Rockhampton Catholic Education’s Teaching and Learning Religion Consultant Gail Davis, who coordinated the visiting speaker, said Dr Smith-Christopher’s dynamic presentation demonstrated a new and exciting way of reading and interpreting scripture.

“His knowledge of the historical context of the Babylonian exile was fascinating and he was able to share, through the amazing stories of the biblical prophets, how this exile impacted on the lives of the Israelite people,” Mrs Davis said.

“He kept us all fascinated and filled us with a passion to learn more about the people who wrote our Bible and the challenges they faced. He was also able to provoke and challenge us in our understanding of what this important event of 587 – the Babylonian exile – meant for Jesus and what it means for us today,” Mrs Davis said.

Mrs Davis said teachers found the presentation engaging and thought-provoking and provided much to reflect on when teaching scripture to students.

Pictured from left Kristin Honeyball (Catholic Education Office), Fr James Exoecha, Professor Daniel Smith -Christopher, Mike Kelso (Assistant Director: Schools -Rockhampton Region), Catherine Simmonds (Catholic Education Office) and Gerard Hore.

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