Bible & Theology Alumni Release New Books
This summer, Asbury University will shine a spotlight on some of its alumni who have published in a variety of fields.
Following in the footsteps of some of Asbury University’s most beloved faculty and alumni, two graduates of the Bible and Theology program in the Christian Studies and Philosophy department have recently published their first books.
Dr. Matthew Schlimm ’99, assistant professor of Old Testament at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, wrote From Fratricide to Forgiveness: The Language and Ethics of Anger in Genesis (Eisenbrauns). Schlimm completed his doctoral degree at Duke University in 2008 and has published essays on a variety of topics in The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, The Wesleyan Theological Journal, Review of Communication, and the Journal of Media and Religion.
The book is divided into three parts: Part 1 explores anger in the Hebrew Bible from a linguistic point of view; Part 2 discusses ways the book of Genesis can provide moral instruction on handling anger; and Part 3 covers a close reading of the dozen or so texts in Genesis that describe characters as angry with one another.
“At Asbury, I loved taking classes with Dr. Victor Hamilton,” Schlimm said. “As he taught Jeremiah, I was amazed at how the book portrays God in emotional terms. In Western culture, we tend to devalue emotions, setting them in opposition to reason. Or, in the church, sometimes we act as though Christianity will guard us against feelings like anger, sadness, or fear.
“As I took Dr. Hamilton’s classes, it occurred to me that our culture and even the church must have some mistaken ideas about emotions,” he continued. “If God can be deeply moved, expressing even anger and sadness, then isn’t it okay for Christians to do the same? So, I spent much of my doctoral studies looking at how the Old Testament deals with emotion.”
Future projects include collaborating on a study Bible for Abingdon's new Common English Bible and a book addressing the church's relationship with the Old Testament.
Dr. Bart Bruehler ’95 wrote A Public and Political Christ: The Social-Spatial Characteristics of Luke 18:35-19:43 and the Gospel as a Whole in Its Ancient Context (Pickwick Publications). Bruehler holds a doctoral degree in New Testament from Emory University and currently serves as assistant professor of New Testament in the College of Adult and Professional Studies at Indiana Wesleyan University.
Bruehler’s book focuses on Luke 18:35-19:48 and explores the social and spatial dimensions of Luke’s portrayal of Jesus. A survey of literature and archaeology in the Hellenistic-Roman world helps to set the spheres of public and local politics. The book argues that Jesus carried out his mission of salvation primarily in the unofficial public sphere sometimes intersecting with local politics.
The idea for the book came from a combination of academic and life experiences as Bruehler and his wife, Anne Silber Bruehler ’98, lived among residents and guests in a homeless recovery program and, later, a community with many resettled refugees while he worked through his doctoral program. Future projects include a commentary on Luke for the Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity series.