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King’s College London Dean is Cecil Woods Fellow at VTS

2/6/2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Susan Shillinglaw
Tel: 703-461-1764
Email: sshillinglaw@vts.edu

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA – The Virginia Theological Seminary welcomes the Rev. Dr. Richard A. Burridge, Dean of King’s College London and distinguished author, to campus this month as a Cecil Woods Fellow.

The Cecil Woods Graduate Fellowship Fund, established in 1983 by the Alumni Association Executive Committee in appreciation for the positive ways that Granville Cecil Woods, Jr. (VTS ’53) influenced VTS during his administration as Dean (1969-1982), enables a person to stay in residence at the seminary for up to two months of research and study.

Dr. Burridge has served as Dean of King's College London since 1994. Previously, he was Lazenby Chaplain at the University of Exeter, where he also taught New Testament and Ethics. He earned a Ph.D. in Gospel Genre from the University of Nottingham (1989) and was ordained in 1986. Most recently, in January 2009, Burridge was shortlisted for the Archbishop of Canterbury’s prestigious Michael Ramsey Prize (MRP) for his book, Imitating Jesus: An Inclusive Approach to New Testament Ethics (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007.) The MRP is awarded to the author of a theological work that is judged to contribute most towards advancing theology and making a lasting contribution to the faith and life of the Church.

During his residence here, Dr. Burridge will work on his latest book, Money, Sex, Power, Violence, and the Meaning of Life, and teach a class on the same subject. He hopes to show students—and readers—how Jesus’ teachings and deeds apply to today’s tough questions about money, sex, and other life issues.

“What I hope people walk away with,” says Burridge, “is a method of how to read the bible so that they can go off and start trying to find some answers on their own. I want to teach them to think and to read the scriptures and to apply them sensibly to the crucial human experiences facing us all today.”

The Woods Fellowship is important not only for the individuals it directly endows, but to the seminary community which benefits from having different scholars in residence, and to the wider Church by providing more opportunities for study and enrichment.

On February 26 at 7:00 p.m., Dr. Burridge will give a public lecture at Virginia Seminary entitled, Slavery, Sexuality, and the Future of the Anglican Communion, in which he will discuss the current debates within the Episcopal Church and the wider Communion about sexuality, and will argue that similar arguments took place about slavery in the 19th century and about Apartheid in the 20th century. Learning from these past debates, Burridge will propose that to be properly biblical is to be fully inclusive.

Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church and was founded in 1823. The school prepares men and women, representing more than 40 different dioceses and 9 different countries, for service in the Church, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas.

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