Fergus King

The Revd Dr Fergus King

MA(Hons) St Andrews, BD(Hons) Edinburgh, DTheol UNISA
Farnham Maynard Lecturer in Ministry Education

Director of the Ministry Education Centre

E: fergusk@trinity.edu.au 

Fergus has a particular interest in  the missiological implications of the New Testament. In his doctorate, awarded by the University of South Africa, he explored how the phenomenon of inculturation or contextualisation was used by the gospel writers to explain the phenomenon of Jesus’ life and death, and the church’s response to those events. Critical to this is an understanding of “re-accentuation” (Mikhail Bakhtin): the process by which terms may be invested with a fresh meaning by their application to a new situation. This is undertaken using a methodology which recognises the significance of lexical fields (James Barr) and explores “family resemblances” (Ludwig Wittgenstein) rather than genealogical (cause and effect) links. All this is founded on Martin Hengel’s judgment that the NT is missiological in nature.

In his more recent work, he has researched how the NT writings resonate with the religious, philosophical and literary traditions of the ancient world to present the Christian faith in ways understood by their first audiences. This work recognises the porous boundaries which exist between Judaism, Graeco-Romanitas and emerging Christianity.

This research is then complemented by a hermeneutics of correspondence (Clodovis Boff) or resonance (Fidon Mwombeki) to suggest appropriate missiological theory and practice for our very different circumstances.

Fergus has also been influenced strongly by a lived experience and study of Christian faith in Africa and holds the view that African theological thinking and discourse should not be relegated to the sidelines of contemporary theology, or made to conform to the  agendas of the North and West, and, indeed, that there needs to be, as an act of justice, an increased recognition of the contribution made historically by African thinkers to Christianity.

Current Research Areas

  • Missional introduction and readers for the NT
  • Anglican Church in Tanzania
  • NT and post-Aristotelian Philosophy
  • Sociocultural readings of the NT

Areas for Supervision

  • Hermeneutics
  • Sociocultural and socialiterary readings of the NT
  • Post-Aristotelian Philosophy
  • African Christian Theology
  • Missional readings of the NT

Publications

  • “Lorimer, W.L.” in N. Cameron et al., Dictionary Of Scottish Church History & Theology, Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1993

  • “The Chreia: Return Of The Form-Critic”, Africa Theology Journal, 22/2 (1993), 76-90

  • “Angels And Ancestors: A Basis For Christology?”, Mission Studies, XI-1 (21) (1994), 10-26

  • “[Untitled article on Romans7:21-5]” in Balla, P. (ed.), Teacher, Scholar, Friend: An Unusual FestschriftIn Honour Of John Cochrane O’Neill, Budapest: Karoli Gaspar University, 1996, 26-30

  • “Eating In Corinth: Full Meal Or Token Meal?”, Irish Biblical Studies, 19 (1997), 161-173

  • “St Paul & Culture”, Mission Studies, 27-28 (1997)

  • “Across The Great Divide: Higher Criticism, The Writers Of The New Testament And African Biblical Interpretation”, Mission Studies, XV-2, 30 (1998), 13-28

  • “How The Bible Says? Reflections On The Bible, Culture & Reading”, Thinking Mission, January 1999, London: USPG

  • “Nyimbo za Vijana: Biblical Interpretation in Contemporary Hymns from Tanzania”  in West, G., and Dube, M.W., The Bible In Africa, Leiden: Brill, 2000, 360-73

  • “Inculturation And The Book of Revelation”, Mission Studies,XVIII-1,35 (2001), pp24-41

  • “Making Disciples: Four Missionary Movements”, Thinking Mission2002:3,19-25

  • "Theological Education and Mission", Mission Studies, XIX-2,38, 2002, 77-89

  • “Travesty or Taboo: “Drinking Blood” and Revelation 17:2-6”, Neotestamentica38.2,  2004, 303-25

  • More Than A Passover: Inculturation in the Supper Narratives of the New Testament, Volume 3 in New Testament Studies in Contextual Exegesis ( eds. J. Bueller, T. Schmeller & W. Kahl),  Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2007 

  • Opening the Scroll: An Introductory Commentary on the Revelation  of John, Köln: Lambert Academic Publishing, 2009. [ The English text,  slightly revised, of Mwongozo wa Ufunuo wa Yohana]

  • “There’s More to Meals Than Food: A Contextual Interpretation of Paul’s Understanding of the Corinthian Lord’s Supper” in Burns, S. and Monro, A (ed.s), Christian Worship In Australia, Strathfield: St Paul’s, 2009, 167-79

  • “De Baptista Nil Nisi Bonum: John the Baptist as Paradigm for  Mission”. Mission Studies26 (2009), 173-91

  • “Mission-Shaped or Paul-Shaped?: Apostolic Challenges to the Mission –Shaped Church”. Journal of Anglican Studies9/2 (2011), 223-46

  • “‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants’: Re-tuning John O’Neill’s Theory of the Blasphemy Charge against Jesus”. Irish Biblical Studies 28/2 (2010), 52-77

  • “‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do’: Reflections on Luke 23:34a, Kol Nidreand the Atonement”. Australian Journal of Jewish StudiesXXIV (2010), 134-60

  • “He Descended to the Dead: Towards a Pastoral Strategy for Making Peace with the Living Dead”, Soma: An International Journal of Theological Discourses and Counter-Discourses  2 (2012), 1-19

  • “Ice-Cold in Alex: Philo’s treatment of the Divine Lover in Hellenistic Pedagogy”, in H. Tarrant and M. Johnson (ed.s) Alcibiades and the Socratic lover-Educator, London: Bristol Classical Press, 2012, 164-79

  • “‘Pointing the Bone’: Sorcery Syndrome and Uncanny Death in Acts 5:1-11”, Irish Biblical Studies30/1 (2012), 1-22

  • Deep Change or Slow Death?: Johannine Critique &  Ignatian Resolution, Compass 47/4 (2013), 22-29

  • “In Hoc Signo: A Literary & Social Analysis of Constantine’s Dream”, St Mark’s Review225 (2013), 16-26

  • “Lex Orandi, lex credendi: Worship and Doctrine in Revelation 4-5”, Scottish Journal of Theology67 (2014), 33-49

  • “More Than a Vapid Sound: The Case for a Hermeneutic of Resonance”, Journal for Theology in Southern Africa148 (2014), 83-98.

  • A Guide to St John’s Gospel, London: SPCK, 2015
  • “Revelation 21:1-22:5: An Early Christian Locus Amoenus?”, Biblical Theology Bulletin45/3 (2015), 174-83
  • “‘Fencing the Altar’: Jesus, Judas and Eucharistic Discipline”,Compass50 (2016), 30-38
  • with Maimbo W. Mndolwa, “In Two Minds: African Experience and Preferment in UMCA and the Journey to Independence in Tanganyika”, Mission Studies33 (2016), 327-51
  • “Tragedy and Ethics: Responding to  the Crisis of Historic Sexual Abuse”, Anglican Theological Review, 99/3 (2017), 461-77
  • “Pleasant places in the gospel according to John: A classical motif as introit to theological awareness”, Pacifica30/1, 3-1(2017), 3-19
  • “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Parable: The Steward, Tricksters and (Non) sense in Luke 16:1-8”, Biblical Theology Bulletin48/1, 205-12
  • with Selwyn T. Selvendran, “Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Alleluia, Amen”:  Xenolalia,Glossolalia, and Neurophysiology, forthcoming in Biblical Theology Bulletin

Kiswahili:

  • “Je, Lazima Ubatizo Uwe Ktk Maji Mengi?” (tr.: Baptism: Must It Be By Immersion?), Jarida la Kichungaji, 3.3 (1996), 105-110

  • “WaKristo Na Serikali Mbovu” (tr: Christians & Bad Government), Jarida la Kichungaji, 4.3 (1997), 103-7

  • Mwongozo wa Ufunuo wa Yohana(tr.: A Commentary of the Revelation of John), Dodoma: Central Tanganyika Press, 2000

Community Engagement

  • Cur Deus et Homo? Reflections on the Place of New Testament Studies in a Liberal Arts Faculty.  Presented at the University of Newcastle GRIT Workshop on Religion, the Academy and the Public Sphere, Noah's On the Beach, Monday 10 December 2007 
  • "What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?": On the Absence of the Erotic in  the Pupil-Teacher Relationship in the Depiction of Platonism in Judaism and Early Christianity”. Presented at  Socrates, Alcibiades, and the Divine Lover & Educator: A Research Conference revolving round the Platonic AlcibiadesI. University of Newcastle,  4–6 December 2008 
  • 3 Bible Studies, Anglican Diocese of Newcastle, Diocesan Leaders’ Conference, May 2010
  • “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi: Worship and Doctrine in Revelation 4-5”presented at  “Bounden to Say:  The Book of Common Prayer Then and Now”, the 3rd St. Paul’s College Symposium, University of Sydney, 30 November 2011
  • Diocese of Newcastle, Clergy Study Day, February 2012
  • “In Hoc Signo: A Literary and Social Analysis of Constantine's Dream”presented at “Christianity and the Prince: the Interweaving of Faith and Secular Power since Constantine”, the Fourth St Paul’s College Symposium, University of Sydney, 4 December 2012
  • The Year of Matthew, St James Institute, Sydney, 17 November 2013
  • The Year of Mark, St James Institute, Sydney, 9 November  2014
  • The Year of Luke, St James Institute, Sydney, 1 November 2015
  • 3 Bible Studies, Diocese of Newcastle, Diocesan Leaders Conference, August 2016.
  • “Tragedy & Ethics: Remembering the Human and the Divine in Times of Crisis”. Classics Seminar, University of Newcastle, October 2016
  • Panellist, Reformation Day, 18 February 2017, Holy Family RC Church, Lindfield
  • Panellist, Mission in the New Testament, Anglican Diocese of Melbourne Clergy Conference, 27 July 2017
  • Speaker, Reformation Day, St James’, Wyong, October 2017

Web Materials including seminars, sermons, lectures, non-refereed publications and presentations: