The School of Divinity, History and Philosophy is delighted to announce the appointment of two world-leading professors to join the University of Aberdeen’s outstanding Divinity Department.
Professor John Behr has been appointed as a Professor in Divinity, offering specialisation in Patristics and Orthodox Theology. Professor Behr is Fr Georges Florovsky Distinguished Professor of Patristics and a former dean of St Vladimir’s Seminary, New York, and is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading scholars of early Christianity. A prolific writer, his most recent book is the discipline forming John the Theologian and his Pascal Gospel (OUP), and this book follows a new critical edition and translation of Origen's On First Principles (also for OUP). He is currently working on a new edition and translation of the complete works of St. Irenaeus of Lyons (again to be published by OUP). Professor Behr is excited to receive applications for students wishing to work on Patristics, Orthodox Theology, and the New Testament.
Professor Eric Saak is one of the foremost Reformation scholars of this age, and we are delighted that he is to take up a Chair in Ecclesiastical History. A student of Oberman, his work has considered the role of Augustine and Augustinainism in the Reformation. A former Fulbright Fellow, he is the co-editor of and major contributor to The Oxford Guide to the Historical Reception of Augustine, 3 vols. (OUP), and is working on an ongoing critical edition of the works of Jordan of Quedlinburg (with Brill), the first volume of which has already been published. His most recent book, Luther and the Reformation of the Later Middle Ages (CUP) won the 2018 Gerald Strauss Prize. Professor Saak welcomes applications from students working on Augustine and his reception, the Reformation (especially Luther and Calvin), Medieval Theology, and critical editions of Late Medieval and Reformation texts.
The appointment of Professors Behr and Saak is an exciting moment in Divinity which sees the University of Aberdeen become one of the major global centres for Church History and Historical Theology. They join Dr Ehrenschwendtner (who works on Medieval Church History, Women’s Spirituality and Scottish Church History) and Dr Ken Jeffrey (who works on Modern Church History, the History of Evangelicalism and the History of Missions) in the Ecclesiastical History Unit; and will be working alongside Professor Tom Greggs (who works on eighteenth and nineteenth century Methodist and Evangelical History, Pre-Constantinian Theology and Modern German thought), Professor Paul Nimmo (who works on Reformed Theology, Scottish Theology and Church History, and nineteenth and twentieth century German Theology), and Professor Philip Ziegler (who works on Reformed Theology, nineteenth and twentieth century philosophy, and modern German thought) from the Systematic Theology Unit, as well as Professor Brian Brock and Dr Mike Laffin who work in Theological Ethics on Martin Luther as well as Patristic fathers.
The appointments of these world-leading academics come at a time of expansion in Divinity. We have recently appointed Dr Daniel Pedersen to a post-doctoral fellowship in Systematics; Dr Robert Heimburger to a post-doctoral fellowship in Theological Ethics; and Dr J Thomas Hewitt to the Kirby Laing post-doctoral fellowship in New Testament. We are also currently searching for a Lord Gifford Fellow in Natural Theology.