Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Year of St Paul

On Thursday night we had the final talk in our series of four lectures to mark the Year of St Paul. The talks were given by Fr Jerome Bertram who shuns the title 'scripture scholar' because of its association with a dry, faithless approach to the Word of God. Instead he offers a lively presentation of key biblical characters. Recently Family Publications published his People of the Gospel which is well-worth getting. Fr Bertram is a priest of the Oxford Oratory.

I hadn't noticed it until a parishioner mentioned it to me, but something striking about this series of talks was that it was particulalry attractive to men. Certainly men far outnumbered women each evening. Another interesting feature was that it was also attended by some leading characters from our local non-Catholic ecclesial communities. I was particularly pleased by this because sometimes non-Catholics can think Catholicism isn't a 'biblical religion', and also because a Protestant reading of St Paul can easily overlook just how 'Catholic' he really is.

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