We are on the cusp of releasing our new course, Ethnicity, Justice, and the People of God. As such, I would like to introduce Prof. Esau McCaulley to you; he and I are teaching this course as a team.
Esau came to study with me in St Andrews in 2013 and quickly established himself as a lively member of our senior New Testament seminar. Already well equipped in the biblical languages and well read in biblical theology, he focused his attention on the messianic theology of Galatians.
He underlined what so many interpreters have either not noticed or not taken seriously: the way in which Paul draws out the line of biblical thought in which the promises made to Abraham are fulfilled through the Davidic king. Since these promises are explicitly global, this gives Paul’s Gentile mission (and his argument for Gentile inclusion in God’s people) a much firmer exegetical base than simply a supposed desire to convert more individuals.
As well as our shared love of Pauline theology, Esau and I are both ordained Anglican (Episcopal) priests, and both relish the richness of liturgy and hymnody which that tradition offers. But, whereas I grew up in the north of England, Esau was raised in the southern United States.
Having grown up there as a Black man, he has experienced in his own journey the prejudice and social disadvantage that defaced that world. It is all the more remarkable that he can write about it — in his newspaper articles, and in his remarkable book, Reading While Black — without rancour, and with a clear, Christian determination to allow the gospel of Jesus to shape his own thinking and feeling. It is wonderful to be able to work together now as colleagues.
I trust you will ‘welcome him’ through your participation in our upcoming course. He was once a student of mine; now he is a friend, fellow scholar, and colleague with us at N.T. Wright Online.
With Best Wishes,