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Featured Author - Professor Dr Christoph Stenschke

Since 2001, I have been living and teal'ching at a seminary in Germany, some 50 km east of Cologne, called the Biblisch-Theologische Akademie Wiedenest (see http://www.wiedenest.de/biblisch-theologische-akademie/das-konzept.html). I usually visit UNISA in South Africa twice a year and enjoy interacting with my colleagues and other people. I have been challenged in many ways on my visits and have learned many new things about South Africa, scholarship and myself.

Following my undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Germany and doctoral studies in Scotland, I was ordained by the German Baptist Union and served as minister in a Baptist congregation in Stralsund, former East Germany (1999-2001). In 2001 I came to Wiedenest. Here my undergraduate teaching focuses mainly on New Testament background, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians and New Testament theology. I head the post-graduate programme in New Testament Studies at the BTA. Here I teach history of biblical interpretation, recent methods of exegesis, the life and ministry of Paul, various courses on Romans and on different issues in the New Testament, Biblical Theology and Christology. I am also involved in various administrative, coaching and career guidance tasks.

I have been affiliated with the then Department of New Testament at UNISA since 2002. It is now the Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies (see www.unisa.ac.za/Default.asp?Cmd=ViewContent&ContentID=28208). From January 2005 I am 'Professor extraordinarius' in the Department. I mainly supervise German and Swiss MTh students enrolled at UNISA who live in Europe. However, I have also been involved in other postgraduate research projects as a co-promotor. I have supervised successfully about twenty MTh students while my first two DTh students as a sole promotor (one German and one South African) are well on their way. I also participated in several research projects and conferences of the Department.

My research interests are New Testament Theology, methods of interpretation, hermeneutics and the reception history of the Bible. I have written on early Christian mission, translocal links in early Christianity and material and social issues of ecclesiology. I have also written extensively on Luke-Acts, Romans, 1-2 Corinthians, Ephesians and 1 Peter. I enjoy writing entries for dictionaries such as the new Encyclopaedia of the Bible and its Reception (EBR; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2009ff) and I love to write book reviews for journals from all over the world. I also enjoy addressing biblical themes in popular magazines and producing TV programmes (so far a series on Romans and one on the parables of Jesus).

I am from a Free Church background and hold to the convictions of historic Christianity. My colleagues once remarked that I have a 'text-centred approach' and work from 'a faith perspective'. If this is what they mean, they are right: I love exegesis and try to combine sound and rigorous scholarship with the issues of the church and of society at large. My academic work is not l’art pour l’art but an endeavour to address these issues and contribute a biblical perspective on them. Most of my written work closes with a section where I attempt to relate the New Testament, historical and theological research to present day issues and quests. I enjoy interdisciplinary interaction and have profited much from historians, missiologists, Old Testament scholars and practical theologians.

I am a member of the Arbeitskreis für evangelikale Theologie (Germany), the Fellowship of European Evangelical Theologians, the New Testament Society of South Africa, the Neutestamentliche Sozietät at the Kirchliche Hochschule Wuppertal (Germany) and the Tyndale Fellowship (Cambridge, England). I am in the process of applying for membership of the Societas Studiorum Novi Testamenti and as a Privatdozent at the Kirchliche Hochschule Wuppertal (Habilitation).

I lectured and presented many papers in Czech Republic, England, Germany, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Scotland, South Africa. I serve as a peer reviewer for a number of South African and international journals. I have examined a PhD thesis each for the University of Aberdeen and for the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

As my community engagement I preach regularly (about 30 Sundays of the year) in various churches and speak at popular conferences or conduct seminars. I also serve on the local city council as a councillor and in this way try to contribute to the public life and well-fare of my town (http://session.bergneustadt.de/bi/kp0040.php?__kgrnr=4&). I work in the municipal committee for social issues and culture and the finance committee.

Address:
Prof. Dr. Christoph Stenschke
Bahnhofstrasse 1
D - 51702 Bergneustadt
Germany