A Man of Many Parts is an inspired homage to the life and thought of John Bowker, cleric, lecturer and broadcaster. Author of The Sense of God, Is God a Virus? and The Sacred Neuron, Bowker is an independent thinker of profound erudition with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and understanding. This collection of essays is a study in responses to the work of an exceptional scholar whose humane spirit and empathetic approach to theology has influenced countless people.
Bowker has striven for years to reconcile faith and belief with reason, and to find the truth behind religious thought. A Man of Many Parts continues in his intellectual tradition, with essays from Rowan Williams, Jane Shaw, William J. Abraham and others tackling his body of work from a wide variety of perspectives. Whether re-examining the Son of Man in the context of the life of the prophet Daniel, or discussing how both neuroscience and theology seek to map the vastness of human nature, these essays build on Bowker’s rigorous analysis in the highest possible accolade to his bibliography. This collection is a priceless treasure trove for anyone with a love of learning, an original mind and a limitless breadth of interests.
Part 1: Introduction
1. John Bowker: A Theological Overview
Part 2: Biblical Studies
2. The Teaching of Syriac at Cambridge
J. F. Coakley
3. John Bowker and “The Jewish Background to the New Testament”: An Essay in Wirkungsgeschichte
4. Daniel & the Three (Principally in the Old Greek): “Historical” Signs of the Eschatological Son of Man
& Saints of the Most High God – a Paradigm for Gospels Christology and Discipleship
Eugene E. Lemcio
5. A Pilgrimage of Grace: The Journey Motif in Luke-Acts
Part 3: Theology
6. On Systems, Circles, and Centers: Christianity as a Christocentric “System”
7. “In Persona Christi”: Who, or Where, is Christ at the Altar?
8. The Moral Imagination and a Sense of God
Part 4: Neuroscience and Theology
9. Brain Battles: Theology and Neuroscience
William J. Abraham
10. The Origin of the Sense of God: Causation, Epistemology, and Ontology
Part 5: Comparative Religion
11. The Idea of Constraint: A Hindu Example
12. Al-Ghazali and the Progress of Islamic Thought
13. God, Life, Love, and Religions among Indigenous Peoples of the World
Part 6: Culture
14. The Word Was Made Flesh: Life without Footnotes. John Bowker as Religious Broadcaster for the BBC
15. “Such Was the World”: A Verse Offering
Bibliography of John W. Bowker’s Publications
Endorsements and Reviews
It is hard to do justice to John Bowker’s extraordinary combination of range, rigor, depth, and creativity. That is not only achieved by this superb set of contributors but they also show again and again how he has been ahead of his time in the most fruitful ways possible. Thanks to this collection there is a chance that he will be as generative in the twenty-first century as he deserves to be.
David F. Ford, Regius Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge
This is an affectionate tribute to the religious studies scholar and Anglican priest John Bowker. … This collection is well worth reading.
Robin Gill, in Theology, Vol 119, No 3
This book is an inspired homage to a theological polymath. … Coakley’s essay on In Persona Christi is worth the entry price alone.
The Very Revd Dr Martyn Percy, in Church Times, 10 June 2016
A Man of Many Parts is a fitting title for this collection of essays in honour of John Bowker marking his 80th birthday. The compass of the topics covered is a tribute to the astonishing range of John Bowker’s interests, and the impressive learning that undergirds them.
Geoffrey Rowell, in International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church, Vol 16, No 1