University of Glasgow
Areas of Interest/Research:
Early-Modern Theological Anthropology
What is one “big idea” in your scholarship?
To call this a “big idea” might be a bit premature, but one idea that I’m currently investigating is whether it can be said that being renewed in the image of God (in a Colossians 3:10 sort of way) has actual physical benefits for the world around us. To put it another way, does my being reconciled to God make the world better, or does it just make me better?
What is your current research about?
Currently I am researching the sources of John Wesley’s understandings of the image of God, focusing especially on the places where he talks about the image in a sort of strange way. The goal of this is to be able to reframe our present-day conceptions of the image of God and sanctification. I also would like to address some of the ways that my own theological tradition (Church of the Nazarene) tends to misrepresent Wesley’s teaching, although I’m not as fussed about that.
Who is one of your academic heroes and why do you admire them?
Definitely my dad. Here’s just a few things about him: He a very strong academic, earning two degrees in the time it takes most people to earn one, and graduated Summa Cum Laude as well. He’s a pastor who just recently retired from his church after 41 years serving the same congregation, and now works as a hospice chaplain. While he was a pastor, he earned his doctorate, became an airplane pilot, and served our local community as a volunteer EMT.
I include all this about him because of what his example taught me. He taught me to pursue my goal to the farthest end and to engage deeply with these important theological concepts, but to never forget that we don’t do this for ourselves but for the churches, more specifically the people who make up those churches. All this time and effort isn’t really worth much, at least not me, if I forget that fact.
What books have been formative for you in your study? Why were they so important? How did they shape you?
As theology texts go, I can’t say that any come to mind as ones that were truly formative. It’s an occupational hazard that I read a lot of theology, but there’s not any one book that I can point to and say “I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for that one.”
For what it’s worth, there are some books that I find myself citing a lot in my thesis so they must be important. Upon its publication in 1972, A Theology of Love by Mildred Bangs Wynkoop was a paradigmatic shift in Wesleyan holiness and is prominent in the landscape of my study. Consider also books like The Hallowing of Logic by Simon Burton, which focuses on Richard Baxter’s Methodus Theologiae and addresses things that no one else has and is absolutely crucial for my work. Keeping those two books close at hand is very important for my work.
Where can we follow you online?
I do have some social media pages but they’re not worth following. If you would like to connect then I would encourage you to send me an email at email@example.com – I promise to write back within 24 hours.
>> Thank you so much, Caleb, for taking the time to share a bit about yourself and your work.
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