Projects per year
I am a historian of religion and culture, with particular research interests in the reception history of the Bible and other sacred texts across a wide range of geographical settings and time periods.
From 2012-present I have been co-editor of the Bloomsbury book series, Scriptural Traces: Critical Perspectives on the Reception and Influence of the Bible. I am also on the editorial boards of two journals, the Bible and Critical Theory and Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception. I am Principal Investigator on a three-year Leverhulme Trust-funded project on Britain’s first purpose-built church for the deaf, St Saviour’s, Oxford Street, active between 1873 and 1923.
My book, Joseph of Arimathea (OUP, 2014), traces the development of a minor figure from his first appearance in the four canonical Gospels through to his role in the 2012 London Olympics. Early developments of the character in textual commentaries and in renaissance paintings are analysed before the various traditions which relate Joseph to England/Britain are examined, the Arimathean bringing Christianity to the West Country before taking up a central role in English national and British imperial exceptionalism in the Glastonbury traditions and in Blake’s Jerusalem.
My research interests vary widely, covering areas as disparate as the Historical Jesus, the English Civil War, Johnny Cash and Depeche Mode, the Nine O’Clock Service in Sheffield, and John Allegro and the Dead Sea Scrolls. My principal focus at the moment relates to the Deaf Church project, with articles pending on the Deaf in Ancient Israel and on Deaf appropriations of Jesus and a co-authored monograph on St Savour’s in production.
Office: 1.33, 11 Woodland
Phone: +44 (0)117 954
I have supervised doctoral work on the contemporary use of the Bible and on the Bible in the ancient world, and am currently supervising doctoral work on Anglican hermeneutics and narratological readings of the Gospel of Mark. I welcome proposals on the reception history of the Bible and related sacred texts, and am happy to consider any period, location, or genre in which this takes place. Music, politics, film, church, and anything related are all suitable grist for the mill.
Having moved from Religion and Theology at Bristol into the History department in 2015, I am looking forward to teaching units on American religion and history in the twentieth century, on deaf life in Victorian England, and on history and photography (a former career of mine) in the near future.
1/02/14 → 22/02/18
REVELATION AND EFFECTIVE HISTORY@ AN INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLOQUIUM ON THE RECEPTION OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION
4/09/06 → 4/10/06
GAMALIEL THE ELDER IN ERLY CHRISTIAN INTERPRETATIONS OF ACTS: A STUDY IN CONVERSION THROUGH EXEGESIS
1/10/05 → 1/02/06
Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet (1787-1851): Congregationalist Postmillennialism and ‘Pantomimic Sign Language’Lyons, W. J., 15 Jan 2021, Critical Dictionary of Apocalyptic and Millenarian Movements. Centre for the Critical Study of Apocalyptic and Millenarian Movements
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Entry for encyclopedia/dictionaryOpen AccessFile8 Downloads (Pure)
What Jesus Did, Does and May Do in Future: Gospel Miracles, Human Augmentation, Transhumanism and the Future of New Testament StudiesLyons, W. J., 1 Jun 2021, In: Journal for the Study of the New Testament. 43, 4, p. 539-557 19 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article (Academic Journal) › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile22 Downloads (Pure)
RELIGIOUS LIFE AMONG THE EPIDEMICS OF VICTORIAN LONDON: CHARLES HADDON SPURGEON (1832-92) AND THE PREACHING OF “FEVER”Lyons, W. J., 22 Sep 2020, (Accepted/In press)
Research output: Other contribution