Research Spotlight: Dr David Lamb

Dr David Lamb, one of our Honorary Research Fellows, has recently completed a year's research in sociolinguistics as a Visiting Scholar at Bangor University.

Dr David LambDr Lamb is one of our Honorary Research Fellows in the Centre for Biblical Studies. He completed his MA in Biblical Studies at Manchester part-time, while working as a Church of England minister and teaching Johannine Studies at Liverpool Hope University College.

He later returned to Manchester to do a PhD with Dr Todd Klutz, which involved adopting a new approach to the social context of the Johannine writings by drawing on modern sociolinguistic theory. A revised version of this was published in 2014 in the Bloomsbury T & T Clark Library of New Testament Studies series as Text, Context and the Johannine Community.

As part of his doctoral studies, Dr Lamb completed a postgraduate course in sociolinguistics in Manchester’s Linguistics Department and he has continued to develop his interest in this area.

This interest and expertise resulted in Dr Lamb spending a year as a Visiting Scholar in Linguistics at Bangor University. Whilst completing his research, he worked with Professor Thora Tenbrink, the Director of Research for the College of Arts, Humanities, and Business, who has pioneered a new approach to language known as Cognitive Discourse Analysis.

Dr Lamb’s research at Bangor focussed on an aspect of Functional Linguistics known as Appraisal Theory, which can be used to consider how the language used by authors expresses approval or disapproval and to describe the types of language used to communicate emotion or opinion. Dr Lamb’s work sought to apply the tools of Appraisal Theory to his study of the Gospel of John and Hellenistic Greek biographies.

Dr Lamb first presented a summary of his work at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Divinity New Testament Research Seminar in November 2020 (online) and will be presenting a revised version of this paper at our Ehrhardt Seminar on 11 March. In this, he will address some of the challenges of adopting an interdisciplinary approach to biblical studies and the use of quantitative methodologies more broadly, as well as sharing a summary of his research project.

Information about all forthcoming events from the Centre (with linked biographies of the speakers) is available on the R&T events page.

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