Duke Divinity School will hold the second lecture in the 2018 annual Kenneth Willis Clark Lectures featuring guest lecturer Francis Watson, D.Phil., chair of Biblical Interpretation at Durham University in Durham, England, addressing the topic of “Why Four Gospels?” This second and final lecture, “The Betrayer: Early Representations of Judas Iscariot," is free and open to the public.
A native of England, Watson taught New Testament at King’s College London from 1984-1999 before holding the Kirby Laing Chair of New Testament Exegesis at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He moved to his present position at Durham University in 2007.
His most recent books are Gospel Writing: A Canonical Perspective, Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith, The Fourfold Gospel: A Theological Reading of the New Testament Portraits of Jesus, and The Garima Gospels: Early Illuminated Gospel Books from Ethiopia (co-authored with Judith McKenzie). His upcoming volume is titled Connecting Gospels: Beyond the Canonical/Non-canonical Divide (co-edited with Sarah Parkhouse).
During his time at Durham University, Watson has received funding from the Leverhulme Trust for a project titled “Gospels Canonical and Non-canonical” and from the Arts and Humanities Research Council for “The Fourfold Gospel and its Rivals.” The aim of both projects has been to establish the fourfold canonical gospel as an object of research in its own right — necessitating a focus on what is excluded as well as what is included. A partnership with Australian Catholic University in Melbourne also has led to a major new collaborative project titled “Texts, Traditions, and Early Christian Identities.”
Established in 1984, the Kenneth Willis Clark Lectureship Fund honors the life and work of Clark, a Duke Divinity School faculty member for 36 years. Each year this fund enables the school to offer a program with special emphasis on New Testament studies and textual criticism.