OUT SOON: Richard's new book: ROMANS AND THE POWER OF THE BELIEVER
Dr Richard Britton is a writer and theologian who uses critical theory, philosophy, and ancient literature to unlock the meaning of religious texts to connect the hearers from then to now. He places sacred and theological texts alongside those from more down-to-earth genres, such as casual letters, shopping lists or farming notes. He considers how words would be understood by the everyday person whether they are in the temple or in the field. Through deconstruction theory he explores the chemistry of religious texts. Richard specialised in New Testament and Pauline studies but has explored far beyond.
Richard challenges the boundaries between cultures, traditions and religions. Just as there is no visible line between his local town and the one nearby; neither is there between Christianity, Judaism, Islam or Buddhism beyond a given definition. Instead there is a tension between their difference and similarities. Richard seeks to show how diverse texts, ideas and traditions inform each other and he loves to find patterns, paradox and exchanges and consider what they could mean. For instance, he examines the Stoic and Buddhistic traces in Paul. There he finds a radical theology already present in these epistles in which presupposed wisdom is questioned, making way for faith as a collaboration between insight and imagination. He has examined contemporary religious extremism and how everyday notions of absolute truth feed into it.
In the past Richard studied literature and has delivered papers on the poetry of John Ruskin and Edgar Allen Poe amongst others. In short, Richard’s theology values the literary and philosophical disciplines to contextualise religion, texts and traditions. In his day job Richard uses his skills developed in academic study, such as critique and analysis, to enhance his assessment. He is combining his research on extremism with his criminological study to inform another strand of his interdisciplinary work. Richard is also qualified as a teacher, lecturer and preacher. He is an ordained elder of the United Reformed Church and he crafts his sermons not only for worship but psychosocial therapy. Despite having a busy day job, Richard continues to research and write and is available to engage in the traditional scholarly capacity as well as to provide commentary and exposition for a range of different mediums. He is also a published poet, a fan of ice-hockey and was once quite a good weight-lifter!
St Paul - 1 Corinthians 1: 20 & 25
20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
25 For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.