Following an inspiring inaugural conference held in 2012 at Baylor under the leadership of Professor David Lyle Jeffrey, the Green Scholars Initiative and Logos Fellowship, in collaboration with SCIO (Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford), held its second annual conference in Wycliffe College, Oxford University, from 13 to 27 June 2013. Forty-two students from twenty universities and seminaries received Logos fellowships as Green Scholars. Baylor's was the largest contingent, sending more fellows and mentors to the meeting than any other institution including UCLA and Princeton and Fuller seminaries. The Baylor fellows joined their mentors in Oxford in the pursuit of collaborative research on ancient papyrus and manuscripts of the Bible and biblical tradition. Participants attended lectures on Current Issues in Textual Studies and participated in hands-on workshops and practica in papyrology and paleography for Hebrew, Syriac, Greek and Latin led by world-class scholars in these special fields.
The two-week conference aimed to assist the next generation of scholars to understand how their Christian faith intersects with their academic careers and to form lasting relationships as they engage in their life's work in diverse roles at institutions throughout the world. Toward this end each day began with a prayer service, and a series of moderated discussions on The Vocation of Christian Scholars in the Modern University took place at the end of fruitful days.
Participants reflected on Oxford's distinguished role in the history of Christian scholarship through a series of plenary lectures on Oxford, Scholarship and the Christian Mind that treated of some of the University's most famous Christian scholars, including John Colet, the Oxonians involved in the translation of the King James Bible, C.S. Lewis, and Dorothy Sayers. Participants were also able to explore Oxford's majestic setting and its environs such as the Bodleian Library, Christchurch Cathedral, and farther afield in St. Alban's and St. Paul's Cathedrals and the British Museum.
Baylor's contingent included students Zerek Dodson, Kirsten Kappelmann, and Jeff Cross, and recent graduates Amy Freeman (PhD program, Univ of Dallas), David Welch (MA in medieval studies, Toronto) and Erika Smith (PhD program, Penn). Professors Jeff Fish, Melinda Nielsen, and Dan Nodes participated as Baylor mentor-scholars. Dr. Nodes gave the first plenary lecture in the series devoted to famous Christian Scholars who worked at Oxford, speaking on "John Colet, Oxford, and Christocentric Humanism." Dr. Fish gave a papyrology practicum with his colleague Dirk Obbink of Christchurch College. Dr. Nielsen's expert mentoring in Medieval Latin paleography was in evidence, as her student, GSI scholar Erika Smith presented on her work with a manuscript of the Speculum Humanae Salvationis in a session chaired by Dr. Fish. David, Erika and Amy will all be continuing in an active way on the preparation of the edition of the Speculum under Dr. Nielsen as editor-in-chief. Baylor senior Kirsten Kappelmann later remarked, "I think I can honestly say that in some ways the Logos meeting might have been the best two weeks of my life so far."
Our host college Wycliffe Hall was founded in Oxford in 1877 to form priests for the Church of England. As the conference program aptly described it, the founders of the Hall wanted to serve Jesus Christ and to exercise a transformative influence on both the church and wider culture from within the heart of Oxford. From this heart our Logos participants have been sent forth, informed and renewed for the work of scholarship in the Christian tradition.