Wednesday, October 19, 2022


It has been a while since I have published anything new on the website and that has a lot to do with a new job, at St. Mark's College at the University of British Columbia, where I direct the Centre for Christian Engagement, with moving back to Canada from Minnesota, and the reality of Covid-19, which hit just after I had surgery for lung cancer. I hope to begin and to finish the Acts of the Apostles Commentary series that I began years ago, but first I wanted to update you on some of the activities of the Centre. 

We have a Pope Francis Conference coming on May 4-6, 2023. While the Call for Papers has closed, we cordially invite you to come to the conference if you are able. It will be a conference reflecting on the first 10 years of Francis's pontificate and we have numerous excellent speakers joining with us. 

We had two recent events in September that dealt with issues of anti-Semitism in Christian biblical interpretation. The first was a panel discussion with Dr. Matthew Thiessen, Rabbi Dr. Laura Duhan-Kaplan, and myself. 

The second was a lecture by Dr. Thiessen on his wonderful book Jesus and the Forces of Death. It challenges stereotypes about the Jews of the Second Temple Period and locates Jesus as an observant Jew, particularly examining the purity/impurity regulations.


Finally, we have started a podcast at the Centre, What Matters Most, and the first two episodes are now available. The first is a conversation with Fr. Jim Martin and the second is a conversation with Michael W. Higgins, a noted Canadian Catholic academic, biographer, and journalist. Check out the podcast here. You can find the podcast on Apple podcasts at What Matters Most and at Spotify at What Matters Most. And do feel free to rate and review if you enjoy the podcast!

Please join us at all of these sites and ventures and feel free to contact me at 

John W. Martens


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