People

June 1, 2010

N. T. (Tom) Wright, a noted biblical scholar who has been serving as the Anglican bishop of Durham, will return to academia in September, taking a chair in New Testament and early Christianity at St. Andrews School of Divinity in Scot land. Wright, 61, has taught in England and Canada and recently was on sabbatical at Princeton University working on a book about the apostle Paul. Wright, described by some as a centrist evangelical in biblical interpretation and church life, is much sought-after as a visiting professor, lecturer and essayist. “His profile as a churchman, writer and communicator is simply outstanding,” said Ivor Davidson, head of the School of Divinity.

Kent Richards, the longtime executive director of the Atlanta-based Society of Biblical Literature, the world’s largest academy of biblical scholars, will be succeeded in that post July 1 by John F. Kutsko, who has spent over two decades in publishing, most recently at Abingdon Press, the main imprint of the United Methodist Publishing House. Kutsko earned a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and ancient Near Eastern studies at Harvard University in 1997 but became involved in editing and publishing major reference books and led a digital publishing initiative at Abingdon. Kutsko praised Richards, whose academic specialty was Old Testament, as “very much the founder of the modern SBL” by establishing an annual international meeting of the society, expanding its in-house publishing and leading projects to enhance biblical literacy.

Gustav Niebuhr, an accomplished religion reporter at major newspapers who now teaches at Syracuse University, has been selected as the 2010 winner of the William A. Reed Lifetime Achieve ment Award by the Religion Newswriters Association. Niebuhr, 54, to be given the award in September, is from a famous family. His father, Richard Niebuhr, taught theology at Harvard Divinity School, retiring in 1999. The journalist’s great-uncle was Reinhold Niebuhr, who taught at New York’s Union Theological Seminary, and his grandfather H. Richard Niebuhr taught at Yale Divinity School. His great-aunt Hulda was on the McCormick Theological Seminary faculty. Gustav began a journalism career covering politics but later covered religion at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and the New York Times. He and his wife, Margaret, took faculty positions at Syracuse in 2003.