Dr Michael Trainor - School of Theology (Faculty of Theology and Philosophy)
Assistant Supervisor – Only eligible to supervise with a fully accredited Principal or Co-supervisor
I have an MA in Biblical Literature and Languages (1982, Chicago, Catholic Theological Union) and MEd (1988, Boston College, MA, USA) and a D.Theol (1990, Melbourne College of Divinity)
I taught for over 15 years in the department of theology in biblical studies in Flinders University and am currently senior lecturer in the department of theology with the Australian Catholic University, at the St Francis of Assisi Adelaide Campus in South Australia.
I continue to supervise post-graduate Masters and Doctoral candidates, research and write with interests in the New Testament, particularly the gospels, with a focus on eco-hermeneutics and inter-religious matters.
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I am involved in interrelgiious dialogue at a state, national and international level: I co-chair the SA Council of Christians and Jews, chair the Australian Council of Christians and Jews; executive member of the International Council of Christians and Jews; co-chair the Uniting Church-Roman Catholic Dialogue of South Australia.
I am an active member of the following professional organisations: Society of Biblical Literature, Catholic Biblical Association of America, The Australian Catholic Biblical Association.
Of the many projects in which I am involved, one is of particular importance. This is the research project sponsored by the International Council of Christians and Jews entitled 'Promise, Land and Hope:Jews and Christians Seeking Understanding to Enable Constructive Dialogue About lsraeli-Palestinian Issues".
Partially in response to increased polarization in Christian-Jewish dialogues around the world caused by the ongoing lsraeli-Palestinian conflict, the PROMISE, LAND AND HOPE project will shed light on one of the conflict's specifically religious dimensions: how different disputants draw upon scriptural or other authoritative religious texts to advance their arguments. By becoming aware of how different voices adduce texts, it becomes possible to get beyond their contradictory conclusions to understand why people argue as they do. This kind of awareness enables dialogues to move from endless arguments over policies or actions to constructive engagement with diversity.
Over a period of five years, the Research Council will explore a variety of Jewish and Christian methods of textual interpretation, focusing primarily on two urgent topics that roil contemporary discussions of the lsraeli-Palestinian confllct: perspectives on land and their relationship to understandings of eschatology.
The team assembled at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in August of 2O12 and developed an analytic tool or template to review selected written materials that represent a variety of perspectives( e.g., Christian Zionist, Palestinian, the Jewish left- or right-wing, liberal Protestants, etc.). This process identified the authoritative sources used, analyzed the interpretive suppositions and methods employed (i.e.,hermeneutics) and clarified the bases for the conclusions or arguments advanced. This process of analysis and identification continued in 2013, in Chicago.
Among the many issues relevant to thls research are some specific to Jews and others specific to Christians. For Jews a major question is Jewish ideas about the roles of other peoples - both within Israel and in relation to other lands/nations. Christians will need to consider the implications of their general affirmation of God's continuing covenant wlth the Jewish people for specific issues relating to the land- holiness, sovereignty, place/s, covenant, relics, etc.
Expected outcomes include a template or typology of varying approaches to authoritative texts that Influence current conversatios about the lsraeli-Palestinian conflict. By mapping these approaches, participants in dialogues on the topic will more easily understand why different Jews and Christians argue the conclusions they do, thereby helping to counter the tendency toward polarization that the lsraeli-Palestinian conflict generates. The project participants are committed to making the results of their work accessible to as wide a readership as possible.