Bible Archaeology

Excavating Early Scottish Christianity

Excavations on the Scottish island Eigg have uncovered a seventh century C.E. structure thought to be the monastery founded by St. Donnan, one of the first missionaries in Scotland. Also known as Donnan of Eigg, the priest traveled through northwest Scotland before settling on Eigg, where he was martyred in 617 C.E. The site features Pictish pottery in the graveyard as well as an oval enclosure and ditch, a characteristic of contemporary monasteries, which maintained a separation between sacred and exterior spaces. The Eigg History Society received funding from the Heritage Lottery to locate the monastery, and archaeologist John Hunter announced in The Scotsmanthat the findings surpassed his expectations. Donnan, the patron Saint of Eigg, evangelized the island and the Scottish archaeology discoveries memorialize and bear witness to a major figure in the dissemination of Christianity on the British Isles.

Scottish archaeology at Eigg has exposed a structure related to the seventh century C.E. St. Donnan, an evangelizing figure in early Scottish Christianity.

Read more in The Scotsman



Bible Archaeology

Archaeology and the Bible: A Veritable Minefield

The next time you hear someone talk about the “science” of archaeology or how some discovery (or lack of discovery) has proved or disproved this or that biblical claim, you may want to consider the words of one of Israel’s senior archaeologists, Amihai Mazar:

“The interpretation of archaeological data and its association to the biblical text is a veritable minefield, as it is often inspired by the scholar’s personal attitude towards the text . . . we face over and over again arguments that, at their core, are circular. This was as true at the time of William F. Albright and his followers as it is today. There are few items of data in the archaeological record that are not disputable.”

Source: Amihai Mazar, “The Spade and the Text: The Interaction between Archaeology and Israelite History Relating to the Tenth-Ninth Centuries BCE,” in Understanding the History of Ancient Israel, ed. H. G. M. Williamson, Proceedings of the British Academy, vol. 143 (Oxford: Oxford University Press for The British Academy, 2007), 145.




Riot Police Break Up Mass and Stomp on Eucharist

Knock the Priest down and stomp on the Eucharist:

Cheju diocese has demanded an official apology after about 20 riot police disrupted a Mass yesterday on Jeju island. The police were clearing a path for a cement truck to enter the construction site of a controversial new naval base.

Father Bartholomew Mun Jung-hyun, who was presiding over the Mass at the gates of the site, was knocked to the ground while administering communion. It is claimed that a policeman also trod on the Eucharist.

Father John Ko Buyeong-soo, president of Cheju diocese’s Committee for Justice and Peace, visited the site shortly after the disturbance.

He told that he would demand an explanation and an apology from police.

“To step on or damage the Eucharist is an insult to Catholics,” he said.

The Jeju Provincial Police Agency yesterday issued a press statement in which it denied any wrongdoing.

“There was no violent force throwing Fr Mun to the ground or stepping on the Eucharist,” the statement said.

Woo Jeong-sik, chief inspector of Jeju police, later said it remained unclear whether Fr Mun was knocked down and added: “the policeman who allegedly stepped on the Eucharist said he did not do so.”

More here.

HTThe Deacon’s Bench



Slipper Quits as Chancellor of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia (TAC)

The Australian:

Stood-aside Speaker Peter Slipper has resigned from his role as chancellor of the Traditional Anglican Communion in the wake of allegations he sexually harassed a male adviser and misused taxpayer funds.

In a letter to parliament’s Registry of Members’ Interests, dated August 8, Mr Slipper, who is an ordained priest, writes that he has stepped down from the role.

“I advise that I have resigned as chancellor of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia (Traditional Anglican Communion),” Mr Slipper wrote. “Would you please acknowledge receipt in due course.”

Mr Slipper’s move follows a request in April by the Australian leader of the Traditional Anglican Communion, John Hepworth, for him to stand aside while the allegations made by staffer James Ashby were investigated.

As chancellor of the breakaway TAC, Mr Slipper, who has denied all the claims made against him, is the chief legal adviser to Archbishop Hepworth.

“It is right for anyone accused of serious misconduct in public life, whether in church life or political life, to stand aside until the processes of justice reach a conclusion,” Archbishop Hepworth said on April 22.

“Ministers of the crown and cardinals of the church have followed this sound principle in recent years in Australia; otherwise, the integrity of our core institutions is eroded, and our expectations of public morality further decay.”

Last year, Mr Slipper backed the move by the TAC to join the Catholic Church.

Deputy Speaker Anna Burke yesterday presided over the first day of parliament in the spring session, with Mr Slipper still stood-aside pending the outcome of an Australian Federal Police investigation and the sexual harassment claims in the Federal Court.

The AFP last month completed its formal criminal investigation into allegations the Sunshine Coast MP and Liberal National Party defector misused Cabcharge dockets and handed it over to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions for assessment.

The CDPP is yet to make a decision on whether to proceed with the case.

Gillard government ministers have been criticised by the Coalition for prejudging Mr Ashby’s claims that Mr Slipper sexually harassed him, by publicly outlining key planks of the commonwealth’s defence before they have been heard in the Federal Court.

The commonwealth’s defence was dealt a blow last month when Federal Court judge Steven Rares ruled that its allegations of a political conspiracy prevented Mr Ashby from having to make a submission on the allegations in the civil case, on the grounds he could incriminate himself.

For info: A new Chancellor of the Diocese was already appointed as of last month, Dr Sandra McColl.