New Theology ebooks from Bloomsbury (March 2017)

21 Theology titles published by Bloomsbury in 2015 are newly-available to members of the University as ebooks, in addition to those already available from the publisher.

Among the highlights from the collection are:

Useful introductions to Pneumatology and Atonement:

Daniel Castelo / Pneumatology: a guide for the perplexed


Adam J. Johnson / Atonement: a guide for the perplexed


And collections of essays by John Webster and George Hunsinger:

John Webster / God Without Measure: working papers in Christian Theology. Volume 1: God and the Works of God.


George Hunsinger / Conversational Theology: essays on Ecumenical, Postliberal and Political themes, with special reference to Karl Barth


A complete list of the Theology titles, together with new acquisitions from Bloomsbury in Philosophy, History and Anthropology, is available to download here.

The Bloomsbury Collections ebooks platform offers readers a clear interface with the ability to search full text, download and print pdfs, and read on smartphones and tablets.

In addition, a personal ‘My Collections’ profile can be created which allows readers to save content and annotations for future use. Readers can:

  • save favourite books and chapters
  • save citations
  • email and export saved citations
  • receive email alerts and newsletter

All the ebooks are searchable via idiscover; access outside of the university requires a raven password.

These books were purchased using part of the Connell Fund ebooks allocation for 2016-17 on the recommendation of the Connell Fund librarians.

The ebooks@cambridge blog post on these new acquisitions is available here.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the library ( if you have any questions.


Be prepared: 2017 Tyrwhitt Lecture

2017 Tyrwhitt Lecture : Prof. Carol Newsom

2017 Tyrwhitt Lecture : Prof. Carol Newsom

Professor Carol Newsom will deliver the 2017 Tyrwhitt Lecture, on 8th March 2017, 14:30, in the Runcie Room. She will be speaking on ‘Sin Consciousness, Self-Alienation, and the Origins of the Introspective Self’. To prepare for this lecture you might want to look at some of Professor Newsom’s publication:

  • “Plural Versions and the Challenge of Narrative Coherence in the Story of Job,” in The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Narrative. Oxford University Press, 2016 @ UL: South Wing, Floor 3: 36:5.b.201.2
  • “‘The Righteous Mind’ and Judean Moral Culture: A Conversation Between Biblical Studies and Moral Psychology,” in Worship, Women, and War: Essays in Honor of Susan Niditch. Brown Judaic Studies, 2015 @ UL: South Wing, Floor 3: 37:6.c.201.43
  • Daniel: A Commentary. Westminster John Knox Press,2014 @ On order at DivLib
  • Co-editor, The Women’s Bible Commentary: Twentieth Anniversary Edition. Westminster John Knox Press,2012 @ On order at DivLib [1992 edition at Divlib: 2 NEW]
  • Co-editor, Oxford Annotated Bible, Fourth Edition. Oxford University Press, 2010 @ UL: South Wing, Floor 3: 19:7.c.201.2 and 19:7.c.201.3 [also @  2 B-ENGL 2010 at DivLib]
  • Translator,1QHodayota with Incorporation of 1QHodayotb and 4QHodayota-f. Clarendon Press,2009 @ UL: Order in West Room (Not borrowable): S514:01.a.1.42 , and FAMES @ C 3 F 51.40
  • The Self as Symbolic Space: Constructing Identity and Community at Qumran. Brill, 2004 @ UL: West Four: 816:01.c.1.55
  • The Book of Job: A Contest of Moral Imaginations. Oxford University Press,2003 @ DivLib: 3 NEWS 3 & UL: Order in West Room (Not borrowable): 2009.9.1909.

For more than 190 publications (articles, book reviews, etc.) by or about Prof Newsom please go to

[needs subscription access to ATLA Serials, currently available to University of Cambridge members as a trial, until the end of March 2017]

The Tyrwhitt lecture is one of the annual named lectures at the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. This lecture series focuses on Old Testament studies. Robert Tyrwhitt (1735–1817) was a fellow at Jesus College Cambridge, and a prominent Unitarian. Tyrwhitt left £4,000 to the University to support the study of Hebrew. The Faculty has a list of previous Tyrwhitt lectures.


Charting how bad DivLib borrowers are

Percentage of overdue books across School of Arts & Humanities Libraries, 1 day in February 2017

Percentage of overdue books across School of Arts & Humanities Libraries, 1 day in February 2017

I apologise for this negative post title, but I’m sure that you will forgive me once you have read this post.

Nearly 2 weeks ago, it was a frosty but pleasant Tuesday (just as I hear you wonder), I received our daily email with circulation statistics, and thought,

Wow! Our borrowers are bad! So many overdue books in the middle of term!

Then it dawned on me that I didn’t have any good data for comparison (and though I have worked at the Marshall Library and Pendlebury Library, I cannot remember much about the circulation stats there!). I asked my colleagues of the other 7 libraries in the School of Arts and Humanities whether they could help me, to put the number of DivLib overdue books into perspective.

DivLib is Library A in the above chart, so you can see that borrowers of our library are neither the “worst”, when it comes to having overdue books, nor are they the “best” when it comes to renewing or returning books before they are due. In fact, only 2 other libraries in the SAH have a lower overdue ratio to total books borrowed. So the borrowers at DivLib are actually not that “bad” at all, at returning or renewing their books on time!

There are, of course, a lot of issues with the comparison I have made above. First, one could assume that the total number of books borrowed at each library, co-relates with the number of overdue items (i.e. the Library with the highest books being borrowed, has the highest number of overdue items); this is not completely the case, though there is a tendency for some libraries with higher number of total loans to have a higher overdue ratio. Second, surely the total number of active (potential) borrowers should mean that a library having more borrowers is “more at risk” of having more overdue books. Third, each library has different fines regimes, and deals with overdues differently – however, the correlation between all these three factors, and how they impact isn’t clear to me (not least as this would go way beyond a simple data gathering exercise!)

However, what is clear, is the advice I can give to borrowers who repeatedly have overdue books, and therefore accrue fines. So here are my top tips for avoiding fines:

  1. Check your emails regularly! Like every library in Cambridge: we email out a reminder that the book will be due, one day before it is due the following day (30 minutes before the Library closes on that day). We suggest that if you don’t check your @cam email address, that you set up messages to be forwarded from there to an email address of your choice. We also send out overdue notices – how some people can ignore such emails for weeks is a bit surprising to us.
  2. Are you using a Google Calendar? Pull your loans into your calendar! The instructions are on under “Loans Feeds”,
  3. When not reading a book, store all your borrowed books in one place (on a shelf in your room, if possible); if this is manageable: keep them in order of due date (from the ones due sooner to the ones due later); if you fancy being a librarian, have different sequences for books from different libraries! (This piece of advice seems patronising trivial, but the number of times I have heard from a reader that they had misplaced the book, and forgotten about it, and then found it after looking in every possible space they use for reading books…)
  4. Renew often, and at a set time. If you are not overly bothered about paying fines (if that is the case can we please ask you to donate some money to the librarians’ biscuit fund?), I would recommend that you renew all your books once a week. If you are not keen to accrue fines at the DivLib: we currently offer 50 renewals, so why not renew your books every morning, say, after you had breakfast? The advantage of renewing in the morning is: if a book cannot be renewed, you have most of the day (well, until we close!) to return the book.
  5. Return any books you don’t need any more!  This seems simple, but often people tell me that they had finished a book, but just forgot to return it.
  6. Return them – early – via the Sidgbox, especially when the DivLib is closed. (Please note: the book will only be discharged, when we are next open: say, you return a book which is due on Monday, 30 minutes before we will close the Library, on the previous Saturday, the book will be discharged on Monday morning).
  7. Use “only” ebooks provided by your lovely University, and what has been provided on Moodle. (Please don’t blame us, though, if the results of your work aren’t that good!)
  8. The “nuclear option”: do not borrow any books from libraries, and read them in the library! You might think that this is extreme, but I know of at least 2 undergraduate students who have been doing this.

Have you got any good hints how to avoid overdue books, and fines at DivLib? Please share your hints below as a comment.


Be prepared: the Henry Martyn Lectures 2017

2017 Henry Martyn lectures, photo of Prof. Emmanuel Katongole, of the Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, and drawing of Henry Martyn [sources unknown]

This year’s Henry Martyn Lectures will be given by Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Katongole of the Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame on the theme of “Who Are My People: Christianity, Violence, and Belonging in Post-Colonial Africa”, and are due to take place on February 20, 21, and 22 at 5.30pm each night in the Runcie Room of the Divinity Faculty. Please see the announcement by CCCW for more information.

In anticipation of these lectures, here are some of Prof. Katongole’s selected publications with links to Cambridge resources:

And due to be published in May 2017:

Born from lament: the theology and politics of hope in Africa (Eerdmans, 2017)

Journal Articles:


Library Survey 2016: borrowing & fines

Sidgwick Site book drop plus Issue Desk at DivLib (10/2016)And to more of your comments in last year’s Library Survey… This is about borrowing & fines, were we have managed to respond to quite a lot of requests (and: hopefully more changes to follow):


Longer loans for graduate students. 7 days was fine at undergraduate but as a research student, you require books for longer Div Fac PhD students and staff:

in Easter Term 2016 we increased the loan length for, and maximum numbers of books Div Fac PhD students can borrow. We also increased the number of items Div Fac staff can borrow. I hope that your comment pre-dates this change.


MPhil students:

We increased the number of loans and the length of loans for MPhil students in Michaelmas Term 2016.


Div Fac UGs:

We, finally, increased the number of loans for UG Divinity students (on 6 February 2017), but feel that the 7 days loans for UG students works well, as we need to circulate most books more quickly – there are not enough copies of certain books/for some papers for letting students take out books for longer. We have, however, in 2016-17 been monitoring the holds more, and have been trying to buy extra copies were available.


Re more books over the vacation periods:

Sadly, I’m not sure what your status is, but if you are a PhD student or staff, the increase in borrowing limits will hopefully be sufficient already. Could you please contact me if you are an UG or MPhil student, so that I can get an idea what number of books you were hoping for here?

Longer loan periods
Loan period
Longer borrowing times.
Higher borrowing limit
Extend the borrowing length. I visited the library when I first arrived and learned how short the borrowing time was. The UL was so much longer that I never came back to the Div library.
The ability to check more books out, PARTICULARLY OVER THE VACATION PERIODS.


No more fines and more notice before books are due back. Currently, I cannot see a system without any fines, as some library users are not inclined to return a book, even if someone else needs it. There are other options: blocking readers when 1 book becomes overdue, but that means that other books taken out by the same borrower (which are not requested by anyone else) cannot be renewed either, and to me it seems simpler to just have the “disciplining element” linked to the book needed, not the whole borrowing privileges of the borrower.


However, at the last Learning and Resource Committee of 2015-16, my proposal to reduce fines for overdue books (when no one else has requested it) has been approved, and came into force from 1 October 2016. However, for books which had been or are requested by another reader, the fines will go up. The LRC decided to raise the fines to £1, to help books being circulated more often amongst those who will need them.


Re more notice:

Currently, the notices are going out the morning before the book is due on the following day (6pm or 4.30pm, depending on whether it is a fixed due date – such as the final Wednesday in term time – or any other day). I’m not sure how much more notice you would want to receive. If you are talking about 7-day loans, our current system makes most sense to me.

Longer loans with recall. It is too easy to lose £5 each week by accidentally deleting an email, not having internet access… I have spoken to a couple of undergraduate students, and maybe I talked to the wrong students (not entirely representative sample), but a lot feel that 7 day-loans work well for the UGs, as anything longer makes it even less likely that a book in high demand for a specific paper in a specific week, will be needed any more by other people.


I am sorry that you are finding it hard to keep on top of your emails, and what you have borrowed where. There are two solutions I would suggestion, but both mean that you will need to be (in my eyes) even more disciplined:

1.       Check your library account once (or if you are really worried about overdue items twice) a week. For Divinity Library books: renew them early! You got 50 renewals, and it is unlikely that you will need all of them. If you are really annoyed about this, you could renew your books daily!

2.       You can always ring our phone (01223 763040 or 63040 from within the University’s phone system). We’ll check your account, and renew books as much as we can.

More leniency on fines, for example my college library only fines once the books are more than a week overdue, at which point you pay for the whole week’s worth of fines. We are not charging fines because we’d like to make money. We are charging fines, because I means that books are more likely to be returned in time. We will be lenient for any extenuating circumstances.


The proposal to reduce fines for overdue books which are not requested by someone else (see above) from 1 October 2016, is thought to reflect more the reasons why we fine, and also to reduce the fines most students have to pay. However, some students are not inclined to return books when others need them – believing that there needs are more important than the needs of others.


It sounds like your college library has built in a grace period. I don’t have a problem with this as such, I just have experienced this in two other libraries I have worked, and were we did this. What it meant was that some students always relied on the grace period, de facto lengthening the “normal” loan period, so not seeing this idea of a grace period as a helpful gesture when things might be a bit tight. However, we can trial this at DivLib – and you and others can show me that this won’t be the case then; show that despite a grace period most students will return books when needed by someone else, etc.

Again, I hope that some of the above is helpful, and that the many changes we have made will be seen as responding to what you said, and what we did.


Library Survey 2016: e-resources

Work in progress - your comments, and my feed for Libary Survey 2016

Work in progress – your comments, and my feed for Libary Survey 2016

Just as we are to launch this year’s Library Survey at the Divinity Library, I have suddenly remembered that my colleague Amanda had collated all your responses to ‘If I could change one thing, I would change…’, and that I never got back to publishing all comments, and our feedback. Sorry! So without further ado, here are your comments about e-resources, and my feedback – I hope that these are useful:

More e-journal article subscriptions. Please contact us about any ebooks or ejournals you are missing in our provisions – we recently discovered that one fairly major US journal was not listed on iDiscover, but that we had at least print-access.


In terms of journals, I’m personally more than happy to go “e-journal” only, in particular as the UL is not able to buy print and e-access for most journals, but needs to consolidate its fund on one or the other. Institutional journal costs have increased massively, and despite the University of Cambridge not being a poor university, we do not have the same funds as a lot of less prestigious, US universities. I haven’t lately done a comparison of tuition fees, but I guess that we are still much cheaper than comparable US universities.


Libraries cannot buy all Ebooks we are asked to buy, as some publishers do not provide institutional licenses. However, please suggest ebook titles, and we will investigate this.


Re: Oxford Handbooks: we should have access to all of these. Which titles were you missing?


Please contact us by email ( for any (e)books or (e)journals you cannot find – we can also check the UL backlog for you, and ask our colleagues to fast track cataloguing and processing there! This has happened many times since I asked PhD students and academics to let me know if they couldn’t find a book iDiscover

Exhaustiveness as regards e-journals and e-books: it’s very unfortunate indeed that, as a Cambridge student, I have to ask my friends from universities in Canada to get me a pdf of this or that journal (most of the e-journals from De Gruyter I’ve needed have been inaccessible to me, to give but one example for e-journals; as regards e-books, Oxford Handbooks for instance are not accessible to me) or this or that e-book.
In general, Cambridge is light years behind the USA schools concerning e-resources. We’re not in the same league here on that. This was my biggest surprise upon coming to Cambridge. And this pertains to the UL overall, not just the Divinity library holdings. That being said, what the Divinity faculty library has book-wise is very respectable for such a small library.
That the library would obtain e-journals and books not found in the UL or Tyndale House.
More e-books/ e-journals so I can work from my accommodation! Definitely more convenient.
Ability to request a single journal article from a non-subscribed journal, or a single book chapter from a book not in the catalogue and have a scanned version delivered via email at no cost to me. This was a provision at my past universities, and was extremely useful. I get the impression that costs and University systems preclude it at Cambridge, but it would be fantastic to have this service.  In theory we could supply scans of single journal articles from DivLib print copies – however, in practice our current staffing levels mean that we cannot offer this time-intensive service. Sorry.

With regard to single book chapters from a book, I do not know what you mean by “not in the catalogue” – in the UK we are (by law) not allowed to provide  scans of book chapters of books we do not own! And are restricted by copyright laws to providing only 1 chapter (or up to 10%) from 1 book for 1 cohort of students.

It sounds to me as if you are a PhD student, but if you are on a taught Div Fac programme, please get in touch; especially, if this chapter is on a reading list for a paper! This we do all the time, and only the limits under UK copyright law stop us from helping with this more.

I hardly use e-books and think they are pretty hard to use, I think nothing can replace having access to physical books. I am also dyslexic and find it very hard to read from a screen so the assumption that e-books solves the issue of not having enough copies is disrespectful to those with specific learning difficulties. I’m sorry to read that you have difficulties in using ebooks. Neither the UL nor we have a policy of providing “ebooks only” (for titles we can purchase); however, we cannot duplicate every ebook copy with a print copy. If you would prefer a print copy of an existing ebook, could you please get in touch, and please mention that due to being dyslexic you would prefer a print book. Personally, I do not think that ebooks solve the problem of having enough copies, there are other ways too (for my opinion on the matter, you can read a blog post I wrote in 2011:
Access to restricted e-books which currently require using specific computers in the library Since 9 May 2016 we have a designated Electronic Legal Deposit Terminal in the Divinity Library, see ; we hope that as more material becomes available, we might be able to have more terminals. The fact that we need to do this at all is for UK legal deposit laws – I cannot say that it’s likely that this will change, but the practicalities of this law will soon be reviewed. If you are interested in knowing more about this: An overview over how e-legal deposit works in Cambridge and in the UK: British Library’s pages of Legal Deposit:

One final comment if I may: there is no separate Divinity Library budget for e-resources, and all e-resources are available to all members of the University (this is a policy decision which I think makes most sense). However, we have supported the purchase of the Digital Karl Barth Library from the Divinity Library’s (book) budget. E-journals, also cannot just be purchased for the members of the Faculty, meaning that the costs are much higher than they would be, if we were purely asking for e-access for the (lower numbers of) members “within our building”.

I hope that the above is helpful, but if you have any questions about e-journals or e-books, please contact me.


Be prepared: the Stanton Lectures 2017

Stanton Lecutres 2017, photos of Prof. Simon Oliver (Durham University), and Vincent Henry Stanton.

Stanton Lecutres 2017, photos of Prof. Simon Oliver (Durham University), and Vincent Henry Stanton.

The Stanton Lectures 2017 will start on Thursday 9th February, 4pm in the Runcie Room of the Faculty of Divinity. Between that Thursday and the 16 March, these weekly lectures will be delivered by Prof. S. A. Oliver (Durham University). Please see for a list of each lecture’s title.

To help you “prepare” for these lectures, you might want to read some of Prof. Oliver’s (selected) publications (taken from his web page, with added links to Cambridge resources):

Authored book

  • (2005). Philosophy, God and Motion. London: Routledge. @ DivLib: 10 OLI

Edited book

  • Oliver, Simon, Kilby, Karen & O’Loughlin, Tom (2012). Faithful Reading: New Essays in Honour of Fergus Kerr, O.P. London: Bloomsbury. @ DivLib: 9 KERR 4
  • Oliver, Simon & Milbank, John (2009). The Radical Orthodoxy Reader. London: Routledge. @ DivLib: 9 MILB 9
  • Oliver, Simon & Warrier, Maya (2008). Theology and Religious Studies: An Exploration of Disciplinary Boundaries. London: T&T Clark. @ DivLib: 9 WAR

Journal Article

A couple of words about the person in which honour these lectures have been held. Vincent Henry Stanton (1846-1924), was a scholar with close ties to the University of Cambridge, and the Divinity Faculty; to highlight just a few positions: Stanton was the Ely Professor of Divinity from 1889-1916, and Regius Professor of Divinity from 1916-1922. In 1904 he endowed the Stanton University Lectureship in the Philosophy of Religion (facts taken from Alumni Cantabrigienses : a biographical list of all known students, graduates and holders of office at the University of Cambridge, from the earliest times to 1900, ed. by J. A. Venn, Cambridge University Presse 1954, Part II, Volume VI, Square-Zupitza, p. 14).

For a list of the last 13 Stanton Lectures (the most recent with links to audio files), please go to


A moment to remember: HMD 2017

Screenshot of Wall of Life - Holocaust Memorial Trust (UK), 2017, web page

Screenshot of Wall of Life – Holocaust Memorial Trust (UK), 2017, web page

27 January 2017 is “Holocaust Memorial Day 2017″ in the UK, and I would like to ask you to consider (at least) to think about the victims of genocides, if not engaging with this a bit more.

You could decide to listen and watch a video of a holocaust survivour, for example Gerda Weissmann Klein’s interview from 1990 or choose another person at C-Span. Alternatively, one of the following books (just four in close proximity on our shelves, from nearly 200 books we hold on the holocaust) might be of interest too:

  • Inherit the truth, 1939-1945 : the documented experiences of a survivor of Auschwitz and Belsen / Anita Lasker-Wallfisch ; :London : Giles de la Mare, 1996 (2000 printing), DivLib: 4 LAS
  • Holocaust testimonies : the ruins of memory / Lawrence L. Langer; New Haven ; London : Yale University Press, c1991, DivLib: 4 LAN
  • Studying the Holocaust : issues, readings and documents / Ronnie S. Landau; London ; New York : Routledge, 1998, DivLib: 4 LAN
  • The Nazi holocaust / Ronnie S. Landau ; London : Tauris, 1992., DivLib: 4 LAN

Genocides have happened since the Nazi prosecutions and murders, and to me it seems most important in our times to fight any discrimination, persecution or ill-treatment of anyone, based on their religion, gender, or ethnicity – also by remembering historic catastrophies, and how badly human beings can treat other human beings.


ATLA Religion Database with ATLA Serials


Trial access is now enabled to ATLA Religion Database with ATLA Serials to 31 March 2017.  The trial can be accessed via this link on or off campus:,shib&profile=ehost&defaultdb=rfh

ATLA Religion Database with ATLA Serials complements the University Library’s existing subscription to the ATLA Religion Database by adding the full text of the articles indexed in the database, which can now be downloaded as PDFs alongside the article citation.

This trial has been arranged under the auspices of the Journals Co-ordination Scheme of the University.  Please send your feedback on the addition of the full text to the subscription and how this is useful to you to

Four of my father’s wives lived at Provo during my childhood, a situation particularly fortunate for the swarm of Taylor kids. Santa Claus came twice to us, instead of just the single time he visited homes of those unfortunates whose fathers…

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Outstanding e-resources for Theology and Religious Studies: the Patrologia Latina Database


[Patrologia Latina database front page; accessed 9 December 2016.]

The Patrologia Latina full text database provides electronic access to the 221 volumes of the first (and most accurate) edition of Jacques-Paul Migne’s Patrologia Latina (in the Divinity library at 7 PAT-L) published between 1844 and 1855 (with index volumes published from 1862-1865).

These volumes provide a comprehensive collection of texts by the Latin Church Fathers from 200AD to 1216.

The editors of the electronic edition have striven to ensure that it is as complete and correct a version of the print edition as possible, with all the supporting materials, such as prefaces, notes, appendices and Migne’s column numbers, included. The editors have also highlighted author attributions which were subsequently disputed by providing  codes to standard reference works in which other attributions are made.

The electronic format significantly enhances the accessibility of these texts and allows for powerful search capabilities. The full range of electronic search facilities is available, including full-text searching over the whole database, searching within individual volumes, and also a Greek keyword search facility.