Lincoln Blumell—“Scholarship can be a form of devotion”

05.16.2018 | The Maxwell Institute

Lincoln Blumell

The Maxwell Institute is pleased to welcome Lincoln Blumell as a visiting scholar for the summer semester. He’s an associate professor in BYU’s department of Ancient Scripture who specializes in early Christianity and Greek and Coptic papyrology and epigraphy. In other words, he examines what early Christians wrote and what they wrote on. While at the Institute, Blumell will be working on a monograph on Didymus the Blind’s lectures on Psalms. The book is currently under review with Society of Biblical Literature’s series Writings from the Greco-Roman World. Blumell is a Latter-day Saint whose focus is on Christians who lived long before the Restoration. Most commonly, his audience stretches beyond the boundaries of the LDS Church. What does it mean, in his context, to be a “disciple-scholar”? “For me,” Blumell said, “it means that my scholarship is always informed and grounded by my discipleship. This doesn’t mean I abandon scholarship, but that I often seek to elucidate and integrate the two. Since ‘the glory of God is intelligence’ (D&C 93:36), I sometimes even view my scholarship as a form of devotion as I try to better understand God’s creation and purpose. Therefore, in my learning and scholarship I not only seek out words of wisdom in ‘the best books’ (D&C 88:118) but also strive to produce some of ‘the best books.’” Blumell holds graduate degrees from the University of Calgary, University of Oxford, and University of Toronto. In addition to numerous articles, Blumell has published two books—Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (Brill, 2012), and Christian Oxyrhyhnchus: Texts, Documents, and Sources (Baylor University Press, 2015), with BYU’s Thomas A. Wayment. He has a third book in press, Didymus the Blind’s Commentary on the Psalms 26:10–29:2 and 36:1–3 (Brepols, Corpus Christianorum Series Graeca).