Dr. Samuel Adams to be installed as McNair Professor of Biblical Studies

RICHMOND, VA (March 29, 2019) – On Tuesday, April 23rd, the Rev. Dr. Samuel L. Adams will be installed as the Mary Jane and John F. McNair Professor of Biblical Studies. The inauguration will be held at 7 p.m. at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Lake Chapel, 1106 Westwood Avenue, Richmond, Virginia, 23227, where Adams will present a lecture entitled “‘A Word in Its Season’: Persuasive Speech in Wisdom Instructions, Prophetic Works, and Our Fractured Political Moment.”

The lecture will discuss the parameters of proper and effective speech in the ancient world, with emphasis on wisdom texts and prophetic works. It will also explore how one should mount an argument, convince others of a particular position, conduct oneself in the public square, and develop a critique of injustices in accordance with these texts.

Additionally, Adams will discuss the pitfalls of hasty and malicious speech, including dishonesty in the public arena, and address the implications of this ancient witness for our fractured and contentious political discourse today.

Adams obtained his doctorate from Yale University in Religious Studies and his Master of Divinity from the University of Chicago Divinity School, in addition to a history degree from Davidson College. He joined the Union Presbyterian Seminary faculty in 2006 and currently holds the position of Professor of Old Testament studies. Adams is also an ordained teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA). He has served in the positions of youth and young adult pastor and interim pastor, and as a teacher of English and American Literature at a Church of South India College.

Adams’s research and writing efforts focus primarily on wisdom literature. He has published two works, including “Social and Economic Life in Second Temple Judea” (Westminster John Knox, 2014) and “Wisdom in Transition: Act and Consequence in Second Temple Instructions” (Brill, 2008). His current book projects include a commentary on the Jewish sage Ben Sira (Yale Anchor Bible) and editing a comprehensive introduction to wisdom literature past and present with Matthew Goff.



Mike Frontiero
Director of Communications
Union Presbyterian Seminary

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