Rev. Fergus King

Rev. Fergus King

Conjoint Senior Lecturer

School of Humanities and Social Science (Philosophy, Religion and Theology)

Career Summary


My interests have been shaped by time spent as student teacher and priest in Scotland, Tanzania, England and Australia, as well as contacts elsewhere in Southern and Central Africa. African colleagues have imbued me with an sense of urgency: the study of mission and New Testament must have some purpose and matter-seriously. The Bible engages with issues of salvation and liberation, and its handling must earth those matters in the stuff of everyday life. On the plus side this gives a great enthusiasm for the subject: I try to research with some fire in my belly. The downside is an impatience with some of the fustiness of New Testament Studies as a northern academic tradition. Above all, it raises issues of justice, and a great concern that the power of reading Scripture must not rest solely with those whom geography and circumstance sets in the privileged places of scholarship in the global north: there needs to be leveling of the playing field so that insights of all readers be respected, and not pushed to the margins by those who would limit valid scholarship to those well-versed in the rules of a guild.

Research Expertise
The New Testament in its context (with an emphasis on socio-historical and rhetorical criticism), Contextual Biblical Interpretation, Bible in Africa, Hermeneutics- particularly the significance of Barr, Bahktin, Gadamer, Jonathan Z. Smith and Wittgenstein for reading the Scriptures, Missiology with particular reference to the NT. My more recent work has seen me developing these thinkers' various insights into  a methodology which explores the family resemblances between literary, philosophical and theological themes  in the nexus of Judaism, Graeco-Romanitas and emerging Christianity, particularly in relation to the Johannine literature. This means that I have been  returning to  my roots a s a classicist particularly in regard to  Graeco-Roman religion, Epicureanism and Stoicism. I am currently supervising a PhD at University of Newcastle.

Teaching Expertise
I have taught  courses in both English and Kiswahili at diploma and undergraduate levels on a variety of subjects: New Testament, Church History (esp  early Church History), hermeneutics, homiletics, missiology and African theology. I have also taught Greek, and developed my own course for teaching Greek to students for whom English was a second (or later) language. Given that  theology and its related disciplines are prone to  "churchspeak" (apologies to George Orwell) and jargon, I have a particular interst in  exploring in class how  technical discourse can be rendered in  everyday language. In 2017, I was appointed to  a professorship  (NT Mission: sociocultural interpretation) at the Missional University, an on-line institution which is   being launched from a  centre in the USA (

Administrative Expertise


I have worked with Bishop Maimbo Mndolwa on  an article about  the Universities Mission to Central Africa in pre- and post-independence Tanganyika (Tanzania).


  • Doctor of Theology, University of South Africa
  • Master of Arts (Honours), University of St Andrews
  • Bachelor of Divinity (Honors), University of Edinburgh - Scotland


  • Greek
  • Religion
  • Theology
  • Missiology
  • Hermeneutics
  • New Testament
  • Church History
  • The New Testament
  • Post-Aristotelian Philosophy
  • Latin


  • Swahili (Fluent)
  • English (Mother)
  • German (Working)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
200305 Latin and Classical Greek Languages 20
220499 Religion and Religious Studies not elsewhere classified 20
220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History) 60


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Book (4 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 King FJ, ISG 51: A Guide to St John's Gospel, SPCK, London, i-xix, 1-300 (2015)
2009 King FJ, Opening the Scroll: An Introductory Commentary on the Revelation of John, Lambert Academic Publishing, Koln, Germany, 212 (2009) [A2]
2007 King FJ, More Than A Passover: Inculturation in the Supper Narratives of the New Testament, Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 395 (2007) [A1]
2000 King FJ, Mwongozo wa Ufunuo wa Yohana, Central Tanganyika Press, Dodoma, Tanzania, 289 (2000) [A2]
Show 1 more book

Chapter (3 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2012 King FJ, 'Ice-cold in Alex: Philo's treatment of the divine lover in Hellenistic pedagogy', Alcibiades and the Socratic Lover-Educator, Bristol Classical Press, London 164-179 (2012) [B1]
2009 King FJ, 'There's more to meals than food: A contextual interpretation of Paul's understanding of the Corinthian Lord's Supper', Christian Worship in Australia: Inculturating the Liturgical Tradition, St Pauls Publications, Strathfield, New South Wales 167-179 (2009) [B1]
2000 King FJ, 'Nyimbo za Vijana: Biblical Interpretation in Contemporary Hymns from Tanzania', The Bible In Africa, Brill, Leiden, Netherlands 360-373 (2000) [B1]

Journal article (30 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 King FJ, 'Pleasant places in the gospel according to John: A classical motif as introit to theological awareness', PACIFICA, 30 3-19 (2017) [C1]
DOI 10.1177/1030570X17725920
2016 King FJ, ''Fencing the Altar': Jesus, judas and Eucharistic Discipline', Compass: A Review of Topical Theology, 50 30-38 (2016) [C1]
2016 Mndolwa MW, King FJ, 'In Two Minds? African Experience and Preferment in umca and the Journey to Independence in Tanganyika', Mission Studies, 33 327-351 (2016) [C1]
DOI 10.1163/15733831-12341466
2015 King FJ, 'Revelation 21:1-22:5. An early Christian locus amoenus?', Biblical Theology Bulletin, 45 174-183 (2015) [C1]

© Biblical Theology Bulletin Inc. The visions of the Heavenly Jerusalem (Revelation 21) have a utopian feel. In this article I suggest that ancient writers from a Graeco-Roman bac... [more]

© Biblical Theology Bulletin Inc. The visions of the Heavenly Jerusalem (Revelation 21) have a utopian feel. In this article I suggest that ancient writers from a Graeco-Roman background might have read these visions through the lens of the locus amoenus (pleasant place) - a utopian prototype. While associated primarily with vision poetry, the motif also served wider theological and philosophical purposes in the late Roman Republic and early Imperial periods and had spread beyond purely literary confines. The genre also engaged with philosophical, theological and eschatological themes. Thus engaging with Revelation 21 as a locus amoenus, as a contextually appropriate form, may have served as a jumping-off point into the less familiar realms of Judaic eschatological symbolism. Lastly, it is suggested that the appearance of the motif within what would become the Scriptures of emerging Christianity may provide a reason for the later more explicit developments of the genre in patristic writing.

DOI 10.1177/0146107915590766
Citations Web of Science - 1
2014 King FJ, 'Lex orandi, lex credendi: worship and doctrine in Revelation 4¿5', Scottish Journal of Theology, 67 33-49 (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.1017/S0036930613000318
2014 King FJ, 'More Than a Vapid Sound: The Case for a Hermeneutic of Resonance', Journal for Theology in Southern Africa, 148 83-98 (2014) [C1]
2013 King FJ, ''In hoc signo': A literary and social analysis of Constantine's dream', St Mark's Review, 16-26 (2013) [C1]
2013 King FJ, ''Deep change or slow death': Johannine Critique and Ignatian Resolution', Compass: a review of topical theology, 47 22-29 (2013) [C1]
2012 King FJ, ''Pointing the Bone': Sorcery Syndrome and Uncanny Death in Acts 5:1-11', Irish Biblical Studies, 30 12-34 (2012) [C1]
2012 King FJ, ''He descended to the dead': Towards a pastoral strategy for making peace with the living dead', Soma: an International Journal of Theological Discourses and Counter-Discourses, 2-19 (2012) [C1]
2011 King FJ, 'Mission-Shaped or Paul-Shaped? Apostolic challenges to the Mission-Shaped Church', Journal of Anglican Studies, 9 223-246 (2011) [C1]
DOI 10.1017/s1740355310000264
2010 King FJ, '12th December: Third Sunday of Advent: Matthew 11:2-11', Expository Times, 122 86-88 (2010) [C3]
2010 King FJ, 'Standing on the shoulders of giants: Re-tuning John O'Neill's theory of the blasphemy charge against Jesus', Irish Biblical Studies, 28 52-77 (2010) [C1]
2010 King FJ, ''Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do': Reflections on Luke 23:34a, Kol Nidre and the Atonement', The Australian Journal of Jewish Studies, 24 134-160 (2010) [C1]
2009 King FJ, ''De Baptista nil nisi bonum': John the Baptist as a paradigm for mission', Mission Studies: Journal of the International Association for Mission Studies, 26 173-191 (2009) [C1]
DOI 10.1163/016897809x12548912398794
2008 King FJ, 'Tarrant, I., Anglican Swahili prayer Books: Tanzania (1995) and Congo (1998)', Mission Studies, 25 282-283 (2008) [C3]
2007 King FJ, 'A Ministry Shaped By Mission', MISSION STUDIES, 24 347-348 (2007)
DOI 10.1163/157338307X234987
2004 King FJ, 'Travesty or Taboo: "Drinking Blood" and Revelation 17:2-6', Neotestamentica, 38 305-328 (2004) [C1]
2002 King FJ, 'Making Disciples: Four Missionary Movements', Thinking Mission, 2002 19-25 (2002) [C3]
2002 King FJ, 'Theological Education and Mission', Mission Studies, XIX 77-89 (2002) [C1]
2001 King FJ, 'Inculturation And The Book of Revelation', Mission Studies, 18 24-41 (2001) [C1]
2001 King FJ, 'Legrand, L., The Bible on Culture', Mission Studies, 18 172-173 (2001) [C3]
1999 King FJ, 'How the Bible Says? Reflections on the Bible, Culture and Reading', Thinking Mission, 1999 2-8 (1999) [C3]
1998 King FJ, 'Across The Great Divide: Higher Criticism, The Writers Of The New Testament And African Biblical Interpretation', Mission Studies, XV 13-28 (1998) [C1]
1997 King FJ, 'St Paul & Culture', Mission Studies, 14 84-101 (1997) [C1]
1997 King FJ, 'Eating in Corinth: Full Meal or Token Meal?', Irish Biblical Studies, 19 161-173 (1997) [C1]
1997 King FJ, 'WaKristo Na Serikali Mbovu', Jarida la Kichungaji, 4 103-107 (1997) [C1]
1996 King FJ, 'Je, Lazima Ubatizo Uwe Ktk Maji Mengi', Jarida la Kichungaji, 3 105-110 (1996) [C1]
1994 King FJ, 'Angels and Ancestors: A Basis for Christology?', Mission Studies, XI 10-26 (1994) [C1]
1993 King FJ, 'The Chreia: Return of the Form Critic', Africa Theology Journal, 22 76-90 (1993) [C1]
Show 27 more journal articles

Review (35 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 King FJ, 'Clothing the Body of Christ at Colossae: A Visual Construction of Identity (2015) [C3]
2015 King FJ, 'Unless Someone Shows Me: English Grammar for Students of Biblical Languages', Colloquium (2015) [C3]
2015 King FJ, 'The Original Bishops: Office and Order in the First Christian Communities', Colloquium (2015) [C3]
2015 King FJ, 'Seven Events which Shaped the New Testament World', Colloquium (2015) [C3]
2014 King FJ, 'Church History: Five Approaches to a Global Discipline', Colloquium (2014) [C3]
2014 King FJ, 'Five Uneasy Pieces: Essays on Scripture and Sexuality', Colloquium (2014) [C3]
2014 King FJ, 'The New Testament on Sexuality (2014)
2013 King FJ, 'Greco-Roman Culture and the New Testament: Studies Commemorating the Centennial of the Pontifical Biblical Institute', Colloquium (2013) [C3]
2012 King FJ, 'The Matter of the Text: Material Engagements Between Luke and the Five Senses [Book review]', Colloquium (2012) [C3]
2012 King FJ, 'To the Jew First: The Case for Jewish Evangelism in Scripture and History [Book Review]', Mission Studies (2012) [C3]
DOI 10.1163/157338312x645039
2012 King FJ, 'Encountering Theology of Mission: Biblical Foundations, Historical Developments, and Contemporary Issues [Book review]', Mission Studies (2012) [C3]
DOI 10.1163/157338312X644995
2011 King FJ, 'African Theology on the Way: Current Conversations, SPCK International Study Guide No. 46 [Book Review]', Theology (2011) [C3]
2011 King FJ, 'Review: Gallagher, Robert L. and Hertig, Paul. Landmark essays in mission and world Christianity', Mission Studies (2011) [C3]
DOI 10.1163/157338311x573599
2010 King FJ, 'African and European readers of the Bible in dialogue: In quest of a shared meaning', Mission Studies (2010) [C3]
2010 King FJ, 'Leading cross-culturally: Covenant relationships for effective Christian leadership', Mission Studies (2010) [C3]
2010 King FJ, 'Jesus: A portrait', Mission Studies (2010) [C3]
2010 King FJ, 'SCM studyguide to Christian mission: Historic types and contemporary expressions', Mission Studies (2010) [C3]
2009 King FJ, 'The ministry of the Missional Church: A commentary led by the spirit', Mission Studies: Journal of the International Association for Mission Studies (2009) [C3]
2009 King FJ, 'The living dead and the living god: Christ and the ancestors in a changing Africa', Mission Studies: Journal of the International Association for Mission Studies (2009) [C3]
DOI 10.1163/157338309x450255
2009 King FJ, 'The mission-driven parish', Mission Studies: Journal of the International Association for Mission Studies (2009) [C3]
DOI 10.1163/016897809x12506857701235
2009 King FJ, 'How Africa shaped the Christian mind: Rediscovering the African seedbed of western Christianity', Mission Studies: Journal of the International Association for Mission Studies (2009) [C3]
DOI 10.1163/016897809x12506857701316
2008 King FJ, 'Barz, G.F., Performing Religion: Negotiating Past and Present in Kwaya Music of Tanzania', Journal of World Christianity (2008) [C3]
2008 King FJ, 'Hume, L., and McPhillips, K., Popular Spiritualities: The Politics of Contemporary Enchantment', Mission Studies (2008) [C3]
2008 King FJ, 'Brondos, D. A., Paul on the Cross: Reconstructing the Apostle's Story of Redemption', Mission Studies (2008) [C1]
2007 King FJ, 'Jalland, P., Changing Ways of Death in Twentieth Century Australia: War, Medicine and the Funeral Business', Australian Economic History Review: an Asia-Pacific journal of economic business and social history (2007) [C3]
2007 King FJ, 'Flemming, D.E., Contextualization in the New Testament: Patterns for Theology and Mission', Mission Studies (2007) [C3]
2007 King FJ, 'Kollman, P.V., The Evangelization of Slaves and Catholic Origins in East Africa', Mission Studies (2007) [C3]
2007 King FJ, 'Avis, P., A Ministry Shaped by Mission', Mission Studies (2007) [C3]
2007 King FJ, 'Adamo, D. (ed.), Biblical Interpretation in African Perspective', Mission Studies (2007) [C3]
2006 King FJ, 'Beale, G.K., The Temple and the Church's Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God', Mission Studies (2006) [C1]
2005 King FJ, 'Fotopoulos, J., Food Offered to Idols in Roman Corinth', Mission Studies (2005) [C3]
2005 King FJ, 'Magesa, L., Anatomy of Inculturation: Transforming the Church in Africa,', Mission Studies (2005) [C3]
2004 King FJ, 'Gallagher, R.L., and Hertig, P., Mission in Acts: Ancient Narratives in Contemporary Context', Mission Studies (2004) [C3]
2002 King FJ, 'Gonzalez, J.L., Acts: The Gospel of the Spirit', Mission Studies (2002) [C3]
1999 King FJ, 'Wachege, P. N., Jesus Christ Our Muthamaki (Ideal Elder)', Mission Studies (1999) [C3]
Show 32 more reviews

Research Supervision

Number of supervisions


Total current UON EFTSL


Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2016 PhD The Matthean Jesus as Educator: Implications for Contemporary Theory and Practice PhD (Education), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor

Past Supervision

Year Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2017 PhD Judas Iscariot, Betrayal and Idolatry PhD (Religious Studies), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor

Rev. Fergus King


Conjoint Senior Lecturer
Philosophy, Religion & Theology
School of Humanities and Social Science
Faculty of Education and Arts

Philosophy, Religion & Theology
Student Central
Academic Division

Focus area

Philosophy, Religion and Theology

Contact Details

Phone No office. No phone......
Mobile None
Fax (02) 4921 6933, but I've never used it


Room No Office at Callaghan. A wandering Aberdonian
Building McMullin
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308