Leading New Testament scholar N. T. Wright, 61, will retire after seven years as the Bishop of Durham on August 31. He will take a chair in New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
'This has been the hardest decision of my life," Wright said in a statement. "But my continuing vocation to be a writer, teacher and broadcaster, for the benefit (I hope) of the wider world and church, has been increasingly difficult to combine with the complex demands and duties of a diocesan bishop. I am very sad about this, but the choice has become increasingly clear."
As a writer, Bishop Tom has been working on three series of books – Christian Origins and the Question of God (at a scholarly level), The New Testament for Everyone (at a popular level) and a sequence of studies to introduce the Christian faith, Simply Christian, Surprised by Hope and most recently Virtue Reborn (US Title After You Believe). He hopes now to be able to complete these collections, and other ongoing research, while teaching (particularly graduate students) in the Faculty of Divinity at St Andrews. He has also been approached to head up various broadcasting projects to bring the results of good biblical scholarship to a wider audience.
Wright has worked in the past at at Cambridge, McGill (Montreal) and Oxford Universities before holding church appointments. "Tom Wright ranks among the most distinguished New Testament scholars in the world, and his profile as a churchman, writer and communicator is simply outstanding," St. Andrew's Head of School Ivor Davidson said in a statement.