Dr Brendan Wolfe
Biblical & Early Christian Studies
Areas of expertise: historical theology; Germanic philology; encyclopaedic theology; Gothic; theology & the arts; JRR Tolkien
ORCID ID: 0000-0001-8848-7244
An Honorary Fellow of ACU, Brendan Wolfe is an historical theologian and linguist with wide research interests.
He is the founding Principal Editor of the St Andrews Encyclopaedia of Theology, an international research project building an open-access reference for the whole field of theology. This encyclopaedia will ultimately incorporate emic intellectual content from all major religious traditions. The SAET aims to be a standard daily reference tool of scholars of theology and religion everywhere, particularly where library provision is limited.
Dr Wolfe’s personal research explores the Christianity of the Germanic peoples of the Late Antique Roman world, especially the Goths. His MPhil in Comparative Indo-European Philology from Oxford treated the linguistics of the fourth-century Gothic translation of the Bible, while his DPhil in Theology, also from Oxford, considered the Gothic Bible’s theological, historical, and linguistic contexts. He is the author of several articles establishing the relationship between the text of the Gothic version and the Greek original.
As part of the Art Seeking Understanding funding stream of the Templeton Religion Trust, he leads a research programme called Text & Image on the cognitive psychology of religious art, investigating the goals and effects of including text in visual art, beginning with classic examples at the Reformation.
Dr Wolfe leads a further project on the religious history of Fife, Scotland, which is providing an open-access guide to all the religious buildings attested on Fife’s extensive coasts, complete with up-to-date scholarship and references.
Another significant element of his scholarship has been fostering and strengthening academic engagement with J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and others in their circle, known as the Inklings. He has co-edited three collections of essays on the Inklings and is a co-founder of the Journal of Inklings Studies.
Articles & Book Chapters
- Greek diminutives in Gothic. Transactions of the Philological Society, 117(2), 256-265, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-968X.12156
- The relevance of certain Semiticisms in the Gothic New Testament. NOWELE | North-Western European Language Evolution, 71(2), 249-256, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1075/nowele.00015.wol
- The Gothic palimpsest of Bologna. Studia Patristica, 92, 205-208: 2017.
- The Gothic Bologna fragments in context. In A. Auer, & M. de Vaan (Eds.), Le palimpseste gotique de Bologne: Etudes philologiques et linguistiques (Vol. 50, pp. 99-109). (Les Cahiers de l'Institut de Linguistique et des Sciences du Langage; Vol. 50), 2016.
- Germanic language and Germanic Homoianism. In R. Steinacher, & G. Berndt (Eds.), Arianism: Roman Heresy & Barbarian Creed (pp. 193-200). Routledge, 2014.
- C.S. Lewis and his circle: essays and memoirs from the Oxford C.S. Lewis Society. Co-edited with Judith Wolfe and Roger White. Oxford University Press, 2015.
- C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra: Reshaping the Image of the Cosmos . Co-edited with Judith Wolfe. Kent State University Press, 2013.
- C.S. Lewis and the Church: Essays in Honour of Walter Hooper . Co-edited with Judith Wolfe. T&T Clark, 2011.
- St Andrews Encyclopaedia of Theology (2018 – )
- Art Seeking Understanding: Text & Image (2020 – 2022)
- Sacred Landscape: The Religious History of the Coast of Fife (2021 – 2022)
- Principal Editor of the St Andrews Encyclopaedia of Theology
- Senior Editor of the Journal of Inklings Studies