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Louisville Seminary names Patricia K. Tull to the A.B. Rhodes Professorship

Jun 13, 2005
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the appointment of Patricia K. Tull to the A.B. Rhodes Professorship in Old Testament, named for Arnold Black Rhodes, an alum of Louisville Seminary (BD ’41) who taught Old Testament at Louisville Seminary for three decades.

Tull joined the Seminary faculty in 1994 to teach biblical studies in Old Testament and Hebrew, core courses in the Master of Divinity degree program. In addition to her classroom teaching responsibilities, she leads the January middle-east travel seminar, entitled “History, Religion, and Culture in the Land of the Bible.” The seminar offers course credit for students, but pastors, graduates, and other friends of the Seminary are encouraged to participate as well.

Her expertise in narrative and poetic exegesis, intertextuality, and Jewish-Christian relations are reflected in many of her publications: Remember the Former Things: The Recollection of Previous Texts in Second Isaiah (Scholars Press, 1997); Esther’s Feast (Horizons Bible Study for the Presbyterian Women of the Presbyterian Church (USA), 2001-2002); Esther and Ruth, Interpretation Bible Study Series (Westminster John Knox Press, 2003), and chapters in a variety of works on biblical interpretation, including the Women’s Bible Commentary (ed. Carol Newsom and Sharon Ringe, 1998); To Each Its Own Meaning: An Introduction to Biblical Criticisms and their Application (ed. Steven McKenzie and Stephen Haynes, 1999); and Strange Fire: Reading the Hebrew Bible after the Holocaust (ed. Tod Linafelt, 2000).

Tull studied literature and foreign language education before pursuing seminary, earning her degrees from the University of Texas in Austin (BSEd), Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary (MDiv), and Emory University (PhD). She is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and she served in parish ministry prior to joining the faculty of Louisville Seminary. She preaches and teaches in her church and other local congregations, serves on the Ordination Exam Committee of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Biblical Literature.

The A.B. Rhodes professorship honors one who was known as a beloved teacher, a brilliant scholar, an inspiring preacher, and an illuminating lecturer, whose theology was grounded in a concern for justice and peace in the world. A prolific writer, Rhodes was most recognized for his book, The Mighty Acts of God, published in 1964. The book and its companion for teachers have been widely used by clergy and laity throughout the Presbyterian Church (USA) and beyond. In 2000, it was republished as a revised edition by W. Eugene March, who held the A.B. Rhodes Chair from 1982 until his retirement in 2004.

Throughout his career, Rhodes was asked to become the pastor of local churches, but refused in order to concentrate on his academic profession. In honor of his contributions to Old Testament research and theological education, Louisville Seminary established the first fully endowed chair in his name, in 1981. Rhodes was the first occupant of the chair until his retirement in 1982. He died in 2002 –he was 88 years old – and was mourned by generations of grateful former students and friends.
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