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Tyler Mayfield named Louisville Seminary A.B. Rhodes Associate Professor of Old Testament

May 19, 2016

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the appointment of Tyler Mayfield 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.

A native of Town Creek, Alabama, Mayfield (pictured) previously taught at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, Claremont School of Theology in southern California, and the University of California, Riverside. He holds degrees from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, Yale Divinity School and Claremont Graduate University.

At Louisville Seminary, he teaches introductory courses in Old Testament, Hebrew and exegesis as well as electives in violence in the Old Testament, Isaiah and ethical readings of Scripture. Mayfield regularly leads a travel seminar to Israel and Palestine to explore the ancient biblical sites as well as contemporary Judaism, Islam and Christianity. In addition, he recently returned from a travel seminar to India focused on interfaith spirituality and justice.

Mayfield writes regularly for the websites WorkingPreacher.org and GoodPreacher.com and is the author of Literary Structure and Setting in Ezekiel, published in 2010. He is currently writing a book titled Unto Us a Child Is Born: Isaiah, Advent, and our Jewish Neighbors, which focuses on reading and preaching Isaiah through the lenses of Advent and the love of our Jewish neighbors. He is also working on a book that introduces the theologically troubling topic of divine violence to seminarians and undergraduates.

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 (U.S.A.) 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, in 1981 Louisville Seminary established the A.B. Rhodes Professorship in Old Testament as a fully endowed chair. 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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