Samford University

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June 9, 2014

Our Story

James Strange, Associate Professor of Religion in the Howard College of Arts and Sciences, has returned to Israel this summer to pursue his sustained interest in archeology, accompanied by students from Samford.  He’s been writing a series of “letters from Nazareth” in recent weeks.  Here’s a snippet from his third (and most recent) letter, describing an emerging theory about the lamp molds that they are discovering in the site currently under examination:

We are working on a hypothesis.  A scholar from Bar Ilan University has shown that in Jewish towns of the Galilee, most examples of a well-known type of oil lamp made in the first century come from Jerusalem.  He suggested that festival pilgrims brought back these lamps as souvenirs, something like we do when we bring back nativity scenes from Bethlehem or hand painted Shabbat challah cloths from Jerusalem.  It seems to me that the ancients thought about these lamps as metaphors for bringing back the light from the Temple.  Motti thinks there is a good chance that after 70, refugees from Jerusalem came to Galilee, where they took up lamp making again and slowly began to change the way they made the lamps.  We can detect those changes in the fragments from Shikhin.  That may indicate that Shikhin was one of the places (the place?) where these lamps were made after 70.  Something similar may have happened again after 135 CE, when the Romans expelled Jews from Jerusalem and the surrounding areas.  We’re working on an article that floats that hypothesis.

 The world is better because of the patient, thoughtful, inspired work of James Strange.

 

 

Our Mission

The mission of Samford University is to nurture persons in their development of intellect, creativity, faith, and personhood. As a Christian university, the community fosters academic, career, and ethical competency while encouraging social and civic responsibility, and service to others.

Our Core Values

The Samford community values lifelong:

  • belief in God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.
  • engagement with the life and teachings of Jesus.
  • learning and responsible freedom of inquiry.
  • personal empowerment, accountability, and responsibility.
  • vocational success and civic engagement.
  • spiritual growth and cultivation of physical well-being.
  • integrity, honesty, and justice.
  • appreciation for diverse cultures and convictions.
  • stewardship of all resources.
  • service to God, to family, to one another, and to the community.

Our Vision

Anchored in Christian understanding, Samford University will be a diverse community, stressing vigorous learning and personal faith, in the Baptist tradition. Within that commonality, the Community will be innovative in teaching, learning and research; sensitive to global issues; aggressive in self-assessment and continuous improvement. Faithful to its mission, Samford will be known and acknowledged worldwide by holding to its core values. The world will be better for it.

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