During his student days, Ian developed an interest in Church History, and embarked in 1971 on a Doctorate of Philosophy as a part-time post-graduate student at New College, Edinburgh. The thesis was on The Relationship of Man to God in the writings of Tertullian – a second century lawyer who was converted in his thirties and who gave the remainder of his life to teaching in the Church in Carthage. The Ph.D. degree was awarded in 1980.
Ian’s interest in Tertullian continued and he has given Papers at the International Conference on Patristic Studies, held in Oxford every four years. They have published all his Papers – the first from the 1975 Conference (‘The fate of the soul in induced abortion in the writings of Tertullian’) and the last from the 2015 Conference (‘Tertullian and Roman Law – What Do We (Not) Know?’).
Apart from the last one, they are available for download, below. The 2015 Paper will not be available on this website until October 2020, when the publishers’ copyright expires. In the meantime, paper copies are available on request to Ian and the pdf file is available, on request, for ‘relations’.
Until October 2020, the download below for 2015 has (a) an Abstract of the Paper and (b) the ISBN reference for finding the publication in libraries, such as New College, Edinburgh, who subscribe to Studia Patrictica, the Conference Papers.
Ian’s 2015 Paper gave him particular pleasure, for two reasons. First, it combined his interest in Tertullian with another long-term interest, Roman Law, from which much of early Scots Law was derived; it was a compulsory subject for Scottish Law students when he was at university – see, on this website, ‘Law – Exam papers – 1953 – Civil Law, I and II’.
Secondly, it happened that Marcus Vinzent, the editor of Studia Patrictica, the publishers of the Conference Papers, was in the audience when Ian gave his Paper. Participants are invited to lodge their Papers with the Conference Office at the end of the week, but Marcus Vinzent asked Ian for an advance copy and sent an email, a short time later, to say that it was the first Paper to be approved for publication.
With advancing years, Ian will not manage to give any more Oxford Conferences. He is, however, working at home on an updated Bibliography of published works which have Tertullian’s name in their title – an expansion of the third download here, ‘Tertullian on and off the Internet’.