For Professor Edith Humphrey, Teaching is an Extension of What She's Learning About God
People familiar with Pittsburgh Seminary’s Dr. Edith M. Humphrey—William F. Orr Professor of New Testament—know her as something of a Renaissance woman. In addition to her expertise in the field of New Testament studies, she is a specialist in the writings of C. S. Lewis, in a variety of Christian worship traditions, and in Orthodox theology, and she loves the Church Fathers . . . for a start. She has recently completed writing the first in a series of children’s novels that imaginatively relate the adventures of 21st-century children who go back in time to visit the saints for whom they are named. And she is also an accomplished concert pianist, a skilled public speaker, and a popular professor who has taught at seminaries in her home country of Canada in addition to the United States.
In July 2018, Didaktikos journal editor Douglas Estes published an interview with Edith about her approach to teaching. In the article, titled “The Professing Life,” Edith notes, “I always knew that I was supposed to be a teacher,” and “when I teach, I consider that I’m actually professing something.”
“It’s absolutely essential to express what it is that we think God has done for us. So my teaching is an extension of what I am learning about God daily.” Then she adds, “I think learning how to ask a questions well is as important as coming up with the right answers.”
The interview also highlights Edith’s Christian journey, first as an officer in the Salvation Army, then as an Anglican, and ultimately as an adherent to Orthodox tradition, which was historically prominent in the East but now also has growing jurisdictions in the West. “Your connection with Christ, both personally and corporately, is absolutely essential to your doing what you’re called to do,” Edith says. “God’s way of teaching and changing and transforming us was to become incarnate. . . . We care about the nitty-gritty of space and time because God did.” That perspective drives her current publication projects—a book on Paul’s doctrine of justice and righteousness as seen through the eyes of the ancient fathers, and one on mediation in the Christian family.
To read the full interview with Edith, see https://academic.logos.com/the-professing-life-a-conversation-with-edith-m-humphrey/.