Last night’s class showed a lively engagement with the book of Ruth, and seemed to enjoy putting the detail we examined on Saturday to work in building interpretations and readings of the whole work. Today is my turn for a rest, while Barbara teaches at a mental health centre.
I used the morning to take photos of the superb new CTS building, and to chat a bit more with some of the staff. One of the exciting things for me (given my life-long interest in Christian communications and especially education) was listening to Prof. G.P.V. Somaratna, CTS’s Research Professor. He is an enthusiast, who rises early and works into the night, when I visited his office he was correcting proofs of a Sinhala Study Bible that the Bible Society is publishing (in several volumes, so that people do not have to try to afford the whole thing all at once). The Study Bible is a team project, but Prof. Somaratna is also preparing single-handed a Bible Encyclopedia in Sinhala, several volumes have already appeared, but the work is not yet complete. He uses several good recent works published in English, where necessary checking information with other more specialist works, but writes articles freshly so that they are not only in Sinhala language but also fit the needs of local readers. The volumes cost about 1,000 Rs each, or three or four longish rides in a three-wheeler taxi.
Prof. Somaratna is a historian by initial training, with a PhD from the University of London. He taught at the University of Colombo for 38 years, and headed the department of History and Political Science there. He also MA degrees in Theology and Missiology, and has taught at Fuller and at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.