Revd Dr Helen Paynter,
Executive and Founding Director
Alongside her role as director of the Centre, Helen is a Baptist minister in Bristol, England and a tutor at Bristol Baptist College. Her PhD thesis was on seriocomic humour in the book of Kings, and her current research interests focus mainly around the narrative hermeneutics of Old Testament texts of violence. Helen lives in Bristol, England, with her husband Stephen. They have three adult daughters. To get in touch with Helen, email her at

She is the author of a number of books, including Blessed are the Peacemakers, The Bible Doesn’t Tell Me So: Why you don’t have to submit to domestic abuse and coercive control, God of Violence Yesterday, God of Love Today? Wrestling honestly with the Old Testament, Telling Terror in Judges 19: Rape and Reparation for the Levite’s wife, Reduced Laughter: Seriocomic Features and Their Functions in the Book of Kings. She has edited collections including Global Perspectives on Bible and Violence, Violence and Peace in Sacred Texts: Interreligious perspectives and Map or Compass? The Bible on Violence.

Revd Dr Stephen Finamore,
Associate academic member
Steve’s PhD thesis was on Girard and Revelation and he maintains a research interest in Girardian readings of scripture, among other things.

Revd Dr Peter Hatton,
Associate academic member
Peter is a Methodist minister and an Old Testament specialist, recently retired from the role of biblical tutor at Bristol Baptist College. His doctoral work was on contradictions in Proverbs, and his ongoing research interests include an investigation into the Old Testament view of ‘Empire’.