After studying for a BSc in computation at UMIST and an MSc in artificial intelligence at the University of Essex, Simon spent twelve years working as a data warehouse consultant. Simon then returned to academia, first to pursue a theology diploma at Heythrop College (a Catholic university college – now sadly closed – which specialised in theology and philosophy), followed by an MA in Jewish studies and a PhD in religions and theology at the University of Manchester. Simon is now the Administrator for the European Association for Jewish Studies, a charity whose main objective is the advancement of teaching and research of Jewish studies at European Universities and other places of higher education and learning, and an independent scholar with a general interest in religion and philosophy, and a specialised interest in how Jews and Judaism have been represented in a variety of modern religious discourses.
Simon’s PhD, which was funded by an AHRC grant and supervised by Professor Daniel Langton at the University of Manchester, examined how Jews were mythologised and stereotyped in a variety of English Catholic discourses during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Simon is currently preparing a book about the persistence of the “mythic Jew” in English Catholic discourses during the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth centuries.
The following are some of the projects Simon has worked on since completing his PhD:
- An examination of Jewish stereotypes in the literature and journalism of the English author G.K. Chesterton. The results of this study can be found in Simon’s short book: Chesterton’s Jews.
- An examination of theological anti-Judaism in the bible commentaries and sermons of Adam Clarke (1762-1832), a prominent Methodist theologian from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This project was funded by a seed corn fellowship from the John Rylands Research Institute. An article based on this research into Adam Clarke’s discourse can be found in the Bulletin of the John Rylands Library [link to journal volume] [link to author accepted manuscript]
- An examination of Jewish stereotypes in English Catholic newspapers during the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth centuries. This was funded by two research grants from the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism.
- Transcribing and summarising life story interviews as a volunteer for the “Rainbow Jews” LGBT Anglo-Jewish oral history project.
- An examination of the life and protean discourse of the esotericist author, journalist and Freemason Dudley Wright.