After initially studying for a BSc in computation at UMIST and an MSc in artificial intelligence at the University of Essex, and several years as a business systems analyst, Simon Mayers returned to academia to pursue a diploma in theology at Heythrop (a college of the University of London, which retains a modern Catholic ethos), followed by an MA and then a PhD in religions and theology at the University of Manchester.
Simon Mayers is now the Administrator for the European Association for Jewish Studies (EAJS). The EAJS is the sole umbrella organisation for Europe representing the academic field of Jewish Studies. Its primary aims include providing encouragement and support for the research and teaching of Jewish Studies at university level in Europe, and other places of higher education and learning. Simon is also the assistant editor of Melilah, an interdisciplinary open access journal concerned with Jewish history, literature, religion, culture and thought, in the ancient, medieval and modern eras, and an independent scholar with research interests in religious histories and discourses (and in particular, the history of Jewish-Christian relations, and the power and influence of religious discourse).
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 represented in a variety of English Catholic discourses during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The following are some of the other 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 book: Chesterton’s Jews.
- An examination of theological representations of Jews and 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 has recently been published in the Bulletin of the John Rylands Library.
- Transcribing and summarising life story interviews as a volunteer for the “Rainbow Jews” LGBT Anglo-Jewish oral history project.