After several years as a business systems analyst and consultant for a number of large companies, Simon Mayers returned to academia to study for a Graduate Diploma in Theology at Heythrop College, followed by an MA in Jewish Studies and a PhD in Religions and Theology at the University of Manchester (link for qualifications).
Simon is now the Administrator for the European Association for Jewish Studies (EAJS). The European Association for Jewish Studies is the sole umbrella organisation for Europe representing this field of university studies. Its aims are the encouragement and support of the research and teaching of Jewish studies at university level in Europe, and other places of higher education and learning. Simon is also an independent scholar with research interests in Anglo-Jewish history, the history of anti-Judaism and antisemitism, and the power 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 texts, such as newspapers, magazines, books, pamphlets, pastoral letters, sermons, letters to editors and personal correspondence, during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. With the help of research grants from the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, Simon has been extending his original investigation to provide a more complete picture of how Jews were represented in English Catholic discourses from 1850 to 1945.
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. This project was funded by a Seed Corn Fellowship from the John Rylands Research Institute.
- An examination of the life and discourse, and philo-Judaism and anti-Judaism, of Masonic and theosophical author Dudley Wright (link for a brief introduction to Dudley Wright) (link for the Philo-Judaism and Anti-Judaism of Dudley Wright).
- Transcribing and summarising life story interviews as a volunteer for the “Rainbow Jews” LGBT Anglo-Jewish oral history project.