Helen Paynter is director of the Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence, based at Bristol Baptist College in England.

  • Where did you grow up?

I was born in the south of England, but we moved to Cardiff, the capital of Wales, when I was 11; I lived there until I left for university. Many North Americans think Wales is part of England, but it really isn’t (and Welsh people get very upset about that; they have their own language!). Both are part of Britain.

  • What is your favorite verse, book or story in the Bible? Why?

2 Corinthians 5.

It gives hope beyond the grave. This has been particularly important for me recently with a family bereavement.

  • What is your favorite movie? Why?

I don’t know really. I’ve watched “Lord of the Rings” many times, but I’m probably done with that now.

I most like films that make me think and see the world differently.

  • Who are three people you admire?

William Tyndale; Olaudah Equiano, a former Nigerian slave who became a seaman, writer and abolitionist; and Corrie ten Boom.

  • What is one little-known fact about yourself?

I play the bassoon.

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