Edwin is one of world’s leading historians and was described by the then Chancellor of Macquarie University, Justice Michael Kirby, as ‘Edwin the Magnificent’. He founded the world leading Macquarie University Ancient History department and has been a pioneer in exploring and bringing to life, the Graeco-Roman world of the first century and its epic struggle with the ‘Jerusalem’ world—a struggle that Edwin claims defines the Western world, and laid the foundation for global progress.
Edwin is much more than a historian; he is a philosopher-historian because he investigates the battles of ideas and the origin of ideas. And he is more than an academic because he is an innovator who loves to challenge stereotypes and assumptions. He shakes the modern assumption that our values are ‘common-sense’ and ubiquitous—an assumption that is naïve, and even more, dangerous. It is dangerous because it is complacent and hence runs the risk of losing what is precious in our values. At the heart of these values and world-views that have framed the wonders of the modern world, Edwin places Jesus and the story about him. The impact of this story changed the conceptual and ethical framework of the Ancient world in radical ways—ways that have now become so much part of our world that we have long ago lost sight of their origins in the revolutionary world of Jerusalem and its debate with Rome.
Edwin is a teacher of teachers and as such is a hidden treasure. He has influenced—and continues to influence—many significant historians and some theologians, around the world.